Room acoustic consulting
Ljudbjörnen, also known as Nisse Björn offers room acoustic
consulting either on location or through video meetings. In contrast to what Nisse himself earlier believed to be true, one can actually save money and frustration by letting a competent individual guide clients towards making good and long term judgement calls and avoid costly design mistakes.
700 kr / hour (excl. 25 % VAT)
Acoustic measurements can be very useful and reveal a comprehensive insight into the acoustic tendencies of a room. With a pair of trained and experienced ears, one measurement microphone, one acoustic analyzing software, Ljudbjörnen can help you to properly measure the room(s) of interest.
700 kr / hour (excl. 25 % VAT)
Handmade acoustic products
Ljudbjörnen designs sound absorption panels by hand in Årsta, Stockholm. These broadband panels can be delivered and installed around Stockholm, Sweden.
Click on "Products" in the main menu to get more information.
Custom builds and installation
Ljudbjörnen offers installation of room acoustic panels as well as custom builds, primarily around Stockholm, Sweden.
600 kr / hour (excl. 25 % VAT)
Tarek Mansur film composer studio - Uppsala, Sweden July 2022
Tarek Mansur makes well crafted, powerful and aggressive sounds for films scores and he is at the same time the sweetest guy ever. His small home studio was in need of room acoustic updates and we managed to find great solutions that makes this rather tiny room to sound relatively even across the time and the frequency domains.
Elias Landberg production studio - Stockholm, Sweden May 2022
Elias Landberg a.k.a Skudge is a talented techno producer with a newly renovated studio space. He needed to get the room acoustics under control so that his productions would translate well to other systems. It was a true joy to help Elias with the studio.
SearchIntent office - Stockholm, Sweden
This digital marketing and SEO company in central Stockholm got their acoustic issues greatly reduced. Their meeting room and their video conference room is now acoustically pleasant rooms. The adjustments was documented in the video "Meeting Room Acoustics" that can be seen on our YouTube channel Ljudbjörnen Acoustics.
Room acoustics can be described as how sound propagates within a space
In a bar or restaurant, adequate room acoustics is needed in order to enable a pleasant experience for the guests and a healthy working environment for the staff. The guests and personal will absorb sound by their cloths and bodies but they will also generate sounds such as: speech, chairs moving, cutlery on plats and so on. Espresso machine in the bar and often music playing.
To reduce the energy of these sounds and the reflections from windows, ceilings and walls within the room, an installation of a couple of absorption panels would help a lot.
On top of these sounds, most restaurant environments also have audible sounds arriving from other nearby environments. For example: vehicles passing by outside or duct noise and HVAC systems. To reduce those isolation problems, other would types of adjustments is required.
Criterias for restaurants:
* Good Speech Intelligibility
* Low ambient noise
* A good distribution of absorptive surfaces throughout the space
Audio production rooms:
In audio production rooms or similar the following needs are some of the most important ones:
* Monitor and listening placement optimization
* Speaker platforms, damping and/or de-coupling management
* Early reflection control (as well as EER)
* Low and relatively even decay times
* Managed modal activity and a controlled low frequency region
* Even tonal balance and frequency response at the sweet spot
* Minimal phase and distortion issues
* Stable stereo image and a good phantom mono image
* Low group delay values
* Low ambient noise floor
* Possibly sound isolation
* Possibly diffused later reflections so that they actually contributes constructively together with the direct sound path and the other reflective paths.
When implementing these steps (not necessarily in this particular order), the room acoustic conditions would enable the producer/engineer to easily distinguish the important details in the audio material by having managed and reduced room character influences.
Audio production rooms usually have way higher requirements for low frequency control than most other spaces. Especially if the room is used for bass heavy music or sound design for movies. In contrast, a podcast studio might not need nearly as much low frequency management due to the limited frequency range of the human voice, where the first two octave bands would be of less interest.
In office spaces or similar environments a good speech intelligibility is a vital criteria. To enable speech to be heard clearly throughout a space, the room acoustician would make sure that the sound reflections are mitigated and that the reverberation times are satisfying and meeting the demands.
The direct sound pathway vs. reflective pathways needs to have an adequate ratio to enable good clarity.
Isolation between rooms and between different zones in an open office space is often needed.
Nowadays the need for audio/video meetings and even audio recordings in office spaces is higher than ever before, so therefor the need for good acoustics increases.
Criterias for offices:
* Very good Speech Intelligibility
* Low ambient noise
* A good distribution of absorptive surfaces throughout the space
* Isolation between rooms
Whatever type of room and function you might need help with, Ljudbjörnens approach is pragmatic. Most (if not all) rooms can be acoustically improved. With that said, not all rooms would be suitable for the intended use. Some activities are more audio critical than others. The room geometry and dimensions has a significant influence on the room acoustics and the smaller the room is, the more challenges it usually has. In some scenarios clients have the option to choose between different rooms or actually have the opportunity to start from planning a space from scratch. In these cases, it's wise to let an expert consult the client so that they find a suitable space for the activity or to properly chose design details for a new construction. To get proper consulting can possibly save the client both time and money by avoiding problems associated with unsuitable design choices or unsuitable spaces. The sooner in the process this happens, the better the chances of reaching satisfactory results.
How much does it cost to adjust a room acoustically?
The current conditions and the construction of the space, the budget, the ambitions and the time schedule will together determine the costs of the project.
The term sound isolation is sometimes confused with the term sound absorption. The meaning of these terms are different yet familiar. Let me try to explain this briefly:
Isolation of sound refers to the function of acoustically separate spaces from each other.
To properly construct an isolated double shell wall, you need thick and heavy mass and you need absorption material in between the two wall shells to reduce the resonances within that cavity. You need mechanical damping, decoupling, controlled flanking paths as well as an airtight construction. You also need all duct work and pipe penetrations that goes through the partitions to be properly installed. The ducts will need suitable sound silencers to mitigate air borne sound leakage and potentially damping material around the duct pipe to further reduce the unwanted air borne and mechanical noise transfer paths. Everything has to be carefully planned and executed in order to get high isolation values and good results.
Sound absorption refers to a reduction of acoustic energy and an energy conversion into an other energy form. When talking velocity absorption, acoustic energy is converted into thermal energy. This conversion can be achieved by the use of porous sound absorption material (glass wool for example). The glass wool fibers converts the friction of the air molecules into (non noticeable) heat. This same sound absorption principle is often used inside of a double wall design (explained above), to improve the isolation.
Isolation in audio critical environments:
When working with music studios, cinemas, mastering facilities or other audio critical spaces, it's fundamental to consider the importance of low frequency transmission. Therefore, in the context of audio-critical environments, the dBA level values are often insufficient. Frequency weighting C or even better Z (filter off) should be used.
Isolation is a relative term as well as it is frequency depended, so to call a room isolated does not by itself tell you much. Sometimes you might hear the term "soundproof". Ljudbjörnen would advise against using that term because it's an overly simplified description of sound isolation and it doesn't present any valuable information. To get specific and to be able to validate the effectiveness of isolation, it's performance can be described as STL (Sound Transmission Loss), STC (Sound Transmission Class), Dn or Rw (Reduction Value).
In order to get good isolation values and also subjectively pleasing results, one needs to not only reduce the airborne sound paths. It's critical to also look at impact based sound, flanking and other structural sound paths as well. A sometimes overseen construction detail is making sure all interconnections through the partitions are properly installed by someone that understands basic acoustics. A badly installed ventilation duct can greatly reduce the isolation capabilities of an otherwise well constructed double leaf wall.
Also, a badly installed door (or a door that needs adjustments) within a well constructed wall can greatly reduce the whole partitions isolating ability.
Room acoustic measurement procedures and the motivation for it:
Along with active listening in the room of interest and having discussions with the client, room acoustic measurements can be very valuable and compliment the subjective experience. By executing acoustic measurements we are getting both a numeric and a visual representation of the transfer function of the space. The transfer function is the difference between the stimulus signal sound source and that same sound source AFTER the influences of the system of interest (the space/room).
So, the transfer function is the room of interest, its obstacles, the sound source and its position together with the measurement microphone and its position in the space.
The measurement data can for example show us the decay times as Reverberation Time, RT60 or via waterfall plots (the later to visualize the time domain and frequency domain activity but not limited to only relatively large spaces). The data can also show us the temporal relationship between the direct sound source and the reflections via both the Impulse Response graph, the Group Delay graph as well as the Clarity Graph. Most of these tools are very useful when for example optimizing a critical listening environment where strong early reflections have to be either absorbed or redirected.
Our vital routines
By having consistent logging and calibration routines as well as having up-to-spec equipment Ljudbjörnen always gets reliable measurements of the space of interest.
Earthworks Audio M30 - High performance omnidirectional measurement microphone
(meets or exceeds ANSI Type 1 and applicable IEC 61094 requirements)
Larson Davis CAL150 - Class 2 sound level calibrator
RME Audio Babyface PRO FS - High-End Audio Interface
Apple MacBook Pro
REW acoustic analyzing software
Options for the stimulus signal sound source:
> Your main speakers when analyzing a critical listening environment.
> KRK 6000 for small rooms or smaller budgets.
> Dodecahedron omnidirectional speaker when doing acoustic measurements in bigger rooms and/or with bigger budgets.
As an small Audio Production company, Ljudbjörnen was born in late 2010, focusing mainly on audio recording. Nisse primarily worked out of his shared studio facility in central Stockholm, Sweden.
Seven years later after an intensive and long recording session in 2017, Nisse got severe tinnitus. After over two years of trying to adapt to this new relationship with the concept of silence (or the absence of it), Nisse tried to adjust his type of audio related work by reducing the hours spent in sound exposuring environments. Fewer hours in the studio, less loud bands and more podcasts.
In 2019 Nisse decided to shift focus from audio engineering to room acoustics. This was not a quick nor painless journey as it involved both patience, education and new compromises. One natural motivator that helped Nisse to develop and learn to master this new profession was his already well developed passion for good music and good sound.