The screening room at Liberty University required acoustical treatment so the AV system could truly reach its intended potential. Liberty is the largest private, non-profit university in the nation. They are also the largest evangelical university in the world. The school offers over 229 programs of study, including an impressive Center for Cinematic Arts. The Center provides top-of-the-line production equipment for student use, and guest speakers including Oscar winning screenwriters. During a recent renovation, classrooms in the department were converted into theater screening rooms. Students could be immersed in a film as well as instructed by resident professors.
A new theater-style screening room was near completion in Liberty University’s Center for Cinematic Arts in Virginia. The rooms came equipped with an enormous screen, high-end projector, and a sound system for optimal sound quality.
The system, however, did not sound as good as it could have inside the classroom. The room was large and had bare, hard, parallel gypsum walls. This was causing reverberation, reduced speech intelligibility, and reduced clarity of sound effects and music.
Even when the AV equipment was not being used, the instructor had trouble being understood by the students, and vice versa.
Acoustical Solutions stepped in and provided a multifaceted solution to solve issues with reverberation and speech intelligibility. It was important that a comprehensive noise control treatment was provided for the room to function correctly.
4-inch- thick AlphaSorb® Acoustic Panels were first applied in the cavity behind the screen, creating what functions as a giant bass trap to absorb excessive low frequency noise. Speaker Grille Cloth was then used to cover frames for the speaker compartment below the screen, which still grants access to the compartment. Many of the Guilford fabrics are perfect for use as a speaker fabric with the added benefit of being able to match your acoustical panels.
2-inch- thick AlphaSorb® Acoustic Panels were mounted along the side walls and back wall to lower noise and reverberation, while still keeping the room “live” with some ambience. In addition, curtains made of heavy backed sound absorbing fabric were custom made to hang on either side of the screen for additional acoustic benefit and to complete the theatrical atmosphere.
The change in the room’s sound was noticeable before the speakers were ever turned on. When the room was finally complete, Michael Gerringer, the director of technical production & media systems at liberty clapped his hands in the completed room and said, “now that’s quiet!”