We all want to ensure that our awesome playlist can be properly appreciated through great sound in our classrooms whether it’s a yoga class or a high-octane dance cardio class, but making this a reality involves a LOT more than hanging some expensive speakers around the room.
In fact, if you don’t properly budget for your sound design, you may find yourself in a position where you can’t offer classes too early in the morning or too late in the evening because sound bleeds out of your room into your neighbors. Your room may sound too much like an empty warehouse, and even if your classes are awesome, the sonic experience might be too frustrating for clients to want to put up with. Or, your instructors will find themselves unable to provide the best quality experience possible because they’re putting so much effort into shouting, constantly adjusting volume knobs, or making sure the clients can properly hear them and stay safe.
In this episode, listen to 4-time Grammy award winning sound designer and sound engineer, and acoustic consultant Marcelo Añez teach us 3 aspects you must consider when designing sound for any space.
• Why you need to consider sound design before you begin construction
• Things you need to be aware of that could be negatively affecting sound quality
• The profound effects that sound quality has on the class experience
(8:00) Bring in an expert early.
If you start planning the sound design in your room after construction is complete, it’s already too late. As we’ll learn in the episode, how the room is constructed has a tremendous amount to do with the final quality of the sonic experience in the room.
(15:30) Isolation: Protecting your room from outside sound, and who is outside your studio from class sounds. Isolation issues can have a direct impact on your business! If your studio has isolation issues, then sounds from outside your classroom can be heard during your class. What’s more often a problem is when the loud music, voice of the instructor, or use of equipment can be heard outside of your studio, upsetting other tenants in the building.
We have encountered studios that have to keep their rooms at certain decibel levels in order to ensure sound is not heard outside the room, not be able to offer classes at times to early in the morning or late in the evening, or be limited on what type of class they can offer based on isolation issues.
Isolation has to do with how thick your walls are, the material of the walls, The type of windows you have, rubber pads under the floor, and how your speakers are mounted have a direct effect on your room’s isolation.
(21:00) Internal Conditioning: Making the sound in the room sound the best it can.
This controls the “resonating frequencies”- the ones that stay in the room and bounce around the room. When you properly control them, the sound quality is much more pleasant to listen to. You can avoid a room sounding too much like an empty warehouse. Sound panels and where you place them come into play here. It can become tricky in fitness spaces when you have to use reflective surfaces for sound like a wooden floor or mirrors.
(36:30) Internal Conditioning Review
Photos from the story of meeting Marcelo. Notice how we’re testing sound while still in the construction phase of this cycling room!