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Technology trends – acoustic image systems

TFA looks at a new approach to improving room acoustics with art.

Intimate, open, subdued, lively, articulate, engaging, balanced, serene…such terms could describe the visual aesthetic of an architectural space. Yet these same words also could apply to the acoustical ambience of the same room.

Ideally, a room’s appearance and acoustical signature work together to common effect. Eye and ear sense a symmetry when a room’s aural and visual sensations are in harmony. Achieving this effect, consistently and creatively, is the goal of Libra — a new approach to the art and science of acoustics from Meyer Sound Laboratories.

The Libra Acoustic Image System is a patented design that ensures results precisely that are tailored to the requirements of the venue. All Libra panels meet specified sound absorption characteristics. The company sees Libra as ideal for a range of applications including airports, retail, atria, restaurants and bars, offices, meeting and conference rooms and museums, as well as residential and manufacturing facilities.

Libra is constructed with a robust, three-inch extruded aluminum frame with welded corners for uncompromising sturdiness. The frame is specially designed to maintain optimum tension for the high-resolution printed image throughout the life of the panel. The printing process uses only the highest quality inks to ensure the stability of colour, contrast and image detail over time.

Libra panels are available in four standard sizes from 4 foot x 5 foot (1.21 m x 1.5 m) up to a huge 10 foot x 14 foot (3.04 m x 4.26 m). Custom sizes are also available.

The artistic director for Libra is renowned San Francisco Bay Area photographer Deborah O’Grady. Known for her stunning landscape photographs, O’Grady has exhibited her works at a number of West Coast museums and conference centres.

In addition to offering her own images, many on an exclusive basis, O’Grady is curating an extensive library of images from associates and other sources. Her valuable consultation will ensure that images selected for Libra will support all other architectural and design elements for optimum visual enhancement of the space.

Libra is the first passive acoustical system from Meyer Sound, a company renowned for more than three decades as a technology innovator in sound reinforcement and active acoustics. Meyer Sound’s direct reinforcement systems can be found at Vienna’s Musikverein concert hall, in Broadway and Las Vegas productions, and in concerts with artists as varied as The New York Philharmonic, Rod Stewart and Metallica.

Meyer Sound also developed the Constellation acoustic system, a suite of technologies that applies advanced digital processing, ambient sensing microphones and multiple miniature loudspeakers to create variable acoustic signatures with stunningly natural effect. Notable venues employing Constellation include the Svetlanov Concert Hall in Moscow, the Kanbar Forum at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, and Nokia Theatre in Tallinn, Estonia.

With Libra, Meyer Sound claims to be the first company to offer a holistic approach integrating all three elements of sound in enclosed architectural spaces: direct reinforcement, Constellation active acoustics and Libra passive acoustics.