School kids show the way to mediating noise disputes
An entertaining short film has been made to coincide with Noise Awareness Week 20- 25th May 2013 in the UK. Watch the film which highlights noise issues and behavoiur in the home here.
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An entertaining short film has been made to coincide with Noise Awareness Week 20- 25th May 2013 in the UK. Watch the film which highlights noise issues and behavoiur in the home here.
A 90-second daily show highlighting the songs of British birds has been played early on BBC Radio 4 this week. But birdsong isn't just beautiful to listen to, it is increasingly being used in innovative ways due to the positive response people have in certain activity conditions like; during homework, a post meal slump, where people have a fear of needles, around transport and also for general business.
This recently published BIAMP Sytems Whitepaper calls for acoustics to be given much greater consideration by building designers and engineers, policymakers, public service administrators, business leaders and property investors. Supported by The Sound Agency Julian Treasure writes how it pushes for a truly integrated approach to sound.
A recent BBC article discussed our early understanding of the disturbance of unwanted sounds from Roman times up to and including today where you can watch a short film where Prof. Bridget Shield of London South Bank University (LSBU) and the current President of the Institute of Acoustics in the UK and Charles Dance also from LSBU outline the typical everyday issues in London where man made sounds are increasingly amplified by man made buildings.
As recently demonstrated at some of the Sound Education events - what better way to demonstrate different acoustic treatments and the associated room responses perceived! Following some recent EDUnet field work, here are some short comparison examples from Essex Study classrooms. A quick and simple way to explain the impact of increasing the amount of absorption.
We have mostly all heard that birdsong is theraputic and relaxing. However do we realise that as humans, we are sometimes influencing birdsong in unexpected ways. A blackbird in London has recently been recorded making siren sounds and a parrot has added the most popular YouTube soundtrack to it's routine!
Noise can make it hard to concentrate, and for many students at school or college there is no quiet place to work in their home. This simple free app developed by the Sound Agency delivers 45 minutes of scientifically designed productivity boosting sound that can mask ambient noise, help focus, improve cognition and reduce fatigue. It is not a substitute for ideal or near quiet study conditions however imagine a student at home in a semi-open plan living space;
(Photo - Shutterstock)
Having tinnitus can make life hard. Here is some simple advice helping you cope with the constant noise of tinnitus:
9 out of 10 Belgian students experience tinnitus!
A thought provoking article was written recently in the New York Times which challenges us to really think and explore what we hear - right now! Please read it and share the message to help everyone take control of their sensory experience and change minds when it comes to our sound.
Usain Bolt did silence his critics this summer, but when were sound levels unbearable at the London Olympics?
Orfield Laboratories' anechoic chamber in the U.S is 99.99% sound absorbent and it holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s quietest place. You'll hear your heart, lungs and stomach! May be scary and awkward to some, and others don’t mind that much!
Read more here!
Playing sound effects both pleasant and awful, Julian Treasure shows how sound affects us in four significant ways. See the video from TED.com below.
Click here to see video on TED.com website.
American researcher Steven Waller states that music could have been an inspiration for the design of Stonehenge. Mr Waller is an expert in "archaeoacoustics", looking at the role sound might have played in ancient cultures.
Photo: Hear it.org
Those who have been exposed to sudden, excessive noises can reduce the risk of developing a hearing loss by taking the antioxidant acetylcysteine. This antioxidant can for example be found in our food.
Swedish researchers at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, have found that antioxidants can prevent against hearing loss if one has been exposed to noise exposure, to read more click here
Researchers from UC Irvine’s Department of Otolaryngology measured the noise levels of two dozen popular toys in stores and purchased the 10 loudest for precise gauging in a soundproof booth at UC Irvine Medical Center. They found that all exceeded 90 decibels and several reached 100 or more, equivalent to the noise of a chain saw, subway train or power mower.
Photo: Michael Halsband/PR
…..particularly “You Shook Me All Night Long”.
A fascinating discovery was done whilst conducting research into what kinds of music affect the behavior of Great White Sharks.
Do you need music for your productions? Epidemic Sound was founded in 2009. They provide the Epidemic Sound library - created with the sole purpose of being used in audiovisual productions.
Course in Stockholm 12-13 October 2011!
Sounds in the environment should not be regarded merely as problems. Here are also a great potential for experiences and health benefits. Instead of quantitative measurements and decibel levels a holistic approach is needed where the sound experience is in focus.
A recently published danish study indicates that traffic noises may increase the risk of stroke, particularly for older individuals.
The study was published in the European Heart Journal, and looked at the association between road traffic noise and stroke in more than 51,000 Danish people. It was found that for every 10-decibel increase in noise level, the risk of stroke increased by 14 percent. In those over 65, the risk of stroke increased 27 percent.
Researchers Dr. Michael Kilgard and Dr. Navzer Engineer from The University of Texas at Dallas in cooperation with a company called MicroTransponder report that sounds paired with stimulation of the vagus nerve eliminated tinnitus in rats. A clinical trial in humans is due to begin in the next few months.
The method works by stimulating a nerve in the neck, with a small electric current 300 times per day.
Scientists have worked out why airline meals taste so bad - and the chef isn't to blame.
Research shows that the sort of noise we are subjected to inside aircraft cabin affects our taste buds, reducing our sense of saltiness and sweetness - and increasing crunchiness.
The finding could explain why even the most tempting-smelling in-flight meals taste bland and have the texture of cardboard.
(picture from www.compliancesigns.com)
A Nordic expert collaboration, coordinated by the Karolinska Institute, suggests that specific labeling is necessary for chemicals that combined with noise exposure increase the risk of hearing damage. Substances that the experts denote as hearing damaging are the solvents styrene, toluene and carbon disulfide, the metals lead and mercury, and carbon monoxide gas.
- Most people are not aware that chemicals can cause hearing loss. The noise labeling that we now propose, would make employers and employees more aware of chemicals that can cause hearing damage, says Associate Professor Ann-Christin Johnson, of the Research Center for Hearing and Communication at Karolinska Institutet.
We all have a responsibility for reducing our carbon footprints.....but how about taking responsibility for our noise footprints. The BBC discuss if modern life is too noisy with poet Ian McMillan, who thinks we should all be worrying about reducing our noise footprints.
Click here for more info
See some very positive sound footprint examples
At Oatley, a non-milk dairy in southern Sweden, the need for hearing protection devices was eliminated thanks to effective sound absorption.
Read the entire article here (pdf-file)
The Swedish Association of Hard of Hearing People (HRF) gives you the opportunity to mark the sound environment in cafés or restaurants! You can review the acoustics directly on their campaign web. They also published a tool where you can find a suitable café or restaurant nearby with an appropriate acoustic quality. On top of that you can “absorb” comments and make a more careful selection before having your meal and cosy moments disturbed!
Pull out those earplugs to your iPod if you're studying for a test or performing a task. And turn off the stereo.
What you hear while trying to concentrate can be distracting and impair your ability to memorize and recall information. That's the finding of a new study by researchers at the University of Wales Institute, who say they've found that listening to music seems to impair task concentration as well as the ability to remember. Nick Perham, PhD, and colleagues at the Wales Institute in Cardiff signed up 25 people aged 18 to 30 to examine their ability to recall information while listening to various sounds.
According to the German noise law, in future it will be possible to set up kindergartens and playgrounds in residential areas without special permission.
U.S. researchers discovered a sound recording from 1860. It is probably the world's oldest audible recording of a human voice. Read more and listen to how it sounds!
The Freesound Project allows you to find your favourite sound samples! It could be ordinary school sounds, natural sounds or the sound of crushing a soda can! Or why not a ship bell as to get in the mood for ship cruising?
Photo: nme.com Photo:Andrew Butler
Jarvis Cocker of Pulp has collaborated with the National Trust to create:- National Trust: The Album. (time to think)
Comprising of British natural sounds including birdsong, crashing waves and wind breezing through a country garden.
www.ljudplanering.se (sound planning) is a gathering place for many aspects of sound design and sound in the city - a live forum (in Swedish - at least so far) that is continuously updated with new experiences and knowledge. Here you can listen to city sounds, and compare the various solutions in the design affects the sound.
Sound policies in public environments usually have the approach of protecting us from, for instance noise. Lately adding sound for various reasons has been applied. How are we actually affected or influenced by sound? Perhaps we should employ acoustic city planners? At least this is what Björn Hellström suggests!
Have you ever listened to the singing ringing tree in the UK?
On sound tourism - a travel guide to sonic wonders, you will be able to find all kinds of sound experiences from all over the world.
Usually travel guides infrom us on all the must-sees. This website however provides you with hints on must-hears as sound can be at least as enjoyable as views or sights.
Sonic Wonders is authored by Trevor Cox, Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford
If you want to know more about auditory neuroscience - or simply how is sound processed by our brains, here is a informative website with many good links:
Every other in Sweden is disturbed by Noise! According to a recent report, noise is a major problem at work. Almost every employee is affected, says the president of Hörselskadades (Hearing impaired) Association (HRF), who commissioned the report. "The problem with the sound environment is everywhere - even in school and at cafes for example.
Luckily an increasing amount of organisations have found ways to overcome this challenging sitiuation...
A recent recording in an mosque gives an example of the unique and remarkable acoustic characteristics which can be experienced, click here to view on youtube.
Musicians, trained to hear sounds embedded in a rich network of melodies and harmonies, are primed to understand speech in a noisy background.
Children spend at least 45% of the school day in schools listening! The average hearing loss with middle ear infection is 30 dB. 90% of very young children´s knowledge is connected to hearing conversations around them! These are some relevant facts, but also advice, which you can find at the website of Illinois State University if you go straight to this pdf!
Karin Bijsterveld at Maastricht University in the Netherlands published a book on technology, culture, and public problems of noise in the Twentieth Century.
The most common cause of hearing loss is damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. Once hair cells die, humans (like other mammals) aren’t able to grow new ones. Zebrafish, unlike humans, are able to regenerate their damaged hair cells. US researchers hope knowledge about this can help humans in the future.
A way to communicate noise situations in a pedagogic way is to show a “noise film” for various situations.
Since the number of editors of Accoustic Bulletin has grown over the years, it might be a good time to introduce them to the readers. Please click here to find your (local) contacts
Please click here to find your (local) contacts
Source image: Dynamic Architecture
Yesterday, one of my colleagues, forwarded a news item on BBC news. Although it has not much to do with acoustics, it is worth mentioning.
Italian architect David Fisher designed the world's first moving building, an 80-storey tower with revolving floors giving a shifting shape. The 420-metre (1,378-foot) building's apartments would spin a full 360 degrees, at voice command, around a central column by means of 79 giant power-generating wind turbines located between each floor.
Earlier this year the founder of the “elevator music”, Muzak, went bankrupt! But the business of background music, making you shop more, is still successful.
The Building Acoustics Group of the UK's Institute of Acoustics has organised a meeting in Manchester on 16th June 2009. Entitled "Acoustics in Healthcare Environments", it will be held at the Victioria & Albert Hotel, and will discuss Key Issues relating to exactly how environmental acoustics affect healthcare outcomes.
Noise Action Week in the UK aims to raise awareness about the health effects such as stress, excessive noise can cause for us all.
During Noise Action Week hundreds of organisations involved in managing noise across the UK, including local authority noise, housing, health teams, antisocial behaviour teams, housing organisations, mediation services, schools and others, coordinate events at local level to educate and inform people about noise, the impact it has and how to reduce it.
The Institute of Acoustics is a sponsor for the week
When looking for a thorough overview of the research on how noise affects people I always still refer to the document “Community Noise” prepared for the World health Organisation (WHO). It used to be a book, but has for many years existed on the web as well. Here you can find the documentation edited by Birgitta Berglund , Thomas Lindvall and Dietrich H Schwela.
Costas Karageorghis is a jazz musician, a former athlete and researcher. He has been involved in music and sports since some 20 years. Costas performed several studies revealing that music can enhance your performance when training. What matters is the beat of the song! The relationship between heart rate and music preference is key to maximising the psychological benefits of music.
Changed flight paths affected health! Noise of the laundry machines disturbed the whole block! Offices workers in an open-plan solution with constant sound exposure from machinery, phones and office chatter had higher levels of adrenaline than workers in a more quiet environment! Noise influence health and wellbeing, and this is being more and more highlighted in life style media and news. Read more here!
Most of the reviews of cafés and restaurants focus on the food and services and sometimes on the atmosphere. Unfortunately they seldom mention the sound/noise levels and acoustic experience. The New Zealand Acoustical Society has created a rating sheet and the results are available on-line. Read more here
Birmingham Women's Hospital NHS Trust took part in a regional campaign to raise awareness of noise levels in Neonatal Units and the need to reduce them. Lead by Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Cheryl Lewis, the campaign highlighted the impact noise can have on babies, and included staff training, posters and badges, and the use of a Decibel Monitor in the Unit.
Neonatal Units can be very noisy places, with the amount of medical equipment, alarms, telephones and people's voices, and this can impact upon the babies' development.
ANSWER: At least, adding absorption to a room will help to prevent tinnitus.
Scientists from the California Ear Institute in San Ramon, California have discovered a potential cure for some instances of tinnitus in the nerve agent Botox. One in four tinnitus patients in a study experienced improvement in their symptoms following treatment with Botox, 16 reported no change and three said their tinnitus had become worse.
Of course preventing Tinnitus should be priority number one. Applying stricter acoustic demands will benefit the ones suffering from Tinnitus and will support to prevent tinnitus. Effiicient absorbing ceiling panels and wall panels will support the decrease of sound pressure levels.
Voice is a basic tool for teachers. Chronic voice disorders, very common among teaching staff, cause long term sick leaves or leaving the job for good (for other profession or for disability pension). In Poland, chronic voice disorders as a group of diseases are formally recognized as occupational disease. In 2007, officially confirmed voice disorders cases were the biggest group (24,4%) of all occupational diseases in Poland
The Audio Spotlight is a revolutionary new audio technology developed by dr. Joseph Pompei, that creates sound in a narrow beam, just like light. Aim the flat, thin speaker disc to your desired listening area, and provide all of the sound — with none of the noise. Image the possibilities!
High demands on acoustics
They choose to create a room structure with high acoustic features to secure that transparency does not lead to an increase of soundlevels. The focus is on creating a mentally relaxing environment, both visually as well as acoustically. The design should provide the activities that are sensitive to or generate noise to be limited by the room interior.
Rock music really is getting louder and record companies are using digital technology to turn the volume on CDs up! Sound levels are being artificially enhanced so that the music punches through when it competes against background noise in pubs or cars. Read more here!
Scientists from the University of Sheffield in United Kingdom suggest there is a link between an area's daytime noise levels and the number of birds singing at night. Read more here!
The company Digital Recordings offers a variety of hearing test products. Test it yourself, the only you need is a computer and a pair of headphones or earphones. Free software is avalable at http://www.digital-recordings.com/hearing-test/ht-products.html
Attended the IOA conference “Futures in Acoustics: Today’s research – Tomorrow’s careers” a couple of weeks ago. Prof. Mike Barron (University of Bath) lectured on ‘The development of concert hall design – a 111 year experience’.
View the Ecophon solution for the project (NB: different conditions might require adjustments of the solution. We recommend to involve an acoustics consultant)
Space is not only visual. For acoustician B. Delage, space can be seen as an interaction of both an acoustical and a visual dimension. In this article, he develops his approach around an architectural icon, the Kidosaki House, by Tadao Ando: a good example of how sounds in architecture can touch and provoke us.
Intrusive sounds, noise, make us tired and irritable. It has a negative effect on our performance, especially when working on tasks that depend on short-term memory. Noise in the office has a negative impact in three ways ... read more
If you want to not only read about reverberation time, but also listen.
The dictionary has been collected by the Swiss Acoustical Society and now resides on the web page of the European Acoustics Association. The entries can be sorted by mouse click on the language in the table header.
Ingemansson Technology AB acquires all shares in Brekke&Strand Akustikk AS to form the largest group of expertise in Acoustics and Vibration in Europe.
The Swedish based company Ingemansson Technology AB has 100 employees and close to 50 years of experience as expert engineering consultants in acoustics with a wide range of customers in Scandinavia, Europe and across the world. Brekke&Strand AS is the leading Norwegian acoustics consultancy with 20 experienced acoustic engineers. Ingemansson has also launched a joint venture operation in France, whereby it will be better prepared to offer its services and competence to a wider range of customers.
For more information: http://www.bs-akustikk.no/ or http://www.ingemansson.com/
Sonoises is an experimental web site, proposing new layouts between image and sound. Explore this unusual soundscape by "walking around" the four interactive sessions!