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First impressions from Euronoise 2012 in Prague

Czech Technical University in Prague

Simultaneously as the European Championship in football in Poland and Ukraine, we have the Euronoise acoustic conference in the Czech Republic. Let me just pass on to you some impressions from the very first day here in Prague. We have rather good conference weather since it is slightly cloudy and you don’t feel too bad sitting indoors all day.

First out (for me) in the morning was the Sport Hall Acoustic session. This has been, and still is, a hot topic particularly in the Netherlands. Some quotes were “good communication is important for safety” (by Gerhart Tiesler) and Sound Strength (G) is a suitable acoustic descriptor for sport halls (Maarten P.M. Luykx). Also Maarten emphasized the need to use T30 while measuring reverberation time (and not T20) if you want to detect disturbing flutter echoes. Don Oeters from UK highlighted the need for scattering objects and their connection with RT values. Guus Klamerek took a close look at a Dutch initiative with an expert group looking into the challenges of sport hall acoustics. Perhaps we can see a need for an acoustic design guide for sport halls in the future?
The following session looked into classroom acoustics and, among others; David Pelegrin-Garcia explained the concept of vocal effort and vocal comfort in order to clarify acoustics from a speaker´s point of view. If you want to preserve the clarity you must control noise and reduce late reflections. David also shared practical guidelines with the audience. Italian Chiara Visentin presented two papers touching upon listening efficiency and fatigue/adaption in noisy schools. She stated that activity is the most impairing noise. So – manage the internal noise! Stuart J. McLaren shared the facts on hearing challenges in early education environments in New Zeeland and Per Møberg Nielsen from Denmark was presenting very interesting results from after schools centers. They performed intervention studies looking at organizational aspects and building technical matters. Comparing various surface finish material producing rather similar reverberation times while measured, but significant differences were found while looking at, for instance, sound strength. After the acoustic interventions people had less head ache, felt less stress and a larger fraction would not consider changing their jobs. Erling Nilsson from Sweden presented some (simple) formulas as to better be able to calculate the acoustic quality before making measurements.
Some other interesting topics which passed by during the day was hearing loss amongst musicians, acoustical characteristics of a concert hall in Croatia, wall diffusion in South Korea and room acoustics versus Turkish melodic music.
Indeed an interesting day, but unfortunately Sweden lost to Ukraine in football.

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