Immersive Sound Studio for auralisation at Ramboll, UK
Although Ramboll carries out detailed calculations using finite element modelling to predict the levels of train noise, clients cannot easily interpret these objective results in terms of a subjective audible experience – this is where “auralisation” steps in to give the listener an authentic rendering of the event as if she or she were present in the proposed space.
Auralisation enables property developers, or their tenants, to make clear decisions as to whether the level of noise is acceptable or whether mitigation measures are required. Noise reduction can be an expensive process so a high degree of certainty is required.
Where an auralisation can demonstrate that disturbance from trains is minimal, a big saving can be made by the developer.
For example noise mitigation measures to reduce ‘structure-borne’ noise from trains might require the whole building to be isolated on resilient bearings. This has a knock-on effect where all the services connections have to have a flexible section where they cross the isolation line.
Before the purpose built Immersive Sound Studio opened in December 2014 at Ramboll’s Blackfriars office in London , auralisations could be carried out using headphones or a portable loudspeaker. However, although this technique can be effective, it cannot give the listener the full surround-sound experience expected in an authentic presentation.
Ramboll’s investment in the studio facility opens up a major opportunity for presenting acoustic environments to clients in a way they can immediately appreciate and which enables them to make well informed decisions – be it the design of an opera house or an hotel.
The Immersive Sound Studio (ISS) is a purpose built facility for auralisation. It helps designers to model the noise and acoustics in spaces before they are built.