Can we help you?
The Woolly Shepherd is an ethical business and as such we always try to ensure that our customers are well informed about what we do and how we do it.
From this position of increased transparency we hope that we can enable you to make an informed decision as to whether our services and products are right for you.
If we do not feel that we are the right people to help you, we will be sure to say so and where possible direct you to a more appropriate source of information.
We, predominantly, deal with the problem of excessive reverberation times in rooms and the unwanted problems associated with acoustically problematic room geometry. This might mean unusual surface shapes such as curved walls or ceilings, or changes in an otherwise regular box-shaped room, such as mezzanines, balconies or alcoves.
However, we do also provide full height screening designed for use in open plan offices and school areas.
When we say “room”, this means a single confined space of any size. Some of the typical spaces that we help with have the following characteristics:
- high vaulted ceilings (converted churches, performance halls, converted barns)
- very low flat ceilings (community halls, offices)
- high occupancy levels, particularly with children (classrooms, scout huts)
- open plan areas (offices, call centres, cafeteria)
- small, rectangular box-like dimensions (offices, staffrooms, small meeting rooms)
How do you know if excessive reverberation is your problem?
One of the most obvious indicators of excessive reverberation is the loss of speech intelligibility in occupied spaces and an echo when they are empty. If you notice that words in conversation are difficult to comprehend and even when you are standing right next to someone, you cannot catch what they are saying, then this is most likely due to an excessive reverberation time and/or unhelpful reflections from surface finishes.
So what is a reverberation time?
In layman’s terms, a reverberation time is the time taken for a loud sound, such as a balloon bursting, to die away (decay) to an inaudible level. This is what you normally hear as an echo in an empty space.
The time this takes is measured in seconds(s) and will vary considerably according to the acoustic absorbency of the room surfaces and the contents of the room.
So how does this affect what you hear?
When rooms have either a long reverberation time or difficult geometry, or both of these, the sound that is generated is bounced from one surface to another for relatively prolonged periods. This means that in addition to receiving sound directly from its source, you also receive slightly delayed reflections from numerous points in the room. This not only serves to confuse and partially mask the direct sound, but also increases the sound pressure.