Frequently Asked Questions

Some commonly asked questions

Q: What is the role of an acoustical consultant?
A: An acoustical consultant’s role is to help the client identify, document, develop, and implement the acoustical needs of a project. This includes room acoustical treatments, ambient noise management, isolation between sound-critical spaces.

Q: What is the role of a sound system designer, and how does it relate to acoustics?
A: A sound system designer is responsible for determining the technical infrastructure, specifying the equipment, and generating specifications for use by an installer to implement the design intent. We consider a successful sound system to be one that is seamlessly integrated with the acoustical design – building a great-sounding venue requires consideration of these two systems together.

Q: When in a project should an acoustical consultant be hired?
A: The acoustical consultant should be hired as early as possible. For large projects, it is common for the acoustical consultant to be on-board even prior to the selection of an architect. Issues of wall, floor and roof construction, as well as space planning and the consideration of power, infrastructure and HVAC – all are significant factors that should be considered early in the project. Many acoustical and technical failures result from decisions made before a consultant is brought on-board.

Q: Why SIA Acoustics?
A: We are dedicated to being active and constructive members of the design team, striving to implement acoustical and sound system components as integrated design elements. Additionally, we have developed and continually use the industry’s leading tools for acoustical and sound system system measurement and prediction. Combined with a wide range of skills and years of experience, we are able to produce creative solutions that work technically and aesthetically.

Q: What are the methods used for acoustical design?
A: Acoustical design is best described as an engineering discipline combined with artistic sensibility. We combine quantitative analysis (using tools such as SIA-SMAART) and qualitative consideration (critical listening) to accurately define the listening experience and understand the impact of each design element (i.e. acoustical treatments and technical systems). No guesswork is involved.

Q: How do acoustical and sound system consultants charge for services?
A: SIA Acoustics bills either by fixed fee for a defined scope of service, or hourly. In either case, it is our goal to ensure that the client receives the greatest value for every dollar spent with us.