Sound Productions of Dallas, TX has been in business for more than 40 years as retailer and distributor of pro-audio equipment. Recently, the company repurposed a section of their warehouse, adjacent to their existing showroom, to create a large training facility and demo room. In doing so, they inherited the room’s existing concrete floors and walls, as well as a 30 foot ceiling, less than ideal for the purposes they had in mind.
“Being mindful of our neighbors as well as our adjacent general showroom and sales area; we were tasked with creating a real world, live venue experience while placing great emphasis on the mitigation of the external disruptive sound pressure levels typically associated with a live venue,” says Jeff Humphrey, VP Sales and Marketing. “In addition to our acoustic concerns, we wanted to create a comfortable, unintimidating and aesthetically pleasing environment.
“In the planning and building phase, our first goal was to decouple as much of the room as possible in order to minimize sound transmission through adjoining spaces. This required the use of purpose designed materials and contractors familiar with this type of project. We carefully selected inner and outer wall barrier and acoustic treatment, construction materials and drapery.”
Humphrey got in touch with Jay Porter at Primacoustic for assistance with the acoustic treatment plan. “I supplied the architectural drawings which included the room dimensions, building materials, stage and speaker placement as well as the location of all furniture and rugs and fixtures,” says Humphrey. “The final design was ready within three days of our final conversation. We then commissioned Danny Snook of Achieve AV with the task of installing the Primacoustic Broadway Panels.”
The converted space started as full concrete with a 30-foot ceiling, less than ideal for them.
With 60 2’x4’ Broadway panels to install, (28 of them to be mounted on offset brackets), Snook developed a CAD drawing/projection process with the plans. “I quickly began trying to figure out a jig or template to repeat the pattern throughout the room. Rather than holding a giant piece of paper to the wall I got the idea to project it,” says Snook. “Using CAD software I marked safe boundaries to avoid impaling into the fabric wrap on the back side of the panels and added color squares where the impalers needed to mount. I transferred the images to my iPad and filled the screen with the pattern. Once the pattern was projected on the wall, I did a little real world calibration with the lens and then it was just paint by numbers. Being an audio engineer for 20 years I was relatively confident that the amount of panels specified would fix the room. The video projection template idea turned a three day install into a day and a half.”
Humphrey’s team took before and after recordings of the space and now use them as part of their education and sales tools. “We made several room recordings of various instruments as well as spoken word using Neumann TLM67’s and Presonus StudioOne software,” Humphrey says. “Before treatment, the drum recordings moved from a metal medium hall feel to a psychedelic flange effect depending on mic placement. The voice recordings varied from a simple ‘slap back’ effect to completely unintelligible mumblings. Subsequently, we recorded the same material after the installation of the Primacoustic panels and were amazed at the immense difference that was realized by the panels alone. The recordings have already made great impressions on many of our clients who are pursuing acoustic treatment options for their facilities.”
The Sound Productions facility will accommodate up to 80 people and has seen overwhelming interest by customers, class attendees and pro audio manufacturers alike since opening this summer. According to Humphrey, they have already hosted six product training workshops that have been booked to capacity with several more on the schedule. “Our new facility and the workshops we offer provide a one of a kind experience for our customers.”