I don't think the sound could be directed upward unless something truly
innovative was done to the floor and/or flooring material. Get it wrong
and the dancers would complain, that's for sure.
Possibly a baffle just over their heads could create some sort of block
to catch and nullify the sound. We're dealing with vertical resonance
(up and down) along a horizontal plane (side to side) here and since the
orchestra is putting out a sound that's directed along that horizontal
plane there should be no loss of sound and the dancers would be able to
hear the music just fine. I see an overhead baffle that uses
non-parallel surfaces to break up the resonance coming up from the
floor. That and some sort of vibration damping under the floor might do
But all this is just off the top of my head.
On 3/13/2014 7:13 AM, Peter Hirsch wrote:
> I don't know the specifics, though I believe that there was some attempt to
> build it in such a way as to send the stage sounds upward rather than out
> to the audience. The large size of the hall has been mentioned in some
> articles, but this seems odd to me since the Met Opera, diagonally next
> door, is plenty big, too, but there is no problem hearing the singers
> anywhere in that house.
> A little searching turns up a number of articles about the problem, but no
> real details on its causes. There is an interesting looking study by
> the AES<http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=1218> that
> looks like it is only open to members, but I assume that many on this list
> fit that category.
> There probably are others on this list (Dennis?) more qualified to comment
> on this, but I can personally verify that the hall was never a good venue
> for opera, though this is now mostly a moot point, I guess.
> Peter H.
> On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 12:37 PM, Malcolm Rockwell <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> I'm curious as to how designing in that acoustically dead area was
>> On 3/13/2014 5:57 AM, Peter Hirsch wrote:
>>> Interesting that it states that "dance was the primary program that [new
>>> Northrop] is designed around". I hope that doesn't mean that it will have
>>> the acoustics of the Lincoln Center auditorium formerly known as the New
>>> York State Theater (re-christened for a pair of super-rich, politically
>>> meddlesome brothers that I'd prefer not credit by name). With the NY City
>>> Ballet as its original tenant, it was created with a dead area onstage so
>>> that there would be nothing audible radiating to the audience from the
>>> dancing. Of course, when the late, lamented, City Opera moved from their
>>> original home at City Center the singers found themselves trapped in this
>>> same sonic void. Various tweaks, including some sort of amplification,
>>> tried over the years. None particularly successfully.
>>> Hope this hasn't veered too far off-ARSC-topic.
>>> Peter Hirsch
>>> On Thu, Mar 13, 2014 at 8:09 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis was a non-ideal recording venue in the
>>>> 1950s. Fortunately, Dorati and the Minneapolis Symphony made music good
>>>> enough to out-shine the inferior hall acoustics. Unfortunately, nearby
>>>> Edison High School and its good-sounding auditorium weren't discovered
>>>> until very late in the Mercury-MSO contract.
>>>> -- Tom Fine