In some rooms, a detailed electroacoustic model may be commissioned to predict the coverage (SPL and uniformity) of amplified systems and unamplified speech in the space, as well as the STI that can be expected.
These models may be prepared in an acoustic simulation program designed to allow detailed acoustic analysis (e.g. Odeon) or in a proprietary environment (e.g. Bose Modeler). It is more common to use AFMG’s Electro Acoustic Simulation for Engineers (EASE) due to its wide user base and extensive library of speaker types. EASE also allows modelling of some infra-red assistive listening systems to test for predicted compliance with standards.
It is important to remember that modelling is a tool to validate the design. First principles calculations and the designer’s experience must still inform the type, location and power requirements of speakers. The level of detail in the model and the accuracy of surface material parameters directly affect the accuracy of the prediction, and the designer and modeller should agree the appropriate level of detail for each project.
Modelling is labour intensive and will be expensive in complex spaces. As discussed previously it cannot be assumed to be included in a standard AV or acoustics consultant’s commission. Ensure that it is documented in any scope of works that requires this specialist service.