A multi-purpose hall (MPH) can be used for various events, including meetings, conferences, concerts, exhibitions, and more. The purpose of an MPH is to provide a large, flexible space that can accommodate a wide range of audience. The audio system requirements for an MPH depend on the unique needs of the facility and the events it will host. As per the occasion in the hall, the audio system must be accessible by a sound technician and flexible to be arranged. The sound coverage and clarity must be accurate without any distortion or echo.

The Problem

One of the world’s largest esteemed IT companies faced challenges managing audio quality in their 1000-seated multi-purpose hall. It is a problem that occurs when the acoustic arrangements are weak. Despite its large seating capacity, the MPH was not equipped with adequate acoustic treatment, leading to issues such as reverberation and echo. These challenges made it difficult for audio engineers to maintain a desirable signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) within the hall. The solution provided by the Online Instruments team received awards and recognition from both National and International bodies.

The SolutionA lack of acoustic treatment is one of the most significant factors contributing to poor audio quality in an MPH. Sound waves can easily travel through walls and ceilings without adequate soundproofing, causing unwanted noise to enter the room. Additionally, echoes and reverberations can linger within the space without sufficient sound absorption, creating an unpleasant echo chamber effect. Excess disturbances can also cause poor acoustic treatment because the furniture in the area blocks natural sonic pathways, resulting in poor sound reflection.

In a multi-purpose hall, minimal acoustic treatment refers to a lack of sound-absorbing materials, such as panels or diffusers, or a minimal number of these materials. Without sufficient acoustic treatment, an MPH can suffer from echo, reverberation, and poor speech intelligibility, impacting the overall audio quality within the space.

SPL (Sound Pressure Level) and SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) are crucial aspects to consider when designing and setting up a sound system in a multi-purpose hall or any other venue. SPL measures a sound’s volume, typically expressed in decibels (dB). The ideal sound pressure level (SPL) will depend on the hall’s size, the room’s acoustics, and the type of event being held. Maintaining an appropriate SPL in a multi-purpose hall is important, as too high of an SPL can harm people’s hearing, and too low of an SPL can make it difficult for people to hear what is being said or played.

SNR is a measure of the stability of a desired signal (such as speech or music) relative to the background noise in a room. A higher SNR means the signal is easier to hear, while a lower SNR means the signal is more difficult to hear. In a multi-purpose hall, factors that can affect SNR include:

  • The type and quality of the sound system.
  • The number of people in the room.
  • The presence of any background noise (such as HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems or traffic).

To ensure high-quality sound in a multi-purpose hall, it is important to manage both SPL and SNR. Acoustic treatment can be used to reduce ambient noise levels, while amplifiers can be used to increase the desired signal level. Proper insulation of walls and ceilings can also help improve both metrics by reducing reverberation time (RT), which is the amount of time required for a sound wave to dissipate after being reflected off surfaces.

There are several ways to improve SPL and SNR in a multi-purpose hall. These can include using high-quality microphones and speakers, placing microphones and speakers in strategic locations, and fixing sound-absorbing materials to the walls and ceiling to diminish echoes and reflections. Working with a professional sound engineer or acoustician is important to ensure that the sound system is set up correctly and that SPL and SNR are optimised for the venue’s specific needs.

How Online Instruments Assisted?

Online Instruments is a leading audio solutions provider known for its innovative approach to tackling audio challenges. In this case, our team of specialists introduced artificial intelligence (AI) into the audio system of the multi-purpose hall, providing unique solutions to one of the world’s largest IT companies.

The primary challenges encountered in the multi-purpose hall were speech intelligibility, echo, and reverberation. These issues were affected by factors such as the number of people in the audience and external noise sources. Generally, to address these problems, an experienced audio engineer must be present to adjust the sound levels and ensure that everyone in the audience can hear the speaker precisely.

The solution provided by our qualified online instruments team was the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the existing audio system purely based on the team’s programming skills and designing ability. We introduced this technology to maintain a signal- noise ratio to an accurate value without any human intervention.

The AI-implemented audio systems can automatically calculate the number of people and the surrounding noise and send the signal to the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) to maintain the accurate sound-to-noise ratio. It can also calculate the echo that might happen with occupancy and ambience and will pump in only that SPL (Sound Pressure Level) to the speakers. The device automatically sends the signal to the amplifier that only this much pressure should be transmitted. It does the job of an audio engineer by understanding the environment. And all this was made automated because of AI; it made the whole process effortless.

National and international bodies awarded the solution provided by our Online Instruments unit. As Audio-Visual Systems Integration solution providers, we have been in the domain for over 28 years; with the help of our professional team, we can help you provide innovative solutions from lighting to audio and video conferencing, AV Integration, automation and even display solutions, everything under one roof.