Steven Klein Soundproofs Honda R&D Center

Jun 13, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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Steven Klein SCR recently completed an application-specific Audio Production Room for Honda Research & Development Center, based in Torrance, Calif. The new facility comprises a soundproofed area where the interior environment of a typical automobile can be simulated using material recorded inside various vehicles, plus a companion control room. The facility will test a range of audio systems intended for use within Honda automotive products.

"The project included consulting, design and installation of acoustic treatments to ensure outstanding sonic clarity and isolation," Klein said. "We handled installation of a modular isolation booth, in which the R&D Center can perform voice recording inside a simulated automobile environment, plus installation of the Honda-specified equipment package."

"The new Audio Production Room will serve a number of purposes," said Ed Castaldi, senior project engineer at Honda R&D Center. "Firstly, we need to examine how a noisy environment affects the way in which drivers and passengers interact with voice-controlled systems. Secondly, we want to test voice-recognition and response systems by recording voices within noisy environments. And, finally, we want to evaluate the audio quality and playback properties of in-car systems.

"The entire design and construction project—start to finish—took less than a month," Castaldi continued. "We decided to convert an existing storage space into a self-contained facility, including an 8-foot-square acoustic isolation cubicle; essentially, a room within a room." The isolation room contains a 5.1-channel loudspeaker array linked to playback systems and a mixing console located in an adjacent control room area.

In terms of the acoustic installation, Steven Klein SCR placed extra insulation above the grid tiles to provide additional isolation, while 1-inch absorption fabric panels were installed as wall treatments. "Because we were involved as consultants for the equipment, we recommended the use of Hayes Spatial One monitors," Klein said. "Spatial One monitors provide excellent imaging for both stereo and 5.1 mixing. Their performance proved astounding in this environment."

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