This is an article written by an idiot.
- I used to think acoustics were an overlooked feature of restaurant design in America. So I was surprised to learn that they’re among the first thing restaurateurs think about when planning a new restaurant.
LOL every professional conversation I had with a restaurant owner as an acoustical consultant:
Them: "Yeah so it's really loud what can we doooooooooooo"
Me: "You know that acoustical tile ceiling this place had before you decided exposed ductwork was so voguey? Put it back."
Me: "K so you know that carpet and pad that was here before you decided to badly polish this cracked, shitty looking concrete? Put it back."
Me: "K well we can spray the ceiling with Pyrok. It's gonna look kinda like a parking garage and cost you around $30/sf."
Them: "...can't we put noise cancelling speakers up in the corner somewhere? That worked really well that one time I was on a helicopter tour in hawaii."
Me: "Were they headphones?"
Me: "Was the noise a helicopter, not a bunch of diner conversation reverberating around a naked hole of your own creation?"
Them: "Why don't you have any solutions that work within my budget?"
- “The [church] was designed for many to hear one,” Stuart added. “Now it’s been inverted so that many will hear the one across from them as opposed to the singular person addressing the room.”
I've murdered the acoustics of any number of misappropriated worship spaces. All it takes is dampening.
- A final point about why restaurants are so loud. This has nothing to do with restaurateurs or designers or acoustic engineers. It has to do with Americans — who I believe are a slightly louder people, on average.
...and this is straight bullshit. Somewhere I have octave-band sound power levels for a beer garden in Hamburg and they gave me exactly the results of every crowd everywhere. Americans aren't louder, drunk people are louder and most restaurants want you drunk. But sure. Reference Tyler Cowen you simp.
- Decibel-reading apps have also proliferated.
None of them are accurate. Your phone has an AGC on the microphone (Automatic Gain Control) and shaping on the inputs. Unless you can calibrate your phone with a variable-level noise source it's like a yardstick that doesn't start at zero, doesn't stop at 36 and has no defined length of "inch." Besides which, sound levels are measured at three different scales and noise contours (dBA, the rarely-seen dBB and dBC) as well as slow and fast quantification but I love the "HRRRRRRRNNNNNNNG I GOT AN 81 WHAT DOES IT MEAAAAAAAAAAAN."
The way you fight back is by not eating there.