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A Chalk Talk on Acoustics

By Vance Breshears

A few years ago we developed this lighthearted chalk talk on acoustics to look at basic acoustic principals. Originally developed for an architectural acoustics class that I teach, this ‘chalk talk’ communicates the basics that my students needed to understand. These up and coming architects may not be pursuing careers as acousticians, but understanding the way sound energy behaves plays a significant role in the design of the spaces we live, work and play.

There are three basic segments addressed as we walk through the ‘Top Three’ acoustical issues; high background noise, excessive reverberation, and late arriving reflections. I am often asked
by my students what is the ‘science’ of acoustics. As I thought about it, I shared that when you come right down to it, a good way to summarize acoustics is the principle of anything you DO want to hear versus anything you DON’T want to hear. While the acoustics of some spaces can certainly be complex,understanding the basics can really help you on your way.  Just ask my

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