Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bathroom Acoustics

Once upon a time, a lifetime ago, I was going to be a band director or music teacher. If you ever have the chance to spend time in a music conservatory, you will find at least one section of hallway lined with tiny little rooms. In each room you will hear different musical sounds coming out, someone banging on a piano a few doors down, a vocalist trying out a new aria, a cellist or flautist running through scales. These little practice rooms do a fairly decent job of keeping the majority of the volume within their walls, though it does leak out in tiny tides of sound into the hallway and the neighboring areas.

The thing about the tiny little practice rooms, is that the acoustics are often really interesting. With so much very close wall space, the sounds will bounce around. So, materials may be added to the wall to flatten the sound back out. What fun is that? If you really want to have a great spot to sing and hear what it sounds like, go find a bathroom.
A cement block bathroom is the best, all that sound and it just is like a ping pong ball from side to side. A timid voice will sound full, a full voice will sound orchestrated. I tend to sing quietly most places, not even thinking about it. But, when I walk into a bathroom that has great acoustics, it’s hard not to just let go and sing loudly. If you ever walk into a bathroom and hear someone singing, don’t be alarmed – they may just be trying out the acoustics.