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One night, when one of our friend FaceTimed came in, three of my roommates and I were scattered in our common area. I wanted to hear his behavior. My roommate put him on the speakerphone, but when his voice shook, the turbidity angered me. The voice over the phone did not have the normal shape or elasticity of his voice. I feel deprived. We accept the weird failures brought about by technology; I would never expect real-time video to overcome the inherent cumbersomeness of converting three dimensions into two. However, since our voices are invisible-just the air-there are things in me that think they should spread better.
A few days later, I heard a roommate talking to his colleague in a Google Hangouts call, and I wanted to know the sound of the video chat again-whenever we filter through video conferencing technology, we all hear our own nasal voice. This is the voice of our Internet interlocutors all over the world or today in towns. It became
. What causes its special traits?
To find out, I arranged a FaceTime call with Chris Kyriakakis, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Southern California and chief audio scientist at speaker company Syng. Kyriakakis is an expert in recreating and perceiving sound; he worked in a multi-university research team to digitally replicate the sounds of churches in the Byzantine period. When discussing the sublime topic of video chat voice, he explained that in order to maximize the clarity of the sound sent by the computer, I should pay attention to two factors. One is the distance between my mouth and the microphone. He said that if we meet in person and I am six feet away from him, his brain will focus on my voice and filter out any background noise. But the microphone cannot hear the human ear, and it cannot be heard. They just choose the loudest voice, and when the speaker is far away, other voices will compete with that person's voice. The key is to shorten the distance. Kyriakakis did this with headphones and microphone. As a result, the sound he transmitted was a little warmer than mine, because I was using the microphone of my laptop and didn't want to crowd the camera, so I could only sit in a chair.
The second factor is the reverberation of the room, which depends on the physical volume of the room and the absorbency of its content. Your voice will never be just your voice; even in a face-to-face conversation, a person’s words have the characteristics of a person’s environment. Kyriakakis explained: "When you talk to me, the sounds coming into my ears come from thousands of other directions, because they bounce around the room." "Our brains will constantly analyze to understand, okay , We are between my son's bedroom and the squash court." He said that if there are a lot of reflective surfaces in the room, it will make me sound like I am taking a shower. Carpets, curtains, blankets, sweatshirts (anything plush) help reduce my voice shaking around and improve the fidelity of the transmission. Even a human water container can absorb reverberation. Kyriakakis said this is why certain orchestras offer cheap rehearsal tickets: by filling the entire room, they can give musicians a more accurate understanding of the opening night auditorium.
Although the upholstered seats in many concert halls are sufficiently absorbent, they are usually designed with the assumption that the audience will participate, so that the sound difference between the whole house and the performance with few performances can be ignored Excluding.
However, living in a padded room at home or enclosing your roommates in a circle to improve the voice of Skype dating may not be ideal. Instead, Kyriakakis transformed his living room into an environment by using perforated multi-layer siding (similar to the skyscraper group seen from above). In this environment, Audio can play the best effect. They absorb and diffuse sound accurately. He said: "I have a wife of a man of insight. I can put things on art walls, but it has the characteristics of killing all reflections and reverberation." I would love to see this arrangement for myself; unfortunately On the day of our FaceTimed, Kyriakakis' dog and dishwasher asked him to find a quiet place in his son's room. But it turns out that this may make our dialogue sound more realistic. The size and reverberation of his son's room may be closer to the bedroom I called. According to Kyriakakis, creating a sense of vocal intimacy online is not only clear, but similar. To maximize the feeling of being in the same room, the caller should speak in a reverb-like space.
To switch on the microphone, your voice only needs to travel a few feet (or preferably inches). A long-term and transformative journey across the Internet is still coming-a journey through constantly changing terrain. These changes may be smooth or rough due to network bandwidth. Stephen Casner, one of the early pioneers of audio and video transmission on Internet-like networks, told me that to travel, voice must be compressed and cut into small packets through a so-called codec. Each packet contains about 20 milliseconds of compressed audio-oh, ah, "s" sound. It seems that instead of sending someone a written letter, you sent them a series of sequential postcards with a single syllable. These packets will then be compressed on your conversation partner’s computer, where another codec will reproduce the sound before leaving the speaker.
Sometimes, data packets are lost. If you are playing a movie, the software can prepare for this possibility by "buffering", creating a buffer time of a few seconds in order to retransmit the missing components. The movie may not continue to play until every necessary droplet in the stream arrives. However, in order to avoid inserting awkward delays in our conversation, the real-time audio software must click with a minimum pause time to check for scattered data packets. If they do not arrive, so be it.
So, the question is how to fill the gap. Video conferencing technology uses voice codecs, and Mozilla engineer Timothy Terriberry told me that voice codecs are specifically designed to replicate human channels. (These human-centered algorithms are why playing instrumental music through video chat sounds so scary, Terriberry said.) We talked through a pure voice chat on Zoom, which sometimes uses the audio codec protocol that Terriberry helped create . If the speech codec encounters content that it thinks lacks vowels, it may read the content before and after to get clues. Then, it expands or inserts a flat tone, which is the best guess as to how the human voice will fill the space. This may lead to an effect similar to Auto-Tune, making us a temporary pain. Frictions (consonants exhaled in "fridge" and "dull") are especially challenging for voice codecs. They are shorter and less repetitive, so they are more likely to be lost. It is also difficult for computers to imitate them, which is one reason why a person's video chat voice often sounds like a short hiss or chi.
After talking with Terriberry, I started to listen to these quirks. When my two brothers and I caught up and their voices occasionally disappeared or sounded like touch robots, I admired the system's attempts. The hearing device, which was not hearing as my ears, picked up the sound, and then got lost. In order to fill the gap, the fusion of various technologies reminds people of my brother's imitation. In a sense, knowing all the hidden work makes imperfections more meaningful than frustration. The small mistakes of the software are almost like that kind of mistakes. If I make these mistakes, my brothers will laugh playfully. When they walked into my room, their video chat voice sounded more humane.
Will follow our use
In the age away from society, our background noise, bathrobes and other vacuum cleaners may be unexpected sources of contact.
If Slack improves upon fundamentally flawed collaboration methods, worth tens of billions of dollars, then imagine the value of solving potential problems.
David Owen reported on the invisible phenomenon of noise pollution, which has caused heavy costs to human health and wildlife.
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Hungarian dance has found a new home in the old industrial building that was once a world-renowned center of invention. This former Ganz factory flourished at the end of the 19th century. It was not only a symbol of Hungarian industry, but also the cradle of a generation of Hungarian scientists, who brought extraordinary creativity to the world. The factory hall, now where the National Dance Theatre is located, hosted the creative activities of internationally renowned engineers and scientists, where some defining inventions such as transformers and generators were conceived. Therefore, the new building is a forum where science and culture meet, experimental genres, folk dance, contemporary dance and classical ballet have all got the stage. At the same time, the building is not only a cultural and artistic space, but also a meeting point.
The past and the future, spirit and creativity-merge together. The predecessor of the National Dance Theater was a monastery, which was later converted into a theater, providing limited technical possibilities for displaying various dance types. The site chosen for the new building was the industrial hall in one of the capital parks, which was one of the Ganz factory buildings in the 19th century. During the regime change, factories were closed and then converted into parks, and industrial buildings were converted into exhibition and studio spaces.
Cultural and community space, located in an industrially protected building. When designing a new theater building, the architect has a dual goal: to emphasize the advantages of existing industrial buildings and to change the space to meet the current and future needs of the dance industry. A new wing and facade were added to the previously closed industrial hall, connecting it to the park, open and inviting. The transparent hall is both a park and a part of the theater: it not only receives visitors, but is also a vibrant community and cultural space where art, human interaction and entertainment exist simultaneously.
The industrial hall can be thought of as a three-chapel cathedral. Its central element is a large hall that can accommodate 368 people, which is converted into a multifunctional theater space. The stage area equipped with modern theater technology can adapt to the various repertoires of the dance industry to meet current and future needs, but it can also host other events such as concerts and dinners. The detachable mobile seat system of the auditorium can also be used for this purpose, which can be moved to the side if necessary.
The small auditorium hanging above the hall is a space for experimentation, and it can also be used as a theater to perform various genres. By moving the curtain system, you can also change the acoustic environment to make the room sound clearer or darker. A recording studio has been established in the building to expand the artistic potential of dance works, and there are two large rehearsal rooms in the dance theater.
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Theater architects are looking forward to the design of the post-pandemic world.
Grabbing the phone with e-tickets and travel affidavits, we joined the outdoor team of theater audiences wearing masks. We are no longer at a loss, don't go in the door. We waited impatiently six feet away from the former customer until we approached the door of the motion sensor. We put the transparent plastic wallet on the safety table, walked through the metal detector, smiled at the thermal imager, and stepped on the hand sanitizer.
Only then did we take out the tickets, put on the gloves, scanned them, and walked into the lobby. We calculate the way to reach the selected seat, cushioning with vacancies from all sides to separate the next group. When we sat in our seats, the sterile doctor's office paper was crumpled, but it was still full of preservatives. Finally, we settled down and watched Romeo and Juliet fall in love from the other end of the stage.
After the pandemic, is this what we expect?
Joshua Dachs, head of Fisher Dachs Associates, a theater planning and design company in New York, said: "It makes everyone uneasy." "No one knows how long it will last or what it will become afterwards."
There is no doubt that the design and construction of the Performing Arts Center will be affected by the COVID-19 crisis, just like other historical threats to theater audiences. Around the turn of the 20th century, the theater fire caused asbestos fire curtains to cover the stage and metal fire escapes on the outer wall of Broadway. of
It gave birth to new building ventilation codes and standards. The 9/11 terrorist attacks temporarily prevented customers from buying tickets in advance, and the threat of active shooting also led to theaters
Unable to deal with violence on stage.
The theater field will also withstand the current threats, but in the fight to alleviate the new fears of customers, the theater field may experience structural and operational changes.
A theater that was once revered for intricate architectural details and dense velvet decoration, or
, They will soon be judged on their surface disinfection and easy-to-clean surfaces. Gone are the days of first staying on the gilded ceiling. As returning customers seek guarantees to ensure the cleanliness of public places, biosecurity will soon become the most admired exhibition.
Architect Scott Wilson predicts that hand sanitizer and sinks will be added everywhere. The founder and director of Wilson Butler Architects, a company specializing in arts and entertainment architecture, compares the changes in the theater entrance experience to the circulation routes on a cruise ship.
Wilson said: "Cruise ships are currently offspring of the coronavirus, but in reality, they are not more vulnerable than stadiums, economic centers or theaters," he described the handwashing vestibule that separates the rooms on the ship. He hopes to incorporate measures to prevent the spread of diseases into the way customers enter performance venues, which requires larger hall space or outdoor sanitary conditions. He said: "There will be a procedural thing that must be adapted by the architecture."
The proposed addition of handwashing stations and health check areas means that the theater hall will have to be increased. In fact, the entire theater building will have to grow. If social distancing becomes a common phenomenon, theaters will need more space to line up in the lobby, around the box office, bars and toilets. Not to mention seats in the auditorium. However, if a theater only sells other seats, leaving a space between each customer, they will lose more than just the audience and ticket revenue. They will also lose the collective energy of the audience's full response.
In short, they will lose the community.
"When the performance begins, the silence of the audience or the sound of laughter or gasping around the audience when a dramatic event occurs on stage is really exciting for being in a performance space," Byron Harrison of Partner and Acoustics Principles Said to be a member of Charcoalblue, an international theater, acoustics and digital consulting service company. Harrison said he was worried that separating seats would endanger the natural response.
"If we have to stay away from socializing in the theater, just too far away from other smiling people, it would be too subtle and took a quick breath. If we really want these spaces, then we should avoid this kind of thing. It’s exciting to live," Harrison said.
On the stage, the audience's reaction or lack of reaction is perceptible. In a theater far from society, performers not only have to tell stories, but they do not need to interact closely with each other. They will also pay attention to the number of empty seats.
Mobile furniture and architectural innovation provide design flexibility.
The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, designed by Charcoalblue and Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, can accommodate 150 to 850 spectators, including movable seats and 9 flexible seat towers. Performers after the pandemic may see only sold seats, and despite the large number of spectators, they have created a full-view house.
However, since the existing theaters are unlikely to take half of the seats and store them between the wigs of the previous season, we may seek other disease prevention solutions besides social evacuation, especially for withdrawal Stage performers and behind-the-scenes employees step onto the stage and squeeze into the shared dressing room, compact practice space and flooded clothing store, as well as orchestra members sitting in the spitting and shared air.
Another solution might be non-contact fixtures and easy-to-clean surfaces. Although it is relatively easy to use motion sensor substitutes to replace sink handles, soap dispensers, hand dryers, and even door handles, some architectural features must be touched. To prevent diseases from spreading through shared surfaces, designers can replace functions such as stair handrails and seat armrests with materials that can be easily wiped with more demanding cleaning solutions. As health professionals and material manufacturers discover specific materials that do not contain bacteria, they can use these materials to design new buildings and retrofit existing buildings.
Dachs said: "Metals like copper have antibacterial properties." "You use this material or other antibacterial materials more frequently on things that people have to touch, and these things can also be washed a lot."
Most theaters are equipped with porous sound-absorbing materials to help create the acoustic environment of the space. Theater managers and acousticians may have to consider replacing fabrics, fiber devices and cork that absorb sound but also provide space for bacteria to grow. On the other hand, replacement of sound-absorbing materials is not as priority as other materials, because it has not been proven that they can save living pathogens than other materials, and customers do not touch them often.
Really threaten the sound balance of the performance space? The customer himself.
"If our seating density in the performance space changes a lot (if public health experts or the public themselves require more space between rows and more space between individual seats), then this will change the surface area and the suction The relationship between acoustic functions. Harrison said. These are the equations we use to predict how the equations will respond in the room, including reverberation. If we increase the audience area by separating people, it will greatly change the room. "
Another way to create a healthier environment is to increase the amount of fresh air in the performance space. Enhanced ventilation systems with advanced filtration systems, such as those in ultra-energy-efficient office buildings, can bring more clean air. Research on building ventilation has shown that in this case, recirculating air and incorrect filtration can cause medical problems for building occupants.
. In addition, reducing recirculation air actually provides a more sustainable opportunity for theaters.
The use of passive heating and ventilation systems can not only provide more fresh air to the occupants, but also reduce energy use, save operating costs, and reduce the carbon emissions of buildings. Buildings like this
In Cooperstown, New York, the theater air is filled with fresh air, creating an indoor/outdoor experience. Bringing the outside into the performance space, or moving the performance outside, can easily alleviate concerns about recirculating air and provide space for social events. This may encourage performance venues to work under the constraints of their climate, may change the timing of the seasons or reduce the controllable environment for performers, and protect customers from the rain.
All these accommodations (sterilization, flexible spaces, material changes and ventilation updates) will require money. Expand the scale of social venues
The easiest way to reduce the cost of construction projects is to save space and reduce the number of buildings. Theaters cannot magically generate revenue, especially if current performances are cancelled. If the venue reopens in accordance with the social distancing rules, the theater must bear the financial burden of only half of the seats sold, and if the stage and backstage cannot accommodate enough audiences, the theater must reduce the number of performers. This will place performance venues that have been shaken by the current economic uncertainty in fragile financial conditions.
Wilson said: "When the stock market is at historical highs, philanthropy tends to flow in a large amount." "When the stock market affects very generous art charity families or foundations, they will stop and hesitate whenever they write a check. So. It remains to be seen."
However, the current economic crisis may bring a glimmer of hope for venues seeking new construction projects. Economic changes may stabilize the skyrocketing construction costs of the past five years, making owners' funds go further than before the pandemic. However, it is difficult to predict changes in construction costs, and the buildings currently being constructed are also difficult to predict.
Some projects, such as Wilson Butler (Wilson Butler)
Taken in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; some have been postponed; some may never happen. Pat Arrington, vice president of JE Dunn Construction Group, is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. He is solving his project in the best way that is safe for customers and construction personnel.
"Project by project, owner by owner, city by city, we must take a step back and recheck our contracts," Arlington said. As an essential service, the building will continue to add preventive measures, but as the buildings are completed, they are still not open according to local health recommendations. "We have hired a third-party (construction) inspector, but the inspector does not currently issue an occupation certificate."
Despite the uncertainty in the construction market, many people hope that after the coronavirus pandemic, the theater industry will return to normal, or a new normal. As with other historical threats, the field will make great strides towards COVID-19. The publicly visible and obvious precautions will accelerate the comfortable return of customers to the theater. Perhaps artists and performers will lead the new normal of theater design and construction.
Dachs said: "We may change art because of this crisis, leading to the emergence of new architectural types." "This may not be the intentional choice of the producer, but the evolution of the artist, which has always been the driving force for the reform of theater design."
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The new layout will accommodate 200 seats instead of the previous 700, ensuring that the German government requires a safety distance of at least 1.5 meters.
Image ©moritz haase, courtesy of Berlin Ensemble
Art Director Oliver Reese told
The theater also stated that it will maintain a distance of three meters between the stage and the first row, while some doors will remain open to ensure continuous air circulation. Due to the large number of actors on stage at the same time, some plays were postponed, while other plays like Macbeth were removed from the repertoire due to their involvement in kissing.
Social distance in the theater
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