Wanna Feel Like a Rock Star? Wanna Scream Like Crazy? Head to Seattle
EMP Museum (EMP), the cutting-edge interactive music museum in Seattle, features a dozen custom sound-isolation rooms in its Sound Lab area. These rooms, which EMP calls studio pods, contain interactive devices, traditional instruments and other music gear.
In the rooms, visitors can try out vocals, jam with others and learn about the art of mixing. Special reverberation technology lets visitors adjust the sound so the room feels as big as an arena or as intimate as a living room. Whatever the environment, active acoustics technology provides real-time, natural acoustical ambience and reverberation.
The 12 rooms are part of Sound Lab, a 3,000-square-foot area offering visitors a hands-on opportunity to explore the tools and toys of rock ‘n’ roll. In the rooms, visitors can experience creating a live, onstage performance because the rooms respond to every note or sound. The active acoustics technology fits with EMP’s objective of incorporating sophisticated technology unobtrusively, almost invisible to the visitor.
This unique technology was developed by Wenger Corporation in association with LARES Associates and Lexicon Corp. The acoustical consultants for EMP were Jaffe Holden Scarbrough Acoustics of Norwalk, Conn. Wenger has manufactured sound isolation rooms for more than 40 years; the primary application is music practice in K-12 schools, music schools and universities around the world.
Since EMP opened in 2000, the rooms have proven extremely popular with the more than 50
0,000 annual visitors. EMP personnel praise the effective sound-proofing. The door to each room features a large window that enables other visitors to peek inside without compromising sound isolation.
Sound isolation is essential for the Scream Booth, a new EMP attraction added in 2010 where visitors can capture images of themselves screaming. It’s part of a new gallery called Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film. For a gallery of recent Scream Booth photos, click here.