Requests for training in acoustics

Because we provide one-day training courses on the use of CATT-Acoustic, we are sometimes asked to provide longer courses for companies which do not employ qualified acousticians.   Adrian James explains why we don’t do this.

We have recently received several requests for one-week training courses, all of them requesting that on the first day we cover all of the basics of room acoustic theory.   It is very flattering that people think we can teach them the contents of a 4-year degree course in a single day, but  sadly we have to explain to them that this is not possible.  There are of course excellent courses in acoustics at several universities (type “Acoustics degree” into your favourite search engine)  and many of our staff have attended the Institute of Acoustics  diploma course on acoustics and noise control.

Our one-day CATT training courses are designed for people who are already qualified acousticians and who specialise in room acoustics.   CATT is a tool which helps us to use our  acoustic expertise, but it is not a substitute for that expertise.  Put another way, it allows us to test designs but it does not do the design for us.  To expect people to learn its use in one week with no prior knowledge of room acoustics would be like giving someone a week’s training in AutoCAD and expecting them to practice as architects.

When people ask “What is acoustics?” quite a good answer is “Everything that you have ever heard, and a lot more besides”.   It is slightly worrying that some people outside our profession still think that a week’s training and a computer programme can turn you into an acoustics consultant, although it is also encouraging that we have recently been asked to help a university to design a course on acoustics for architects (not a moment too soon, some might think....).  Meanwhile, we politely decline all requests for training course of the “make me into an acoustician in a week” variety.