27.11.2017

5 Ways Humidity Control Helps Concert Halls

Concert halls are meticulously designed to deliver the most incredible performances and a sensational atmosphere for attendees – but a lack of humidity control can hamper everything from sound quality to audience focus. Here are 5 key ways maintaining consistent and regulated humidity can benefit these spaces as well as everyone and everything in them.

Preservation of Sensitive Instruments

Most instruments in concert halls are comprised nearly entirely of various forms of woods, including pianos, guitars, cellos, violins, harps, and others. They require specific and consistent humidification not only to be protected against damage from warping, shrinking, and cracking, but also to preserve their longevity and usability (no performer wants to use a stringed instrument that doesn’t function as expected, for example). The most important aspect of humidity control for concert hall instruments, however, involves the preservation of the precise sound they have been engineered to produce. Highly sensitive and fragile components crafted of string, wood, metal, and other materials make up the heart and soul of every instrument, and even the slightest deviation toward overly dry or moist conditions can impact the sound output each component is intended to contribute towards. Therefore, proper humidity control helps to keep instruments accurately in tune, reliable, and performance-ready for years to come. Coatings such as veneers for pianos are also protected against damage, ensuring that performers will get the very most out of their instruments for a longer period of time.

Protection of Vocal Chords

Singers unknowingly rely on their throats, noses, and vocal chords being consistently humidified at acceptable levels to produce the sounds that they wish to make during a performance. Pitch, tone, and even the length of held notes are determined by the amount of moisture in the air they breathe on stage. Atmospheres that are too dry will make it harder for singers to perform as they intend to, as will those that are too moist when the air is heavier than it should be. Maintaining 40% to 60% RH will ensure for optimal performing conditions and the protection of a singer’s voice before, during, and after the show (which is important for singers on tour who need to rely on their vocal health each day to meet audience expectations).

ESD Risk Reduction

With metal instruments such as those made of brass or steel, performers need to be able to feel confident about handling them without being impacted by electrostatic discharge (ESD). Maintaining proper relative humidity (RH) levels between 40% and 60% will minimize the conductive capacity of various surfaces, making it harder for energy to arc and interact with individuals and sensitive objects. Electronic instruments such as microphones and synthesizers are carefully calibrated and pre-set, and they also require protection from ESD in concert halls to be spared from short-outs, unexpected glitches, and potential damage. The operators of this equipment, sound engineers, audience members, and other individuals in concert hall spaces will benefit from reduced ESD risk through proper humidity control as well, as they’ll be spared from potential discomfort and even injury stemming from an electrostatic shock.

Audience and Performer Comfort

In conditions that are inadequately humidified, individuals in a concert hall space will not get the most out of a performance as those in a space with proper humidity control. If relative humidity (RH) levels aren’t balanced between 40% and 60%, the symptoms of poor humidity will make themselves known in the form of dry or irritated skin and eyes, less energy, and therefore greater difficulty focusing, and irritability stemming from discomfort.  Performers such as singers and instrumentalists will find it more difficult to deliver the effect they intend to produce, and audience members may not be as patient, focused or comfortable, especially when concert halls typically host thousands of people at one time in a shared space. With proper humidity control, these ill effects are reversed, and everyone is more capable of enjoying the show.

Minimize Risk of Airborne Infections

As noted, concert halls host thousands of people at a time in most cases. With so many individuals in close proximity to one another, the risk of the spread of illness is vastly increased. Maintaining relative humidity (RH) levels between 40% and 60% acts as a safeguard against airborne infections, largely due to the fact that air with balanced moisture and dryness limits the duration of time bacteria can float throughout a space. Proper humidity control forces bacteria, dust, and other particles to fall more quickly, limiting the spread and reducing the risk of one infection turning into a thousand relatively efficiently.

With proper humidity control, concert halls can benefit from higher quality performances through enhanced delivery and sound output, all while protecting performers and audience members from discomfort as well as potential health and safety risks. Nortec’s humidifiers are among the most energy efficient, easy to maintain, and thoroughly reliable systems available on the market. Contact us today for more details on how our humidifiers can make each concert hall performance a memorable one for all of the right reasons.

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