Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Using Sound to Differentiate Your Spa


The Importance of Sound
Generating an environment of relaxation and calm is essential to delivering the ultimate spa experience.  When guests step foot into a spa, designers work hard to deliver a visual sense of tranquillity, staff are trained to deliver physically soothing treatments and specially selected products help to relax or stimulate through aromatherapy.  But what can our guest hear?

Sound can often be overlooked, but during treatments when lights are dimmed and guests often close their eyes, other senses including hearing become heightened, so audio replaces colour and becomes a key factor in generating the most appropriate mood.

Quality is Key
There is so much we can do with sound. By investing in carefully placed speakers, a good quality music source and good quality audio content the whole spa experience can be greatly enhanced.  Ensuring that there are sufficient speakers within treatment rooms will allow true stereo sound to be delivered, which will enable a truly immersing audio experience using some of the spatial qualities of stereo to move sound around the room.

Speakers available today do not have to impact on the visual look of treatment rooms, plastered in speakers are completely invisible and as such can be placed in the ceiling or even in walls, which is nearer to the ears of your guests during treatments, without being seen.  Technology even allows speakers to be placed behind wooden panelling or glass and mirrors to enable quality sound in all environments.

Un-Compressed Music is Quality Music
To further enhance a speaker’s delivery, sound needs to be generated from a quality source in a good quality format.  MP3 or other computer formats are badly compressed forms of recording and storing music, which is illustrated when these music formats are played out on a good quality system.  Often music dynamics and fine musical details are lost when tracks are compressed and we hear this as ‘poorer quality sound’.  12" vinyl hi fi pressing produces the best quality sound followed by
a 7" record, a 12 LP album, a CD, an MP3/4 file and then an ipod.  As such, to ensure the best quality sound experience for your guests, sound should ideally be delivered in an un-compressed format.

Commercial Music Servers
Music servers which can store CD content in an un-compressed format (the same quality as the original CD) are now available on the domestic market.  These servers allow the delivery of music in a far superior depth and clarity to that delivered by MP3 files or ipods which in turn delivers an over all better spa experience for your guests.

Discussions with a number of suppliers now allows CGA Integration to offer the supply of these music servers to the commercial sector with a full warranty providing music licensing laws are adhered to. 

Music Licensing Laws
All music subscription companies and hard drive companies deal with the music licensing for their customers, so you know that the music you have is legitimate and ready for use. When you move away from these companies, it is essential that the same rules are applied as if you were using ipod or other music storage device in a commercial application, they are as follows;

1. Ensure that you own an original copy of the music on CD
2. Ensure that your CD has not been duplicated or is being played on any other site/location
3. Catalogue and record all the tracks that you are to use and ensure that this catalogue is updated as you add tracks.
4. Store your original media in a secure place on site (preferably locked) where you can show at any point that you own it and it is not is use in any other location.

Once the above is in place there is no reason why you cannot build up a huge library of CD sourced music and develop play lists for different treatments at different times of day to ensure a truly memorable experience for your guests.

Time to Change
True stereo sound works by generating a sound stage which makes instruments appear to be located in different places between and outside of the speaker locations.  This delivers a rich audio tapestry which creates an environment for you guests to mentally escape their world as you soothe the aches and pains from their bodies.  Differentiate your spa experience through quality sound and hear your guests tell you about the difference.

No comments:

Post a comment