The Hawks Nest

The Hawks Nest

Whilst 2020 has, unfortunately, seen many venues have to close their doors, there have been a few new ventures giving it ago and during Christmas last year we were asked to consult on an exciting, trendy new venue in Shepherd’s Bush London: The Hawk’s Nest. 

A wicked concept; outdoor cocktail bar meets pizzeria, the Hawk’s Nest consists of an indoor area and outdoor covered seating area full of flowers and vast wall art in an open and covered seating area. 

Running parallel to the railway line, to the west of the Hawk’s Nest at a higher level is a block of flats. The flats were the nearest residential dwellings and were unsurprisingly at risk of being disturbed by patron noise.


An outside venue looking to achieve planning permission, needing to control the general hubbub of people noise in a relatively residential area of West London, with close proximity to flats in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.


MAL16 marquee acoustic linings to line the roof of the structure and contain noise within the covered seating area.


Planning and license permission granted and the continuation of a successful business relationship.

Data Gathering

To get a handle on the level of work required to combat any noise pollution and to help us analyse and suggest a mitigation strategy, Direct Acoustics gathered underlying data when the venue was open and when it was closed. Over the 10 hour period that the venue was open, an average 64.8dB L​Aeq was established compared to over the same period when the venue was closed, an average of 51.5dB L​Aeq. 

To meet reasonable internal bedroom target levels as set out by World Health Organisation (WHO) of 35dBA LAeq and considering their statement: “It should be noted that it should be possible to sleep with a bedroom window slightly open (a reduction from outside to inside of 15 dB)”  the goal for The Hawk’s Nest was to not exceed an average of 50dB L​Aeq and the property facade during the venue’s operational hours.

Mitigation Measures – Marquee Acoustic Linings

Considering the 15dB broadspectrum reduction required, Direct Acoustics proposed the implementation of our MAL16 acoustic linings to be installed into the roof and gable ends of the existing marquee. As the structure of the marquee was constructed within two large brick 4m + walls, linings were not needed in the walls, unlike typical marquee set ups.

Once the lockdown had lifted, it was happy drinking for the punters of West London!

About Our Marquee Acoustic linings

The acoustic linings that we manufacture are highly proficient at containing sound within any structure. The MAL range which we used at The Hawks Nest is specifically designed for and fabricated to slide directly into the structural frame of the marquee. This lining provides a high degree of control to non-amplified sounds such as the laughter, cheering and chinking of glass found in any bar.

We manufacture our acoustic linings in two weights dependent on the sound reduction required:

MAL16 (2.6kg/m2) – 16dB Rw

MAL22 (6.9kg/m2) – 22dB Rw

The composite make-up employed utilises both absorption and mass to create the most effective acoustic marquee lining available. After spending years researching and developing sound solutions, Direct Acoustics now manufactures our own line of acoustic and thermal linings at our workshop in Sussex. The linings are unparalleled in the industry and have undergone UKAS accredited lab tests to identify their frequency specific sound reduction index. 

If you would like to find out more, get in touch with the team today.

Think acoustic linings are the solution for you? 

Ashley Park House

In Ireland the bands play late and they play booming loud! Direct Acoustics have been working over there since our first Zone Array install at Clonabreany House back in 2010.

What we have learnt is that you can’t soundproof the marquee enough to satisfy an Irish band. They want a true 100dB LAeq(t15min) music noise level on the dance-floor from 22.00 until at least 02.00.  

The low frequency content at 63Hz will have you shaking as it peaks at 115dB LZeq!

One venue struggling to contain an Irish band’s presence asked us to take a look. After a number of tests and discussions, we came up with a solution.


And a lot of it. 12.5 tonnes to be exact.

You, as we did, are probably asking yourself: can a temporary marquee structure really take that much weight?


It turns out it can. 


The project was signed off by two world leading structural engineers. Yes, it needs some (to say the least) reinforcement but a Roder HTS 15m P Series Marquee can take two tonnes per bay with some clever engineering.


The concrete has been installed under a bespoke tuned rubber isolation to stop any vibrations generated through structural borne transmission and therefore potentially causing more issues. See our Soundproofing Fundamentals blog to understand how rubber can help.

Our acoustic model predicted a 33dB Rw but more impressively it was removing 19dB of 50Hz of bass amp nastiness. Couple this with our Highly Directional Zone Array and U2 could play in this place and you wouldn’t hear it outside! 

This is the third concrete roof we have installed, but the first one in an aluminium framed marquee. Take a look at the last one we did back in 2018 over in Malta.

There are no limits for these bands. Rock on!

Want to know more? Give us a call, we love having a chat

Soundproofing Fundamentals

men in hi viz and hard hats install soundproofing on roof
Before you start collecting all those egg boxes, we wanted to provide an insight into a few soundproofing fundamentals that ensure you do not start causing yourself a bigger headache than you had before!
Firstly let’s clear up one misconception. Sound attenuation is not the same as sound absorption and you could be left very disappointed if you do not apply the correct mitigation method.

Sound attenuation is the measure of energy loss in the form of decibels through a partition or barrier erected between a noise source and receptor i.e stopping sound from emitting into and out of a space.

Sound absorption is when a material dissipates sound energy (measured as an absorption coefficient) minimising its reflection to ensure resonance does not occur.

Sound Attenuation 


Effectively anything heavy and dense will considerably reduce sound, even the troublesome low bass frequencies. This approach will best control airborne noise such as speech but will be less effective against impact noise (structural borne transmission) which we will touch on shortly.


It is essential that whilst installing high density mass, additional materials are used in conjunction that have a supple membrane such as rubber or mass loaded vinyl. 

The dampening element must always be sandwiched between the heavyweight mass materials chosen allowing sound waves to move through each substance at different speeds creating friction and thus transferring movement into thermal energy or heat, and therefore attenuating noise to a greater extent.


Any mass barrier installed should be independent to the existing building envelope to ensure structure borne transmission does not occur. This is when sound waves pass through structural components of a building, generating various tones and noise issues at a receptor position. 

The isolation design varies, depending on environmental conditions, application and the optimal specific frequency that needs to be attenuated. The solution can range from simple resilient isolation bars to specifically tuned rubber compound or steel spring mounts.

Sound Absorption 

As discussed above sound attenuation and sound absorption are very different, but the latter can be a contributing factor to noise disturbance. Improving sound absorption is therefore one of the principles of improving attenuation. Where a noise source is positioned within a space with reflective surfaces, sound will reverabete causing an amplification to occur. This generates additional air and structure borne transmission.

Whilst assisting with attenuation, it also improves the speech intelligibility of a space forming the perfect listening environments found in recording studios and sound stages. 

Reducing the reverberation time of a space is a relatively simple process as it is a case of disrupting and absorbing a wave form within a space. Treatment can be as simple as using those egg boxes you’ve been collecting to the installation of acoustic foam blocks in specific locations.

It’s important to remember every soundproofing scenario is different, whether that’s due to the sound source or just the receptors requirements, therefore the attenuation design should be specifically adapted to each job to see optimal performance.

See how we put all these methods into practice during a little trip to Malta.

Acoustic Profile Foam

Want a soundproof venue?

We would be happy to sit down and discuss your soundproofing requirements, just give us a call.


Tipi Soundproofing

2015 saw the rise of the tipis in the wedding and events industry and demand soared at Tentipi, the market leaders in tipi manufacturing. It soon became clear that many of these new tipi venues were having an issue achieving planning due to noise restrictions. This isn’t helped by the  fact the conical shape of the tipis often amplified any existing noise issues.

Initial Scope

Tentipi and their customers needed a solution which Direct Acoustics were asked to solve. The team were kindly invited by Jon Parr (then Tentipi’s Director and Muta President) to attend their showroom in Reading to experiment and refine our ideas.

Acoustic linings were quickly thrown out of the equation due to the complex canvas design and of course, the canvas sides will be rolled up for summer weddings blessed with good weather. One of the unique aspects of a Tipi wedding is it’s connection to the great outdoors, blurring the lines between outside and in.

The Zone Array was our only solution, but installing it without taking away from the traditional tipi aesthetic became a bit of a challenge.


red puzzle piece illustration

Installing a directional speaker system into a tipi that has low weight loading capacity and no conventional rigging point’s.

Tipi’s are almost impossible to soundproof through convention means utilising Mass. 


lightbulb illustration

A lightweight version of our Zone Array, a single metal rigging rose and some clever adjustable eyebolts with a name (Reutlinger) we still struggle to pronounce.


green graph illustration

The on-trend go-to temporary wedding structure now had a solution and prospective venues could diversify away from marquees.




Firstly we had to be sure we were adhering to the weight loading capacity and wind shear values of the Tentipi structure. This meant reducing the thickness gauge aluminium used to manufacture our speaker panels and framing , allowing 36 of the panels to be safely hung.

After thinning down the system, the team set about solving the rigging predicament, testing and proposing a number of designs, until we settled on a fix for our Tipi design.

For this unique Zone Array installation, we utilised a bespoke steel rigging rose suspended from the central peak of the tipi’s nine structural poles. From the rigging rose our engineers fly adjustable steel wire down to loading points within the rigid aluminium frame. The system’s weight is balanced using eight adjustable steel eyelets, which also allow us to horizontally level off the system. Due to the materials used and the position of all pick up points, the Zone Array can float within the structure, preserving the traditional aesthetics that a Tipi provides.


Cracking this design has proven to be extremely beneficial to Direct Acoustics and a range of tipi manufacturers like Tentipi, The Tipi Company and the great guys at Kata Tipis, allowing us to work together to provide an all-in-one solution for prospective tipi venues in unique and tricky locations.

Each installation now comes with Khaki or Tan colour coded panels, frames and reinforcement speakers that match the canvas supplied by your chosen tipi manufacturer.

Looking for a Tipi events venue?

If you’re thinking of having a tipi wedding then check out Wonderland Wedding Venues. They use great quality tipi’s and have a range of different venues that will suit your needs. 

Alternatively if seeking planning permission for a tipi site then see how we can assist your chances of planning approval with our noise assessments and we would be happy to point you in the right direction of tipi providers.

Want to know more? Give us a call, we love having a chat