Tilgate Park Case Study

Direct Acoustics collaborated with Tilgate Park, a council-owned recreational park located in West Sussex, to develop a sustainable acoustic mitigation solution that would help them obtain planning permission for a permanent marquee. The goal was to meet the high demand for weddings at the park while addressing the challenge of controlling sound levels for nearby residents living just 200m away.

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Ibiza Party Tipi

This summer, the team headed to Ibiza to install our Zone Array directional speaker system for a party tipi in a residential villa.

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The Ferry House

The Ferry House

Demonstration to installation

On the Isle of Sheppey resides the gorgeous Ferry House, a 16th-century venue that has been lovingly restored to preserve its heritage and country character. Ferry House offers a rustic oak barn and a waterside oak gazebo with a perfect panorama overlooking the private gardens and sea estuary, as well as a stunning events suite.


Here at Direct Acoustics, we were delighted to have the pleasure of proposing a sustainable acoustic mitigation solution fitting the events marquee with our most advanced flagship technologies to significantly reduce the breakout of amplified music whilst still maintaining high-quality audio.

To prove concept, and ensure the acoustic impact at the residential dwelling positioned 186m away was significantly reduced, whilst also improving upon disturbance generated within the Ferry House’s hotel rooms which are in very close proximity to the events marquee, Direct Acoustics undertook a demonstration of our 64x panel Zone Array directional speaker system.

This cold winter’s demo proved the Zone Array could meet pertinent acoustic criteria in the quietest conditions at the nearest receptor, but to see a significant improvement inside the venue’s hotel rooms just 30m away, an additional mass barrier would be required in the form of our MAL22 acoustic lining.


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The Ferry House hosts over 70 events per year in the quiet & flat landscape of the Isle of Sheppey


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A MAL22 acoustic lining enclosure and 64x panel Zone Array dedicated to containing both amplified and non amplified noise sources to a dedicated area.


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Hosting back to back weddings whilst vastly reducing the acoustic impact on not just the neighbours but also on the venues own hotel rooms a matter of metres away.

Our MAL22 lining has a broad spectrum reduction rating of 22dB Rw, which is a huge reduction considering a 20dB noise reduction would reduce the perceived noise by level 75%.


March 2022 saw Direct Acoustics begin our installation at The Ferry House, initially installing our MAL22 acoustic lining into the walls, roof and gable-end of the venue’s HTS TENTIQ clearspan marquee creating a dancefloor enclosure with a single open-fronted end.

The purpose of the enclosure is to deflect and contain noise generated from reaching both receptors positioned behind the dancefloor but will still allow guests, situated in the marquee to walk in and out of the enclosure freely.

To gain additional control of amplified music, our Zone Array system was implemented inside this acoustic enclosure along with a Symetrix Prism Process Limiter. Every unique solution we provide ensures control takes priority and disturbance at nearby residential dwellings becomes a non-issue. Whilst the Zone Array localises low frequency onto the dancefloor, our installed limiters manipulate every frequency and volume level emitted through each individual speaker to ensure the system does not cause complaints.

Perfect for venue-operators looking to take back control and grow their business with more frequent late-night events, whilst leaving the environment and neighbours in peace.

Did you know?

Aesthetically our Zone Array system can be invisible to guests, its slim 70mm thickness means it can be installed and hidden behind the lining of the events marquee, allowing the venue to keep control of its curated aesthetic.

How well does the Zone Array & MAL22 work?
Dancefloor Level
Boundary Level

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

64 Knightsbridge

64 Knightbridge

A discreetly hidden speaker system for a new multi-floored members club in Knightsbridge run by Wilderness Reserve.

Zonal Technology

A digital signal process (DSP) limiter isn’t just the perfect solution to limit noise breakout, but it also provides a platform to ZONE your venue and give you back control.

Imagine creating little hot spots of sound dedicated to your clientele and the specific area they are using, or having the ability to switch at a moment’s notice from a chilled day time office vibe over to a Friday night party vibe.

The Project

Following on from working with Wilderness Reserve’s Sibton Park and the newly commissioned Chapel Barn, our most recent collaboration was with their sister city brand, Pavilion Club.

Known as a high end members club providing secluded meeting rooms, hushed collaborative working spaces and lively DJ sets across the city, Direct Acoustics were commissioned as the audio supplier for their multi-floored venue, Knightsbridge Pavillion.

A landmark Grade II Listed former bank was chosen to become home to London’s most luxury offices, designed to make business a pleasure with private meeting rooms, hot desks and soundproof booths over three floors, combined with cocktail bars, restaurant, a library and an impressive roof terrace overlooking Hyde Park.

The challenge

Direct Acoustics challenge was to not just to zone all three floors, enabling separate audio inputs and varying volume levels throughout, but also dedicated hot spots of audio within specific meeting rooms with TV and conferencing capabilities.

The audio system had to be designed so that music was present but it did not draw the eye, with discreet speakers concealed wherever possible, whilst also maintaining a very high quality of sound. The frequency response of each speaker had to be full-range at a low level whilst also having the capacity to switch over to a night time setting providing the ability to produce high level music that DJ’s enjoy performing with.

Speakers were concealed in wall and ceiling cavities, furniture and even outdoor weatherproof speakers used within the roof terrace floor pots. Where speakers couldn’t be hidden, Custom RAL finishes and a sublimation process was applied to match that of the facade they were positioned on.



Day-to-day operation with the system interfaces was refined with the Pavilion team during a commissioning process, to ensure usability was as simple as it could be, allowing for natural staff turnover.

Versatility, adaptability and control were the key elements to the success of this installation – all provided by a single Digital Process Limiter.

Whether you are looking to limit your audio output from disturbing your neighbours, want to distribute sound throughout an entire venue, or simply just need to add a level of control to your existing speaker system, your options are endless with our DSP set ups.

No matter the project, get in touch for some independent advice.

Awesome Events

Awesome Events

Corporate Christmas Parties

Awesome Events is a leader in the events industry, hosting and organising the best in conferences, summer parties, christmas parties, awards and much more. Awesome Events, part of the Awesome Group, offers an all in one events solution providing everything from quirky venues to bespoke stages and set builds, as well as A/V solutions and full event management.

Run by Denis McCourt, the Awesome team first approached Direct Acoustics back in 2009 upon acquiring their first venue in Bloomsbury, in which they wanted to develop it into an events space using a big top circus tent and clearspan marquee over a six week Christmas period. Awesome was keen to run back-to-back shared and exclusive corporate Christmas parties and needed a proven sound solution to keep Camden council, and his Bloomsbury neighbours, happy.


Preventing amplified music from not just bleeding between two venues a matter of metres apart but also meeting Camden Council’s inaudibility target at the nearest noise sensitive receptors, situated just 45m away.


Prove the concept to the Awesome Events team and Camden Council Environmental Health Department  & then implement multiple Zone Array installations within two central London venues.


Planning and licensing permission granted and a decade of successful Christmas corporate event runs.

The venue itself had historic amplified music noise complaints and due to the sheer size of the space (2000 capacity) plus the clever way that Awesome had split it up into four spaces, meant that multiple office Christmas parties could be hosted at any one time. Unsurprisingly multiple events playing separate DJ sets at the same time was always going to be a challenge to control.

To prove the effectiveness of our equipment, specifically our Zone Array directional speaker system, we had proposed that Direct Acoustics set up a demonstration of the Zone Array within the Bloomsbury Coram’s Fields, without any structure in place to show the Awesome team and Camden Council how the system performed in a worst case scenario.

Being in the centre of town, there was a consistently high L90 background ambient due to the nonstop hustle and bustle generated from passing traffic – which played into our favour during the demonstration. The venue is surrounded on all four sides by residential dwellings and student housing, the latter being just 45m from the venue source and so deemed by the council as the most noise sensitive location. A combination of the high background level and the significant directionality of the Zone Array proved amplified music to be inaudible at the student housing.


Once Camden Council signed the Zone Array off as a feasible mitigation solution, Awesome Events committed to installing a number of our systems into their Big Top Circus Tent, and also into the neighbouring Fountain Room, to allow the team to run two events simultaneously and successfully for the last decade.

The Awesome team is constantly on the hunt for additional London sites to grow their corporate Christmas market. Our Zone Array has now provided the ability to open up a potential pool of sites which before the Awesome team may not have considered as they feel safe in the knowledge that our technology will meet the required noise criteria to host their long event runs.

Ever wondered what makes a cracking Christmas corporate party? Head over to our latest blog post for a few pointers.

Our team are always happy to chat so why don’t you give us a call?

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


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.


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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. 


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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.


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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

Stanbrook Abbey

Stanbrook Abbey exterior

Stanbrook Abbey

Our second installation for the Handpicked Hotel Group, Stanbrook Abbey Hotel is a former Grade II listed monastery, and retains many of the original features making it a charming setting for a wedding. And so it’s no wonder that the venue hosts over 100 events every year and were keen to install a permanent marquee in the grounds to cater for larger receptions.

Initial Scope

Stanbrook Abbey’s closest neighbours are just 91 meters away, and to obtain planning permission for the marquee, a noise impact and feasibility assessment had to be submitted.

The timeline consisted of Direct Acoustics obtaining underlying background levels without an event in operation (the lowest measured at Stanbrook was 25.19dB LA90). From there we ascertained the level of mitigation required by running a set of calculations with music at viable operational levels using a point source datum.

To give you an idea about the ambient range, the lowest ambient we have recorded is 17.2dB LA90 at Oakley Hall in Hampshire and the highest was 56.5dB LA90 at The Bloomsbury Big Top in Corums Fields, Central London. 25dB to 35dB is our average gathered L90 within the UK and Ireland based upon 250 sites Nationwide.


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Stanbrook Abbey hosts over 100 events a year all with finishing times post 11pm and neighbours just 91m away.


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To allow the Abbey to secure their planning permission for an event marquee, we utilised our bespoke acoustic linings and Zone Array directional speaker system.


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Planning permission was successfully granted with no appeals and the marquee has been operational for over two years with no complaints.

Acoustic Modeling, Zone Array and Marquee Acoustic Linings

Direct Acoustics were approached to work in conjunction with the acoustic consultants, production company and marquee supplier to create a bespoke solution for the event. Considering the proximity, low ambient level and required volume level on the dancefloor it became clear that we’d need to employ our full range of products to meet the brief. 

At this operational level through a standard point source speaker system and utilising the inverse square law to predict the correlating level at the NSD, we ended up with a level of 55dBA. Considerably higher than the 25dB LA90 background level!

Stanbrook Abbey interior

Using real world propagation over distance data gathered with our Zone Array directional speaker system (frequency specific data can be provided upon request), the music noise level was reduced to 41dB, a significant improvement but still 16dB above the required 25dB target level.

Fortunately our MAL16 acoustic lining provided suitable attenuation upon the overall level and across the frequency spectrum to ensure the 25dB background level was not exceeded when events were taking place.

Planning permission was successfully granted with no appeals and the marquee has been operational for over two years now, all without complaint.

Thinking of hosting events at your venue?

If you’re looking to obtain a licence or planning for a permanent development then there’s a few important things to consider.

  • Maximum number of events you wish to hold
  • Finishing time of the events
  • Distance to the nearest neighbour
  • Background noise levels? How quiet does it get when there isn’t an event on?

Answers to these questions will determine the acoustic criteria your local environmental health department will expect you to meet and how much mitigation, if any, would be required to comply.

Head over to our Noise Impact Assessment page for further information on how we work with acoustic consultants to get you planning or give us a call and we would be happy to discuss the process over the phone. 

Stanbrook Abbey Hotel - Event bride and groom first dance
Stanbrook Abbey exterior
Stanbrook Abbey Hotel Ceremony
How well does the Zone Array & MAL16 work?
Dancefloor Level
Boundary Level

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

The Venue

The Venue - exterior image

The Venue

Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty, just outside of Henley-on-Thames, The Venue is a peaceful weekend retreat, perfect for getting away from it all. When hosting weddings throughout the summer, the wedding party usually takes the whole country house and potter about the various zones within the property for a long weekend or week.


The property has close neighbours and had an historic amplified music issue, which was addressed in the barn with our Zone Array directional speakers, allowing them to meet their licensing requirements. On occasion, during a particularly loud wedding breakfast, the ambient in the day went from 45dB to a quick 10 second peak of 55dB. Due to the issues in the past, The Venue decided to nip this in the bud, before it inconvenienced the neighbours too much.


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A venue with historic amplified noise issues needed the ability to control the hubbub during wedding breakfasts and daytime activities.


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Zone Array in the barn to control amplified music and a custom designed soundproof enclosure to keep noise levels under control.


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Even the rowdiest of parties would now not disturb the neighbours!

Amplified noise control vs. hubbub

Controlling amplified music at a wedding venue can be relatively simple when implementing the correct acoustic design and management mitigation steps, because recorded amplified music in general, is constant when you have a fixed volume level.

Controlling the hubbub (loud noise or many voices talking at once), however, presents more of a challenge. Wedding guests can be raucous or meek in equal measure and a hilarious best man/women speech can raise the laughter and applause levels without warning.

The Venue Interior

Our solution

Working with the management team we designed a compact soundproof permanent enclosure on the property. A space designed to host the wedding breakfast and any other daytime activities with a heavy amount of sound insulation, to control even the rowdiest of parties. It utilised 10.8mm acoustics glass wrapped in an oak timber frame, our heavyweight MAL22 acoustic linings in the roof and two acoustic door sets. A rather lovely example of functional beauty we think.

the venue exterior

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