Soundindex/Background Music(BGM)

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Background Music (BGM)



Role of BGM
BGM is a type of music to be played as a background to other actions.
Room interior and lighting are used to appeal to vision, and aroma to sense of smell.
Likewise, BGM is effectively used to appeal to auditory sense and affect ambient atmosphere and feelings.
The quality and effectiveness of services can be improved or enhanced by BGM selection according to the purpose of space and circumstances.


Effects of BGM
BGM has four major advantages as follows:
Noise masking
To mask noises and conversations with music

Noise deadeningRestaurants, cafes
Privacy protectionWindows in banks and public offices, business talking spaces

Imagine effects
To create tranquil atmosphere and provide peace of mind

Keeping customers longerStores, restaurants, cafes
Creating a luxury atmosphereStores, hotels, restaurants

Relaxation effects
To calm someone’s mood or mitigate one’s fear

Reducing one’s feeling of tirednessOffices, factories, sports clubs
Calming the patient’s anxietiesHospitals, clinics, dentists

Uplifting effects
To stimulate one’s emotion with up-tempo song to encourage activities
Examples:

Enhancing the buyer’s motivationSale at store
Making a quick turnover of customerStores, fast-food restaurants
Enhancing participant’s moodGyms, sport events



Configuration of BGM system
Basic components of BGM system are as shown below.
Basic components
a : Sound source device (CD, microphone, streaming, etc.)
b : Mixer/amplifier
c : Signal processor (equalizer, compressor, etc.)
d : Power amplifier
e : Speaker
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Types of speaker to select
Speakers are roughly divided into two categories based on their shapes and configurations. Choose a speaker suitable for the design, configuration, size and purpose of the site.


a: Box speaker
Generally box speakers are exposed on the walls. The installation is relatively flexible by selection of suitable mounting brackets, and changing the direction of speaker can easily set up the broadcasting area. In case of the space with low ceiling or with few speakers, the BGM is not distributed to the area at uniform sound level. To minimize sound level difference in the space, the number of speakers should be increased while decreasing output power of individual speakers.

b: Ceiling speaker
This type of speaker is used when the speaker should be indistinct in terms of design.
In case of the space with low ceiling or with few speakers, the BGM is not distributed to the area at uniform sound level, as well as box speaker. To minimize sound level difference in the space, the number of speakers should be increased while decreasing output power of individual speakers.
If more uniform sound level is required but the number of speakers cannot be increased, the wide –dispersion speakers, such as F-series ceiling speakers, should be placed.


Required Sound Pressure Level
Estimation of Ambient Noise Level
Ambient noises are specific to their spaces and therefore their sources vary with places.
Ambient noise sources are conversation, crush, air-conditioner, machinery, traffic, and other noisy activities. The sound volume of the BGM should be slightly higher than total level of ambient noises. The table below shows average ambient noise level at various city facilities. These are representative figures and of course vary with scale, location, day and time.

Restaurants, cafes60–65 dB
Super markets, department stores65–75 dB
Music stores80–85 dB
Casinos80–90 dB

Sound Pressure Level of BGM
When you are hearing two different sounds, while the volume of one is gradually increasing, you become difficult to hear another lower sound, and finally cannot recognize it. This is because the louder sound has masking effect. Therefore, the sound level of BGM should be higher than the background noise level by 3 dB or more. (In case of paging, by 6–10 dB or more)

Restaurants, cafes65–70 dB
Super markets, department stores70–80 dB
Music stores85–90 dB
Casinos85–95 dB



Stereo and Monaural system
Stereo sounds reproduced by home audio system or stereo TV set will provide stereophonic effect to the listener staying in between left and right speakers. When the listener is not near the center between L and R speakers (called sweet spot), satisfactory stereo effect cannot be obtained and the sound from far speaker is hard to listen. Although, the most sources of BGM, e.g. CD and streaming are stereo, they are reproduced through a monaural system assuming that the listeners do not stay at specific location.


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