Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd, located in the Baltimore, MD area, has provided acoustics, media systems, noise control, and theater consulting services since 1992 to design professionals, building owners, and facility users. We advise, design, and provide expert analysis to create special places for culture, education, entertainment, living, work, and worship.
We have a reputation for technical knowledge, client satisfaction, integrity, and value. Over 70 percent of our business comes from repeat clients, direct referrals, and mutual working relationships with other industry professionals.
Within our website, you will find a comprehensive overview of our capabilities, experience, and consulting approach. We welcome your inquiry.
Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd delivers Services from concept to completion for new and renovation projects. We use a systematic technical approach tempered with practical experience and a pragmatic outlook to solve real-world acoustic problems.
Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd serves as part of an integrated design team with the belief that cooperative relationships foster successful projects. A strong personal involvement characterizes our Services, be they a single day assessment or a multi-year program.
Regardless of project size, we strive to provide unbiased advice based on prudent design criteria, realistic solutions, clear concise documentation, open communication, delivered in a timely manner.
We are fully proficient with AutoCAD and REVIT allowing us to seamlessly work with our design professional clients.
Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd provides Services specific to the project needs and budget. Our capabilities are described below.
Acoustic Measurements – Assess room acoustics, interior and exterior noise levels, sound isolation, speech intelligibility, verify compliance with Codes or Specifications, and evaluate product performance.
Audio Systems – Electro-acoustic systems for assistive listening, speech and music reinforcement, sound masking, recording, paging, and theatrical special effects.
Computer Modeling – Analyze audio/visual systems, equipment noise, room acoustics, and sound isolation.
Emergency Signaling Systems – Design and measurement of emergency communication and mass notification signaling systems for speech intelligibility compliance per NFPA-72.
Equipment Noise and Vibration Control – Reducing noise and vibration from interior and exterior located mechanical and electrical equipment.
Pipe Organ and Choir Space Planning – Acoustic considerations for pipe organ placement and choir layout to enhance tonal blending, ensemble conditions, and sound projection.
Room Acoustics – Music and speech qualities for auditoria, classrooms, courtrooms, conference centers, lecture rooms, music rehearsal rooms, studios, and worship houses.
Sound Isolation – Reducing airborne and structureborne sound transmission by specifying appropriate floor/ceiling, partition, door, and window assemblies.
Speech Intelligibility and Privacy – Audio systems, room acoustics, and sound isolation design for speech comprehension and confidentiality.
Sustainable Design – Acoustic provisions for Green Globes, IgCC, and LEED® sustainability criteria and Codes.
Theater Systems – Technical systems for adjustable acoustics, lighting, orchestra shells, rigging, seating and sightline analysis, stage curtains, and support spaces design.
Video Systems – Imaging and display systems for broadcast and streaming, digital signage, film, image magnification, presentations, and theatrical special effects.
Our Services can be retained through several contractual methods. Most projects use a written Proposal outlining a Scope of Services and Fees that becomes a form of agreement through client countersignature. Architects can issue AIA form C401 while commercial, governmental, or institutional clients can issue a Purchase Order.
Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd is fully insured. Certificates of insurance can be issued from our carriers when necessary.
Consulting involves working with people and organizations to solve their problems. Our staff is approachable, informed, and ready to work with you to provide professional acoustic, audio/visual, noise control, and theater consulting Services for your project.
Neil Thompson Shade, FASA
President and Principal Consultant
Audio Systems, Noise Control, Room Acoustics, Theater Systems
Neil established Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd in 1992 after working 10 years as an acoustic consultant first at Veneklasen Associates, and later, Wyle Laboratories. He leads Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd providing project management, technical design, and quality assurance.
His experience includes over 1000 projects with a concentration in auditoria and theaters, courthouses, education facilities, historic preservation, museums, recreation facilities, residential developments, and worship houses.
An active acoustics educator since 1988, Neil has taught at the University of Maryland, American University, and in 2000 established the Architectural Acoustics Program at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.
Neil graduated with an undergraduate degree in Audio Technology and Acoustics, cum laude, from American University studying under noted acoustician Richard V. Waterhouse. He has attended over 20 professional training seminars in acoustics, computer modeling, and acoustic measurements.
Neil was elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America for contributions to acoustics education and to the integration of electro-acoustics in architectural acoustics design.
Neil enjoys attending concerts, collecting recorded music, photography, playing viola, and greyhound rescue.
Lucky Tsaih, PhD
Senior Acoustic Consultant
Computer Modeling, Room Acoustics, Noise Control
Lucky started at Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd in 2002. She consults on room acoustics and noise control for diverse building types with a specialty in performing arts facilities.
Lucky performs acoustic modeling using programs such as ODEON and CATT-Acoustic (room acoustics) and AIM (equipment noise). Her experience includes assembly spaces, commercial and government facilities, conference centers, LEED®-certified buildings, and music rehearsal spaces.
Lucky graduated with an undergraduate degree in Music Performance (trombone) from Peabody Institute, Master’s degree in Music Performance (trombone) from Manhattan School of Music, Master’s degree in Audio Sciences (acoustics specialization) from Peabody Institute, and a Ph.D., in Design, Construction, and Planning (architectural acoustics emphasis) from the University of Florida. She also holds a LEED® AP BD+C certification from USGBC.
Lucky enjoys traveling, attending acoustics conferences, photography, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
Media and Theater Systems Consultant
Audio/Visual Systems and Theater Lighting
Phil joined Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd in 2009 after working five years at Avatar Recording Studios in New York City. He consults on technology requirements for audio/visual, IT, and theater systems.
Phil designs and documents image projection, paging and communication, recording, sound reinforcement, video-teleconferencing, and theater systems. He is proficient with the EASE sound system program and integrating computer control for audio/visual and theater equipment. His experience includes arenas, auditoria and theaters, courthouses, education facilities, hospitals, museums, and worship houses. Phil is the in-house guru for all things AutoCAD and REVIT.
Phil graduated with dual undergraduate degrees in English and Music Performance (guitar) from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in Audio Sciences (audio and recording emphasis) from Peabody Institute.
Phil enjoys building loudspeakers, location recording, playing guitar, and gardening.
Acoustic and Media Systems Consultant
Audio/Visual Systems, Noise Control, Room Acoustics
Andrew started at Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd in 2013. He consults on audio/visual systems, equipment noise control, room acoustics, and sound isolation for various building types.
Andrew performs project design calculations and conducts acoustic measurements for pre- and post-design evaluations. His experience includes auditoria and theaters, civic and commercial boardrooms, education facilities, restaurants, retirement centers, and worship houses.
Andrew graduated with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University of Science and Technology and a Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering (acoustics emphasis) from the University of Nebraska.
Andrew enjoys music and plays bass, guitar, and keyboards.
Theater Systems Consultant
Lighting, Rigging, Stage Technology
Tony joined Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd in 2015. He consults on technology requirements for performing arts and video studio spaces.
Tony has 20 years of experience in theater lighting, rigging, set design, construction, and facility management for community, educational, and professional theaters. Tony has particular experience with stage safety requirements and designing theatrical systems for non-technical users. He is certified in ADA compliance, AED equipment, ETCP theater rigging, Maryland State crowd control, OSHA compliance, and personnel vertical lift safety.
Tony graduated with an undergraduate degree in Communications from Western Maryland College, a Master’s degree in Theater Production from the University of North Carolina, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Baltimore.
Tony enjoys biking, lacrosse, rock climbing, and photography.
Understanding, predicting, and controlling sound are the roles of the acoustician. To effectively carry out these tasks with assurance requires capabilities in acoustic measurements and computer modeling. Our equipment and software enables us to create original design solutions, ensure they are practical, and function as intended.
Acoustic measurements are frequently performed as part of our Services. We have the specialized equipment and knowledge to measure airborne and impact sound isolation, audio/visual system performance, equipment noise, room acoustic properties, and speech intelligibility. Our calibrated acoustic instruments conform to ANSI, ASTM, and ISO standards.
Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd regularly uses computer modeling during project design. We have industry-standard software and custom in-house programs to evaluate audio/visual systems, equipment noise, room acoustics, seating sightlines, sound isolation, and speech intelligibility. Computer modeling allows us to visually represent a design scenario and yields more precise information than what conventional calculations provide. Some programs perform auralizations, which creates an audible simulation of the proposed design, allowing one to ‘hear’ the results before being constructed.
Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd maintains membership and actively participates in professional organizations. Staff routinely present papers at conferences and attend industry-sponsored training sessions allowing us to be conversant with the latest developments in our field.
Acoustical Design Collaborative, Ltd is a member or sponsor for the organizations listed below.
- Acoustical Society of America
- American Institute of Architects Baltimore Chapter
- American Society for Testing and Materials
- Audio Engineering Society
- Institute of Acoustics
- Institute of Noise Control Engineering
- National Council of Acoustical Consultants
- United States Institute for Theatre Technology