The former manager of rock band Phish is getting a lot of buzz for his new California restaurant which is outfitted with a noise-canceling system that means diners no longer have to yell at each other over their food.
A San Francisco Chronicle story published earlier this month about John Paluska's Mexican eatery Comal in Berkeley is attracting widespread interest from technology sites like Mashable and epicurean sites like Fine Dining Lovers for its novel use of an advanced sound system that allows Paluska to digitally control the volume of ambient noise with his iPad.
With 123 speakers and microphones installed throughout the restaurant, the sound system picks up the din of restaurant noise -- clang of cutlery, dishes, diners in conversation -- and feeds it into a computer. The technology then plays back the conversations, filtering or canceling out unwanted background noise for a quieter, softer but natural effect, reports SFGate.
Should Paluska want to increase the noise at the bar on a Friday night, he can do that. Should he want to create a softer, quieter atmosphere the next day at lunch, he can do that too.
In order to avoid the look of a sterile recording studio, the sound system is disguised under giant prints and paintings.
While it's not the first time restaurant designers have concerned themselves with noise levels by using muffling materials or hiring acoustic engineers, the story points out that Comal may be the first to use a sophisticated sound system that allows the owner to control the level of noise in different parts of the room.
Read the full story here.