A COMPARISON OF MEASUREMENT AND SIMULATION TECHNIQUES FOR FINDING REVERBERATION TIME AT DIVERSE LOCATIONS IN A PERFORMANCE VENUE

Open Access
Author:
Russo, Benjamin Marc
Area of Honors:
Engineering Science
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • D Christopher Barber, Thesis Supervisor
  • Joseph Paul Cusumano, Honors Advisor
  • Judith A Todd, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • reverberation time
  • acoustics
  • architectural acoustics
Abstract:
Reverberation time is the most commonly used metric for evaluating the acoustics of concert halls and other rooms. It is usually reported as a single value or as one value for each of several frequency bands. However, it is possible that there could be substantial variation in reverberation time measurements at different locations within a hall. This research studies this variability using both actual measurements and computer simulation with the EASE software package. The measurements were taken in the State Theatre in State College, PA, and the computer model was based on this venue as well. This location has acoustic curtains along the walls that can be drawn to adjust the decay time for different types of music or other events. The measurements and simulations were for both open- and closed-curtain scenarios. The physical measurements showed very little variation in reverberation time with location. There was also a surprisingly small measured difference between the open- and closed-curtain scenarios, despite the substantial perceived difference in the acoustics. The computer simulations supported these findings. It is suggested that reverberation time may not be an appropriate metric for characterizing this venue, and another time-domain graph such as the energy-time curve (ETC) may hold more information.