Special Issue "Auditorium Acoustics"

A special issue of Acoustics (ISSN 2624-599X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Raf Orlowski Website E-Mail
Ramboll Acoustics, Cambridge, UK
Interests: architectural acoustics; building acoustics and noise control

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on the subject of Auditorium Acoustics follows an international conference which was held at the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in October, 2018. Around 200 delegates from all parts of the world attended the conference, and 83 papers were presented, on a broad range of topics in auditorium acoustics. The conference also included attendance at an orchestral rehearsal in the new concert hall, which led to an interesting debate about the relative merits of the ‘shoebox’ and vineyard terrace’ types of hall.

The success of the conference is that it brought together all the current thinking in auditorium acoustics from around the world. To record this success, a number of the papers, which are considered to be of particular importance, have been assembled in this Special Issue.

Prof. Raf Orlowski
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Acoustics is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Auditorium Acoustics
Acoustics 2019, 1(3), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1030040 - 28 Aug 2019
Abstract
This Special Issue on the subject of Auditorium Acoustics follows an international conference which was held at the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg in October, 2018 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditorium Acoustics)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Advantages and Disadvantages of Surround-Type Concert Halls
Acoustics 2019, 1(3), 582-589; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1030034 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Following the significant number of new shoebox-type halls that opened in the last decades of the 20th century, the first decades of the 21st century have seen large concert hall design and construction dominated by halls in a surround format. This typology is [...] Read more.
Following the significant number of new shoebox-type halls that opened in the last decades of the 20th century, the first decades of the 21st century have seen large concert hall design and construction dominated by halls in a surround format. This typology is characterised by the audience surrounding the concert platform, with a significant percentage of the audience seated to the sides of or behind the platform. These halls often use vineyard-style terracing. This paper discusses some advantages and disadvantages of surround halls, with respect to both acoustics and wider performance aspects. The perspectives of audiences, performers and hall operators are considered. Factors include acoustical quality, equality of audience experience, multiple performance genre use and ticket revenue. In particular, the implications of locating a high percentage of the audience behind the concert platform are examined. This is because, in most surround halls, a significantly higher percentage of the audience is located behind the platform as compared, for example, to shoebox halls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditorium Acoustics)
Open AccessArticle
Simulations and Subjective Rating of Acoustic Conditions in a Symphony Orchestra—A Case Study
Acoustics 2019, 1(3), 570-581; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1030033 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Acoustic conditions in a symphony orchestra on a concert hall stage are very different from those on an empty stage. Since inter-orchestral sound transmission and other acoustic conditions with the orchestra present is easier to simulate than to measure, a method for simulations [...] Read more.
Acoustic conditions in a symphony orchestra on a concert hall stage are very different from those on an empty stage. Since inter-orchestral sound transmission and other acoustic conditions with the orchestra present is easier to simulate than to measure, a method for simulations in Odeon models of orchestras in different rooms was developed by this author. This method was applied in the Grieghallen Renewal Project, which involved changes in concert hall, orchestra pit, and rehearsal hall. The resident orchestra members gave their overall rating of playing conditions in the home venues in addition to a number of international venues. Acoustical conditions in the rated venues were simulated and compared with ratings. Several metrics were investigated, and their correlation with subjective ratings varied between r2 = 0.09 and r2 = 0.85. It turned out the orchestra clearly preferred to play in conditions where the direct component and the reverberant component of the inter-orchestral sound-transmission on average were equally strong; |D-R| = 0. Any deviation from equality was associated with reduced preference, with correlation coefficient r = −0.92. Several interesting implications and interpretations of the result are discussed in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditorium Acoustics)
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Open AccessArticle
Dynamic Spatial Responsiveness in Concert Halls
Acoustics 2019, 1(3), 549-560; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1030031 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
In musical perception, a proportion of the reflected sound energy arriving at the ear is not consciously perceived. Investigations by Wettschurek in the 1970s showed the detectability to be dependent on the overall loudness and direction of arrival of reflected sound. The relationship [...] Read more.
In musical perception, a proportion of the reflected sound energy arriving at the ear is not consciously perceived. Investigations by Wettschurek in the 1970s showed the detectability to be dependent on the overall loudness and direction of arrival of reflected sound. The relationship Wettschurek found between reflection detectability, listening level, and direction of arrival correlates well with the subjective progression of spatial response during a musical crescendo: from frontal at pianissimo, through increasing apparent source width, to a fully present room acoustic at forte. “Dynamic spatial responsiveness” was mentioned in some of the earliest psychoacoustics research and recent work indicates that it is a key factor in acoustical preference. This article describes measurements of perception thresholds made using a binaural virtual acoustics system—these show good agreement with Wettschurek’s results. The perception measurements indicate that the subjective effect of reflections varies with overall listening level, even when the reflection level, delay, and direction relative to the direct sound are maintained. Reflections which are perceptually fused with the source may at louder overall listening levels become allocated to the room presence. An algorithm has been developed to visualize dynamic spatial responsiveness—i.e., which aspects of a three-dimensional (3D) Room Impulse Response would be detectable at different dynamic levels—and has been applied to measured concert hall impulse responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditorium Acoustics)
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Open AccessArticle
Architectural Features That Make Music Bloom in Concert Halls
Acoustics 2019, 1(2), 439-449; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1020025 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to spark discussions on the recent trends of designing vineyard and surround-type concert halls. We understand that these halls could be architecturally unique and many conductors like them, however, as outlined in this paper, they do not [...] Read more.
The purpose of this paper is to spark discussions on the recent trends of designing vineyard and surround-type concert halls. We understand that these halls could be architecturally unique and many conductors like them, however, as outlined in this paper, they do not always serve the best for music acoustically. The motivation for visual proximity is easily understandable, but it should not overrule the acoustical conditions. We hope that this paper helps designers of new concert venues. We also hope to see more research and discussion on the acoustical qualities of these modern concert halls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditorium Acoustics)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Discussion of the Relation between Initial Time Delay Gap (ITDG) and Acoustical Intimacy: Leo Beranek’s Final Thoughts on the Subject, Documented
Acoustics 2019, 1(3), 561-569; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1030032 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Current discussions on the objective attributes contributing to concert hall quality started formally in 1962 with the publication of Leo Beranek’s book “Music, Acoustics, and Architecture”. From his consulting work in the late 1950s, Beranek determined that in narrow halls, the short early [...] Read more.
Current discussions on the objective attributes contributing to concert hall quality started formally in 1962 with the publication of Leo Beranek’s book “Music, Acoustics, and Architecture”. From his consulting work in the late 1950s, Beranek determined that in narrow halls, the short early delay times were an important factor in quality. Needing a measurable acoustical factor, rather than a dimensional one, he chose to define the initial time delay gap (ITDG) for a specific location near the middle of the hall’s main floor. Many acousticians failed to understand the simplicity of this proposal. Beranek had learned that long first delays sounded “arena-like” and “remote”, and, thus, not “intimate”. This bolstered his belief that ITDG was an important objective factor he decided to call “intimacy”. Most acoustical parameters can be directly measured and sensed by the listener, such as reverberation decay, sound strength, clarity. “Intimacy” however is a feeling, and over the past two decades, it has become apparent that it is a multisensory attribute influenced by visual input and perhaps other factors. [J.R. Hyde, Proc. IOA, London, July 2002, Volume 24, Pt. 4, “Acoustical Intimacy in Concert Halls: Does Visual Input affect the Aural Experience”?] Beranek’s paper “Comments on “intimacy” and ITDG concepts in musical performing spaces”, [JASA 115, 2403 (2004)] finally acknowledged the multisensory aspects of “intimacy” and stated this choice of the word “may have been unfortunate”. He further separated the term “intimacy” from ITDG. Documentation of this pronouncement will be provided in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditorium Acoustics)
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Open AccessReview
Developments in Concert Hall Acoustics in the 1960s: Theory and Practice
Acoustics 2019, 1(3), 538-548; https://doi.org/10.3390/acoustics1030030 - 22 Jul 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
After the war, there was a general understanding of reverberation time (RT), including how to measure it and its significance, as well as its link to a state of diffusion. Reverberation refers to a property of late sound; there was an appreciation that [...] Read more.
After the war, there was a general understanding of reverberation time (RT), including how to measure it and its significance, as well as its link to a state of diffusion. Reverberation refers to a property of late sound; there was an appreciation that early sound must be significant, but in what way? Research had begun in the 1950s using simulation systems in anechoic chambers, with the Haas effect of 1951 being the most prominent result. Thiele’s Deutlichkeit, or early energy fraction, was important from 1953 and indirectly found expression in Beranek’s initial time delay gap (ITDG) from 1962. The 1960s produced a possible explanation for RTs in halls being shorter than calculations predicted, the importance of early sound for the sense of reverberation (EDT), the nature of directional sensitivity, conditions for echo disturbance, and the importance of early lateral reflections. Much of the research in the 1960s laid the foundations for research investigating the relative importance of the various subjective effects for concert hall listening. Important concert halls built during the period include Philharmonic Hall, New York (1962); Fairfield Hall, Croydon, London (1962); the Philharmonie, Berlin (1963); and De Doelen Hall, Rotterdam (1966). The parallel-sided halls of the past were rarely copied, however, due to architectural fashion. These various halls will be discussed as they make a fascinating group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auditorium Acoustics)
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