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Concave Surfaces and Acoustics of Performance Spaces Part I – Hybrid Ray-Image Analysis

Eva Maria Johnston-Iafelice, Ramani Ramakrishnan


Current acoustic practices deem that concave surfaces do not provide good acoustical performance. However, old cathedrals, churches, and enclosed performance spaces with concave interiors seem to perform well. Part I of the current investigation analyzes the acoustical performance of spaces with curved surfaces. The main focus of the current investigation was to research the uniformity of the sound field produced by curved surfaces by analyzing sound pressure level distribution throughout the audience space. It studied the impact of the focal plane on the overall sound distribution within an enclosed space. To analyze the effect of curved surfaces at different frequencies, three enclosed rooms with curved surfaces were used to measure the sound pressure levels throughout an audience space: the Paul Cocker Gallery in the Ryerson Architecture Building, Toronto; St. Martin-in-the-fields Anglican Church, Toronto; and Wigmore Hall, United Kingdom. The evaluations were achieved with both experimental methods, and computer simulations using hybrid-ray-image methods. Computer simulations were validated by the initial on-site measurements in the Toronto locations. After these evaluations were performed, results showed that in these conditions, the curved surfaces had minimal negative impact as perceived by the audience. The results of the investigation will be presented in this paper.


Surfaces concaves; focalization; théorie de lancer de rayons; répartition des niveaux de pression sonore; : simulation acoustique

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