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Concave Surfaces and Acoustics of Performance Spaces Part II – Wave Analysis

Ramani Ramakrishnan, Eva Maria Johnston-Iafelice


Conventional wisdom states that having concave surfaces as the envelope of any occupied space does not produce good sound. The focussing effect of concave surfaces can cause high sound pressure levels, coloration, and echoes. However, throughout history there have been many enclosed rooms with large curved surfaces as envelopes that seem to produce good acoustics. Recent research suggested that wave analysis must be undertaken to establish the impact of concave surfaces. In contrast to Part I of the current investigation, evaluation of the sound pressure level distribution, in rooms with concave surfaces, was performed by solving the governing wave equation. The main reason is that the image-ray theory is valid only at frequencies greater than the Schroeder cut-off frequency. The wave theory is used for frequencies lower than 100 Hz. Finite element modelling was applied to solve for the sound pressure level distribution within rooms with concave surfaces. Three spaces, the Paul Cocker Gallery in Ryerson University, Toronto, St. Pauls Anglican Church in Toronto and Wigmore Hall in London were investigated in this study. The results for three low frequencies (25 Hz, 50 Hz and 100 Hz) as well as their combination will be presented in this paper.


Surfaces concaves; focalization; théorie des ondes; répartition des niveaux de pression sonore; : simulation acoustique.

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