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Room acoustics - Essay Example

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Room Acoustics (Insert name) (Institution) (Course) (Date) Room Acoustics Introduction Room Acoustics refers to how sound behaves in an enclosed space; more specifically, in a room. People have the general perception that the speakers in our stereo or home theatre systems are the final sound link in the whole sound chain…
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Download file to see previous pages What many people do not know is that the room in which the sound has been set up determines to a certain and large extent the final sound that one hears from the sound system. Room acoustics looks at how the room as a component of sound can be structured in order to improve the dispersion of sound in a room (Rossing, p.303). Sound in any room is transmitted or reaches the listener in two distinct ways. The first way in which sound is transmitted is directly from the speakers. This is referred to as direct sound. The second way in which sound reaches the listener is through reflection of sound. The reflected sound is referred to as indirect sound. In a studio setup, the indirect sound is as a result of the direct sound being reflected by various surfaces in the studio or in the room. For example, sound can be reflected by walls, floors and the ceiling. From this description, it can be derived that the sound one hears in any room is a combination of direct sound, directly from the speaker(s); and indirect sound - the sound from the speakers that is reflected. Indirect or reflected sound can be or is both good and bad. It is good because it amplifies sound to sound much fuller and louder. A simple experiment which can be used to prove this phenomenon is by placing speakers in an open field where there are no walls or barriers that can reflect the sound. In this experiment, the speakers will sound less powerful simply because the sound is directional. The bass of the speakers seems to be dull. However, when the very same speakers are placed in a room, the reflection adds some spaciousness to the sound that is projected from them. Reflected sound on the other hand is bad because it can lead to sound distortion. If the room is structured poorly, then there is a possibility that it will amplify certain sound notes which will mute others. Assuming that there is video footage that is accompanying the sound, the sound may be distorted and there may be a discord between the image and the sound reaching the ear because the sounds reach the ear at different times. Room Acoustics are more important when building a recording studio as compared to the basic stereo or home theatre setup. The main reason why it is important is because any reflected sound that is distorted can compromise the quality of the sound, or music that is being recorded. It is therefore imperative for producers to have an understanding of how they can perfect the recording studios and structure them in a such a way that sound is propagated in the right amount. In other words, the surfaces of the studio should be built in a way that diffuses sound as opposed to completely reflecting it or absorbing it. The surfaces should therefore be made of a material(s) that is both reflective and absorptive, the result of which is a diffusive surface. Reverberation Time Reverberation can be described as the collection of reflected sound in an enclosed room, or auditorium. It can also be described as the persistence or sustaining of sound in a room after the sound has been produced. Reverberation time (RT60 or T60) on the other hand refers to the time taken for the intensity of produced sound to reduce by 60 dB from its original level. Reverberation time is a very important parameter in describing the acoustics or acoustic behavior of a room (Goldstein, 2007, p. 305) and it is affected or dependent on two factors. One of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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