Archives of Acoustics, 37, 4, pp. 529–547, 2012

Objective Measures of Spatial Effects in Spanish Concert Halls

Departamento de Fısica Aplicada II Universidad de Sevilla, E.T.S. Arquitectura (IUACC)

Departamento de Fısica Aplicada II Universidad de Sevilla, E.T.S. Arquitectura (IUACC)

Departamento de Construcciones Arquitectónicas I, Universidad de Sevilla, E.T.S. Arquitectura (IUACC)

The present work consists of a statistical study of the monaural (lateral-reflection fractions and level)
and binaural acoustic parameters (inter-aural cross-correlation coefficients) that evaluate the amount of
early and late lateral acoustic energy encountered in 9 performance halls in Andalusia (southern Spain).
Hall volumes range between 6,163 m3 and 34,594 m3 and all enclosures are used for presentations of
symphonic concerts and other music performances. The majority of these venues are located in provincial
capitals of the community and often constitute the only premises in the city where symphonic concerts
can be held. The acoustic parameters under study here were derived from impulse responses analyses
using a sine-sweep signals which were generated and processed by WinMLS 2004 software in the octave-
band frequency centred from 125 to 4 kHz, and all parameters were spectrally averaged according to the
ISO 3382-1 standard. A comparison is presented of monaural experimental results as a function of source-
receiver distance with the prediction of Barron’s revised theory for concert halls, and the analyses of the
acoustic parameter results are carried out in terms of their respective just noticeable differences: at the
many microphone positions for the two source positions on stage, for the spatial distribution of seats in the
audience zone relative to the central axis (for left- and right-hand sides) of the rooms, and for the presence
of the orchestra shell on stage. Results reveal that the orchestra shell propitiates a perceptible decrement
in the values of the early lateral energy fraction and an increment in the late lateral level at the audience
seats. In addition, a regression study reveals that the two kinds of measures of laterality, monaural and
binaural, are correlated when the hall-average data is considered, but they remain uncorrelated when all
individual positions are used. Likewise, the ranges of variation of the acoustic parameters found in these
halls are narrower than those specified in the ISO 3382-1. The paper concludes with a discussion on the
relationships of hall-average data of the five parameters with eight geometric and acoustic variables.
Keywords: concert hall acoustics; directional energy parameters; binaural parameters; spatial impres- sion; spatial effects
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