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Reverberation Time and Music

We now have some music samples that allow you to hear the effect of the room on an anechoic music source. These are available as MP3 files that can be played by the latest RealAudio player, or a number of other applications listed at www.mp3.com. These are downloadable rather than real-time streaming mp3 files because that allowed us to encode them with a 22kHz stereo bandwidth, but don't sweat it, they are really short compared to .wav files.

  1. Dry music sample, no reverberation
  2. Dry Music sample with 75 and 125msec slap echoes
  3. Music in a small room with a 0.6 second RT
  4. Music in a small room with a 1.0 second RT
  5. Music in a large auditorium with a 1.5 second RT
  6. Music in a large auditorium with a 2.0 second RT
  7. Music in a small boomy arena with a 2.5 second RT


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Sound files constructed by Wade McGregor using Sound Forge software with a QSound plug in module for a more realistic listening experience.


Musical Perspective

Music is a common victim of an inappropriate RT60. A pipe organ sounds like a huge harmonica in a very dead room (say with a RT60 under 0.8 seconds), it may be loud but it has no character. A symphony orchestra in an anechoic chamber (a room with no reflected sound) would all but disappear if you looked the wrong way. On the other hand, a lone drummer playing in a space with a 6.0 second RT60 would disappear into a sound blizzard of reflections. For each type or style of music there is an optimum RT60, as well as a preferred set of early reflections.

Note the difference in apparent "closeness" of the music in the above samples. In the larger rooms we have built the samples to emulate being fairly far away from the stage so we would be hearing a high level of reverberant sound energy compared to the direct sound from the stage. ( A lot of people end up sitting out there).

JavaScript Quickie 2kHz Reverb Time Calculator (Requires a fully JavaScript capable browser)

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© 2001 McSquared Systems Design Group, Inc.


Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc
323 - 901 West 3rd Street
North Vancouver, BC V7P 3P9
Phone 604 - 986 - 8181