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Introduction to Acoustics

Tony Spica
Bruel & Kjaer
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Agenda

Introduction to Theory and Terminology

The Decibel

Frequency of Sound

Measuring Sound

Applications of Acoustics

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Sound

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Sound and Noise

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Sound Pressure Propagation

Pressure
[Pa]

100 000
Pascal

Time
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Terminology of Sound
Active Intensity

RMS
Peak

Statistical analysis
Fast
Slow
Impulse

Free Field/Pressure Field


Percentile level

Sound Pressure
dB
Logarithmic scales
Pascal

Weighting
Leq

RMS

L10
L90

Constant percentage bandwidth

1/1 and 1/3 Octave Analysis


Noise Dose

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Converting Pascals to Decibels

Lp = 20 log

p

p0

dB re 20 Pa

(p0 = 20 Pa = 20 10-6 Pa)

Ex. 2: p = 31.7 Pa

Ex. 1: p = 1 Pa
1

Lp = 20 log 20 10 6

317
.

Lp = 20 log 20 10 6

= 20 log 50 000

= 20 log 1.58 106

= 94 dB

= 124 dB

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Range of Sound Pressure Levels


Sound Pressure, p
[Pa]
100
10
1
0.1
0.01
0.001
0.000 1
0.000 01
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Sound Pressure Level, Lp


140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0

[dB]

History of the Decibel


The Decibel has it roots as an electrical and acoustical unit!
The decibel originates from methods used to quantify reductions in audio levels in
telephone circuits. These losses were originally measured in units of Miles of
Standard Cable (MSC), where 1 MSC corresponded to the loss of power over a 1
mile length of standard telephone cable at a frequency of 5000 radians per second
(795.8 Hz), and roughly matched the smallest attenuation detectable to an average
listener.
The transmission unit (TU) was devised by engineers of the Bell Telephone
Laboratories in the 1920s to replace the MSC. 1 TU was defined as ten times the
base-10 logarithm of the ratio of measured power to a reference power level.
The definitions were conveniently chosen such that 1 TU approximately equaled 1
MSC (specifically, 1.056 TU = 1 MSC). Eventually, international standards bodies
adopted the base-10 logarithm of the power ratio as a standard unit, named the bel
in honor of the Bell Systems founder and telecommunications pioneer Alexander
Graham Bell. The bel was larger by a factor of ten than the TU, such that 1 TU
equaled 1 decibel. For many measurements, the bel proved inconveniently large,
giving way to the decibel becoming the common unit of choice.
From Wikipedia

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Basic Parameters of Sound (cont.)

Receiver

Sound
Pressure
Level

p2
Lp 10 log10 2
po

po 2 105 N / m2
2Pa

Path

Source

Sound
Intensity
Level

Sound
Power
Level

I
I0
2
Io 1pW / m

Li 10 log10

Lw 10 log10
Wo 1pW

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W
Wo

Pressure vs. Power

Pressure p [N/m2 = Pa]

Analogy

Lp [dB]

Temperature t [C]

Power P [W]

Power P [W]
Sound
Source
Electrical
Heater
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Sound Levels Under Free-field Conditions


Example:

W
p2

2
2r
c

r = 1.5 m

Where 2r 2
is the area of the
hemisphere

Sound Power
= 0.01 Watt

Sound Power

Sound Intensity

W = 0.01 Watt

L W 10 log10

LW

W
dB
W0

0.01
10 log10 12 dB
10
100 dB

Sound Pressure

W
0.01

2r 2 2 1.5 2
0.000707 W m 2

c 0.000707 400

0.532 Pascal
p2
Lp 10 log10 2 dB
p0

L 10 log10
dB
0
7.07 10 4
dB
10 log10
10 12
L 88.5 dB

10 log10

0.5322

20 10

6 2

dB

Lp 88.5 dB

LI = Lp under free-field conditions


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Types of Sound Sources


Point source

Line source
r: Lp
2r: Lp 3 dB

Plane source
r: Lp
2r: Lp 6 dB
r: Lp
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2r: Lp

Two Sound Sources

Lp1 = X dB

Lp2 = X dB

Lp1 + Lp2 = X + 3 dB

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Human Perception of dBs


Change in Sound
Level (dB)

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Change in
Perceived Loudness

Just perceptible

Noticeable difference

10

Twice (or 1/2) as loud

15

Large change

20

Four times (or 1/4) as loud

Anechoic and Reverberant Enclosures

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Pressure Field

Loudspeaker

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Microphone

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Enclosure

Sound Fields
Lp

Near
field

Far field
Free field

Reverberant field

6 dB

Distance, r
A1

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2 A1

Frequency Range of Different Sound Sources

10
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100

1000

10 000

Frequency
[Hz]

Wavelength and Frequency

Wavelength, [m]
20

10

10

20

50

100

200

0.2

500

Frequency, f [Hz]
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1k

0.1

2k

0.05

5k

10 k

Why Make a Frequency Analysis

C
Amplitude

Amplitude

A
A

E
D
C

Time

E
D

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Sound

Frequency

1/1 and 1/3 Octave Filters


L
B = 1/1 Octave

1/1 Octave
f2 2 f1
Frequency
f2 = 1410 [Hz]

f1 = 708

B 0 .7 f0 70%

f0 = 1000

L
1/3 Octave

B = 1/3 Octave

f2
f1 = 891

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f2 = 1120
f0 = 1000

Frequency
[Hz]

2 f1 1.25 f1

B 0 .2 3 f 0 2 3 %

Piano keys are arranged logarithmically!!

Filter Types
Constant Bandwidth

Constant Percentage Bandwidth (CPB)


or Relative Bandwidth

B = x Hz

20

40

60

B = y% =

80

Linear
Frequency

B = 31,6 Hz
B = 10 Hz
B = 3,16 Hz
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50

70

100

y f0
100

150 200

Logarithmic
Frequency

B = 1 octave
B = 1/3 octave
B = 3%

Third-octave and Octave Passband

25

Band No.

Nominal Centre
Frequency Hz

Third-octave
Passband Hz

1
2
3
4
5
6

1.25
1.6
2
2.5
3.15
4

1.12 1.41
1.41 1.78
1.78 2.24
2.24 2.82
2.82 3.55
3.55 4.47

27
28
29
30
31
32

500
630
800
1000
1250
1600

447 562
562 708
708 891
891 1120
1120 1410
1410 1780

40
41
42
43

10 K
1.25 K
16 K
20 K

8910 11200
11.2 14.1
14.1 17.8 K
17.8 22.4 K

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Octave
Passband Hz

1.41 2.82
2.82 5.62
355 708
708 1410

11.2 22.4 K

Auditory Field
140
dB
120

Threshold of Pain

Sound Pressure Level

100
80

Music

60

Speech

40
20
0
20

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Limit of Damage Risk

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Threshold
in Quiet
50

100

200

500
1k
2k
Frequency [Hz]

5k

10k

20 k

Equal Loudness Contours for Pure Tones


130
120
110
100
90
80
70
60

120

Sound
pressure
level, Lp

100

(dB re 20 Pa)

80
60

50
40
30

40
20

20
10

Phon
20 Hz

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100 Hz

1 kHz
Frequency

10 kHz

40 dB Equal
Loudness
Contours
and
A-Weight
L
p

40 dB Equal
Loudness
Contour
normalized to 0
dB at 1kHz

(dB)
40

40

20
0
20 Hz

100

1 kHz

10 kHz

1 kHz

10 kHz

Lp

(dB)
0

40 dB Equal
Loudness
Contour inverted
-20
and compared
with
A-weighting
-40

40
A-weighting

20 Hz
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100

Frequency Weighting Curves


Lp

[dB]
Lin.
0
D

C
B+C

-20
A
B
-40

-60

10

29

20

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50

100

200

500

1k

2k

5k

10 k 20 k

Frequency
[Hz]

The Sound Level Analyzer

dB
100
1/1, 1/3 oct

1/3 Octave Analysis

Weighting
80
RMS
Peak
Fast
Slow
Impulse

60
40
20
125 250 500 1k

87.2
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2k

4k

8k

LA

Sound Level Parameters


p
Pa
T

RMS =

1
x 2 (t )dt

T 0

Time
T

Peak

Peak Peak

Average

Average =

RMS

1
x dt
T 0

p
Pa
Crest factor =
Time

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Peak
RMS

Time Weighting
p

Time

Lp

Lp

Impulse (1.5 )
Slow (1 s)
Fast (125 ms)

Slow (1 s)
Fast (125 ms)
Impulse (35 ms)
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Time

Time Weighting
Lp
Fast

Time

Lp

Slow

Time

33

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Equivalent Level, Leq

Leq 10 log10

1
T 0

pt

dt
p0

Lp

Leq
Time

T
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Sound Power

Product noise labeling


Government regulations
Apples to Apples
comparison of noise
Can predict SPL with
knowledge of sound field

Three ways to calculate sound power:


Free Field
Reverberant Field
Sound Intensity

X
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Applications of Acoustic Measurement

36

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Intensity Mapping

37

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Visually
identify where
sounds come
from
Rank sound
power
contribution of
individual
components
Make modern
art?

Sound Quality
L = 63 dBA

38

L = 63 dBA

L = 63 dBA

Sound
SoundQuality
Qualityisisaaparameter
parameterthat
thatsells
sellsthe
theproduct
product

A-weighted
A-weightednoise
noiselevels
levelsand
andsound
soundpower
powerare
arenot
notsufficiently
sufficiently
sensitive
sensitiveto
tofully
fullycharacterize
characterizethe
thequality
qualityof
ofproduct
productsound
sound

Sound
SoundQuality
Qualityisisfunction
functionof
ofconsumer
consumerexpectations
expectations

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Refrigerator Example
Using traditional SPL measurements for these signals, you
cant really see much relationship to your preferences.

Fridge 1

39

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Fridge 2

Fridge 3

Fridge 4

Fridge 5

Building Acoustics

40

Reverberation Time
Transmission Loss
Leakage between rooms
Impact Isolation
Speech Intelligibility

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Environmental Noise Models

Large Plane
Smaller size

Mid Sized

Noise Contours

Mid Sized

Smaller

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Conclusion

42

Clear understanding of the three basic acoustic


parameters: pressure, intensity, power

What a decibel is and why we use it in acoustics

Differences between Anechoic, Reverberant, and


Pressure sound fields

How wavelengths are calculated and the importance of


frequency analysis in acoustics

Introduction to some different acoustic applications

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Literature for Further Reading


References

43

Acoustic Noise Measurements


Journals and Magazines
Brel & Kjr (BT 0010-12)
Journal of the Acoustical
Noise Control - Principles and Practice
Society of America
Brel & Kjr (188-81)
Noise Control Engineering
Noise and Vibration Control
Sound and Vibration Magazine
L. L. Beranek, ed. INCE
Bruel & Kjaer Magazine
Industrial Noise Control
Websites
Louis Bell, Dekker
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The Science and Application of Acoustics
asa.aip.org
Daniel Raichel, AIP Press
www.inceusa.org
Industrial Noise and Vibration Control
www.nonoise.org
Irwin and Graf, Prentice Hall
Acoustics
L.L. Beranek, Acoustical Society of America
Acoustical Designing in Architecture
V. Knudsen, C. Harris Acoustical Society of America

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Questions?

Tony Spica
Application Engineer
tony.spica@bksv.com

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