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Acoustical Instruments and Measurements

June 2015, Argentina

CONCERT HALL ACOUSTIC COMPUTER MODELING


FEDERICO DAMIS1, NAHUEL CACAVELOS2
Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), Buenos Aires, Argentina.
fede_damis@hotmail.com1, fnahuelc@gmail.com2
Abstract During the present work acoustical computer modeling and simulation techniques
were discussed, and a concert hall was simulated using EASE software. The concert hall
selected for this task was the Stadt Casino at Basel. Measured physical and acoustical
parameters of the concert hall were analyzed and then values for acoustical parameters were
obtained by means of simulation. Quantitative comparisons were made and the simulation
design procedure was described.
1. INTRODUCTION
In acoustics as in many other areas of
physics a basic question is whether the
phenomena should be described by
particles or by waves. A wave model for
sound propagation leads to more or less
efficient methods for solving the wave
equation, like the Finite Element Method
(FEM) and the Boundary Element Method
(BEM). Wave models are characterized by
creating very accurate results at single
frequencies, in fact too accurate to be
useful in relation to architectural
environments, where results in octave
bands are usually preferred. Another
problem is that the number of natural
modes in a room increases approximately
with the third power of the frequency,
which means that for practical use wave
models are typically restricted to low
frequencies and small rooms, so these
methods are not considered in the
following.
Another possibility is to describe the
sound propagation by sound particles
moving around along sound rays. Such a
geometrical model is well suited for sound
at high frequencies and the study of
interference with large, complicated
structures. For the simulation of sound in
large rooms there are two classical
geometrical methods, namely the Ray
Tracing Method and the Image Source
Method. For both methods it is a problem
that the wavelength or the frequency of the
sound is not inherent in the model. This
means that the geometrical models tend to
create high order reflections, which are
much more accurate than would possible

with a real sound wave. So, the pure


geometrical models should be limited to
relatively low order reflections and some
kind of statistical approach should be
introduced in order to model higher order
reflections. One way of introducing the
wave nature of sound into geometrical
models is by assigning a scattering
coefficient to each surface. In this way the
reflection from a surface can be modified
from a pure specular behavior into a more
or less diffuse behavior, which has proven
to be essential for the development of
computer models that can create reliable
results.
2. SIMULATION OF SOUND IN
ROOMS
2.1 THE RAY TRACING
METHOD
The Ray Tracing Method uses a large
number of particles, which are emitted in
various directions from a source point. The
particles are traced around the room
loosing energy at each reflection according
to the absorption coefficient of the surface.
When a particle hits a surface it is
reflected, which means that a new
direction of propagation is determined e.g.
according to Snell's law as known from
geometrical optics. This is called a
specular reflection. In order to obtain a
calculation result related to a specific
receiver position it is necessary either to
define an area or a volume around the
receiver in order to catch the particles
when travelling by, or the sound rays may
be considered the axis of a wedge or

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


pyramid. In any case there is a risk of
collecting false reflections and that some
possible reflection paths are not found.
There is a reasonable high probability that
a ray will discover a surface with the area
A after having travelled the time t if the
area of the wave front per ray is not larger
than A/2. This leads to the minimum
number of rays N:
(1)
where c is the speed of sound in air.
According to this equation a very large
number of rays is necessary for a typical
room. As an example, a minimum surface
area of 10 m2 and propagation time up to
only 600 ms lead to around 100,000 rays
as a minimum.
The development of room acoustical
ray tracing models started some thirty
years ago but the first models were mainly
meant to give plots for visual inspection of
the distribution of reflections [1]. The
method was further developed [2], and in
order to calculate a point response the rays
were transferred into circular cones with
special density functions, which should
compensate for the overlap between
neighboring cones [3]. However, it was not
possible to obtain a reasonable accuracy
with this technique. Recently, ray tracing
models have been developed that use
triangular pyramids instead of circular
cones [4], and this may be a way to
overcome the problem of overlapping
cones.
2.2
THE
IMAGE
SOURCE
METHOD
The Image Source Method is based on
the principle, that a specular reflection can
be constructed geometrically by mirroring
the source in the plane of the reflecting
surface. In a rectangular box-shaped room
it is very simple to construct all image
sources up to a certain order of reflection,
and from this it can be deduced that if the
volume of the room is V, the approximate
number of image sources within a radius of
ct is:

June 2015, Argentina

(2)
This is an estimate of the number of
reflections that will arrive at a receiver up
to the time t after sound emission, and
statistically this equation holds for any
room geometry. In a typical auditorium
there is often a higher density of early
reflections, but this will be compensated
by fewer late reflections, so on average the
number of reflections increases with time
in the third power according to (2).
The advantage of the image source
method is that it is very accurate, but if the
room is not a simple rectangular box there
is a problem. With n surfaces there will be
n possible image sources of first order and
each of these can create (n -1) second order
image sources. Up to the reflection order i
the number of possible image sources Nsou
will be:
(

((

(3)

As an example we consider a 15,000 m3


room modelled by 30 surfaces. The mean
free path will be around 16 m which means
that in order to calculate reflections up to
600 ms a reflection order of i = 13 is
needed. Thus equation (3) shows that the
number of possible image sources is
approximately Nsou = 2913
1019. The
calculations explode because of the
exponential increase with reflection order.
If a specific receiver position is considered
it turns out that most of the image sources
do not contribute reflections, so most of
the calculation efforts will be in vain. From
equation (2) it appears that less than 2500
of the 1019 image sources are valid for a
specific receiver. For this reason image
source models are only used for simple
rectangular rooms or in such cases where
low order reflections are sufficient, e.g. for
design of loudspeaker systems in nonreverberant enclosures. [5] [6]
2.3 HYBRYD METHODS
The disadvantages of the two classical
methods have led to the development of

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


hybrid models, which combine the best
features of both methods [7] [8] [9]. The
idea is that an efficient way to find image
sources having high probabilities of being
valid is to trace rays from the source and
note the surfaces they hit. The reflection
sequences thus generated are then tested as
to whether they give a contribution at the
chosen receiver position. This is called a
visibility test and it can be performed as a
tracing back from the receiver towards the
image source. This leads to a sequence of
reflections, which must be the reverse of
the sequence of reflecting walls creating
the image source. Once 'backtracing' has
found an image to be valid, then the level
of the corresponding reflection is simply
the product of the energy reflection
coefficients of the walls involved and the
level of the source in the relevant direction
of radiation. The distance to the image
source gives the arrival time of the
reflection.
It is, of course, common for more than
one ray to follow the same sequence of
surfaces, and discover the same potentially
valid images. It is necessary to ensure that
each valid image is only accepted once;
otherwise duplicate reflections would
appear in the reflectogram and cause
errors. Therefore it is necessary to keep
track of the early reflection images found,
by building an 'image tree'.

June 2015, Argentina

For a given image source to be


discovered, it is necessary for at least one
ray to follow the sequence which define it.
The finite number of rays used places an
upper limit on the length of accurate
reflectogram obtainable. Thereafter, some
other method has to be used to generate a
reverberation tail. This part of the task is
the focus of much effort, and numerous
approaches have been suggested, usually
based on statistical properties of the room's
geometry and absorption.
3. DIFFUSION OF SOUND IN
COMPUTER MODELS
The scattering of sound from surfaces
can be quantified by a scattering
coefficient, which may be defined as
follows: the scattering coefficient s of a
surface is the ratio between reflected sound
power in non-specular directions and the
total reflected sound power. The definition
applies for a certain angle of incidence,
and the reflected power is supposed to be
either specularly reflected or scattered. The
scattering coefficient may take values
between 0 and 1, where s = 0 means purely
specular reflection and s = 1 means, that all
reflected power is scattered according to
some kind of 'ideal' diffusivity. One
weakness of the definition is, that it does
not say how the directional distribution of
the scattered power is; even if s = 1 the
directional distribution could be very
uneven.

Figure 2. Snells law reflection (left) vs


Lamberts law reflection (right).

Figure 1. Principle of a hybrid model. The


rays create image sources for early reflections
and secondary sources on the walls for late
reflectios.

Diffuse reflections can be simulated in


computer models by statistical methods
[10]. Using random numbers the direction
of a diffuse reflection is calculated with a
probability
function
according
to
Lambert's cosine-law, while the direction

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


of a specular reflection is calculated
according to Snell's law (Fig.2). A
scattering coefficient between 0 and 1 is
then used as a weighting factor in
averaging the co-ordinates of the two
directional vectors, which correspond to
diffuse or specular reflection, respectively
An example of ray reflections with
different values of the scattering
coefficient is shown in Fig. 3. For
simplicity the example is shown in two
dimensions, but the scattering is threedimensional. All surfaces are assigned the
same scattering coefficient. Without
scattering the ray tracing displays a simple
geometrical pattern due to specular
reflections. A scattering coefficient of 0,20
is sufficient to obtain a more diffuse result.

June 2015, Argentina


to irregularities of the surface occurs at
high frequencies.
4. ACOUSTICAL SIMULATION:
STADT CASINO
During the present work a virtual
acoustical model was proposed for an
arbitrarily selected concert hall. In this
case, the choice was the Stadt Casino,
located in Basel, Switzerland. The Stadt
Casino is a globally acclaimed concert
hall, due to its acoustical characteristics
and its visually appealing architecture as
well. It was built in 1876 under the
direction of Ar. Johann Jacob StehlinBurkhardt and it is nowadays the local
venue for most performances of the
Sinfonieorchester
Basel
(Basels
Symphonic Orchestra). Also the Basel
Chamber Orchestra and the Basel
Sinfonietta
usually
organize
their
symphonic concerts in this hall [11].

Figure 3. Reflection of rays with different


scattering coefficients of the surfaces. a) s=0;
b) s=0,2; c) s=1.
Figure 4: Outside view of the Stadt Casino.

By comparison of computer simulations


and measured reverberation times in some
cases where the absorption coefficient is
known, it has been found that the
scattering coefficient should normally be
set to around 0.1 for large, plane surfaces
and to around 0.7 for highly irregular
surfaces. Scattering coefficients as low as
0.02 have been found in studies of a
reverberation chamber without diffusing
elements. The extreme values of 0 and 1
should
be
avoided
in
computer
simulations, as they are not realistic. In
principle the scattering coefficient varies
with the frequency - scattering due to the
finite size of a surface is most pronounced
at low frequencies, whereas scattering due

The Stadt Casino is a typical


rectangular hall with a flat coffered ceiling
that connects to the side walls with a
sloping cornice [12]. The audience area
consists of a flat main floor and shallow
balconies. The widths of both are nearly
the same (21m) making the room very
intimate acoustically. Visually, the
balconies are surrounded by large and
sumptuous crystal windows, necessary at
the moment it was built due of the lack of
artificial lightning and air conditioning.
Four ornate chandeliers decorate the
ceiling.

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements

June 2015, Argentina

Figure 5. Inside view of the Stadt Casino.

Its characteristic large organ stands


above the highest stage riser on which the
percussion or the organ console
customarily sit. The interior is plaster with
a small amount of wood and baroque
columns and ornamentation, which
according to acoustic designers, is
responsible for bass warmth and brilliance
of the higher registers in this case. The
floor surface consists of parquet over a
solid base, without any type of carpet. The
stage floor surface is made up of heavy
wood over airspace, which rises 91 cm
over the main floor. The sets are partially
upholstered at the top of seat bottoms and
the front of the backrests; the underseats
are made of solid metal.

Figure 7. Cross section of the Stadt Casino.

The hall responds well to the music in


general and musicians often positively
criticize the venue, even though it is too
small for full orchestra. Musicians and
audience who know the hall well often
recognize that all music that is properly
scaled to the size of the Stadt Casino
sounds very good. The seating capacity is
890 for the main floor and 558 for both
balconies, leaving a total seating capacity
of 1448. The total volume of the venue is
10,500 m3 while the total audience area is
584 m2; thus leaving an amount of 7,25
m3/0.404 m2 per seat. The stage area totals
160 m2 and the acoustical absorption area,
891 m2. [13]
Volume (V)
Capacity (N)
Audience Area (Sa)
Stage Area (So)
Absorption Area (St)
V/N
Sa/N
Avg Height (H)
Avg Width (W)
Avg Length (L)
H/W
L/W

Figure 6. Floor plan of the main floor (1) and


balconies (2).

10,500 m3
1448
584 m2
160 m2
891 m2
7,25 m3
0,404 m2
15,2 m
21 m
23,5 m
0,72
1,12

Table 1. Physical dimensions of the Stadt


Casino.

The average room height, measured


from main floor to ceiling is also an
important distance to recognize, since it
has influence on the time delay of the first
ceiling reflection, which may be long
relative to the arrival of the direct sound
when the reflection goes to a main floor

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


seat and much shorter when it goes to a
balcony seat. This average distance is 15,2
m. Similarly, the average width, measured
between sidewalls in the audience area on
the main floor, disregarding any balcony
overhang, is an indication of the intimacy
of the hall. The first reflection after the
direct sound that reaches a listener on the
main floor may come from a balcony face.
However, most side balconies are only a
few rows deep, so that the average width
between sidewalls is a more general
indication of the intimacy factor. On the
other side, the average room length,
measured from the stage front to the
average of the back wall positions at all
levels, is a general indication of the
magnitude of the fall-off in loudness with
distance from the stage. The overall
relevant physical dimensions can be
observed in Table 1.
As regards its acoustical parameters,
measurements inside the Stadt Casino were
made in the past by Takenaka and Beranek
in 1993 and 1965 respectively. [13] These
acoustical evaluations were made for
parameters such as reverberation time and
early decay time, interaural crosscorrelation, musical clarity and strength.
Values obtained are shown in Table 2.
Parameters 125
250 500 1000 2000 4000
RT unoccupied- 2,78 2,74 2,31 2,31 2,23 1,90
(s)
RT occupied2,20 2,00 1,80 1,75 1,60 1,50
(s)
EDT unoccupied- 2,55 2,62 2,19 2,20 2,13 1,79
(s)
IACCa 0,90 0,72 0,22 0,13 0,17 0,18
unoccupiedIACCe 0,89 0,78 0,46 0,34 0,33 0,29
unoccupiedIACCl 0,90 0,69 0,17 0,09 0,07 0,06
unoccupiedC80 unoccupied- -4,10 -4,50 -3,20 -2,00 -1,70 -0,70
(dB)
Gunoccupied- 9,10 8,90 7,90 8,30 7,70 7,20
(dB)
Table 2. Acoustical parameters measured at the
Stadt Casino.

June 2015, Argentina


An acoustical simulation was proposed
and elaborated using EASE v4.3.8
software (Enhanced Acoustic Simulator for
Engineers) in order to compare the values
obtained by simulation to those obtained
by real measurements such as those in
Table 2.
5. MODEL DEVELOPMENT AND
RESULTS
5.1 DESIGN
Prior to the development of the EASE
acoustical model, it was necessary to draw
three-dimensionally the venue in a 3D
design software such as Google Sketchup.
This task was carefully done by
referencing to the floor plan and crosssection from Figs. 6-7, and taking into
account the functioning and workflow
from EASE.
The 3D model was then imported to
EASE and some corrections were made,
since the importation algorithm from
EASE can be troublesome. For that matter,
surface color was assigned differently (as it
can be seen on Figs. 8-9) according to the
absorption and scattering coefficients
proposed for each sector.

Figure 8. 3D model of the Stadt Casino.

Figure 9. 3D model of the Stadt Casino.

Seven different surfaces were modeled


to
simulate
seven
different
materials/conditions inside the room: wood
on 2cm of air, plaster, windows, two

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


different wood floors, people seated and
the organ. Absorption coefficients for each
material can be seen on Table 3.
Generic, Wood
Frecuency
Grid, 35mm x 15
Organ
band
mm, on 2 cm of
Air
100Hz
125Hz
160Hz
200Hz
250Hz
315Hz
400Hz
500Hz
630Hz
800Hz
1000Hz
1250Hz
1600Hz
2000Hz
2500Hz
3150Hz
4000Hz
5000Hz
6300Hz
8000Hz
10000Hz

0.31
0.30
0.28
0.27
0.25
0.23
0.22
0.20
0.19
0.18
0.17
0.16
0.16
0.15
0.13
0.12
0.10
0.09
0.09
0.08
0.08

0.01
0.01
0.02
0.04
0.05
0.06
0.07
0.08
0.08
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09
0.09

Generic, Glass,
Generic,
Generic,
Generic,
Window,
Generic,
Plaster on People, in Fully
Floor,
Plate, 0,25 inch
Floor, Wood
Lath, Rough Covered Seats,
Wood, on
thk, Heavy
on Concrete
Finish, SSE per Person
Beams
Large Panes
0.02
0.22
0.21
0.20
0.02
0.02
0.25
0.18
0.20
0.02
0.02
0.30
0.14
0.18
0.02
0.02
0.35
0.10
0.17
0.03
0.02
0.40
0.06
0.15
0.03
0.02
0.45
0.05
0.13
0.03
0.03
0.50
0.05
0.12
0.03
0.03
0.55
0.04
0.10
0.03
0.03
0.58
0.04
0.09
0.03
0.04
0.62
0.03
0.09
0.03
0.04
0.65
0.03
0.08
0.03
0.04
0.65
0.03
0.08
0.03
0.04
0.65
0.02
0.08
0.03
0.04
0.65
0.02
0.08
0.03
0.04
0.63
0.02
0.07
0.03
0.03
0.62
0.02
0.06
0.03
0.03
0.60
0.02
0.05
0.03
0.03
0.59
0.02
0.05
0.03
0.03
0.58
0.02
0.05
0.03
0.03
0.57
0.02
0.05
0.03
0.03
0.57
0.02
0.05
0.03

Table 3. Absorption coefficient of the materials


used in the simulation model.

Both the total modeled room volume


and room dimensions were very important
in the design phase, since reverberation
time is calculated by means of
Sabine/Eyring Equation in EASE. Table 5
shows data comparison between real and
modeled reverberation time.
Parameter
Real
Model
10.500 m3 10.509 m3
Volume
15,2 m
15,2 m
Height
21 m
21 m
Widh
23,5 m
25, 07m
Large
Distance stage to
24,4 m
24,5 m
listener
Table 4. Comparison of physical atributes
between the reals values and simulation model
values.

Figure 10. Main dimensions for the simulated


model.

June 2015, Argentina

Octave
Band

Rev. time [s]


measured
by Beranek

125
250
500
1000
2000
4000

2,20
2,00
1,80
1,75
1,60
1,50

Rev. time [s]


calculated
with Eyring
equation
2,09
1,93
1,72
1,56
1,50
1,44

Table 5 Reverberation time comparison


between measurements made by Beranek and
theoretical values from Eyring formula

Weather conditions were set by default


on the simulation, namely: 60% humidity,
constant temperature of 20C and an
atmospheric pressure of 1013 hPa.
5.2
SOURCE
AND
LISTENER
POSITIONS
After the software checked that the
model had met the necessary requirements
for calculation, 10 listening positions were
defined within the room, which the
software used to calculate ray tracing
impact. Besides, two source positions on
the stage were chosen in order to obtain
values as uniformly and spatially
distributed as possible.
A modeled source of constant
omnidirectional response at all frequencies
and angles was chosen. The sound level of
the source was set to the maximum
allowable of 96,78dB at 1m. Phase rotation
was set to 0 .

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements

Figure 11. Above: positioning of sources


and microphones (cross section); Below:
positioning of sources and microphones (floor
plan).

Fig. 11 shows listening positions


(represented as chairs) designed with the S
prefix and their corresponding numerical
number. The height of all listening
positions was 1.20 m above ground level,
according to the standardized height of the
audience. Analogously, source positions
can be identified with the letter L. L1 was
established at a height of 0.5m, supposing
the height of a percussion instrument
within a typical formation of an orchestra.
The height of the L2 position was
established according to the average height
of a violin executed by a soloist, that is,
around 1,5 m.

June 2015, Argentina


5.3 RAY TRACING SETUP
EASE aims to assess enclosure data
using the ray tracing method, that is,
calculating the amount of impacts that
cross each zone of analysis (listener
positions), defined as a sphere. Thereby it
intends to calculate some of the parameters
commonly taken into account in the design
of concert halls.
Time impact analysis was set as 300ms,
since the ray tracing method is only valid
for the behavior of early reflections. The
average free path time was set as 20 ms,
thus indicating the average time between
the direct sound and the first reflection
estimated. The amount of rays emitted by
the source was increased so that the odds
of impact exceeded 95%. The processing
time was 6 hours approximately, for two
source positions and 10 listening positions.
Impulse responses were obtained for
each listening position after the tracing
simulation. Each impulse response was
added a statistical tail. It was necessary to
manually adjust the level of this random
tail and the noise associated to it, until both
curves matched. Fig. 13 illustrates this
procedure from a reflectogram signal at a
frequency of 1 kHz.

Figure 13 Procedure to add random


reverberation tail

Figure 12. 3D rendering of the concert hall


(EASE).

Once the impulse responses were


obtained, it was possible to calculate
acoustical parameters such as EDT and
Lateral Fraction, since these parameters
could not be evaluated by the simulation
program used. Impulse responses were
extracted as audio wave files in order to be
evaluated later using other software.

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements

To be able to calculate LF it was


necessary to obtain two different types of
microphone polar patterns in the responses
of each position; the EARS module was
used for that matter. This module can
apply different filters corresponding to
different polar patterns to the threedimensional impulse response, as it can be
seen on Fig. 14.
.

June 2015, Argentina

Lateral Fraction is defined as the ratio


between the energy received by a figureof-eight microphone with its null pointing
at the source and the energy received by an
omni-directional microphone at the same
position. Lumbert Side polar patterns were
used to simulate the response of figure-ofeight microphones, even though they do
not represent exactly a figure-of-eight
polar pattern. Moreover, they only
represent half of the polar pattern needed,
so it was necessary to sum two audio wave
files with different and opposing Lumbert
Side patterns. These audio waves files, in
addition to the regular impulse responses
obtained beforehand (omnidirectional)
were processed to obtain LF values.
5.4 SCATTERING COEFFICENTS
In order to evaluate the behavior of the
enclosure in a more realistic way,
scattering coefficients were added.
Since scattering values of the materials
used were not available at the moment of
the simulation, it was decided to estimate
these values according to the surface
geometry that was arranged in each
material.
The modeling software offers a
scattering prediction tool for certain
geometric shapes and surfaces.

Figure 14 Above: Three-dimensional Impulse


Response; Middle: Omnidirectional polar
pattern; Below: Lumbert Side Cosine polar
pattern.

Figure 15. EASE scattering calculation tool.

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


Different scattering curves were
calculated for each surface. Scattering
values for the organ were predicted
differently to other materials, because the
scattering prediction tools did not present
an option for this case. These values were
obtained from a table provided in the book
Acoustic Absorbers and Diffusers (shown
in Table 6) [16]. While the description of
these values does not exactly fit the
geometry of the organ, the choice was a
reliable approximation.

June 2015, Argentina


6. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
In order to compare and contrast the
influence of scattering on the models, two
different simulations were made: one
without considering scattering at all, and
one using the above mentioned
coefficients.
6.1
SIMULATION
SCATTERING

6.1.1 REVERBERATION TIME


After the ray tracing analysis was
carried out, various impulse response audio
wave files were obtained. The T30 values
were obtained by averaging 20 impulse
responses (10 seating position and 2 source
position) using the software Aurora 4.3.
Octave
Band

Table 6. Scattering coefficient table. Acoustic


Absorbers and Diffusers, Trevor J. Cox.

A full detailed view of the scattering


coefficients used for the project can be
seen on Table 7. This table describes the
scattering coefficients as a function of
frequency and the material used.
Generic, Wood
Frecuency
Grid, 35mm x 15
Organ
band
mm, on 2 cm of
Air
100Hz
125Hz
160Hz
200Hz
250Hz
315Hz
400Hz
500Hz
630Hz
800Hz
1000Hz
1250Hz
1600Hz
2000Hz
2500Hz
3150Hz
4000Hz
5000Hz
6300Hz
8000Hz
10000Hz

0.13
0.22
0.38
0.50
0.57
0.67
0.79
0.85
0.85
0.76
0.69
0.75
0.77
0.75
0.79
0.85
0.81
0.78
0.78
0.78
0.78

0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.20
0.30
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40
0.40

Generic, Glass,
Generic,
Generic,
Generic,
Window,
Generic,
Plaster on People, in Fully
Floor,
Plate, 0,25 inch
Floor, Wood
Lath, Rough Covered Seats,
Wood, on
thk, Heavy
on Concrete
Finish, SSE per Person
Beams
Large Panes
0.50
0.60
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.50
0.60
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.50
0.63
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.50
0.67
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.50
0.70
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.41
0.73
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.33
0.77
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.25
0.80
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.19
0.80
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.12
0.80
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.80
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.80
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.80
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.80
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.74
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.67
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.60
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.60
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.60
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.60
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.60
0.10
0.10
0.10

Table 7. Scattering coefficent values of each


material.

WITHOUT

125
250
500
1000
2000
4000

Rev time [s]


measured
for Beranek
2,20
2,00
1,80
1,75
1,60
1,50

Rev. time [s]


calculated
from IR
2,38
2,18
1,94
1,76
1,68
1,59

Table 8. Comparison between RT measured by


Beranek and RT calculated with simulation.

As it can be seen on Table 8, the values


are closer to the ones measured by Beranek
in 1965. It is important to note that the ray
tracing method cannot make a good
approximation for low frequencies
considering the wave nature of sound at
these frequencies.
6.1.2 EARLY DECAY TIME
Similarly to the RT, EDT
calculated.
Octave
Band
125
250
500
1000
2000
4000

EDT [s]
measured
for
Takenaka
2,55
2,62
2,19
2,20
2,13
1,79

was

EDT [s]
calculated
from IR
3,93
2,92
2,05
1,88
1,77
1,70

Table 9. Comparison between EDT values


measured from Takenaka in 1993 and EDT
values calculated from simulation.

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


Contrary to RT, the values obtained for
EDT vary strikingly with the ones
measured by Takenaka. It should be
clarified that these values have been
measured without audience; the simulation
corresponds to an occupied room with
added audience absorption. The acoustic
characteristics of the seating area in a
concert hall are circumstantially influential
in the acoustics of the room. This is mainly
due to the large area occupied by them. It
is proposed as a future work then, to
consider the empty room conditions in the
simulated concert hall.
6.1.3 SPEECH INTELLIGIBILITY
Fig. 16 shows the calculated STI
mapping for the audience area on the
simulated hall.

Figure 16. STI mapping on the audience area.

It is noticeable that the value of STI is


proportional to the distance from the
source, which is related to the reduction in
level of direct sound and the increasing
level of reflections from surfaces.
Nevertheless, the STI values range within
a fair amount for nearly all audience areas.
It is possible to interpret the STI values in
a simple way in terms of a proposal made
by Barnett. [14] [15]

Figure 17. Barnett qualification of STI.

On the other hand, it can be seen that


for audience areas located on the first floor
(balcony) EASE was unable to determine
STI values since there is no direct path
from the source to the top of the audience
area. For this reason, a speech
intelligibility analysis was performed only
for the listening positions on the main
floor, including STI and %ALcons

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(percentage of articulation loss of
consonants) values. Results can be seen on
Table 10.
Position
STI
%ALcons
1
0,509
10,80%
2
0,513
10,60%
3
0,515
10,47%
4
0,536
9,32%
5
0,556
8,36%
6
0,513
10,60%
7
0,512
10,66%
8
0,551
8,61%
9
0,507
10,95%
10
0,511
10,68%
Avg
0,5223 10,11%
Table 10. STI and %ALcons values obtained
from simulation.

Both the simulated STI and %ALcons


values show coherence between each
other, and fall below expected values for
this type of rooms, even though concert
halls are not designed for speech uses. It is
usually considered that when %ALcons
values are more than 10%, the
intelligibility is poor. In learning
environments and voice-focused systems,
the desired value is 5% or less. 15% is
usually the maximum acceptable loss.
6.1.4 LATERAL FRACTION (LF)
Results for LF were obtained by means
of averaging the 20 omnidirectional
impulse responses and the 20 figure-ofeight impulse responses (as described in
section 5.3). Table 11 shows the average
LF values calculated as a function of
frequency.
125
Hz
0,19

250
Hz
0,26

500
Hz
0,24

1000
Hz
0,20

2000
Hz
0,20

4000
Hz
0,21

Table 11. Lateral Fraction values.

Since LF values measured in situ could


not be obtained, it was not possible to
make a comparison in these terms.
Otherwise, it is possible to note that this
parameter has no significant variations
between each octave band. It remains
approximately constant at 0.22 times the

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


direct relationship between early lateral
energy and total energy early.
6.1.5 ECHO SPEECH AND ECHO
MUSIC
Echo speech projects how seriously
delayed energy spikes will degrade speech
intelligibility. It is derived by applying a
weighting function (proposed by Dietsch
and Kraak) to the Energy Time Curve
(ETC). Computed values greater than 1 are
likely to be problematic and values greater
than 0,9 are marginal.

Figure 18. Echo speech curves obtained for the


simulation.

Echo music projects how seriously delayed


energy spikes will degrade the quality of
music. It is also derived by applying a
weighting function (proposed by Dietsch
and Kraak) to the Energy Time Curve
(ETC). Computed values greater than 1,8
are likely to be problematic and values
greater than 1,5 are marginal.

Figure 19. Echo music curves obtained for the


simulation.

Figs. 18-19 show obtained curves for echo


music and echo speech as a function of
time. Each graph consists of different
curves for different frequencies and one
full IR echo curve. All of the computed
values are far from being problematic
according to the ranges described above.
This indicates the absence of problematic
echoes (in terms of music and speech) for
the listener positions analyzed. The results
in this case were analyzed using EASERA
software.

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6.2
SIMULATION
WITH
ESTIMATED
SCATTERING
COEFFICENTS
After
completing
the
previous
simulation, the evaluation of acoustical
parameters including scattering coefficient
values was carried out. The evaluation
method for obtaining these values was
similar as the one explained in the previous
section. The results for Early Decay Time
(EDT) and Reverberation Time (RT) are
exposed below.
Rev time
Rev. time
[s]
Octave
[s]
measured
Band
calculated
by
from IR
Beranek
2,20
1,14
125
2,00
1,07
250
1,80
1,13
500
1,75
1,20
1000
1,60
1,18
2000
1,50
1,16
4000
Table 12. Comparison between RT measured
by Beranek in 1995 and RT calculated with
simulation.

Octave
Band
125
250
500
1000
2000
4000

EDT [s]
EDT [s]
measured
calculated
for
from IR
Takenaka
2,55
0,86
2,62
0,81
2,19
0,82
2,20
0,86
2,13
0,87
1,79
0,96

Table 13. Comparison between EDT measured


by Takenaka in 1993 and EDT calculated with
simulation.

As it can be seen on Table 12-13 the


values obtained for RT and EDT were
reduced in great amount for all octave
bands. This situation is given by the fact
that it is very difficult to determine the
right amount of scattering for each surface,
since it does not only depend on the
material (roughness) but it also depends on
the detailed geometry of the surface.
Therefore, it is proposed as future work to
specify each surface individually with

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements


more detailed scattering values related to
its geometry.
Since the values of RT and EDT did not
represent faithfully the real acoustical
conditions of the concert hall, all other
acoustic parameters were not evaluated
since they will also lack coherence and
they will not be suitable to comparisons
with the measured values.
7. CONCLUSION
Acoustical modeling software offers
diverse tools to predict the acoustical
behavior of enclosures, but require great
effort in order to obtain trustworthy results.
It must be taken into consideration also
that software models require large time to
process and reprocess data and this can be
a limiting issue in determined projects.
Apart from that, they can successfully
complement the acoustical designers work
and they can offer the unique possibility to
listen (via auralization) the outcome of a
concert hall prior to its construction. Hence
the importance of these systems and the
development of the technology used by
them can be crucial to the fate of the
development of room acoustics in the near
future.
8. REFERENCES
[1] A. Krokstad, S. Stroem, & S. Soersdal.
Calculating the Acoustical Room Response
by the use of a Ray Tracing Technique J.
Sound Vib. 8, 118-125 (1968).
[2]
A.
Kulowski.
Algorithmic
Representation of the Ray Tracing
Technique. Applied Acoustics 18, 449-469
(1985).
[3] J.P. Vian, & D. van Maercke.
Calculation of the Room Impulse Response
using a Ray-Tracing Method. Proc. ICA
Symposium on Acoustics and Theatre
Planning for the Performing Arts,
Vancouver, Canada (1986) pp. 74.
[4]. T. Lewers. A Combined Beam Tracing
and Radiant Exchange Computer Model of
Room Acoustics. Applied Acoustics 38,
161-178 (1993).

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[5] J.B. Allen, & D.A. Berkley. Image


method for efficiently simulating smallroom acoustics. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 65,
943-950 (1979).
[6] J. Borish. Extension of the image model
to arbitrary polyhedral. J. Acoust. Soc.
Am. 75, 1827-1836 (1984).
[7]. M. Vorlnder. Simulation of the
transient
and
steadystate
sound
propagation in rooms using a new
combined
ray-tracing/image-source
algorithm. J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
86, 172-178 (1989).
[8] G.M. Naylor. ODEON - Another
Hybrid Room Acoustical Model. Applied
Acoustics 38, 131-143(1993).
[9] G.M. Naylor. Treatment of Early and
Late Reflections in a Hybrid Computer
Model for Room Acoustics. 124th ASA
Meeting, New Orleans (1992) Paper
3aAA2.
[10] U. Stephenson. Eine Schallteilchencomputersimulation zur Berechnung fr
die Hrsamkeit in Konzertslen
massgebenden Parameter. Acustica 59, 120 (1985).
[11] Sinfonieorchester Basel. Wikimedia
Foundation. Web. 5 June 2015.
[12] W. Furrer, Raum- und Bauakustik,
Larmabwehr , 2nd Edition, Birkhauser
Verlag, Basel and Stuttgart (1961).
[13] Beranek, L. (2004). Concert halls and
opera houses: music, acoustics, and
architecture. Springer Science & Business
Media.
[14] Barnett, P. W. and Knight, R.D.
(1995). The Common Intelligibility Scale,
Proc. I.O.A. Vol 17, part 7.
[15] Barnett, P. W. (1999). Overview of
speech intelligibility Proc. I.O.A Vol 21
Part 5.

Acoustical Instruments and Measurements

[16] Cox, T. J., & D'antonio, P. (2009).


Acoustic absorbers and diffusers: theory,
design and application. CRC Press.

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