Measurements of directional properties of reverberant sound fields in rooms using a spherical microphone array

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Journal titleJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
IssueOctober 4
Pages21382148; # of pages: 11
Subjectbeamforming microphone array, reverberant sound field, isotropy, diffusion; Acoustics
AbstractThe directional variation of sound at a point has been studied in three rooms, using a measurement system described previously [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 112, 1980?1991 (2002)]. The system uses a pair of 32-element spherical microphone arrays to obtain directional impulse responses in each of 60 steering directions, with an angular resolution of 28 degrees, covering all directions in the whole solid angle. Together, the array measurements span the frequency range from 300?3300 Hz. The angular distribution of incident sound energy is visualized on a three-dimensional plot, and quantified by computing the directional diffusion and the directional peak-to-average level difference (?anisotropy index?) of the sound field. The small-to-medium sized rooms had reverberation times of 360, 400, and 600 ms. Measurements were made for several source and receiver locations in each, and were analyzed over several time ranges (full decay time of room, late time decay, 2 ms windows throughout the decay). All measured sound fields were found to be highly directional; the distribution of arriving energy at a point greatly influenced by the early specular reflections. The directions and arrival times of these reflections were identifed from the measurements, giving excellent agreement with those expected from knowledge of the room geometry. It was observed that as time progressed, the sound fields initially exhibited increasing isotropy, followed by increasing anisotropy, due to nonuniform absorption in the rooms. The measurement system is capable of yielding detailed information about the reverberant sound field in a room, and is easily modified to be able to analyze ambient or time-varying fields.
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number46639
NPARC number20386181
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Record identifier80a88cb2-8839-4bf8-a8d3-84b488ec6c3a
Record created2012-07-25
Record modified2016-05-09
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