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I wonder




After so much rancor, I wonder if we could return for a moment to the topic which precipitated all these threads.

Many years ago, Leo Beranek very kindly wrote to ask my impressions of the sound in one of the symphonic concert halls designed by his firm, which had then been in use about six years.

The hall can be seen in the attached photo, with its four black squares on the wooden sides towards the back. These squares are covered in grill cloth, behind which are arrays of speakers which can be activated to subtly enhance any section of the orchestra the conductor might think necessary.

Before someone launches into a screed about the Lincoln Centre hall, the point is that the concept of acoustic enhancement of symphonic sound has been around a long time, and has been used at the discretion of the conductor, most probably without the audience's knowledge.
Acoustic enhancement has also been in use for some time at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin, for example, and other instances may be found with a quick search.

I wonder how many of those who bemoan the existence of acoustic enhancement at concerts of symphonic music or opera can really be 100% certain that they have always heard the "real thing", without benefit of
any electronic assistance.


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  • I wonder - George6 12:45:19 06/06/20 (1)

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