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RE: really? do the math (it's easy!)

Hey Tre', thanks for that link. This is part of what I've been talking about for decades! I don't remember if Leo Beranek first analyzed and named the phenomenon, but the "critical distance" is an important measure of the soundfield at any position in a room (AND outdoors!), and is an important contributor to achieving good intelligibility and musical detail where speech and instrumental detail is important. (Be aware that the Critical Distance varies somewhat with frequency and with angle from the source.)

It is important to note that the explanations on the linked site are a bit over-simplified in a few areas, but overall, this is a very good basic explanation of what's going on in a room, sound-wise. It would be good if the author would state such, so that the uninitiated reader won't take it as "the gospel truth".


Even though we know several fundamental factors, the soundfield in a room is not easily described. For the purposes of discussion here, even "typical" living rooms are anything but "typical". Although they do often share some common traits with regard to absorption characteristics, as soon as we start talking about architectural plan design, things go way off the rails very quickly! An "open plan" house is acoustically very different from a more "segmented" house, even though they may share similar "room treatments".

Back to "reverberant field, or not". Clearly, in any "normal" home room where a high fidelity system is employed and some degree of ambient sound is present, there is a reverberant field, however "dry" it may be. Whether or not it achieves a state which can usefully be measured as an RT60 is another matter.


Edits: 03/05/17

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