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Acoustics

Acoustics-is a science which deals with the


production, control, transmission, reception
and effects of sound in an enclosed
space.

Speed (c)- The speed of sound in air


has been measured as 344 m/sec
(1,130 ft/sec). This corresponds to
1,240 km/hr (770 mi/hr) which is
extremely small as compared to the
speed of light (300,000 km/sec).

WAVELENGTH () The wavelength


and the frequency of sound are
related to each other as shown in
the equation below.

Sound-is the human ears response to


pressure fluctuations in the air caused by
vibrating objects.
wave motion-Sound travels in space
TYPES OF SOUNDS

Speech
Music
Noise

Physical Quantities of Sound

c = speed in meters per time


f = frequency in cycles per time
= meters

Frequency (f)-the number of sound


ripples generated in unit time.
Frequency of the wave- The number
of cycles that the air particles move
back and forth in one second in a
sound wave

10-12 W/m2- The sound intensity


which is just audible, called the
threshold of audibility

Its unit is cycles per second (c/s)


which is also termed Hertz (Hz)
After physicist Heinrich Hertz
Eight frequency bands, or octaves, are
considered in room acoustics

INTENSITY - is defined as the amount


of sound power falling on (or passing
through, or crossing) a unit area.
Since the unit of power is watt (W),
the unit of sound intensity is watt per
square meter (W/m2).

10 W/m2- the intensity that


corresponds to the sensation of pain
in the human ear

Characteristics of sound

LOUDNESS is a measure of the


intensity of sound and is expressed in
decibels (dB). It is a quantity called
the sound intensity level (IL).
PITCH is the frequency of sound
wave perceived by the human ear.
A high-pitched sound means that it
has a high frequency. The female
voice is slightly higher pitched than
the male voice.

rooms with highly reflective surfaces.


The effect would be to emphasize
certain frequencies at the expense
of others, which is undesirable for
balance desired in rooms intended
for music.

Acoustical concerns in
Architecture
Noise Control
the control of air-borne noise
through the insulation of sound or
the shutting-out of unwanted sounds
from the outside.

the control of structure-borne noises


through the isolation of machines
from the rooms or the buildings
structure.

Principal Acoustic Defects of


Rooms

Prolonged Reverberation long


reverberation time (RT) due to large
amounts of highly reflective surfaces
and/or to large volume of space
which will take considerable time for
reflected sound to die out.
Blurring- Effect of prolonged
reverberation

Echo distinct reflection of original


sound which results when the path of
reflected sound is 20 m (65 ft) or
more than the path of direct sound.
If the difference is less than 20 m, the
reflected sound will reinforce the
direct sound which is desirable.
highly reflective- It is recommended
that the surfaces of the front part of
an auditorium

Resonance is the reinforcement of


certain sound frequencies due to
sympathetic vibrations. This is
especially the case in enclosed

Flutter Echo a rapid but repetitive


succession of sounds caused by
highly reflective parallel surfaces
(wall to wall, or ceiling to floor).

Undue Focusing of Sound is caused


by concave surfaces which causes
sound to converge at certain points
with resulting loss of energy in other
parts of the room.

IMPORTANT ACOUSTICAL TERMS


Absorption coefficient the fraction of the
incident sound energy absorbed by a
surface.
anechoic chamber a sealed room in
which all the surfaces are designed to
completely absorb all sound produced in
the room.
attenuation a reduction in sound level.
Sound attenuation in air-conditioning is
specified in terms of dB per meter.
background noise ambient noise
break-in noise transfer of noise from a
space surrounding the duct into the duct
through duct walls.
break-out noise transfer of noise from
the interior of a duct through duct walls
into a space outside the duct.
dead room a room containing an
unusually large amount of sound
absorption..

decibel (dB) a unit of measurement for


sound pressure level, sound intensity level
or sound power level.
diffraction a change in the direction of
propagation of sound as a result of
bending caused by a barrier in the path of
a sound wave.

extent that at times its sound pressure level


falls below a measurable level.
inverse square law a law which states
that the sound intensity in a free field varies
inversely with the square of the distance
from the source.
isolation a lack of acoustical
connection.

diffuse sound (field) a sound field in


which the sound comes in equal intensity
from all directions.

leak a small opening in a barrier that


allows airborne sound to pass through.

direct sound the sound that arrives at a


receiver along a direct line from the source
without reflection from any surface.

live room a room containing an


unusually small amount of sound
absorption.

echo a sound that has been reflected


with sufficient time delay.

loudness an auditory sensation that


depends on sound pressure level and the
frequency of sound.

environmental noise exterior


background noise in a neighborhood (ie.
traffic, aircraft).
fidelity faithful reproduction of a sound
source.
flutter echo a rapid but repetitive
succession of sound from a sound source
usually occurring as a result of multiple
reflections in a space with hard, flat and
parallel walls.
frequency the number of full cycles per
second measured.
impact noise noise caused by the
collision of two objects.
infrasonic a sound that is below the
human audible frequency, below 20 Hz.
insulation see isolation
intermittent sound a sound which is
discontinuous or fluctuates to such an

masking the increase in the threshold of


audibility of a sound that is required so that
the sound can be heard in the presence of
another sound.
noise isolation class (NIC) a single
number rating derived from the measured
value of noise reduction between two
rooms.
noise reduction (NR) the reduction in
sound pressure level of noise.
noise reduction coefficient (NRC) a
single number rating derived from
measured values of sound absorption
coefficients of a material at 250, 500, 1000
and 2000 Hz.
outdoor-indoor transmission class (OITC)
a weighted single number rating of the
sound reduction effectiveness of a
partition that separates an indoor space
from the outside.

pitch a listeners perception of the


frequency of a pure tone.

sound pressure level see sound intensity


level

reflection coefficient a measure of the


sound reflective property of a surface.

sound transmission class (STC) a single


number rating of the sound insulation
rating of a partition.

resonance the relatively large


amplitude of vibration produced when the
frequency of the source of sound is equal
to the natural frequency of a room.

structure-borne sound sound


propagated through a solid structure.

reverberant sound field a sound field


created by repeated reflections of sound
from the boundaries in an enclosed space.

transmission coefficient the ratio of


transmitted sound energy
to incident sound energy
transmission loss (TL) is the measure of
sound insulation of a partition.

reverberation the continuation of sound


in an enclosed space after the initial
source has been terminated.
reverberation time (RT) the time it takes
for sound intensity to decay by 1 millionth
of its steady state value after the sound
source has been terminated.
sabin a unit of measure of sound
absorption.
scattering an irregular diffraction of
sound in many directions.
sound insulation the ability of a barrier to
prevent sound from reaching a receiver.
sound intensity (SI) the average rate of
sound energy flow through a unit area in a
given direction.
sound intensity level (SIL) a quantity
expressed in decibels of airborne sound.
sound lock a small space that works as
a buffer between a source room and a
receiving room.
sound pressure fluctuating pressure of
sound superimposed on the static air
pressure.

wavelength distance between two


adjacent compressions or rarefactions in a
sound wave.
white noise a noise whose energy is
uniform over a wide range of frequencies.
This is analogous to the term white light,
which consists of almost equal amount of
light of different wavelength (colors). A
white noise sounds hissy.