Volume 132, Issue 1, July 2012
Index of content:
- ARCHITECTURAL ACOUSTICS 
132(2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4726030View Description Hide Description
In this paper, the modal expansion method supported by a computer implementation has been used to predict steady-state distributions of the potential and kinetic energy densities, and the active and reactive sound intensities inside two coupled enclosures. The numerical study was dedicated to low-frequency room responses. Calculation results have shown that the distribution of energetic quantities in coupled spaces is strongly influenced by the modal localization. Appropriate descriptors of the localization effect were introduced to identify localized modes. As was evidenced by numerical data, the characteristic objects in the active intensity field are vortices positioned irregularly inside the room. It was found that vortex centers lie exactly on the lines corresponding to zeros of the eigenfunction for a dominant mode. Finally, an impact of the wall impedance on the quantitative relationship between the active and reactive intensities was analyzed and it was concluded that for very small sound damping the behavior of the sound intensity inside the room space is essentially only oscillatory.
132(2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4725761View Description Hide Description
Activated carbon can adsorb and desorb gas molecules onto and off its surface. Research has examined whether this sorption affects low frequency sound waves, with pressures typical of audible sound, interacting with granular activated carbon. Impedance tube measurements were undertaken examining the resonant frequencies of Helmholtz resonators with different backing materials. It was found that the addition of activated carbon increased the compliance of the backing volume. The effect was observed up to the highest frequency measured (500 Hz), but was most significant at lower frequencies (at higher frequencies another phenomenon can explain the behavior). An apparatus was constructed to measure the effective porosity of the activated carbon as well as the number of moles adsorbed at sound pressures between 104 and 118 dB and low frequencies between 20 and 55 Hz. Whilst the results were consistent with adsorption affecting sound propagation, other phenomena cannot be ruled out. Measurements of sorption isotherms showed that additional energy losses can be caused by water vapor condensing onto and then evaporating from the surface of the material. However, the excess absorption measured for low frequency sound waves is primarily caused by decreases in surface reactance rather than changes in surface resistance.
132(2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4728212View Description Hide Description
Teachers adjust their voice levels under different classroom acoustics conditions, even in the absence of background noise. Laboratory experiments have been conducted in order to understand further this relationship and to determine optimum room acoustic conditions for speaking. Under simulated acoustic environments, talkers do modify their voice levels linearly with the measurevoice support, and the slope of this relationship is referred to as room effect. The magnitude of the room effect depends highly on the instruction used and on the individuals. Group-wise, the average room effect ranges from −0.93 dB/dB, with free speech, to −0.1 dB/dB with other less demanding communication tasks as reading and talking at short distances. The room effect for some individuals can be as strong as −1.7 dB/dB. A questionnaire investigation showed that the acoustic comfort for talking in classrooms, in the absence of background noise, is correlated to the decay times derived from an impulse response measured from the mouth to the ears of a talker, and that there is a maximum of preference for decay times between 0.4 and 0.5 s. Teachers with self-reported voice problems prefer higher decay times to speak in than their healthy colleagues.
132(2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4726012View Description Hide Description
Spherical microphone arrays have been recently used for room acousticsanalysis, to detect the direction-of-arrival of early room reflections, and compute directional room impulse responses and other spatialroom acoustics parameters. Previous works presented methods for room acousticsanalysis using spherical arrays that are based on beamforming, e.g., delay-and-sum, regular beamforming, and Dolph-Chebyshev beamforming. Although beamforming methods provide useful directional selectivity, optimal array processing methods can provide enhanced performance. However, these algorithms require an array cross-spectrum matrix with a full rank, while array data based on room impulse responses may not satisfy this condition due to the single frame data. This paper presents a smoothing technique for the cross-spectrum matrix in the frequency domain, designed for spherical microphone arrays, that can solve the problem of low rank when using room impulse response data, therefore facilitating the use of optimal array processing methods. Frequency smoothing is shown to be performed effectively using spherical arrays, due to the decoupling of frequency and angular components in the spherical harmonics domain. Experimental study with data measured in a real auditorium illustrates the performance of optimal array processing methods such as MUSIC and MVDR compared to beamforming.