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Spaces Speak, and Now a Master’s Voice


Sound in an enclosed space is subject to myriad variables, not just the source’s output pattern—how the tonal balance changes with angle—but its reflections, how far away they come from, and how their own tonal balance gets changed by the reflecting surfaces. And finally, how where we listeners sit affects everything further.

The successful and the less-successful qualities of performance spaces, and how to get from the latter to the former, have been studied intensively for a long time, haphazardly and then methodically. One of the currently eminent acoustics investigators is our own contributor David Griesinger, researcher, singer, and inventor. Next Sunday at the monthly meeting of the Boston Audio Society (whom BMInt has teamed with before; see here), Griesinger will explain it all, or at least discuss his latest thoughts.

Early reflections and reverberation time are considered to be the major determinants of concert hall acoustics. But excessive amounts can obscure clarity. Griesinger has (with the sometime help of Lee Eiseman) measured and tested remedies to the problems in several local venues, including Jordan Hall, Sanders Theater, and Pickman Hall (Longy).

A physicist by training who works in the field of sound and music, Griesinger developed one of the first digital reverberation devices, became a principal scientist at Lexicon, conducted research into the perception and measurement of the acoustics of concert halls and opera houses, and is the designer of the LARES reverberation enhancement system. He also has investigated the neurology of the inner ear and created models that emulate the ear’s amazing ability to separate musical sources and speech in noisy environments, correlating concert hall measurements to the models.

Sunday, February 23, 2014, 6:00 PM
Boston University, Life Science & Engineering Bldg, 24 Cummington Mall, 1st Floor Conference Room (Room 103), Boston, MA 02215
Recent Experiments in Control of Early Reflections and Reverberation in Concert Halls
Refreshments at 5:30 pm.
For  parking tips, see

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