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A Room Acoustics Measurement Technique Based on a Perceptual Model for Annoyance Minimization

The accurate estimation of the acoustical parameters of enclosures used for performances, such as theaters, concert halls, conference rooms, sport stadiums and other public areas requires the measurements to be carried out in the presence of an audience. However, for reasons of annoyance, people are usually kept out and a correction factor related to the equivalent sound absorption of the audience area is applied. This procedure does not consider the variability of some relevant parameters such as the relative humidity and the temperature gradients that occurs during the event, which may have a considerable influence on the room frequency response. The Room Impulse Response estimation (RIR) using a swept sine technique shows a high immunity against distortion and time-variance with high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The new method proposed here uses filtered swept sine signals in agreement with a perceptual auditory model (PM) in order to minimize the annoyance, thereby allowing the estimation of the acoustical parameters in the presence of the audience. Thus, an intelligent automatic adjustment of the electroacoustic system to the acoustical environment during the live performance can be easily made. Results of a survey using an annoyance indicator are presented herein. Advantages and disadvantages of the technique are discussed in the paper.

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