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Perception of Concert Hall Acoustics in Seats Where the Reflected Energy Is Stronger than the Direct Energy

This paper describes a series of experiments into sound perception when the direct/reverberant ratio (d/r) is low. Sound source localization and the perception of being adequately close to the musicians are improved when the direct sound dominates the total reflected energy for about 40ms, during which time the direct sound can be separately perceived. For such a hall the impressions of loudness, clarity, and localization are satisfactory and nearly unchanged over a 6dB range of d/r. As the time period of direct sound dominance decreases, the d/r ratio must be higher for equal subjective clarity. Additionally, the directions of reflections in the range of 40 to 100ms are nearly inaudible.

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