Considerable interest has been generated on the subject of variable acoustics probably due to the proliferation of multi-purpose auditoria over the past ten years which, if they are to be truly multi-purpose, must by definition also be multi-acoustic. The subject would fill a respectable size book and as such cannot be adequately served in a single short presentation, inevitably some aspects will get left out and most will be treated with indecent haste; and because of the emotive nature and obvious commercial potential of the concept it is important to direct criticism fairly and with any necessary attendant qualifications. Although this paper is concerned with the problems and difficulties in introducing, by a means other than architecture, reverberation into performing arts and other spaces, the term electronic architecture also often involves the introduction of reflection and wave fronts, thereby providing a compete acoustical field. This particular topic has, over the past twenty years, been widely publicized and to avoid unnecessary duplication the historical and reverberation time references have been reduced to a minimum.
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