Jul 22, 2004
A series of deadlines and some travel have delayed updates, but I’m back.
The BAS help an
in June to discuss concert hall acoustics. Several interesting points of view came out
of that meeting, but one interesting discussion focused on the opening of
Walt Disney’s new Los Angeles
Concert Hall. Several of
the panelists have attended concerts at the hall. Their reviews on the
acoustics ranged from lukewarm to savage (before you discount their
opinions, take another look at the names on the panel).
I won’t get into specific comments (the
BAS Speaker will
probably publish an in-depth summary), but the gist of their comments is that
the sound varies considerably from seat to seat in the hall, far more than
typical for most
At the worst, there are positions where you can’t hear certain sections of the orchestra. But the
panelists did concede that there are certain sections where you can hear well-balanced sound.
I’ve since had an opportunity to speak with a Disney
Imagineer who was
familiar with the development of the concert hall. He was satisfied with the performance of the hall,
though he admitted that the listening experience will differ depending on where you sit. But he seems
pleased with the final result. YMMV
Misc News Items:
- Pilots might hit jet ‘mute’ button in next few decades:
Ohio State University professors have developed technology to reduce exhaust turbulence to reduce noise.
Interesting tech, but I’m thinking about a
TRB panel discussion
from a few years packs. One important point that came out of the discussion was that the reduction
in aircraft engine noise has been so significant over the past 30 years that structural radiation
has emerged as a major noise source. Will further engine noise reduction help?
also has an article on this technique.
- Fireworks Noise Prompts Pups To Run Away:
I mention this because I can sympathize - of the five dogs my family owned while I lived at home,
only one dog wasn’t bothered by noise from fireworks and firecrackers.
- Scott Rosenberg discusses political reasons behind
Lossy compression formats
used in most online music stores today. Back when Sony first introduced
ATRAC in the late 80’s, I was frightened that
lossy formats would muscle out the lossless formats (and let’s face it, 1st gen ATRAC sounded awful).
Now MP3, AAC, and WMA rule the online music scene. One saving grace however is that hard-drive-based music
players are continually increasing in capacity. Soon, we’ll be able to carry tens of thousands of lossless-compressed
tracks where ever we go - if we can make people understand that lossless does sound better.
- Researchers at UC Davis are working on a binaural recording and playback technology that can
track your head movement. The technique is simple when you think about it, but it’s
definitely an innovative technology.
- Wired Magazine writes about the
development of the iPod.
On page 2, the article notes that Steve Jobs insisted that the iPod play loud because he’s partially deaf.
He’s not the only one.