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Vassar Acoustics Research Laboratory

The new acoustics lab features a 1:2 (half-size) reverberation chamber designed in accordance with International Standards ISO 354 and ISO 17497-1. The chamber has a volume of 1200 c.f. and has several stationary suspended diffusing panels and a skewed geometry to promote a uniform sound field and reduce the propensity for forming standing waves.

In addition to the chamber, the acoustics lab is outfitted with a wide array of state-of-the-art acoustic and signal processing equipment and software capable of taking measurements ranging from obtaining binaural impulse responses to quantifying material absorption coefficients.

The main research thrust of the acoustics lab is currently focused on acoustic scattering. An investigation is underway in which the scattering characteristics of 2-D surfaces exhibiting fractal geometries are assessed. The 2-D diffuser type is useful in spaces with high sound pressure levels and low-frequency concerns, such as those most often seen in the ubiquitous multipurpose performing arts spaces being built in this time of economic mindfulness.

Additional research areas are possible through the acoustics lab, including architectural acoustics, musical acoustics, engineering acoustics, physical acoustics, electro-acoustics, psycho-acoustics, and noise control.