Stage acoustics in eight Australian concert halls: acoustic conditions in relation to subjective assessments by a touring chamber orchestra
Panton, L and Holloway, D and Cabrera, D and Miranda, L, Stage acoustics in eight Australian concert halls: acoustic conditions in relation to subjective assessments by a touring chamber orchestra, Acoustics Australia, 45, (1) pp. 25-39. ISSN 0814-6039 (2017) [Refereed Article]
Although auditorium acoustics has been extensively studied from an audience perspective, studies of musicians’ preferences on stage are far more limited. The present work tests and extends the hypothesis, suggested in recent studies by others, that the directional distribution of early reflected energy on stage is subjectively important to musicians. The paper presents results of subjective surveys completed by musicians of the Australian Chamber Orchestra immediately after performing in eight Australian purpose-built concert halls and compares these with complementary on-stage acoustic measurements undertaken in the same eight auditoria using a 32-channel spherical microphone array (Eigenmike). Spatial acoustic parameters are investigated together with the traditional omnidirectional parameters defined in the international standard for auditorium acoustics measurements, and a parameter is proposed that compares early energy arriving on stage from above relative to the sides. The parameter is shown to correlate well with musicians’ subjective ratings, with generally lower values preferred. By contrast, standard omnidirectional parameters provided only limited insights into musician preferences for the eight auditorium stages surveyed.