Friday, January 25, 2013

Resonant Frequency of a Room

The resonant frequency of a room is a concept often discussed in acoustic design, such as the layout of an auditorium or music studio.  It could also be a topic of discussion when installing a home stereo system.

Essentially, most rooms are rectangular or square, meaning that they have parallel walls across from each other.  These parallel walls make it possible for sound waves to get "trapped" or resonate back and forth between one wall and the other.  Like the infinite image you might see if you look into a mirror and also have a mirror behind you.  And it starts getting really interesting when you realize that there are  particular frequency sound waves that "match" the size of the room.

For example, if a room measures 11.3 feet wide in one direction, that means that a 50Hz tone will bounce perfectly back and forth through the room.  Since the pressure wave continually peaks at the same point in the room it will amplify that frequency in that location.

No, you probably won't actively use this concept during echolocation, but, yet again, an interesting little side note about how sound works and some of the effects you might encounter on a daily basis while practicing active echolocation.

Free 10-Minute Audio Lesson: Learn the Echolocation Click

Learn echolocation clicks with a free audio lesson
Learning how to click is one of the first steps to becoming an effective echoloator. This lesson provides clicking samples of a variety of different clicks and descriptions of when they might be most useful. This lesson has been used by O&M instructors all over the world.

Despite popular belief, it's easy to make your clicking quite subtle or unnoticeable even in quiet settings. There are many different clicks for different situations. I explain all of these in great detail and give examples of where, why and when they can and should be used.

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