Room acoustics simulation software is an important tool for improving acoustic environments, allowing proposed designs and retrofit options to be assessed in advance. Venues such as concert halls, offices, airports, teaching rooms, restaurants, and bars often have pressing acoustic issues and benefit from a virtual analysis. Commercial software tends to do this with geometrical acoustic techniques such as the sound particle method (akin to ray-tracing) as these provide a suitable compromise between accuracy and run times.
This presentation will review recent developments in this field and discuss interesting issues and challenges that have arisen for us and our customers in the last few years. Schemes for handling diffraction will be considered along with the troublesome topic of treating scattering correctly in these contexts. We’ll look at the different types of room acoustic parameter and discuss their pros and cons. The inter-connected themes of uncertainty analysis and geometrical level-of-detail will be presented along with the question of whether acoustic engineers need to model chairs in their simulations.
Finally, we’ll review some more exotic topics such as auralization, the apparently strange subject of high-performance sound processing on graphics cards, and prospects for using these methods outdoors, e.g. for open-air concerts. I’ll also offer my thoughts and tips on getting results with the greatest efficiency when using these methods and how to avoid trouble.
Dr. Thomas Judd is a software developer at SoundPLAN GmbH, specializing in indoor noise and room acoustics. He obtained his MSci and PhD from the University of Nottingham in the UK with a research focus on ultra-cold atoms. He subsequently lectured in computational quantum physics at the University of Tübingen in Germany before joining SoundPLAN in 2015.