Is there an ideal reverberation time for music? What other measures are important for ‘good’ acoustics? In addressing these questions it is assuming there is no superfluous noise. Let us take away some of the myths….
1. The acoustics are so good you can hear a pin drop.
This is the equivalent to saying that a room is properly isolates and there isn’t too much acoustical absorption. Thus, this criterion can by spaces that are too reverberant. Hearing a pin drop is not the goal. Hearing music in all its richness and clarity is.
2. Why can’t they design acoustics like they did in the good old halls?
These references to past accomplishments are habitually erroneous. The open-air Greek and Roman auditoriums are so fashioned to hold as much noise as possible. This is accomplished by sharply raking the seating and a rock-hard rear wall to the performance space. But for music, these spaces do not equate with contemporary intentions. If you clap your hands at the centre of a circular seating plan, you will hear repetitive reflections from the terraced seating that produces a distinct pitch, which is connected to the spacing between the seats thus altering the sound. The smaller a music space is, the easier it is to get superior acoustics.
3. Wood is good
Sometimes it is, and the same can be said of concrete. It depends on how it is used.
Wood being a light material, is not very perfect for sound isolation. But it is ideal for sound absorption. Wood prevents echo and noise by absorbing sound. For this reason it is extensively used in concert halls. On the other hand, due to its high-density, concrete has its advantages in reducing airborne noise transmission, reducing noise from exterior sources and providing sound separation between rooms.