Intensive course on room acoustics and sound reinforcement



In this intensive course the basics of room acoustics will be treated systematically. The topic of sound propagation in concert halls will be discussed generally from two points of view. First the foundation of generation and propagation of sound in closed rooms will be discussed and secondly the psychological factors that, even with today’s state of knowledge, are cannot be described to the last detail. The interdependences and the equality of these aspects marks the character of room acoustics.


In the first part of this intensive course the physical properties of sound fields in enclosed spaces will be described. This is, however, not done without taking human perception into account.

Topics of the first part:

  • Basics
  • Reflection and Diffusion
  • Wavetheory of sound fields in enclosed spaces
  • Geometric room acoustics
  • Reverberation and statistical room acoustics
  • Sound absorption and sound absorbers
  • Measurement technology in room acoustics

  Raytracingmodel of a Concerthall ITA Raytracingmodel of a Concerthall

In the second part the aspects of sound perception are presented, which are considered when planning concert halls, opera houses, theatres or lecture halls. With numerous examples the afore mentioned aspects will be demonstrated.

Topics of the second part:

  • Subjective perception of sound fields in enclosed spaces
  • Amplification systems in rooms
  • Music and Acoustic
  • Design of rooms (Concert Halls, Theaters, Opera Houses, Lecture Halls, Multi-Purpose Auditoria)
  • Case Studies


In the third part of this intensive course the practical application of the first two parts is in the focus. In room acoustical measurements the acoustical properties of a lecture hall at RWTH University (for instance the central lecture hall) are to be quantified. With the help of acoustic simulation tools proposals are to be developed to improve the acoustics of the lecture hall for concert use.

Topics of the third part:

  • Room acoustical measurements
  • Analysis of the measurement results
  • Construction of a ray tracing model of the lecture hall
  • Improvement of the lecture hall for music use
  • Presentation of the results