The science behind concert hall acoustics and quiet living rooms
How to reproduce the sound of real environments in VR, part I
How to reproduce the sound of real environments in VR, part II
Prof. Maarten Hornikx
Maarten Hornikx is a Full Professor Building Acoustics, Vice-Dean of the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology, and he leads the Building Acoustics Chair of Unit Building Physics and Services (BPS).
Hornikx’ research area is computational modeling sound propagation in the built environment. He has two target applications. 1) Development of sound reproduction in mixed reality platforms with applications in the built environments. 2) Application of numerical models to investigate all kinds of propagation effects as the role of vegetation on sound propagation outdoors and indoors and the influence of meteorological effects on sound propagation. Hornikx is a fan of open research software and takes an active role in promoting this to leverage impact from research.
Sound is everywhere in our society. In all the spaces we spend time in, whether outdoors or indoors, we perceive sound. The sources that create these sounds can be of various kinds, such as road traffic, people talking, musical instruments and ventilation systems. Sound affects our lives because it can cause harmful effects such as reduced cognitive performance and sleep disturbances, while it can also carry information, such as speech or alarm signals, or have a pleasurable or joyful effect, such as music. In all cases, the environment around us alters the sound, whether in a concert hall, an open work environment or a city street. This modification, the acoustics of the environment, is important to study because it can affect the propagation of sound from its sources to our ears, either in a soothing way, by reducing noise, or in a positive way, by improving speech transmission.
This series of lectures on building acoustics begins with an introduction to how the urban environment affects sound transmission and how we can use that knowledge to control noise in cities. The second lecture deals with sound in buildings, both with respect to sound in rooms and sound transmission between rooms, and how we can influence these sound fields. The third and fourth lectures deal with a more recent research direction, which is to provide the experience of sounds in a room through virtual reality. This can be used to carry out scientific research on the influence of sound in spaces on people, as well as to communicate about sound and acoustics in the design phase of buildings and built environments. The lectures address the components of sound in virtual reality that need to be addressed to develop such systems, and provide insight into the research and demos that have been developed with sound in VR systems.