Natural Speech Intelligibility in Theatres in Relation to Their Acoustics
Maarten P. M. Luykx
Martijn L. S. Vercammen
|Published in:||Building Acoustics, December 2011, n. 3-4, v. 18|
There is a certain tendency in the design of theatres to make the halls quite large. From a perspective of natural speech intelligibility and strength of speech this is disadvantageous, because an actor's voice has a certain, limited loudness and consequently the signal-to-noise ratio at the listener may become too low. Based on the influence of signal/noise ratio on speech intelligibility, it is deduced that the strength G ≥ 6 dB and room volumes have to be limited to 4000–4500 m³ in order to maintain sufficient loudness for natural speech. Sound level measurements during performances with natural speech in a theatre have been performed, to determine background noise levels in the hall due to the audience and to investigate the signal-to-noise ratio of the actors voice at the audience. The background levels are mainly determined by installation noise and not by the influence of the audience.
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