Multi-rate sound decays are often found and studied in complex systems of coupled volumes where diffuse field conditions generally apply, although the openings connecting different sub-spaces are by themselves potential causes of non-diffuse behaviour. However, in presence of spaces in which curved surfaces clearly prevent diffuse field behaviour from being established, things become more complex and require more sophisticated tools (or, better, combinations of them) to be fully understood. As an example of such complexity, the crypt of the Cathedral of Cadiz is a relatively small space characterised by a central vaulted rotunda, with five radial galleries with flat and low ceiling. In addition, the crypt is connected to the main cathedral volume by means of several small openings. Acoustic measurements carried out in the crypt pointed out the existence of at least two decay processes combined, in some points, with flutter echoes. Application of conventional methods of analysis pointed out the existence of significant differences between early decay time and reverberation time, but was inconclusive in explaining the origin of the observed phenomena. The use of more robust Bayesian analysis permitted the conclusion that the late decay appearing in the crypt had a different rate than that observed in the cathedral, thus excluding the explanation based on acoustic coupling of different volumes. Finally, processing impulse responses collected by means of a B-format microphone to obtain directional intensity maps demonstrated that the late decay was originated from the rotunda where a repetitive reflection pattern appeared between the floor and the dome causing both flutter echoes and a longer reverberation time.
Journal of Sound and Vibration – Elsevier
Published: May 12, 2018
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