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Reverberation Time Measurements

Reverberation time measurements can be carried out using a powerful sound source that will excite the various modes of a room prior to cutting it out and assessing the time decay. However, for practical purposes, smaller portable impulsive sound sources have often been used. The explosion of balloons can give results in this matter. However, in the olden days it was common to use blank cartridges in a firearm. This led to several funny or nasty incidents. The author personally experienced a few of them: on measuring the reverberation time in a school restaurant, a paper bird came slamming down on the nearest table. In another episode, in a fashionable restaurant the old main lighting fixture that was awkwardly suspended to the ceiling came crashing down after the shot. Slightly less funny (at least for maintenance), in an office tower restaurant the blank shot triggered the fire alarm that had not been set to safe, and all fresh air trapdoors on the fagade automatically opened (and had to be manually closed). Nowadays, security measures have put an end to such a way of measuring.

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