Acoustic Space: Blaisdell Bathroom


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Location. Restroom B12, on the second floor of Blaisdell Residence Hall at Pomona College.

Description of the space. This bathroom is a medium-sized, rectangular room with tile floors and three drywall walls. The fourth side of the room has a shower curtain drawn across it, with a bit of space above the curtain. The side opposite that has protruding sinks and mirrored cabinets. In the corner of the room is a walled-off area for the toilet. Thus, the rectangular shape of the room is broken up by protruding objects on various walls.

Recording setup. The microphone and balloon were six feet apart from each other. The microphone stood between the two sinks on the countertop, close to the wall. The balloon was popped from a height of almost six feet, at a spot close to both the shower curtain and the walled-off toilet area. Though near two “walls” of sorts, this location was near the center of the room.

Reverberation time.
maximum intensity: 80.13 dB
minimum intensity: 34.77 dB
30 dB decay:  0.62 sec
40 dB decay:  0.92 sec
decay to minimum: 4.02 sec
decay to pre-pop background level of 41.34 dB: 0.82 sec

Acoustic description. Because the space is fairly contained, with many hard walls and surfaces for sound waves to bounce off of, the sound does reverberate pretty strongly. However, there are avenues for sound to escape, as well; the curtained wall especially, along with the spaces under the door and under the walled-off area for the toilet, allow the sound to dissipate and prevent the humming noise after the balloon pop from approaching one specific frequency too closely.