Author Archives: Allison Mis

Soundscape: Platt Campus Center, HMC


Loading map...



The soundscape is of the main room of the Platt Campus Center on Harvey Mudd.  This room is very large, 100ft x 100ft at least, and has high plaster ceilings (~30 feet high) and wooden flooring.  The room is furnished with a few dozen couches, tables, and rolling whiteboards, and has wooden and glass walls.
This space serves as a “living room” for many students at Mudd; they hang out on the couches, work on the whiteboards, and use the coffee machine to support their caffeine addictions.  Tutoring hours for most classes are held in Platt, and team or group meetings often happen here.  Additionally, college-sponsored fun events are usually held in Platt  Due to this, the students have a sort of love-hate relationship with the space; it represents hours spent doing work, but also can be the setting for group bonding and fond memories.
Audible in this recording are the sonic archetypes of an academic building where students work together: footsteps on the hard wooden flooring and the ever-present murmur of students checking answers or asking each other questions.  The “ka-chunk” of the door next to the mailroom and the beeping and hissing of the coffee machines are soundmarks very distinct to Platt.   Also in this recording, we can hear the students playing and singing along to music as they work, which could be a keynote, because students sing along to music enough that it isn’t too remarkable.

Reverberant Space: Jacobs Science Building Stairwell, HMC



Location: This recording was taken in a 4-story stairwell in the Jacobs Science Building on Harvey Mudd Campus.

Description of the Space: I took the balloon pop recording on the 1st floor landing in the stairwell between Jacobs and Keck on Harvey Mudd Campus.  This is a stairwell that spans 4 stories; the stairs themselves are concrete, the doors are heavy and wooden, and the walls are plastered.  The stairwell is open in the sense that one can stand at the very bottom and look up the center and see all the way up.  For this recording, I closed all the doors so the stairwell was isolated, placed the recorder 3 steps up from the 1st floor landing, and popped the balloon on the 1st floor landing (this means the recorder was about 6 feet from the balloon).

Reverberation Times:
Maximum intensity: 74.4 dB
30 dB drop: 2.5 s after peak
50 dB drop: 2.8 s after peak
Minimum intensity: 18.1 dB
The space apparently reverberates at 200, 500, 1000 Hz.