Author Archives: Kevin Lee

Academic Quad Fountain, 2:00 P.M., Mar 02


Loading map...



Location: Fountain in the middle of the academic quad

This location was the fountain in the middle of the academic quad at Pomona College. It was a relatively clear and sunny day.

Recording Setup: The recording device used was the TASCAM DR-40 Linear PCM Recorder, and it was placed on one of the benches next to the quad.

About the soundscape: The recording took place around 2:00 p.m., so many students were either in their dorms or in class. This led to a rather uneventful, yet peaceful soundscape of the fountain. Specific keynotes in this soundscape had to be the constant rushing of water going down the fountain, as well as the underlying hum of vehicles passing by. The recorder was placed at a moderate distance from the fountain, so it was audible throughout the recording but definitely never overpowering. The humming of car engines was also present in most of the soundscape, but it was loudest around 3 seconds in the start of the recording, leading me to believe that a vehicle passed by in the adjacent street to the fountain. A signal that was heard near the end of the recording was the two students talking indistinctly as they were walking by. The final “yeah” from one of the students was the only word that was discerned from this conversation. The rest of the recording consisted of the peaceful sound of the fountain.

Acoustic Space: Edmunds Breezeway



Space Description: This balloon pop took place in the breezeway of Edmunds, between the entrances of the two different buildings of Edmunds. The left, right, top, and bottom of where I was standing was made of the same smooth concrete material, and the recording took place in the middle of the breezeway. The recording was taken around 5:00 P.M.

Recording Setup: The recorder used was the TASCAM DR-40, and it was placed about 4 feet from the ground and about 5 feet away from the balloon.

Reverberation Time:

Max Intensity: 86.14 dB

30 dB drop: 0.896 seconds

50 dB drop: 2.325 seconds

60 dB drop: the recording never drops 60 dB.

Minimum intensity: 28.342 dB after 4.32 seconds

Back to ambient levels: 32.803 dB after 2.43 seconds

Acoustic Description: The breezeway was not a very open space and resembled a tunnel, so there was quite a bit of reverberation because sound would bounce back after it hit one of the many walls that it would encounter. It is visible form the spectrogram that the echo of the pop was sustained for longer than usual, but eventually returned back to its ambient levels after a couple of seconds. The sound was able to finally escape through the entrances and the exits of the breezeway, but only after bouncing on the ceiling, ground, and walls, which were characteristic of this acoustic space.


Starbucks at the Village, 6:00 PM, Feb 24


Location: Starbucks at the Village

This location was inside the Starbucks inside the Village, next to Pomona College. It is a relatively small-sized shop, with multiple tables and a cozy environment.

Recording Setup: The recording device used was the TASCAM DR-40 Linear PCM Recorder, and it was placed on top of a table in the corner of the shop, next to the entrance.

About the Soundscape: The soundscape was recorded around 6:00 P.M., which seemed to be quite a busy time for Starbucks. There were people moving in and out constantly, and there was never a quiet moment when recording my soundscape. The keynote of this soundscape consists of two components. One has to be the constant indistinguishable conversations of the people around us. I was not able to make out a conversation from other people, but there were some moments where someone would say something louder than normal, such as a high school student exclaiming something to his friends. This would be regarded as more of a signal. Another keynote in this recording was the music playing through the speakers of the shop, and it help set the overall soundscape of a bustling coffee shop. Finally, a soundmark that was present in this soundscape was definitely the prominent sound of the fan and door when someone was entering or exiting the store. It would happen at regular intervals and indicates that this particular Starbucks was having a busy day.