Author Archives: Vyas Savanur

Seeley G. Mudd Quadrangle, Sunday, February 3, 2:00 PM


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Location: The quad between the four inner dorms of Harvey Mudd College. This is a grassy area with paved pathways running along the sides and dividing up sections of grass into large squares of about 250 square feet. The four inner dorms, each shaped like the letter U, open up into the quad. The recorder was placed in the middle of one of these grassy squares on top of the padded carrier it came with.

About the soundscape:

Keynotes: At the very beginning of the recording, the wind makes its appearance and establishes itself as a prominent keynote of this area. Throughout the recording, there are moments when the wind overpowers all other sounds of this soundscape, but this is mostly due to the microphone having no shielding. Another keynote might be the sound of aircraft over the quad. During the recording, two different aircraft fly overheard and this sound should be considered a keynote since this happens so often and it is not always noticed.

Soundmarks: The main sound that comes to mind is the music playing in the background. If you ever travel to the quad during the afternoon or night, you will most likely hear one of the dorms blasting music from speakers. This is a sound that is important to the community around the quad and unique to this area.

Signals: In the second half of the recording, there is a span of several seconds where there seems to be some clapping going on. Clapping is usually a signal of some sort and this might have been applause of some sort for someone performing in the quad. Also, there is human conversation throughout which is another signal.

Acoustic Space: Case Courtyard 6:30 PM







Location: Case Dorm courtyard, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA

Description of the space: The courtyard is a lowered area in the center of the building that forms the dorm. The dorm building is two stories tall and forms a shape resembling the letter C. The building material seems to be some sort of pink brick. The courtyard has two main levels, with some wooden tables on each of the levels. The upper level is at the same level as the base of the building. The second level is 6 steps below the level of building.

Recording setup: The balloon was popped 5 feet above the lower level of the courtyard. The recorder was placed on a table 3 feet away from the balloon.

Reverberation time:

Max intensity: 75.25 dB

30 dB drop: 45.25 dB @ 0.2 seconds

50 dB drop: 25.27 dB @ 0.75 seconds

Minimum intensity: 20.10 dB @ 2.3 seconds

Back to ambient: 24 dB @ 1 second

Acoustic Description: There does not seem to be any interesting acoustic qualities in this space. I think the main reason for this is due to there being no roof overhead. The courtyard is surrounded by walls except for one pathway that leads into the courtyard. If there was a roof, a lot of the sound would be reflected around the courtyard multiple times before dying down in intensity or escaping through the pathway.