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Download PDF Master Handbook of Acoustics Fifth Edition by F. Alton Everest


Sound can be viewed as a wave motion in air or other elastic media. In this case, sound is a stimulus. Sound can also be viewed as an excitation of the hearing mechanism that results in the perception of sound. In this case, sound is a sensation. These two views of sound are familiar to those interested in audio and music. The type of problem at hand dictates our approach to sound. If we are interested in the disturbance in air created by a loudspeaker, it is a problem in physics. If we are interested in how that disturbance sounds to a person near the loudspeaker, psychoacoustical methods must be used. Because this book addresses acoustics in relation to people, both aspects of sound will be treated.

Sound is characterized by a number of basic phenomena. For example, frequency is an objective property of sound; it specifies the number of waveform repetitions per unit of time (usually one second). Frequency can be readily measured on an oscilloscope or a frequency counter. On the other hand, pitch is a subjective property of sound. Perceptually, the ear hears different pitches for soft and loud 100-Hz tones. As intensity increases, the pitch of a low-frequency tone goes down, while the pitch of a highfrequency tone goes up. Fletcher found that playing pure tones of 168 and 318 Hz at a modest level produces a very discordant sound. At a high intensity, however, the ear hears the pure tones in the 150- to 300-Hz octave relationship as a pleasant sound. We cannot equate frequency and pitch, but they are analogous.

A similar duality exists between intensity and loudness. The relationship between the two is not linear. Similarly, the relationship between waveform (or spectrum) and perceived quality (or timbre) is complicated by the function of the hearing mechanism. A complex waveform can be described in terms of a fundamental and a series of harmonics of various amplitudes and phases. But perception of timbre is complicated by the frequency-pitch interaction as well as other factors.


  1. Fundamentals of Sound 
  2. Sound Levels and the Decibel 
  3. Sound in the Free Field
  4. The Perception of Sound  
  5. Signals, Speech, Music, and Noise 
  6. Reflection 
  7. Diffraction 
  8. Refraction 
  9. Diffusion 
  10. Comb-Filter Effects
  11. Reverberation
  12. Absorption 
  13. Modal Resonances
  14. Schroeder Diffusers 
  15. Adjustable Acoustics 
  16. Control of Interfering Noise 
  17. Noise Control inVentilating Systems
  18. Acoustics of Listening Rooms 
  19. Acoustics of Small Recording Studios
  20. Acoustics of Control Rooms 
  21. Acoustics of Audio/Video Rooms 
  22. Acoustics of Large Halls
  23. Acoustic Distortion 
  24. Room Acoustics Measurement Software 
  25. Room Optimizer
  26. Room Auralization

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