Acoustic Ray Propagation in an Ellipsoid
by Marlyn Li
Abstract – Concert hall designs have long been contested in acoustical engineering circles due to the multitude of factors that need to be considered in their geometry. With the increasing digitization of music comes the increased need for immersive recording techniques. Traditional recording techniques involve placing a microphone on or near an instrument, which presents several compromises to sound because instruments are largely designed to be experienced at a distance so that the sound can reverberate through the space it is in. The purpose of this paper is to apply the unique reflective property of light rays within ellipses to sound waves in an ellipsoid. Through using a program to simulate sound waves in an ellipsoid, we show that sound converges at the focus of an ellipsoid. We then make the case for the merits of the use of ellipsoidal geometry in recording applications where the concert hall experience is meant to be simulated.