Vienna Talk 2015 on Music Acoustics
“Bridging the Gaps”     16–19 September 2015


An automatic acquisition system for measuring the directional characteristic of musical instruments

Lahmer, Martin and Mayer, Alexander 

Proceedings of the Third Vienna Talk on Music Acoustics (2015), pp. 167–172


Obtaining data on the directional characteristics of musical instruments can be both time-consuming and demanding in terms of equipment. This paper explains the construction of an affordable automatic turntable system, for measuring the radiated sound as a function of angle and frequency in one plane. An initial test was carried out on two brass instruments excited by an artificial mouth and two stringed instruments driven by a shaker. The second part of this paper deals with the further processing of the obtained values. As the sound pattern data can be stored in an online database (MySQL), the directional characteristics are accessible via a web-interface. The user is able to display the measurements as single plot (e.g. for each angle), as polar-plot or colormap. This interface represents the first part of a planned Musical Instrument Measurement Database (MIMD) for collecting diverse measurement data of different kind of musical instruments.


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  • directional characteristics
  • sound pattern
  • radiated sound
  • measurement database

  • Status
    not reviewed

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