Sound is often perceived simultaneously via the auditory and the tactile sense. E.g., you hear and feel the vibrations in a car. Even in a concert hall vibrations above the perception threshold can be measured. However, those are usually not perceived separately, because they are integrated with the other senses into one multimodal concert experience.


SweetSpotter GUI

To investigate the audio induced vibration generation in the Semperoper Dresden, I conducted a couple of experiments to measure the transfer function between sound pressure and acceleration at different listener positions.

Room impulse responses have been measured binaurally using a dummy head and for all directions individually using a spherical microphone array. This data is used to reproduce the opera house acoustically via wave field synthesis in the Multi-Modal Measurement Lab at the Chair of Communication Acoustics, TU Dresden for further perceptual experiments.

Accelerometers at the ground, seat and arm rests are used to measure the vibrations generated by the sound.

SweetSpotter GUI

SweetSpotter GUI


Transfer functions at low frequencies between acceleration at the ground and sound pressure level in ear height for all measurement positions. This corresponds to the difference between acceleration level and sound pressure level Lacc - LSPL.

A horizontal line at 0 dB would correspond to comparable levels for sound and vibrations.


The measurements confirm perceivable audio induced vibrations in the opera house for a surprisingly broad frequency range. Previous studies have already shown the importance of specific vibrations for sound reproduction. A positive effect of stronger vibrations could also be expected in a concert hall.

Want to know more? A detailed discussion and more measurement results can be found in the following publications.

AOA Merchel, S., Altinsoy, M.E. (2013). Music-Induced Vibrations in a Concert Hall and a Church, in Archives of Acoustics, 38(1), pp. 13-18.
PDF logo Merchel, S. & Altinsoy, M.E. (2012). Der Konzertsaal bebt - Vibroakustische Messungen in der Semperoper Dresden, in Proceedings of the DAGA 2012 - 38th German Annual Conference on Acoustics, Darmstadt, Germany.
  more to come ...