Is there anything wrong with just using your ears? I can recognize just
about anything recorded in Carnegie Hall, Music Hall in Cincinnati or the
Dorothy Chandler in LA.

As to a scientific approach, when I was working (in 1999) on the recorded
remnants left behind by J. Walter DeVaux (1892-1952, Cincinnati Masonic
composer and organist) I had a homemade recording I suspected was made in
Cincinnati's Scottish Rite Masonic Hall. I went to the hall, clapped my
hands and calculated the decay in the room. With engineer Jack Ison I
rebuilt the room in a digital delay, and played the recording through it,
backing off some to account for the tiny bit of room sound that was left in
the original.

I was able to determine that the recording was made elsewhere, probably in a
small chapel rather than in the Masonic Hall, which has a cavernously high

So reverse this process. If you had the acoustic parameters of a room
already mapped out in a delay you could use it reconstruct room sound, but
you have to account for the room sound already present in the source.  

I apologize if this is not relevant to the topic, and I'll shut up now.

David N. Lewis
Assistant Classical Editor, All Music Guide
1168 Oak Valley Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
734 887 8145
"I think musicians should be able to write any kind of music - opera,
oratorio, chamber, songs, or even ragtime." - Sir Arthur Bliss

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Matthew Barton
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 8:43 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] analyzing room acoustics to identify recording

Not long ago I heard an engineer complain that the problem with current
recordings is that "they're all made in the same room, and that room is
called Pro Tools."

Matthew Barton
American Folklife Center
The Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20540-4610
phone: (202) 707-1733
fax: (202) 707-2076
email: [log in to unmask]

>>> [log in to unmask] 2/22/2005 11:48:33 PM >>>
With an acoustic recording, you might use a Time Energy Frequency
waterfall display of the material. A fairly distinct pattern may
For a non-acoustic recording that won't work well, because of
reverb that is added in random amounts. I would think that recordings
from the later 50's and through the 60's you might have some success
though, by identifying the echo chamber signatures of various studios.
They are pretty distinctive, but since the later recordings may have
been tracked in several locations and mixed in several, there isn't
to work with there.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven C. Barr
Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2005 10:34 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] analyzing room acoustics to identify recording

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Young" <[log in to unmask]>
> This is almost a forensic question. I am looking at a
> number of recordings made in different studios and
> performance venues, and I would like to know if there
> is some reasonable way to analyze the room acoustics
> (decay rate, frequency spectrum etc) to be able to
> locate where recordings (or parts of recordings) were
> made. It seems that there must be some tool for
> quantifying what the ear tells you is different.
> For example, you can often spot Studio 8H when you
> hear it.  Is there a tool that can sniff at a
> recording and, if not tell you where it's from, take
> an acoustical fingerprint that you can match other
> recordings against?
I've witnessed this being done for acoustic recordings...I have a
good friend, with an excellent ear, who could aurally identify the
source company of recordings by listening to them!

As far as electric recordings, I can't say specifically...

Steven C. Barr