Virtual Reality

, Volume 19, Issue 3–4, pp 161–180 | Cite as

Creation and calibration method of acoustical models for historic virtual reality auralizations

  • Barteld N. J. PostmaEmail author
  • Brian F. G. Katz
SI: Spatial Sound


Virtual reality provides the possibility for interactive visits to historic buildings and sites. The majority of current virtual reconstructions have focused on creating realistic virtual environments, by concentrating on the visual component. However, by incorporating more authentic acoustical properties into visual models, a more realistic rendering of the studied venue is achieved. In historic auralizations, calibration of the studied building’s room acoustic simulation model is often necessary to come to a realistic representation of its acoustical environment. This paper presents a methodical calibration procedure for geometrical acoustics models using room acoustics prediction programs based on geometrical acoustics to create realistic virtual audio realities, or auralizations. To develop this procedure, a small unfinished amphitheater was first chosen due to its general simplicity and considerable level of reverberation. A geometrical acoustics model was calibrated according to the results of acoustical measurements. Measures employed during the calibration of this model were analyzed to come to a methodical calibration procedure. The developed procedure was then applied to a more complex building, the abbey church Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A possible application of the presented procedure is to enable interactive acoustical visits of former configurations of buildings. A test case study was carried out for a typical seventeenth-century configuration of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés.


Auditory VR Calibration Acoustic archeology  Auralization Geometrical acoustics Virtual heritage 



The authors would like to thank the personnel of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés for their help in organizing the acoustic measurements, Daniel Furlan for his overall help during the Project, and Andrew Tallon of Vassar College for his advice concerning the historic configuration of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Thanks to Bengt-Inge Dalenbäck, CATT-Acoustic, for the numerous and lengthy informative discussions. Final thanks are for the 3D laser scan, provided by Andrew Tallon, and the architectural plans and sections, provided by Pierre Bloy Géometre-Expert D.P.L.G., architects of a recent renovation of said building.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LIMSI-CNRSOrsayFrance

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