The computer modeling of acoustic spaces is becoming a highly developed art. In 1992, MLA was awarded a Phase I SBIR grant by the National Science Foundation to develop an acoustic modeler using ray tracing. Ray tracing is a mathematical technique wherein sound is modeled as an arrow or ray that is emitted by the sound source and flies around a room reflecting off the internal surfaces. The sound source has a given sound power level and emits a hedgehog of rays that include frequency and directivity information. When a ray intercepts a surface it is reflected or scattered. Its level can be reduced if the surface is absorptive.
Accordingly, we began a program of computer coding based on our in-house loudspeaker modeling software to generate rays within an acoustic space and follow them around a room as they interact with the interior surfaces. At the same time we began experiments with three dimensional sound reproduction.