St Andrew's Church

Title: St Andrew's Church
Category: Church Capture Date: 16th December 2004
St Andrew's - Exterior
St Andrew's Interior - Setup
St Andrew's Interior - Chancel Acoustic Jars
St Andrew's Interior - Acoustic Jars Closeup
St Andrew’s Church, built in the 14th Century, has one of the finest examples of in-situ acoustic jars (vases or pots) in the UK.  These jars were common to European church construction in the late Middle Ages and are said to be based on the ideas of Roman architect Vitruvius, who discussed the use of resonant jars in the design of amphitheatres to provide clarity of voice presentation.  They are designed as Helmholtz resonators, giving narrow band energy absorption according to the natural frequency of the jar although there is little conclusive acoustical evidence to show that they behave as designed.  Studies suggest that the success or otherwise of these devices depends on the number of jars used and their placement, as well as the characteristics of the building and jars themselves.   In anechoic and reverberant chambers the absorption effects of such jars are weak and highly selective, although can be significant below 200Hz.  Together with their additional diffusive effects, the jars potentially help to eliminate strong normal modes and hence can be made effective with careful tuning and positioning.  St Andrew’s Church has 11 jars placed high in the chancel, 6 in the north wall and 5 in the south, arranged at irregular intervals such that there are no directly opposite pairs.
Location: Lyddington, UK Size (Approx): 2600m3
Source: Log. Swept Sine; 20-22k Hz; 15s long Input: Genelec S30D
Source Location: Centre of altar steps, chancel Mic Location: Centre of nave
Source-Microphone Distance: 11.5m
ISO 3382 - T30:
Freq (Hz) 31.5 63 125 250 500 1k 2k 4k 8k 16k
T30 (s) 2.04 2.01 1.44 1.28 1.23 1.49 1.46 1.24 0.86 0.51
Microphone: Soundfield SPS-422B
B-format: W and X Channels
B-format: Y and Z Channels
Microphone: ORTF Neumann SKM-140
Stereo - ORTF
Links and Resources:

A more detailed consideration of the acoustic jars present on this site is discussed in:

D. T. Murphy, "Multi-channel Impulse Response Measurement, Analysis and Rendering in Archaeological Acoustics", 119th AES Convention, Paper No. 6532, New York, USA, Oct 7-10, 2005. Available Here.

Submitted by damian on 24 November, 2006 - 10:46.