Compression properties of air

Discussion in 'Mixing & Editing' started by Badger123, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Badger123

    Badger123 Active Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    I'm trying to track down any research that's been done into the natural compression properties of air at different frequencies. Anyone got any links?
  2. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Are you talking about the sound transmission properties of free air at a given frequency over a long distance?

    Do you mean how much air is compressed measured in pascals? Check the wikipedia on SPL

    To me it sounds like you are suggesting that air acts as a signal level compressor.
  3. Badger123

    Badger123 Active Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    I'm interested in how when you move a mic away from an instrument you hear less transient detail. This must mean that the transient part of the wave has been dampened by the air. I was wondering if this effect has been researched. Exactly which frequencies are less prone to this damping effect? How many ms does the damping occur last at different frequencies? What other things does it depend on?
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    What you are looking for are models of damping, not compression. Try searching for terms like "frequency dependent damping." There are some standard modifications to the wave equation that exhibit this, but I'm not sure how accurate they are. A quick search shows you a lot of research papers in the area. (Most of them on solids, however.) All of the models I am aware of exhibit a monotone increase of damping with frequency (and usually the dependence is pretty simple).
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Sound travels better in a humid environment compared to a dry environment. The reverb in church is longer in the humid summertime and shorter in the dryer winter months. So humidity is a factor.

    Sound travels faster through water & concrete than it does through air.

    Recording bricks breathing
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  6. Link555

    Link555 Distinguished Member

    Mar 31, 2007
    North Vancouver
    _>>>Exactly which frequencies are less prone to this damping effect?

    A snippet--->

    "The amount of absorption depends on the frequency of the sound. A high frequency sound has many cycles in a second, and the particles in the medium are therefore vibrating very rapidly. Just as when you rub your hands together very rapidly, this produces more heat than if you rub your hands together slowly. Since the molecules get their energy to vibrate from the sound wave, the sound wave will run out of energy sooner when it is a high frequency sound. This means that, under the same conditions, a high frequency sound won't travel as far as a low frequency sound."

    Great Topic By the way!
  7. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    I think I get it.

    A salt water bass-trap would be better then a fresh water bass-trap!
  8. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Another, much more basic explanation of why transient detail decreases with more distant mic placement is the logarithmic decay of sound energy. Remy is right that sound travels faster in humid air, but that applies at any given temperature. Given the same humidity level, sound travels faster in cold air than warm air since the air molecules are more densely concentrated. Airplanes get more lift in cold air for the same reason.
  9. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Isn't it related to 1/d^2, not logrithmic (log(d))?

    Another reason is that the convolution of the echo's create loss of detail of the transients.

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