Critical Distance: How Far Can Musicians and Choir Members Be Spaced from Each Other?

First proposed by Wallace Sabine, critical distance is the physical distance where the sound arriving directly from the source would equal the reverberant or reflected sound level in the room. This critical distance is proportional to the physical size of the room and inversely proportional to the reverberation time which can vary depending on the acoustic qualities of the room. This article looks at the concept of critical distance for choir members and musicians, and debuts a new amplification device, HearHooks, as a possible strategy for addressing spacing concerns.