Preference Test and Seat Selection System of Concert Hall on the Internet

First proposal for the project funded by TAO (Telecommunications Advancement Organization of Japan) in 2002


Generally, the criterion of selecting a seat in a concert hall is a good stage view. The ticket price becomes expensive for the seats close to the stage. It is not widely recognized, however, that the sound quality changes a lot by the position inside the hall. Also, it has been found that there is the individual difference in the preference of the sound qualities, such as sound volume and reverberance, and the preference is influenced by the kind of music performed. We think that the audiences can obtain higher satisfaction if they know their preference of sound and listen to the music at their suitable seats. What we propose in this project is the system by which the audience can choose the seat in the concert hall based on their preference and can purchase a ticket on line.

Goal of the project

We aim at the development of the following three items in the project.

High quality sound field reproduction on the Internet
It is important to give audiences the chance of experiencing the sound of concert halls before they know what sound they prefer. The equipment which can carry out the virtual sound experience of a music hall is called the Auralization system, and attracts attention as the state-of-the-art technology in room acoustics. But previously, it required expensive equipment at the laboratory level. We aim at reproducing the concert hall sound field on the Internet by using the consumer-level audio equipment.

Subjective preference test system
We use Ando's preference theory as a method to evaluate audience's sound preference. Evaluation indices are 1) sound level, 2) reverberation time, 3) initial time delay gap, and 4) inter-aural cross-correlation. Those parameters have been found to affect the subjective preference of sound field independently. Subjects are asked to listen to the pairs of music pieces with controlled sound effects and to judge which one they prefer. We construct the Web based application for this subjective test. Measured values of those parameters in the actual hall or the calculated values by the computer simulation based on the image method are used to control the sound motif.

Seat selection and online ticket sales
After the subjective test, the rank of each seat is calculated by comparing the users' preferred values and the seat's measured values of four acoustic parameters. Results are shown as a seating map with different colors depending on their "matching score". Users can make reservations for the seat after they confirm what sound is heard at that seat.

Work plan

Sound field reproduction on the Internet (Collaboration with Prof. Ando)
To reproduce the sound field of concert halls, the above mentioned acoustic parameters are controlled. Measured values in the actual halls or the calculated values by the computer simulation are used. Sound fields can be reproduced by adding the reflections with appropriate time delay and amplitude, or by convolving the binaural impulse responses with the sound source. To make the quality of reproduced sound field not to be affected by user's sound reproduction equipment, we try to develop the reproduction method using the consumer level equipments.

Seat selection based on the preference test (Collaboration with Prof. Ando)
We develop the Web application by which the sample music is replayed, the subjective test is performed, the preference score of the seats is calculated, and the seating map is displayed. We examine the validity of the subjective test on the Web by comparing it with the results performed in the laboratory.

Online ticket sales
We construct the online ticket sales system which is linked with the seat selection system. The validity of the system is tested in several concert halls in Japan.


Ando, Y. (1985). Concert hall acoustics, Springer-Verlag, New York.

Ando, Y. (1998). Architectural acoustics -Blending Sound Sources, Sound Fields, and Listeners-, AIP Press/Springer-Verlag, New York.