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New Record: Longest Reverberation Ever Created

by Matt Price on January 16, 2014
longest echo

Longest Reverberation Ever

Firstly you might be wondering what the previous record for the Longest Reverberation in a man-made structure was. This record was 15 seconds for a door slam in Hamilton Mausoleum, in Scotland. As we all know 15 seconds is a long time to wait when your just listening. This new Longest Reverberation record will surprise you even more.

The new Guinness World Record for the Longest Reverberation in a man-made structure was also broken in Scotland in Rossshire. Deep under the highlands calved out of solid rock is the Inchindown complex near Invergordon. It's original purpose was for oil storage in World War II and acted as a massive bomb shelter. Invergordon was a key Naval Anchorage point for Scotland and so supplies for oil had to be ensured.

Now when I mentioned the complex was big, the tank was designed to hold 25.5 million litres of fuel and has walls 45 cm thick. There are no doors to this complex either so Trevor Cox, Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford and author of Sonic Wonderland: A Scientific Odyssey of Sound, had to enter through the 18inch diameter pipes.

So here is what a gun shot sounded like inside the complex and at 125hz it reverberated for a massive 112 seconds!!! on your laptop you wont be able to hear the full range but you get the idea. The overall bandwidth consisting of reverb time for all frequencies was 75 seconds!

Longest Reverberation Gunshot

Sound Effects: Typical reverberation times at mid-frequency

  • Living room: 0.4 seconds
  • Opera house: 1.2 seconds
  • Concert hall for classical music: 2 seconds
  • St. Paul's Cathedral: 9.2 seconds

 Typical Sound Levels

  • The loudest purr of a domestic cat (67.7 decibels)
  • The loudest burp by a male (109.9 decibels)
  • The loudest clap (113 decibels)

So there you have it, the longest echo in the world! and another reason to visit Scotland

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