In Audacity 2.0.5 what do room reverberance perentage cover?

Hi all,

I am having trouble quantifying the room size and reverberance percentage in Audacity 2.0.5 / Windows 7 (installed from .exe).


  1. What does Room Size of 50% mean? Is it approx. 40 m^2 or how is it defined?

  2. What is a reverberance of 50%, does it translate to a specific Reverberation time?

    Hope you can help me out.

Kindest Regards

From the Manual:

Room Size (%): Sets the size of the simulated room. 0% is like a closet, 100% is like a huge cathedral or large auditorium. A high value will simulate the reverberation effect of a large room and a low value will simulate the effect of a small room.

Reverberance (%): Sets the length of the reverberation tail. This determines how long the reverberation continues for after the original sound being reverbed comes to an end, and so simulates the “liveliness” of the room acoustics. For any given reverberance value, the tail will be greater for larger room sizes.

See this page in the Audacity Manual:


Thank you very much for the input.
My apologies for not stating my question more precisely.

Yes I read the links you supplied, but the issue with a percentage is that it is a relative measure, not an absolute.

I mean, how big is a cathedral, is it big as St. Paul’s Cathedral in London or is it the worlds smallest as the Highlandville Cathedral.

And again is 100% reverberance 5 million years or is it 10 seconds?

What I am interested in is to know the physcial ranges of Room Size and the range of the Reverbarance.

I mean, how do these parameters translate in to the actual algorithm?

I guess this is a question for the developers - or is that information available somewhere?

Kindest Regards

I can’t answer your specific questions, but I really don’t think the answers would help you anyway… There are a LOT more variables and two different rooms with the same size & reverb times are not going to sound the same.

The real questions should be can you get a sound you like, and it shouldn’t take too much experimentation to figure that out.

You can get lots of reverbs and they all sound different (even with the same basic settings). And of course, some reverbs will have different settings or more controls/settings.

There are also two different approaches to digital reverb. Algorithmic reverb is the most common and it uses math & algorithms to simulate room reverb (or to create something that doesn’t necessarily sound like a real room).

Then there are impulse response reverbs where someone makes an impulse (like a gunshot) in a real concert hall and records it. You feed the impulse into your reverb to simulate that particular room.

The problem now is that it is quite fiddly to get it right - you have to make the settings, test - and then Undo and try again if it’s not quite right.

We’re hoping in 2.0.7 to be able to make this easier by having real-time adjustment of effects like Reverb which should make tuning it to get what you want. I saw a demo of this in early stages development at our recent Audacity Unconference AU14 in Preston - and it looked impressive.