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When sound is produced in an enclosed space multiple reflections build up and blend together creating reverberation. This is most noticeable when the sound stops but the reflections continue, decreasing in amplitude, until they can no longer be heard. The time it takes for the level of the reverberation to decay 60 decibels is known as the reverberation time, or RT(60).

Cathedrals, gymnasium, indoor swimming pools, large caves etc. are examples of spaces where the reverberation can clearly be heard.

Reverberation can make it difficult to hear speech. If the reverberation from one syllable overlaps the next syllable it may make it impossible to hear. Cat, cab, and cap, will all sound the same.

Different types of music tend to sound best with different reverberartion times during a live performance, classical music and choral music tend to require longer reverberation times than modern rock and Popular music, for example.

Reverberation times are ususally different at different frequencies, depending on the acoustics of the space.

Reverberation can be created artificially for both acoustical and recording purposes.

There are several different electronic mechanisms used to create a reverberation effect: