St Stephen’s Church

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Location 5: St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Newtown
Time: 4:30pm, Thursday 15th June, 2017

St Stephen’s is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture and is another church designed by the architect Edmund Blacket. It is comprised of a small to medium sized nave and altar with walls made of Sydney sandstone, a cross beam timber roof and large supporting arched columns made of Melbourne bluestone. The floor is tiled with thick carpet running the length of the aisles.


Figure 1. Looking toward the altar from the rear of the church.

The church was empty for the recording however the exterior environment could be heard clearly through the non-sealed timber doors. The interior noise floor was relatively high due to the intrusion of traffic, nature and mechanical noise sources, however the diffusivity and absorption of surfaces within the space has given the reverberation a very pleasant characteristic. A 5 minute background noise recording demonstrates the continuous noise level.

St Stephens Leq

Figure 2. Measured noise level showing a build up of high frequency energy consistent with a space of this size.

Impulse responses using a sine sweep were recorded at the front, middle and rear of the church with a binaural response recorded with a balloon pop. Figure 3 shows reverb time and figure 4 shows frequency response as a function of level.


Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 2.50.53 pm

Figure 3. Reverberation time was slightly longer at low frequencies.

St Stephen's Frequency Response

Figure 4. Frequency response was quite uneven across the three measured positions.

Binaural recordings were taken at three locations across the church. The predominant sound sources are external; aircraft, vehicles and nature all providing focal points throughout each of the recordings.

Scene 1 – Rear of the church looking toward the altar

Scene 2 – Middle of the church looking toward the altar

Scene 3 – Front of the church looking toward the rear


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