Octave band noise analyser, manufactured by General Radio, United States of America, in the 1940s

This octave band noise analyser was used by architect and acoustician Hugh Vivian Taylor.

Hugh Vivian Taylor started practice as an architect in Victoria, Australia during 1923 and in acoustics in 1928. The arrival of "talking pictures" in Australia in 1929 required acceptable acoustic conditions to ensure satisfactory reproduction of the sound. From 1930 to 1941 he acted as consultant for at least 434 theatres and public halls.

Acoustic equipment is used to measure the intensity of sound within an environment, for example outdoors or within a building.

The equipment consists of a microphone and sound level meter to pick up the sound, an analyser to determine the properties of the sound, for example, frequency and intensity, and an output meter to measure these properties. In some cases, sounds are produced using test records, for example in a building,

The key instrument is the sound level meter with its microphone. All the other instruments take their input from the sound level meter. These instruments include sound and vibration analysers and tape recorders.

This octave band analyser, and another instrument called the sound analyser, are used to measure the intensity of selected bands of sound frequencies within the audio range. An inbuilt meter is used to measure the intensity within the band. Sound analysers deal with narrow bands while octave band analysers deal with wider bands.

Physical Description

Timber case with lid with two sides with black leather style covering and two sides in metal, with chrome catches. Lid can be removed to reveal panel with controls and meter.


The arrival of 'talking pictures' in Australia in 1929 required theatres to have appropriate acoustic characteristics. From 1930 to 1941, H. Vivian Taylor was the architectural and acoustical consultant for at least 434 theatres and public halls.

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