Audio Ease has released acoustics samples (impulse responses) of Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur India, the second largest dome in the world.
Arjen van der Schoot, leading the recording sessions at the monument in February 2007, says:
"If you walk into the place the internal size of it is humbling, but you soon forget because you'll be taken by the acoustics as soon as you start making sound. The reverb in Gol Gumbaz is so staggering that Indian people travel for days just to hear it. And when they arrive they find a hundred people inside screaming at the top of their lungs, so there really is hardly any opportunity for anyone to appreciate it. It took us two years to get the proper permissions and clearing the place for a couple of hours. Busloads of people were held at the gate so we could do our work in silence in the astonishing whispering galleries, where, when it is silent, you can count 10 echoes to your whisper."
It all started with a letter in August 2005 from a local audio technician, Rahul Atul Manthalkar. It said:
"Dear Sir, I would like to enlighten you that since you have captured the greatest impulses and have made plugins with the best of reverbs. I thereby would urge you to build a plugin with perhaps the richest ever reverbs that any one has ever heard. Hold your heart ...I really mean what I say. In eyes and ears of an Audio engineer It could only be the GOL GUMBAZ of Bijapur in INDIA as an acoustic wonder of the world which has the richest acoustic reverb ever in the universe."
Arjen van der Schoot says:
"I am glad Mr Manthalkar contacted us back then , as we are now in the possession of the most stunning reverb tail I have came across in my career. I set our recording gear up in many large places like sports stadiums and cathedrals. But Gol Gumbaz tops it all by at least 5 seconds. A hand clap could be heard 14 seconds later. Turn up the volume in the recording and there are 6 more."
Audio Ease has posted a full account of the sampling expedition and an MP3 of this acoustic marvel. Plus of course Altiverb users can download the samples for free and use the reverb on their own material.