Abstract

This thesis presents the challenges and current state of the art related to soundscapes modeling and design. The concept of soundscape comprises various fields of knowledge and craft: from scientific to technical and artistical. Moreover, current scenarios demand new digital content creation (DCC) paradigms focused on user generated content (UGC) platforms and on-line repositories of sound assets, like Freesound. The work carried out focuses on DSP methodologies that can be used to support the creation and design of soundscapes. We stress their relationship with the nature of interactive and immersive environments.

One application area is explained for the use-case of 'sound concepts' that need to be modeled using material from various recordings, carried using different setups or sound design techniques. An homogenization algorithm is presented with the aim to reach a certain homogenization across groups of samples by means of auditory-based features. Then, a study about the transformations that can be applied using this model are presented as equalization methods. To support the development and evaluation of the techniques presented, a prototype in Matlab and the integration of a SuperCollider server with the game engine Unity3d have been carried. Additionally, some applications and use-cases are also mentioned within the contexts of interactive (non-linear) and linear sound design.

Keywords:

Audio, DSP, Sound Design, Games, Simulation, Soundscapes, Analysis, Synthesis, Interaction, Content-based audio transformations, Cognition, Perception.

Sound Experiments

Homogenization


ORIGINAL Footsteps over ice


HOMOGENIZED Footsteps over ice (MEL-scaled filter bank, 3 iterations)



ORIGINAL Footsteps over concrete and ice

HOMOGENIZED Footsteps over concrete and ice (MEL-scaled filter bank, 8 iterations)



ORIGINAL Siren and alarm sounds

HOMOGENIZED Siren and alarm sounds (Gammatone filter bank, 2 iterations)



ORIGINAL Speech

HOMOGENIZED Speech (MEL-scaled filter bank)

HOMOGENIZED Speech (Gammatone filter bank, 2 iterations)


Source to target transformations


Cepstral envelopes (computed using LPC analysis) comparison.

SOURCE Slow water stream

TARGET Medium water stream

TRANSFORMED SOURCE TO TARGET Slow to medium water stream

TRANSFORMED SOURCE TO TARGET Slow to medium water stream (8 iterations)


Timbre variations

ORIGINAL Snare sound

VARIATIONS Snare sound (MEL-spaced filter bank)



ORIGINAL Footstep over ice

VARIATIONS Footstep over ice (MEL-spaced filter bank)



ORIGINAL Keychains shake

VARIATIONS Keychains shake (MEL-spaced filter bank)



MFCC computation for 8 timbre variations (red)
across 13 coefficients of an original step over ice sound (blue).

Downloads

Thesis report [PDF ~4 MB] Alternate download from the MTG-UPF

Presentation slides [PDF ~1.7 MB]

6th Audio Mostly paper [PDF ~0.5 MB] ACM Digital library link

Sound experiments [ZIP Various MP3 192kbps@44100Hz ~5.2 MB]

UnityOSC, an Open Sound Control implementation for Unity3d

Unity3d scripts for the Soundscapes server [ZIP ~36 KB]

Matlab source code and test sounds [ZIP ~7 MB]

Demo binaries (Win, Mac) and Unity3d project [ZIP ~176 MB]

Citations

Thesis

Garcia, J. (2011). Samples Homogenization for Interactive Soundscapes. MSc thesis in Sound and Music Computing. Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain.

@mastersthesis { Garcia2011, title = {Samples Homogenization for Interactive Soundscapes}, author = {Garcia, J.}, school = {Universitat Pompeu Fabra}, year = {2011} }

Conference articles

Garcia, J.; Kersten, S. & Janer, J. (2011). Towards equalization of environmental sounds using auditory-based features. AudioMostly conference, Coimbra (Portugal). Published by ACM, New York (US).

@inproceedings{ GarciaKerstenJaner2011, title = {Towards equalization of environmental sounds using auditory-based features}, author = {Garcia, J.;Kersten, S.;Janer, J.}, booktitle = {AudioMostly conference, Coimbra (Portugal)}, year = {2011} }

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