Development and exploration of a timbre space representation of audio

Nicol, Craig Andrew (2005) Development and exploration of a timbre space representation of audio. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Sound is an important part of the human experience and provides valuable information about the world around us. Auditory human-computer interfaces do not have the same richness of expression and variety as audio in the world, and it has been said that this is primarily due to a lack of reasonable design tools for audio interfaces.There are a number of good guidelines for audio design and a strong psychoacoustic understanding of how sounds are interpreted. There are also a number of sound manipulation techniques developed for computer music. This research takes these ideas as the basis for an audio interface design system. A proof-of-concept of this system has been developed in order to explore the design possibilities allowed by the new system.The core of this novel audio design system is the timbre space. This provides a multi-dimensional representation of a sound. Each sound is represented as a path in the timbre space and this path can be manipulated geometrically. Several timbre spaces are compared to determine which amongst them is the best one for audio interface design. The various transformations available in the timbre space are discussed and the perceptual relevance of two novel transformations are explored by encoding "urgency" as a design parameter.This research demonstrates that the timbre space is a viable option for audio interface design and provides novel features that are not found in current audio design systems. A number of problems with the approach and some suggested solutions are discussed. The timbre space opens up new possibilities for audio designers to explore combinations of sounds and sound design based on perceptual cues rather than synthesiser parameters.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Computer science
Date of Award: 2005
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2005-74229
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33

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