Re-sonification of objects, events, and environments

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Digital sound synthesis allows the creation of a great variety of sounds. Focusing on interesting or ecologically valid sounds for music, simulation, aesthetics, or other purposes limits the otherwise vast

Digital sound synthesis allows the creation of a great variety of sounds. Focusing on interesting or ecologically valid sounds for music, simulation, aesthetics, or other purposes limits the otherwise vast digital audio palette. Tools for creating such sounds vary from arbitrary methods of altering recordings to precise simulations of vibrating objects. In this work, methods of sound synthesis by re-sonification are considered. Re-sonification, herein, refers to the general process of analyzing, possibly transforming, and resynthesizing or reusing recorded sounds in meaningful ways, to convey information. Applied to soundscapes, re-sonification is presented as a means of conveying activity within an environment. Applied to the sounds of objects, this work examines modeling the perception of objects as well as their physical properties and the ability to simulate interactive events with such objects. To create soundscapes to re-sonify geographic environments, a method of automated soundscape design is presented. Using recorded sounds that are classified based on acoustic, social, semantic, and geographic information, this method produces stochastically generated soundscapes to re-sonify selected geographic areas. Drawing on prior knowledge, local sounds and those deemed similar comprise a locale's soundscape. In the context of re-sonifying events, this work examines processes for modeling and estimating the excitations of sounding objects. These include plucking, striking, rubbing, and any interaction that imparts energy into a system, affecting the resultant sound. A method of estimating a linear system's input, constrained to a signal-subspace, is presented and applied toward improving the estimation of percussive excitations for re-sonification. To work toward robust recording-based modeling and re-sonification of objects, new implementations of banded waveguide (BWG) models are proposed for object modeling and sound synthesis. Previous implementations of BWGs use arbitrary model parameters and may produce a range of simulations that do not match digital waveguide or modal models of the same design. Subject to linear excitations, some models proposed here behave identically to other equivalently designed physical models. Under nonlinear interactions, such as bowing, many of the proposed implementations exhibit improvements in the attack characteristics of synthesized sounds.