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Proceedings of the 2012 Audio Mostly Conference: A Conference on Interaction with Sound

Fullname:Proceedings of the 7th Audio Mostly Conference: A Conference on Interaction with Sound
Editors:Andreas Floros; Andreas Mniestris; Iani Zannos; Theodoros Lotis
Location:Corfu, Greece
Dates:2012-Sep-26 to 2012-Sep-28
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-1569-2; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: AM12
Links:Conference Website
Summary:On behalf of the Local Organising Committee, it is our pleasure to welcome you on the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, for the 2012 Audiomostly (AM'12) conference. With the first Audiomostly conference being organized for first time in 2006, the AM'12 is the 7th in a series of annual conferences organised in co-operation with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). It provides a venue to explore and promote the untapped potential of audio in all its forms (music, sound effects, or dialogue) to engage, convey narrative, inform, dramatize, create attention and enthrall. Towards this aim, multiple disciplines are involved (such as cognitive research and psychology, as well as technological innovations in audio analysis, processing and rendering).
    The conference themes over the past years varied, covering scientific and creative areas such as "Sound in Games", "Interaction with Sound", "Sound and Motion", "Sound and Design" and "Sound and Context". This year (2012) theme is "Sound as Future Vision", aiming to cover ways that in the future may allow sound to play a different role compared to now. In this future sound may also inherit characteristics and significance that the visual component (graphics and vision) has today.
    In this 7th edition, contributing authors propose novel approaches and concepts related to the unexploited potential of audio in computer-based environments. Articles, presentations and demos focus on diverse matters, such as sound design as a mean to convey multiple forms of information and concepts (including emotions), computer / interactive environments where no visual feedback is available, sound in games and mobile applications, modern developments in the employment of sound as a means to support social interaction; and the relation between all the above topics and modern technological developments.
How two players negotiate rhythm in a shared rhythm game BIBAFull-Text 1-8
  Anne-Marie Skriver Hansen; Hans Jørgen Andersen; Pirkko Raudaskoski
In a design and working prototype of a shared music interface eleven teams of two people were to collaborate about filling in holes with tones and beats in an evolving ground rhythm. The hypothesis was that users would tune into each other and have sections of characteristic rhythmical relationships that related to the ground rhythm. Results from interaction data show that teams did find a mutual rhythm, and that they were able to keep this rhythm for a while and/or over several small periods. Results also showed that two players engaged in very specific rhythmical relationships that differed from each other. Video analysis of user interaction shines light upon how users engaged in a rhythmical relationship, and interviews give information about the user experience in terms of the game play and user collaboration. Based on the findings in this paper we propose design guidelines for collaborative rhythmical game play.
The use of sound to represent data and concepts as a means to engender creative thought: some thoughts on implementation and a research agenda BIBAFull-Text 9-15
  Mark Grimshaw; Tom Garner
This paper poses the question: How can sound be used to function analogously to the function of the images in a graph in order to create the conditions for creative thought and insight to occur and thus to facilitate the synthesis of new knowledge? It uses this to develop further questions and a research agenda. In particular, it is concerned with the use of sonification of the non-audio data and concepts represented in a diagram or graph and the techniques that might be used to foster a creative research environment using sound. The ultimate goal of the research agenda is to go beyond sonification and to use sound pro-actively in a Virtual Research Environment in order to create the conditions for creative thinking and insight to occur with the hope that this may then lead to the synthesis of new knowledge.
Sound design: a procedural communication model for VE BIBAFull-Text 16-23
  Mark Nazemi; Diane Gromala
In this paper, we address the issue of sound mapping in virtual environments (VEs). Currently, the use of sound in virtual environments is shifting towards adaptive or generative techniques in which sound no longer has a static quality but is dynamic via real-time controls that modify the tonal characteristics over time. We build upon the acoustic communication model posited by Barry Truax by examining two aspects: how sound mediates information and its importance to the listener through cognitive processing. Using this model and investigating the qualitative aspects of soundwalks, soundscape composition, and sound in virtual reality (VR), we present a hybrid model, which addresses the use of procedural sound design techniques to enhance the communicative and pragmatic role of sound in virtual environments. The end result produces a sonic environment that heightens the listeners' experience and cognitively engages them to sounds within a specific time and space.
Using sound to enhance users' experiences of mobile applications BIBAFull-Text 24-31
  Mats Liljedahl; Nigel Papworth
The latest smartphones with GPS, electronic compass, directional audio, touch screens etc. hold potentials for location based services that are easier to use compared to traditional tools. Rather than interpreting maps, users may focus on their activities and the environment around them. Interfaces may be designed that let users search for information by simply pointing in a direction. Database queries can be created from GPS location and compass direction data. Users can get guidance to locations through pointing gestures, spatial sound and simple graphics. This article describes two studies testing prototypic applications with multimodal user interfaces built on spatial audio, graphics and text. Tests show that users appreciated the applications for their ease of use, for being fun and effective to use and for allowing users to interact directly with the environment rather than with abstractions of the same. The multimodal user interfaces contributed significantly to the overall user experience.
The effects of audio on depth perception in S3D games BIBAFull-Text 32-39
  Brian Cullen; Daniel Galperin; Karen Collins; Bill Kapralos; Andrew Hogue
Although studies have examined sound localization or stereoscopic perception, few have investigated how these phenomena work together. Studies that examine 2D imagery and sound interaction have highlighted numerous phenomena in the temporal, spatial, and the formal domains of each medium. With the resurgence of interest in stereoscopic 3D (S3D), research into the combined effects of S3D and sound is of importance.
   Here we present the results of an experiment that examined the effects of sound on depth perception in relation to S3D video game imagery. Our aim was to answer the question: "can a sound's timbre and/or the addition of distance audio effects influence the user's depth perception accuracy?" Results suggest that depth perception is affected by sound, were sound can distort the apparent depth of audible S3D objects. Results also suggest that audio effects, specifically frequency fall-off over distance effects, can also influence the apparent depth of S3D objects.
Murky shooting: the use of auditory (non-speech) feedback on mobile audiogames BIBAFull-Text 40-43
  Joao Cordeiro; Andre Baltazar; Alvaro Barbosa
In this paper we introduce an effective approach for game design based on auditory, non-speech, feedback. We describe the design and implementation of a mobile application -- Murky Shooting -- that makes use of sound to engage the user in a shooting game experience. Further, we discuss the pros and cons of the mobile version compared with the former desktop version and conclude with a presentation of the preliminary results, which prove that auditory cues solely are sufficient to provide an effective way of interaction, allowing the user to improve his/her performance and keep immersion in the game narrative.
Klang.Reise: new scientific approaches through an artistic soundscape installation? BIBAFull-Text 44-46
  Astrid Drechsler; Hannes Raffaseder; Barbara Rubisch
Klang.Reise is an audio-visual installation created for the exhibition Klang.Land.Schaften at Klangturm St. Poelten in 2011. Main goal was to make soundscapes observable in a museum and to raise awareness for environmental sounds. Five locations were recorded and presented via Ambient Cinema on four screens and multi-channel sound. The variations of the recorded soundscapes of each location over time could be observed and compared in the installation. This investigation focuses on the detailed concept of this project, the documentation of soundscapes for comparative examinations and discusses the installation's possible benefit for soundscape studies.
Improved music similarity computation based on tone objects BIBAFull-Text 47-54
  Johannes Krasser; Jakob Abeßer; Holger Großmann; Christian Dittmar; Estefanía Cano
In this paper, we propose a novel approach for music similarity estimation. It combines temporal segmentation of music signals with source separation into so-called tone objects. We solely use the timbre-related audio features Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC) and Octave-based Spectral Contrast (OSC) to describe the extracted tone objects. First, we compare our approach to a baseline system that employs frame-wise feature extraction and bag-of-frames classification. Second, we set up a system that extracts features on perfectly isolated single track recordings, achieving near perfect classification. Finally, we compare our novel approach against the basis experiments. We find that it clearly outperforms the baseline system in a five-class genre classification task. Our results indicate that tone object based feature extraction clearly improves music similarity estimation.
A novel approach for time-continuous tension prediction in film soundtracks BIBAFull-Text 55-60
  Scott Beveridge
Expectation is an important mechanism in shaping the affective experience of music. Central to this process is the concept of musical tension. The temporal evolution of tension during a piece of music is not only responsible for eliciting emotions but may form the basis for novel time-aware search queries in music information retrieval. This paper introduces a method of modelling musical tension based on automatically computed measures of musical complexity, psychoacoustics and musical structure. The approach involves examining time-continuous annotations of tension and constructing models with a number of regression algorithms. Highest performing models when evaluated with the R2 statistic reached 0.68 with Multiple Linear Regression in a 5 dimension feature space. When independently evaluated on unseen music data the system produced an R2 of 0.64.
A survey of variation techniques for repetitive games music BIBAFull-Text 61-67
  Axel Berndt; Raimund Dachselt; Rainer Groh
How much time will a player spend in an interactive scene? For the majority of game scenarios this is impossible to predict. Therefore, their musical accompaniment is usually disposed to continuously loop until player interaction triggers a change. This approach involves an existential danger: Sooner or later the player becomes aware of the repetitive character of the ambience design; the game scenario emerges as a mere mechanical arrangement and loses much of its integrity.
   In this survey paper we systematize and discuss the common approaches to conceal musical repetition. Furthermore, we complement them by a number of approaches that incorporate arrangement techniques, aspects of expressive music performance, and generative variation methods that work actively against repetitiveness.
Rhythmic walking interactions with auditory feedback: an exploratory study BIBAFull-Text 68-75
  Antti Jylhä; Stefania Serafin; Cumhur Erkut
Walking is a natural rhythmic activity that has become of interest as a means of interacting with software systems such as computer games. Therefore, designing multimodal walking interactions calls for further examination. This exploratory study presents a system capable of different kinds of interactions based on varying the temporal characteristics of the output, using the sound of human walking as the input. The system either provides a direct synthesis of a walking sound based on the detected amplitude envelope of the user's footstep sounds, or provides a continuous synthetic walking sound as a stimulus for the walking human, either with a fixed tempo or a tempo adapting to the human gait. In a pilot experiment, the different interaction modes are studied with respect to their effect on the walking tempo and the experience of the subjects. The results tentatively outline different user profiles in interacting with such a system.
Composing with algorithms: two novel generative composition tools BIBAFull-Text 76-81
  Iain Foxwell; Don Knox
Most composers may at some point struggle with the creative process. Breaking free from writer's block and the composer's own limitations can be achieved through the use of algorithmic approaches to music creation. This project is aimed at development of two algorithmic compositional tools, which can be used within the Digital Audio Workstation Ableton with Max for Live software. The first employs 2nd order Markov chains to aid composers in creation of unique midi melodies. The second approach uses Cellular Automata to select loop points in digital audio files, shuffling audio segments in time to create new patterns. Results suggest these systems have the potential to inspire composers, allow them to augment their compositions, and in turn help them overcome creative problems.
Head gesture sonification for supporting social interaction BIBAFull-Text 82-89
  Thomas Hermann; Alexander Neumann; Sebastian Zehe
In this paper we introduce two new methods for real-time sonification of head movements and head gestures. Head gestures such as nodding or shaking the head are important non-verbal back-channelling signals which facilitate coordination and alignment of communicating interaction partners. Visually impaired persons cannot interpret such non-verbal signals, same as people in mediated communication (e.g. on the phone), or cooperating users whose visual attention is focused elsewhere. We introduce our approach to tackle these issues, our sensing setup and two different sonification methods. A first preliminary study on the recognition of signals shows that subjects understand the gesture type even without prior explanation and can estimate gesture intensity and frequency with no or little training.
A transient-aware frequency domain audio processor BIBAFull-Text 90-93
  Konstantinos Karamitas; Alexandros Tsilfidis; John Mourjopoulos
In this paper, the implementation of a transient-aware, discrete-time audio processor is presented. The processing takes place in the Short Time Fourier Transform (STFT) domain, using a variant of the well known overlap-add technique. The proposed method identifies the presence of transients in the input signal and constantly adapts the analysis-synthesis frame size. Hence, the proposed technique ensures optimal time or frequency resolution, depending on the intrinsic characteristics of each processing frame.
WanderOnStage: the convergence of percussion performance and media technology BIBAFull-Text 94-97
  Chi-Hsia Lai
In this paper, we present the WanderOnStage project and its improvisational performance entitled Untitled #1, created with a focus to engage with the audience within the context of live percussion performance with electronics. This project is carried out with author's experiences of being a percussionist and media artist. The technical solution of WanderOnStage enables the performer to control real-time recording with arm and bodily movements. The wireless device also provides a theatrical potential by allowing the performer to move around freely in the performance space, join the audience as a listener, or motivate audience members to participate performing. This paper traces the design process over matter of concept development, relevant technology, interface design, and the configuration of the concert performance. In addition, the author's experience gained from the concert performance, which involved audience participation is also discussed as well as what has been learnt.
Accessibility considerations in designing a layperson's application for score music description BIBAFull-Text 98-105
  Julian Rubisch; Jakob Doppler; Stefan Schuster; Hannes Raffaseder
The process of composing score music for a movie includes two different types of stakeholders: musical experts (a composer) and non-experts (a movie director, producer, editor etc.). These different preconditions often result in difficulties regarding the interaction and communication between the involved individuals. Here, a threefold approach was taken to address this problem: Extracting salient affective and semantic score music description parameters for musical non-experts; statistical clustering and modeling of the results and using them as ground truth for human and machine-based composition experiments; as well as identifying key factors of a human-computer interface capable of fostering non-expert musical creativity by employing a minimized set of intuitive design parameters.
Small-sized subwoofer system implementation and measurement BIBAFull-Text 106-108
  Theodore Altanis; Fotios Kontomichos; John Mourjopoulos; Giannis Stamatakis
In this paper an implementation for a small-sized subwoofer system is proposed, utilizing three 4-inch drivers. The low frequency reproduction approach adopted here is based on narrow bandwidth loudspeaker design with high quality factors. The desired resonance frequency of each loudspeaker is obtained by increasing the cone mass, in order to minimize the volume of each enclosure.
Affective acoustic ecology: towards emotionally enhanced sound events BIBAFull-Text 109-116
  Konstantinos Drossos; Andreas Floros; Nikolaos-Grigorios Kanellopoulos
Sound events can carry multiple information, related to the sound source and to ambient environment. However, it is well-known that sound evokes emotions, a fact that is verified by works in the disciplines of Music Emotion Recognition and Music Information Retrieval that focused on the impact of music to emotions. In this work we introduce the concept of affective acoustic ecology that extends the above relation to the general concept of sound events. Towards this aim, we define sound event as a novel audio structure with multiple components. We further investigate the application of existing emotion models employed for music affective analysis to sonic, non-musical, content. The obtained results indicate that although such application is feasible, no significant trends and classification outcomes are observed that would allow the definition of an analytic relation between the technical characteristics of a sound event waveform and raised emotions.
6to6Mappr: an educational tool for fast and easy mapping of input devices to musical parameters BIBAFull-Text 117-123
  Steven Gelineck; Niels Böttcher
This paper presents a tool for mapping several commonly available novel controllers to various musical parameters in order to provide technological novices with a way to exploit new forms of musical interaction provided by technology. The tool automatically connects to a control interface specified by the user and maps input parameters of that interface to musical output. Besides being able to select a specific input device, the user can choose between the input parameters, the output device (for instance a physical modeling synthesizer), parameters of that output device and the mapping between the two. The paper presents the motivation, design and implementation of the tool and presents initial experience with using the tool in an educational setting where non-technical conservatory students were introduced to music technology using the tool.
An investigation into immersion in games through motion control and stereo audio reproduction BIBAFull-Text 124-129
  David Manuel; David Moore; Vassilis Charissis
This paper investigates the concept of immersion by means of motion tracking technology and a novel game play experience. A system was developed that allows a user to navigate a virtual soundscape through motion-tracked movement around the bounds of a room. A subjective test was carried out to measure the perceived level of immersion for the motion-tracked systems versus a traditional hand-held control system. Results show that soundfield interaction through motion tracking is capable of producing a more enjoyable and immersive experience when compared to a traditional handheld analogue controller.
Multiplayer audio-only game: Pong on a massive multichannel loudspeaker system BIBAFull-Text 130-134
  Annika Neidhardt; Anna Rüppel
Interactive auditory displays are an interesting possibility presenting information in an alternative way. There have been lots of interesting works using binaural techniques. The use of a loudspeaker system has the advantage that more people can listen to the same data simultaneously. One application, where this is very important, is the audio gaming domain, as multiplayer games are usually more exciting. Additionally, the use of a loudspeaker system allows different dimensions of the game design.
   The main challenge in developing an interactive auditory display for a loudspeaker system is the design of the data sonification and the interaction for data exploration.
   In this paper we present an example implementation of such an interactive auditory display. The famous game Pong has been implemented using an audio-only loudspeaker display instead of a graphical. The goal of this investigation is to gather more experience in the perception of spatial audio-only representation of information.
Visual feedback of acoustic data for speech therapy: model and design parameters BIBAFull-Text 135-140
  Sam Ferguson; Andrew Johnston; Kirrie Ballard; Chek Tien Tan; Dharani Perera-Schulz
Feedback, usually of a verbal nature, is important for speech therapy sessions. Some disadvantages exist however with traditional methods of speech therapy, and visual feedback of acoustic data is a useful alternative that can be used to complement typical clinical sessions. Visual feedback has been investigated before, and in this paper we propose several new prototypes. From these prototypes we develop an iterative model of analysing the design of feedback systems by examining the feedback process. From this iterative model, we then extract methods to inform design of visual feedback systems for speech therapy.
Analysis of the acoustical environment based on the signals' statistics BIBAFull-Text 141-143
  Eleftheria Georganti; John Mourjopoulos
In this study, the results of the ongoing work of the authors on the topic of the analysis of the acoustical environment from reverberant signals will be presented. Initially, some theoretical aspects on the relationships of the statistical quantities of the room transfer functions and the reverberant signals will be given. Then, the way that these statistical relationships can assist acoustical scene analysis methods will be discussed. The advantage of the use of two-channel (i.e. binaural) instead of single channel signals will be underlined. Finally, the implementation details of methods for the estimation of various acoustical parameters from signals will be presented.
Harvesting energy mostly from acoustic signals BIBAFull-Text 144-147
  Charalampos Papadakos; John Mourjopoulos
Nowadays, numerous daily life applications related to wireless networks, sensors, low power electronics, biomedical applications etc. demand small amount of electrical power for their operation. These applications are rapidly increasing and bringing to the fore the need for small scale electrical power generation. To this end, strong efforts are being made to exploit ambient and man made energy sources such as electromagnetic radiation including sun, infrared and RF radiation, thermal sources, mechanical stress and strain, vibrations, biochemistry etc.
   Acoustic signals seem to be such an alternative ambient energy source. Firstly, this work gives an overview of the proposed harvesting methods and systems derived from related patent applications during the past decade. Moreover, a first estimation of the available ambient acoustic power density is presented and then is compared to the ambient power density of the aforementioned energy sources.
Tribalism and local structures in a music and video installation BIBAFull-Text 148-151
  Theodoros Lotis
In a world of globalisation, where economic borders are suppressed whilst national and racial barriers are erected higher, the notions of tribalism and tribal behaviorism remain as dominant and indicative as always. Although tribes no longer exist, in the western world, these notions are nowadays related to groups, such as political or athletic associations, economic factions, trade-union organisations and professional guilds, religious teams, social networks on the Internet, e.t.c. These groups often have simple structures with few significant distinctions between their individuals. Tribalism describes the loyalties that individuals feel towards their group/tribe and the way these loyalties affect their behavior and their attitudes towards others. It also refers to the strong cultural identity that characterises oneself as a member of one group/tribe. These characteristics shape the tribal consciousness and loyalty to the tribal values and to the customs and beliefs of a tribal society. Each time a tribe is in danger of corruptive influences from external sources (other tribes), these values provide for strategies of defense. This paper describes the strategies and methodologies for creating and evolving local structures in a music and video installation. The installation consists of two videos with their unique sound track and a live video, which also contains a triggered sound. A microphone collects, transforms and feeds back sounds and noises generated by the visitors.
Real-time drums transcription with characteristic bandpass filtering BIBAFull-Text 152-159
  A. Maximos; Andreas Floros; Michael N. Vrahatis; Nikolaos Kanellopoulos
Real -- time transcription of drum signals is an emerging area of research. Several applications for music education and commercial use can utilize such algorithms and allow for an easy-to-use way to interpret drum signals in real -- time. The paper at hand proposes a system that performs real -- time drums transcription. The proposed system consists of two subsystems, the real -- time separation and the training module. The real -- time separation module is based on the use of characteristic filters, combining simple bandpass filtering and amplification, a fact that diminishes computational cost and potentially renders it suitable for implementation on hardware. The training module employs Differential Evolution to create generations of characteristic filter combinations that optimally separate a set of given drum sources. Initial experimental results indicate that the proposed system is relatively accurate rendering it convenient for real-time hardware implementations targeted to a wide range of applications.
A classification of audio-based games in terms of sonic gameplay and the introduction of the audio-role-playing-game: Kronos BIBAFull-Text 160-164
  Emmanouel Rovithis
This paper examines the use of sound in designing and structuring the gameplay of Audio-Based games. The classification into different categories and the discussion of existing techniques conclude that there are issues that need to be dealt with: the conflict between a strict system of rules and free improvisation, the sonic description of visual elements and the limited educational role. A brief outline of the work-in-project Audio-Based Role-Playing-Game 'Kronos' suggests how a game can be merged with an instrument on an educational basis.