Sound in New Media and Design Studies

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"The effect of new media on the computerization of cultural practices has moved to a new level and has become more open, common, and prevailing as we deal with new forms of artistic creation and design processes in supporting higher education. Massive changes have occurred in the way frameworks for new media studies have been constructed, and they have had a significant effect on higher education in which sound studies are taught. In the past, sound has not received much attention in new media research and studies. Instead, the emphasis has been on visual processing and representations. Today, imagining an auditory paradigm that targets new modes of reflection in sound domain activities—activities that result in new forms of interactions in cultural, aesthetic, urban, and media contexts—is easy. Computational tools and new media play an increasing role in this process..."

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Audio Education: Theory, Culture, and Practice is a groundbreaking volume of 16 chapters exploring the historical perspectives, methodologies, and theoretical underpinnings that shape audio in educational settings. Bringing together insights from a roster of international contributors, this book presents perspectives from researchers, practitioners, educators, and historians. Audio Education highlights a range of timely topics, including environmental sustainability, inclusivity, interaction with audio industries, critical listening, and student engagement, making it recommended reading for teachers, researchers, and practitioners engaging with the field of audio education. Daniel Walzer is an assistant professor of music at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Mariana Lopez is a senior lecturer in sound production and postproduction in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media at the University of York.
This article discusses how Sonic Fictiona concept developed by cultural theorist Kodwo Eshuncan be regarded as a cogent mechanism with which to develop Speculative and Critical Design (SCD) projects, using subjects of sound, music, and listening as their driving force. Through a dissection of the base premises of sonic fictions, this article aims to expand the perspectives taken so far by SCD projects in order to encompass languages other than those informed by the usual theories, as well as to broaden the spectrum of possibilities for sound-based practices within the field. In doing so, it suggests sonic fiction as a decolonial epistemology for assessing design questions.
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This paper describes an experiment to investigate the effectiveness of adding sound to tool palettes. Palettes have usability problems because users need to see the information they present, but they are often outside the area of visual focus. We used nonspeech sounds called earcons to indicate the current tool and when tool changes occurred so that users could tell what tool they were in wherever they were looking. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of tasks performed with the wrong tool. Therefore, users knew what the current tool was and did not try to perform tasks with the wrong one. All of this was not at the expense of making the tool palettes any more annoying to use.
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Sonic Interaction Design (SID) is an emerging field that is positioned at the intersection of auditory display, ubiquitous computing, interaction design, and interactive arts. SID can be used to describe practice and inquiry into any of various roles that sound may play in the interaction loop between users and artifacts, services, or environments, in applications that range from the critical functionality of an alarm, to the artistic significance of a musical creation. This field is devoted to the privileged role the auditory channel can assume in exploiting the convergence of computing, communication, and interactive technologies. An overemphasis on visual displays has constrained the development of interactive systems that are capable of making more appropriate use of the auditory modality. Today the ubiquity of computing and communication resources allows us to think about sounds in a proactive way. This workshop puts a spotlight on such issues in the context of the emerging domain of SID.
Conference Paper
Interactive virtual environments are often focused on visual representation. This study introduces embodied and eyes-free interaction with audio-haptic navigation environment (AHNE) in a 3-dimensional space. AHNE is based on an optical tracking algorithm that makes use of Microsoft-Kinect and virtual objects are presented by dynamic audio-tactile cues. Users are allowed to grab and move the targets, enabled by a sensor located in a glove. To evaluate AHNE with users, an experiment was conducted. Users' comments indicated that sound cues elicited physical and visual experiences. Our findings suggest that AHNE could be a novel and fun interface to everyday resources in the environment such as a home audio system in the living room or a shopping list by fridge.
Directional audio coding (DirAC) is a perceptually motivated technique for spatial audio processing. One aim of DirAC is the high-quality reproduction of spatial audio using existing microphones and a surround loudspeaker setup. DirAC analyzes in short-time windows the sound spectrum together with the direction and diffuseness in the frequency bands of human hearing, and uses this information in the synthesis of spatial audio. Previous DirAC technology is extended by presenting an enhanced way of utilizing virtual microphones in synthesis. Subjective evaluations in both an anechoic chamber and a listening room are also presented. In a direct comparison with a reference scenario generated by using a large number of loudspeakers, the average perceived quality of reproduction of DirAC was excellent or good in almost all listening conditions. DirAC fared well, without problems, for all loudspeaker configurations tested.
We present the evaluation of a methodological design framework that supports expert and novice designers in creating auditory artefacts in human-technology interaction. We first motivate the development of our framework by analysing available guidance ...
Auditory-Visual Interactions in Helmet-Mounted Displays: Sensation, Perception, and Cognition Issues
  • Scharine Clarence
  • E Rash
  • Michael B Russo
  • Tomasz R Letowski
Scharine, " Auditory-Visual Interactions, " in Helmet-Mounted Displays: Sensation, Perception, and Cognition Issues, Clarence E. Rash, Michael B. Russo, Tomasz R. Letowski, and Elmar T. Schmeisser, ed. (Fort Rucker, AL: U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratorty, 2009), mil/publications/HMD_Book09/files/ HMD_Book09.pdf. (accessed November 22, 2012).