II. Auditory Icons
Use of recordings of real-world sounds to
signal events. Real-world sounds, if selected
correctly, can carry lots of intrinsic meaning
because of our experience with them.
Typical System: Gaver's Sonic Finder System
Examples: Glass Breaking for error, Rooster Crowing
for schedule alarms, "Yippee" for successful compile,
"NDope" for errors on compile, etc.
Problems with real-world sounds are that they don't
mean the same thing to all people (like icons too),
they can become tiresome, sometimes they take more
time to play than the information they carry, etc.
More abstract (than auditory icons) sonic events.
These are Hierarchical, and can be concatenated
and mixed to build up complex meanings.
The work of
Meera Blattner (the inventor of the term Earcon)
Stephen Brewster's page and thesis on Earcons.
Here's Perry's Earcon Designs for Tom Pirelli's Arial Home:
Dog coming in
Lawyer on phone
Dog on phone
The mapping of data relationships to auditory relationships
for the purpose of communicating and/or comprehending
relations in the domain under study.
Some Existing Auditory Display Systems
CAITLIN: A Musical Program Auralisation Tool to
Assist Novice Programmers with Debugging
Department of Computer Studies, Loughborough University
ADSL: An Auditory Domain Specification Language
for Program Auralization
LSL: A Specification Language for Program Auralization
Sonnet: Audio-Enhanced Monitoring and Debugging
FAUST: A Framework for Algorithm Understanding
and Sonification Testing
LISTEN: Sounding Uncertainty Visualization
MUSE: A Musical Data Sonification Toolkit
University of California Santa Cruz
V. Some Psychoacoustics
Human hearing is sensitive to (in rough order):
- Frequency, Pitch
50 Hz. to 4KHz
0.5% changes perceived
0.2 events/second to 20 events/second
4% changes perceived
- Spatial Location
360 degrees in the plane of our ears,
above and below, and distance too.
4-6 degrees, depending on nature of sound.
- Intensity, Loudness
100 dB (factor of 10,000,000,000)
20% changes perceived
Defined as "everything which is not
pitch or loudness"
Impulsive vs. sustained, nasal, bright, ...
- Voice Quality
breathy, creaky, strained, ...
Home Page of the International Community of Auditory Display
Specifically check the
Annotated Bibliography Here.
Some Non-Web References Made from Dead Trees:
"Auditory Display: Sonification, Audification, and Auditory Interface"
Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity
Proc. Vol. XVIII
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1994.
"Multimedia Interface Design"
M. Blattner and R. Dannenberg eds.
Reading, MA: ACM Press/Addison-Wesley, 1992.
"Auditory User Interfaces"
T. V. Raman
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, 1997.
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