Serious auralizations

Abstract : Over recent decades, auralizations have become more prevalent in architectural acoustics and virtual reality. Auralizations have numerous use-cases such as multi-modal virtual reality explorations, studies of the acoustical influence of renovations, and historic research. Despite their numerous use-cases, they rarely have been part of scientific studies. Therefore, the goal of this thesis was to examine the use of room acoustical auralizations based on geometrical acoustics (GA) as a scientific tool and aimed to aid in the creation of more ecologically valid historically accurate auralizations. Already in the 1930s first attempts were undertaken to render audible (imaginary) sound fields. Developments over the last 80 years have led to significant improvements of auralizations. Today, if one wishes to create auralizations, generally anechoic recording need to be convolved with either a measured or simulated room impulse response (RIR). GA software are often employed to numerically compute the RIR of complicated geometries. Wave-based methods are computationally intensive, requiring complex geometrical models and complex input data. This thesis aims to enhance the quality of fully computed auralizations. For this purpose the calibration of room acoustical models and the inclusion of dynamic voice directivity were studied. Room acoustical measurements were carried out in four rooms and geometrical acoustics models were created of the same spaces. A methodical calibration procedure was proposed, carried out in the four rooms, and first validated by means of parameter estimation comparison. Subjective listening tests which compared measured and simulated auralizations for three spaces found that the auralizations were equally perceived for 8 tested acoustical attributes. Subsequently, a framework was presented which enabled the inclusion of dynamic voice directivity. The results of listening tests indicated that perceptual differences between dynamic voice directivity and regular static source ordinations in plausibility and envelopment of the auralization as well as perceived width of the source. With the improved ecological validity of the auralizations it was possible to study the influence of visualizations on the acoustical experience, with a reasonable degree of confidence that perceived effects are also applicable in real-life situations. For this purpose, a framework was established which enabled multi-model assessments of theater plays and concerts. Results of a visual-aural coherent multi-modal listening test confirmed the perceptual differences between dynamic and static voice directivity auralizations. A second listening test employing this framework which compared incoherent to coherent aural-visual cues indicated that with increased visual source-receiver distance auralizations are perceived acoustically more distant and louder.
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Barteld Postma. Serious auralizations. Human-Computer Interaction [cs.HC]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017SACLS091⟩. ⟨tel-01561147⟩

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