Tools and Widgets for Spatial Sound Authoring

Jens Herder. Tools and Widgets for Spatial Sound Authoring, CompuGraphics'97, Sixth International Conference on Computational Graphics and Visualization Techniques: Graphics in the Internet Age, Vilamoura, Portugal, pp. 87-95, GRASP, ISBN 972-8342-02-0, December 1997

Broader use of virtual reality environments and sophisticated animations spawn a need for spatial sound. Until now, spatial sound design has been based very much on experience and trial and error. Most effects are hand-crafted, because good design tools for spatial sound do not exist. This paper discusses spatial sound authoring and its applications, including shared virtual reality environments based on VRML. New utilities introduced by this research are an inspector for sound sources, an interactive resource manager, and a visual soundscape manipulator. The tools are part of a sound spatialization framework and allow a designer/author of multimedia content to monitor and debug sound events. Resource constraints like limited sound spatialization channels can also be simulated.

Full paper: [Postscript gzip] [Postscript plain] [PDF gzip] [PDF plain] [HTML] [Slides]


For best results in the following demonstration, which contains HRTF-processed sound, we recommend that you listen using high-quality stereo headphones. If you need the files in a different format, let us know. We tried to reduce the movie file size by reducing the image quality, but for the audio we use full CD quality.
  • Sound Spatialization Resource Visualizer [quicktime] (15.0 MB) [wav] (9.2 MB) [aiff] (9.2 MB)
    manual The left side shows the virtual reality environment. On the right, the sound spatialization resource visualizer let us monitor in a graphical way active and passive sound sources.
  • Audible range [quicktime] (4.8 MB)
    manual The virtual reality environment (i.e., the vr designer) specifies an audible range for sound sources. The spatialization resource visualizer has a mode to show the ranges and help to monitor and "debug" the soundscape.
  • Deformation of the soundscape [quicktime] (12.6 MB) [wav] (6.6 MB) [aiff] (6.6 MB)
    manual With the soundscape deformer the user enlarges, squeezes, and finally shrinks the acoustical space to a point, so that all sound sources are experienced from the same point somewhere in us.

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