Audio Communication Group

Projects in progress

Somunicate

In order to make auditory human-technology interaction efficient, reduced and useful in the future, this project investigates sound interactions, so-called functional sounds. A machine learning-based system is being developed that can predict functional and brand-personal communication goals based on audio data. The acoustic characteristics that make up an "urban" sound or a "notification sound" are summarized by design recommendations.

Cultural Data Analysis of Production Cultures in Classical Music

The project aims to lay the foundations for media production research in the field of classical music. By means of job shadowing in foreign recording studios, a deeper understanding of production cultures is to be created. In order to make the actions of the sound engineers in the production process visible, visualizations of the entire montage process will also be developed.

Concert Life in Vienna 1780–1830. Performances, Venues, and Repertoires

Viennese concert life around 1800 was one of the most vibrant periods in music history. Much of today's classical concert repertoire was written between 1780 and 1830 and was first performed in Vienna. At the same time, there is only very sketchy information about which pieces were performed in which places by which performers and in front of which audiences. In collaboration with the Institute of Musicology at the University of Vienna, where the Audio Communication department is primarily concerned with the architectural and acoustic analysis of concert venues, a database is therefore to be created in which information from a large number of sources sighted in the project will converge.

The promotion of noise-conscious behavior

On behalf of the Federal Environment Agency, we are investigating how environmental noise affects people. In addition to the sound field itself, the influence of characteristics related to the situation and the persons, and in particular the influence of participation in noise-related public participation on noise awareness and noise behavior will be investigated. The results should provide information about possible factors to be considered in order to achieve a more noise-reduced and noise-aware society.

Room acoustic design through generative acoustics

In room acoustic planning, the designs are usually generated by experts, evaluated through room acoustic simulations and then iteratively developed further until a desired behaviour is achieved. In generative design, this process is controlled by an algorithm that independently generates, analyses and modifies various acoustic designs towards an optimum defined by specified target parameters. This makes it possible to explore a much wider range of possible – and eventually unconventional – solutions.

© Pierre Adenis (für visitBerliN)

Classical music concerts - concert hall or streaming?

How do subjective experience and audience differ from presence concerts, cinema concert broadcasts and online live streams of classical music? What AV media are used by classical music enthusiasts today? Have preferences changed as a result of the pandemic? We investigated these and other questions together with the Philharmonie Berlin in a representative online survey study.

Testing psychoacoustic parameters for innovative noise reduction strategies.

Together with the Department of Technical Acoustics / Psychoacoustics at the Technical University of Berlin and the company HFC Human-Factors-Consult, we are investigating, on behalf of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), which perceptual qualities people associate with road traffic noise and which technical parameters can be used to describe them.

A torso model for dynamic HRTF rendering

Head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) are essential for generating 3-D sound in virtual and augmented reality. This project aims to model the effect of head motion using computationally efficient IIR filters. These filters will be developed based on a database of simulated HRTFs for more than 1,000 head orientations.

SeamLess

The SeamLess software system aims at a combined use of different spatial sound reproduction methods, such as Wave Field Synthesis and Ambisonics, in a robust, user-friendly workflow.

The rendering back-end is based on free and open source components, running on multiple Linux servers, thus allowing the operation of large loudspeaker setups. Using a send-based signal routing paradigm with an OSC message distribution software, the individual rendering engines can be combined seamlessly and extended with additional methods. Content can be created and played back using digital audio workstation projects which are unaware of the reproduction systems and make use of OSC automation plugins.

Completed projects

Theater sounds

Theatrical noise is an important stage device about which little knowledge has been collected. As a cultural practice, it can be understood as a counter-tradition to music that has produced alternative instruments, namely theatrical noise makers such as rain and thunder machines. With the arrival of electroacoustics in theaters in the 20th century, sound production devices transformed from mechanical to electroacoustic and later to digital.

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Singer adaptation to room acoustics

Singers tend to adapt to the acoustics of the room in which they perform, but this effect was not quantified. Performance recordings in 8 different venues together with acoustic measurements of these rooms allowed to conduct a statistical analysis to investigate the degree of correlation between the musical features extracted from the singing recordings and the room acoustic parameters.

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Sound field synthesis for an optimized control of Line Arrays

In the project on "Sound field synthesis for optimised controlling of line array systems in sound reinforcement technology", algorithms for optimising the geometry and control of line array systems were developed in cooperation with Four Audio GmbH & Co. KG. These systems are used for sound reinforcement of large audience areas (e.g. in arenas, at open-air events).

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Seeing and hearing on the ancient Forum Romanum

In cooperation with the Institute of Archaeology (Prof. Susanne Muth) and the Institute of Cultural Studies (Prof. Christian Kassung) within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence "Image - Knowledge - Design" of the HU Berlin, the acoustics of important political meeting places of classical antiquity, such as the Forum Romanum in Rome or the Acropolis in Athens, were analyzed visually and acoustically using computer models.

Konzertwesen und Konzerträume in Japan

The project investigated the development of public concerts in Tokyo between the beginning of the Meiji era in 1868 and the end of the Second World War. In the process, the specifically Japanese preconditions were elaborated as well as the partly explicit references to European and American models with regard to performance venues and practical aspects of concert organisation. The study documents all performance venues used for symphonic concerts in Japan before 1945 with regard to their form, size, capacity and acoustics. Since the majority of the relevant halls are no longer preserved in their original condition, CAD models were created for all buildings, transferred to a room-acoustic simulation software and in this way room-acoustic parameters for the occupied and unoccupied condition were calculated.

Artist-to-Business-to-Business-to-Consumer Audio Branding System

In the TU side of this EU joint project, we investigated the extent to which brand attributes (such as: "sportiness", "elegance", "reliability") can be represented by musical content and its acoustic properties, and what role the cultural context of the listeners plays in this context. Based on these findings, a method and a tool were developed with the help of machine learning and music information retrieval, with which brands and marketing agencies can automatically identify a selection of music titles from large music archives that match the respective brand profile and automatically generate playlists from them, for example as a programme for an in-store sound system.

Acoustics of edge absorbers

The acoustic behaviour of edge absorbers, which achieve high degrees of absorption especially in the low-frequency range, was analysed and optimised by measurements in the reverberation chamber and in Kundt's tube. To demonstrate the effectiveness, the department's seminar room H 3001 was equipped with edge absorbers, which completely eliminated the previously existing acoustic problems.

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Design, Development and Dissemination of New Musical Instruments

The processes of electronic sound synthesis are associated with a practically inexhaustible repertoire of musical expression possibilities, but at the same time with a dissolution of the originally immanent connection between player, physical instrument and sound production. Through an interdisciplinary combination of expertise in the fields of musicology, musical acoustics and music technology, composition and design sciences, the 3DMIN project was working out conditions for the acceptance of musical instruments and for the accessibility of the space of possibilities they open up. Furthermore, prototypes for new musical interfaces were rethought and the concepts developed were documented and made accessible to the public.

'Teatro'. Bühnentechnik und Raumakustik im Theaterbau des 16. Jahrhunderts

In a cooperation between the departments of architectural history and historical building research at RWTH Aachen University and the department of audio communication at TU Berlin, a comparative analysis of six preserved and largely unchanged theatre buildings of the Renaissance was undertaken. The Teatro Farnese in Parma (1618) and the Teatri Olimpici in Vicenza (1580) and Sabbioneta (1587) were considered as three interior theatres, while the Villa Imperiale in Pesaro (1530), the Corte Cornaro in Padua (1524) and the Château de Maulnes in Burgundy (1560) were studied as examples of open theatre courtyards.

Survey Musik und Medien

The project provided representative data on the media technologies and types of offers used individually or in combination for everyday music consumption in Germany in 2012. Complementary to this, qualitative interviews were used to analyse why and how members of different social milieus and age groups combine the old and new possibilities of media music reception in the form of the identified musical audio media repertoires, and to what extent this points to changing social functions of music in everyday life.

Simulation und Evaluation akustischer Umgebungen

The research group "Simulation and Evaluation of Acoustic Environments (SEACEN)" dedicated itself to improve the signal chain of virtual acoustics: From the simulation of acoustic environments in the computer model and the recording of real sound fields by microphone arrays to the coding of spatial sound signals and the reproduction by sound field synthesis or binaural technology.

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Die musikalisch-klangliche Konstruktion des Raums und ihre Technik

The project examined the historical development of spatial audio technologies as well as the music produced with these tools, which was analysed with regard to its respective spatial disposition. This included compositions such as Kontakte by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Prometeo by Luigi Nono, the Polytopes by Iannis Xenakis, auditory spatial works by the architect and sound artist Bernhard Leitner or installations by other sound artists or Kunstkopf Hörspiele from the early 1970s onwards.

Medium und Emotion

How do the emotional effects of live and medially transmitted music differ? Does a higher transmission quality or a more comprehensive and accurate simulation of the physical conditions of a musical performance enable the listener to have a more intense aesthetic and emotional experience? The use of modern methods of virtual acoustics such as dynamic binaural synthesis and sound field synthesis enables a convincing simulation and thus a direct experimental comparability of the different musical reception conditions.

Concert versus media reception

In the age of media music, the question arises as to which factors determine the medial transformation of music and audio content and how it affects the recipient. The dynamic auralisation of binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs), which allows a plausible reproduction of any real acoustic environment that is in principle indistinguishable from reality in powerful systems, now opens up the possibility of immediately switching fundamentally different simulated reception situations. This was used in the project to carry out the first direct empirical comparison of live performances (concert hall) and electro-acoustic transmissions using conventional microphone recording methods and loudspeaker arrangements (media reception). A binaural measurement robot developed at the department provided a fast, automated measurement of the required BRIR data sets in high audio quality.

Wellenfeldsynthese für einen großen Hörsaal

Der Hör- und Veranstaltungssaal WellenFeld H 104 der TU Berlin verfügt über das weltweit größte System zur Wellenfeldsynthese (WFS). Um den gesamten Saal mit einem Fassungsvermögen von rund 640 Plätzen zieht sich auf Kopfhöhe ein Band von über 2700 Lautsprechern im Abstand von 10cm. Diese werden von einem Computer-Cluster mit 832 Audio-Kanälen angesteuert.

Virtual Electronic Poem

Virtual Electronic Poem (VEP) ist ein Versuch zur Rekonstruktion des Poeme électronique, eines verlorenen Meisterwerks der Medienkunst und der elektroakustischen Musik, mit Technologien der virtuellen Realität.