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Background and Practical Examples of Sound Design

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Aurally-adequate recording and analysis technique using the Artificial Head in combination with psychoacoustic calculation has been used since 1980 in several industrial sectors for achieving sound quality and designing sound. Today, it is not sufficient to define only an objective sound quality metric that describes the harmonization of a sound with the related product (design aspect), but also to consider the customer's expectation (cognitive aspect).

For discussion about acoustic quality it is necessary to define this term. One possible definition is that of Blauert [1] which describes acoustic quality as the degree to which the totality of the individual requirements made on an auditory event is met.

For an objective and subjective definition of acoustic quality the use of a standardized Artificial Head Measuring System is advantageous. A measurement procedure which applies this technology and includes examinations of the test object in the free-field and under real installation conditions, can mean a suitable basis for a succeeding subjective evaluation. Several analysis methods, such as A-weighted SPL (also in selected frequency bands), stationary loudness, FFT, order analysis and modulation spectrum can be used to define the sound quality.

The usefulness of the described method is demonstrated in this paper by several practice-related examples referring to anti-tracking control, sound design of an exhaust system, and door slam sound. For the examination of the latter sound with its short-time duration and its broad frequency spectrum a new algorithm by Sottek is used which calculates the excitation distribution versus time. Such a calculation method allows the differentiation of slight differences in frequency and rapidly changing time structures simultaneously, and therefore corresponds directly to human hearing characteristics.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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