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Framework for Real-Time Auralization in Architectural Acoustics

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Auralization is the process of making audible the acoustics of complex virtual architectural spaces in a realistic and accurate manner. This paper presents a novel real-time auralization software environment comprising a room acoustic modeler, a spatial renderer for auralization, and a visualization and scene graph unit for interactivity. The computation of early reflection paths within the geometric model is based on an efficient beam tracing algorithm capable of real-time detection of specular reflection paths in a static geometry with one or several moving listener(s). For "simple" rooms, the real-time performance is maintained even with dynamic geometries and sources. Results of the room acoustic model consisting of visible reflection paths and their accumulated material attenuation are sent to the audio renderer. From this geometrical and acoustical data, listener position-relative 3D room impulse responses are generated using a higher-order Ambisonics approach. Finally, the spatialized audio output is presented to the listener via multiple loudspeakers or binaurally rendered over headphones. As higher order reflections are more diffuse in nature, they are encoded using lower Ambisonic orders, thereby reducing computational load. The environment combines high quality audio with visual rendering realized using the open source platforms Pure Data and VirChor respectively. This open source auralization framework provides direct audio-visual interaction in real-time and is suitable for VR environments.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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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