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The Journal of Sonic Studies
Journal of Sonic Studies, volume 6, nr. 1 (January 2014)Iain McGregor; Phil Turner; David Benyon: USING PARTICIPATORY VISUALISATION OF SOUNDSCAPES TO COMPARE DESIGNERS’ AND LISTENERS’ EXPERIENCES OF SOUND DESIGNS

To refer to this article use this url: http://journal.sonicstudies.org/vol06/nr01/a08

3.5 Other designs

Design 05 was a short film that had music and sound effects, but no dialogue (Video 2). The designer identified 45 sound events, but only 23 of these were recalled by the listeners (see Table 11). Twelve of the events that listeners were unaware of were classified as uninformative by the designer, but all the events that the listeners were aware of were classified as informative (18) or neutral (5) (see Figures 10 and 11).

VideoObject2: Video 2: Short film

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Table 11: Key for figures 10 and 11

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Figure 10: Designer’s short film visualisation

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Figure 11: Listeners’ short film visualisation

Design 06 was a 30 second soundscape composition, composed of a piece of music and sound samples of a person playing flute by a stream (Audio 4). The designer identified 15 sound events and made full use of the width and depth codes (see Table 12, Figures 12 and 13). The listeners were aware of 9 of the events and did not perceive such a wide spatial distribution. They combined the two pieces of flute music into a single sound event.

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Table 12: Key for figures 12 and 13

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Figure 12: Designer’s soundscape composition visualisation

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Figure 13: Listeners’ soundscape composition visualisation

Design 07, a 42 second section from a radio drama, consisted of 14 sound events, 5 speaking characters, and 9 sound effects (Audio 5). One event identified as unclear by the designer was not noticed by the listeners, but otherwise they were aware of all the events (see Table 13, Figures 14 and 15). The characters were also classified in emotional terms, with the Aesthetics as being neutral, rather than pleasing or displeasing.

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Table 13: Key for figures 14 and 15

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Figure 14: Designer’s radio drama visualisation

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Figure 15: Listeners’ radio drama visualisation

Design 08 was a set of audio logos (audio branding) that often form part of an advert; here the aesthetics, clarity, and emotional response were most important (Audio 6). The designer considered all but 4 of the sounds to be pleasing, whereas the listeners classified only 5 as pleasing (see Table 14, Figures 16 and 17). The outcome of this evaluation could be useful to feed back to the designers what people actually thought of the designs.

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Table 14: Key for figures 16 and 17

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Figure 16: Designer’s Audio logos visualisation

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Figure 17: Listeners’ Audio logos visualisation

Design 09 was an abstract composition, included to see if the visualisations could be used for representing complex soundscapes (Audio 7). It was presented in surround sound to the listeners. There were 26 sound events, all classified by listeners and the designer as sound effects, and the listeners were aware of all of these (see Table 15, Figures 18 and 19).

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Table 15: Key for figures 18 and 19

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Figure 18: Designer’s Abstract composition visualisation

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Figure 19: Listeners’ Abstract composition visualisation

Design 10 consisted of a 30 second audio sequence of film sound effects (Audio 8). The listeners were only aware of 18 of the sound events out of a total of 32 (see Table 16, Figures 20 and 21). Listeners were unaware of all of the sound events that the designer classified as soft. However, it did not follow that listeners were aware of each loud sound event.

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Table 16: Key for figures 20 and 21

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Figure 20: Designer’s film sound effects visualisation

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Figure 21: Listeners’ film sound effects visualisation

In table 17 it is possible to see that a few of the attributes were rated similarly such as Type, Temporal, Spectral and Emotions. There were small differences in Material in relation to the rating of liquid and gas. There were pronounced differences in Interaction, Dynamics, Content, Aesthetics and Clarity. In terms of Interaction listeners rated more sound events as continuous than the designers. For Dynamics listeners tended more towards the mid value, whereas for Content listeners more often rated the sound events as informative than the designers did. Finally, listeners found a greater percentage of the sound events to pleasing and clear than the designers considered them to be.

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Table 17: Summary of classification for designs 5-10[2]