HEAD acoustics GmbH

Germany

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Germany
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News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

3D Sound Labs, the 3D/VR Audio specialist, announced today that its 3D Audio technology is ready to be used by professional audio content creators and artists at the MainBerlin Studio in Berlin, for 3D Audio content production. The studio is the first to deploy the 3D Audio solution provided by Sfëar, Eurecat's brand for binaural 3D audio production tools, as a result of a private joint initiative with 3D Sound Labs, and Voodoopop. "We are proud to be the first commercial studio in Europe with a full Sfëar set-up powered by 3D Sound Labs and believe in the new possibilities that we can achieve working with immersive audio," said Peer Neumann, co-owner at MainBerlin. Ulrich Wirth, sound designer added: "Having an ambisonic-to-binaural system with real time head tracking enables us to work in real 3D audio and freely convert between binaural and 3D reproduction to deliver to anyone regardless of their technical setup. The Sfëar tools are very intuitive and fast to use and open countless new doors for creation. We are convinced we have one of the most powerful tools for the emerging demand of immersive media right here at our fingertips." To further on the development of 3D audio technologies, since 2016, 3D Sound Labs decided to partner with 4 other European companies (Eurecat, HEAD acoustics GmbH, Antenna International and Voodoopop) to create the BINCI consortium, encompassing all the different expertise areas involved in the 3D Audio creative workflow: recording production, post-production, exhibition and delivery. The BINCI project (which stands for binaural tools for the creative industries) started early 2017 and received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The goal is to deliver market ready solutions proven in real production environments. Artists and content creators will have the ability to test the BINCI tools throughout the development phases. Indeed, the setup at MainBerlin Studio will be made available to validate early-on with professional end-users the new, experimental technologies that are being developed by the BINCI project. Moreover, the BINCI project has recently been recognized by VERTIGO's program of artistic residencies as one innovative R&D project in the field of information and communication technologies. The VERTIGO program is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) supported by the H2020 Program of the European Commission with the goal to boost synergies between artists, creative people and technologists. Their program of artistic residencies, with a total budget of 900 k€, aims to fund the participation of at least 45 artists in R&D selected projects. Applications are now open and will close on May 22nd, 2017 (For more information and to apply for a residency:http://vertigo.starts.eu/call-for-artistic-residencies. "3D/VR audio provides a new degree of freedom for artistic minds. They can choose where to position each instrument and immerse the listener in a dynamic spatial audio scene, or blur the lines between recorded and live music events," said Dimitri Singer, CEO at 3D Sound Labs. "It's a new opportunity for the music industry. With our partners within the BINCI project, 3D Sound Labs is building the proper tools to record and play back music in ways we've never been able to before." 3D Sound Labs is a French VR Audio technology company. It develops 3D/VR Audio software technologies as well as hardware (3D Audio headphones and motion tracking modules) to enable immersive and realistic experience of spatial sound over headphones thanks to its HRTF-based Ambisonics binaural engine. Its SDK will be integrated into BINCI tools which will be compatible with the companies' head tracking hardware. Sfëar is a new generation of 3D audio solutions that opens up the world of spatial sound to content creators and professionals alike. Sfëar is Eurecat's commercial brand for their 3D Audio and binaural tools. BINCI is a European consortium composed by five partners (Eurecat, HEAD acoustics GmbH, 3D Sound Labs, Antenna International and Voodoopop) with funds from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. BINCI's main objective is to develop an integrated software and hardware solution to ease the production, post-production and distribution of binaural 3D audio content meant to be experienced by consumers through headphones. BINCI tools for binaural 3D audio production will be fully suitable to develop professional applications in the creative industries (e.g. music, video games, virtual and augmented reality, etc.). Eurecat is the leading Technology Centre of Catalonia with extensive experience in developing cutting-edge audiovisual technologies for the media sector and the creative industries. It provides the industrial and business sector with solutions to their innovation needs and boosts their competitiveness in a fast-paced environment. Eurecat is the project coordinator and leads the software development of binaural plugins and tools. HEAD Acoustics GmbH is one of the world's leading companies for integrated acoustics solutions, as well as sound and vibration analysis. With more than 30 years of consolidated expertise, it contributes to the project with its expertise on acoustic measurements devices, leading the work concerning hardware for acoustic measurements and equalization. Antenna International is the world's leading provider of audio and multimedia visitor experiences in the global cultural arena, counting with offices and teams around the world. The company will be in charge of implementing the experimental production pilots to be carried out in cultural and touristic sites. Voodoopop is a small Berlin-based, creative lead animation and production studio producing image films, music videos and TV clips, and recently orienting towards immersive experiences like VR and 360 degrees video. Keen to experiment with the latest audiovisual technologies and to offer their clients innovative, immersive and unique experiences, Voodoopop will have a central role in forming the project's user group and testing the tools developed.


News Article | May 11, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

3D Sound Labs, the 3D/VR Audio specialist, announced today that its 3D Audio technology is ready to be used by professional audio content creators and artists at the MainBerlin Studio in Berlin, for 3D Audio content production. The studio is the first to deploy the 3D Audio solution provided by Sfëar, Eurecat's brand for binaural 3D audio production tools, as a result of a private joint initiative with 3D Sound Labs, and Voodoopop. "We are proud to be the first commercial studio in Europe with a full Sfëar set-up powered by 3D Sound Labs and believe in the new possibilities that we can achieve working with immersive audio," said Peer Neumann, co-owner at MainBerlin. Ulrich Wirth, sound designer added: "Having an ambisonic-to-binaural system with real time head tracking enables us to work in real 3D audio and freely convert between binaural and 3D reproduction to deliver to anyone regardless of their technical setup. The Sfëar tools are very intuitive and fast to use and open countless new doors for creation. We are convinced we have one of the most powerful tools for the emerging demand of immersive media right here at our fingertips." To further on the development of 3D audio technologies, since 2016, 3D Sound Labs decided to partner with 4 other European companies (Eurecat, HEAD acoustics GmbH, Antenna International and Voodoopop) to create the BINCI consortium, encompassing all the different expertise areas involved in the 3D Audio creative workflow: recording production, post-production, exhibition and delivery. The BINCI project (which stands for binaural tools for the creative industries) started early 2017 and received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The goal is to deliver market ready solutions proven in real production environments. Artists and content creators will have the ability to test the BINCI tools throughout the development phases. Indeed, the setup at MainBerlin Studio will be made available to validate early-on with professional end-users the new, experimental technologies that are being developed by the BINCI project. Moreover, the BINCI project has recently been recognized by VERTIGO's program of artistic residencies as one innovative R&D project in the field of information and communication technologies. The VERTIGO program is a Coordination and Support Action (CSA) supported by the H2020 Program of the European Commission with the goal to boost synergies between artists, creative people and technologists. Their program of artistic residencies, with a total budget of 900 k€, aims to fund the participation of at least 45 artists in R&D selected projects. Applications are now open and will close on May 22nd, 2017 (For more information and to apply for a residency:http://vertigo.starts.eu/call-for-artistic-residencies. "3D/VR audio provides a new degree of freedom for artistic minds. They can choose where to position each instrument and immerse the listener in a dynamic spatial audio scene, or blur the lines between recorded and live music events," said Dimitri Singer, CEO at 3D Sound Labs. "It's a new opportunity for the music industry. With our partners within the BINCI project, 3D Sound Labs is building the proper tools to record and play back music in ways we've never been able to before." 3D Sound Labs is a French VR Audio technology company. It develops 3D/VR Audio software technologies as well as hardware (3D Audio headphones and motion tracking modules) to enable immersive and realistic experience of spatial sound over headphones thanks to its HRTF-based Ambisonics binaural engine. Its SDK will be integrated into BINCI tools which will be compatible with the companies' head tracking hardware. Sfëar is a new generation of 3D audio solutions that opens up the world of spatial sound to content creators and professionals alike. Sfëar is Eurecat's commercial brand for their 3D Audio and binaural tools. BINCI is a European consortium composed by five partners (Eurecat, HEAD acoustics GmbH, 3D Sound Labs, Antenna International and Voodoopop) with funds from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. BINCI's main objective is to develop an integrated software and hardware solution to ease the production, post-production and distribution of binaural 3D audio content meant to be experienced by consumers through headphones. BINCI tools for binaural 3D audio production will be fully suitable to develop professional applications in the creative industries (e.g. music, video games, virtual and augmented reality, etc.). Eurecat is the leading Technology Centre of Catalonia with extensive experience in developing cutting-edge audiovisual technologies for the media sector and the creative industries. It provides the industrial and business sector with solutions to their innovation needs and boosts their competitiveness in a fast-paced environment. Eurecat is the project coordinator and leads the software development of binaural plugins and tools. HEAD Acoustics GmbH is one of the world's leading companies for integrated acoustics solutions, as well as sound and vibration analysis. With more than 30 years of consolidated expertise, it contributes to the project with its expertise on acoustic measurements devices, leading the work concerning hardware for acoustic measurements and equalization. Antenna International is the world's leading provider of audio and multimedia visitor experiences in the global cultural arena, counting with offices and teams around the world. The company will be in charge of implementing the experimental production pilots to be carried out in cultural and touristic sites. Voodoopop is a small Berlin-based, creative lead animation and production studio producing image films, music videos and TV clips, and recently orienting towards immersive experiences like VR and 360 degrees video. Keen to experiment with the latest audiovisual technologies and to offer their clients innovative, immersive and unique experiences, Voodoopop will have a central role in forming the project's user group and testing the tools developed.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2008.1.1.3. | Award Amount: 5.11M | Year: 2010

The CITYHUSH project will support city administrations in the production and implementation of noise action plans according to the directive EC 2002/49. The identified hot spots and noise acting plans made with the existing technology suffer from major shortcomings: 1. poor correlation between hot spots with annoyance and complaints; 2. most measures lead to increased emissions; 3. only indoor noise comfort is addressed. Step change solutions are proposed to reduce noise in the city environment. The project deals with developing suitable problem identification and evaluation tools and with designing and developing solutions for hot spots, which show high correlation with annoyance and complaints. Following innovative solutions and tools will be developed: 1. Concept of Q zones (zones in inner where only quiet low emission vehicles are tolerated). 2. Concept of parks embedded in Q zones. 3. Improved noise score rating models for indoors by integrating low frequency noise and the occurrence of high noise single events. 4. Noise score rating models for the outdoors. 5. Objective and psychoacoustic evaluation tool for low noise low emission vehicles. 6. Mathematical synthesis tool for noise from low noise low emission vehicles. 7. General performance noise specifications for low noise low emission vehicles. 8. Novel concepts for low noise roads based upon dense elastic road surfaces. 9. Novel concepts for low noise roads based upon grinding of asphalt top layers. 10. Novel concepts for tyres for low noise vehicles, including heavy vehicles. 11. Criteria for use of low noise motorcycles. 12. Active and passive noise attenuation measures within the tyre hood. 13. Solutions for high low frequency absorption at facades of buildings. 14. Solutions for high low frequency isolation in the propagation pad. All the above solutions and tools will be designed, prototyped and validated. They will result in obtaining the anticipated noise impacts.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-21-2016 | Award Amount: 1.25M | Year: 2017

BINCIs main objective is to develop an integrated software and hardware solution to ease the production, post-production and distribution of 3D audio content meant to be experienced by consumers through headphones. BINCI tools for binaural 3D audio production will be fully suitable to develop professional applications in the creative industries (e.g. music, video games, virtual and augmented reality, etc). BINCI will deliver market ready solutions proven in real production environments. This goal will be attained by filling the gap between the common practices and tools used by the actors of the audio and music production industry and the playback tools/devices widely used by the end listeners. BINCI will set up an adhoc User Group in the centre of its innovations. This User Group consists of renowned European audio production companies and recording labels, musicians and professional audiovisual content creators. The User Group will be involved in the requirement gathering and in the testing of the BINCI solutions. They will also pioneer binaural 3D audio production. To stimulate the binaural 3D audio content demand at consumer level, BINCI will create audioguide experimental productions for three emblematic cultural and touristic sites: Sagrada Familia (Spain), Opera Garnier (France) and and Bayerische Staatsgemldesammlungen Pinakotheken (Germany). Altogether, these productions will be showcased to more than 500 real site visitors BINCI integrated approach to exploitation, dissemination and communication tasks will secure an increase of 25% to 40% in yearly revenues to BINCI participating companies as a result of BINCI-derived products and services. For the creative industries, BINCI will generate yearly 10 to 20 million Euro worth in direct and indirect business in binaural 3D contents contracts for audioguides productions in international cultural and touristic sites. BINCI will permit European SMEs in the audio and music production to respond to that market demand.


Sottek R.,HEAD acoustics GmbH
INTER-NOISE 2015 - 44th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering | Year: 2015

For many years in product noise assessments and particularly in the Information Technology field, tonality measurement procedures such as the Tone-to-Noise Ratio, Prominence Ratio and DIN 45681 Tonality have been available to quantify the audibility of prominent tones. Through the recent past as product sound pressure levels have decreased, disagreements between perceptions and measurements have often increased. One factor is that tonality perceptions can and do arise from spectrally-elevated noise bands of various widths and slopes as well as from pure tones, and escape measure in tools sensitive only to tones. Near-superpositions of discrete tones and elevated noise bands are increasingly found in low-level technical sounds. Some methodologies tend to misrecognize an elevated noise band as general masking lowering the audibility of a tone in the spectral vicinity, whereas perceptually such phenomena add. To address such issues, a new psychoacoustically-based tonality calculation method based on a hearing model of Sottek is presented that evaluates the nonlinear and time-dependent specific loudness of both tonal and broadband components, separating them via the autocorrelation function. This model has been validated by many listening tests. The model's background and current state are presented, with special attention to Information Technology issues such as elevated-band-related "indiscrete" tonalities and superpositions of such tonalities with discrete tones. © 2015 by ASME.


Fiebig A.,HEAD acoustics GmbH
INTER-NOISE 2015 - 44th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering | Year: 2015

There is a rich tradition of psychophysical research, but there is still a need for enhanced models of human perception of sound. Thereby, it is most likely that a fixed relation between the physical stimulus, the sound pressure signal at the ear canals, and the perception does not exist. Perception of sound depends highly on the context. In general, it is widely known that not only the physical stimulus, but numerous aspects are involved in sound perception. For example, cognitive biases could occur, which influence the way how sound is perceived and judged. However, such biases should not be understood as perceptual errors, but these effects reveal the design of the human mind. In particular, when it comes to reactions to complex environmental noises, resulting in a certain level of noise annoyance, many psychological effects can be observed. For example, adding a pleasant sound to a given noise scenario can result in lower perceived loudness. Moreover, in complex environmental noise situations, the overall appreciation depends on the individual source focus of a test subject, even if the subject is requested to assess the entire noise scenario. The paper illustrates different psychological effects, which were observed in the context of experiments investigating the perception and assessment of environmental noise. © 2015 by ASME.


Fiebig A.,HEAD acoustics GmbH
INTER-NOISE 2015 - 44th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering | Year: 2015

Humans do not experience their environment by means of sensations due to the pure stimulation of their senses, but rather sensations are interpreted into perceptions. For example, the interpretation of auditory sensation refers to processing of auditory signals to create useful information about the environment. Moreover, perception includes cognitive processes and attention processes: certain sound sources are perceived, whereas other sources are not perceived. The recognition of sound sources is strongly influenced by the perception of the environment, which provides the perceptual frame of reference. In the context of soundscape investigations, soundwalks are frequently performed to collect meaningful field data about the interpretation of auditory sensations in the light of the specific place. Due to the consideration of context, environment, activity and voice of the user, it is assumed that high ecological validity can be achieved. To investigate the reliability and explanatory power of data achieved by means of the soundwalk method, the data of consecutive soundwalks performed in Aachen city are analyzed. It turned out that the judgments related to the respective soundscapes converge over the different measurement campaigns. The paper will discuss on the basis of soundwalk data, the perception process of the acoustic environment in context. © 2015 by ASME.


Sottek R.,HEAD acoustics GmbH
INTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control | Year: 2014

Recently, a new ISO standard for loudness of arbitrary sounds ISO 532-1 (1) was proposed for the revision of ISO 532:1975 section 2 (method B) (2). It is based on DIN 45631/A1:2010 (3), which includes the widely used standard DIN 45631:1991 (4) for stationary sounds as a special case. ISO 532-1 eliminates uncertainties of existing standards by strictly defining the complete procedure of loudness calculation starting with the waveform of the time signal and ending with specific and total loudness vs. time functions. The strict definition of the complete procedure is a step forward to comparability of calculated loudness results, and fully conforms to DIN 45631/A1:2010 for the sake of continuity. However, although the results of this algorithm are in accordance with the results of many listening tests, there are still phenomena that are not covered by this method. For example, the calculated loudness of sweep signals shows fluctuations, whereas the perceived loudness does not. This is due to the implemented filter bank based on fixed, contiguous third-octave filters. As a possible solution a loudness calculation method is presented that is based on a hearing model (Sottek) using an aurally adequate filter bank of highly-overlapping asymmetric filters (5). In addition, the nonlinearity between specific loudness and sound pressure has been reconsidered in this model according to results of many listening tests (6).


Fiebig A.,HEAD Acoustics GmbH | Sottek R.,HEAD Acoustics GmbH
Acta Acustica united with Acustica | Year: 2015

The general topic of this work was to investigate whether humans apply unifying principles to form retrospective overall loudness assessments of noise episodes. In three within-subjects factorial design of experiments, the contribution of systematically varied peak and background magnitudes to the assessment of overall loudness was studied. It was observed that the loudness level of peak and background contributed significantly to the assessments of overall loudness. The complete absence of any interaction between peak and background level in the experiments suggests additivity. The experimental findings underline the relevance of the average of momentary perceptual levels to the overall assessment of the whole episode. This means that if participants are requested to judge the overall loudness of noises, then participants did not deliberately ignore certain parts of the presented noise episodes. This applies for the considered bounded episodes of duration of 10 s having a recognizable start and end. Factorial design is frequently criticized, because it draws participants' attention to the manipulated variables and provides strong clues to the participants about the experimenter's hypothesis probably resulting in demand characteristics. Therefore, further experiments were performed, where the noise stimuli from the factorial design of experiment were judged in different stimuli contexts. First, filler material was added to the stimuli set to obscure the aim of the study and to distract attention from the systematically manipulated features. In a further experiment additional overall sound assessments were requested besides the assessment of overall loudness. It was observed that the importance of peak and background magnitudes was similar over all experimental conditions. As a tendency, it can be stated that the introduced measures to obfuscate the study aim distracting from the manipulated features lead to a greater cognitive averaging of the momentary experiences and to a less importance of distinct peak events for the overall assessment of the whole sound episode. © S. Hirzel Verlag • EAA.


Sottek R.,HEAD acoustics GmbH
INTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control | Year: 2014

Noises with tonal components, howling sounds, and modulated signals are often the cause of customer complaints when emitted from technical products. The perception and evaluation of sound events containing such components has become increasingly important, e.g., in the field of vehicle acoustics for the assessment of tonality due to alternative drives. Furthermore, Information Technology (IT) devices and products such as hard disk drives may emit tonal sounds. Despite their very low sound pressure levels, such noises are unwanted and should preferably be avoided or masked. The psychoacoustic parameter tonality was introduced in order to quantify the perception of tonal content. However, existing methods for tonality calculation show problems when applied to technical sounds. Recently, a new approach to tonality calculation based on a hearing model was presented by Sottek, Kamp, and Fiebig. In accordance with recent research results, the calculation of tonality is therein performed upon the basis of the partial loudness of the tonal content. This paper presents model validations exploiting the results of new listening tests using bandpass-filtered noise signals with varyingly steep filter slopes and model improvements, especially in order to adequately indicate the perceived tonality of technical sounds with low sound pressure levels.

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