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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.


With the exact knowledge of the current positions of the microphones in an array and the potential noise sources, it is possible to compensate a relative motion between them. In the past, techniques exploiting this knowledge have been used successfully, e.g., for the measurement of wind turbines and airplane flyover measurement. In this paper, these ideas are applied and modified for the development of a traffic flow observation system. The main purpose of a vehicle pass by measurement is to extract the continuous noise levels of the dominant sources. With the use of advanced video processing or additional sensor information (radar, light barrier) it is possible to create a continuous tracking model of the vehicle. The scan grid in the beam forming algorithm is then recalculated to compensate the movement. In the resulting acoustic video, the vehicle is fixed and the evolution of the sound sources can be observed and auralized for psychoacoustic evaluations. To characterize the acoustic emissions of a vehicle passing by a large number of single measurements under various running conditions have to be made. Thereby it is often not possible to acquire the exact same set of running conditions for different tire/road combinations. With the technique called Acoustical Fingerprint the whole set of measurements is synthesized and interpolated leading to a single level function that can then directly be evaluated and compared Copyright © 2013 SAE International.


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.


Genuit K.,HEAD acoustics GmbH
42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life | Year: 2013

In spite of long- Term endeavors to significantly reduce noise annoyance in cities, a great deal of persons is still suffering from environmental noise. It is very evident that a general rethinking is needed. Different disciplines must work more closely together to achieve a substantial sustainable reduction of noise annoyance. It is more than only about sound pressure levels violating or complying with a regulation. In contrast to this simple way of thinking, in the field of psychoacoustics and "sound quality" different psychoacoustic and hearing-related parameters are available, which allow for describing meticulously various hearing sensations. Moreover, the relatively young discipline "soundscape" can also greatly contribute to tackle recent environmental noise issues. It considers closely human perception including cognitive aspects, context and interaction going beyond physics and psychoacoustics. It involves a concept, where environmental noise is not reduced to an averaged quantity evoking only unpleasantness feelings, but noise is understood as a valuable resource, which can be purposefully utilized. The main ideas of psychoacoustics, sound quality and soundscape will be introduced, the potential interaction of these disciplines will be discussed and finally their benefit to current environmental noise issues will be presented.

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