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Zurich, Switzerland

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The method comprises: a multichannel audio signal analysis step (E20) comprising extraction of a multichannel component (Cl), referred to as an omnidirectional component, verifying a predetermined similarity criterion between at least two of the channels thereof; and a restoration step (E30,E40,E50) in the listening zone, using all or some of N loudspeakers included in the listening zone, of the omnidirectional component and of a residual multichannel component (C2) of the multichannel audio signal obtained after extraction of the omnidirectional multichannel component, the omnidirectional multichannel component (Cl) being restored in a manner providing uniform intensity throughout the listening zone, and the residual multichannel component (C2) being restored by using a sound spatialization technique, creating a number K of virtual sound sources restored in the listening zone.


Andre C.R.,University of Liège | Andre C.R.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Corteel E.,Sonic Emotion | Embrechts J.-J.,University of Liège | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Human Computer Studies | Year: 2014

While 3D cinema is becoming increasingly established, little effort has been focused on the general problem of producing a 3D sound scene spatially coherent with the visual content of a stereoscopic-3D (s-3D) movie. The perceptual relevance of such a spatial audiovisual coherence is of significant interest. In this paper, a subjective experiment is carried out where an angular error between an s-3D video and a spatially accurate sound reproduced through Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) is simulated. The psychometric curve is measured with the method of constant stimuli, and the threshold for bimodal integration is estimated. The impact of the presence of background noise is also investigated. A comparison is made between the case without any background noise and the case with an SNR of 4 dBA. Estimates of the thresholds and the slopes, as well as their confidence intervals, are obtained for each level of background noise. When background noise was present, the point of subjective equality (PSE) was higher (19.4 instead of 18.3) and the slope was steeper (-0.077 instead of -0.062 per degree). Because of the overlap between the confidence intervals, however, it was not possible to statistically differentiate between the two levels of noise. The implications for the sound reproduction in a cinema theater are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Rbillat M.,CNRS LIMSI | Rbillat M.,Ecole Polytechnique - Palaiseau | Hennequin R.,Orange Group | Corteel T.,Sonic Emotion | Katz B.F.G.,CNRS LIMSI
Journal of Sound and Vibration | Year: 2011

In a number of vibration applications, systems under study are slightly nonlinear. It is thus of great importance to have a way to model and to measure these nonlinearities in the frequency range of use. Cascade of Hammerstein models conveniently allows one to describe a large class of nonlinearities. A simple method based on a phase property of exponential sine sweeps is proposed to identify the structural elements of such a model from only one measured response of the system. Mathematical foundations and practical implementation of the method are discussed. The method is afterwards validated on simulated and real systems. Vibrating devices such as acoustical transducers are well approximated by cascade of Hammerstein models. The harmonic distortion generated by those transducers can be predicted by the model over the entire audio frequency range for any desired input amplitude. Agreement with more time consuming classical distortion measurement methods was found to be good. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Corteel E.,Room Acoustics Team | Corteel E.,Sonic Emotion
Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects, DAFx 2006 | Year: 2013

Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) is a physical based sound reproduction technique. It relies on linear arrays of regularly spaced omnidirectional loudspeakers. A fundamental limitation of WFS is that the synthesis remains correct only up to a corner frequency referred to as spatial aliasing frequency. This paper addresses irregular spacing of loudspeaker array for WFS. Adapted driving functions are defined. New formulations of the spatial aliasing frequency are proposed. It is shown that the use of logarithmically spaced loudspeaker arrays can significantly increase the spatial aliasing frequency for non focused virtual sources.


Patent
Sonic Emotion | Date: 2013-09-25

The method of playing back a multichannel audio signal via a playback device comprises a plurality of loudspeakers arranged at fixed locations of the device and define a spatial window for sound playback relative to a reference spatial position. The method comprises for at least one sound object extracted from the signal, estimating a diffuse or localized nature of the object and estimating its position relative to the window. The audio signal is played back via the loudspeakers of the device during which playback treatment is applied to each sound object for playing back via at least one loudspeaker of the device, which treatment depends on the diffuse or localized nature of the object and on its position relative to the window, and includes creating at least one virtual source outside the window from loudspeakers of the device when the object is estimated as being diffuse or positioned outside the window.


News Article | January 10, 2010
Site: www.techhive.com

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News Article | May 7, 2012
Site: www.techhive.com

Does the music on your iOS device sound a little flat? Sonic Emotion makes a 3D sound technology called Absolute 3D that is used in a number of sound bars and iPhone docking stations. It attempts to create a wider, "3D" sound field with a limited number of speakers set close together. If you're like me, you do most of your iPhone music listening through headphones. For us, Sonic Emotion makes a $0.99 app called Headquake. It's supposed to make your music sound better by creating the impression of a wide sound stage with improved bass. It only sort-of works, and even though it costs just one buck, it's probably not worth it for many iOS device owners. The Headquake app begins with what can only be described as a short commercial for Sonic Emotion. Every time you fire it up a booming voice bellows, "Experience Sonic Emotion 3D sound!" No music player really needs to do this. From there, you choose the type of headphones you have: Apple's earbuds, in-hear headphones, or large headphones. You then have access to all the music you've synced with your iOS device—by artist, album, song, or playlist. As you're listening to the song, you get three sliders to play with, along with a visual representation of the sound field. The Position slider moves sound from the sides around to the front and back, Ambiance essentially adds room echo, and Volume does what it always does. Basic music controls like play/pause, track skip, repeat, and shuffle are available. It's kind of an ugly interface. As with most technologies that attempt to make a 3D sound space with just left and right channel audio, the results are mixed at best. On some songs, you genuinely get the impression that you're listening to loudspeakers in a big room. Much of the time, it's like listening to music in a bathroom, with enough echo and distortion to ruin the "crisp" sound of a hi-hat or to make Sting sound a bit like he's underwater. You can make some adjustments to the sliders as you listen, but who wants to fiddle around with that all the time? A feature to recognize and remember you settings on a per-song basis would be a big improvement. Likewise, the "3D Off" button only works for a few seconds. I was given the overall impression that Sonic Emotion is charging people a dollar for a sales pitch. The real problem with the app, and most sound-enhancement apps for iPhone, is that it's limited to the music you sync. I almost never listen to synced music anymore. If I'm not listening a podcast from my podcast app, then I'm listening to a music service like Spotify or Rdio. Headquake doesn't work with other apps, it's just a music player in itself. Even if I was completely sold on the audio enhancements made by Headquake, it would be hard to recommend because it's just not a very good music player. It's very basic and not terribly attractive. If Sonic Emotion makes some significant improvements, I can see the app being worth its meager price for those stuck listening to Apple's awful earbuds, but those with a good pair of headphones probably shouldn't bother.


News Article | January 10, 2014
Site: www.theverge.com

Maybe it’s the economy; maybe it’s the political climate. Maybe it’s the 40 percent increase in the number of exhibitors from China, as one attendee suggested to The Verge. Just as suddenly as she left, the CES booth babe is back. DTS, 808, and Canon had dancers, GoDirectInc had girls in fuzzy lion outfits with bare midriffs, and the convention center was riddled with girls in tight dresses. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) doesn’t track the gender ratio at its annual trade show, but in 2014 it still draws an overwhelmingly male crowd. The number of female attendees is increasing, but CES is still a boys’ club. There’s the Japanese businessman; the bald, white American IT guy; and the nerdy college student, all yearning for a pretty girl to talk to them about technology. Janelle Taylor was wearing a tiny silver skirt, neon pink heels, and a tiny string bikini top when I met her at the booth for Xtreme, an accessories company. She has an MBA and was attending trade shows for her marketing company when she decided to make a slight career change. "I saw girls being booth babes and I thought wow, I would be amazing at that," she says. "I get to work with amazing companies and travel and basically be their billboard." Good booth babes know the product, and they know how to entertain. Taylor has to look good, pose for pictures, and lure people into the booth, while diplomatically deflecting their amorous advances. She believes discipline is the most important quality in a booth babe. "There’s a lot of girls that are flaky, and I think that sets a bad name for booth babes," she says. "It takes a lot. Usually we’re on our feet for about 10 hours." I talked to about a dozen booth models at CES 2014 and observed them making small talk with attendees about where they go to school and how often they do things "like this." The booth models for CES and other Vegas conventions come from all over: some are professional models, some are students, some are locals picking up extra cash, others are actors from LA. They all complained about the same two things: having to stand all day, and getting hit on. The perfect blonde at the TCL booth in Central Hall didn’t have to worry about the former, however — her job came with a stool. She was not a booth babe, she insisted, although "I know exactly what you’re talking about." Her agency had gotten her the gig and all she had to do was walk visitors into meetings with executives. The models at Sonic Emotion, who had been recruited through Facebook, agencies, and friends, had it much harder. This year’s CES has a significant contingent of booth bros — shoutout to the studs at the Samsung booth dressed as galactic soccer players — and Sonic had employed equal numbers of male and female models for a traveling skit: groups of soldiers crawled around the show floor until they were rescued by a group of nurses handing out prescriptions for "soundicide."


News Article | October 8, 2012
Site: www.cultofmac.com

Headquake is a music sound enhancement app for iOS. It claims to “flat narrow sounds to an enormous yet perfectly balanced 3D Sound experience surrounding your head.” But hearing, like music, is a very individual thing, and Headquake’s efforts aren’t always much of an enhancement. Let’s start with the UI. The controls are small and closely-packed, which makes sound adjustments a little more fiddly than they should be. As you slide the Position and Ambience controls from side to side, you get some visual feedback in the background. Once you’ve grasped how the visuals relate to the slider positions, you can start to try memorising a few layouts that suit a particular genre or song. You’ll have to memorize them, because unfortunately Headquake doesn’t include any sort of preset saving functionality. If you tend to listen to a lot of similar stuff, that might not be an issue. But if your tastes are varied, it might mean you find yourself having to return to the app again and again as your playlist evolves, fiddling with the sound settings to suit what’s playing. The “Position” control tries pull of the 3D sound trick, fooling your ears into thinking that the sound – particularly the vocals – is being played in front of you. Through a pair of basic Apple ear buds, the effect is middling-to-poor. It made Joni Mitchell sound like she was singing into a teapot. With “Ambience” turned down low, you get a warmer, closer sound. Turn it up higher for something more echoey. To hear the difference the app is making, hit the “3D OFF” button and everything will play normally for a few seconds, then jump back to 3D mode. Overall, I found most of the effects too treble-heavy for my liking, giving too many songs an emptier, tinnier feel than they had before. When I tapped the “3D OFF” button, I heard more detail and a better balance, especially from the bass end. Headquake takes into account what you’re listening with, be it Apple’s own ear buds, in-ear, or over-the-ear headphones. There’s no word yet on whether it supports the new Apple EarPods. No matter how much I put Headquake sounds round my head, I can’t get my head round the app. It doesn’t seem to add a great deal to the music listening experience, in fact it just adds more work for you to do as you listen. The technology at work here, Sonic Emotion, is also used in home cinema and hifi products, and there’s a good chance that it does a much better job in those environments. I’m not convinced that it’s a worthwhile investment on iPhone, though. You’re probably better off saving your one dollar towards a pair of good quality, comfortable earphones.

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