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An Introduction to Data Sonification  

David Worrall

Print publication date:
Apr 2011
Online publication date:
Sep 2012

...Chapter 16 An Introduction to Data Sonification DAVID WORRALL The aim of this pragmatic introduction to data sonification is to provide an understanding of the origins and conceptual issues involved in this young, interdisciplinary, and quickly evolving discipline. It begins by summarizing different ways sonification has been defined, the types and classifications of data that it attempts to represent with sound, and how these representations perform under the pressure of real-world usage. The need for better tools for data sonification is raised and...

The Search for the “Killer Application”: Drawing the Boundaries around the Sonification of Scientific Data  

Alexandra Supper

Print publication date:
Dec 2011
Online publication date:
Nov 2012

...for molecular structures and dynamics, realized after talking to a number of chemists that it would be better to provide this sonification utility in the form of a plug-in for a widely used, open-source software package for data visualization rather than to expect them to learn an entirely new programming language. This means to link the sonification application not only to existing tools but also to established modes of representing data and the skills required to work with them. Grond acknowledges that the chemists have a point in insisting on a combination with visual...

Sonification ≠ Music  

Carla Scaletti

Print publication date:
Feb 2018
Online publication date:
Feb 2018

...it will be misused as an attention-seeking gimmick on the part of researchers hoping for publicity in the popular press. 21.4.1.2 Interchanges at Data Conferences In addition to being shared with fellow sonification practitioners, it’s important for data sonification results to be presented to broader audiences of data analysts on conferences devoted to data visualization, data mining, and the currently trending ‘big data’. Not only might it serve to expose data specialists to sound as an analytical tool, but there are new general data analysis tools currently...

Explorations in Cultureson  

Jacob Smith

Print publication date:
Dec 2013
Online publication date:
Dec 2013

...new set of questions. Notes 1 . The term “sonification” is used by researchers working on the auditory display of data. See for example, Gregory Kramer , “An Introduction to Auditory Display,” in Auditory Display , ed. Gregory Kramer (Reading, MA.: Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1994), 1–77 . Jonathan Sterne and Mitchell Akiyama define “sonification” as “the transformation of nonsonic data into audible form.” “*The Recording That Never Wanted to be Heard and Other Stories of Sonification,” in The Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies , Trevor Pinch...

Remixing the Environment: Climate Change, Rhythm Science, and DJ Spooky’s Digging in the Landscape  

Kate Galloway

Online publication date:
Oct 2018

...morphed into musical sound. This process has been referred to as sonification . According to the introduction to The Sonification Handbook , sonification is “the technique of rendering sound in response to data” ( Hermann, Hunt, and Neuhoff 2011 , 1). The term is used to describe the transformation and transduction of data into sound, thus making data relationships perceptible in the auditory realm ( Walker and Nees 2011 , 9). While this “transduction” can be carried out in many different ways and with totally different aims, if the creative process is internally consistent...

Thoughts on Composing with Algorithms  

Laurie Spiegel

Print publication date:
Feb 2018
Online publication date:
Feb 2018

...program music to the sonification of astronomical data. Music can also be a form of soothing for other or self, providing experiences of flow, energy, peace, physicality, emotion, or other subjective states. 6.4 Compensations for Lacks The representation of many individual sonic events as a general description of process can be a faster and more efficient method of musical fabric generation than having to specify every aspect of each individual note. This is a time- and labour-saving innovation. However, this method often constrains the music to an overall...

Conversions: Sound and Sight, Military and Civilian  

Cyrus C. M. Mody

Print publication date:
Dec 2011
Online publication date:
Nov 2012

...surface; it assembles measurements of the probe-surface interaction into a data array that is usually rendered visually but sometimes in auditory or other forms. Sonification has been part of probe microscopy since its invention in the 1980s. The technique’s ability to image individual atoms, for instance, was discovered when its inventors heard—rather than saw—an unusual repetition in how a chart recorder printed data (Mody 2004 , 107). Yet only a small minority of microscopists audibilize their data. Those who do offer justifications in phenomenological terms. Some consider...

The Absent Image in Electronic Music  

Eric Lyon

Print publication date:
Dec 2013
Online publication date:
Dec 2013

...obtains in the process called sonification , which is a special kind of articulation of visual (or visualized) data in sound. Sonification was originally intended for scientific purposes, to enable researchers to detect patterns aurally with much greater ease than they could by scanning the data. The Geiger counter, invented in 1908, is considered one of the earliest forms of sonification, converting ionizing radiation into audible clicks. More recently, data analysis was replaced with purely aesthetic applications of the technique, in which data is rendered as both digital...

The Body as Musical Instrument  

Atau Tanaka and Marco Donnarumma

Online publication date:
Jul 2018

...movement. In Myogram , the raw EMG data is heard through a process of direct sonification, making musical material out of the corporeal signal where electricity generated by the body provides the sounds heard in the work. The signals from pairs of EMG channels are routed to an individual speaker in an octaphonic sound system. The sensors reporting muscle tension on the ring of muscles on the left arm are heard on four speakers in the corners of the wall, stage left, from the front to house to back of the concert hall, from below stage up to the ceiling. Likewise, the eight...

Empirical Studies of Computer Sound  

Freya Bailes and Roger T. Dean

Print publication date:
Apr 2011
Online publication date:
Sep 2012

...Correspondingly, the outputs of the KTH rule set have been subject to some cognitive evaluation, and the data generally demonstrate its positive impact. Livingstone et al. ( 2007 ) used the KTH set as part of a generative algorithm so that musical material generated afresh from an algorithmic process can itself be subject to the KTH rules to give it an additional expressive component. 5. Sonification:Computational Representation of Nonmusical Data in Sound Sonification requires mention here as an example of using computer sound for a specific and empirically...

Sonic Interactions in Multimodal Environments: An Overview  

Stefania Serafin

Print publication date:
May 2014
Online publication date:
Jul 2014

...Brain Research 146 (2): 161–171. Hayward, Vincent . 2008. A Brief Taxonomy of Tactile Illusions and Demonstrations that Can be Done in a Hardware Store. Brain Research Bulletin 75 (6): 742–752. Hermann, Thomas , and Andy Hunt . 2005. Guest Editors’ Introduction: An Introduction to Interactive Sonification. Multimedia , IEEE, 12 (2): 20–24. Jack, Charles E. , and Willard R. Thurlow . 1973. Effects of Degree of Visual Association and Angle of Displacement on the “Ventriloquism” Effect. Perceptual and Motor Skills 37 (3): 967–979. Jousmäki, V. , and R...

Algorithmic Trajectories  

Alex McLean and Roger T. Dean

Print publication date:
Feb 2018
Online publication date:
Feb 2018

...results. David Worrall collaborated in developing this Python toolkit, and is well known for his pioneering work on computer music in Australia and on (algorithmic) sonification. Sonification is the sonic analogue of visualization, processes for (hopefully accessible) representation of data content in sound and image. With David and colleague Greg White, I made a 22:4 spatialized algorithmic sonification of multichannel brain EEG recordings (2002; http://www.icad.org ). Greg also contributed technical guidance in the early stages of austraLYSIS’s application of Max/MSP...

Engagement, Immersion and Presence: The Role of Audio Interactivity in Location-aware Sound Design  

Natasa Paterson and Fionnuala Conway

Print publication date:
May 2014
Online publication date:
Jul 2014

... Christina Kübisch’s work in the 1970s first began exploring the sonification of interacting electromagnetic fields using small cubes with built-in speakers, which had to be held to listeners’ ears as they approached wires within an empty installation space ( Tittel 2009 ). This work later extended to the incorporation of wireless headphones in the experience of the work, which led to the creation of Electrical Walks (2003). In Electrical Walks , the participant moves throughout an urban space in which the effects of electrical currents of cell phones, elevators...

Uncertainty Visualization and Related Techniques  

Ann M. Bisantz

Print publication date:
Feb 2013
Online publication date:
May 2013

... As noted in the introduction, while many of the techniques surveyed have explicitly addressed questions of uncertainty in data, application of the techniques as well as the design considerations noted here can be extended to address other forms of qualifying information, or “meta-information,” such as information age, source, or importance ( Pfautz et al., 2005 ). For example, one might want to represent not only the uncertainty in location of an object...

Origins of Algorithmic Thinking in Music  

Nick Collins

Print publication date:
Feb 2018
Online publication date:
Feb 2018

..., but cultural things! He wants to play music to it!’ ( Hodges 2012 , 251). In as much as computer-era algorithmic composition is one manifestation of radical experimental music technique, we might go on to consider many further precedents through novel compositional ideas. Lejaren Hiller points to mappings from data to music, such as Renaissance ‘eye music’ experiments as early graphical scores, and Charles Ives’s 1907 baseball game sonification ( Hiller and Isaacson 1979 , 47–48): ‘notes set on paper like men on a football field’ (48). Karlheinz Essl (2007) dwells...

Algorithmic Music and the Philosophy of Time  

Julian Rohrhuber

Print publication date:
Feb 2018
Online publication date:
Feb 2018

...signalling their coincidence. 2.3 Sonification of Algorithms In his transcendental aesthetics, Immanuel Kant argues that one should not try to understand time as a phenomenon or an object. Time is already an essential part of the means which our understanding of phenomena or objects requires in the first place: whenever we refer to such things, we refer to them as occurring in time and space, as existing in spatial or temporal form, as coexisting or subsequent difference. In any endeavour to understand it, one has to keep in mind that time will always have...

Early Hardware and Early Ideas in Computer Music: Their Development and Their Current Forms  

Paul Doornbusch

Print publication date:
Apr 2011
Online publication date:
Sep 2012

...and can directly create sound as well as generate and manipulate MIDI data. Some of these programs will, for example, produce MIDI data from a photograph or weather data. The practice of generating sound, or music, from data sets is called sonification , and while it is arguably a peripheral activity for computer music composers, there is a crossover of activity. One of the main requirements to sonify data is to map it to musical or sonic parameters. Then, it can be put through a process to generate the sound or music. This mapping can be more creative or linear...

Navigating Sound: Locative and Translocational Approaches to Interactive Audio  

Nye Parry

Print publication date:
May 2014
Online publication date:
Jul 2014

...a translocational approach to locative media, in which portable, non-site-specific applications allow users to explore the intrinsic structural relationships of the work through direct engagement with a location of their own choice. 2.1 Site-specific and Translocational Media On the whole, the most prominent use of location data for interaction has taken an absolute or site-specific form. In mobile applications designed to find a nearby restaurant or bank, or give an accurate weather report, the ability to tie GPS data to maps and “points of interest”...

Sensory substitution: A new perceptual experience  

Noelle R. B. Stiles and Shinsuke Shimojo

Print publication date:
Aug 2015
Online publication date:
Aug 2014

...correlates to natural visual face perception but subject recognition performance was not reported ( Plaza et al . 2009 ). Natural object recognition was tested in Auvray et al.’s 2007 study using the vOICe (auditory sensory substitution). Ten natural objects (such as a plant, shoe, and table) were identified by six sighted subjects in an artificial white background (brightness was inverted before sonification) in an average of 42.4 seconds each ( Auvray et al. 2007 ). Subjects listed 1.6 objects on average before choosing the correct object. The time to identification...

Sound and Player Immersion in Digital Games  

Mark Grimshaw

Print publication date:
Dec 2011
Online publication date:
Nov 2012

... does not take account of the requirement to have McMahan’s nontrivial effect on that world for immersion to occur. Acting inside a virtual world is not a strong enough term to describe the player’s ability to effect change in the world, indeed, to create that world. Limiting our discussion to sound, the soundscapes of FPS games may well require a “discerning Subject” to be present (Böhme 2000 , 15), but all of the sounds in that soundscape are not merely sounded by the game engine’s sonification processes in response to the player’s very presence in the game world...

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