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Visualizing and Controlling Sound with Graphical Interfaces

Developments in abstract representations of sound from the field of computer music have potential applications for designers of musical computer games. Research in cognition has identified correlations in the perceptions of visual objects and audio events; - experiments show that test subjects associate certain qualities of graphical shapes with those of vocal sounds. Such 'sound symbolism' has been extended to non-vocal sounds and this paper describes attempts to exploit this and other phenomenon in the visualization of audio. The ideas are expanded upon to propose control for sound synthesis through the manipulation of virtual shapes. Mappings between parameters in the auditory and visual feedback modes are discussed. An exploratory user test examines the technique using a prototype system.

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