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AES Amsterdam 2008 Saturday, May 17, 09:00 — 12:00
T1 - PERCEPTUAL AUDIO EVALUATION
The aim of this tutorial is to provide an overview of perceptual evaluation of audio through listening tests, based on good practices in the audio and affiliated industries. The tutorial is geared to anyone interested in the evaluation of audio quality and will provide a highly condensed overview of all aspects of performing listening tests in a robust manner.
Topics will include:
1) Definition of a suitable research question and associated hypothesis;
2) Definition of the question to be answered by the subject;
3) Scaling of the subjective response;
4) Control of experimental variables such as choice of signal, reproduction system, listening room, and selection of test subjects;
5) Statistical planning of the experiments; and
6) Statistical analysis of the subjective responses.
The tutorial will include both theory and practical examples including discussion of the recommendations of relevant international standards (IEC, ITU, ISO). The presentation will be made available to attendees and an extended version will be available in the form of the text Perceptual Audio Evaluation, authored by Søren Bech and Nick Zacharov.
Saturday, May 17, 09:00 — 11:00
T2 - DIGITAL AUDIO SIGNALS, FILTERS, AND EQUALIZERS
Jamie Angus, University of Salford - Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
In this tutorial we will first present the principles of sampling and the basic form and function of digital filters, explain the link between impulse response and frequency response, and how it leads to different forms of filtering. Next we will relate that to the similarities and differences between the designs of analog filters and digital filters. Finally, we will discuss some of the filter structures that might be used for audio equalizers.
Saturday, May 17, 13:30 — 15:00
T3 - ABSORBERS AND DIFFUSERS
Trevor Cox, University of Salford - Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
Absorbers and diffusers are two of the main design tools for altering the acoustic conditions of rooms such as studios and auditoria, semi-enclosed spaces such as stadia and the outdoor environment. Absorbers also have a crucial role within loudspeaker enclosures and in the reduction of machinery noise. This tutorial will describe state-of-the-art designs for diffusers and absorbers, as well as touching on techniques for measuring and modeling these treatments. Surface diffusion is a relatively young subject area, and case studies will be drawn upon to show when are where diffusers can be used to improve conditions. Absorption is a more established technology, and yet new materials and techniques continue to be developed today, for instance driven by the need for more sustainable buildings.
Saturday, May 17, 15:30 — 18:00
T4 - INTELLIGENT AUDIO SYSTEMS: A REVIEW OF THE FOUNDATIONS AND APPLICATIONS OF SEMANTIC AUDIO ANALYSIS AND MUSIC INFORMATION RETRIEVAL
Perfecto Herrera-Boyer, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Jay LeBoeuf, Imagine Research
This tutorial will target students, researchers, and industry audio engineers who are unfamiliar with the field of Music Information Retrieval (MIR). We will demonstrate the myriad of exciting technologies enabled by the fusion of basic signal processing techniques with machine learning. The presentation will be a high-level, applied, multimedia-rich, overview of the building blocks of MIR systems. Our goal is to make highly-interdisciplinary technologies and dauntingly-complex algorithms approachable. In the spirit of modern cooking shows, we will perform numerous demonstrations, including on-the-fly coding of basic "intelligent audio" systems, prepared system demonstrations, and prepared audio examples demonstrating more complex systems.
Sunday, May 18, 09:00 — 11:00
T5 - ELECTROACOUSTIC MEASUREMENTS—PART 1
Christopher J. Struck, CJS Labs - San Francisco, CA, USA
This tutorial focuses on the fundamentals of electroacoustic measurements, including principles of acoustics, instrumentation, and data interpretation as well as practical information on how to perform appropriate tests. The basic components of a measuring system are examined followed by a review of basic acoustics, signals, sound sources, and sound fields. Psychoacoustics and hearing are examined with respect to objective measurements. Measurement transducers are explained in terms of selection and application. Finally, an overview of frequency analysis and the FFT is presented. This tutorial is intended to enable the participants to perform accurate audio and electroacoustic tests and provide them with the necessary tools to understand and correctly interpret the results.
Sunday, May 18, 11:30 — 13:00
T6 - YESTERDAY'S FX TODAY
Alex Case, University of Massachusetts Lowell - Lowell, MA, USA
With affordable digital audio tools being continuously invented, refined, improved, extended, and upgraded, we are lucky to be a part of the audio industry at this moment. We have no excuse not to create original, beautiful art. What we do with today’s ability to do anything can be informed by the creative and technical achievements expressed in touchstone recordings decades ago. This tutorial takes a close look at some iconic moments of signal processing innovation in recorded music history, undoing, isolating, and analyzing the effects for our edification.
Sunday, May 18, 12:30 — 14:30
T7 - SURROUND SOUND CONTRIBUTION METHODS
John McClintock, APT UK
Karl Petermichl, ORF Radio
Heinz-Peter Reykers, WDR
Geir Skaden, Neural Audio
Surround contribution over networks are coming into use in, e.g., Austria, Germany, by the EBU world wide and in the U.S. The intention is to describe these practical implementations as case studies.
Sunday, May 18, 13:30 — 15:00
T8 - CURRENT STANDARDS OF FILE-INTERCHANGE FORMATS
Mark Yonge, AES Standards Manager
As the broadcasting world is switching to file-based production, it is vital to get to grips with current formats one is likely to encounter as well as to know the different flavors, strengths, and weaknesses. The presenter has an intimate insight into file-formats, not at least through his work as AES standards manager.
Sunday, May 18, 15:00 — 18:00
T9 - ROOM ACOUSTICS MODELING
Tapio Lokki, Helsinki University of Technology - Espoo, Finland
Lauri Savioja, Helsinki University of Technology - Espoo, Finland
This tutorial will cover commonly applied wave-based and ray-based methods in room acoustics modeling. The main emphasis is to explain basic principles of physically-based modeling methods. In addition, pros and cons of each method are discussed. Examples are given with several modeling methods. The modeling results, namely room acoustical parameters and auralizations, are also discussed in the light of each method.
Sunday, May 18, 16:00 — 18:00
T10 - TINNITUS. JUST ANOTHER BUZZ WORD?
Neil Cherian, Center for Perfrmance Medicine, Cleveland Clinic - Cleveland, OH, USA
Michael Santucci, Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation, Inc. - Chicago, IL, USA
Jan Voetmann, Voetmann-Acoustics - Copenhagen, Denmark
Tinnitus is a common, yet poorly understood, disorder where sounds are perceived in the absence of an external source (phantom). Significant sound exposure with or without hearing loss is the single most common risk factor. Tinnitus can be debilitating, affecting quality of life or even one’s ability to function. Given the potential harm of sound in the development of tinnitus, more aggressive and proactive attitudes must be taken. In-ear monitoring strategies further necessitate meaningful conversations regarding hearing awareness, hearing protection, safe standards for listening, and appropriate safeguards for products. This tutorial introduces the concept of tinnitus, the pertinent anatomy and physiology, the audiologic parameters of tinnitus, current research, guidelines for identifying high risk behaviors, and how to determine that you have a problem.
Monday, May 19, 09:00 — 11:00
T11 - THE GAME AUDIO PROCESS
Lucas Van Tol
This tutorial provides an overview of the process of developing audio for a modern computer game, from initial conception through to final release. The session is presented by the audio team from Guerrilla Games who are responsible for a number of PlayStation titles. The talk illustrates the various aspects of game audio by considering the development of a single title from the point of view of the audio director, sound designer, and programmer. The panel will also draw on their separate and collective experience from other titles to contrast different approaches to game audio. The tutorial offers a detailed but technical introduction to game audio and is suitable for newcomers and experienced professionals alike.
Monday, May 19, 11:30 — 14:00
T12 - BROADCAST CASE STUDIES OF PRODUCTIONS MADE IN CHALLENGING CIRCUMSTANCES
Florian Camerer, ORF Vienna
Gaute Nistov, NRK oslo
Teemu Tanskanen, YLE Helsinki
A follow up from the last European AES convention in Vienna in 2007, this workshop assembles 3 sound engineers each presenting an especially demanding television production needing tailor-made solutions for unusual challenges. An in-depth look to the nuts and bolts of these productions will be provided, from initial planning, to diverse microphone setups, signal flow, and redundancy and also including recording concepts for possible postproduction. The programs are: the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, the Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, and the New Year’s Concert 2008 in Vienna.
Monday, May 19, 11:30 — 13:30
T13 - ELECTROACOUSTIC MEASUREMENTS—PART 2
Christopher J. Struck, CJS Labs - San Francisco, CA, USA
This tutorial focuses on applications of electroacoustic measurement methods, instrumentation, and data interpretation as well as practical information on how to perform appropriate tests. Linear system analysis and alternative measurement methods are examined. The topic of simulated free field measurements is treated in detail. Non-linearity and distortion measurements and causes are described. Last, a number of advanced tests are introduced. This tutorial is intended to enable the participants to perform accurate audio and electroacoustic tests and provide them with the necessary tools to understand and correctly interpret the results.
Monday, May 19, 11:30 — 13:00
T14 - SMALL ROOM ACOUSTICS
Ben Kok, Nelissen Ingenieursbureau B.V. - Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Acoustic basics of small rooms will be discussed. Specific issues related to the size of the room (room-modes) will be addressed. Absorption, reflection, diffraction, diffusion and how to use it, and low frequency treatment. Although this will not be a studio design class, specifics and differences of recording rooms and control rooms will be identified, including considerations for loudspeaker and microphone placement.
Monday, May 19, 14:00 — 15:30
T15 - SOUND ARCHIVING: STANDARDS RELATED TO THE LONG-TERM PRESERVATION OF A SOUND RECORDING
Dietrich Schüller, Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences - Vienna, Austria
The stocks of sound recordings held in repositories worldwide are estimated to amount to 100 million hours. Even if we want to keep only a fraction of this legacy, logistical and financial challenges to preserve these documents of artistry, history, and cultural diversity are of significant dimensions. Original carriers, whether analog or digital, are prone to decay, and—more importantly—replay equipment becomes increasingly unavailable for those holdings that have not yet been transferred to professional digital repositories. The time slot left for this transfer is estimated to be 20 years only.
The tutorial describes the global situation and surveys standards, guidelines, and recommended practices related to principles and practical aspects of sound archiving, issued by AES, IASA (International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives), and UNESCO.
Monday, May 19, 16:00 — 18:00
T16 - QUANTIZATION EFFECTS IN AUDIO SIGNAL PROCESSING
Jamie Angus, University of Salford - Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
In this tutorial we will first present the principles of quantization and the basic effects of finite precision in digital filter implementations (both fixed and floating point) on the audio signal. We explain the effects of finite precision on frequency response (using an audio equalization task as an example). We shall see how different forms of filter structures offer advantages when finite word length is considered. We shall also look at how different structures affect the audio signal. Finally we will discuss the effect of different types of dither and the various pitfalls that can occur.
Monday, May 19, 16:00 — 18:00
T17 - MUSIC INDUCED HEARING DISORDERS
Jan de Laat
Frequent exposition to loud sounds often causes hearing damage. Recent studies in Sweden demonstrated that 74% of all musicians complain of hearing disorders such as: hearing loss, tinnitus (whistling or noise in the ear), hyperacusis (suffering from sounds that are too loud), distortion (attentive) and diplacusis (perception of different pitches on the left and right sides). It appears that the sound volume of concerts has gradually become louder and louder over the last decades, and this corresponds to the extent of hearing problems in musicians, even attended by unfitness for work.
In The Netherlands these troubles are becoming recognized little by little. A few years ago the government (Department of Social Affairs) established an agreement with the employers (administrations of professional symphony orchestras) and employees (union of musicians) aimed to manage these problems. Attention and consideration will be focused on awareness, professional information (even at early ages, starting at music colleges), prevention of and protection from hearing loss (not only by hearing protectors such as personal ear moulds), and rehabilitation of hearing handicaps in musicians.
In a research project with 259 musicians of three professional symphony orchestras in Amsterdam, we combined results of the outcomes of questionnaires, pure tone audiograms, speech audiometry, transient and distortion-product oto-acoustic emissions, tinnitus matching, and frequency selectivity measures in order to achieve more insight in the individual hearing sensitivity related to the time of exposure to loud music. Remarkable results of this investigation will be discussed.
Tuesday, May 20, 10:30 — 12:30
T18 - WHAT IS THE MATRIX?
Geoff Martin, Bang & Olufsen a/s - Struer, Denmark
Helmut Wittek, Schoeps Mikrofone GmbH - Karlsruhe, Germany
This tutorial will be an introduction to the use of matrixing in microphone and mixing techniques for stereo and multichannel. The basics of microphone polar patterns will be explained, followed by the fundamentals of techniques such as "textbook" M/S, double M/S, and soundfield recording. Included in the tutorial will be a discussion of how to use matrixing to "re-mix" an existing recording, to modify microphone configurations in postproduction, and to manipulate spatial characteristics of stereo mixes. In addition, information on the exciting possibilities in the fast-paced world of karaoke soundtrack production will be presented.
Tuesday, May 20, 14:00 — 16:30
T19 - LARGE ROOM ACOUSTICS
Diemer de Vries, Delft University of Technology - Delft, The Netherlands
In the tutorial the physical principles of room acoustics will be explained. It will be explained how, by measuring or calculating impulse responses along arrays of receiver positions, the temporal and spatial properties of a sound field can be analyzed and understood, and how these properties are related to perceptual quality cues. Several models to calculate impulse responses will be discussed. Architectural as well as electro-acoustical measures to correct for acoustical shortcomings will be proposed. All these aspects will be illustrated with examples from practice.