Thursday 12th February
Paper Session 1: Sound Recording and Foley
Russell Mason, Institute of Sound Recording, University of Surrey, UK
1-1: Generating Meaningful Sound: Quantifying the Affective Attributes of Sound Effects for Real-Time Sound Synthesis
Karen Collins, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Much research has been undertaken to discover what parameters in a musical composition carry emotional meaning. We now take for granted that harmonic content, instrumentation, tempo, timbre, pitch range, and dynamics (etc.) all play some role in music's affective abilities. However, there has been little research into similar aspects of affect when it comes to sound effects. Though many audio synthesis methods strive for greater realism, realism is not always the most believable sound in multimedia situations. This paper seeks to explore a methodology for research into the affective attributes of sound effects. An understanding of these affective elements can lead to more advanced real-time sound synthesis methods for audio-visual media.
1-2: Localization Cues Affect Emotional Judgments - Results from a User Study on Scary Sound
Inger Ekman, Raine Kajastila, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland
The current paradigm for creating emotional impact in game sound is to carefully choose which sounds to play. This paper takes an alternative approach, suggesting that emotional impact of sounds can be affected by choosing how to play those sounds. We describe a novel concept for emotional sound design - emotional fine-tuning - and show how it is possible to systematically influence the emotional impact of a single sound sample. A controlled user study with 8 subjects confirmed that changing the reproduction of a sample so that source localization of the sound is challenged will increase its perceived scariness compared to the same sound with clearly detectable source. The work extends experimental research on emotion perception in sound. It has practical implications for sound design in games and other interactive media.
1-3: Avoiding Tedium - Fighting Repetition in Game Audio
Jean-Frederic Vachon, Artificial Mind & Movement (A2M), Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Historically, one of the biggest problems facing game audio has been the endless repetition of sounds. From sound bites that play constantly, to repeated sound effects to a limited music selection that loops endlessly, players have had every reason to be annoyed at game audio. Despite increased memory budgets on modern consoles, this problem is still relevant. This paper will examine the pros and cons of various approaches used in game audio, as well as the various technologies and researches that might eventually be applied to the field.