Abstract

This paper describes three psychoacoustic experiments that evaluated the perceptual quality of sounds generated from a new wavelet-based synthesis technique. The synthesis technique provides a method for modeling and synthesizing perceptually compelling sound. The experiments define a methodology for evaluating the effectiveness of any synthesized sound. An identification task and a context-based rating task evaluated the perceptual quality of individual sounds. These experiments confirmed that the wavelet technique synthesizes a wide variety of compelling sounds from a small model set. The third experiment obtained sound similarity ratings. Psychological scaling methods were applied to the similarity ratings to generate both spatial and network models of the perceptual relations among the synthesized sounds. These analysis techniques helped to refine and extend the sound models. Overall, the studies provided a framework to validate synthesized sounds for a variety of applications including virtual reality and data sonification systems.

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