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Hochschule Düsseldorf
University of Applied Sciences


Fachbereich Medien
Faculty of Media

Labor für Virtuelles Studio / Virtuelle Realität

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Abstract: Sound Spatialization Resource Management in Virtual Reality Environments

Jens Herder and Michael Cohen. Sound Spatialization Resource Management in Virtual Reality Environments, ASVA'97 - International Symposium on Simulation, Visualization and Auralization for Acoustic Research and Education, Tokyo, April 1997.

In a virtual reality environment, users are immersed in a scene with objects which might produce sound. The responsibility of a VR environment is to present these objects, but a practical system has only limited resources, including spatialization channels (mixels), MIDI/audio channels, and processing power. A sound spatialization resource manager controls sound resources and optimizes fidelity (presence) under given conditions. For that, a priority scheme based on psychoacoustics is needed. Parameters for spatialization priorities include intensity calculated from volume and distance, orientation in the case of non-uniform radiation patterns, occluding objects, frequency spectra (low frequencies are harder to localize), expected activity, and others. Objects which are spatially close together (depending on distance and direction) can be mixed. Sources that can not be spatialized separately can be mixed as ambient sources. Important for resource management is the resource assignment, i.e., minimizing swap operations, which makes it desirable to look-ahead and predict upcoming events in a scene. Prediction is achieved by monitoring objects' position, speed, and past evaluation values (i.e., priorities, probabilities, ..). Fidelity is contrasted for different kind of resource restrictions and optimal resource assignment. To give standard and comparable results, the VRML 2.0 specification is used as an application programmer interface. Applicability is demonstrated with a helical keyboard, a polyphonic MIDI stream driven animation including user interaction (a user may move around, playing together with programmed notes). The developed sound spatialization resource manager gives improved spatialization fidelity under runtime constraints. Application programmers and virtual reality scene designers are freed from the burden of assigning mixels and predicting the sound sources locations.




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