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Re: Auditory wheel

On Mar 18, 2010, at 5:22 PM, Michael H. Coen wrote:

I'm looking for the auditory equivalent of a color wheel.  Namely, a
parametrized, continuous method for generating a series of sounds that
form a "perceptual loop" that has no perceived gaps.

Hiroko Terasawa did some work on this problem a few years ago.

The color wheel works because it shows all colors in a perceptually relevant space. It's just a three-dimensional (or four if you are blessed) space and you can easily move between points in straight lines. It's a complete model.

There is no equivalent in the auditory space, yet.

The first two dimensions of an auditory space appear to be pitch and loudness, and then something related to timbre. Terasawa showed that low-dimensional cepstral coefficients are a good representation for static timbre sounds. With such a representation one could smoothly move from one sound to another in timbre space. The papers are online at
Unlike previous work on timbre spaces, she started with a sound synthesis procedure and then measured how parsimonious the sounds were with respect to a linear perceptual space. That space might be close to your desired wheel.

Let me know if you have questions.

- Malcolm