Re: Could you provide some insight on general audio similarity (Brian Gygi )

Subject: Re: Could you provide some insight on general audio similarity
From:    Brian Gygi  <bgygi(at)EBIRE.ORG>
Date:    Fri, 8 Nov 2002 09:40:19 -0800

Wang Dong, A few weeks ago I posted to the list a message about a study I had done on similarity of environmental sounds (non-speech non-music familiar sounds). The MDS solution to the similarity ratings revealed that one of the best predictor of similarity among the sounds was the degree of harmonicity of the sounds. A lesser predictor was the structure of the envelope (amount of silence, periodicity). I can send you a handout of that study if you like. However, identification is a different story. My dissertation was all about factors in the identification of environmental sounds (in fact, that was the title) and it can be found at: While some of the factors that predicted identification of filtered sounds were similar to those in similarity study, (harmonicity, temporal structure) it was not the case that the sounds which were rated as similar tended to be equally identifiable. In fact the correlation was almost zero. What we could not find were a defined set of acoustic factors that were reliable predictors of identification for all the sounds. The problem is that environmental sounds are such a diverse class that making general statements about the class of sounds is risky. It may be that we listen to different 'types' of sounds, e.g. vocalizations, machine sounds, weather sounds, impacts, in quite different ways. If you have any more questions about this, I would be glad to answer them. Brian

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