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Physically-based Virtual Acoustics (PHDVIRTA)
Start date: Jul 1, 2008, End date: Jun 30, 2013 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The objective of the project is to find new methods for quality evaluation and modeling of room acoustics. Room acoustics has been studied over 100 years, but, e.g., the relation between objective attributes and subjective measures is not fully understood yet. This project will develop novel methods to simulate and auralize sound propagation in rooms, in particular in concert halls. The research is divided into three main topics. First, authentic auralization with physically-based room acoustics modeling methods will be studied. The recently introduced acoustic radiance transfer method is developed further to handle complex reflections from surfaces as well as diffraction. The second research topic is quality evaluation of concert hall acoustics. Novel algorithms will be developed for spatial sound analysis of a large impulse response database. Live recordings will be analyzed to find new objective quality measures. Quality assessments will also be performed subjectively with sensory evaluation methods borrowed from food industry. The third topic is related to augmented reality audio technology, which reveals the potential and richness of emerging technologies, giving a scenario of the possible future personalized mobile audio communications. The results of the project will be widely applicable in the academia, but also in every day life of people all over the world. The new knowledge in room acoustics will help to build acoustically better concert halls and public places such as libraries, shopping malls, etc. The augmented reality audio applications will help and enrich communication between humans. The concert hall acoustics research has great potential to find novel objective and subjective quality metrics. They also help in creation of authentic auralization, which will be one of the main tools for consultants in design, and in particular when explaining design results to architects, clients, and public audience.

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