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A perceptual sound space for auditory displays based on sung-vowel synthesis

  • Autori: Rocchesso, Davide; Andolina, Salvatore; Ilardo, Giacomo; Palumbo, Salvatore Danilo; Galluzzo, Ylenia; Randazzo, Mario
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2022
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


When designing displays for the human senses, perceptual spaces are of great importance to give intuitive access to physical attributes. Similar to how perceptual spaces based on hue, saturation, and lightness were constructed for visual color, research has explored perceptual spaces for sounds of a given timbral family based on timbre, brightness, and pitch. To promote an embodied approach to the design of auditory displays, we introduce the Vowel-Type-Pitch (VTP) space, a cylindrical sound space based on human sung vowels, whose timbres can be synthesized by the composition of acoustic formants and can be categorically labeled. Vowels are arranged along the circular dimension, while voice type and pitch of the vowel correspond to the remaining two axes of the cylindrical VTP space. The decoupling and perceptual effectiveness of the three dimensions of the VTP space are tested through a vowel labeling experiment, whose results are visualized as maps on circular slices of the VTP cylinder. We discuss implications for the design of auditory and multi-sensory displays that account for human perceptual capabilities.