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Sounds Like Data


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45 minute presentation for UX in the City Oxford, April 1, 2016. Discusses ways of using sound and audio for a User Experience.

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Sounds Like Data

  1. 1. Sounds like Data Iain Emsley Oxford e-Research Centre, University of Oxford @iainemsley @minnelieder 1
  2. 2. Before we start… • How many break time conversations can you remember? • How many people could you hear clearly at one time?
  3. 3. Overview Experiencing the World How do we hear? Text to Speech Can objects make sound? Sonification Testing the UI 3
  4. 4. Experiencing the World Randy Read, aszj2m-dnrBpD-d9RZ1n-dnrtjP-dnrsSt-82Eyp4-a6rcKQ-dnxoos-bwwP94-a1mCW5-a1mEHb-ckP84L-a1mERL-ar2ndA-9jpF76-gbUptq-piHBEg-5fLZNo-4GBq7K-7KWG9K- aRC11T-5xvwr-347jyH-6EH8qr-7cfrDV-5ARz3S-c3Psth-wubABS-eW8RzU-PCnK9-eXTxbX-c5AQBw-525PwA-qWn2wr-21SW1P-eLELKj-4Nsr9N-c5APq7-3LFJ4T
  5. 5. • Defensive – Headphones • Invasive – Sound systems in cars – Muzak – Sound Cannons
  6. 6. How do we hear? • Babies hear rhythm early, moves to tone • Brain fills in gaps and patterns – Earworms play on this • Links to emotion – Limbic system is associated with hearing • Ears filter information automatically – recording a room and listening back – Use Doppler Labs Here products
  7. 7. “A perceptual illusion in which our brain imposes structure and order on a sequence of sounds” (Levitin 2007, p 109)
  8. 8. Some Principles • Group sounds together; the brain can only understand a limited amount of simultaneous voices • Consider the aspect that will be useful • Research the data and user’s context
  9. 9. Text to Speech • Phones • Cars • Mooses – • Build one… – node tts/twitter.js
  10. 10. Can objects make a sound? • Pressing buttons – chuck hci/ • Device dependent
  11. 11. Sonification • What is sonification? – Sonification is an alternative to visualization “the use of nonspeech audio to convey information. More specifically, sonification is the transformation of data relations into perceived relations in an acoustic signal for the purposes of facilitating communication or interpretation.” (Kramer, 1997) • Using it for analysis 11
  12. 12. Streaming from Other Sites • Listening to Wikipedia – • Julie Freeman & Zooniverse – online-art-powered-by-the-zooniverse/ 12
  13. 13. Sonifying Hamlet 13 • Sonifying the Variants • Auditory Beacons
  14. 14. Sonifying the Variants • From Play to Sonification • Using First Folio and Quartos data • Parsing the TEI XML, converting it with rule set into numbers, sonifying the data to produce sounds 14 Sonification
  15. 15. Auditory Beacons • Acts and Scenes – Different Instruments and Pitches • Stage Directions – Different instruments – Period versus Modern sounds? • Speakers – Increasing volume – Stereoscopic illusion using two streams
  16. 16. Hemlines and Big Macs What do the above have in common? fasDMk-2obBgD-9E8EyM-9EcqxQ-fmXNTk-5NXQn8-9EbDCo-9E92MT-9EdgTG-9E8BhX-9EdWwJ-9E9XeP-5eFaos-fasxGD-fasDTM-6grvqH-9EdYKE-84W3Jj-9Ea7ft-9Ednjd-9Ebrg9-9Ecn6S-9E9Yw4-9E8Z5x-9EbrRf-9E9ZEp- 9E8Gmc-9EagHv-9E8FVp-9EaZBt-9Ed9iL-9Ed28w-9E8vZZ © Adrianne Behning Photography CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 ( brg1en-bzCXQW-P8dUr-2vXUL-mhoLcx-68EUUs-a2mvS6-9AGXkj-8gycdg-brgdMg-6dv6Fq-HLc3k-brcmiH-aTockB-aToc8k-9orD3p-aToc4H-5EmCvj-9R6BEh-9nwAZb-aiviqw-4KjEze-29N7yS-9DH2uj-9Y5sxD-oXYfep-5Tnqdp- bFD6ht-3nDm1w-3GXe6-opoHC-bskYDz © Ken Hawkins, CC BY 2.0 (
  17. 17. Hemlines and Big Macs • Light hearted views of economic data • Sound needs to be chosen – Audio can have associative qualities
  18. 18. Testing the UI • Head and Torso Simulators • Ears and Users
  19. 19. Thank you for listening Any questions? @iainemsley @minnelieder 19
  20. 20. Acknowledgements • Oxford e-Research Centre: Wes Armour, David De Roure, Rahim Lakhoo, Kevin Page, David Weigl • Bodleian Centre for Digital Scholarship: Pip Willcox • Software Acumen
  21. 21. Github
  22. 22. References Bull, Michael, Les Back, and David Howes, eds. The auditory culture reader. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015. Emsley, Iain and De Roure, David. It will discourse most eloquent music: Sonifying variants of Hamlet. 2015 Levitin, Daniel, This is Your Brain on Music. Atlantic, 2007. Pinch, Trevor, and Karin Bijsterveld, eds. The Oxford handbook of sound studies. Oxford University Press, 2011. Sterne, Jonathan (ed),The Sound Studies Reader. Routledge, 2012.