Fast Modal Sounds with Scalable Frequency-Domain Synthesis

Abstract : Audio rendering of impact sounds, such as those caused by falling objects or explosion debris, adds realism to interactive 3D audiovisual applications, and can be convincingly achieved using modal sound synthesis. Unfortunately, mode-based computations can become prohibitively expensive when many objects, each with many modes, are impacted simultaneously. We introduce a fast sound synthesis approach, based on short-time Fourier Tranforms, that exploits the inherent sparsity of modal sounds in the frequency domain. For our test scenes, this "fast mode summation" can give speedups of 5-8 times compared to a time-domain solution, with slight degradation in quality. We discuss different reconstruction windows, affecting the quality of impact sound "attacks". Our Fourier-domain processing method allows us to introduce a scalable, real-time, audio processing pipeline for both recorded and modal sounds, with auditory masking and sound source clustering. To avoid abrupt computation peaks, such as during the simultaneous impacts of an explosion, we use crossmodal perception results on audiovisual synchrony to effect temporal scheduling. We also conducted a pilot perceptual user evaluation of our method. Our implementation results show that we can treat complex audiovisual scenes in real time with high quality.
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ACM Transactions on Graphics, Association for Computing Machinery, 2008, SIGGRAPH Conference Proceedings, 27 (3), 〈10.1145/1399504.1360623〉
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Nicolas Bonneel, George Drettakis, Nicolas Tsingos, Isabelle Viaud-Delmon, Doug James. Fast Modal Sounds with Scalable Frequency-Domain Synthesis. ACM Transactions on Graphics, Association for Computing Machinery, 2008, SIGGRAPH Conference Proceedings, 27 (3), 〈10.1145/1399504.1360623〉. 〈inria-00607249〉

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