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Kramer, G. (1994). Some organizing principles for representing data with sound. In G. Kramer (Ed.), Auditory Display: Sonification, Audification, and Auditory Interfaces (pp. 185–221). Reading MA: Addison-Wesley. 
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard (10/21/05, 2:49 PM)   Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Resource type: Book Article
BibTeX citation key: Kramer1994a
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Categories: General
Keywords: Aural Imagery, Gestalt
Creators: Kramer
Publisher: Addison-Wesley (Reading MA)
Collection: Auditory Display: Sonification, Audification, and Auditory Interfaces
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"Techniques for auditory data represention, and the perceptual issues they raise, are discussed. Sonification, audification, and audiation are defined in terms of mediating structures between the data and listener. A software system for sonification research is described and parameter nesting, the control of a single auditory variable on several time scales simultaneously, is suggested as a technique for achieving high-dimensional displays. The use of both realistic and abstract sounds for auditory display is discussed in the context of parameter nesting. Techniques for the weighting and balancing of attentionally compelling display components are discussed and it is suggested that a 100% balanced display can only be approximated. The technique of using "beacons" for orienting oneself within an auditory display is discussed and examples of applications are suggested. Gestalt formation is recognized as an operant factor for auditory display in general and beacons in particular. The techniques of data family/stream association, data type/parameter association, global, inter-stream and per stream linking, and metaphorical and affective association are described and suggested as the means of making sonification displays more intuitive, comprehensible, and easier to use."
Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard  Last edited by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
p.186   Defines audification: "A direct translation of a data waveform to the audible domain for purposes of monitoring and comprehension". As it is a direct translation, the data must exist in the form of a waveform (it is shifted to the audio domain) and no sound-generators are involved. Sometimes referred to as 0th-order sonification.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Audification
p.187   Sonification is defined as "[T]he use of data to control a sound generator for the purpose of monitoring and analysis of the data". This involves mapping of one or more parameters of the data set to the audio domain e.g. size ---> loudness.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Sonification
p.188   Audiation is the formation of "an imagined auditory image" and involves memory and recall. Little research has been done in this area. Sometimes called auralization, which itself is sometimes described as realistic sonic spatialization.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Audiation Conformity & expectation
p.206   "When a complex multivariate auditory stream is used to convey data, an important perceptual process comes into play. In addition to the system user's ability to scan his or her attention through the sound, relationships between variables and entire system states are perceived "at a glance." Which is to say, without attention-directed effort, all the auditory variables are perceived as a whole, or a "gestalt."   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Gestalt

Provides two categories of human-computer interface sound:

  • Realistic -- may be recorded or designed/synthesised to emulate 'real-world' sounds. Kramer includes natural sounds, animals, speech, machinery in this category.
  • Abstract -- no obvious associations with 'real-world' sound. Includes Blattner's (1989) earcons, non-imitative synthetic sounds and acoustic musical instruments.

Blattner, M. M., Sumikawa, D. A., & Greenberg, R. M. (1989). Earcons and icons: Their structure and common design principles. Human-computer Interaction, 4, 11–44.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
pp.212–217   Discusses the use of metaphor to link abstract sounds to data sets where, for sonification purposes, no realistic sounds are available (e.g. stock market sonifications).

When sonifying 'more' and 'less', metaphorical associations for 'more' might be:

  • louder (larger objects, more sensory impact)
  • brighter (more partials or more high-frequency energy)
  • faster (more sound in the same time frame)
  • higher pitch (more cycles per second)

Affective associations relate to the feelings aroused by sound. For example desirable and undesirable qualities in the sonified data set may be mapped to sound ugliness, richness, in-tune/out of tune etc.

There may be some interaction between metaphorical and affective mappings and subjectivity plays its part.   Added by: Mark Grimshaw-Aagaard
Keywords:   Metaphor
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