Modeling Sparsely Reflecting Outdoor Acoustic Scenes using the Waveguide Web

Francis Kit Murfin Stevens, Damian Thomas Murphy, Lauri Savioja, Vesa Välimäki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computer games and virtual reality require digital reverberation algorithms, which can simulate a broad range of acoustic spaces, including locations in the open air. Additionally, the detailed simulation of environmental sound is an area of significant interest due to the propagation of noise pollution over distances and its related impact on well-being, particularly in urban spaces. This paper introduces the waveguide web digital reverberator design for modeling the acoustics of sparsely reflecting outdoor environments; a design that is, in part, an extension of the scattering delay network reverberator. The design of the algorithm is based on a set of digital waveguides connected by scattering junctions at nodes that represent the reflection points of the environment under study. The structure of the proposed reverberator allows for accurate reproduction of reflections between discrete reflection points. Approximation errors are caused when the assumption of point-like nodes does not hold true. Three example cases are presented comparing waveguide web simulated impulse responses for a traditional shoebox room, a forest scenario, and an urban courtyard, with impulse responses created using other simulation methods or from real-world measurements. The waveguide web algorithm can better enable the acoustic simulation of outdoor spaces and so contribute toward sound design for virtual reality applications, gaming, and auralization, with a particular focus on acoustic design for the urban environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7918519
Pages (from-to)1566-1578
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions On Audio Speech And Language Processing
Issue number8
Early online date3 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017

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  • acoustic propagation
  • acoustic signal processing
  • Acoustics
  • IIR digital filters
  • numerical simulation

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