Soundscape auralisation and visualisation: A cross-modal approach to Soundscape evaluation

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Soundscape research is concerned with the study and understanding
of our relationship with our surrounding acoustic environments and
the sonic elements that they are comprised of. Whilst much of this
research has focussed on sound alone, any practical application of
soundscape methodologies should consider the interaction between
aural and visual environmental features: an interaction known as
cross-modal perception. This presents an avenue for soundscape
research exploring how an environment’s visual features can affect
an individual’s experience of the soundscape of that same environment.
This paper presents the results of two listening tests1
one a preliminary test making use of static stereo UHJ renderings
of first-order-ambisonic (FOA) soundscape recordings and static
panoramic images; the other using YouTube as a platform to present
dynamic binaural renderings of the same FOA recordings alongside
full motion spherical video. The stimuli for these tests were
recorded at several locations around the north of England including
rural, urban, and suburban environments exhibiting soundscapes
comprised of many natural, human, and mechanical sounds. The
purpose of these tests was to investigate how the presence of visual
stimuli can alter soundscape perception and categorisation.
This was done by presenting test subjects with each soundscape
alone and then with visual accompaniment, and then comparing
collected subjective evaluation data. Results indicate that the presence
of certain visual features can alter the emotional state evoked
by exposure to a soundscape, for example, where the presence of
‘green infrastructure’ (parks, trees, and foliage) results in a less
agitating experience of a soundscape containing high levels of environmental
noise. This research represents an important initial step
toward the integration of virtual reality technologies into soundscape
research, and the use of suitable tools to perform subjective
evaluation of audiovisual stimuli. Future research will consider how
these methodologies can be implemented in real-world applications
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2018


  • soundscape
  • acoustics
  • noise
  • VR

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