Researchers have developed new audio software that creates a natural three-dimensional sound. Whether you‘re listening on your smartphone or in the car, it feels like you’re right there in the concert hall.
Optimum playback of digitized music requires superior software solutions. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS has developed intelligent algorithms known as Cingo and Symphoria that produce a natural and immersive 3D audio experience. So you get to feel like you’re at a live concert – even when you’re actually listening on a mobile device or in the car.
People often listen to music in far from ideal conditions. For example, the quality of the speakers used in smartphones, tablets and headphones is not always the best, and the speaker positions and passenger compartment acoustics can cause difficulties in the automotive environment.
But people still expect premium audio quality. The software solutions Cingo and Symphoria compensate for hardware weaknesses while simultaneously reproducing the musician’s intended sound image with the utmost precision – regardless of which speakers or headphones the listener is using.
“In a concert hall, the music doesn’t just come directly from the stage. We also hear the sound that bounces off the walls and ceiling. It’s the overall combination that gives us the impression of three-dimensional sound,” says Symphoria project manager Oliver Hellmuth.
Cingo and Symphoria analyze which elements of a recording are direct sound and which are reflected sound. They then join them together to create natural three-dimensional sound.
Close collaboration with sound engineers
However, it’s not enough to rely on signal analysis of the music to create an optimum listening experience using Cingo on mobile devices and Symphoria in vehicles. The key is to get engineers and sound technicians working together. “The engineers know how to develop the tool, and the sound technicians know how to make the best use of it,” explains Jan Plogsties, project manager for Cingo.
That’s why the sound technicians at Fraunhofer IIS were involved in making adjustments to the sound reproduction at an early stage in tandem with the technical analysis. Since no audio benchmark is available to judge the quality of these kinds of audio algorithms, the experts’ subjective opinions were crucial.
The IIS researchers have worked closely with their customers at every stage of the development process. That’s because the sound has to be tailored to the particular speakers of each individual device. “When a manufacturer chooses to implement our software, we configure the sound separately for each model. It’s a tuning process – and that’s why we need the expertise of our sound technicians,” says Oliver Hellmuth.
Right from the start, Cingo and Symphoria were developed with the idea of launching them as products. “We asked the same question we always ask ourselves: if it ends up working well, who could benefit from it? Our preliminary discussions soon revealed that a number of companies were very interested in good 3D surround sound solutions,” says Harald Popp, who is in charge of marketing the applications.
Since 2013 Google has included Cingo in all its Nexus devices, and Samsung launched the software as part of its virtual reality glasses. Audi is using Symphoria to create 3D and surround sound effects in its TT, Q7 and R8 models.
For the development and market launch of Cingo and Symphoria, Oliver Hellmuth, Jan Plogsties and Harald Popp are recipients of the 2015 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize.
Thoralf Dietz | Fraunhofer Research News
Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences