Until E! 2668 AUDIOCLAS, there was no method to automatically classify audio and musical sound effects. This EUREKA project has resulted in an objective sound-effect classification system that should provide a major boost to European film, video and audio production. The software system makes it possible to speed access to major sound-effect libraries and simplify synthesis of new or combined sound effects from the stored data. Audio DNA is used to identify sounds similar in nature, such as door slams. This classification and taxonomy of sounds is an innovative new approach that is already being used to provide web access to a range of commercial sound-effect libraries for both professional and domestic use in Europe.
The AUDIOCLAS project set out to establish an ‘audio DNA’ classification system, based on the decomposition of a sound effect into several thousand finite elements. With sound effects playing a key role in film, video and audio productions, many film companies and post-production houses rely on sound-effect libraries to avoid the expense of creating specific individual sound effects. And a growing number of home video makers are discovering the creative possibilities of using such libraries too. Close co-operation between a leading UK post-production facility and a Spanish university audiovisual studies department led to the development of a fully automated approach to sound categorisation. AUDIOCLAS resulted in a software-based tool that makes it possible to catalogue sounds quickly, logically and automatically. Indeed, sound effects held within the library have already been used in the two US-produced Shrek films. Searches can now be carried out using key words or by playing a sound and asking the system to find similar effects.
Finding the way around
Catherine Shiels | alfa
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