We research in different aspects of sound and audio:
- New paradigms like 3D audio, offering the possibility to place a sound in any position of the space independently of the exhibition system.
- New applications of audio beyond the media sector, for diverse fields like industrial quality control, security and improvement of the quality of life with people with disabilities.
- New extensions into the ultrasonic domain, exploring the possibilities that ultrasounds offers in traditional and nontraditional audio applications.
- New ways to create, analyze, process and exhibit audio, exploring both the technical tools needed and the creative possibilities open.
We carry out research into acoustics and technologies for the production, post-production and exhibition of 3D audio. The 3D audio technology developed by Barcelona Media offers truly immersive content:
- Sound can be placed at any point within the space. 3D audio adds a vertical dimension to speaker configurations of differing heights, which enables sound to be placed at any angle.
- Greater realism and natural qualities. 3D audio allows for the reproduction of rich soundscapes where sounds originate at different depths in respect to the listener, along with high-fidelity 3D reverberations. Audiences can hear planes and spaceships flying above their heads and explosions and tremors beneath their feet.
- Independence from the exhibition system. The entire production and post-production process of a 3D soundtrack is independent of the exhibition system, and as a result does not have to be completed individually for each of the systems where the 3D content is to be reproduced. We provide decoding of 3D audio for any arbitrary configuration and headphones.
This technology requires research in several aspects from capturing the sounds to post-production and exhibition. The technology developed in Barcelona Media engineered the startup Imm Sound, one of the world pioneering companies in bringing 3D audio to cinema, which has been recently acquired by Dolby.
We currently research 3D audio for the following sectors: special events and installations, museums, theatre, music, advertisement and broadcasting.
Acoustic imaging with sounds and ultrasounds
In Barcelona Media we research in algorithms and technology to extract valuable geometric information from acoustical data, be conventional acoustical data in the audible domain, be acoustical data in the ultrasonic domain. Potential applications are security systems, map building and audio forensics, among others.
Sound over ultrasound technology
We conduct research in the field of ultrasonics and non-linear acoustics to develop solutions of parametric arrays, highly directive audible sound based in the sound over ultrasound technology, to be used in public announcement (PA), warning/prevention, security systems and acoustical instrumentation.
Automatic recognition of audio signals
We develop systems that can recognize specific types of sound/noise and vibration within complex auditory scenes. This information later on can be used in quality control, non-destructive testing, problem/source identification and positioning.
Audio at live events
We provide various capturing and processing techniques to record audio at live events (sporting events, concerts, teleconferences, etc.), developing tools and technologies for the live reconstruction and manipulation of the auditory scene. We have developed technologies for capturing the sound of interest in live events and automation of the production tools to optimize the audience experience. Our technology allows the audio engineer to use any number of microphones without effort and with better precision, for example, just by moving his finger over a tactile interface.
Sound propagation in urban environments
We conduct research in methods and algorithms for determining the noise-reduction curve of propagation in accordance with European standards. This research makes it possible to calculate the acoustic impact of the different sound sources, to navigate through the location visualizing the acoustic impact data at each point, and, on top of everything, to auralize the result, meaning to reproduced the propagated sound, given the existing sound sources.
Our efforts in the field of sonification aim at presenting data with audible streams as an alternative to visual display and to discover new ways of exploring large datasets of multiple dimensions simultaneously. Taking psychoacoustics into account, we can encode several perceptible streams of information into a single audio channel. Together with our expertise in full three dimensional sound, spreading the information streams across the complete listening space opens up completely new possibilities in sonification research.
Our research focuses on developing a three dimensional visual-to-auditory substitution device as an orientation aid for the blind. Being experts in binaural audio technology, we project the real world imagery into a virtual auditory scene. Objects, walls and similar are sonified and placed virtually where their real counter-parts are situated, creating an intuitive and direct correspondence of the spatial scene composition. Object sonification enables their identification by creating unique auditory fingerprints based on visual cues such as color, texture, shape and size.