A Sound Authoring Architecture for Virtual Environments and Interactive Applications


Session Title:

  • Interactive and Intermedia Software System Design

Presentation Title:

  • A Sound Authoring Architecture for Virtual Environments and Interactive Applications



  • This paper describes applications of a client-server real-time sound synthesis software architecture.The architecture has been applied to produce synchronous sounds interactively to accompany silent computing applications. Silent applications are those that do not produce sound as their primary function, for example, computer graphics and animation applications, virtual environments, and internet browsers. Features of this technology include:


    1. synchronizing sounds with graphics frame rates in real-time;
    2. extracting data from silent applications and using that data to control sounds;
    3. assembling continuous audio signals from multiple sources, using algorithms that create seamless mixtures and transitions;
    4. transmitting sound control commands from a silent application without encoding detailed sound synthesis instructions in the silent application;
    5. allowing the relationship between a silent application and a sound synthesis algorithm to be redefined without re-coding the silent application.


    Sound authoring refers to the process of creating correspondences between synthesized sounds and the anticipated states of a silent application. A correspondence is defined by associating a state in the silent application to one or more sound synthesis control signals.These associations are created in advance of the run-time performance of the silent application. During run-time, control signals are generated automatically when the corresponding states occur.This paper performs a comparative analysis of sound authoring in distinction to off-the-shelf products for communications between computer graphics and sound production. It identifies problems of existing paradigms, presents sound authoring solutions and discusses working applications for animation production, virtual environments, and web browsers.