• Audio-tactile multimodal perception of tissue-conducted sound fields

      Lennox, Peter; McKenzie, Ian; University of Derby (26/05/2017)
      Approximately 5% of the World’s population, that is, 360 million people, suffer from “disabling hearing loss” and the proportion of over-65s rises to about 33%. 13.4% of geriatric patients have significant conductive components to their hearing loss. For this segment of the population, “music deprivation” may have significant long-term health and wellbeing consequences amounting to diminished quality of life (QoL). Assistive technologies implementing sensory augmentation could ameliorate the effects of lack of ready access to music, the experiential attributes of music listening can be reinstated and tangible benefits might accrue.
    • The body as instrument: tissue conducted multimodal audio-tactile spatial music.

      Lennox, Peter; McKenzie, Ian; Brown, Michael; University of Derby (25/08/2017)
      We describe early progress in exploring the compositional potential for multimodal music of a multi-transducer audio-plus-vibrotactile apparatus, utilising ambisonics encoding; the tactile component is an incidental by-product, carried by the same transducers. An elicitation exercise with one hundred uninstructed listeners who gave responses in their own words was conducted and responses were transcribed and aggregated to identify emergent descriptive themes. The tactile components of the stimuli assume greater importance in the perceptual experience than originally considered, suggesting compositional opportunities in utilizing additive effects of audio-plus-tactile signals. This could engender assistive technologies for those with some degree of conductive hearing loss, ameliorating music-deprivation and addressing quality-of-life (QoL) issues.
    • Feel it in my bones: Composing multimodal experience through tissue conduction

      Lennox, Peter; McKenzie, Ian; Brown, Michael; University of Derby (Les éditions de PRISM, 28/09/2017)
      We outline here the feasibility of coherently utilising tissue conduction for spatial audio and tactile input. Tissue conduction display-specific compositional concerns are discussed; it is hypothesised that the qualia available through this medium substantively differ from those for conventional artificial means of appealing to auditory spatial perception. The implications include that spatial music experienced in this manner constitutes a new kind of experience, and that the ground rules of composition are yet to be established. We refer to results from listening experiences with one hundred listeners in an unstructured attribute elicitation exercise, where prominent themes such as “strange”, “weird”, “positive”, “spatial” and “vibrations” emerged. We speculate on future directions aimed at taking maximal advantage of the principle of multimodal perception to broaden the informational bandwidth of the display system. Some implications for composition for hearing-impaired are elucidated.
    • Hearing Without Ears

      McKenzie, Ian; Lennox, Peter; Wiggins, Bruce; University of Derby (Georgia Institute of Technology, 22/06/2014)
      We report on on-going work investigating the feasibility of using tissue conduction to evince auditory spatial perception. Early results indicate that it is possible to coherently control externalization, range, directionality (including elevation), movement and some sense of spaciousness without presenting acoustic signals to the outer ear. Signal control techniques so far have utilised discrete signal feeds, stereo and 1st order ambisonic hierarchies. Some deficiencies in frontal externalization have been observed. We conclude that, whilst the putative components of the head related transfer function are absent, empirical tests indicate that coherent equivalents are perceptually utilisable. Some implications for perceptual theory and technological implementations are discussed along with potential practical applications and future lines of enquiry.
    • Inside-outside: 3-D music through tissue conduction

      McKenzie, Ian; Lennox, Peter; Wiggins, Bruce; University of Derby (24/03/2015)
      Eliciting an auditory perception by means of mechanical transduction bypassing the peripheral hearing apparatus has been recorded as early as the 16th century. Excluding its audiometric use to assess ear pathology, bone and soft tissue conduction has received very little interest until the last two decades. Previous work during this time (Stanley and Walker 2006, MacDonald and Letowski 2006) has indicated robust lateralization is feasible via mechanical transduction. We have extended this, adding the front-back and up-down axes.
    • Investigating spatial music qualia through tissue conduction

      Lennox, Peter; McKenzie, Ian; University of Derby (Aalto University, 2017-07)
      A spatial array of vibro-mechanical transducers for bone-and-tissue conduction has been used to convey spatial ambisonic soundscape and spatial musical material. One hundred volunteers have undergone a five-minute listening experiences, then have described the experience in their own words, on paper, in an unstructured elicitation exercise. The responses have been aggregated to elicit common emergent descriptive themes, which were then mapped against each other to identify to what extent the experience was valuable, enjoyable and informative, and what qualia were available through this technique. There appear to some substantive differences between this way of experiencing music and spatial sound, and other modes of listening. Notably, the haptic component of the experience appears potentially informative and enjoyable. We conclude that development of similar techniques may have implications for augmented perception, particularly in respect of quality of life (QoL) in cases of conductive hearing loss.
    • Sensory augmentation through tissue conduction

      Lennox, Peter; McKenzie, Ian; University of Derby (InTech, 18/10/2017)
      One hundred volunteers have undergone short (5 min) listening tests in a novel multi-transducer bone-and-tissue conduction apparatus for spatial audio. The subjects subsequently described their experiences in an unstructured qualitative elicitation exercise. Their responses were aggregated to identify key themes and differences. Emergent themes are: enjoyable, informative, spatial and strange. Tactile supplementation of spatial audio display was noted in a positive light. We note that some spatial attributes are more perceptible than others. The implications for perceptual augmentation are discussed, particularly in relation to conductive hearing deficits. We conclude that the technique has potential for development and discusses future research directions.
    • Tissue-conducted spatial sound fields

      McKenzie, Ian; Lennox, Peter; Wiggins, Bruce; University of Derby (Institute of Acoustics, 14/10/2014)
      We describe experiments using multiple cranial transducers to achieve auditory spatial perceptual impressions via bone (BC) and tissue conduction (TC), bypassing the peripheral hearing apparatus. This could be useful in cases of peripheral hearing damage or where ear-occlusion is undesirable. Previous work (e.g. Stanley and Walker 2006, MacDonald and Letowski 2006)1,2 indicated robust lateralization is feasible via tissue conduction. We have utilized discrete signals, stereo and first order ambisonics to investigate control of externalization, range, direction in azimuth and elevation, movement and spaciousness. Early results indicate robust and coherent effects. Current technological implementations are presented and potential development paths discussed.