Spatial Audio Designer

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The Web Audio API is an underutilized technology that provides a potential for rich interactive control over sound generation and rendering. Our team made use of the API in combination with Web3D technologies to create a spatial audio design tool for digital audiovisual creators. Our primary design challenge was creating an interface for visualizing and manipulating sound design in 3D space. We wanted our interface to be learnable and usable for our target user groups: digital music creators, digital audiovisual 3D artists, and physical audiovisual installation artists who wish to develop ideas in a virtual space. From user interviews, we learned that users needed a detailed visual 3D space as a starting point to populate with sound, as well as fine control over positioning of sound sources. The prototype web app can be used by digital and physical artists to create novel virtual audiovisual experiences, or to model a physical audiovisual installation to share and test with others. More work needs to be done to add direct spatial controls for sound fields and to make the app more natural to use. We asked artists of varying technical skill to use the app and re-create a reference scene, and measured how accurate their re-creation is.