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Crowdsourcing Audio Production Interfaces

Speaker  Bryan Pardo

Affiliation  Northwestern University

Host  Nicole Immorlica

Duration  01:07:37

Date recorded  11 September 2013

Potential users of audio production software, such as audio equalizers, may be discouraged by the complexity of the interface and a lack of clear affordances in typical interfaces. We seek to simplify interfaces for task such as audio production (e.g. mastering a music album with ProTools), audio tools (e.g. equalizers) and related consumer devices (e.g. hearing aids). Our approach is to use an evaluative paradigm (“I like this sound better than that sound”) with the use of descriptive language (e.g. “Make the violin sound ‘warmer.’”). To achieve this goal, a system must be able to tell whether the stated goal is appropriate for the selected tool (e.g. making the violin “warmer” with a panning tool does not make sense). If the goal is appropriate for the tool, it must know what actions need to be taken (e.g. add some reverberation). Further, the tool should not impose a vocabulary on users, but rather understand the vocabulary users prefer. In this talk, Bryan Pardo describes, iQ, an equalizer that uses an evaluative control paradigm and SocialEQ, a web-based project to crowdsource a vocabulary of actionable audio descriptors.

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