Cross-Modal Soundscape Mapping: Integrating Ambisonic Environmental Audio Recordings and High Dynamic Range Spherical Panoramic Photography
Carter, J. Parkman
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We cannot “measure” the soundscape any more than we can “measure” the ocean, the city, or the wilderness. Being comprised of myriad complex elements, conditions and relationships between sound sources and sound perceivers, the soundscape—and any sufficient description of it—must account for several different, but significantly interrelated, dimensions: physical, spatial, temporal, perceptual, cultural, and historical. How, then, are we to meaningfully document the soundscape? If we are to begin to understand the soundscape’s impact on us—and our impact upon it—we need new methods to capture and represent the multisensory extents of a soundscape without reverting to one-dimensional quantitative abstractions. This project proposes an interdisciplinary method to record a soundscape’s multisensory attributes by combining aural and visual information in a structured way which links the directionality of view and sound arrival. This method integrates multi-directional Ambisonic audio recordings with high dynamic range (HDR) spherical panoramic photography in the form of interactive maps and virtual tours. Case studies using the cross-modal soundscape mapping method will be presented.