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Parametric Synthesis of Crowd Noises in Virtual Acoustic Environments

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This paper presents the design and evaluation of a parametric sound texture synthesis for the generation of crowd noise in virtual acoustic environments. It allows the control of the crowd size, its level of excitement, and its spatial distribution in real-time. A corpus-based concatenative approach is used to generate single streams of indistinct speech that are superimposed to create an unintelligible "babbling" texture. Speech material was recorded in semi-supervised group discussions in the anechoic chamber. The database is used in a real-time implementation with a subsequent rendering using dynamic binaural synthesis. Listening tests were conducted to evaluate the effect of different parameter settings, as well as the perceived “naturalness” of the simulation.

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