AI-Powered Headphones Filter Only Unwanted Noise #ASA186

AI-Powered Headphones Filter Only Unwanted Noise #ASA186

Neural network categorizes ambient sounds, giving users the power to choose what to hear.

Media Contact:
AIP Media
301-209-3090
media@aip.org

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 16, 2024 – Noise-canceling headphones are a godsend for living and working in loud environments. They automatically identify background sounds and cancel them out for much-needed peace and quiet. However, typical noise-canceling fails to distinguish between unwanted background sounds and crucial information, leaving headphone users unaware of their surroundings.

Shyam Gollakota, from the University of Washington, is an expert in using AI tools for real-time audio processing. His team created a system for targeted speech hearing in noisy environments and developed AI-based headphones that selectively filter out specific sounds while preserving others. He will present his work Thursday, May 16, at 1:20 p.m. EDT as part of a joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Canadian Acoustical Association, running May 13-17 at the Shaw Centre located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

“Imagine you are in a park, admiring the sounds of chirping birds, but then you have the loud chatter of a nearby group of people who just can’t stop talking,” said Gollakota. “Now imagine if your headphones could grant you the ability to focus on the sounds of the birds while the rest of the noise just goes away. That is exactly what we set out to achieve with our system.”

Headphones

Researchers augmented noise-canceling headphones with a smartphone-based neural network to identify ambient sounds and preserve them while filtering out everything else. Image credit: Shyam Gollakota

Gollakota and his team combined noise-canceling technology with a smartphone-based neural network trained to identify 20 different environmental sound categories. These include alarm clocks, crying babies, sirens, car horns, and birdsong. When a user selects one or more of these categories, the software identifies and plays those sounds through the headphones in real time while filtering out everything else.

Making this system work seamlessly was not an easy task, however.

“To achieve what we want, we first needed a high-level intelligence to identify all the different sounds in an environment,” said Gollakota. “Then, we needed to separate the target sounds from all the interfering noises. If this is not hard enough, whatever sounds we extracted needed to sync with the user’s visual senses, since they cannot be hearing someone two seconds too late. This means the neural network algorithms must process sounds in real time in under a hundredth of a second, which is what we achieved.”

The team employed this AI-powered approach to focus on human speech. Relying on similar content-aware techniques, their algorithm can identify a speaker and isolate their voice from ambient noise in real time for clearer conversations.

Gollakota is excited to be at the forefront of the next generation of audio devices.

“We have a very unique opportunity to create the future of intelligent hearables that can enhance human hearing capability and augment intelligence to make lives better,” said Gollakota.

———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–
​Main Meeting Website: https://acousticalsociety.org/ottawa/    
Technical Program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/src/EventPilot/php/express/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING24

ASA PRESS ROOM
In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS
ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are summaries (300-500 words) of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION
ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the in-person meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org. For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN ACOUSTICAL ASSOCIATION/ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE D’ACOUSTIQUE

  • fosters communication among people working in all areas of acoustics in Canada
  • promotes the growth and practical application of knowledge in acoustics
  • encourages education, research, protection of the environment, and employment in acoustics
  • is an umbrella organization through which general issues in education, employment and research can be addressed at a national and multidisciplinary level

The CAA is a member society of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) and the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), and is an affiliate society of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV). Visit https://caa-aca.ca/.

Noise Survey Highlights Need for New Direction at Canadian Airports #ASA186

Noise Survey Highlights Need for New Direction at Canadian Airports #ASA186

Annoyance data gathered during pandemic reveals flaws in existing methods to assess and mitigate noise impacts.

Media Contact:
AIP Media
301-209-3090
media@aip.org

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 16, 2024 – The COVID-19 pandemic changed life in many ways, including stopping nearly all commercial flights. At the Toronto Pearson International Airport, airplane traffic dropped by 80% in the first few months of lockdown. For a nearby group of researchers, this presented a unique opportunity.

noise survey

Low-flying aircraft can lead to noisy and unhealthy neighborhoods, and a pioneering survey can help track their impact around Canadian airports. Image Credit: Julia Jovanovic

Julia Jovanovic will present the results of a survey conducted on aircraft noise and annoyance during the pandemic era Thursday, May 16, at 11:10 a.m. EDT as part of a joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Canadian Acoustical Association, running May 13-17 at the Shaw Centre located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

“For many years, researchers like me have looked to assess the impacts of aircraft noise on communities surrounding airports, particularly in terms of annoyance,” said Jovanovic. “The travel restrictions due to COVID and the resulting sustained reductions in noise gave us an unprecedented opportunity to test the correlation between noise and annoyance.”

In early 2020, the NVH-SQ Research Group out of the University of Windsor surveyed residents living around the airport to gauge how their annoyance levels changed with the reduction in noise. A follow-up survey in 2021 provided even more data for the researchers, and according to Jovanovic, they highlight flaws in the tools authorities use to assess and manage the impacts of aircraft noise on communities.

“The industry has, for too long, erroneously relied on noise complaints as a proxy measure for annoyance,” said Jovanovic. “These surveys show that complaints and annoyance are different phenomena, triggered by different mechanisms. Only annoyance has a proven correlation to overall noise levels.”

According to their data, while noise complaints dropped overall during the pandemic, many of the people sending those complaints continued to do so, and some areas even saw an increase in complaints. This demonstrates the need for collecting survey data on annoyance specifically, something Canadian authorities overseeing air transport have been reluctant to do.

“Even though the annoyance metric draws much criticism due to its subjective nature, it is still indicative of the overall effect of aircraft noise on individuals and the resulting possible long-term health impacts,” said Jovanovic. “These types of surveys are conducted in most developed nations on a regular basis. To the best of our knowledge, we are unaware of any similar efforts in any other Canadian airport.”

Jovanovic and her colleagues hope these results will spur regulatory agencies to collect better data and use it to develop more updated standards and guidelines for protecting the public from aircraft noise and protecting the future of airport operations from continuous residential encroachment.

“The survey should be repeated around all of our nation’s airports to get an accurate representation of the effects of aircraft noise on Canadian communities and update Transport Canada’s severely outdated guidelines for the management of aircraft noise,” said Jovanovic.

———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–
​Main Meeting Website: https://acousticalsociety.org/ottawa/    
Technical Program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/src/EventPilot/php/express/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING24

ASA PRESS ROOM
In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS
ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are summaries (300-500 words) of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION
ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the in-person meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org. For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN ACOUSTICAL ASSOCIATION/ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE D’ACOUSTIQUE

  • fosters communication among people working in all areas of acoustics in Canada
  • promotes the growth and practical application of knowledge in acoustics
  • encourages education, research, protection of the environment, and employment in acoustics
  • is an umbrella organization through which general issues in education, employment and research can be addressed at a national and multidisciplinary level

The CAA is a member society of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) and the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), and is an affiliate society of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV). Visit https://caa-aca.ca/.

Building a Better Sarcasm Detector #ASA186

Building a Better Sarcasm Detector #ASA186

Sarcasm, notoriously difficult to interpret, demystified by multimodal approach.

Media Contact:
AIP Media
301-209-3090
media@aip.org

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 16, 2024 – Oscar Wilde once said that sarcasm was the lowest form of wit, but the highest form of intelligence. Perhaps that is due to how difficult it is to use and understand. Sarcasm is notoriously tricky to convey through text — even in person, it can be easily misinterpreted. The subtle changes in tone that convey sarcasm often confuse computer algorithms as well, limiting virtual assistants and content analysis tools.

Xiyuan Gao, Shekhar Nayak, and Matt Coler of Speech Technology Lab at the University of Groningen, Campus Fryslân developed a multimodal algorithm for improved sarcasm detection that examines multiple aspects of audio recordings for increased accuracy. Gao will present their work Thursday, May 16, at 10:35 a.m. EDT as part of a joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Canadian Acoustical Association, running May 13-17 at the Shaw Centre located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

sacasm

Using text recognition, incorporating emoticons, and introducing audio analysis, researchers designed a robust system for detecting sarcasm in human speech. Image credit: This image was created with the assistance of DALL•E 3.

Traditional sarcasm detection algorithms often rely on a single parameter to produce their results, which is the main reason they often fall short. Gao, Nayak, and Coler instead used two complementary approaches — sentiment analysis using text and emotion recognition using audio — for a more complete picture.

“We extracted acoustic parameters such as pitch, speaking rate, and energy from speech, then used Automatic Speech Recognition to transcribe the speech into text for sentiment analysis,” said Gao. “Next, we assigned emoticons to each speech segment, reflecting its emotional content. By integrating these multimodal cues into a machine learning algorithm, our approach leverages the combined strengths of auditory and textual information along with emoticons for a comprehensive analysis.”

The team is optimistic about the performance of their algorithm, but they are already looking for ways to improve it further.

“There are a range of expressions and gestures people use to highlight sarcastic elements in speech,” said Gao. “These need to be better integrated into our project. In addition, we would like to include more languages and adopt developing sarcasm recognition techniques.”

This approach can be used for more than identifying a dry wit. The researchers highlight that this technique can be widely applied in many fields.

“The development of sarcasm recognition technology can benefit other research domains using sentiment analysis and emotion recognition,” said Gao. “Traditionally, sentiment analysis mainly focuses on text and is developed for applications such as online hate speech detection and customer opinion mining. Emotion recognition based on speech can be applied to AI-assisted health care. Sarcasm recognition technology that applies a multimodal approach is insightful to these research domains.”

———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–
​Main Meeting Website: https://acousticalsociety.org/ottawa/    
Technical Program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/src/EventPilot/php/express/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING24

ASA PRESS ROOM
In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS
ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are summaries (300-500 words) of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION
ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the in-person meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org. For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN ACOUSTICAL ASSOCIATION/ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE D’ACOUSTIQUE

  • fosters communication among people working in all areas of acoustics in Canada
  • promotes the growth and practical application of knowledge in acoustics
  • encourages education, research, protection of the environment, and employment in acoustics
  • is an umbrella organization through which general issues in education, employment and research can be addressed at a national and multidisciplinary level

The CAA is a member society of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) and the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), and is an affiliate society of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV). Visit https://caa-aca.ca/.

Spider Silk Sound System #ASA186

Spider Silk Sound System #ASA186

Spiderweb silk moves at the velocity of particles in a sound field for highly sensitive, long-distance sound detection.

Media Contact:
AIP Media
301-209-3090
media@aip.org

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 16, 2024 – The best microphone in the world might have an unexpected source: spider silk. Spiders weave webs to trap their insect snacks, but the sticky strands also help spiders hear. Unlike human eardrums and conventional microphones that detect sound pressure waves, spider silk responds to changes in the velocities of air particles as they are thrust about by a sound field. This sound velocity detection method remains largely underexplored compared to pressure sensing, but it holds great potential for high-sensitivity, long-distance sound detection.

Researchers from Binghamton University investigated how spiders listen to their environments through webs. They found the webs match the acoustic particle velocity for a wide range of sound frequencies. Ronald Miles will present their work Thursday, May 16, at 10:00 a.m. EDT as part of a joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Canadian Acoustical Association, running May 13-17 at the Shaw Centre located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

silk

Larinioides sclopetarius, commonly known as bridge spiders, helped researchers from Binghamton University investigate how spiders listen to their environments through webs as a way to inspire future designs for microphones that would also be able to respond to sound-driven airflow. Image credit: Junpeng Lai

“Most insects that can hear sound use fine hairs or their antennae, which don’t respond to sound pressure,” said Miles, a professor of mechanical engineering. “Instead, these thin structures respond to the motion of the air in a sound field. I wondered how to make an engineered device that would also be able to respond to sound-driven airflow. We tried various man-made fibers that were very thin, but they were also very fragile and difficult to work with. Then, Dr. Jian Zhou was walking in our campus nature preserve and saw a spiderweb blowing in the breeze. He thought spider silk might be a great thing to try.”

Before building such a device, the team had to prove spiderwebs truly responded to sound-driven airflow. To test this hypothesis, they simply opened their lab windows to observe the Larinioides sclopetarius, or bridge spiders, that call the windowsills home. They played sound ranging from 1 Hz to 50 kHz for the spiders and measured the spider silk motion with a laser vibrometer. They found the sound-induced velocity of the silk was the same as the particles in the air surrounding it, confirming the mechanism that these spiders use to detect their prey.

“Because spider silk is, of course, created by spiders, it isn’t practical to incorporate it into the billions of microphones that are made each year,” said Miles. “It does, however, teach us a lot about what mechanical properties are desirable in a microphone and may inspire entirely new designs.”

———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–
​Main Meeting Website: https://acousticalsociety.org/ottawa/    
Technical Program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/src/EventPilot/php/express/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING24

ASA PRESS ROOM
In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS
ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are summaries (300-500 words) of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION
ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the in-person meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org. For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN ACOUSTICAL ASSOCIATION/ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE D’ACOUSTIQUE

  • fosters communication among people working in all areas of acoustics in Canada
  • promotes the growth and practical application of knowledge in acoustics
  • encourages education, research, protection of the environment, and employment in acoustics
  • is an umbrella organization through which general issues in education, employment and research can be addressed at a national and multidisciplinary level

The CAA is a member society of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) and the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), and is an affiliate society of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV). Visit https://caa-aca.ca/.

To Sound like a Hockey Player, Speak like a Canadian #ASA186

To Sound like a Hockey Player, Speak like a Canadian #ASA186

American athletes tend to signal their identity as hockey players through Canadian English-like accents.

Media Contact:
AIP Media
301-209-3090
media@aip.org

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 16, 2024 – As a hockey player, Andrew Bray was familiar with the slang thrown around the “barn” (hockey arena). As a linguist, he wanted to understand how sport-specific jargon evolved and permeated across teams, regions, and countries. In pursuit of the sociolinguistic “biscuit” (puck), he faced an unexpected question.

“It was while conducting this initial study that I was asked a question that has since shaped the direction of my subsequent research,” said Bray. “‘Are you trying to figure out why the Americans sound like fake Canadians?’”  

Canadian English dialects are stereotypically represented by the vowel pronunciation, or articulation, in words like “out” and “about,” borrowed British terms like “zed,” and the affinity for the tag question “eh?” Bray, from the University of Rochester, will present an investigation into American hockey players’ use of Canadian English accents Thursday, May 16, at 8:25 a.m. EDT as part of a joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Canadian Acoustical Association, running May 13-17 at the Shaw Centre located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

hockey

Andrew Bray, former UGA Ice Dawg, will present an investigation into American hockey players’ use of Canadian English accents at the 186th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. Here the University of Georgia takes on the University of Florida in the 2016 Savannah Tire Hockey Classic. Image credit: University of Georgia Ice Dawgs

Studying how hockey players talk required listening to them talk about hockey. To analyze unique vowel articulation and the vast collection of sport-specific slang terminology that players incorporated into their speech, Bray visited different professional teams to interview their American-born players.

“In these interviews, I would ask players to discuss their career trajectories, including when and why they began playing hockey, the teams that they played for throughout their childhood, why they decided to pursue collegiate or major junior hockey, and their current lives as professionals,” said Bray. “The interview sought to get players talking about hockey for as long as possible.”

Bray found that American athletes borrow features of the Canadian English accents, especially for hockey-specific terms and jargon, but do not follow the underlying rules behind the pronunciation, which could explain why the accent might sound “fake” to a Canadian.

“It is important to note that American hockey players are not trying to shift their speech to sound more Canadian,” said Bray. “Rather, they are trying to sound more like a hockey player.”

Players from Canada and northern American states with similar accents have historically dominated the sport. Adopting features of this dialect is a way hockey players can outwardly portray their identity through speech, called a linguistic persona. Many factors influence this persona, like age, gender expression, social category, and as Bray demonstrated, a sport.

Going forward, Bray plans to combine his recent work with his original quest to investigate if Canadian English pronunciation and the hockey linguistic persona are introduced to American players through the sport’s signature slang.

———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–
​Main Meeting Website: https://acousticalsociety.org/ottawa/    
Technical Program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/src/EventPilot/php/express/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING24

ASA PRESS ROOM
In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS
ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are summaries (300-500 words) of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION
ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the in-person meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org. For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN ACOUSTICAL ASSOCIATION/ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE D’ACOUSTIQUE

  • fosters communication among people working in all areas of acoustics in Canada
  • promotes the growth and practical application of knowledge in acoustics
  • encourages education, research, protection of the environment, and employment in acoustics
  • is an umbrella organization through which general issues in education, employment and research can be addressed at a national and multidisciplinary level

The CAA is a member society of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) and the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), and is an affiliate society of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV). Visit https://caa-aca.ca/.

All Wound Up: A Clearer Look at Electric Guitar Pickups #ASA186

All Wound Up: A Clearer Look at Electric Guitar Pickups #ASA186

Understanding the physical phenomenon at the heart of the electric guitar.

Media Contact:
AIP Media
301-209-3090
media@aip.org

OTTAWA, Ontario, May 15, 2024 – The electric guitar has been a core element of popular music for much of the past century. Pickups are the components that turn vibrations from the strings into electricity for sound and can be seen as the “heart” of the instrument. Electric guitarists have long known that the magnetic force from pickups affects the quality of their sound and how smoothly the sound transitions, known as timbre.

Takuto Yudasaka, visiting scholar at McGill University and researcher at Yamaha, will present their work on the physics behind electric guitar pickups Wednesday, May 15, at 10:30 a.m. EDT as part of a joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America and the Canadian Acoustical Association, running May 13-17 at the Shaw Centre located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

guitar

Pickups can be seen as the “heart” of the electric guitar, turning vibrations from the strings into electricity for sound. Image credit: Yamaha Corporation of America

“In electric guitars, the vibration of a magnetized string generates an electric current in the pickup coil,” said Yudasaka. “This current is very weak, but by winding the coil thousands of times, more signal can be detected.”

The details of how the pickup coil is wound has a significant impact on the resulting sound of the instrument. Winding the coil more will increase the output volume, but a coil wound too much can begin to lose its clarity. A minuscule winding of the coils, even as small as a hundredth of a millimeter, can make a noticeable sound change to a trained ear.

Furthermore, variables such as the type and thickness of the wire, the winding pattern, the shape and size of the pickup, and even the type of magnets used can all influence the guitar’s sound. While the average listener may not pick up on it, electric guitarists have both noticed and been intrigued by these physical phenomena.

With such a range of choices, finding the perfect sound can be a challenge, one Yudasaka and his colleagues hope to address.

“We were able to understand how the magnetic force of pickups affects the sound of electric guitars and how we can simulate it,” said Yudasaka. “This simulation has the potential to not only reduce design time but also to enable the development of electric guitars with new timbres.”

This understanding allows guitarists to make customary pickup selections and adjustments purposefully, removing most of the guesswork involved.

Yudasaka along with collaborators at Yamaha and McGill University will continue their research on how pickups affect timbre through future simulations.

———————– MORE MEETING INFORMATION ———————–
​Main Meeting Website: https://acousticalsociety.org/ottawa/    
Technical Program: https://eppro02.ativ.me/src/EventPilot/php/express/web/planner.php?id=ASASPRING24

ASA PRESS ROOM
In the coming weeks, ASA’s Press Room will be updated with newsworthy stories and the press conference schedule at https://acoustics.org/asa-press-room/.

LAY LANGUAGE PAPERS
ASA will also share dozens of lay language papers about topics covered at the conference. Lay language papers are summaries (300-500 words) of presentations written by scientists for a general audience. They will be accompanied by photos, audio, and video. Learn more at https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/.

PRESS REGISTRATION
ASA will grant free registration to credentialed and professional freelance journalists. If you are a reporter and would like to attend the in-person meeting or virtual press conferences, contact AIP Media Services at media@aip.org. For urgent requests, AIP staff can also help with setting up interviews and obtaining images, sound clips, or background information.

ABOUT THE ACOUSTICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
The Acoustical Society of America is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7,000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (the world’s leading journal on acoustics), JASA Express Letters, Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The society also holds two major scientific meetings each year. See https://acousticalsociety.org/.

ABOUT THE CANADIAN ACOUSTICAL ASSOCIATION/ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE D’ACOUSTIQUE

  • fosters communication among people working in all areas of acoustics in Canada
  • promotes the growth and practical application of knowledge in acoustics
  • encourages education, research, protection of the environment, and employment in acoustics
  • is an umbrella organization through which general issues in education, employment and research can be addressed at a national and multidisciplinary level

The CAA is a member society of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) and the International Commission for Acoustics (ICA), and is an affiliate society of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV). Visit https://caa-aca.ca/.