Mardi Gras, renowned for its vibrant parades in New Orleans, brings to life the spirit of celebration with music and revelry leading up to Ash Wednesday. While the sound of parades may appear commonplace, research has uncovered fascinating nuances in the soundscape. A paper published in the Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics (POMA) introduces an automated classification algorithm capable of discerning crowd reactions at a Mardi Gras parade from those at a basketball game. Explore the fascinating findings here: https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0001327.

For those who haven’t experienced the magic of a Mardi Gras parade in-person, the question lingers – what is it like? The prospect of virtually attending such events is on the horizon, prompting curiosity about whether the auditory experience can be replicated. In an insightful article published in Acoustics Today, the creation of dynamic virtual soundscapes is explored, offering a glimpse into the potential future of immersive virtual Mardi Gras experiences. You can read more in the article here: https://doi.org/10.1121/AT.2020.16.1.46, or listen to the Across Acoustics podcast episode featuring the author: https://acrossacoustics.buzzsprout.com/1537384/9601986-virtual-sounds

Mardi Gras - Basketball

Cluster distribution of crowd noise for basketball and Mardi Gras data. https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0001327

Mardi Gras - Virtual

Left: watching Mardi Gras on a TV set; right: being literally “inside” Mardi Gras, in a virtual acoustic environment. Original photo of marching band by Prayitno, used under the Creative Commons license with attribution (CC BY 2.0). https://doi.org/10.1121/AT.2020.16.1.46

Excitingly, ASA is set to return to the vibrant city of New Orleans for the 188th Meeting, jointly held with the International Congress on Acoustics from May 19-23, 2025. Having last convened in the city in 2017, the conference yielded a treasure trove of proceedings papers spanning a myriad of acoustics topics. For those captivated by the fusion of sound and science, immerse yourself in the 174th ASA Meeting proceedings here: https://pubs.aip.org/asa/poma/issue/31/1, or check out the Lay Language Papers (LLP) here: https://acoustics.org/lay-language-papers/new-orleans-louisiana/. We hope to see and hear you back in New Orleans in 2025!

Mardi Gras - NOLA Meeting

174th ASA Meeting held in New Orleans in 2017

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