Audio Commons: an Ecosystem for Creative Reuse of Audio Content

Hierarchical ontology of timbral terms and attributes

As part of the EU-funded AudioCommons project, researchers in the IoSR investigated terms used to describe the timbre of sounds. These timbral terms were identified from a literature review into many areas of semantic audio research, including (but not limited to) loudspeakers, microphones, concert halls, environmental sounds, and speech quality. The identified terms were structured into a timbral hierarchy, grouping together terms that relate to the same perceptual attribute.

The resulting structure of terms and attributes can be found via the links below. The first includes the attributes into which the terms were structured. The second adds additional detail to this, by including all the terms which contributed to each resulting attribute.

Frequency of use of timbral terms and attributes in searches

A case study was then conducted using the search history from Freesound, identifying the frequency-of-use for each term, and summing the frequencies for each timbral attribute according to the developed hierarchy. The results are shown in the sunburst plot, with the weightings of each attribute now determined by the frequency of searches for each attribute in the Freesound data.