Virtual Acoustics

What will a future transportation system or urban space sound like? The technique of auralization – the acoustical counterpart to visualization – allows to artificially create listening experiences of new designs. As part of our comprehensive approach, we will create acoustic virtual realities allowing us to include sound perception in the design process, communicate our research to stakeholders and intuitively present noise solutions. Our group advances the auralization models for urban outdoor and indoor sceneries considering complex propagation geometries and material properties, for example of road surfaces, facades and building constructions. Good quality auralization requires a detailed understanding of sound generation, sound propagation, acoustic measurement techniques, signal processing, electro-acoustics and psychoacoustics. We operate our laboratory facility AuraLab and use recent virtual reality technologies like headsets. We actively shape the scientific advances in virtual acoustics and participate in interdisciplinary and international research projects.

Sound examples: Virtual acoustics Empa
Sound example of a synthetic railway noise: Intercity train simulation

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Virtual synthetic train pass-by simulated in Empa's auralization laboratory AuraLab allowing for high-quality, calibrated, spatial sound reproduction by a multichannel loudspeaker array.
Dr. Reto Pieren

Dr. Reto Pieren
Head of Group Environmental Acoustics

Phone: +41 58 765 6031