Klassische Psychoakustik - Laufende Projekte

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Pitch and timbre are closely interrelated. Both determine the perception of complex tones. Both pitch and timbre variations characterize realistic signals. Particularly via diphthongs, pitch and timbre changes occur simultaneously and continuously.


The slow (e.g. 0.5/s) and triangle frequency modulations (range: 1 octave) of a harmonic sound with the fundamental frequency of 220 Hz produces a specific pitch phenomenon. If one of the resolved partials is accentuated by a sharp onset, this partial gives rise to a temporary spectral pitch according to its position on the frequency continuum. At the same time, the pitch movement of the complex tone continues. After a short transition period of approxiamety 100 ms the partial loses its accentuated spectral pitch and is completely integrated into the timbre and pitch movement of the complex sound.


The purpose of the present pilot study was to explore starting points for the determination and explanation of a new pitch glide transition and pitch ambiguity effect which occurs when a continuous varying pitch percept of a complex tone is interrupted by onset transients of emerging harmonic partials in successive order, followed by momentarily dominating spectral pitches of the corresponding harmonics. Immediately after the appearance of the initial spectral pitch dominance, which is in concurrence to the pitch of the complex tone, the latter is reinstalled by integrating the harmonic into timbre in a smoothly gliding manner.


PACS: 43.66.Hg; Pitch perception.


The Austrian OeBB-HL-AG company performed tests with high-speed train ICE-S in 2004. A test rail section was adapted to the for a time period of a week. The train was driven with speed from 200 to over 300 km/h.

We had the opportunity to record the noise emissions caused by the train. This was a great chance to test our equipment such as microphone array and outdoor microphone recording system.

This area is involved with the analysis of the acoustics of music and with human perception thereof.

In close cooperation with em.o.Univ.Prof. Dr. Franz Födermayr (Inst. of Musicology, Univ.Vienna) historic recordings of Georgian multipart songs are analyzed and transcribed.

Noise Abatement: investigates the acoustic and psychoacoustic description of unwanted sounds and supports the specification of methods for reducing noise, from whatever source (Sound Quality Design).

Perceiving sound as noise is a subjective reaction to disturbing acoustic signals. The intensity, pitch, sharpness, variation and roughness as well as the subjective attitude and motivation all play a role in the perceived noisiness. Railway noise is the main detractor when planning new high-speed tracks. The condition of the wheels and the track has a significant effect on the sound generation (see also: harmonisation). Literature:

  • NOIDESC: Deskriptoren von Lärmsignalen: Deutsch Werner A. & Waubke Holger (2004) .
  • Descriptoren für aircraft noise
  • Erschütterungen an Bahntrassen. Waubke Holger (2004).
  • Visualisierung von Bahnlärm (1996). AK08. in: Deutsch, Werner A. & Elisabeth Hilscher & Herta Spielmann (eds.): Tagungsband der Österreichischen Physikalischen Gesellschaft, Johannes Kepler, Universität Linz. Wien: Forschungsstelle für Schallforschung der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, pp.27-29.