Synthesizing auditory icons

Gaver, William. 1993. 'Synthesizing auditory icons'. In: CHI '93. Amsterdam, Netherlands. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Auditory icons add valuable functionality to computer interfaces, particularly when they are parametrized to convey dimensional information. They are difficult to create and manipulate, however, because they usually rely on digital sampling techniques. This paper suggests that new synthesis algorithms, controlled along dimensions of events rather than those of the sounds themselves, may solve this problem. Several algorithms, developed from research on auditory event perception, are described in enough detail here to permit their implementation. They produce a variety of impact, bouncing, breaking, scraping, and machine sounds. By controlling them with attributes of relevant computer events, a wide range of parametrized auditory icons may be created.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Identification Number (DOI):


interface techniques, multimedia, auditory interfaces, sound

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Design > Interaction Research Studio



Event Location:

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

02 Dec 2015 12:41

Last Modified:

20 Jun 2017 13:58


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