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What is Data Mapping?

By Jon Bellona | June 20, 2022

Data mapping refers to the design choices of applying values from a data set onto any number of controls of sound. Controls may include modifications of digital sound synthesis, audio samples, audio effects, and spatialization, among many others. Data mapping and choices around mapping play a critical role in sonification. In sonification, choices in data…

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The Parameters of Sound

By Jon Bellona | June 22, 2022

Data sonification commonly involves taking data-numeric values-and assigning those values onto sound parameters to highlight particular aspects of the data. Making choices about the ordering and controlling of sound parameters over time is as old as music notation. In fact, standard music notation highlights certain aspects of sound in its writing. For example, music notation…

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Sound Design

By Jon Bellona | June 23, 2022

Sonification involves the field of sound design, which is the craft of developing sounds to meet a variety of needs. Sound design is common to video game and media industries, which require the creation of sound effects, human sounds, ambiance, and dialogue. Data sonification involves mapping data values to sound parameters, and we often have…

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Inclusive Design: Including Graph Divisions in Sonification

By Jon Bellona | June 24, 2022

I held a basic assumption that sonifications should only be comprised of “non-speech sound” (Sterne and Akiyama 2012), based upon a few definitions of and experiences listening to sonification. So, I made every effort to avoid the use of speech in sonification. While working on the initial grant with PI Amy Bower, however, I questioned…

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Co-Design Session at Perkins

By Jon Bellona | June 28, 2022

In February, 2022, our team held a co-design session with two teachers from Perkins School for the Blind. While there were many great topics and items discussed, we had a few key takeaways from the session that are included below. Students use silence. The space of silence can become as important as the sounds themselves.…

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Engaging with University of Oregon students

By Jon Bellona | June 29, 2022

In January and February 2022, the entire team gave a presentation to and heard from students in Jon’s MUS 479/579 Data Sonification course at the University of Oregon. The Data Sonification course involves undergraduate and graduate students and explores data sonification broadly, including authentic datasets, sonification methods, auditory display, accessibility, data mapping, and even grant…

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Audification

By Jon Bellona | June 30, 2022

One of the most direct ways to sonify a data stream is that of audification, which is “a direct translation of a data waveform to the audible domain” (Kramer 1994). Turning data into a waveform consists of treating data points as amplitude values in an audio signal. The direct correlation of data-as-audio signal has advantages…

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Kyma: Sound Design Workstation

By Jon Bellona | June 30, 2022

As part of the NSF pilot, I am designing many of the data sonifications using Kyma by Symbolic Sound. Symbolic Sound was founded and is owned by Carla Scaletti and Kurt Hebel. I like to describe Kyma as a sound design workstation, a recombinant sound language, a live-performance machine, a data sonification toolkit, and a…

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Using Audio Markers as Sonification Exploration Prototype

By Jon Bellona | July 6, 2022

While reading “Rich Screen Reader Experiences for Accessible Data Visualization” by Zong, et al., two items struck me related to data sonification. First, the literature review and study’s co-design experience amplified the message that screen reader users desire “an overview,” followed by user exploration as part of “information-seeking goals” (Zong et al. 2018). Even though…

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Collected Definitions of Sonification

By Jon Bellona | July 7, 2022

Having taught classes on sonification prior to the NSF pilot, I have found many working definitions for sonification. The differences in language around the term make a difference, and placing definitions side-by-side reveals some of their nuances and shading. The complexity and nuances are important, so I thought it would be a good idea to…

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Spearcons as X-axis markers in Sonifications

By Jon Bellona | July 12, 2022

From early sonification development with lead-PI Amy Bower and our co-design session at Perkins School for the Blind, we discovered that sounds for location and context are essential. I started including spearcons, sped-up speech as auditory icons, to indicate x-axis ticks in the data as part of sonification prototypes.* Beyond contextual cues, there is some…

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Earcons as Sonification Bookends

By Jon Bellona | July 23, 2022

Another takeaway from the co-design session with teachers from the Perkins School for the Blind involved the use of earcons and auditory icons with devices they use in the classroom. The main tool that struck me was LabQuest, a thermometer that sonifies temperature in real-time, and that produces two beeps to signal the turning on…

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Sonic Foundations Survey

By Jon Bellona | July 24, 2022

Earlier in 2022, as I was working on data sonifications for several of the OOI Data Nuggets, I was becoming overwhelmed in design variation. I would create a frequency-mapped version; a filter mapping version; a synthesized and a sample-based sonification; a sonification with all three streams of data; three sonifications with separate data streams that…

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Audio Display Prototype: Net Flux Between Ocean and Atmosphere

By Jon Bellona | August 10, 2022

As I work on data sonifications and look ahead to fitting these sounds within contextual audio displays, I recognize there could be an outlined structure for what the final result may look and sound like. From experience with my Data Sonification course in creating audio displays, mixing dialogue and sound effects in music and media,…

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Data sonification sync with data graph animation

By Jon Bellona | August 13, 2022

From creating data sonifications in Kyma, one sonification that I was excited to synchronize audio with the data plot was the Zooplankton daily vertical migration and solar radiation during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. This post outlines the data and solar eclipse phenomenon, various sonifications, and the video sync process. The chart and…

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Audio Description Prototypes for Data Nuggets graphics

By Jon Bellona | August 18, 2022

I’ve been a fan of Audio Descriptions (AD) in film and TV for awhile now. Most Netflix original content includes audio descriptions and I used to listen to more shows than I watch. I never have seen Daredevil, but I listened to every minute of it. And Stranger Things never sounded so good – and…

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Audio Display Prototype: Daily Vertical Migration Gets Eclipsed

By Jon Bellona | August 18, 2022

Based upon data sonifications I made for the Daily Vertical Migration Gets Eclipsed! Data Nugget, I mocked up an audio display prototype. I still need to get team member reviews and feedback before creating a final version we can integrate into the evaluation phase of the pilot project. Thinking of the audio display as an…

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Sonification Click Track for Media Synchronization

By Jon Bellona | August 22, 2022

This post outlines the creation of sonification click tracks for synchronization of additional media in sonification design. The development and use of click tracks provide accurate yet flexible mixing design, especially for related media events like axis markers, spearcons, and event-based earcons. After creating a lot of sonifications in Kyma for this project, I started…

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Sonification Click Track for Media Synchronization (Part Two)

By Jon Bellona | August 23, 2022

This post is the second of two posts that outline the design of sonification click tracks for synchronization of additional media in sonification design. Sonification click tracks provide accurate yet flexible sound design, especially for related media events like axis markers, spearcons, and event-based earcons. Feel free to continue reading about an example sonification mix…

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Audio Display Prototype: 2015 Axial Seamount Eruption

By Jon Bellona | August 24, 2022

Based on data sonifications I made for the 2015 Axial Seamount Eruption Data Nugget, I mocked up an audio display prototype, which I have included below. The audio display has three tracks that roughly span four minutes in length. I included the graph of the 35 days of bottom pressure sensor data alongside a playlist…

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Audio Display Prototype: Axial Long Term Seafloor Record

By Jon Bellona | August 26, 2022

Based on core lessons from the 2015 Axial Seamount Eruption Data Nugget, I created data sonifications and mocked up an audio display prototype, which I have included below. Please note that the Ocean Labs data nugget does not include the graph (included below) that we sonified and developed an audio display for; yet, the graph…

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Creating Accessible Media on a Qualtrics Survey

By Jon Bellona | August 28, 2022

This post outlines lessons learned from creating an accessible Qualtrics survey involving media players. While we were excited to learn about general user impressions of sounds to help guide our sonification design, we learned a good deal in the creation of an accessible Qualtrics survey involving audio. We wanted to share our lessons learned. Feel…

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Audio Display Prototype: Extratropical Storm Hermine

By Jon Bellona | September 1, 2022

Based on core lessons from the Extratropical Storm Hermine Data Nugget, I created data sonifications of the various meteorological instruments and mocked up an audio display prototype, which I have included below. Please note that the Ocean Labs data nugget does not include sea wave height as part of its graph (below). Storms also impact…

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