Computing Degree Show 2018

Environmental sound normalisation

For the purposes of this project environmental sound normalisation refers to the process of altering the volume of a music being played to better suit it’s surroundings. There are a couple of reasons why someone may want these adjustments performed, the first of which is that ambient noise can often ‘drown out’ music . The other prominent issue is that the music may be conversely disruptive to it’s environment if it features loud transient peaks.

This project aims to create an application to resolve these issues. The application comes in the form of a Windows WPF application which has its audio functionality largely created with the use of Mark Heath’s audio library Naudio. The application addresses the issue of transient peaks in music through the use of a dynamic range compressor which reduces the volume of sounds over a certain level. The issue of ambient noise impacting music is resolved by reverse sidechain compression. This is where the input signal of a microphone causes the volume of the speakers to increase in proportion with background noise. This process has been named ‘active volume adjustment’.