Alternative control schemes for affecting the characteristics of audio signals have been designed and evaluated within the audio research community. The medium of virtual reality (VR) presents a unique method of sound source visualization using a headset which displays a virtual environment to the user, allowing users to directly control sound sources with minimal intermediary interference with a variety of different controllers. In order to provide insight into the design and evaluation of VR systems for audio mixing, the differences in subject preference between physical controllers and hand-and-gesture detection controls were investigated. A VR audio mixing interface was iteratively developed in order to facilitate a subject evaluation of some of the differences between these two control schemes. Ten subjects, recruited from a population of audio engineering technology undergraduate students, graduate students, and instructors, participated in a subjective audio mixing task. The results found that physical controllers outperformed the hand-and-gesture controls in each individual mean score of subject-perceived accuracy, efficiency, and satisfaction, with mixed statistical significance. No significant difference in task completion time for either control scheme was found. Additionally, the test participants largely preferred the physical controllers over the hand-and-gesture control scheme. There were no significant differences in the ability to make adjustments in general when comparing groups of more experienced and less experienced users. This study may provide useful contributing research to the wider field of audio engineering by providing insight into the design and evaluation of alternative audio mixing interfaces and further demonstrate the value of using VR to visualize and control sound sources in an articulated and convincing digital environment suitable for audio mixing tasks.
Wesley A. Bulla
Entertainment and Music Business, Mike Curb College of
Master of Science in Audio Engineering (MSAE)
audio engineering; AR; 3D; control; interface; MIDI; mixing; virtual; VR
Bennington, J. (2019). "Physical Controllers vs. Hand-And-Gesture Tracking: Evaluation of Control Schemes for VR Audio Mixing." Master of Science in Audio Engineering (MSAE) thesis, Belmont University, Nashville, TN. 3. https://repository.belmont.edu/msaetheses/3