Browse Publications Technical Papers 2003-01-1503

Pitch Intervals: Linking Sound Quality Engineering and Musical Acoustics 2003-01-1503

One task of sound quality engineering is to find of links between engineering measures and human perceptions of sound. Over the years, several papers have been presented at SAE N&V conferences concerning the sound quality of electrical motor sounds in automotive applications. Many papers have focused on the variation in motor speed during system operation. While some papers have suggested that a useful measure for slow variations is fluctuation strength, other papers suggest measures for dealing with non-periodic variations or the general trend in motor speed. Both sets of papers tend to describe the changes in terms of percentage of a statistic of the motor speed. While percentage is a useful engineering approach, it may not be the best way to relate how the changes will be perceived by a human listener. The alternate approach described here offers formulae, in units of scale-steps or cents, to describe the changes based on the link between engineering measures and music. An advantage to using measures derived from the world of music is that their usefulness in relation to human perception has been proven over the course of time.


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