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Recent advances in technology have suggested that sound and audio play a far greater part in our daily working lives than ever before. Mobile phone ring tones are now based upon polyphonic music sequences that allow relatively complex audio to be generated from a handset by way of conveying information (i.e. a call or message is incoming). This real world example of sonification suggests that far more could be made of sonification techniques for analysis- particularly in the business environment. One advantage of sonification is its relatively hands free nature in that once a sequence is being played it does not necessarily require further input from the user and so the potential exists for applications that could deliver information while other tasks are being performed in tandem. For the definition of the basic principles of Trio sonification an application is being developed that will read in data sets of certain formats (.csv or .xml) and allow the various elements to be sonified for analysis. Existing work has suggested that many data elements can be conveyed within a single sonification and this would lend itself to analysis that seeks to take a broader assessment of a complete set of data. Although the application is still in the development stage the techniques it will employ require consideration in their own right- notably the use of rhythmic parsing to allow the conveyance of far greater levels of data using sound. It has been found that orchestration in general is of prime importance in effective and transparent data sonification and to this end the instrumentation and rhythmic arrangement of such data for analysis is effectively as much a technique in its own right as the sonification itself.
Cullen, C. & Coyle, E. (2004) Analysis of Data Sets Using Trio Sonification. ISSC: Irish Signals and Systems Conference. 30th June - 2nd July.