Acoustic Communication Models

Objective Model:

source ----> transmission path -----> receiver -----> effects
"Who says what in which channel to whom with what effect" (Lasswell, 1948)

Electroacoustic extensions:

"Black box" model (Truax)


conjunction vs disjunction

extension or transformation?

reproduction or a new reality (the virtual?)

realism vs enhancement

noise reduction, effacing the "work" of the technology (Doane)

Subjective Model:

Communicational Model:


Mediation Model


Information Model

(1) Information based (rather than energy or signal based)

(2) Listening as the key process

- recognition of auditory patterns and assigning meaning
-"soundscape" as how a sonic environment is understood
- dynamic system of information exchange
electroacoustics extends listening: analytical & distracted

(3) Context based

- aural meaning depends on a knowledge of context
- shared knowledge is the basis of the acoustic/electroacoustic community
- sound not only reflects context but is integrated with it
fidelity vs schizophonia

(4) Mediating relationship of sound

- sound creates a relationship between the listener and the environment
- the relationship can be interactive or alienating
electroacoustics can establish a "surrogate" relationship: an imposed context
- in advertising, sound can create a relation between a product and its image

(5) Leads to design models

- acoustic design: how sound functions in a soundscape ---> acoustic ecology
- design can involve modifying functional relationships as well as the sounds
- changing listening habits is essential to design and ecology
Methodology / Role of Noise / Design Criteria and Strategies for these Models