Comparisonics Sound Matching

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Until recently, audio collections have been searchable only through text descriptions.  Each audio clip must be described in words, and these descriptions are searched to locate clips of interest.

Comparisonics Corporation has pioneered an alternative approach for searching audio collections called sound matching.  Given any sound as an example or "prototype", the Comparisonics sound-matching algorithm automatically finds similar sounds within an audio collection.  This "sounds-like" search gives users a new way to explore the available sounds.

It is possible to mimic a desired sound into a microphone and launch a search for similar sounds on the Web.  And any sound retrieved by a search can be used as the prototype in a sounds-like search, to "find sounds like this one."

The Comparisonics "sounds-like" search has been incorporated into, FindSounds for Android, FindSounds Palette, and the Comparisonics Audio Editor.

See the sound-matching examples below; click on any waveform display to play the sound that is pictured.  See articles for more information.

Sound Matching Examples

flute.wav (3.4 secs) click to play
flute_match1.wav click to play
flute_match2.wav click to play

Given the sound of a flute (top), here are two matches found by the Comparisonics sound-matching algorithm.  The first match is another flute and the second match is the sound of a train.

Similar sounds are represented by similar colors in the Comparisonics waveform display.  Since these sounds are similar, their waveform displays have similar colors.
scream.wav (2.9 secs) click to play
scream_match1.wav click to play
scream_match2.wav click to play

For the sound of a scream (top), the first match illustrated here is another scream.  The second match is the sound of vultures.
cello.wav (4.3 secs) click to play
cello_match1.wav click to play
cello_match2.wav click to play

Matches can come from unlikely sources.  Here the sound of a cello matches the sound of a church bell (match 1) and the sound of a moose (match 2).
whistle.wav (4.0 secs) click to play
whistle_match1.wav click to play
whistle_match2.wav click to play
whistle_match3.wav click to play

The palette of available sounds is much larger when speed variations are considered.  Here are three matches for the sound of a whistle.  All three matches are speed-altered recordings.

The first match is the sound of wind that has been speeded up from the original recording.  The second match is the sound of a whale, also speeded up.  The third match is the sound of cicadas, slowed down from the original.  The original-speed recordings of these sounds can be heard here: wind.wav, whale.wav, cicadas.wav.

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