One Size Doesn't Fit All: Three Tools For Soundscape Simulation



soundscape, simulation, Urban soundscape, Ambisonics, Virtual reality, Immersive virtual environments


We present a reflection on three prototypes of real-time interactive soundscape simulators aimed at supporting participatory urban sound planning and interventions. These prototypes were developed as part of the Sounds in the City cross-sectoral partnership through an iterative process involving various stakeholders. Each prototype enables different ways to manipulate soundscapes through tailored interfaces and audio/visual outputs, targeting different types of users.

The first version is audio-only and uses live music tools for Ambisonics spatialization, with limited environmental modeling for co-design exercises with urban and sound professionals. The second version builds on the idea of the first and adds acoustic modeling. It was used to assess the impact of sound installations in public spaces through research-creation involving sound artists and residents. The last version utilizes (desktop or head-mounted) virtual reality with binaural rendering, immersing the user in an audio-visual city to raise sound awareness and support urban soundscape design.

We emphasize that there is no one-size-fits-all tool. Rather, we highlight how different tools are needed for different auralization tasks and target user groups. These tools are presented through examples of early-stage conceptualization, educational components, creative processes, laboratory-based soundscape assessments, and both individual and participatory design sessions.



How to Cite

FRAISSE V, Tarlao C, Yanaky R, Guastavino C. One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Three Tools For Soundscape Simulation. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2024 May 12 [cited 2024 May 21];52(1). Available from:

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