Unsupervised Taxonomy of Sound Effects

David Moffat; David Ronan; Joshua D. Reiss
DAFx-2017 - Edinburgh
Sound effect libraries are commonly used by sound designers in a range of industries. Taxonomies exist for the classification of sounds into groups based on subjective similarity, sound source or common environmental context. However, these taxonomies are not standardised, and no taxonomy based purely on the sonic properties of audio exists. We present a method using feature selection, unsupervised learning and hierarchical clustering to develop an unsupervised taxonomy of sound effects based entirely on the sonic properties of the audio within a sound effect library. The unsupervised taxonomy is then related back to the perceived meaning of the relevant audio features.