On masking patterns and tuning curves

1. Introduction

In my diploma-thesis, supervised by Prof. Dr.-Ing. E. Terhardt, I investigated the relation between masking patterns and tuning curves. Although they both rely on the mechanism of masking it was found that - at least with the literature-data used - there are consistent differences between both representations. The comparison between masking patterns and tuning curves was done with masking patterns transformed into tuning curves. Therefore the following program was written.

2. Program for the transformation of masking patterns into tuning curves - a brief description

To calculate tuning-curves from masking patterns the single data from psychoacoustic masking experiments have to be interpolated to form a denser data-space. Therefore masking patterns are handed to the program each in its own ASCII-file. The data-space is obtained by three successive interpolations of the masking (level of the testtone) over the frequency of the testtone, the level of the masker, and the frequency of the masker. The last interpolation is the most critical one as the masking pattern has to be shifted along the axis of the frequencies of the testtones as it is dependend on the masker frequency.

The tuning curves are calulated from these interpolated masking patterns by searching the space for maskers which will mask a given testtone. The result can be written to text-files. The interpolated masking-space can also be written to ASCII-files as can certain masking patterns interpolated in this space.

The following flowchart gives an overview of the program:

Flowchart of the tuningcurve-program


  1. An excerpt from my diploma-thesis covering the program can be downloaded here (in German only):
    Programmbeschreibung (177 kB, Acrobat pdf, German)

    By calling the program with the option "-?" an English help-text will be printed which should be sufficient to use the program. Please mail me if further questions arise.

  2. The tuningcurve-program can be found here (no Windows-version available), copyright notice:
    msk_linux (64 kB, Linux-executable),
    msk_sgi-irix (97 kB, SGI-IRIX-executable)

  3. Examples for calling the program.

  4. Example masking-pattern for input (patterns for different masker-levels and masker-frequencies are needed):
    masking-pattern (0.5 kB ASCII; Masking-pattern for 1000 Hz, 50 dB SPL sinusoidal masker from Zwicker and Jaroszewski: "Inverse dependence of simultaneous tone-on-tone masking patterns at low levels", JASA 71(6), June 1982, fig. 1)

  5. Masking-patterns from Zwicker, Jaroszewski and Sonntag for sinusoidal and narrow-band-noise maskers

4. Publications

© Bernhard Seeber - b_seabear (at) gmx (dot) de 
This URL: http://www.acoustics.bseeber.de/tun/tun.html - $Date: 2010/03/03 16:48:37 $, copyright notice