Sketching future products' sounds with voice and gesture

The SkAT-VG project aims at developing technologies that use designers’ vocal or/and manual gestures to create a synthetic sound.

January 18th, 2017 | Industry focus



Since 2014, the SkAT-VG project tries to relate visual and acoustics and to show that what we hear has a deep psychological impact on the perceived quality of an object or a product (watch the webinar). The project - Sketching Audio Technologies using Vocalizations and Gestures -  aims at developing technologies which use designers’ vocal or/and manual gestures to create a synthetic sound that can actually be reproduced, exchanged between collaborators, edited and refined. The project is based on an original mixture of complementary kinds of expertise - voice production analysis supported by the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, gesture analysis, cognitive psychology and machine learning by the IRCAM, interaction design and audio application development supported by OPTIS GENESIS and IUAV - with a common ambition to move to a new sound design tool.




When the first version of the SkAT-VG tools was released, OPTIS GENESIS organized the "48h of sound design" workshop at the Château la Coste. The workshop was the occasion to experimentally introduce the sound design tools and methods already developed: sound designers had the opportunity to test them for their work. Sounds created by the designers were then exhibited at the Château: click here to watch the video of the event:



“Thanks to the valuable feedback of the sound designers on the first artistic experiments, IUAV, IRCAM and our OPTIS GENESIS team made few reconsiderations on the SkAT-VG tools, including our LEA software”

declares Clément Dendievel Research Engineer at OPTIS GENESIS. LEA is a signal analysis, sound design and psychoacoustics software dedicated to acousticians.


“All along the project, OPTIS GENESIS has met and exchanged with a lot of sound/audio/acoustics experts. By interviewing a large community of experts, in a wide variety of domains, we improved our knowledge in sound design workflow, sound design process and sound design methods.”

After the initial art-related testing phase, the long-term vision of the SkAT-VG project is to introduce non-verbal vocalizations and expressive manual gestures within industries.


“Our technologies will help designers at every stage of the design process – from the early sketches to the final evaluation of the sound quality of the products - when the sonic behavior of an object is relevant for its use and aesthetics. They enable fast and intuitive prototyping, refinement, and evaluation of product sounds to greatly facilitate the process of industrial design, boost sound designers’ creativity and improve the quality of their sound environment.”

pursues Clément Dendievel. But, the outcomes of the project were also to foster collaborative work in any industrial issue involving sound.


“Yesterday, most of the sound design activities involved a process of personal and internal creation. By bringing vocal and gestural sketching tools that are comprehensible, the SkAT-VG methods manage to make teams working together, creating sounds together, at the beginning of a sonic project. Interactions between the different actors are valuable in creative phases, and open new voices which are not accessible when working alone.”

Thanks to the SkAT-VG project, OPTIS GENESIS has improved their software, especially LEA and the ASD module (Active Sound Design) for combustion engine and Electrical Vehicles.


A final event will mark the end of this sonic experience on January 19th in Paris. In the meantime, try a first sound experience yourself: click here, and on the face of your choice. The first sound you will hear is the real voice of the person. Now, click again on the face. The sound you’re hearing is the transformation of the real voice by the SkAT-VG tools. Discover the non-exhaustive collection of sounds that can be created thanks to Skat-VG’s new tools! 


Download the press release here 



OPTIS GENESIS is a world leader in the field of Sound Design and Acoustic Simulators. OPTIS GENESIS provides tools and techniques to make the sounds in the environment better, more comfortable and more significant. They offer their competencies in the form of products, consulting and research works. Specialized in consulting and software products, they are experts in psychoacoustics, acoustic signal processing, sound design and soundscape simulation. As a pioneer in perception analysis, 3D playback and simulation, OPTIS GENESIS is involved in many research projects with major companies and world-class research institutes. OPTIS GENESIS’ solutions are established as a market standard for sound design applications since 2003. Their solutions are used every day by experts in the automobile industry as well as aeronautic, railway, defense, audio, consumer and telecom industries.

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