Audio Universe

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Audio Universe is a collection of tools and resources to support data analysts, educators, and communicators to represent data and concepts with sound. Our work is underpinned by our research, and multi-disciplinary team of experts.

Goals and Overview

We develop sonification (turning data into sound) to aid the exploration of complex datasets for data analysts, to create engaging and immersive educational content, and to provide a unique approach to communicate data to the public. 

Data Exploration

We aim to help researchers and data analysists uncover new insights in complex data. By using sounds to complement traditional visual methods opens up huge potential to make new discoveries in large and complex datasets.

Education

We aim to bring the wonders of education to people at all levels in an engaging and accessible way. We develop multi-sensory educational resources and tools. This include audio-visual clips, tactile models, planetarium shows, and virtual reality experiences.

Communication

Sonification provides an opportunity to bring data to life. Whether it be for policy makers, key stake holders or the general public, sound can make audiences feel more engaged with the data. 

Accessibility

Across our work we aim to bring education and data analysis to people of all levels (from school pupils to academics) in an accessible way. 

The Universe for All!

In this 2 minute video, meet Emma, a sixth form student who’s incredibly passionate about science and outer space. 

With the support of her QTVI (Qualified Teacher of Vision Impairment) Katherine, and through the work of our team, she has been able to experience the universe through sound.

Emma and Katherine have been working with us to apply sonification, and tactile resources, for accessible education.

Prefer an audio-described version? Watch one here. 

Working with community partners

An important part of our values is to work with partners across different communities. We've worked with community groups, schools, and museums, in a constructive partnership to co-develop our resources and approaches.

Hear from Audio Universe's Chris Harrison and partner teacher Rachel Lambert about the motivations for our Audio Universe project and how we are working with members of the community to develop our resources. This includes our flagship engagement project to date: an accessible sonification-based astronomy show called "Tour of the Solar System". This 4 minute video was released with to celebrate winning an Engagement and Place Award at Newcastle University in 2022.

Prefer an audio-described version? Watch one here. 

Trying our code for yourself

We aim to work in an open and inclusive way. Our sonification code, STRAUSS, is developed as open source and we provide a variety of example scripts and notebooks for you to try data sonification for yourself. 

Have experience working with Python on your machine? STRAUSS can be installed via pip (> pip install strauss), or obtained directly from github. You can find example Python notebooks and scripts inside the examples directory

Prefer to try running exampels directly from through the browser? We have several notebook examples that can be run through Google Colab, to get an idea of what STRAUSS can do. You only need your own Google Account to get started! On this website you can some examples for exploring astrophysics data