Vesa Välimäki, Heidi-Maria Lehtonen, and Marko Takanen

A Perceptual Study on Velvet Noise and Its Variants at Different Pulse Densities

Companion page for a paper published in IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 1481-1488, July 2013


This paper investigates sparse noise sequences, including the previously proposed velvet noise and its novel variants defined here. All sequences consist of sample values minus one, zero, and plus one only, and the location and the sign of each impulse is randomly chosen. Two of the proposed algorithms are direct variants of the original velvet noise requiring two random number sequences for determining the impulse locations and signs. In one of the proposed algorithms the impulse locations and signs are drawn from the same random number sequence, which is advantageous in terms of implementation. Moreover, two of the new sequences include known regions of zeros. The perceived smoothness of the proposed sequences was studied with a listening test in which test subjects compared the noise sequences against a reference signal that was a Gaussian white noise. The results show that the original velvet noise sounds smoother than the reference at 2000 impulses per second. At 4000 impulses per second, also three of the proposed algorithms are perceived smoother than the Gaussian noise sequence. These observations can be exploited in the synthesis of noisy sounds and in artificial reverberation.

Sound Examples

The reference signal used in the listening test was white Gaussian noise.

The noise sequences used in the listening tests are presented in the table below.

Pulse density 500 1000 2000 4000 8000
Original velvet noise wav wav wav wav wav
Extended velvet noise wav wav wav wav wav
Totally random noise wav wav wav wav wav
Additive random noise, delta = 1 wav wav wav wav wav
Additive random noise, delta = 0.5 wav wav wav wav wav
Random integers wav wav wav wav wav
Updated on Friday April 12, 2013