Emotional response to immersive audio in live music performance


Helena Daffern
Gavin Kearney
Nicolas Epain (L-Acoustics)

Project Partner


Project Description

This project is a collaboration between University of York and L-Acoustics as part of CoStar LiveLab. It will address the challenges of understanding the impact of different listening environments, contexts and technical setups and sound formats on listeners. With the development of virtual and augmented reality experiences, and the rapid changes in how people consume media, especially live music performance, live in-person performance is potentially being re-valued. The successful candidate will develop a research question around the topic of the influence of social relationships on the performer and listener experience in Live musical events. How to measure the value of in-person real time relationships remains a big question. Non-invasive methods to track physiological features that relate to our emotional response are becoming more widely used tools in the evaluation of user experience across different academic fields and different applications. This project will utilise mixed-methods and will likely employ biometrics sensors, pupilometry, motion tracking technologies and cameras to develop a protocol to measure social interaction and impact different auditory contexts on individuals. This project might explore performer-performer or performer-audience relationships in the context of live music performance experiences from perceptual and emotional perspectives. The transference of these experiences into virtual or hybrid contexts might also be explored. In addition to working within the Sound Interactions in the Metaverse CDT cohort, this project aligns with another PhD being supported by L-Acoustics, based in Paris, focusing on the impact of sound system design and mixing choices on the listener’s emotional response to live music, and the successful candidate will also collaborate with this student.

Student Skills Requirements

Students need a strong knowledge of Audio Systems and Spatial Audio. A knowledge of psychoacoustics and experience designing and running experimental studies is desirable. First degree in Music Technology, Audio Engineering or similar or ability to demonstrate a good knowledge of these systems is desirable. May have a background in psychology / neuroscience but a strong interest in audio.

About L-Acoustics

L-Acoustics is the industry leader in the design, manufacturing, and distribution of premium sound reinforcement technologies. Presently, the company unites a global workforce of close to 800 people (1000 by end of 2024), with 25% of team resources devoted to R&D and application. Designed & manufactured in Europe according to the highest professional standards, L-Acoustics products are chosen by audio professionals around the world to give the best sonic experiences.

How to apply

Please go to the School of Physics Engineering, and Technology website and apply for a PhD in Music Technology. When applying please select ‘CDT in Sound Interactions in the Metaverse’ as your source of funding. You do not need to provide a research proposal, just enter the name of the project you are applying for.

Application Deadline: 8th May 2024