Audio and Digital Technology

Audio and digital technology research being conducted in the College of Engineering Technology is unique and dynamic, and currently includes three fascinating topic areas.

Aural Heritage Preservation is a form of cultural heritage conservation that documents and recreates the auditory experiential details of culturally important places, enabling virtual interaction through physics-based reconstructions. To make aural heritage viable for researchers across disciplines, we provide conceptual guidelines and software tools that enable the inclusion of aural heritage in humanities’ collections and preservation activities, among other potential applications.

Many veterans complain of hearing loss after being exposed to extremely loud noises. Through a collaboration with University of Iowa (Dr. Inyong Choi), we are looking for a non-invasive, training-based treatment to improve their speech understanding in noisy environments. We hypothesize that listeners with no peripheral sensitivity degradation, but with cortical processing problems would improve their understanding in noisy environments through auditory attention training. The evidence-based training paradigms for “clinically normal hearing listeners” would reduce their cognitive effort during listening which, in turn, may increase their social engagement and quality of life.

Do American people listen and understand auditory spatial information similarly to Japanese people? Previous studies have examined how local cultural practices shape psychological processes, including differences in certain cognitive processes between North Americans and East Asians. We hypothesize that listeners who tend towards interdependent notions of self (self-identity is defined via relationships with others, typical of Eastern Asians) would allocate greater attention to background and contextual auditory information than listeners with typically independent notions of self (self-identity is defined independent of others, typical of North Americans). This project will specifically contribute to speech communication research in the post-pandemic world regarding how contextual factors of culturally-conditioned spatial cognition impact individual differences.

With virtual acoustic technology, you can remotely access the studio and collaborate with musicians around the world, as if you were all there together. Imagine the ability to visit and experience the legendary Columbia Studio A where Bob Dylan recorded almost all of his music. Now imagine you could do this from right where you are standing, without any travel at all.

The research being conducted in audio and digital technology aims to understand the human auditory system and studies virtual, augmented, and extended reality (VR, AR, and XR).


Sungyoung Kim
Associate Professor


Up close photo of an audio panel in a lab.

ECET Audio Lab

The Audio Lab provides a recording studio which is used to record and mix audio sessions. The Lab includes analog and digital mixing systems using Avid ProTools.