The requirements of hearing impaired people in presentations of audio material in TV or in cinemas had been practically been unattended so far. Especially the speech intelligibility in the mix from speech and background noise, effects and music was often insufficient for people with hearing impairments. When mixing the movie audio tracks (i.e. in post production), there was access to all types of signals separately (e.g. speech, music, effects), thus offering the opportunity to edit the speech track for optimal intelligibility. On the other hand, this should not impair artistic sound aspects. Furthermore, an adoption to the individual listener was impossible (e.g. in personal hearing aid systems), since the audio material was already mixed when being presented. Therefore, the goal of this project was to develop and evaluate procedures to improve speech intelligibility in film sequences for elderly hearing impaired people using subjective measurements and objective forecast procedures.
Responsibilities of Fraunhofer IDMT
In the course of "MovieSpeech", the Fraunhofer IDMT's Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA used its technologies for intelligibility evaluation and carried out intelligibility measurements and quality assessments with hearing impaired people using various mixes.