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Binaural Cue Coding Applied to Audio Compression with Flexible Rendering

In this paper we describe an efficient scheme for compression and flexible spatial rendering of audio signals. The method is based on Binaural Cue Coding (BCC) which was recently introduced for efficient compression of multi-channel audio signals. The encoder input consists of separate signals without directional spatial cues, such as separate sound source signals, i.e. several monophonic signals. The signal transmitted to the decoder consists of the mono sum-signal of all input signals plus a low bit rate (e.g. 2 kb/s) set of BCC parameters. The mono signal can be encoded with any conventional audio or speech coder. Using the BCC parameters and the mono signal, the BCC synthesizer can flexibly render a spatial image by determining the perceived direction of the audio content of each of the encoder input signals. We provide the results of an audio quality assessment using headphones, which is a more critical scenario than loudspeaker playback.

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