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Effect of Rear Microphone Spacing on Spatial Impression for Omnidirectional Surround Sound Microphone Arrays

The effect of rear microphone spacing in a five-channel omni-directional array was evaluated in respect of the subjective attributes 'envelopment', 'spaciousness' and 'naturalness'. Preference results were also obtained and a range of different programme material types was evaluated. Results suggest that, although large differences were not noticed, spacing has a statistically significant effect on envelopment and spaciousness, with spacings larger than the critical distance of the room giving rise to higher levels of these attributes. Distinct preference was shown for spacings of three and four metres as opposed to the extremes of two and five metres, in the particular acoustic environment tested, suggesting that beyond a certain microphone spacing the reproduced spatial impression becomes less pleasing or natural.

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