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Acoustical Evaluation of Virtual Rooms by Means of Binaural Activity Patterns

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The output of computational models of human auditory localization (e.g., [Lindemann, 1986], [Gaik, 1993]) is often given in the form of a 3-dimensional plot which takes into account the effect of binaural arrival-time and binaural level differences, the so-called binaural activity pattern. This pattern, which is a function of time, can be used for the detection, identification and separation of incoherent sound sources, the determination of their azimuths, the detection of echoes and the estimation of the amount of auditory spaciousness, among other things. This paper investigates how the binaural activity patterns of head-related room impulse responses can be used for judgements on the auditory quality of different virtual rooms. To this end it is aimed at presenting the binaural activity patterns in a visual form adequate to allow experts a general overview of the perceived room-acoustics as well as to characterize the attributes of the auditory events which correlate with lateral reflections, reverberation and the distribution of energy in time and space.

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