A major application for Binaural Cue Coding (BCC) is multichannel audio coding. A previously proposed system combines full-band BCC for spatial parameters with an audio coder for a downmixed representation of the multichannel input. This paper presents a scalable hybrid coder combining a partial-band BCC as preprocessor and post-processor with a subband coder. The hybrid system supports a gradual tradeoff of bitrate and spatial image ranging from transparent multichannel and stereo to full-band BCC. To avoid coloration from the required up and down-mixing within BCC, an equalized mixing scheme based on a binaural loudness model is proposed. Subjective tests and bitrate simulations confirm the expected benefits of the hybrid coder in the transition range from full-band BCC to stereo.
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