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Frequency Dependence of Perceptual Sound Image Distance Using Direct-To-Reverberant Energy Ratio Control Method

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We describe a method of controlling three-dimensional (3-D) sound images in which the level of intensity of the sound images is controlled by arranging them near or at a distance from the listener (ìcontrolî means amplitude panning for distance). The images were created using two loudspeakers arranged near or at a distance from the listener, or a loudspeaker array. A subjective evaluation was carried out to examine the perceptual distance of octave bands and white noise by changing the direct-to-reverberant energy ratio. It was found that the distance produced by the direct-to-reverberant energy ratio was frequency-dependent, and that the distance for frequencies above 5,660 Hz was not significantly different when the ratio was changed. A 3-D audio coding method was developed based on these results. An experiment using the coding tool showed that the bit-rate efficiency of the method, which combines frequency components above 5,660 Hz, was more than 30% higher than that of dualmono transform coding, with no degradation in 3-D audio reproduction.

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