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Bass Handling in Spatial Reproduction

[feature] The tendency in modern surround sound systems is for very low frequency information from all the main channels to be reproduced through a single subwoofer so that the main loudspeakers can be made smaller and more convenient to use. This same low-frequency loudspeaker can also be made to reproduce the content of a separate low-frequency effects (LFE) channel—the .1 channel of 5.1 surround sound. This channel has extra headroom compared with the main channels and can be used for special effects. Bass management can be used to split the LF information between the main loudspeakers and the subwoofer, incorporating the LFE signal as appropriate with its 10-dB gain, as shown in Fig. 1. This is the norm for most consumer systems, where the crossover frequency may be relatively high in some cases, resulting in much of the general low-frequency energy being radiated through a single loudspeaker. In movie theaters, however, the subwoofer is normally connected directly to the LFE channel and radiates only this information.

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JAES Volume 52 Issue 9 pp. 962-967; September 2004
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