Sound imagery is discussed in many contexts in subjective loudspeaker audio evaluation. In this paper we define imagery in terms of the spatial properties of an auditory object and present a theoretical framework for the study of images in audio. A general categorization of images into either source or reverberance images has been suggested in previous works; here we discuss perceptual organization principles and physical factors which affect this distinction. The degree to which existing theories for controlling a source image can be applied to controlling a reverberance image was investigated with a simple experiment. Using a conventionally arranged 3/2 loudspeaker system and a graphical mapping system developed in previous work, we investigated the spatial imagery associated with independent pair-wise panning of a single dry source audio channel and a number of artificial reverberation channels. From these results, we suggest a new sound processing system for use with conventional 3/2 surround sound loudspeaker audio wherein source and reverberant sound image radiation are separately controlled, enabling more consistent homogeneity of reverberant sound images.
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