Spatial audio coding (SAC) addresses the emerging need to e ciently represent high- delity multichannel audio. The SAC methods previously described involve analyzing the input audio for inter-channel relationships, encoding a downmix signal with these relationships as side information, and using the side data at the decoder for spatial rendering. These approaches are channel-centric in that they are generally designed to reproduce the input channel content over the same output channel con guration. In this paper, we propose a frequency-domain SAC framework based on the perceived spatial audio scene rather than on the channel content. We propose time-frequency spatial direction vectors as cues to describe the input audio scene, present an analysis method for robust estimation of these cues from arbitrary multichannel content, and discuss the use of the cues to achieve accurate spatial decoding and rendering for arbitrary output systems.
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