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On the Application of Sound Source Separation to Wave-Field Synthesis

Wave-Field Synthesis (WFS) is a spatial sound system that can synthesize an acoustic field in an extended area by means of loudspeaker arrays. Spatial positioning of virtual sources is possible but requires separated signals for each source to be feasible. Despite most of the music is recorded in separated tracks for each instrument, in the stereo mixdown process this information is lost. Unfortunately, most of the existing recorded material is in stereo format. In this paper we propose to use Sound Source Separation techniques to overcome this problem. Existing algorithms are yet far from perfection resulting in audible artifacts that clearly reduce the quality of the resynthesized sources in practice. Despite these artifacts, when separated sources are mixed again by a WFS system they are masked by other sounds. The utility of different separation algorithms and the subjective results are discussed.

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