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Spatial Audio Scene Coding in a Universal Two-Channel 3-D Stereo Format

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We describe a frequency-domain method for phase-amplitude matrix decoding and up-mixing of two-channel stereo recordings, based on spatial analysis of 2-D or 3-D directional and ambient cues in the recording, and re-synthesis of these cues for consistent reproduction over any loudspeaker or headphone playback system. The decoder is compatible with existing two-channel phase-amplitude stereo formats; however, unlike existing time-domain decoders, it preserves source separation and allows accurate reproduction of ambience and reverberation cues. The two-channel spatial encoding/decoding scheme is extended to incorporate 3-D elevation, without relying on HRTF cues. Applications include data-efficient storage or transmission of multi-channel soundtracks and computationally-efficient interactive audio spatialization in a backward-compatible stereo encoding format.

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