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Two-Channel Matrix Surround Encoding for Flexible Interactive 3-D Audio Reproduction

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The two-channel matrix surround format is widely used for connecting the audio output of a video gaming system to a home theater receiver for multichannel surround reproduction. This paper describes the principles of a computationally-efficient interactive audio spatialization engine for this application. Positional cues including 3-D elevation are encoded for each individual sound source by frequency-independent inter-channel phase and amplitude differences, rather than HRTF cues. A matrix surround decoder based on frequency-domain Spatial Audio Scene Coding (SASC) is able to faithfully reproduce both ambient reverberation and positional cues over headphones or arbitrary multi-channel loudspeaker reproduction formats, while preserving source separation despite the intermediate encoding over only two channels.

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