For a half century, the crucial interaction between recording engineer and monitor loudspeakers during two-channel stereophonic recording has not been resolved, leaving the engineer to cope with uncertainties. However, recent advances in defining and improving this loudspeaker-room-listener interface have finally allowed objectivity to inform and shape the engineer’s choices. The full potential of the two-channel stereo format is now accessible to the recording engineer, and in a room that is just as normal as most consumers’ rooms. The improved reproduction has also allowed a deeper understanding of the merits and limits of spaced and coincident/near-coincident microphone arrays. As a result of these and earlier observations, a four-microphone array was conceived which exploits natural hearing processes to achieve greater auditory realism from two loudspeakers. A number of insights have emerged from the experiments.
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