The design of a real time electronic listener, optimized for surround sound program assessment, is described. Problems commonly encountered in surround audio production and distribution are automatically identified, including stereo/mono downmix compatibility, balance, metadata inconsistencies, channel interchange, loudness, excessive or inadequate level, and the presence of hum. Making measurements which correlate with audibility, displaying the results in a form easily understood by non-audio personnel created numerous design challenges. The technology used to solve these challenges, particularly that of downmix compatibility, will be described.
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