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Design of a Circular Microphone Array for Panoramic Audio Recording and Reproduction: Array Radius

A multichannel audio system proposed by Johnston and Lam aims at the perceptual reconstruction of the sound field of an acoustic performance in its original venue. The system employs a circular microphone array, of 31cm diameter, to capture relevant spatial cues. This design proved to be effective in the rendition of the auditory perspective, however other studies showed that there is still substantial room for improvement. This paper investigates the impact of the array diameter on the width and naturalness of the auditory images. To this end we propose a method for quantification and prediction of the perceived naturalness. Simulation results support array diameters close to that proposed by Johnston and Lam in the sense that they achieve optimal naturalness in the centre of the listening area, but also suggest that larger arrays might provide a more graceful degradation of the naturalness for listening positions away from the centre.

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