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Estimating Room Impulse Responses from Recorded Balloon Pops

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Balloon pops are convenient for probing the acoustics of a space, as they generate relatively uniform radiation patterns and consistent ``N-wave' waveforms. However, the N-wave spectrum contains nulls which impart an undesired comb-filter-like quality when the recorded balloon pop is convolved with audio. Here, a method for converting recorded balloon pops into full audio bandwidth impulse responses is presented. Rather than directly processing the balloon pop recording, an impulse response is synthesized according to the echo density and frequency band energies estimated in running windows over the balloon pop. Informal listening tests show good perceptual agreement between measured room impulse responses using a loudspeaker source and a swept-sine technique, and those derived from recorded balloon pops.

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Permalink: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=15594

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