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Beyond Coding: Reproduction of Direct and Diffuse Sound in Multiple Environments

For many years, the difference in perception between perceptually direct sounds (i.e., sounds with a specific direction) and perceptually diffuse sounds (i.e., sounds that ‘surround’ or ‘envelop’ the listener) have been recognized, leading to a variety of approaches for simulating or capturing these perceptual effects. Here, we discuss a system using separation of direct and diffuse signals, or for synthetic signals (e.g., those made by modern production methods) synthesis of the diffuse signal in one of several ways, in order to enable the reproduction system, after measuring the characteristics of the playback system, to provide the best possible sensation from that particular set of playback equipment.

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