New multichannel sound formats extending 5.1 with height channels are adding the third dimension to recordings. They provide a much wider range of spatial sound effects and allow more realism of spatial reproduction in terms of direct sound, early and late reflections, reverberation and ambience sound. Using the example of two upper layer front and two upper layer surround complementary loudspeakers (5.1+4, known as “Auro-3D 9.1”) the psychoacoustic principles in the perception of elevated phantom sound sources, spatial depth, spatial impression, envelopment, ambient atmosphere, as well as directional stability within the sweet area are discussed. Concrete proposals for microphone configurations can evolve from these considerations.
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