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Low-Delay Directional Audio Coding for Real-Time Human-Computer Interaction

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Games and virtual worlds require low-cost, good-quality and low-delay audio engines. The short-time Fourier transform (STFT) -based implementation of Directional Audio Coding (DirAC) for virtual worlds fulfills the two first demands. Unfortunately, the delay can be perceivably large. In this paper, a modification to DirAC is introduced that uses different time-frequency resolutions for STFT concurrently, which are not aligned in time in reproduction. This leads to the high-frequency non-diffuse content being reproduced as soon as possible and thus reduces the perceived delay. Informal tests show that the delay was short enough for a musician to play an instrument through the processing. Moreover, the results of formal listening tests show that the reduction in quality is perceptible but not annoying.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society