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Multichannel Sound Reproduction in the Environment for Auditory Research

The Environment for Auditory Research (EAR) is a new U.S. Army Research Laboratory facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, dedicated to spatial sound perception and speech communication research. The EAR is comprised of four indoor research spaces (Sphere Room, Dome Room, Distance Hall, and Listening Laboratory), one outdoor research space (Open EAR), and one common control center (Control Room). Digital audio signals are routed through state-of-the-art RME Hammerfall DSP and Peavey MediaMatrix® hardware to over 600 loudspeaker and microphone channels throughout the facility. The facility’s acoustic environments range from anechoic, through various soundscapes, to real field environments. The EAR facility layout, the audio signal processing capabilities, and some current research activities are described in the following paper.

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