In this paper, benefits and challenges related to binaural rendering for conventional stereo content are explained in terms of width of the sound stage, timbral changes, perceived distance and naturalness of phantom sources. To resolve some of the identified issues, a two-stage process consisting of a spatial decomposition followed by dedicated post processing methods is proposed. In the first stage, several direct sound source signals and additional ambience components are extracted from the stereo content. These signals are subsequently processed with dedicated algorithms to render virtual sound sources by means of HRTF or BRIR convolution, and to render an additional diffuse sound field with the correct inter-aural coherence properties based on the extracted ambience signals. It is argued that this approach results in a wider sound stage, more natural and accurate spatial imaging of sound sources, and resolves the "here and now" versus the "there and then" duality for room acoustic simulation in binaural rendering methods.
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