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A Second-Order Soundfield Microphone with Improved Polar Pattern Shape

The soundfield microphone is a compact tetrahedral array of four figure-of-eight microphones yielding four coincident virtual microphones; one omnidirectional and three orthogonal pressure gradient microphones. As described by Gerzon, above a limiting frequency approximated by fc = pc/r, the virtual microphones become progressively contaminated by higher-order spherical harmonics. To improve the high-frequency performance, either the array size must be substantially reduced or a new array geometry must be found. In the present work an array having nominally octahedral geometry is described. It samples the spherical harmonics in a natural way and yields horizontal virtual microphones up to second order having excellent horizontal polar patterns up to 20 kHz.

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