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Polar Pattern Comparisons for the Left, Center, and Right Channels in a 3-D Microphone Array

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Standard 5.1 microphone arrays are long established and have been applied to psychoacoustic research, as well as for commercial purposes in film and music. Recent interest in the creative possibilities of “3-D audio” (a lateral layer of microphones, as well as an additional height layer) has led to research in both adapting 5.1 arrays for 3-D recordings as well as creating new methods to better capture the listener’s experience. The LCR configuration in a 5.1 array is a factor that contributes to the stability and localization of the auditory image in the horizontal plane. In this experiment, two different LCR configurations have been adapted for 9.1 in a traditional concert-recording environment. They are then compared in various combinations for their ability to produce a stable, natural, and effective frontal image in a 9.1 reproduction method. Preliminary listening suggests that the polar characteristics of the L,C, and R microphones do affect the sense of envelopment, spaciousness, and localization of the frontal image, as well as cohesiveness within the entire 9.1 image. These results have led to options for further study, as suggested by the researchers.

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