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Enhanced Wide-Area Low-Frequency Sound Reproduction in Cinemas: Effective and Practical Alternatives to Current Calibration Strategies

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The current strategies for the low-frequency calibration of cinema sound systems are based on a flawed premise of low-frequency acoustics and psychoacoustics. This research shows that there is virtually no benefit in terms of spatiotemporal variance reduction: pre- and post-calibrated systems will exhibit equally position-dependent listening experience differences. For modern cinemas, the typical focus on room-modes when designing a low frequency calibration system is not necessary because the dimensions of the space coupled with low reverberation time results in Schroeder frequencies around 35 Hz. Above this value, effects of room-modes are not perceptible. Comb-filtering between sources and low-order reflections is the primary cause of high spatial variance. Furthermore, there is no evidence that spatial averaging techniques used for measurement and equalization are subjectively beneficial. A new approach needs to be invented.

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JAES Volume 64 Issue 5 pp. 280-298; May 2016
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Permalink: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18134

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