We evaluate the efficiency of a 3D spatialization software named Transpan in the context of mixing acoustic recordings on a 5.1 reproduction system. The study aims to investigate if the use of the binaural with cross-talk cancellation (XTC) processing implemented in Transpan can improve the localization of lateral sources and their stability through listeners’ movements. We administered a listening test to 22 expert listeners in Paris and in Berlin. The test consisted of comparisons among two mixes with and without Transpan binaural/XTC panning, for four classical music excerpts under five listening conditions, i.e., at the sweet spot and while performing specific movements. Quantitative analysis of multiple choice questions showed that Transpan can enlarge the 5.1 sweet spot area toward the rear speakers. From qualitative analysis of participants’ feedback emerged five main categories of comments, namely Localization stability; Precise localization accuracy; Vague localization accuracy; Timbral and spectral artifacts; and Spatial differences. Together the results show that Transpan allows for better source lateralization in 5.1 mixing.
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