This paper presents a new multichannel microphone technique and reproduction system intended to support six degrees of freedom of listener movement. The technique is based on a modified form of the equal segment microphone array (ESMA) concept and utilizes four Ambisonic (B-format) microphones in a near-coincident arrangement with a 50cm spacing. Upon playback, these Ambisonic microphones are transformed into virtual microphones with different polar patterns that change based on the listener's position within the reproduction area. The results of an objective analysis and an informal subjective listening test indicate some inconsistencies in the on and off-axis response, but suggest that the technique can potentially support six degrees of freedom in a recorded audio scene using a compact microphone array that is well suited to Virtual Reality (VR) and particularly Free View Point (FVV) applications.
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