It has been established that a high ratio of the direct to the reverberant field is necessary in the listening area for effective speech reinforcement. However, equalization networks which employ shaping of the frequency characteristic of the reverberant field to increase gain before howlback also distort the direct field. The effect of such distortion on perception is examined by talker identification methods, using tape-synthesized combinations of the fields, with one field containing the original talker and the other field containing a frequency-distorted image of the original talker. Initial data in the ongoing study show a 70% choice of the direct field as the spectrum determinant suggesting the need to avoid distorting this field.
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