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A Binaural Simulation Approach to Predicting -Immersion- in the Concert Hall Sound Field

A calibrated binaural manikin and tape record/playback technique is described from which meaningful subjective and objective characteristics of the acoustical -atmosphere- of locations in spaces are extracted. Analysis of the source-path-receiver transfer functions in space, frequency, and time domains together with psycho-acoustical paired comparisons using headphones and properly equalized, single-source anechoic music played in several auditoria showed the following: 1) Apparent Source Width (ASW) can vary significantly throughout a space and, among other things, is a function of listening level and the running short-time cross-correlation coefficient between the ears for frequencies below about 2 kHz. 2) In general, when the sound source is located on the axis of symmetry of a room, listeners are likely to feel more surrounded by sound (larger ASW) when they are seated some distance from that axis (t=2.90, df=49, significant at the 99.5% confidence level).

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