The optimum choice of surround sound encoding specification with good mono and stereo compatibility is such that the best of all possible surround decoders for that system is better than the best of all possible decoders for any other system. This paper summarizes psychoacoustic theories and methods that allow the discovery of this optimum system. This "System 45 J" is described, and is an improved refinement of the BBC 'matrix H' and UMX systems.
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