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Pinna Transformations and Sound Reproduction

Many studies have shown that the pinnae transform incoming signals, superimposing upon the original signal a comb-filter-like spectrum. This spectral shaping has been shown to add an additional cue to the now classic hierarchy of localization cues; interaural intensity, phase, and time of arrival differences. Recent evaluations of misaligned loudspeakers using time delay spectrometry reveal spectral shapes which are strikingly similar to pinna transformations. The implication is that misaligned loudspeakers, poorly placed microphones, or other early reflections introduce spectral aberrations which may be decoded by the auditory system as cues to source position. The possible consequences of the pinna transformations to the interpretation of psychoacoustic phenomena such as auditory imaging, the cocktail party effect, and the precedence effect are discussed.

JAES Volume 29 Issue 4 pp. 226-234; April 1981
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