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Distortion of Auditory Perspective Produced by Interchannel Mixing at High and Low Audio Frequencies

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There has been in the literature considerable discussion of, and considerable difference of opinion concerning the range of audio frequency components which convey directional information to the human ear-brain complex. This conjecture has been prompted by the recognition that certain economies in the design of stereophonic recording, transmitting, receiving or reproduction equipment could be realized if it could be shown that all the significant directional information of a reproduced sound is contained in a band of frequencies smaller than the normal audio range. In a stereophonic presentation which attempts to reproduce sounds in auditory perspective, the directional information is conveyed by the difference of the two audio channels. Investigations have been performed which attempt to define the difference signal frequency band for which there is a -just noticeable difference- between the band limited presentation and a full frequency presentation. The result of such investigation has been to show that some directional information is conveyed by frequency components over almost the entire audio frequency band and that certainly a difference signal frequency band from 100 cps to 10,000 cps is required to provide an almost undetectable distortion of auditory perspective. It is unfortunately characteristic of the majority of systems proposed for providing stereophonic sound reproduction to the public that practical economic considerations dictate some compromise of the requirements for the ideal system. In order to evaluate the consequences of any such compromise in difference signal frequency band it is necessary to determine the degree of distortion of auditory perspective which results for a given amount of band limiting.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society