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On the Use of Directional Loudspeakers to Create a Sound Source Close to the Listener

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It is sometimes desired to create an illusion that a sound source appears closer to the listener than the nearest loudspeaker location. By using highly directional loudspeakers one may manipulate the relation between direct and reverberant energy and therefore change the distance cues to make the sound source appear very close to the listener. Another factor that influences the perceived distance of a source is the time- and spatial fine-structure of the early reflections at the listener position. In this paper we present a method for producing controllable distance effects between the listener location and the nearest loudspeakers that combines these two mechanisms. In particular, the method consisist of reproduction of the source signal by a highly directional loudspeaker, combined with adding synthetic early reflections using a standard surround audio reproduction system. A listening test was carried out, which confirms that the method is indeed capable of producing the desirable effect.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society