A method and device is presented that allows novice and expert audio engineers to perform mixing using perceptual controls. In this paper we use Auditory Scene Analysis [Bregman, 1990, MIT Press, Cambridge] to relate the multitrack component signals of a mix to the perception of that mix. We define the multitrack components of a mix as a group of audio streams, which are transformed into sound streams by the act of reproduction, and which are ultimately perceived as auditory streams by the listener. The perceptual controls provide direct manipulation of loudness balance within a mixture of sound streams, as well as the overall mix loudness. The system employs a computational optimization strategy to perform automatic signal gain adjustments to component audio-streams, such that the intended loudness balance of the associated sound-streams is produced. Perceptual mixing is performed using a complete auditory model, based on a model of loudness for time-varying sound streams [Glasberg and Moore, J. Audio Eng. Soc., vol. 50, 331-342 (2002 May)]. The use of the auditory model enables the loudness balance to be automatically maintained regardless of the listening level. Thus, a perceptual definition of the mix is presented that is listening-level independent, and a method of realizing the mix practically is given.
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