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Psychoacoustics in Sound Reinforcement and PA Design

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The paper describes how modern sound system deign extensively uses psychoacoustic effects such as the Haas and Precedence Effect to increase the perceived loudness and intelligibility of a sound system whilst maintaining apparent source localization and avoidance of undesirable echoes. The role of the Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF) in maintaining the illusion is also discussed. The integration time and frequency response characteristics of the Ear - Brain system are also examined in relation to the achievement of speech intelligibility, particularly in reverberant and noisy acoustic conditions. The paper concludes with a review of how complex, psychoacoustically based test signals and analyses can be used to asses and predict the potential intelligibility of a PA or audio system.

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