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Bridging Near and Far Acoustical Fields: a Hybrid Systems Approach to Improved Dimensionality in Multi-Listener Spaces

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Even advanced Far-Field systems are challenged to present convincing imagery of Near-Field auditory objects for multiple listeners. Conversely, near-field systems will not normally produce satisfying far-field image results for multiple listeners; large audiences are a problematic case. In this paper, the author discusses two primary modalities for speaker-based auditory imaging systems. Several approaches are discussed; strengths and weaknesses are characterized. A method is proposed combining advantages of two types of systems to achieve improved results in near-to-far-acoustic field (N-FAF) precision. We consider continuity of spatial dimension, with the objective of smoothly bridging what a listener perceives as “personal” audio space with “shared” audio space. We touch on authoring methods, and describe a new installation utilizing techniques discussed here.

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