For multichannel input such as 5.1-surround material, contemporary transform-based perceptual audio codecs provide good coding quality even at very low bit-rates. These codecs rely on discrete joint-channel coding and parametric spatial coding schemes. The latter require dedicated complex-valued filter-banks around the core-codec, which increase both the algorithmic complexity and latency. This paper demonstrates that the discrete joint-channel as well as known semi-parametric spatial coding principles can also be realized directly within the real-valued modified discrete cosine transform (MDCT) domain of the core-coder, thereby eliminating the need for auxiliary filter-banks. The resulting fully flexible signal-adaptive coding scheme, when integrated into the MPEG-H 3D Audio codec, offers the same quality as the state of the art even at bit-rates as low as 80 kbit/s for 5.1-surround.
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