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Real or Illusion? A Comparative Study of Captured Ambiance vs. Artificial Reverberation in Immersive Audio Applications

Spatial audio researchers and content producers agree that the best source material for immersive audio is provided by the capture of acoustic signals at various elevations in a room. Where music recording is concerned, this technique is generally preferred over signal processing, as it provides a more natural and realistic impression of immersion. The authors’ previous work evaluated the content of rear height channels, which demonstrated that a group of listeners could not discriminate between real room sound and artificial reverberation, and showed no significant preference for either version. The current research investigates whether or not there is a preference for real source ambience over artificially generated reverberation in all four of the height channels (i.e., front and rear elevation) of a 9.1 immersive playback system. Results show some subjects can consistently discriminate between ambiences, but no consistent preference for ambience was observed.

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Permalink: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=18621

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