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Reproducing Low Frequency Spaciousness and Envelopment in Listening Rooms

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Envelopment – the perception of being surrounded by a beautiful acoustic space – is one of the joys of concert halls and great recordings. Recording engineers strive to capture reverberation independently in each channel, and reverberation from digital equipment is similarly non-coherent. But in playback rooms with a single low frequency driver or a single subwoofer reverberation is often flat, frontal, and without motion. In this paper we will show that full range loudspeakers or at least two independent subwoofers can bring low frequency envelopment back to a playback room. In some rooms minimizing room modes with high pressure at the listening position while maximizing lateral modes with minima near the listeners can help. If necessary, we put two independent subwoofers at the sides of the listeners.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society