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Spatial and Timbral Fidelities of Binaural Ambisonics Decoders for Main Microphone Array Recordings

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This study investigated the influence of binaural Ambisonic rendering on the perceived spatial and timbral fidelities of recordings made using main microphone arrays. Eight recordings made for different types of sound sources using various microphone techniques were encoded in Ambisonics with the orders of 1 to 5. In MUSHRA listening tests, 1st to 5th order binaural Ambisonic decoders based on the “magnitude least square (magLS)” method as well as the conventional 1st order “Cube” basic decoder were compared against the direct binauralisation of the original recording. Results generally indicated that perceived spatial and timbral quality degradations for the magLS stimuli were minimal for complex musical ensemble recordings, regardless of the order. However, significant source and microphone technique dependencies were observed.

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