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Improved Panning on Non-Equidistant Loudspeakers with Direct Sound Level Compensation

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Loudspeaker rendering techniques that create phantom sound sources often assume an equidistant loudspeaker layout. Typical home setups might not fulfill this condition as loudspeakers deviate from canonical positions, thus requiring a corresponding calibration. The standard approach is to compensate for delays and to match the loudness of each loudspeaker at the listener’s location. It was found that a shift of the phantom image occurs when this calibration procedure is applied and one of a pair of loudspeakers is significantly closer to the listener than the other. In this paper, a novel approach to panning on non-equidistant loudspeaker layouts is presented whereby the panning position is governed by the direct sound and the perceived loudness is governed by the full impulse response. Subjective listening tests are presented that validate the approach and quantify the perceived effect of the compensation. In a setup where the standard calibration leads to an average error of 10?, the proposed direct sound compensation largely returns the phantom source to its intended position.

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