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The Effect of Processing Two Overhead Channels on the Spatial Impression of Virtual Rooms Rendered in Eight-Channel Surround Sound

In eight-channel surround sound reproduction, two of the channels are elevated above the listener and their signals are transformed to provide three listening conditions for the evaluation of spatial impression. The elevation channels are either unprocessed, convolved with a short impulse response of a dummy head, or convolved with a dummy head response and also equalized. The six horizontal channels remain the same for each of the overhead conditions and the loudness of the overhead channels is calibrated to be equal for all three conditions. Two anechoic monophonic sound sources are convolved with eight-channel impulse responses previously measured in two large rooms using eight microphones with the overhead information captured by a pair of bidirectional spaced-apart microphones angled 90° between them and pointing diagonally upwards. Listening tests conducted with ten expert subjects show a dependence of spatial impression (height, immersion, preference) on the nature of overhead signals, on the program (sound source), and the choice of room.

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