Wenzel, Elizabeth M. Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Moffett Field, California.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Psychoacoustical cues
- Psychophysical validation
- Real-time implementation
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The simulation of the complex acoustic field experienced by a listener within an environment. The technology is also known as three-dimensional sound and auralization. Going beyond the simple left-right volume adjustment of normal stereo techniques, the goal is to process sounds so that they appear to come from particular locations in three-dimensional space. Although loudspeaker systems have been developed, much of the work in the field focuses on using headphones for playback and is the outgrowth of earlier analog techniques. For example, in binaural recording, the sound of an orchestra playing classical music is recorded through small microphones in the two imitation ear canals of an anthropomorphic artificial or dummy head placed in the audience of a concert hall. When the recorded piece is played back over headphones, the listener passively experiences the illusion of hearing the violins on the left and the cellos on the right, along with all the associated echoes, resonances, and ambience of the original environment. Techniques use digital signal processing to synthesize the acoustical properties that people use to localize a sound source in space. Thus, they provide the flexibility of a kind of digital dummy head, allowing a more active experience in which a listener can both design and move around or interact with a simulated acoustic environment in real time. See also: Binaural sound system
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