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Abstract

Psychoacoustics is traditionally based on a world model that assumes a physical world existing independently of any observer - the so-called objective world. Being exposed to this world, an observer is impinged upon by a variety of stimuli reaching his/her sensory organs. These stimuli, if physiologically adequate, may cause biological transduction and signal processing in the sensory organs and its afferent pathways in such a way that finally a specific excitation of the cortex takes place, which results in sen-sations to appear in the observer’s perceptual world. The sensations are understood as being subjective, since they require an observer to exist. This world model - also known as (objectivistic) realism - reaches its limits when it comes to explaining more complex phenomena of perception. Thereupon, in this paper, an alternative world model is emphasized and applied to psychoacoustics, namely the perceptionist’s model. Like realism, perceptionism has a long tradition in epistemology. It appears to be suitable to improve our understanding of perceptual organization.
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Abstract

Available methods for room-related sound presentation are introduced and evaluated. A focus is put on the synthesis side rather than on complete transmission systems. Different methods are compared using common, though quite general criteria. The methods selected for comparison are: Intensity Stereophony after Blumlein, vector-base amplitude panning (VBAP), 5.1-Surround and its discrete-channel derivatives, synthesis with spherical harmonics (Ambisonics, HOA), synthesis based on the boundary method, namely, wave-field synthesis (WFS), and binaural-cue selection methods (e.g., DiRAC). While VBAP, 5.1-Surround and other discrete-channel-based methods show a number of practical advantages, they do, in the end, not aim at authentic sound-field reproduction. The so-called holophonic methods that do so, particularly, HOA and WFS, have specific advantages and disadvantages which will be discussed. Yet, both methods are under continuous development, and a decision in favor of one of them should be taken from a strictly application-oriented point of view by considering relevant application-specific advantages and disadvantages in detail.
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