Psychoacoustics and evaluation of spatial sound

To be able to develop new algorithms for spatial audio, one should be able to measure quality if reproduction. One approach is to conduct psychoacoustic listening tests, in which listeners report in a formal way the attribute of spatial reproduction which is under research. The other approach is to use binaural auditory models to evaluate the reproduction. We have conducted research in both fields.

The following table lists most important papers on psychoacoustics and evaluation of spatial sound in inverse chronological order. For some publications, the PDF-file and a companion web-page containing sound examples are provided. These can be found in the leftmost column.

Publication Short description
N/A Santala O and Pulkki V. "Directional perception of distributed sound sources" J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 129(3) 2011.
The perception of spatial distribution of wide sound source ensembles is researched two listening tests conducted using loudspeaker listening in anechoic chamber.
N/A Pulkki V and Hirvonen T. "Functional count-comparison model for binaural decoding." Acta Acustica united with Acustica, 94(6). 2009.
A binaural signal driven functional model of auditory pathway upto level of MSO and LSO is presented.
N/A T.Hirvonen and V. Pulkki "Center and Spatial Extent of Auditory Events as Caused by Multiple Sound Sources in Frequency-Dependent Directions" Acta Acustica united with Acustica.
The perception of direction and width of complex sound events caused by simultaneous sources with different frequencies and at different azimuth directions is studied.
N/A V. Pulkki and J.Merimaa "Spatial Impulse Response Rendering II: Reproduction of Diffuse Sound and Listening Tests" Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, vol 54, no. 1, 2006
The assumptions made in the first SIRR-JAES paper are bolstered here, and a new method to diffuse sound is presented. The quality obtained with SIRR and Ambisonics is studied with formal listening tests in anechoic chamber and in listening room.
T.Hirvonen "Segregation of Two Simultaneously Arriving Narrowband Noise Signals as a Function of Spatial and Frequency Separation" 8th International Conference on Digital Audio Effects, DAFx'05, September 20-22, 2005, Madrid, Spain.
Listening tests are conducted in order to study the perceptual segregation and integration of two simultaneously arriving narrowband noise signals as a function of their spatial and frequency separation. This study is also related to the perception of complex sounds.
N/A A. Kelloniemi and J. Ahonen and O. Paajanen and V. Pulkki "Detection of subwoofer depending on crossover frequency and spatial angle between subwoofer and main speaker". Audio Engineering Society Convention paper 6431. Presented at the 118th Convention 2005 May 28-31, Barcelona, Spain.
Listening tests are conducted to find the highest crossover frequency where the listener does not detect the subwoofer. Four different distances between the woofer and the main speaker were employed.
N/A V. Pulkki and T.Hirvonen "Localization of Virtual Sources in Multichannel Audio Reproduction" IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio Processing, vol 13, no. 1, 2005
The directional quality of first- and second-order Ambisonics and a spaced microphone technique is tested in 5.0 and octagonal listening. Listening tests and binaural auditory modeling are conducted.
T.Hirvonen, M. Tikander and V. Pulkki "Multichannel reproduction of low frequencies" Baltic-Nordic Acoustics Meeting, 2004 June 8-10 2004, Mariehamn, Åland, Finland.
In this paper, we have studied different techniques for audio low-frequency reproduction obectively and subjectively. A novel method where low frequencies are reproduced using wave-field synthesis showed promising results.
N/A C. Faller J. Merimaa "Source Localization in Complex Listening Situations: Selection of Binaural Cues Based on Interaural Coherence," Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 116, no. 5, pp. 3075-3089, 2004.
An auditory modeling mechanism for extraction of binaural cues corresponding to localization of concurrent sound sources as well as sources in precedence effect and room conditions is proposed.
J. Merimaa and W. Hess "Training of Listeners for Evaluation of Spatial Attributes of Sound," in Proceedings of The 117th AES Convention, preprint 6237, San Francisco, CA, USA, October 28-31, 2004.
Auditory source width (ASW) and listener envelopment (LEV) in three different acoustical environments was studied. Familiarization of the listeners with the attributes was necessary but further experience did not change the evaluatioin. The results indicate that both measures are correlated, source-dependent, and do not correspond to standardized room acoustical parameters.
S. Hameed, J. Pakarinen, K. Valde and V. Pulkki "Psychoacoustic Cues in Room Size Perception," Audio Engineering Society Convention paper 6084. Presented at the 116th Convention 2004 May 8-11, Berlin, Germany.
Virtual realities with different reverberation lengths and levels are generated, and the listeners judge the size of the room. It is found that the level does not affect the perceived size at all, the only significant attribute is the length of the reverberation in this case.
V. Pulkki "Microphone techniques and directional quality of sound reproduction," Audio Engineering Society Convention paper 5500. Presented at the 112th Convention 2002 Munich, Germany.
Directional quality produced with different microphone techniques and different loudspeaker setups are studied with binaural auditory modeling.
V. Pulkki "Spatial Sound Generation and Perception by Amplitude Panning Techniques"
The dissertation of Ville Pulkki. Directional quality of amplitude-panned virtual sources is studied using listening tests and modeling of directional hearing mechanisms.

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Modified: 18.1.2006
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