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On Human Perceptual Bandwidth and Slow Listening
Seventy-four recent physiological and psychological studies revolving around human perception and its bandwidth were reviewed. The brain has ever only learned about the world through our five primary senses. With them, we receive a fraction of the information actually available, while we perceive far less still. A fraction of a fraction: The perceptual bandwidth. Conscious perception is furthermore influenced by long-term experience and learning, to an extent that it might be more accurately understood and studied as primarily a reach-out phenomenon. Considering hearing, time is found to be a determining factor on several planes. It is discussed how such sentient observations could be taken into account in pro audio, for instance when conducting subjective tests; and the term “slow listening” is devised.
Is single microphone position enough for immersive system equalization and level calibration in production monitoring?
Immersive monitoring systems contain a large number of loudspeakers, each strongly and differently influenced acoustically by the room boundaries. This creates uncertainty regarding the actual in-room frequency response, results in large acoustical differences between individual loudspeakers, and can reduce the transparency and reliability of monitoring on such system. The aim of this work is to demonstrate this influence and then study the importance of using multiple measurement microphone positions instead of one measurement microphone position when preforming in-room frequency response calibration and system alignment. An NHK 22.2 immersive monitoring setup demonstrates the variability typical of immersive layouts, and the influence individualized in-room monitoring loudspeaker equalization can bring. After this, various spatial distributions in the vicinity of the main listening location in 12 rooms are compared to the typical situation of using single microphone location at the listening location. When using equalization to remove response differences between loudspeakers, no significant differences were found between single point measurements and spatial averages for small spatial averaging displacements in rooms having low reverberation times.
Stability of the Frequency Response Estimate in Listening Rooms
In-room estimates of loudspeaker responses for professional use are typically taken either at one microphone location, replacing the listener with a microphone, or averaging in space, at multiple locations at and relatively close to the listening location. In this work, a number of listening rooms were measured using 18 precisely defined locations. In-space averaging in combination with frequency domain averaging can increase the stability of the frequency response estimate. However, the spatial averaging points used in taking a measurement should be chosen based on the room acoustics and on the application. Spatial averaging across a wide area may come with the risk of compromising the result at the main listening position.