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2 Preserving the Art > 2.2 Back to the Beginning: Direction and Space

2.2 BACK TO THE BEGINNING: DIRECTION AND SPACE

Sounds exist in acoustical contexts. In live performances we perceive sources at different locations, and at different distances, in rooms that can give us strong impressions of envelopment. A complete reproduction should convey the essence of these impressions. A moment's thought reveals that because our binaural perceptual mechanism is sensitive to sounds arriving from all angles, reproducing a persuasive illusion of realistic direction and space must entail multiple channels delivering sounds to the listener from many directions. The key questions are how many and where?

This aspect of sound perception has been greatly influenced by both recording technology and also by culture. Blesser and Salter (2007) discuss this in terms of “aural architecture,” defined as those properties of a space that can be experienced by listening. This begins with natural acoustical environments, but nowadays we can extend this definition to include those real and synthesized spatial sounds incorporated in recordings and those that are reproduced through loudspeakers in our listening rooms. In this sense, all of us involved with the audio industry are, to some extent, aural architects.


  

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