New techniques in virtual auditory space


Research Highlight


Recent research has focussed on new methods related to synthesising virtual auditory space. We highlight three new techniques: (1) Spatial augmented-reality audio (SARA) arises when virtual spatial sounds are rendered on a real spatial audio scene. We are interested in exploring the perceptual dynamics between the virtualised sounds and the 'true' auditory scene. In order to explore this listening paradigm, we have developed a headset for spatial augmented-reality audio. (2) In addition, we are interested in synthesising reverberant sounds recorded with a higher order ambisonic microphone array. As a first step, we have developed a new method to render first-order ambisonic recordings in virtual auditory space. This new method seems to work better than traditional methods such as spatial impulse response rendering. (3) The synthesis of near-field sounds provides an interesting challenge as the head-related impulse responses change with distance in the near field. We have developed an efficient simulation technique for near-field virtual auditory space than employs analytic acoustic transfer functions for a rigid sphere. For more details, please explore the references below.


Figure 1: Acoustically transparent earphones for spatial augmented-reality audio.


Selected Research Articles


(2009) Martin, A., Jin, C.T., van Schaik, A., Psychoacoustic evaluation of a system for delivering spatialized augmented-reality audio, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 57(12) 1016-1027.

(2010) Kan, A., Jin, C.T., van Schaik, A., Psychoacoustic evaluation of different methods for creating individualized headphone-presented VAS from B-format RIRs, The Principles and Applications of Spatial Hearing, edited by Suzuki, Y., Brungart, D. et al., World Scientific, (to appear mid 2010).

(2010) Kan, A., Jin, C.T., van Schaik, A., A psychophysical evaluation of near-field head-related transfer functions synthesized using a distance variation function, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 125(4) 2233-2242.