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2003 Technical Reports

Auditory Perception and Spatial (3D) Auditory Systems

Bill Kapralos, Michael R. M. Jenkin and Evangelos Milios

Technical Report CS-2003-07

York University

July 20, 2003


In order to enable the user of a virtual reality system to be fully immersed in the virtual environment, the user must be presented with believable sensory input. Although the majority of virtual environments place the emphasis on visual cues, replicating the complex interactions of sound within an environment will benefit the level of immersion and hence the user's sense of presence. Three dimensional (spatial) sound systems allow a listener to perceive the position of sound sources, and the effect of the interaction of sound sources with the acoustic structure of the environment. This paper reviews the relevant biological and technical literature relevant to the generation of accurate acoustic displays for virtual environments, beginning with an introduction to the process of auditory perception in humans. This paper then critically examines common methods and techniques that have been used in the past as well as methods and techniques which are currently being used to generate spatial sound. In the process of doing so, the limitations, drawbacks, advantages and disadvantages associated with these techniques are also presented.

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