The Capture and Recreation of 3D Auditory Scenes
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The main goal of this research is to develop the theory and implement practical tools (in both software and hardware) for the capture and recreation of 3D auditory scenes. Our research is expected to have applications in virtual reality, telepresence, film, music, video games, auditory user interfaces, and sound-based surveillance. The first part of our research is concerned with sound capture via a spherical microphone array. The advantage of this array is that it can be steered into any 3D directions digitally with the same beampattern. We develop design methodologies to achieve flexible microphone layouts, optimal beampattern approximation and robustness constraint. We also design novel hemispherical and circular microphone array layouts for more spatially constrained auditory scenes. Using the captured audio, we then propose a unified and simple approach for recreating them by exploring the reciprocity principle that is satisfied between the two processes. Our approach makes the system easy to build, and practical. Using this approach, we can capture the 3D sound field by a spherical microphone array and recreate it using a spherical loudspeaker array, and ensure that the recreated sound field matches the recorded field up to a high order of spherical harmonics. For some regular or semi-regular microphone layouts, we design an efficient parallel implementation of the multi-directional spherical beamformer by using the rotational symmetries of the beampattern and of the spherical microphone array. This can be implemented in either software or hardware and easily adapted for other regular or semi-regular layouts of microphones. In addition, we extend this approach for headphone-based system. Design examples and simulation results are presented to verify our algorithms. Prototypes are built and tested in real-world auditory scenes.