Capturing 3D Audio: A pilot study on the spatial and timbral auditory perception of 3D recordings using main-array and front-rear separation in diffuse field conditions
This research is a preliminary pilot experiment into the subjectively perceived differences between the recordings resulting from three different 3D microphone arrays: A Bowles-Array (Main-Array) with a vertical coincident heightchannel microphone layer, a Fukada-Tree/Hamasaki-Cube configuration (F/R-Array) and a Hybrid-Array containing the signals from the Bowles-Array main layer and the Hamasaki-Cube height layer. It was hypothesised that the arrays in concern will produce recordings that shall lead each to an increased perception of specific attributes for all sources tested (cello, violin, handpan, djembe, guitar). In order to detect possible patterns in spatial and timbral auditory perception subjective listening tests included direct scale magnitude estimations for the attributes Naturalness, Presence, Preference, Width, Localisation Accuracy, Distance/Depth, Envelopment, Spatial Balance, Room Perception, Vertical Image Shift, Vertical Image Spread, and Vertical Frequency Separation and category scaling for the assessment of timbral attributes. Results suggest that none of the arrays in concern conveyed an increased perception of any of the attributes for all sources, which disproves the hypothesis and indicates a source-dependent performance. Simultaneously patterns in the subject responses have been detected which could be explained through psychoacoustic findings focussing on the correlation of perception between the attributes in question. Furthermore, by trying to explain the obtained differences in auditory perception between the different arrays, some assumptions could be made upon what components of which array could have contributed to a specific perception. These findings could serve as a reference for future experiments in the fields of 3D recording techniques or psychoacoustics.