Computer modeling of room acoustics is a useful tool in the design of acoustically sensitive spaces and an important outcome from these programs is auralizations. This study examined the perceived changes in realism and source width when listening to multi-channel auralizations compared to single channel auralizations for both solo instruments and a full orchestra. The first experiment, which examined subjective judgments of auralizations made from solo instruments, showed that perceived realism increased as the number of channels was increased from one to four to thirteen, while the relationship between source width and number of channels was less clear. In the second experiment, an orchestra was auralized in four different ways: individual instrumental sections with (i) one channel each and (ii) five channels each; and the entire orchestra emanating from (iii) a single omni-directional source and (iv) a surface source. Listeners’ judgments comparing all of the auralizations showed improved perceived realism with the multiple sources (i, ii) compared to the surface source, and wider source width with the multiple sources compared to the single omni-directional source. No improvement in either realism or source width was found as the number of channels was increased from one to five for the individual sources.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lilymwang/18/