Volume 4, Number 5, 2020
|Number of page(s)||16|
|Published online||12 October 2020|
Technical & Applied Article
SCaLAr – A surrounding spherical cap loudspeaker array for flexible generation and evaluation of virtual acoustic environments
Teaching and Research Area of Medical Acoustics, Institute of Technical Acoustics, RWTH Aachen University, Kopernikusstraße 5, 52074 Aachen, Germany
2 Chair and Institute of Technical Acoustics, RWTH Aachen University, Kopernikusstraße 5, 52074 Aachen, Germany
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 11 August 2020
Introduction: Surrounding spherical loudspeaker arrays facilitate the application of various spatial audio reproduction methods and can be used for a broad range of acoustic measurements and perceptual evaluations.
Methods: Installed in an anechoic chamber, the design and implementation of such an array of 68 coaxial loudspeakers, sampling a spherical cap with a radius of 1.35 m on an equal-area grid, is presented. A network-based audio backbone enables low-latency signal transmission with low-noise amplifiers providing a high signal-to-noise ratio. To address batch-to-batch variations, the loudspeaker transfer functions were equalised by individually designed 512-taps finite impulse response filters. Time delays and corresponding level adjustments further helped to minimise radial mounting imperfections.
Results: The equalised loudspeaker transfer functions measured under ideal conditions and when mounted, their directivity patterns, and in-situ background noise levels satisfy key criteria towards applicability. Advantages and shortcomings of the selected decoders for panning-based techniques, as well as the influence of loudspeaker positioning errors, are analysed in terms of simulated performance metrics. An evaluation of the achievable channel separation allows deriving recommendations of feasible subset layouts for loudspeaker-based binaural reproduction.
Conclusion: The combination of electroacoustic properties, simulated sound field synthesis performance and measured channel separation classifies the system as suitable for its target applications.
Key words: Spherical loudspeaker array / Array processing / Spatial audio reproduction / Virtual acoustic environment
© F. Pausch et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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