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Auralization-An Overview

Auralization is a term introduced to be used in analogy with visualization to describe rendering audible (imaginary) sound fields. Several modeling methods are available in architectural acoustics for this purpose. If auralization is done by computer modeling, it can be thought of as "true" acoustical computer-aided design. Together with new hardware implementation of signal processing routines, auralization forms the basis of a powerful new technoogy for room simulation and aural event generation. The history, trends, problems, and possibilities of auralization are described. The discussion primarily deals with auralization of auditorium acoustics and loudspeaker installations. The advantages and disadvantages of various approaches are discussed, as are possible testing and verification techniques. The possibility of using acoustic scale models for auralization is also discussed.: Demonstrations of auralizations have been made, but still the technology`s ability to reproduce the subjective impression of the audible characteristics of a hall accurately remains to be verified. This limits the credibility of auralization as a design tool, and verification of auralization the foremost problem to be attacked at this time. The verification problem also applies to the basic room impulse response prediction programs. The combination of auralization with transaural reproduction, room equalization, and active noise control could make it possible to expand the applications of the technology beyond the laboratory and beyond simple headphone reproduction. A large number of interesting applications outside the room and psychoacoustics reearch are conceivable, the most interesting of which are probably its use in information, education, and entertainment.


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