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Vector-Base and Ambisonic Amplitude Panning: A Comparison Using Pop, Classical, and Contemporary Spatial Music

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Vector-Base Amplitude Panning (VBAP) and Ambisonics are commonly used in 3D audio reproduction via loudspeakers. While research has been investigating their properties using psychoacoustic test signals, there is only a small number of investigations employing musical material. Considering the musical application of these spatialization methods, we present an experimental study characterizing quality aspects using excerpts that belong to three different musical genres (popular, classical, and contemporary spatial music). The study compares seven configurations of vector-base and Ambisonic amplitude panning in a hemispherical listening environment that is permanently installed in the IEM CUBE. Four configurations thereof used 24 loudspeakers, and the others used a subset of 12 loudspeakers. In pairwise comparisons, participants rated each configuration pair on a quasi-continuous scale in terms of preference, envelopment, spatial clarity, sound quality, and stability. Perceptual scales were constructed which revealed how configurations ranked in terms of each attribute. The ranking of the tested configurations on the perceptual scales was dependent on the musical material. In the case of the popular and the classical music piece, results were relatively consistent and participants tended to prefer the configurations that used 12 loudspeakers. Results indicate that preference judgements are correlated to envelopment, sound quality, and spatial clarity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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