Development of Open Source tools for creative and commercial exploitation of spatial audio
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This research deals with Binaural audio, and the technology behind this. Binaural processing aims to give listeners the same experience on a set of headphones that they get in the real world, sounds can be perceived from any direction, all around the listener. Binaural processing does this by mimicking how sound behaves as it hits each ear. In the field of spatial audio, the research and development of binaural tools for headphone sound has shown significant growth in the recent past. This is due notably to the proliferation of mobile devices, smart phones, tablets, virtual reality and individual entertainment systems. Many concurrent but independent undertakings of research, both academic and commercial, have resulted in compatibility issues developing between different binaural systems and tools. The lack of a standard for exchange of Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTF) and the proprietary nature of commercial endeavors limits the available datasets for users. Due to the topography of the ear, which acts like an aural fingerprint, not all datasets will localise effectively for every listener. The Audio Engineering Society (AES) has put forward a standard to define a spatial audio data file format. This research develops a data preparation tool for currently available open-source binaural HRTF opcodes to aid in utilising this new AES standard. The research also examines the creative and commercial applications of the tool, as it fits into the current landscape of binaural audio, and virtual and augmented reality developments.
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