2.3 Auralisation, rendering and convolution reverberation

Once an impulse response has been obtained from either the measurement or modelling process, it can be used to process any audio signal or sound recording. Ideally this source signal should be completely anechoic – that is, having no reflections or acoustic environment information imprinted on it already – and this is what is generally known as auralisation, as articulated in the definition quoted previously from Vorländer (2008). This auralisation process results in the original anechoic source sound being heard as if it were played back in the measured or modelled space, at the position of the source from the perspective of the listener. This auralisation may then be rendered in any number of ways, from basic mono, through to full binaural reproduction over headphones, or surround-sound listening for a larger audience over a multi-loudspeaker array. The audio rendering of an acoustic space with impulse responses obtained from either a measurement or a model is also known as convolution reverberation (Välimäki et al. 2012), as the audio signal processing theory used to facilitate this is known as convolution. There is little actual difference in terminology in this respect, although auralisation generally refers to the re-creation of a particular sound event in a particular environment, whereas convolution reverberation is a technique more generally applied in music production or computer-based composition. In the latter case, an aesthetically pleasing creative result is usually the goal, rather than a more exact virtual model of an actual physical process.


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