Archives of Acoustics, 33, 4, pp. 413–422, 2008

Virtual acoustics: opportunities and limits of spatial sound reproduction

RWTH Aachen University, Institute of Technical Acoustics

Virtual Acoustics is part of the emerging field of
"Virtual Reality". The technology for creating a Virtual Reality, VR, for wide
variety of applications in university and industry has been developed in the
last decade. Mostly VR is understood as a tool for 3D visualization, rather than
for spatial audio or room acoustics. Nevertheless an important requirement of VR
is the multimodal approach which includes vision, sound, tactile and haptic
stimuli. The process of creating a physical stimulus based on computer data is
called "rendering". The development of rendering and reproduction of acoustic
stimuli in VR is now at a stage where integration of 3D sound is feasible by
using PCs. This applies to multi-channel binaural synthesis as well as to full
room-acoustic simulation algorithms and to various applications of 3D sound
stimuli for audiology, neuropsychology or any other application in acoustics and
noise control.
Keywords: virtual acoustics; simulation and auralization; spatial audio
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