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Re: Fw: sursound: The pinna and Ambisonics/cross post

1) It is not true that humans have particular difficulty with high frequency
sounds. Humans have particular difficulty with pure tones in the 1.5-2.5 kHz
region. Everything else can be localised quite well - at least on a left/right

2) It is true that left/right discrimination is dominated by low frequencies.

3) All other discriminations (up/down, front/back) *require* high frequencies,
because they are mediated by pinna cues, and the pinna has no influence over
low frequencies. They also demand a complex sound, as it is the relative level
of different frequencies that codes the direction.

Regarding point 2, I wonder why audio engineers think that a single sub-woofer
is a good idea these days. I find that they confuse the image compared to
a conventional pair of stereo speakers. Multiple tweeters around the room
seem like a good idea in view of 3) though.

For literature see recent publications by Wightman and Kistler, Noble and
colleagues, Carlile etc.


Dr. John Culling,
Sch. of Psychology,
Cardiff University,
P.O. Box 901
CF10 3YG

Tel. +44 029 20874523
FAX +44 029 20874858