How Masking Affects Auditory Objects of Beamformed Sounds
* Presenting author
Sound beams steered into a room modify the balance between wall reflections and direct sound. To some extent, this not only enables lateral auditory object positioning between direct sound and wall reflections, but also in distance, as the level of diffuse reverberation is influenced by directivity. These features made the icosahedral loudspeaker array (IKO), a spherical beamformer, an interesting instrument in electroacoustic music.In agreement with studies on the precedence effect, previous experiments with the IKO indicated a dependency of the perceived location on how transient the sound is: Precedence is stronger for transient sounds, therefore these sounds are more strongly determined by the direct sound, hence appear closer to the IKO than continuous sounds.This contribution investigates how maskers reduce this impact of the precedence effect on transient sounds. For compositions, the experiment of our contribution discusses how far maskers are useful to regain a larger positioning range for transient auditory objects if (a) an audible masker is presented accompanying the transient sound, (b) the the direct sound of the transient sound is as quiet to fall below the threshold of hearing, in contrast to the beamforming-emphasized wall reflections.