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Spatial Audio Processing: MPEG Surround and Other Applications by Christof Faller, Jeroen Breebaart

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Foreword

It is a pleasure and great honor for me to contribute a foreword to this fascinating book on the state-of-the-art in stereo and multi-channel audio processing. Given my own research interest in binaural hearing, it is exciting to follow the detailed description of how scientific insights into human spatial perception in combination with digital signal processing techniques have enabled a major step forward in audio coding. I also feel honored to have a close relationship with the two authors. Both are young scientists with already an impressive output of scientific publications and also patents, and they both have made significant contributions to international standards. The book that they present here documents their deep insights in auditory perception and their ability to translate these into real-time algorithms for the digital representation of multi-channel sounds. I was lucky to follow many of the described developments from close by.

A remarkable aspect of the authors' careers is that both are or have been related to research environments with a long history in using perception insights to steer technological developments. Christof Faller was for many years affiliated with the Bell Laboratories of Lucent Technologies and later with Agere, a spin-off of Bell Laboratories and Lucent. The history of psychoacoustics at Bell Labs started around 1914, when Harvey Fletcher initiated a research program on speech and hearing with the clear goal to improve the design of ...

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