School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Acoustic autofocus

Supervisor: Professor Josh Reiss

Research group(s): Centre for Digital Music

This project will pioneer research and development of an auto-focus for audio. It builds on the proposal of an acoustical zoom using Directional Audio Coding (DirAC). However, DirAC requires B Format microphones, which are large and expensive. The researcher will investigate methods of real-time stereo field decomposition to determine the direction of arrival of sound sources. Focus may be achieved by adjusting gain, delay, reverb and equalisation of the two microphone signals in order to emphasise those sources whose direction of arrival is nearer to the centre of the stereo soundfield. Other solutions, such as microphones with variable directivity, will also be investigated. Outcomes of the research could include improved methods for real-time direction of arrival estimation, psychoacoustic studies of preference for sound scene editing and a demonstrator that includes a stereo microphone synchronized to the zoom lens of a video camera.