Sound, the way the brain prefers to hear it

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/science/06sound.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=gugliotta&st=cse

By GUY GUGLIOTTA
Published: September 5, 2011

LOS ANGELES — There is, perhaps, no more uplifting musical experience than hearing the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah”performed in a perfect space. Many critics regard Symphony Hall in Boston — 70 feet wide, 120 feet long and 65 feet high — as just that space.

David Ahntholz for The New York Times

Tyson Yaberg of Audyssey Laboratories listened to an experimental system at the University of Southern California. Audyssey’s goal is to make dens and living rooms sound like concert halls and movie theaters.

Multimedia

Some 3,000 miles away, however, a visitor led into the pitch-blackness of Chris Kyriakakis’s audio lab at the University of Southern California to hear a recording of the performance would have no way to know how big the room was.

At first it sounded like elegant music played in the parlor on good equipment. Nothing special. But as engineers added combinations of speakers, the room seemed to expand and the music swelled in richness and depth, until finally it was as if the visitor were sitting with the audience in Boston…..

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