Generating Virtual Microphone Signals Using Distributed Arrays

Generating Virtual Microphone Signals Using Distributed Arrays

Prof. Dr. Emanuel Habets
International Audio Laboratories Erlangen Univ. Erlangen-Nuernberg / Fraunhofer IIS Germany

DEI - Conference Room
March 16th, 2012


Conventional spatial audio recording techniques are limited by the fact that the obtained spatial sound image is always relative to the position at which the microphones have been physically placed. For many recordings, the microphones need to be placed in the sound scene, which is normally undesired. In this talk, a virtual microphone recording technique is described which allows placing the microphones outside the sound scene and is yet able to capture the sound at an arbitrary position inside that same sound scene. Our objective is to create a signal that is perceptually similar to the one that would have been picked up by a microphone physically placed at this arbitrary position. The method relies on a parametric model of the sound field that is based on point-like isotropic sound sources. Using this model, a virtual microphone signal can be generated in two stages. Firstly, the parameters of the model are estimated using distributed microphone arrays. Secondly, the virtual microphone signal is generated using a reference microphone signal and the estimated model parameters. In addition to for example cardioid and hyper-cardioid microphones, it is possible to create a virtual spot-microphone that captures sounds that originate from a particular space (area or volume); thereby reducing undesired sound sources and reverberation.

Short bio
Emanuel Habets received the B.Sc degree in electrical engineering from the Hogeschool Limburg, The Netherlands, in 1999, and the M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e), The Netherlands, in 2002 and 2007, respectively. From March 2007 until February 2009, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology and at the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel. In 2009, he was awarded a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career Development. From February 2009 until November 2010, he was a Member of the Research Staff in the Communication and Signal Processing Group at Imperial College London, United Kingdom. In November 2010, he joined the International Audio Laboratories Erlangen (a joint institution of Fraunhofer IIS and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) as an Associate Professor in Perception-based Spatial Audio Signal Processing. Since then he is also a Chief Scientist Spatial Audio Processing at Fraunhofer IIS, Germany.
His research interests are in the areas of speech and audio signal processing, and he has worked in particular on speech dereverberation, microphone array processing, echo cancellation and suppression, acoustic system identification and equalization, and localization and tracking of stationary and moving acoustic sources.
Dr. Habets was a member of the organization committee of the 2005 International Workshop on Acoustic Echo and Noise Control (IWAENC) and is a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society Technical Committee on Audio and Acoustic Signal Processing. He is a general co-chair of the International Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics (WASPAA) to be held in Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York in 2013.

Augusto Sarti

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