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Soundfield analysis and synthesis using higher order ambisonics

Department of Electronic Engineering

About the Project

Ambisonics is a spatial audio capture and reproduction system that has been utilised since the 1970’s, primarily for music reproduction, but has of late gained significant interest in broadcast, gaming and interactive immersive video frameworks. It is a system that allows for soundfield recordings and mixes to be created independent of a known reproduction format. It is based on the representation of the soundfield using spherical harmonic basis functions, where the higher the order of spherical harmonics utilised, the more physically accurate the soundfield capture and reproduction will be over a defined area. Despite major advances in spherical microphone design and higher order Ambisonic decoding methods, there still needs to be more attention paid to the perceptual limitations of Ambisonic reproduction. What order is sufficient for correct perception of depth, immersion or locatedness in higher order Ambisonic soundfields? Are the perceptual limitations the same over loudspeakers as they are over virtual Ambisonic reproduction on headphones? Are current methods of up-mixing low order microphone signals to higher orders perceptually correct? And finally, are there sacrifices that can be made to the configuration of reproduction setups without any degradation in the perception of spatial audio quality? This project looks to answer these questions through acoustic measurement, psychoacoustic modeling and perceptual testing, with the ultimate aim of developing new Ambisonic processing algorithms grounded in validated perceptual data.

Entry requirements:
Candidates should have (or expect to obtain) a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1) or equivalent in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Music Technology or a closely related subject.

How to apply:
Applicants should apply via the University’s online application system at Please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project and you will need to have sufficient funds in place (eg from scholarships, personal funds and/or other sources) to cover the tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research degree programme. Please check the Electronic Engineering website View Website for details about funding opportunities at York.

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