International. Genelec announced a significant first step to improve the reliability of earphone listening through the introduction of its new Aural ID software technology.

Auditory identification works by acquiring a person's unique acoustic attributes to create a detailed modeling of their unique anatomical features that affect hearing, which can then be compensated, allowing the delivery of a more truthful and reliable sound when used the headphones for reproduction.

Recognizing that the reproduction of traditional "one size fits all" headphones can not provide a reliable and appropriate reference for audio professionals, Aural ID calculates the transfer function related to the Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF). The HRTF describes the acoustic properties of the head, the upper part of the torso and the outer ear: elements that interact in a complex way to affect the sounds that reach the eardrums.

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Aural ID then calculates all these elements and creates a personal data file that characterizes the modification of the sound that comes from any azimuth and elevation. Accordingly, this file allows an audio engine to accurately reproduce the stereo or surround content through headphones.

So far, the collection of HRTF personal information has been a complex and time-consuming process that requires an anechoic room, the placement of measurement microphones at the entrance to the user's ear canals and careful attention to the configuration and details of the procedure. with multiple measurements. However, even after these steps have been taken, the data collected is less comprehensive than those that can be obtained with auditory identification and may still be prone to errors.

By contrast, the Genelec Aural ID software simply requires the user to provide a video of 360 degrees of their head and shoulders region, for which a high-quality camera for mobile phones is sufficient. Once the video is loaded into the Genelec web-based calculation service, the calculation process first builds an accurate and detailed 3D model scaled to the correct dimensions of the head and upper torso, with special attention to the modeling of the external ears.

After this, the acoustic fields are analyzed and calculated numerically with a full wave method to capture detailed acoustic phenomena. The acoustic fields are calculated for hundreds of different audio orientations that approximate the head, after which the HRTFs are formed and the data is finally compiled into a downloadable SOFA file, a format that has been defined and standardized by the Audio Engineering Society (AES). This maximizes the technical compatibility of the HRTF data file, since the SOFA format is already compatible with many virtual reality (VR) rendering engines and games.

In fact, Genelec considers that those who work in academic research, immersive audio monitoring, VR and game development are probably the first to adopt the new Aural ID technology.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Editor
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.

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