In this paper, we propose a new frequency-dependent amplitude panning method for stereophonic image enhancement applied to a sound source recorded using two closely spaced omni-directional microphones. The ability to detect the direction of such a sound source is limited due to weak spatial information, such as the inter-channel time difference (ICTD) and inter-channel level difference (ICLD). Moreover, when sound sources are recorded in a convolutive or a real room environment, the detection of sources is affected by reverberation effects. Thus, the proposed method first tries to estimate the source direction depending on the frequency using azimuth-frequency analysis. Then, a frequency-dependent amplitude panning technique is proposed to enhance the stereophonic image by modifying the stereophonic law of sines. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, we compare its performance with that of a conventional method based on the beamforming technique in terms of directivity pattern, perceived direction, and quality degradation under three different recording conditions (anechoic, convolutive, and real reverberant). The comparison shows that the proposed method gives us better stereophonic images in a stereo loudspeaker reproduction than the conventional method without any annoying effects.
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