Papers by ©
Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES / SMPTE / BSEE

High Sonic Definition HSD 3D
(U.S.Pat.) - lifelike home media room where the listener is again immersed within the full sphere of live hearing. 5.1-compatible using 6-channel media & 10 speakers (demonstration by request)

Enjoy my memoir/history book of radio & TV stations & people "American Radio Then & Now: Stories of Local Radio from the Golden Age." All about our first live mass medium, Radio. The author’s live on-air experiences, bloopers, & pranks before transistors and automation – lost details about how Radio was done when doing Radio was fun. Bios of celebrities who began in Local Radio like John Lithgow, Dick Cavett, and Buffalo Bob Smith, and many more behind the then hot new technology. Read on any device with a free Kindle app. Non-fiction; 12 chapters plus appendix; 109 illustrations; 175 footnotes; by a Golden Age on-air personality, musician, engineer, and award-winning filmmaker Robin Miller. Click for a free sample -

Conference papers presented to and published by Audio Engineering Society (AES), Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), Acoustical Society of America (ASA), Canadian Acoustical Association / Association Canadienne d'Acoustique Français (CAA), German Tonmeisters (VDT, Verband Deutscher Tonmeister); published online white papers & stories...

Title Published Abstract
5.1 surround and 3D (full sphere with height) reproduction
for interactive gaming and training simulation

AES 121st Int'l Conv 10/06 San Francisco

Immersive sound for gaming and simulation, perhaps more than for music and movies, requires preserving directionality of direct sounds, both fixed and moving, and acoustical reflections dynamically affecting those sounds, to effect the spatiality being presented. Conventionally (as with popular music), sources are panned close-microphone signals or synthesized sounds; the presentation pretends “They are here,” where spatiality is largely that of the listening environment. Convolution with room impulse responses can contribute diffuse ambience but not “real” spatiality and tone color. These issues pertain not only to 5.1 where reproduction is a 2D horizontal circle of speakers, but to advanced 3D interactive reproduction, where the listener perceives the experience at the center of the sphere of natural hearing. Production techniques are introduced that satisfy both 3D and compatible 5.1. Independent measurement confirms that the system preserves directionality and reproduces life-like spatiality and tone color continuously in the 3D perception sphere.
Physiological and content considerations for a second low frequency channel for bass management, subwoofers, and LFE

ASA/CAA 49th Int'l Conf. 5/05 Vancouver

AES 119th Int'l Conv.10/05 NYC

VDT 23rd Tonmeisters 11/04 Leipzig

By convention, "frequencies below 90Hz produce no interaural cues useful for spatial sound or localization." Yet some claim they are able to hear a difference between a single subwoofer channel (whether or not to more than one subwoofer) and two ("stereo bass"). Reported research supports the Jeffress model of interaural time difference (ITD) determination in brain structures, and extending the accepted lower frequency limit of interaural phase difference (IPD). Meanwhile, uncorrelated very low frequencies (VLF <100Hz) exist in nearly all existing multi-channel music and movie content. The audibility, recording, and reproduction of uncorrelated VLF are explored in theory and experiments.
Spatial Definition and the PanAmbiophone microphone array for 2D surround & 3D fully periphonic recording AES 117th Int'l Conv 10/04 San Francisco Higher sampling rates are necessary for high spectral resolution, but it is high angular resolution and precision that preserves source directionality and therefore high tonal/timbral quality of that source, given that spectrum. Tonality in acoustic spaces that are extensions of musical instruments, voice boxes, and sources of atmospheric sound effects (as for movies) is a major contributor to lifelike perception, but in audio reproduction tonality is limited by the recording system. A surround microphone has been developed both for more precise PanorAmbiophonic 2D surround ("PanAmbio"), compatible with ITU 5.1, and "PerAmbio" 3D (with height) for the ultimate in tonal reality, distributable in ordinary 6-channel media for either decoderless 2D replay or 3D with decoder and five additional speakers.
Scalable Tri-play Recording for Stereo, ITU 5.1/6.1 2D, and Periphonic 3D (with Height) Compatible Surround Sound Reproduction AES 115th Int'l Conv 10/03 NYC Objectives: Take the next step toward reproducing human hearing AND make better recordings in 5.1. In life, we hear sources we see – but also reflections and reverberation we don't see. Each sonic arrival is individually direction-stamped by our unique HRTF, including height, tonally colored by our pinna. Preserving 3D directionality is key to life-like hearing. A practical, scalable approach is presented (pat.pend.) – a way to “transform” 3D (full sphere) recordings for uncompromised 2D reproduction in stereo or 5.1/6.1 without any decoding. By adding a decoder and speakers, full 3D is losslessly “reconstituted” from 6-channel media. Experimental “tri-play” 6-channel “PerAmbio 3D/2D” recordings have been made and demonstrations presented (AES 114th Amsterdam 3/2003 & AES 24th Banff 6/2003) with praised results.
Transforming Ambiophonic + Ambisonic 3D Surround Sound to & from ITU 5.1/6.1 AES 114 Int'l Conv 3/03 Amsterdam ITU 6.1 with six discrete full-range audio channels, implemented in DVD-A, SACD, and DTS-ES Discrete, provide the means to deliver full sphere periphonic 3D surround sound. For compatible distribution, the channels are transformed for 5.1/6.1 reproduction, but can still be fully recovered for "PerAmbio" reproduction – an Ambisonic + Ambiophonic hybrid approach, described in a prior paper, that maximizes 3D envelopment along with front stage imaging and spaciousness, while economizing the number of channels and speakers. To clarify that fewer media channels "r" are required than speakers "s" the use of MCN - multichannel numbering, in the form "r.lfe.s" is proposed. Experimental "PerAmbio 6.1.10" (10 speakers or more + subwoofer) recordings test six encoding variations applicable in home theater, virtual reality, and music-only production.
Compatible PanAmbiophonic 4.1 and PerAmbiophonic 6.1 Surround Sound for Advanced Television – Beyond ITU 5.1 SMPTE 144th Int'l Conv 10/02 Pasadena ITU 5.1 – the multichannel speaker standard for Advanced Television and home cinema – is not extensible to periphony – the entire, spherical wavefield of natural human hearing. Psychoacoustic theory and experimental recordings explore future-proof capturing, critical monitoring, and compatible production to help sound engineers today achieve more realistic multichannel television and cinema.
Contrasting ITU 5.1 and Panor-ambiophonic 4.1 Surround Sound Recording Using OCT and Sphere Microphones AES112th Int'l Conv 5/02 Munich Two multi-channel microphone techniques for natural music and sound effects reproduction are experimentally compared. Simultaneous surround sound recordings of several genres of music and ambience are made in concert hall, studio, and outdoors. Trained listeners subjectively evaluate the abilities and tradeoffs of each system to recreate accurate panoramic localization and spatial impression of opera, bluegrass with audience participating, flute quartet, brass quintet, marching bands with surrounding crowd and building echoes, and 360? "Walkabout" azimuth test. Differing speaker layouts for 5.1 and "Panor-ambiophonic" Surround are shown to satisfy two distinct listening audiences, which are further divided into home, automotive, and PC markets. An approach to recording level-setting, compatible production, and delivery formats are introduced to satisfy these diverse end uses.

AES 28th International Conference, Piteå, Sweden, 4/20/2006 (not presented)

Much 5.1/6.1 content, like stereo, is sourced by panning close microphone signals. The presentation pretends the "sound sources are here," where spatiality is that of the listening room and thus non-varying. However, realistic, immersive, compelling reproduction of music, movie atmospheres, and gaming effects requires preserving spatiality and directionality-dependent tone color of both direct sounds and acoustic reflections. The extent to which convolution with room impulse responses can contribute not just diffuse ambience but "realistic" tone color is considered. New recording techniques are explored, applicable compatibly to 5.1/6.1 where reproduction is a 2D horizontal circle of speakers, to stereo (including personal devices using earphones e.g. iPod), and to future 3D, where the listener is again at the center of the sphere of natural hearing.

Expand your space; Put color in your life?

AES Parma, Italy-Nov. 25, 2007 (rev10/10)

Human perception of sources of sound, as characterized by their tone color (timbre) and the space they are in (spatiality), is the end result of a chain of events, described in five familiar steps, but spoiled by degrees where audio reproduction is imposed. Practical, compatible formats are introduced that result in naturally uncorrelated ear signals and preserved directionality - important to achieving realism, and for meeting increasing demand in a 3D world for compelling audio for music, movies, & games.
AES Italia 2007 - demonstrations Casa della Musica, U. of Parma, Italy 11/23/2007 Four forms of the Ambiophonics "family" were demonstrated in a 17-loudspeaker listening room for attendees of AES Italia 2007. Recordings by Robin Miller were played in Ambiophonics 2.0, PanAmbio 4.1 surround, TriAmbio 6.1, and full-sphere HSD-3D. (Permanent demonstration in USA at FilmakerTechnology,
True-to-life Sound Reproduction using Recursive Ambiophonic Crosstalk Elimination (RACE) Ralph Glasgal and Robin Miller11/2006 (rev 7/2007)

Over the last century, the world of stereo matured - in recordings, movies, radio & TV, and personal players. If in the new century you want lifelike realism from your collection of music, movies, and games, then consider the advantages of Ambiophonics as a "stereo decoder." What is Ambiophonics and how does it work? This is your introduction and guide to Ambiophonic 2-channel or Pan-Ambiophonic surround sound in your home or studio.

Ambiophonics Terminology: The language of stereo-and-5.1-compatible loudspeaker-binaural

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 7/31/2009

A reference when delving into and implementing an Ambiophonics audio system. Includes simple but highly relevant psychoacoustic theory, and Ambiophonic solutions for most audio recording formats, including 2-channel stereo (or binaural), 5.1/7.1-channel surround, and full-sphere High Sonic Definition-3D.
What to expect to hear with Ambiophonics: Observations of an audio engineer that anyone can appreciate Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 12/04/2008 Ambiophonics is a big step toward hearing realism in stereo recordings, namely: A) correct tone color (timbre), B) immersive spatiality, and C) temporal clarity. However, audio reproduction of life-like tone color, spatiality, and clarity is the perceptual destination of a tortuous journey, beginning with performers and their instruments plus recording engineers and their microphones in the recording space, and ending with listeners and their ear-brains in the listening space. Results using Ambiphonics are described by a long-time audio, broadcast, and recording engineer.
Evaluating Loudspeakers: Subjectivity using non-sentimental sound-makers Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 6/25/2009 Floyd Toole has determined that, for monitoring during production of audio content as well as for critical listening, use the best loudspeaker available. Even when making production decisions for the broader population who may have "average to poor" speakers, these average out to a pretty good speaker - and decisions made on so-called "cheap" speakers are only valid for that speaker, not all the other cheap speakers! So several professional audio engineers assembled five pairs of monitor-quality and "high-end" loudspeakers for a "shoot-out" and evaluated them not using music, which elicits emotional reactions, but using "non-sentimental" yet revealing sound sources, with surprising results.
How Good Can Stereo Be? - Try Ambiophonics and See (speaker stereo v. speaker binaural)

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 7/20/2008

We're not fooled; recordings aren't real. With two speakers spaced 60° in front of us - let's call that "speaker stereo" - the three most key qualities of audio reproduction are distorted. Defects are due not only to your listening equipment or acoustics, but simply to the positional relationship of the speakers and your ears. Unless that relationship is corrected to produce no acoustic artifacts, correct localization, spatiality, and tone color remain imprisoned in much of your collection of music, movies or games. Even 5.1 surround is often just 60° stereo in front plus two side-rear speakers to provide envelopment, but still we do not experience being "transported" to the concert hall or movie or game scene, where captured auditory events are unlocked, and our speakers and listening space "disappear."
One Key to Ambiophonic crosstalk cancellation - ITDspkr: Inter-aural time difference from a loudspeaker

Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 12/15/2008 rev 2/18/2009

Unlike listening using headphones, when listening to stereo speakers, crosstalk is heard by either ear from the speaker opposite. If signals to the speakers are similar or identical (think of a centered soloist, or on-screen dialogue), delay-caused cancellations at both ears (comb-filtering) render the reproduction harsh. Also these important center-stage sounds jump to the nearer speaker if the listener is off-center. The measurable Inter-aural time delay between speakers (ITDspkr) is the basis for introducing crosstalk-cancellation in order to breathe new life playing stereo recordings.
LEV and the "Money Seat" of Stereo or Surround Sound: Spatiality research models listener preference Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 4/28/2009 Along with faithful tone color (timbre), spatial audio reproduction that localizes sounds and conveys "listener envelopment" is prized not just by audiophiles and audio professionals, but by the listening public, whether they know what to call it or not. Inter-aural cross-correlation (IACC) between ear signals measures this pleasing effect, whether in the live concert hall or home media room, and gives clues as to why LEV improves greatly going from monaural to stereo to Ambiophonics to 2D surround (5.1/7.1), and ultimately to listener immersion in full-sphere 3D.
Stereo Made Whole – Do You Need It?
Ambiophonics and the path to immersive reality
Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BSEE 1/13/2009

Determine whether it might be worth your time to study and try Ambiophonics audio technology by answering these 3-questions: 1. I don’t have a lot of money, but would like a more realistic, immersive experience from my stereo, laptop audio, or home theater – and my ears work; 2. I have a lot of money and would do anything to get back the spark I once felt from my CD/vinyl collection – and the performance of my system; 3. I am a scientist/engineer, moderately skilled DIYer (do-it-yourselfer), or open-minded audiophile who enjoys experimenting – and good results. If you identify with two of the above, you’ll risk little to read on and discover Ambiophonics.

Tuning phonograph reproduction
by proper capacitive loading and channel balancing
WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BAS BSEE 9/30/2014 Setting up a turntable, tone-arm, pickup, & preamplifier must be attended to by users in order to realize good performance from their phonograph systems for enjoying and restoring 78, 45, and 33? rpm disc recordings. Two crucial issues are often ignored that diminish sound quality: 1) proper capacitive loading of moving magnet/moving iron (MM/MI) cartridges for best resulting frequency, phase, and transient response; and 2) proper balance for best stereo "soundstage," and for monaural reproduction to cancel not-recorded vertical distortions. Both are addressed, and implemented in an inexpensive ($30 less case & power supply) "audiophile phono stage."
Economical audio attenuator: Linear to log pot mod WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BAS BSEE 4/3/2015 Audio level (volume) controls in analog circuitry use mostly simple variable resistors termed potentiometers. In entertainment technology, they have been the most important control with which humans interface. So their operation, performance, and “feel” are of significance for amateur audiophiles and audio professionals. However whether in the form of rotating knobs or linear faders, during operation these can feel differently from the sound they are making. And be troublesome, mistracking between channels and thus altering stereo balance, actually panning sounds erratically when fading up or down. The purpose of this paper is to reveal that a simple, cheap solution is “at hand!”"
RCA-guy's wiki for understanding the dB (decibel) Robin Miller (aka RCA guy) With a down-to-earth explanation and a little practice, the decibel (dB) is useful. Like the mechanical analog computers that engineers once used to add or subtract the lengths of two sticks for a quick result, the dB allows multiplying and dividing by simply adding and subtracting. (The joke about the slide-rule was that you could discern its answer if you already knew it.) Useful, because human perception, e.g. audio-visual stuff, is naturally exponential (logarithmic). Especially for audio, this brief seeks to make dB understandable, and handy.
Special instructions for A310 RIAA phono stage WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III AES SMPTE BAS BSEE 3/31/2016 Specific instructions for installing the $30 modified A310 phono stage PCB in "Tuning phonograph reproduction by proper capacitive loading and channel balancing" above.
“SteamPunk” 12in transcription tonearm - How you too can make a “low-end” but high-performing 12in (305mm) phonograph arm WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III BSEE AES SMPTE BAS ©12/3/2016 A quick solution, intended only for evaluating a rehabilitated 1940s 16in turntable, was made with ordinary hardware. However the resulting low mass 12in (305mm) tonearm worked and sounded much better than expected, tracking as low as 1g. It led to appreciating the evolution over more than a century and a half of the analog phonograph, which is enjoying a comeback. For audiophiles, instructions for making the arm as a DIY project for near $0 can be rewarding.
The Better Sound of the Phonograph: How come? How-to! (including Phonograph styli close-up - Micro-photography posters) WhitePaper by Robert E. (Robin) Miller III BSEE AES SMPTE BAS ©2017 Vinyl” is making a comeback from obsolescence. Along with shellac 78rpm discs, this analog audio-only medium is a treasure of more than a century of musical and spoken history. The phonograph has been surpassed in technical quality, first by magnetic tape, then by digital sampling. But records surpass these in sound quality delivered to the consumer, especially compared to data-reduced (“compressed”) streaming, and over-processed mixing (e.g. level compression; squashing dynamics to sound louder). Market response in the 21st century is that used and new-released discs are gaining revenue to the same degree that digital downloads are losing it. New generations are re-discovering the perceived “warmth” of sound on records. Some add effort to equip turntables with properly aligned tone-arms, electrically matching cartridges with preamplifiers, and selecting low-distortion elliptical and line-contact styli. These are explored in microphotographs in order to evaluate them for purchase, and for monitoring ongoing wear. For many users, the inconvenience of playing discs is offset by the serviceability of robustly manufactured equipment – and the “romance” of gently inserting a gem stylus within a mile-long spiral groove.

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