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Meeting Number:   25

April 11, 2011


Spatial Hearing vs. Signal Processing


James D. Johnston
Chief Scientist
DTS, Inc.
11410 NE 122nd Way, Suite 100
Kirkland, WA 98034


Monday, April 11, 2011


5:30 PM:   Snacks
6:00 PM:   Talk begins


National Electronics Museum (NEM)
1745 W. Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD 21090


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Please respond to if you are planning to join us afterwards at G&M for dinner so I can make reservations. Only the speaker’s dinner is paid for. The rest of us need to pay our own way.


Now that we can, and do, deliver sound not only in monophonic or 2-channel stereo (noting that Fletcher and others used "stereo" to mean "solid sound", not just 2-channel playback), but also with 5 or 7 main channels, and with new systems having elevation, wide, and other loudspeaker locations as well, we need to adapt our production methods, not only to provide meaningful content in more channels, but also to provide good results in widely varying acoustic situations such as home theatre and cinema. In this talk, the acoustics of the home theatre and of the cinema will be examined, and the kind of processing and mixing appropriate to each will be gently addressed, along with observations on appropriate vs. inappropriate signal processing methods for each system. The 'vs.' in the title will be seen to come about due to the necessity for different processing for presentation in large vs. small spaces.


James Johnston is presently the Chief Scientist for DTS, Inc, working from Kirkland, Washington. DTS provides the high-quality audio system for BlueRay disc, and is an industry leader in audio coding, codec preprocessing, multichannel audio, loudness control, and other advanced signal processing algorithms for audio.

His current interests include loudspeaker pattern analysis and control, loudness modeling, room simulation, stereo image control and analysis, filter design, speech coding, audio and speech testing methodology and execution, and implementation concerns in audio processing.

He is the primary inventor and architect for a variety of signal processing algorithms related to room correction, loudness processing, perceptual modeling of audio, audio coding, audio sound field perception and presentation, and standards and ancillary mathematics and science related to audio issues.

His prior contributions include MPEG-2 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) standard, developed in collaboration with Fraunhofer IIS and other experts in the field of audio compression (MPEG-2 AAC is a reworking of the original AT&T Perceptual Audio Coder (PAC), done with Anibal Ferriera), co-invention and standardization of the well-known "MP3" algorithm, a variety of loudness estimation and control methods, automatic speaker and room correction systems, room and acoustic simulators, and invention of a perceptual sound field reconstruction system to capture the "sound" of an actual performance venue and reconstruct the perceptual cues of the venue in a fashion that can be conveyed in a small (presently 5) number of conventional, independent audio channels multichannel audio presentation, and audio coding (bit rate reduction).

He received his BSEE and MSEE from Carnegie-Mellon University, with side interests in mathematics, audio, radio broadcasting and coherent image signal processing.

For a complete biography, go to:

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