Stereo and multi-loudspeaker reproduction

Some notions before starting:


Monophonic Sound

Monophonic sound is sound created by one channel or speaker and is also known as Monaural or High-Fidelity sound. Monophonic sound was replaced by Stereo or Stereophonic sound in the 1960s.

Stereophonic Sound

Stereo or Stereophonic sound is created by two independent audio channels or speakers and provides a sense of directionality because sounds can be heard from different directions.

The term stereophonic is derived from the Greek words stereos, which means solid and phone, which means sound. Stereo sound can reproduce sounds and music from various directions or positions the way we hear things naturally, hence the term solid sound. Stereo sound is a common form of sound reproduction.

Multichannel Surround Sound

Multichannel sound, also known as surround sound, is created by at least four and up to seven independent audio channels or speakers placed in front of and behind the listener that surrounds the listener in sound. Multichannel sound can be enjoyed on DVD music discs, DVD movies and some CDs.

This Lecture we describe the principles of two channel stereo, analise the most common configurations for Multichannel reproduction and briefly describe the most used Stereo Recording techniques.

An detailed overview is depicted below:

  1. Introduction
  2. Two loudspeaker Stereo – More info in [1,2,3]
    1. Two channel (2-0) stereo
      1. Basic principles of loudspeaker stereo: ‘Blumlein Stereo’
      2. Cross-Talk
      3. Basic principles of loudspeaker stereo
      4. Intensity Stereo
      5. Time Difference Stereo
    2. Basic two-channel signal formats
    3. Limitations of two-channel loudspeaker stereo
  3. Multichannel stereo and surround systems – More info in [1]
    1. Three channel stereo (3-0)
    2. Four-channel surround (3-1 stereo)
    3. Channel Surround (3-2 stereo)
    4. Other multichannel configurations
      1. (7.1 channel surround)
      2. (10.2 channel surround)
  4. Surround Sound Systems – More info in [1]
  5. Matrixed surround sound systems – More info in [1]
    1. Dolby Stereo, Surround and Prologic
    2. Circle Surround
    3. Lexicon Logic 7
    4. Dolby EX
  6. Digital surround sound formats – More info in [1]
    1. Dolby Digital
    2. MPEG
  7. Stereo Recording Techniques – More info in [3, 4]
    1. X-Y technique
    2. A-B technique
    3. ORTF technique (Mix technique)


[1] F. Rumsey and T. McCormick – Sound and recording (Chapter 3 and 4)

[2] V. Pulkki “Compensating displacement of amplitude-panned virtual sources.” Audio Engineering Society 22th Int. Conf. on Virtual, Synthetic and Entertainment Audio pp. 186-195. 2002 Espoo, Finland

[3] Bennett et al. – A new approach to the assessment of stereophonic

[4] Bruce Barlett, Jenny Barlett – On Location Recording Techniques



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