Scalable Perceptual Mixing and Filtering of Audio Signals Using an Augmented Spectral Representation

Nicolas Tsingos
DAFx-2005 - Madrid
Many interactive applications, such as video games, require processing a large number of sound signals in real-time. This paper proposes a novel perceptually-based and scalable approach for efficiently filtering and mixing a large number of audio signals. Key to its efficiency is a pre-computed Fourier frequency-domain representation augmented with additional descriptors. The descriptors can be used during the real-time processing to estimate which signals are not going to contribute to the final mixture. Besides, we also propose an importance sampling strategy allowing to tune the processing load relative to the quality of the output. We demonstrate our approach for a variety of applications including equalization and mixing, reverberation processing and spatialization. It can also be used to optimize audio data streaming or decompression. By reducing the number of operations and limiting bus traffic, our approach yields a 3 to 15-fold improvement in overall processing rate compared to brute-force techniques, with minimal degradation of the output.