JJ Johnston on Soundfields: Acoustics vs. Human Hearing

Fri, 10/26/2012 - 1:15pm - 2:30pm
Seminar Room
Event Type: 
Hearing Seminar
I'm very happy to announce that JJ Johnston, one of the principle forces behind the MP3 standard, will be leading the discussion at this week's Stanford CCRMA Hearing Seminar. JJ is widely known and respected for his wide-ranging work and thoughts on the perception of audio. He is only mildly opinionated.

This coming Friday JJ will be talking about the generation and perception of soundfields. For way too long, the epitome of sound reproduction was aimed at getting linear responses from a couple of loudspeakers. But this is a far cry from the real world, where there are distinct localization cues, and the sound changes as we move around. What does it take to recreate the original sound experience? And what parts of the soundfield are important for human perception?

Who: J. J. Johnson
What: Soundfields: Acoustics vs. Human Hearing
When: Friday October 26, at 1:15PM
Where: CCRMA Seminar Room (Upstairs at the Knoll)
Why: JJ is always entertaining (and enlightening :-)

JJ is in town to present the Heyser Distinguished Lecture at the AES meeting in San Francisco this weekend

Bring your favorite ears to the CCRMA Hearing Seminar and we'll provide a very interesting soundfield.

- Malcolm

Soundfields: Acoustics vs. Human Hearing
J.J. Johnston (Fellow of the IEEE and AES)

This talk will describe quite briefly some of the acoustical issues in a soundfield, and then go on to describe, again briefly, how the human auditory system works. From this, the audible cues in a soundfield are pointed out, and those that result in a non-directional perception described from a perceptual point of view. Finally, a few suggestions on where to go in the future and what might be the best way to go about that will be given at the end.


Dr. Johnston was the primary researcher and inventor of the MPEG-2 AAC audio coding algorithm, and a principle contributor to the "MP3" algorithm. He also represented AT&T in the ANSI accredited group X3L3.1, and X3L3.1 in the ISO-MPEG-AUDIO (MP3, AAC) arena.

Dr. Johnston was awarded the IEEE James L. Flanagan Signal Processing Field Award (2006); elected Fellow, Audio Engineering Society (1997); received AT&T Technology Medal and AT&T Standards Award (1998); received a New Jersey Inventor of the Year Award (2001); elected IEEE Fellow (2002).

Dr. Johnston (JJ) retired from DTS Inc. Prior to that he worked at Neural Audio. Before that, he worked for 5 years at Microsoft Corporation in the "Codecs", "Core Media Processing" and finally the video services groups as Audio Architect. Dr. Johnston retired from AT&T Labs - Research, quartered at Florham Park, NJ, Speech Processing Software and Technology Research Department. Before that, he was employed by AT&T Bell Laboratories, in the Acoustics Research Department under Dr. J. L. Flanagan, and in the Signal Processing Research Department.

Dr. Johnston’s current research interests include acoustic scene modelling, loudspeaker design, loudspeaker pattern control, cochlear modelling, masking threshold models, stereo imaging models and stereo imaging sensitivity models, methods of reproducing soundfields either literally or perceptually, microphone and soundfield capture techniques, both actively steered and time-invariant, and speech and audio coding methods in general.

James D. Johnston (Fellow of the IEEE and AES) received his BSEE and MSEE from Carnegie-Mellon University.
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