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1. V. Pulkki, “ Spatial sound generation and perception by amplitude panning techniques,” Ph.D. thesis, Helsinki University of Technology, Helsinki, Finland, 2001.
2. F. Rumsey, “ Novel surround sound microphone and panning techniques—A digest of selected recent AES convention and conference papers,” J. Audio Eng. Soc. 62(1/2), 7480 (2004).
3. M. Poletti, “ Three-dimensional surround sound systems based on spherical harmonics,” J. Audio Eng. Soc. 53(11), 10041025 (2005).
4. S. Spors and J. Ahrens, “ Analysis and improvement of pre-equalization in 2.5-dimensional wave field synthesis,” AES 128th Convention, London (May 2010).
5. Z. Li and R. Duraiswami, “ Flexible and optimal design of spherical microphone arrays for beamforming,” IEEE Trans. Audio Speech and Language Proc. 15(2), 702714 (2007).
6. A. D. Blumlein, “ Improvements in and relating to sound-transmission, sound-recording and sound-reproducing systems,” U.K. Patent 394325 (1932–1933).
7. D. Griesinger, “ Stereo and surround panning in practice,” presented at the AES 112th convention, Munich (May 2002).
8. K. Hamasaki and K. Hiyama, “ Reproducing spatial impression with multichannel audio,” presented at the AES 24th International Conference on Multichannel Audio (June 2003).
9. J. Backman, “ Microphone array beam forming for multichannel recording,” presented at the AES 114th Convention, Amsterdam (March 2003).
10. C. A. Olen and R. T. Compton, “ A numerical pattern synthesis algorithm for arrays,” IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagation 38(10), 16661676 (1990).

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This paper describes a technique for designing a collection of beamformers, a “beamformer bank,” that approximately produces a constant-amplitude panning law. Useful in multichannel audio recording scenarios, a point source will appear with energy above a specified sidelobe level in at most two adjacent beams, and the sum of all beam signals will approximate the source signal. A design method is described in which a specified sidelobe level determines beamwidth as a function of arrival direction and frequency, leading directly to the number and placement of beams at each frequency. Simulation results are presented verifying the proposed technique's performance.


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