Composers of electroacoustic music have developed and creatively implemented various spatialization techniques for multichannel loudspeaker setups. What is not known is which of these spatialization techniques is most effective for exploiting the extended creative possibilities available in multidimensional sound. This article discusses an experiment investigating the perception of the spatial attributes of “envelopment” and “engulfment” within a high-density loudspeaker array. The spatialization techniques used in the experiment were timbre spatialization, spectral splitting, amplitude point-source panning, and dynamic spectral subband decorrelation. Three loudspeaker setups, or spatial dimensions, were investigated: horizontal-only; elevated-only; and three-dimensional, which consisted of both horizontal and elevated loudspeaker setups. Results suggest that dynamic spectral subband decorrelation was perceived as both the most enveloping and the most engulfing technique when compared to other techniques in these experimental loudspeaker configurations. We propose that the experimental results can be successfully implemented when composing electroacoustic music to exploit the creative possibilities in a high-density loudspeaker array or in other multichannel loudspeaker configurations.

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