Detecting multiple sound sources is possible depending on the system, array, distance, frequency, and algorithms used. While possible, it’s also not a straight forward answer as it depends on both the instrument capability, distance, and the specific application considered.
The simplest scenario when you can see multiple sound sources in a single frame is when a) the sound sources are within the acoustic resolution of the instrument, b) the sound levels are reasonably similar, and c) louder than ambient or surrounding noises.
Outside of this simple scenario, it unlikely to directly see multiple sources in a single frame. However, with beamforming, we have the ability to dissect our data in a couple of different dimensions that allows us to see multiple sources in different frames. Consider these options:
- Frequencies between Sound Sources.
If the sources are of different frequencies you can focus on the frequencies of interest.
- Distance between Sound Sources.
If the sources are very close you may need to move the beamforming instrument closer to achieve the acoustic resolution for a same-frame multi-source picture.
- Distance between the Beamforming Instrument and Sound Sources.
Beamforming can also focus on distance. If each possible sound source is physically separated by a large distance from the instrument, it may be possible to focus on distance.
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