Radiation characteristics of sound sources are now considered important when reproducing the signal of a musical instrument or, more generally, when controlling a virtual auditory scene. Both applications have raised the need for analyzing, modeling, and synthesizing the radiation behavior of sound sources. The first part describes a general method for the reproduction of arbitrary radiation patterns with digitally controlled loudspeakers arranged to form a three-dimensional array. In order to evaluate the performance of the synthesis method, this section presents possible definitions of similarity criteria based either on a physical or a perceptual approach. In the second part, perceptual features are investigated based on the analysis of musical instruments or listening tests conducted with elementary radiation patterns such as the first spherical harmonics. The perceptual analysis is conducted first with the help of classical acoustic cues used in room acoustics, and second by analyzing the possible consequences of directivity characteristics on stream segregation mechanisms involved in auditory scene perception. The final part presents ongoing research on the reproduction of salient directivity cues of different musical instruments, as well as the voice.