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We present an approach for investigating the performance of generic multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) wireless systems in a realistic way using wideband real-time propagation measurements of the double-directional radio channel. Applying a multidimensional high-resolution channel parameter estimation procedure the descriptive parameters for any relevant propagation path including the path weights, time-delay, Doppler shift and the propagation directions at both ends of the wireless link are extracted simultaneously from the measurement data. from the estimated parameter sets then a local reconstruction of the multidimensional wave fields in the vicinity of the measured aperture volumes in time, space and frequency is possible. Since this way the measurement antenna properties are excluded from the channel, the influence of a variety of application specific array architectures can be investigated. Here, we use this synthesis approach to analyze the performance of given target systems with smart antennas in terms of the resulting channel capacities and eigenvalue distributions.