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From Instrument to Ear in a Room: Direct or Via Recording

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The fluctuation statistics of the path between source and detector in room acoustics is reviewed along with some of the perceptual mechanisms used by the musical listener at a concert. Auditory parallel processing is important in both time and frequency domains. It is shown that the listener exploits the room statistics as a means for gaining information unavailable to him in a reflection-free environment. Properties of a good concert hall are examined as preparation for a discussion of the acoustical requirements of a recording studio. The record/playback process is examined, where two successive room-transmission paths and two types of sources must be dealt with by the listener. Finally, microphone placement is considered, as influenced by musical instrument radiation patterns.

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