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Predicting Listener Preferences for Surround Microphone Technique through Binaural Analysis of Loudspeaker-Reproduced Piano Performances

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Four solo piano pieces were presented through a five-channel loudspeaker reproduction system for a pairwise preference test in a previous study, and the results of that test were described in terms of the interaction between program material and surround microphone technique. In an attempt to predict the obtained preference choices on the basis of the binaural signals recorded during loudspeaker reproduction of differing versions of these musical programs, a number of electroacoustic measures on the test stimuli were examined via stepwise multiple regression. The most successful prediction resulted from a combination of Ear Signal Incoherence (ESI) and Side Bass Ratio (SBR), regardless of methodological differences between two independently tested groups of listeners.

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