A novel approach to instrument acoustics research is presented in which the instrument is coupled with a room and both are measured as a single acoustical system, in juxtaposition to many anechoic and computer simulated studies of musical acoustics. The technique is applied to the ubiquitous concert grand piano, where spectral information is gathered through the process of “acoustic space sampling” (AcSS), using more than 1330 microphones. The physical data is then combined with psychoacoustic predictors to generate a map of timbre. This map is compared to the preference of expert listeners, thereby correlating the physical measures obtained through acoustic space sampling to the application of the recording engineer.
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