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Perceptual Dimensions of Stage-Floor Vibration Experienced During a Musical Performance

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The human ability to distinguish differences in tactile signals generated by a musical instrument and experienced on typical stage-floor constructions is explored using an audio-tactile display (headphones and calibrated motion platform). Audio and vibration signals generated by a contrabass are combined with mechanical impedance measurements of five stage floors to create stimuli. Test participants are asked to report differences between tactile signals given a fixed audio environment. Multidimensional scaling is used to identify perceptual dimensions in subjective responses. Results show that stage vibration exceeds the threshold of perception, with acceleration up to 0.04ms-2 Wk-peak. Sensation level dominates perceived differences between tactile signals measured for different stage-floor constructions, while audio-tactile time delays have negligible influence.

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