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A Comparative Perceptual Evaluation of the Timbral Variations in Choral Location Recordings Created by Four Common Stereo Microphone Techniques

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Choral recordings created on location were evaluated perceptually to determine the nature of the variations in timbre that might be elicited by the use of different stereo microphone techniques. Four stereo recordings were made simultaneously with coincident, near coincident, and spaced stereo microphone techniques. Listeners were invited to describe any perceived changes through a verbal elicitation experiment, informing an adjective ‘pool’ of possible attributes. These attributes were reduced in number to six by verbal protocol analysis. The six remaining attributes were then scaled in a second listening experiment. Mean and standard deviation values in the results suggested that there was variation in three timbral attributes. This illustrated that the manipulation of timbral attributes by microphone technique, combined with perceptual analysis, is possible.

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