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Evaluation of Mel-Band and MFCC-Based Error Metrics for Correspondence to Discrimination of Spectrally Altered Musical Instrument Sounds

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An objective measure of the subjective timbral difference between two musical sounds is a difficult problem. Mel-band-based metrics and single mel-frequency ceptral coefficient were considered as a way of improving results obtained from previous methods based on harmonic and critical-band error metrics. Results indicate that timbral discrimination is determined by the first 5 to 10 harmonics rather than the broad spectral envelope. More sophisticated methods do not offer significant advantage.

JAES Volume 59 Issue 5 pp. 290-303; May 2011
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AES - Audio Engineering Society