An in situ approach to the acoustical study of the grand piano is presented in which the instrument is coupled with a typical, reflective recording space. By using accurate, tightly controlled automated playback of expertly performed material, a small number of high-quality transducers are employed to capture more than 1300 spatially distributed data points in the process known as acoustic space sampling (AcSS). The AcSS measurement task is performed on two pianos in two unique recording environments. The data is analyzed using accepted acoustic metrics and psychoacoustic predictors. It is shown that certain spatial areas containing salient physical and psychoacoustic measures are highly correlated recording engineer preference.
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