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Investigating Factors that Guitar Players to Perceive Depending on Amount of Distortion in Timbre

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Typical electric guitar timbre could be classified into three classes according to amount of distortion. Timbre with less distortion is called "Clean" and heavily distorted timbre is called "Distorted." Timbre between "Clean" and "Distorted" is called "Crunch." To investigate the factors that guitar players perceive depending on amount of distortion, semantic differential analysis using eight bipolar adjective scales was employed. Twenty guitar players including six professionals played their instruments through a guitar amp with nine different distortion level settings. Two factors were found in factor analysis, and "Clean" and "Distorted" were located opposite to each other. "Crunch" was located in the middle of latent factors and each anchoring adjectives used in the evaluation. Also the result of regression analysis indicated "Activeness Factor" was the reliable factor corresponding to the amount of distortion.

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