Subjective effects of one- through eight-channel reproductions were studied. Two popular musical selections were played at the Beethoven Hall of Musashino Music College and recorded using an eight-channel tape recorder. One- through eight-channel reproductions were made in an anechoic chamber. Preference judgements of each reproduction and similarity judgements among them were made by ten listeners. As a result of multidimensional analysis of the similarity data, it is found that the multichannel recording and reproduction of music from such an acoustical setting is characterized by three sensory features: fullness, clearness, and depth of the image sources. Of these, fullness has the greatest weight in determining preferences among the reproduced sounds. Relations among the three sensory features and between these and the physical characteristics of recording and reproducing sound fields are discussed. The depth of the image sources is found to be a function of the front speaker angle, and the clearness a function of the definition (Deutlichkeit). The close relationship between the fullness and a small value for the cross-correlation coefficient between sounds at the listener's ears (incoherence) is also suggested.
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