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The Objective and Subjective Aspects of Sound Reproduction

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The definition and connotation of the term sound reproduction implies that a facsimile of the original sound is achieved in the reproduction. Sound reproduction involves both objective and subjective considerations in the mechanisms and phenomena required to achieve a high order of fidelity of performance. From an objective viewpoint, sound reproduction is a complex process because a large number of acoustic, mechanical and electronic and combinations thereof are involved. These elements must exhibit a high order of excellence of performance in order to provide a resemblance to a perfect transfer characteristic. From a subjective viewpoint, sound reproduction is a complex process because a large number of psycho-acoustic effects are involved. These effects must be used in an appropriate manner in order to produce an ideal transfer characteristic which supplies a close artistic resemblance of the original live rendition. The main purpose of sound reproduction is to provide the listener with the highest order of artistic and subjective resemblance to the condition of a live rendition. To achieve this objective requires the topmost degree of excellence of the physical performance of the equipment as directed by the psychological factors involved in the process. The purpose of this paper is to describe the physical elements and the psychological effects of applied acoustics involved in achieving high fidelity in the reproduction of sound.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society