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An Examination of the Influence of Musical Selection on Listener Preferences for Multichannel Microphone Technique

Four solo piano pieces performed in the European concert music tradition and deemed to be representative of differing stylistic periods were recorded using four surround microphone arrays: Polyhymnia Pentagon, Fukada Tree, Optimized Cardioid Triangle with Hamasaki Square, and SoundField MKV (5-channel processing via SP451). Each array was positioned and balanced in order to optimize its perceived sound quality as opposed to being positioned solely according to theory. Blind preference testing was subsequently conducted using audio engineers and musicians who auditioned the recordings through a full-range five-channel reproduction system compliant with ITU BS.775-1. The results show that listener preferences for multichannel microphone techniques may be influenced by musical selection (a particular interpretation/performance of a given composition).

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