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The Practical Effects of Lateral Energy in Critical Listening Environments

To what extent does the mixing engineer’s listening environment influence the final experience of the home listener, especially regarding the role of reflections? A pilot study explores the effect of specular and diffuse lateral reflection on the perception of trained listeners. Reflections may strongly influence balance, equalization, dynamics, and reverberation. In contrast to earlier studies that used normal listeners, this study uses trained audio engineers to perform selected tasks in a variety of acoustic settings. A correlation was observed between the presence of strong lateral energy and an initial reduction of speed for performing a task. However, adaptation soon occurs, thereby restoring the subjects to normal accuracy and response time.

JAES Volume 60 Issue 12 pp. 997-1003; December 2012
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AES - Audio Engineering Society