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Detection of High-Frequency Harmonics in a Complex Tone

Prior investigations have generally failed to confirm or deny the influence of high-frequency harmonics contained in musical sounds. Embedded within this experiment were two listening tests: one investigating threshold for differences in timbre, and thus, participant ability, and another seeking to find an influence of high-frequency harmonic content on timbre perception. Based on the premise that harmonics out of the range of auditory detection influence the resultant waveform and therefore may alter the percept of a sound’s tonal character, this study found no evidence that capable listeners noticed an effect of high frequency harmonics.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society