Two listening experiments were conducted to assess: (i) the effect of program material on six sound quality dimensions and (ii) the effect of 20 dB of compression limiting on distraction. Thirty-five participants completed two experiments using a MuSHRA style interface. The experimental results demonstrate that program material significantly affected dimension and distraction ratings. Dimension ratings were influenced by prior listening experience while distraction ratings related to audible artifacts in different program material. Program material from the same artist was rated similarly for distraction in two-thirds of the dimensions suggesting a possible correlation between production aesthetics and audible artifacts. It is concluded that validating program material is a necessary precaution to avoid distracting perceptual cues generated by the process of dynamic range compression.
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