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The Standard Deviation of the Amplitude Spectrum as a Predictor of the Perception of the 'Power' of Distorted Guitar Timbre

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The perception of the wildness and heaviness of distorted guitar timbre can be compiled as one attribute associated with the "power" according to our previous study. The amount of distortion is one of the predictors of the perception of the "power." Although the predictor of the "power" other than the amount of distortion is yet to be known, the existence of a predictor for the subtle differences of the "power" can be assumed from the engineering perspective. Specifically, the amount of even and odd harmonics are altered by the symmetrical or asymmetrical placements of the diodes in the distortion effect pedal. We investigated how these changes affect the perception of "power." The spectral centroids of the stimuli were equalized to eliminate the influence of the perception of "brightness" over "power." A pairwise comparison was conducted for the stimuli of three different amounts of distortion and three types of diode placements. Regression analysis indicated that the Standard Deviation of the Amplitude Spectrum seemed to be an appropriate predictor of the perception of "power."

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AES - Audio Engineering Society