We investigate listener preference in multitrack music production using the Mix Evaluation Dataset, comprised of 184 mixes across 19 songs. Features are extracted from verses and choruses of stereo mixdowns. Each observation is associated with an average listener preference rating and standard deviation of preference ratings. Principal component analysis is performed to analyze how mixes vary within the feature space. We demonstrate that virtually no correlation is found between the embedded features and either average preference or standard deviation of preference. We instead propose using principal component projections as a semantic embedding space by associating each observation with listener comments from the Mix Evaluation Dataset. Initial results disagree with simple descriptions such as “width” or “loudness” for principal component axes.
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