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Are you there? : A Literature Review of Presence for Immersive Music Reproduction

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Immersive audio purportedly enhances the listener’s sensation of presence within virtual experiences. However, providing a concrete definition of ‘presence’ in relation to immersive media can be difficult. In this paper, a multidisciplinary review is given of various conceptualizations of presence, including physical, social, spatial, and environmental. Literature pertaining to factors that influence the sensation of presence in immersive music production is presented. Aspects of reverberation that are hypothesized to contribute to the sensation of presence are explored in depth. Key characteristics of the sound-source and the listener’s perception are highlighted. A discussion of related perceptual attributes (immersion, realism, and naturalness) is included, in an effort to disentangle them from presence. An overview is presented covering methods used to measure presence, focusing on techniques that show applicability to immersive music research. Future work is discussed.

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