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Comparing immersive sound capture techniques optimized for acoustic music recording through binaural reproduction

A study was undertaken to compare three immersive sound capture techniques optimized for acoustic music recording, within the context of binaural audio reproduction. 3D audio stimuli derived from 9-channel (4+5+0) recordings of a solo piano were binaurally rendered and presented to listeners over headphones. Subjects compared these stimuli in terms of several salient perceptual auditory attributes. Results of the double-blind listening test found no significant differences between two of the sound capture techniques, “spaced” and “near-coincident,” for the perceptual auditory attributes “envelopment,” “naturalness of sound scene,” and “naturalness of timbre.” The spaced technique, however, was shown to create a larger virtual image of the sound source than the near-coincident technique. The coincident technique was found to create an immersive sound scene that occupies a different perceptual space from the other two techniques, delivering less envelopment and naturalness.

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