AES E-Library

AES E-Library

A Comparative Study of Multichannel Microphone Arrays Used in Classical Music Recording

Document Thumbnail

With the growing advent of object-based audio productions, a major challenge for sound recordists is to determine multichannel microphone arrays that are suitable on several sound reproduction systems. Various multichannel 3D microphone arrays have been designed for the production of immersive content and it seems necessary to assess their qualities on several playback systems. This study concerns the subjective evaluation of six multichannel microphone arrays used for the recording of classical music: Decca Tree, ESMA-3D, MMAD, 2L-Cube, and first-order and second-order ambisonic microphone arrays. Subjects evaluated the sound recordings according to four perceptual attributes (precision of localization, envelopment, spectral quality, and preference) as well as on two reproduction systems (a 5.1.4 multichannel loudspeaker setup and a dynamic binaural playback). As observed previously with stereophonic reproduction, results showed that coincident systems can provide a good localization accuracy but can lack in the sensation of envelopment by reverberation. Moreover, they are more likely to be perceived differently under different rendering conditions. The greatest sense of envelopment was produced by ESMA-3D for the two rendering conditions. No particular system was preferred by the subjects for creating a mix with spot microphones.

JAES Volume 71 Issue 7/8 pp. 441-454; July 2023
Publication Date:

Click to purchase paper as a non-member or login as an AES member. If your company or school subscribes to the E-Library then switch to the institutional version. If you are not an AES member and would like to subscribe to the E-Library then Join the AES!

This paper costs $33 for non-members and is free for AES members and E-Library subscribers.

Learn more about the AES E-Library

E-Library Location:


Start a discussion about this paper!

AES - Audio Engineering Society