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On the perception of musical groove in large-scale events with immersive sound

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Immersive audio is increasingly used in large-scale live music events. The dimensions of the audience area impose that propagation times from several loudspeakers to a given audience position can be significantly different. This may be perceived by listeners as a loss of time synchronization between sound sources, which in turn affects the perception of musical groove. In this paper, we first investigate the range of propagation time differences that can occur with large-scale loudspeaker deployments. The results of a listening test confirm that time differences may degrade the rhythmic characteristics. The degradations may depend on the musical content but not on the spatialization. Mixing guidelines and methodologies are finally proposed to overcome the potential issues.

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