An Ecologically Valid Experiment for the Perceptual Study of Multi-Channel Electroacoustic Music

Musiques & Recherches
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L'Espace du son, 2011, III pp. 71 - 90
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The following paper presents an experimental design for the perceptual study of multi-channel electroacoustic music, with emphasis on the contribution of elevated loudspeakers to the spatial attributes of envelopment and spatial clarity, and the proposed attribute of engulfment. Further, an argument for an ecologically valid experimental design is presented leading to a novel perceptual experimental method in the way various perceptual factors are controlled. The term spatial scene is defined and the factors contributing to its construction are discussed. In the process, an argument is presented for the use of complex stimuli, division of the audio frequency range and the use of varying levels of sonic complexity. The experimental loudspeaker configuration used for the proposed study is discussed with reference to research on psychoacoustics and established multi-channel loudspeaker standards. Problems encountered in the initial listening test are discussed and the results of the pilot experiment are presented.
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