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Microphone Comparison: Spectral Feature Mapping for Snare Drum Recording

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Microphones are known to exhibit sonic differences and microphone selection is integral in achieving desired tonal qualities of recordings. In this paper an initial multi-stimuli listening test is used to categorize microphones based on user preference when recording snare drums. A spectral modification technique is then applied to recordings made with a microphone from the least preferred category, such that they take on the frequency characteristics of recordings from the most preferred category. To assess the success of the audio transformation, a second experiment is undertaken with expert listeners to gauge pre- and post-transformation preferences. Results indicate spectral transformation dramatically improves listener preference for recordings from the least preferred category, placing them on par with those of the most preferred.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society