Modelling the perception of percussive low frequency instruments in rooms

Howard, MHR ORCID: 2020, Modelling the perception of percussive low frequency instruments in rooms , MSc by research thesis, University of Salford.

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Throughout the study of room acoustics, adverse effects and methods of controlling and mitigating modal behaviour are a well researched topic. However, despite this, a gap between objective metrics and subjective results is still prevalent, thus resulting in a limited understanding of perceived bass quality. Previous work has suggested a group of perceptual attributes that are useful in describing the effect of room acoustics on the perceived bass quality, however an objective link to the perceptual attributes has not been quantified. Furthermore, the scope of previous work is mostly concerned with small listening rooms and rarely extends to other cases, such as that found in live sound reinforcement. Hence, this work is focused on broadening the understanding of low frequency quality due to modal behaviour in rooms, through extending the scope of research to include larger listening environments and single instrument excitation of the room. To investigate the characteristics of low frequency quality, various kick drums were auralised using an improvement to the modal decomposition model and were then rated in a subjective listening test using the descriptive bass quality attributes. From the results, the attributes were modelled through a novel approach using a Random Forest model, utilising a combination of acoustic and MIR features. It was found that the perceptual attributes of both Resonance and Articulation were predicted effectively from signal features, however Bass Energy was unable to be modelled with any accuracy. Use of feature selection algorithms revealed that Resonance and Articulation attributes relied on temporal and decay based features, such as early decay time and temporal centroid. This result further suggests the importance of temporal modal behaviour when considering audible effects due to low frequency modes. The outcome of this work supports the growing body of work that the effects of modal density are not as important as traditionally thought and is therefore applicable to both small and large rooms.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Contributors: Fazenda, BM (Supervisor) and Hargreaves, JA (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Funders: Music Tribe UK
Depositing User: Michael Henry Robert Howard
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2021 14:37
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2021 14:03

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