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On the Perception of Periodic Sound fluctuations (Roughness)

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Psychoacoustic measurements of the roughness which is generated by amplitude- and frequency modulated tones, respectively, and by beating tone pairs reveal the following principles. (1) The physical parameter which almost exclusively determines roughness is the relative amplitude fluctuation (relative fluctuation of temporal envelope) which is present within frequency regions with the width of critical bands. The effect of the sound pressure level (i. e., of the absolute amplitude fluctuations) upon roughness is negligible. (2) The sensibility of the ear for the fluctuations decreases with increasing fluctuation frequency. This can be described by the low-pass characteristic of a simple R C-network with a timeconstant of about 13 ms. (3) The roughness of a sound whose spectrum covers several critical bands can be regarded as a sensation which is composed of the contributions of separate critical bands.

Investigations of the roughness of periodic pulse trains and of pairs of amplitude modulated tones confirm these results. Some conclusions concerning the roughness of musical sounds are drawn.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1974

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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