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The Effect of Loudness on the Perceptual Representation of Sounds With Similar Timbre

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In this work, we study how loudness affects the structure of the perceptual representation of sounds with similar timbre. Using psychoacoustics experiments, we compare the perceptual representations of the same sounds presented either with their non-normalized, ecological sound pressure level or normalized in loudness. The corpus of sounds, recordings of the interior of diff erent cars, moving at the same motor speed, and having the same price range, consists of sounds with similar timbre, produced by similar sources, in order to let participants focus on sound properties, rather than source diff erences. Two types of perceptual structures (multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis) were derived from data obtained with two types of tasks (pairwise comparisons and sorting tasks), and compared. In the non-loudness-normalized corpus, loudness was the main factor explaining participant's judgements for both tasks. Only in the loudness-normalized corpus did auditory attributes emerge that characterize the timbre of interior car sounds. In addition, tasks involving sorting data were found to be less appropriate than pairwise data to provide interpretable continuous dimensions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2015

More about this publication?
  • 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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