Artificial Reverb vs. Real Recorded Reverb in the Back Channels in a 5.1 Surround Setup

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Medier ljudteknik och upplevelseproduktion och teater

Abstract: When recording music for surround audio engineers sometimes face limitations in time, ideal microphone positions or a noisy audience. If this cannot be dealt with at the location, artificial reverbs are often used in the mixing to “fill in the blanks”. In this study, three instruments were recorded separately with two 5.1 surround microphone setups. Two audio engineer students created artificial reverbs that replaced the back channels of each microphone setup. A listening test was conducted where test subjects compared the 5.1 real recording to the two other stimuli with artificial back channels in terms of realism, envelopment and preference. The result showed that the real recording and the artificial back channels were interchangeable, but that the artificial back channels pointed towards more envelopment, and that the real recording pointed towards more realism.

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