Siedenburg, Kai (2019) Specifying the perceptual relevance of onset transients for musical instrument identification. The journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 145 (2). pp. 1078-1087. ISSN 0001-4966


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Sound onsets are commonly considered to play a privileged role in the identification of musical instruments, but the underlying acoustic features remain unclear. By using sounds resynthesized with and without rapidly varying transients (not to be confused with the onset as a whole), this study set out to specify precisely the role of transients and quasi-stationary components in the perception of musical instrument sounds. In experiment 1, listeners were trained to identify ten instruments from 250 ms sounds. In a subsequent test phase, listeners identified instruments from 64 ms segments of sounds presented with or without transient components, either taken from the onset, or from the middle portion of the sounds. The omission of transient components at the onset impaired overall identification accuracy only by 6%, even though experiment 2 suggested that their omission was discriminable. Shifting the position of the gate from the onset to the middle portion of the tone impaired overall identification accuracy by 25%. Taken together, these findings confirm the prominent status of onsets in musical instrument identification, but suggest that rapidly varying transients are less indicative of instrument identity compared to the relatively slow buildup of sinusoidal components during onsets.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (2014–2020) under the Marie Skłodowska- Curie Grant Agreement No. 747124.
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Department of Human Medicine
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 10:17
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2019 10:17
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:715-oops-40321
DOI: 10.1121/1.5091778

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