This thesis explored whether listeners could perceive the differences between samples recorded and mixed according to methods reported by the so-called popular audio press and samples that did not utilize those methods. The three recording methods were: aligning multiple tracks to achieve a coherent phase relationship, microphone selection, and the style of recording. The three mixing methods were: inverting the bottom snare drum microphone to match the top snare drum microphone, having a pre-delay time on a reverb that matched the tempo of the sample, and routing the room microphones to the drummer’s perspective. ABX listening tests, preference surveys, and subjective ratings were used to determine the efficacy of the methods. Testing revolved around a null hypothesis that assumed listeners could not perceive differences between, would not have a preference for, and would not grant higher ratings to samples mixed according to popularized methods. Results provided mixed evidence on all these accounts. The ability to perceive changes like pre-delay timing, polarity and time alignment of multiple tracks are harder than the more obvious spatial and timbral changes of routing the room microphones and using microphones commonly used for drum recording.
Wesley A. Bulla
Entertainment and Music Business, Mike Curb College of
Master of Science in Audio Engineering (MSAE)
audio engineering; drum; Glyn Johns; mixing; phase; recording; comb filtering; ABX; listening
Arbuthnot, T. W. (2019). "Listener Evaluation of Common Drum Recording and Mixing Techniques." Master of Science in Audio Engineering (MSAE) thesis, Belmont University, Nashville, TN. 2. https://repository.belmont.edu/msaetheses/2