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whatpricemusic - Theory



Signal Sampling (The project's underlying recording, acoustics and research theory)

The planned CCCU LVR Days project is part of a larger 5 year research plan (whatpricemusic) looking into the way consumers value recorded music both in terms of entertainment and inspiration as well as in the monetary sense. It is commonly acknowledged that online music delivery has significantly challenged the established music business model and thrown into doubt the effectiveness of national and global copyright legislation and this is the area of focus of our ‘What Price Music’ research.

One area of investigation is looking at the question of whether varying demographics can differentiate between or are even interested in the notion of different audio qualities. To this end we have devised a series of audio quality evaluation tests which can and have been conducted where participants are played various quality ‘versions’ of the same recorded music track and have to decide on the ranking in terms of perceived audio quality. With more experienced, trained or interested participants there is an issue in that the ‘control’ version is invariably not of the very highest technical quality possible although all are at least of CD quality or better both in terms of replay and the original recording technology employed.

We decided that we needed to provide our own music source material recorded at one of the current highest qualities i.e. 24bit/192kHz using extended frequency range microphones and that this should be done in controlled acoustic conditions, ideally in an anechoic environment. This led us to the idea of developing the concept beyond comparing various encoded versions with the original recorded master towards including the live performance which constitutes the recorded source material as part of the comparative process. We are calling these extended comparison sessions LVR sessions which, in turn, are being run as LVR Days where a number of sessions take place over a number of consecutive days.


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