Investigations on Stage Acoustic Preferences of Solo Trumpet Players using Virtual Acoustics

Sebastià Amengual Gari, Malte Kob, Tapio Lokki

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Acoustical conditions on stage have an influence on the sound and character of a musical performance. Musicians constantly adjust their playing to accommodate to the stage acoustics. The study of acoustical preferences of musi- cians is part of the characterization of this feedback loop, which impacts on the musicians’ comfort as well as on the aural experience of a concert audience.
This paper presents an investigation on preferences of solo musicians on stage. By means of spatial acoustic measurements and real-time auralization, the acoustics of different real rooms are resynthesized in laboratory condi- tions. Two formal tests are conducted with solo trumpet players: a room preference test and a test investigating the preferred directions of early energy. In the first test, mu- sicians are presented with four different rooms and asked about their preference in five different aspects: practice of instrument technique, practice of concert repertoire, con- cert performance, ease of performance and sound quality. In the second test the auralized rooms are modified to pro- vide early reflections from different directions (front-back, top-down, sides, no early reflections) and the preference of musicians is investigated.
The results show that the judged aspect or performance context is a key factor in determining the preference of mu- sicians’ stage acoustics preference. Drier rooms are pre- ferred for practicing instrumental technique while louder rooms help to reduce the fatigue of the players. Bigger rooms with slightly longer reverberation are preferred for concert piece practice and concert performance. The easi- ness of performance is proportional to the amount of early energy. Regarding the preference of direction of early re- flections, the results suggest that there are no clear differ- ences between preferred directions, and the level of early energy is more important for the comfort of solo musicians on stage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th Sound and Music Computing Conference 2017
Subtitle of host publicationSMC 2017, July 5-8, 2017, Espoo, Finland
PublisherAalto University
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-60-3729-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventSound and Music Computing Conference - Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland
Duration: 5 Jul 20178 Jul 2017
Conference number: 14


ConferenceSound and Music Computing Conference
Abbreviated titleSMC
Internet address


  • room acoustics
  • stage acoustics
  • music performance


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