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The Psychology of Music in Multimedia$
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Siu-Lan Tan, Annabel J. Cohen, Scott D. Lipscomb, and Roger A. Kendall

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199608157.001.0001

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Understanding the impact of surround sound in multimedia

Understanding the impact of surround sound in multimedia

(p.365) Chapter 16 Understanding the impact of surround sound in multimedia
The Psychology of Music in Multimedia

Mark Kerins

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the effects of multichannel sound presentation (e.g., surround sound) on music listening and on the experience of multimedia, focusing especially on comparing 5.1-channel surround—the standard soundtrack format for movies and television—with traditional two-channel stereo. The chapter organizes research on this topic into three categories: studies based on distinguishing between sound systems, studies based on listeners indicating their sound system preferences, and studies based on independent group ratings (i.e., do participants rate different presentation modes differently when they cannot directly compare them?). For each category, the chapter outlines methods, conclusions, strengths, and limitations of extant work; across categories, it demonstrates that slight differences in experimental method yield divergent results, making it difficult to come to general conclusions about the impact of multichannel presentation. As a whole, the existing research reveals that whether and how multichannel sound affects the audience experience is heavily dependent on the specific content used and the context in which it is presented.

Keywords:   surround, multichannel sound, film, presentation mode, home theater, technology, mixing

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