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Marcelo Caetano, George P. Kafentzis, Athanasios Mouchtaris, Yannis Stylianou

Abstract - Percussive musical instrument sounds figure among the most challenging to model using sinusoids particularly due to the characteristic attack that features a sharp onset and transients. Attack transients present a highly nonstationary inharmonic behaviour that is very difficult to model with traditional sinusoidal models which use slowly varying sinusoids, commonly introducing an artifact known as preecho. In this work we use an adaptive sinusoidal model dubbed eaQHM to model percussive sounds from musical instruments such as plucked strings or percussion and investigate how eaQHM handles the sharp onsets and the nonstationary inharmonic nature of the attack transients. We show that adaptation renders a virtually perceptually identical sinusoidal representation of percussive sounds from different musical instruments, improving the Signal to Reconstruction Error Ratio (SRER) obtained with a traditional sinusoidal model. The result of a listening test revealed that the percussive sounds modeled with eaQHM were considered perceptually closer to the original sounds than their traditional-sinusoidal-modeled counterparts. Most listeners reported that they used the attack as cue.

Thank you for your time !

In this test, the goal is to evaluate the perceptual similarity between recordings of percussive musical instrument sounds and their reconstruction by two algorithms.

At first, you will play the original sound as many times as you want (labeled Original). Then, you will play the other two sounds (labeled Sound1 and Sound2) as many times as you want again, and select which one, Sound1 or Sound2, is closer to the original one. Please note that the order of appearance is random, that is, the sound labeled Sound1 does not necessarily correspond to a specific model.


  • If there is any technical problem with one sound, select Prob.
  • Absolutely use headphones. Do not use earphones or speakers.
  • Verify that the sound is loud enough to hear the details properly.
  • Do the test in a quiet place.
  • Take the time to listen !
  • Please, do not stop the sound before it finishes!
  • Please, do not play audio files simultaneously !
  • Before answering the test, do not hesitate to ask me any question.

The test

Please, select the sound that is closer to the Original.

Original 1 Sound1 Sound2 Prob

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Some information about you

Are youFemaleMale
How did you listen to the sounds ?HeadphonesEarphonesLoudspeakers
Did you select the sound that was closest to the original one ?YesNo
Do you play any musical instrument (including singing) ?YesNo
Are you a professionnal involved in audio processing (e.g. sound engineer, researcher in audio processing) ?YesNo
Are you familiar with listening tests ?YesNo
Are you familiar with signal processing techniques ?YesNo
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Please, check that all pairs are evaluated, then

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Page last modified on May 10, 2015, at 10:39 PM