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The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musical Instruments

Mo, Ronald, Choi, Ga, Lee, Chung and Horner, Andrew (2016) The Effects of MP3 Compression on Perceived Emotional Characteristics in Musical Instruments. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 64 (11). pp. 858-867. ISSN 15494950

Item Type: Article


Musical instrument sounds have distinct timbral and emotional characteristics, and when audio processes are applied to them their timbral and emotional characteristics are changed. This paper investigates the effects of MP3 compression on the emotional characteristics of eight sustained instrument sounds using a listening test. We compared the compressed sounds pairwise over ten emotional categories at several bit rates. The results showed that MP3 compression strengthened neutral and negative emotional characteristics such as Mysterious, Shy, Scary, and Sad; and weakened positive emotional characteristics such as Happy, Heroic, Romantic, Comic, and Calm. Interestingly, Angry was relatively unaffected by MP3 compression. Probably, the background “growl” artifacts added by MP3 compression decreased positive emotional characteristics and increased negative characteristics such as Mysterious and Scary. For instruments, MP3 compression effected some instruments more and others less. The trumpet was the most effected and the horn by far the least.

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Depositing User: Ronald Mo


Item ID: 15806
Identification Number:
ISSN: 15494950
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Ronald Mo: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 17:09
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 17:09


Author: Ronald Mo ORCID iD
Author: Ga Choi
Author: Chung Lee
Author: Andrew Horner

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science


Performing Arts > Music

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