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Testing Help

Hi there, I need some help on audio testing. I used to browse this forum a while back when I was looking for answers about compression, and thought proper testing was a good way to answer subjective disputes on quality. Recently, I've taken up playing music and noticed a ton of argument on the discernibility of different woods/strings/pickups/build-quality/etc in guitars and basses. There's always a lot of armchair physics and not a lot of real testing to back up these arguments. I found discussions at this forum on testing discernibility to be quite constructive, so maybe someone has some advice. Did a search and didn't turn up much. Feel free to delete if this isn't an appropriate post.

Fortunately with guitars, there are a ton of geeks and collectors out there who own multiples of the same instrument with only a single variable that's different, body wood, for instance, being a very common one. This makes it easy to do a test since there are plenty of people who can record them side-by-side.

Unfortunately, you can't do a standard ABX test for this, the reason being that no musician is a machine and thus they can't play the same line the exact same way twice. People might be able to discern a difference based on subtle changes in the way the instrument is played on different samples rather than differences based on the tone of the instrument.

From what I can see, what is needed is a double-blind test similar to ABX but where X is a third sample, not either A or B. A steady-handed musician could make, say, 10 samples each from guitars 1 and 2. The listener gets a randomly-selected reference sample of each guitar, and then is presented a third sample that is randomly selected from the remaining ones. They must match it to one of the reference samples.

So I guess my question is, is there any software out there that can help do this sort of test or some other test that would work? It's hard to get people to listen unless its something they can reproduce themselves, and such a software would make the whole process much easier. The application of such a test would naturally extend far beyond guitars..

Testing Help

Reply #1
You can use the same software as the one used in listening tests organized on HA. Just first record those guitar samples. But my guess is that people will easily hear those differences and easily ABX them if guitars are different. Anyhow good luck with your test.

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