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Spaciousness in Music: The Tonmeister’s Intention and the Listener’s Perception

10 pagesPublished: January 24, 2019


Tonmeisters tune the sound of music productions. Besides aspects like spectral bal- ance, loudness and dynamics, spaciousness plays an important role. Music of different genres tends towards different degrees of spaciousness due to generic aesthetic ideals and practical reasons. In this paper, we compare the degree of spaciousness as intended by the Tonmeister and perceived by the listener. 150 music excerpts from 5 different genres (electronica, classical, jazz, rock and ethno) are analyzed. The Tonmeister’s intention is derived from the literature and from analysis with a goniometer. The listeners perception is obtained from a listening test with 13 participants. The listening test revealed different adjectives for each genre relating to a spacious perception. We found that general rules as suggested in the literature are barely reflected in the goniometer results or the subjective impressions. Subjective impressions are largely contradictory.

Keyphrases: Audio Mixing, Listener’s Perception, music genres, Spaciousness, Stereo Mixing

In: Philipp Kessling and Thomas Görne (editors). KLG 2017. klingt gut! 2017 – international Symposium on Sound, vol 1, pages 42--51

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Claudia Stirnat and Tim Ziemer},
  title     = {Spaciousness in Music: The Tonmeister's Intention and the Listener's Perception},
  booktitle = {KLG 2017. klingt gut! 2017 -- international Symposium on Sound},
  editor    = {Philipp Kessling and Thomas G\textbackslash{}"orne},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Technology},
  volume    = {1},
  pages     = {42--51},
  year      = {2019},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2516-2322},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/nv93}}
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