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The Artificial Masterpiece - An analysis of mockup and live performance perception


This dissertation will explore how mockups (sampled/synthesized music ) have evolved and incorporated themselves into today's music industry. Mockups are created using sample libraries, which are collections of digital or acoustic sound recordings, known as samples, for use by composers, arrangers, performers, and producers of music. Especially pertaining to film/TV and pop music, the amount of control available to producers in the studio with both sampled sounds and live recorded sounds has allowed musicians to achieve results they've never before been able to produce, and often times at a fraction of the cost it takes to record a live orchestra. Furthermore, considering that people still enjoy seeing music performed live, this new level of production creates an issue for transferring music into the realm of live performance. People generally think that live music is always better than mockups. This monograph presents research and reports about how people are now making judgments and observations about today's music when they may not fully understand what exactly they're hearing or how the music was produced. Two related experiments were conduced to determine whether or not people can tell the difference between a professional mockup and a live recording today, considering the evolution and saturation of mockups in media. The first experiment simply tests for accuracy at determining mockups versus live recordings, while the second experiment tests for preferences between mockups and live recordings. The experiments also explore whether or not certain personal factors affect results, such as a history of music experience, for instance.

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