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post #1396 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

What is generally dismissed on this forum is the idea that an audio system can change the quality of a performance. Yet this is obvious stuff among the people I hang with.

Can you point out a system that's so bad that it changes the quality of a performance? Would my iPhone and stock earbuds be bad enough?

post #1397 of 1790

Poor sound can certainly mar the enjoyment of a performance by not presenting it well. But the performance is still the performance.

post #1398 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Personally, I think banning the discussion of controlled listening tests from the other forums renders them completely useless. What good is talking about sound quality without talking about hearing? I haven't participated in any of the other forums since that wrong-headed rule was put in place.
I would hope that even the most illogical magical thinking would be fair game to post here. It can only lead to more folks changing the way they think for the better. In a classical music forum I participate in, a fella posted and just about everything he had to say.was audiophool nonsense. After about five exchanged posts and some links, he did a complete turnaround and started offering things he had learned in the research the discussion had inspired him to make.

 

The controlled listening test discussion had (and still do have) a tendency to sink into personal attacks, name calling, etc.

The rule was added in an attempt to keep discussion on a civil level.

IMOH the Science forum seems to be a place where subjectivists are fair game for ripping to shreds, i.e. magical, illogical thinking is forbidden.

post #1399 of 1790

Any audio system changes the quality of the performance to some degree. Just listen to it. Obvious among the people I hang with. Show me one scientist who perceives that, and then there is some hope that it would be investigated. Otherwise it's not going to be investigated. This confirms one of my beliefs which is that even people who go by measurements at some level are going by their ears. When their way of hearing, when the specific patterns they recognize, are described well by standard measurements, then they believe measurements are useful. But other people hear other patterns. It's not "golden" ears, just different ears.

post #1400 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by JadeEast View Post

Dropping out, I think, referred to a conscious choosing of an alternate way of living life different from what may have been expected by society.

* eta- I'm not sure how the phrase was used as a criticism earlier.

I've been stuck looking at YouTube Leary clips trying to get a simple answer for him, and I wound up getting reacquainted with Gretchen Fetchin The Slime Queen ...

 

Yeah, it was presented as a positive choice - reject conformity and authority -- think for yourself! 

post #1401 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

The controlled listening test discussion had (and still do have) a tendency to sink into personal attacks, name calling, etc.

It had something to do with the meltdown a junior representative of a high end cable company had in the cable forum, I believe. Bad for business to have the objectivists mixing with the customers.

post #1402 of 1790

a group "consensus" can be far from "reality"

 

Witchcraft, Satan Worship, Magic were "Real" enough in Renaissance Europe to cause torture, execution of tens of thousands with legal trials, with rules of evidence, eyewitness testimony, judges

 

 

a quick scan through GearSlutz or other recording forums, blogs will suggest there are many recording "engineers" with uneven,  poor, outright wrong understanding of the technology they use

 

they are much more interested in getting a project done than in Scientific Understanding - simple heuristics, word of mouth, reputed "quality" let them get the job done in finite time - but that the process produces pleasing commercial product doesn't "prove" that every production, mastering participant's opinions, decisions have Scientifically valid basis

 

fortunately today, in audio debates neither side is allowed to burn the other at the stake


Edited by jcx - 6/26/12 at 9:15pm
post #1403 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post

a group "consensus" can be far from "reality"

 

Witchcraft, Satan Worship, Magic were "Real" enough in Renaissance Europe to cause torture, execution of tens of thousands with legal trials, with rules of evidence, eyewitness testimony, judges

 

 

a quick scan through GearSlutz or other recording forums, blogs will suggest there are many recording "engineers" with uneven,  poor, outright wrong understanding of the technology they use

 

they are much more interested in getting a project done than in Scientific Understanding - simple heuristics, word of mouth, reputed "quality" let them get the job done in finite time - but that the process produces pleasing commercial product doesn't "prove" that every production, mastering participant's opinions, decisions have Scientifically valid basis

 

fortunately today, in audio debates neither side is allowed to burn the other at the stake

I don't know if you are responding to me, but I'll say

  • I agree with you
  • It's totally irrelevant to anything I've said
post #1404 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

When their way of hearing, when the specific patterns they recognize, are described well by standard measurements, then they believe measurements are useful. But other people hear other patterns. It's not "golden" ears, just different ears.

 

Ok, lemme try this out.

Step 1 : I use a set A of measurements to design a system. I confirm that the system performs as I designed it. I know how this set A translates to audible differences. So yes, I go by my ears *because* I know what made that difference.

Step 2 : If you can describe those *other patterns*, they can be added to this set A, and repeat Step 1.

 

In a few iterations, I'm pretty sure you'll have an awesome system.

The only trouble is this. No one knows what these *other patters* are. Is it inside your head? Is it being caused by the shape of your ears (maybe??). Is it because of your listening ability (or disability ?). Its like asking a group of art enthusiasts to describe a painting. They'll all have something different to say.

Most of the times I think its just these external variables, not some new patterns that've not been discovered yet.

The fact that a system performs differently under different external conditions is a well known fact, and needs to be considered in its design. Yes, it can be made resilient to these variabilities, but only to a well defined extent.


Edited by proton007 - 6/26/12 at 10:39pm
post #1405 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

Any audio system changes the quality of the performance to some degree. Just listen to it. Obvious among the people I hang with. Show me one scientist who perceives that, and then there is some hope that it would be investigated. Otherwise it's not going to be investigated. This confirms one of my beliefs which is that even people who go by measurements at some level are going by their ears. When their way of hearing, when the specific patterns they recognize, are described well by standard measurements, then they believe measurements are useful. But other people hear other patterns. It's not "golden" ears, just different ears.

No, what a scientist would need to investigate this is a reasonable hypothesis for the differences in perception, based in the physical differences in equipment and the variations among listeners. It wouldn't depend or her or him actually hearing the difference personally.
post #1406 of 1790

And what this board needs to do is read the synopsis of "the Emperor's New Clothes" at Wikipedia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes
 

post #1407 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindInOneEar View Post

And what this board needs to do is read the synopsis of "the Emperor's New Clothes" at Wikipedia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor%27s_New_Clothes
 

 

Most head-fi'ers should do so. The objectivists know that tale of old.

post #1408 of 1790

A scientist doesn't literally need to perceive the nuances of rhythmic quality in order to work on the problem of measuring it, but it would certainly help.

 

Here's how I look at the problem.

 

What is rhythmic quality and where does it come from? Let's talk live music, let's talk what musicians do. A musician interested in Mozart probably has no trouble sensing the nuances of rhythmic quality that apply to Mozart's music (typically of Mozart is the need to differentiate phrases but using a different quality). Musicians are doing subtle things with varying time and dynamics. These things can vary on a micro level or a macro level. Also involved, possibly, is variation in timbre. When multiple instruments are playing, they may be doing slightly different things.

 

But can a musician describe exactly what they are doing in terms that can be measured? Probably not. However, I know of one guy who has investigated this. (There are probably more.) He is Manfred Clynes and he wrote software to try to imitate musicians. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_Clynes. His software puts in variations in tempo and dynamics, on both micro and macro scales using a kind of fractal structure.

 

I am not 100% impressed with Clynes' work. I think he oversimplifies it, and he's in a hurry to claim a revolutionary discovery. But anyway it suggests lines of future investigation.

 

Now consider the distortions in audio reproduction introduced by microphones and speakers. Mike positioning also changes the sound.

 

I hear these changes/distortions as messing with the rhythmic quality, and so do many people. The same way my brain perceives rhythmic quality in live music, the same pattern-recognition circuits, get involved in evaluating reproduced sound. Seems to me factors like group delay, tonal balance, direct-to-reflected-sound ratio, and transient compression could affect perceived rhythmic quality.

 

So how do we go about measuring rhythmic quality? It almost certainly will be a multi-dimensional measurement (more than one number). We start by making some guesses what it involves. Start with measuring variations in time and dynamics. Say we perform a bit of music in ten ways, X1, X2, .. X10. Using their brain, we have someone group these by similarity. Maybe X1, X3, X8 are similar. X2,X4 are similar. Etc.

 

Then we look for a multi-dimensional measurement that, in essence, groups X1 through X10 in a similar way. If we hear X1, X3, etc as similar, and the measurement gives close sets of numbers for each of those, then we are onto something.

 

We might have to proceed more slowly, looking for one dimension at a time.

 

Now I predict someone is going to tell me that audio systems can't change tempo or introduce subtle timing variations. Folks, it's about how it is perceived. A system can certainly obscure or overemphasize transients. Group delay could smear a transient. The perception of rhythmic quality is essentially a perception of a pattern across a bunch of transients. If you obscure or overemphasize a few of those, you change how they are perceived.

 

I'm not saying that a system can make a piece sound like a faster tempo. But it can affect whether that tempo makes musical sense.

post #1409 of 1790
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1127 View Post

It's not "level of ability" -- different people have different patterns they respond to.

 

I'm responding primarily to the scientists on this forum or those here on this forum who present the science orthodoxy

 

For instance when I discuss "Pace, rhythm, and timing" I get people who simply dismiss it (Ethan Winer) or numerous people who resist my attempt to describe it. Yet it's almost universally recognized by the "audiophools" I hang out with and universally recognized by the musicians I hang with (although they would speak more of quality of rhythm).

 

What can I say? Something so universal among musicians is received here with resistance or  misunderstanding. What do you want me to say?

FWIW, I suspect that a big part of the problem you are having here is that you are tying up your own theories about your perceptions up with your perceptions themselves.

 

If you feel you are perceiving what you are calling these "different patterns" in some instances of playback (which is what I was trying to get a solid answer from you before), then they can be studied. 

Forget about naming them, and forget about theorizing about them for now ---  if in controlled blind testing conditions, you can reliably point and grunt yes or no to when you actually hear them or not, then the situation can be analyzed by scientific method.

post #1410 of 1790

I have a hunch that in a way you're trying to approach a phenomenological experience through reductionism (although you've been accused of not being reductionist enough.) I think it may be a dead end. 

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