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Objectivists board room

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by joe bloggs, May 28, 2015.
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  1. Zapp_Fan
    Well, hearing and perceiving (noticing) are two different things. I suppose everyone "hears" the same things in that the hardware of their cochlea etc. are picking up the same vibrations and producing similar neurological signals. But the 'software' of the brain can be trained to identify things much better than someone off the street might. I don't think this is controversial. An experienced mastering engineer probably has way worse hearing acuity than a typical 12-year-old, because the 12-year-old hasn't been listening to loud music 8 hours a day for 30 years. But the studio engineer can tell which version of a recording has a -1.5dB dip at 200hz because they've had a great deal of training and practice noticing those things. So the engineer "hears" it and the 12-year-old doesn't "hear" it. That's basically all I'm contending here.
    Raketen and colonelkernel8 like this.
  2. Joe Bloggs Contributor
    The cancellation nulls in the high frequencies in an authentic listening environment serve as spatial cues that enhance the listening experience. However these move and respond to head movements and are also structurally different from the nulls from headphone cups or IEMs... the actual perceived nulls from headphones tend to be fewer and further apart, even more so for IEMs. These actually cue us in to the fact that we are listening to something stuck on our heads. If we can null out the nulls from these and replace them with the nulls that are structurally similar to those in an authentic listening environment, the feeling of authenticity of the listening experience goes up.

    Sorry, no science papers to back me up here, just my recent years of experimenting with this stuff that hasn't been put down in writing anywhere or peer reviewed by anybody :stuck_out_tongue:
    Raketen and colonelkernel8 like this.
  3. sonitus mirus
    Some people, using 2 functioning eyes, have trouble seeing 3D stereoscopic images. Others can see the 3D images easily. Some people get better at seeing these after looking at a few and figuring out the "trick". Might something similar be applicable to our hearing? It took a frustratingly long time to pass the Philips Golden Ear challenge mp3 bitrate part of the test the first time I took it; though, once I discovered what to focus on, what had been nearly impossible to identify became almost trivial to do using nearly any headphones or speakers I had available to use for testing.
    Raketen likes this.
  4. Zapp_Fan
    Bingo - same ears, but a better-trained brain, and suddenly you're hearing "better" than before.
  5. bigshot
    I think that the advantages that are possible by training ears are vastly overrated. It's more a matter of concentration levels than it is hearing. If you are tired and not particularly interested in doing the test, you're going to perform poorly whether you're trained or not. If you're alert and focused you might discern something you didn't pay attention to before. But this isn't what audiophiles are talking about when they talk about ear training. They strap their ego onto it and try to make it seem like they can hear better than the average person. They claim they can hear the difference between cables or the difference between CD and SACD. In other words, they use "ear training" as self validation.

    I think that education and experience is a great thing. But it won't make you hear any better than any other human. It might make you better at analyzing what you hear or focusing, but that is about it.
    colonelkernel8 likes this.
  6. castleofargh Contributor
    it also vastly depends on the test itself. for a visual analogy that I will surely come to regret, looking for something in a picture can take time and training to recognize what we're looking for will over time greatly speed up the detection. when I was playing FPS games, it took training for my brain to get that 2pixels of a specific color was "a bad guy with a gun". for months they would move in the distance without me noticing anything. of course it didn't make my eyes view more, it's a matter of brain work on the data I had all along.
    now back to looking for something in a picture, if the test is 2 picture perfectly aligned and identical except for a small difference, switching rapidly on the same screen, then anybody will notice the place where a change occurs. no training of any sort is required.
    sound makes things more difficult because we need a sample of sound of a given duration to at the very least get some frequency content. so even rapid switching leaves us at the beginning of a short sample or with the following signal if we let a song go and only switch the synchronized tracks. in that respect we can't totally have something as easy as 2 pictures on a screen switching. but short sound cues and rapid switch do bring us real close and lower the need for training compared to other listening methods. that much I assume is a consensus.
  7. skwoodwiva
    Ok but that is learning to use what you got. Sheer fortitude. Were talking alility to discern. I took the dump NPR test, now I got Perry, the Bach & the other woman, at the top. Reviewing after I realized these 3 were also the best recorded or conveyed. Now had they been equal ~2 would have been chance.
    No matter my fortitude.
    Edit it is more like .25 of 6 is 1.5 answers by chance.
    Am I doing this right?
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
  8. bigshot
    I am going to use my sheer force of will to wish this away with sheer fortitude. Oops! Technology can do that with the ignore function and I don't have to do anything at all. Hooray for technology. Hooray for a thread where we all get along and don't troll each other.
  9. NorCal
    Is there a FAQ thread in Sound Science? If not, is this, the "pub" thread, or some other thread, the best place to ask for the opinions of the various SS members, on hardware?
    Thanks in advance.
  10. bigshot
    This is the casual hangout. Feel free to create a new thread for your question
    NorCal likes this.
  11. Zapp_Fan
    This is a little above my pay grade but I think it's more than just force of will. Once you learn to recognize something your brain can start reinforcing those neural pathways, or something. The same way muscle memory is a thing - you can't just show up and be good at things just because you really want to. Same way you can't necessarily be good at spotting MP3 artifacts or slight harmonic distortion, fresh off the street & without any practice. That's mostly my opinion and I don't have sources, but I don't think someone with no knowledge or experience can match extensive listening experience just by willing it to happen.
  12. bigshot
    Maybe it's just the term that I don't like. Ears can't be trained, but listeners can learn to have discernment. The problem is, some people claim that their trained ears give them the ability to hear things they clearly can't. Trained ears don't allow you to hear the unbearable. Super audible frequencies and noise floors down in the basement are still just as inaudible as with untrained ears. Experience just helps you to analyze what you hear. You recognize which parts of the sound are which. That can be useful for judging the balances in a mix and for pinpointing problems, but it doesn't mean that their hearing is enhanced. Wrapping ego around something like that is misplaced.
  13. Zapp_Fan
    100% agree that ego wrapped up in some notion of genetically superior ears is bad and wrong. Brains can be trained to notice things that amateurs struggle to discern, but you can't take your ears to the ear gym and make them stronger.
  14. Glmoneydawg
    Agreed...also personal preference for certain parts of the music can be a part of this.
  15. castleofargh Contributor
    it's not hard to get that we can't do anything about hearing without the brain and that the brain is a tiny bit complicated.
    it's easy to focus on watching TV and miss what the wife said. the issue wasn't that the sound of the wife was too low. we were trying to focus on something else. learning where to put our focus for a specific audio cue can obviously improve our results when looking for it. even if I hear a guitar, if I'm focused hard on the drummer, it becomes easy to miss something small that the guitar did.
    let's say you get to hear massive clipping, then smaller clipping of the same track, then smaller and smaller until you lose it. it's easy to stay focus on the type of change clipping will do to the track and to understand how the psychoacoustic impact changes when the magnitude of the clip is smaller. would it be a surprise if people who just went through such an exercise ended up noticing clipping better than a random guy asked to tell if he hears anything? again I do believe that rapid switching reduces the need for such things, but while seeking a difference our brain is wandering around. personally I start just unfocused and if I notice nothing, then I'll focus on the low end, then on the mids, then the trebles, if there is still nothing I will tend to focus on the "image", wondering if when I switch some instrument has moved a little, and so on. I have that little routine in my head, but while I'm jumping from point of focus to point of focus, the guy who looks for low rate mp3 artifact and has trained on that just before with obvious to less obvious examples, I really wouldn't be surprised if he scored better than I will. no matter how good his hearing is.
    training will also go a long way if someone tell you "pay attention to 2khz", and you know with more or less accuracy what 2khz sounds like.

    of course training can help notice something we wouldn't might just barely miss before. I don't know much actions for humans that wouldn't benefit from a little training. and again, even if all the training does is make me less stressed under trial, that's still a valid improvement. often people when they try ABX or a blind test for the first time, they feel like cops are at the door and there is a corpse in the hallway. the poor guys, it's the first time they listen without having the reassuring visual confirmation that they know the answer before starting the test. of course it's a shock. it's like they're actually trying to hear for the first time. usually those people are tired nervously after just 5mn. because they never listened so hard in their lifetime. training definitely improves all that. facing insecurity, not feeling like we're going to crap our pants because it's "A TEST" and we didn't like those at school either.

    training doesn't hurt. the only issue with training is that hearing stuff we were missing before, maybe it will please our ego for a time, but mostly now we need gears and settings that won't make that audio artifact audible for us. yesterday we were just fine enjoying our music, and today we're whining about a small background hiss, or some altered response somewhere. I'm not sure this leads toward a happier audiophile.
    but if I want to notice something, then I will test myself and try to learn how to notice it. different aim, different choice.
    cel4145 likes this.
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