In Reply to: A Modest proposal posted by fstein on November 20, 2011 at 19:26:12:
The late Richard Heyser had a saying "nature has no frame of reference; well apply those to make things easier to understand".
For example, we choose to assign Time and Pressure to a waveform but Velocity, Pressure, Temperature and so on would have worked also .
It is a sad fact that NO ONE has ears with anything even remotely like flat frequency response and on top of that, our ears frequency response changes with level as well. NO ONE here has the high frequency response they had as a teenager (unless they are still a teen).
Also, if one had a friend run an oscillator while you guessed what frequency was playing, one finds most people greatly over estimate HF tones, guessing them to be much higher than actual while low tones are usually guessed to be lower than actual.
The idea of "flat" is only desirable as a ruler when dealing with the hardware.
None of this personal hearing matters to us because we have NO other frame of reference, how our hearing is, is the only thing each of us knows. That is why adapt to hearing loss, often without our knowledge, we update the program to accommodate less and less of a range or frequency..
How we hear is also entirely different than how a microphone works.
In developing loudspeakers at work, we started using a "generation loss test" because of that. This turned out to be a very useful tool.
One can take a good sound card and measurement microphone and at home or anywhere else and capture a very real sounding MONO recording with no compression, eq or processing.
While Stereo is another issue, in Mono things are simple, you are sampling air pressure from a single point.
The funny part is, if you record your friends and family and normal household sounds and listen with good headphones, the hair on the back of your neck might stand up as you listen to events you just experienced first hand.
The real funny thing, while everything will sound very familiar, if you record loudspeakers, even without any room reflections, they often do not sound like first hand, why?
A measurement microphone samples air pressure from one point in space, it can do this very accurately but has no directionality.
Your hearing system is comprised of two ears and an adaptive processor that has been continuously programmed as you grew up.
It takes the separate information arriving at each ear and from that extracts the "image" of one sound coming from in front of you.
With the single mic, you cannot hear left / right, up / down or front / back, there is NO 3d sound, ALL of that is what happens when your brain compares the two ears against what it has learned.
It is said our Eyes provide about 20% of the visual information our brain sees, it is that reason that illusions like the inverted face and other work even when you know the face is inverted.
Your hearing is like that too (based on a learned reference library) AND subservient to your eyes.
Yes, that's right, what you see DOES effect what you hear. The problem again is we only have the one frame of reference but in the study of perception, they have found some ways to highlight the fact that your eyes and prior knowledge overrule what your ears actually hear even when you know what is happening. Try out the McGurke effect, it's from a great documentary about the senses and recent breakthroughs.
Funny, the only time you can hear genuine reality here is when you're not seeing the face.
Sounds a lot like blind testing eh?
So far as the reviewers, they all, like each of us, has a learned hearing system. More important than minor variations between people is the learned hearing system that interprets the air pressure into an image or sound. In addition to that, they are writers with a job to do.
Danley Sound Labs
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Topic - A Modest proposal - fstein 19:26:12 11/20/11 (19)
- RE: A Modest proposal - russ69 23:07:12 12/03/11 (0)
- RE: A Modest proposal - Tony Lauck 07:29:28 11/22/11 (0)
- Then all audiophiles should be required to have one before reading either... - Elizabeth 21:00:37 11/21/11 (0)
- Maybe a new rag, "The Absolute Deafness". nt - cjfrbw 12:52:03 11/21/11 (0)
- and a sperm count nt - Pjay 09:50:25 11/21/11 (1)
- as if you've ever had one........... - agattu 22:08:31 11/21/11 (0)
- RE: A Modest proposal - Gag Halfrunt 08:50:24 11/21/11 (0)
- An even more Modest proposal-have your ears cleaned yearly. nt - Norm 08:48:29 11/21/11 (0)
- The research suggests that it doesn't much matter - josh358 08:24:44 11/21/11 (0)
- RE: A Modest proposal - tomservo 07:00:59 11/21/11 (3)
- RE: A Modest proposal - regmac 08:03:47 11/21/11 (2)
- RE: A Modest proposal - Iron Knee 21:52:42 11/20/11 (0)
- Why? - mkuller 20:54:41 11/20/11 (4)
- While I agree with you, this is a slippery slope ultimately meaning that reviewing is of little value. - Norm 08:47:21 11/21/11 (2)
- Of course everyone knows... - mkuller 10:39:35 11/21/11 (1)
- I like that idea, sort of novels. nt - Norm 17:57:07 11/24/11 (0)
- You cleraly don't have his 'faith' in measurement - Timbo in Oz 04:01:23 11/21/11 (0)