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Hearing is not simple

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https://aeon.co/essays/seeing-is-not-simple-you-need-to-be-both-knowing-and-naive

"Behold: science as seeing"

About science and 'seeing', but really all perception. Please think 'hearing' as reading, works no problem, turns on lights.

sample:  Says cognitive bias really 'Prior Knowledge', and feature, not bug. ie

"Learning is essentially about updating our biases, not eliminating them"

Good read.

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Yes we see what we look for and find what we know. A corollary may be that much of perception is based on pattern recognition and meaning as influenced by prior leaning,experiences, biases etc.

 

It also has to do with many other areas of the brain working together to create the experience. These include attention, concentration, memory, affective/emotional components, multi-sensory integration etc.

 

Imagine a neurologist looking at an MRI scan compared to a green grocer. Both have the same visual acuity, or even the the neurologist may have less than 20/20 vison, but who sees more? Imagine Picasso looking at art works compared to a musician, who 'sees' more?

 

Often we may not see something until it is pointed out and then continue to notice it.This is quite apart from potential for suggestibility or bias, which may also occur.

 

As alluded to in the article, different parts of the brain need to be intact to allow all of this and not just the somatosensory cortex. Perceptual problems often occur after right sided hemisphere lesions such as strokes esp visuospatial problems (whereas language problems more so on the left).Sometimes the deficits are quite specific such as inability to recognize faces, they see them but just don't recognize them. People can have neglect or inattention to one side of their body or one side of their visual fields (as opposed to one eye blindness).

 

The emotional aspects of perception are interesting. For example the International Association for Study of Pain defines pain as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage". There's quite a lot going on in that statement that may surprise some people I suspect.

 

It really wasn't until frequenting audio fora that the notion of the brain "tricking" us (seemingly all the time) was so emphasized or even expressed in those terms. Sure perceptions can get distorted and be subject to various biases but by and large the brain does an amazing job at sorting through the chaos of incoming information and allowing us to function in every day life. Sometimes illusions are merely useful adaptations made by the brain to make sense of things. perhaps that's what Einstein meant when he said life is an illusion, albeit a persistent one.

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Well said.  Your statement:

9 hours ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

Sometimes illusions are merely useful adaptations made by the brain to make sense of things.

is really important.  Most illusions are based on neural processes that, in most normal and natural contexts, enhance perceptual abilities.  However, illusions are artificial constructions which reveal the underlying operations.  Best, easiest examples are visual illusions that make contrast enhancements explicit.  Some examples:

https://www.fatherly.com/play/activities/best-optical-illusions-teach-kids/  (In this, squares A and B are the same brightness.

http://slideplayer.com/slide/8855497/

https://www.spektrum.de/lexikon/psychologie/machsche-baender/9037  (in this, the apparent lines (Mach bands) between the panels are edge-contrast enhancements due to lateral-inhibition circuits in the retina.  Similar lateral-inhibition circuits can be found in most sensory systems.)


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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I might back "Most" off a bit to "Many" - we don't usually (or often?) know if a feature or character is an adaptation, an exaptation, was formerly an adaptation but is currently not selected for, or merely the result of some evolutionary constraint.

 

I would recommend a textbook on cognitive psychology - a good base for understanding perception, and the way those guys have done experimental designs is illuminating.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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6 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

I would recommend a textbook on cognitive psychology - a good base for understanding perception, and the way those guys have done experimental designs is illuminating.

 

Any recommendations and care to share with a few more details

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I read this one: 

Cognitive Psychology, by Robert J. Sternberg  

no idea if it is the best, or what.  I just decided to read it (for other reasons, not audio).  As it turned out that area is not (yet) useful to me (nor is AI).  One thing is short-term memory and how that can be 'coded' into a longer term memory - which implies that one may, but need not, limit comparisons to short time periods.  I'll have to cogitate fer a spell to see what other audiophiliac lessons were in it...

 

 

- text sizing seems not to have survived the 'upgrade'


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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7 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

One thing is short-term memory and how that can be 'coded' into a longer term memory - .........................................................

And, yet, some people never seem to manage that.  ?


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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Just a thought....

 

We fine-tune our sound with audio tweaks and upgraded components, better DACs, cables, better parts, implementation, DSP, EQ, room treatments, subwoofer integration, we eliminate jitter, distortion, noise, we go more and more pure in order to hear the music as it was recorded on that very same day and heard by the recording music engineers, we upsample it @ resolution faithfull to reality, we fine-tune the entire chain with labor of love, sweat, knowledge, investment, time, money, tries and tribulations and failures and successes...all that jazz. 

 

 @ the end we achieve accurate music reproduction and yet it is not satisfactory in our ears, in hearing the music playing. 

 

Can human fine-tune his own hearing, ears, canals, mind, brain, to accommodate the music that his playing, no matter what the source, the reproduction system, the resolution it was recorded @, to a higher nirvana hearing? 

 

Hearing the music on a higher plane of emotional happiness by fine-tuning man's own body and mind...biologically, surgically and physiologically. 

 

Just a thought. 

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On 5/23/2018 at 4:20 AM, Kal Rubinson said:

And, yet, some people never seem to manage that.  ?

 

could be interference from the limbic system

 

I hear it causes a lot of noise...


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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On 5/30/2018 at 8:31 PM, Axial said:

Can human fine-tune his own hearing, ears, canals, mind, brain, to accommodate the music that his playing, no matter what the source, the reproduction system, the resolution it was recorded @, to a higher nirvana hearing? 

 

Hearing the music on a higher plane of emotional happiness by fine-tuning man's own body and mind...biologically, surgically and physiologically. 

 

Just a thought. 

 

Good point. I believe that as humans we are always looking for a reference system. Imagine you are driving fast. How fast you are driving is displayed in your cockpit, but your reference system is also your body feedback and your relative speed in comparison with others around you.

 

There are a couple of "hearing reference systems" I have personally come across and the following is my personal experience and not any kind of truth or universal rule:

 

1. My wife: If the music doesn't touch her, even it is one of her favorite songs, then the sound quality isn't good enough. This is a very strong but also very subjective reference system but certainly non-debateable: "If it makes you feel good, it must be good"

2. Playing an instrument: Knowing how a live guitar sounds might help separating good from bad sound quality. This is a weaker concept than "my wife" because the sound of any instrument played live is very dependent on the hall, the setup, your relative listening position and so on -so it could be very disappointing because of external factors out of your control or even perception (and so you keep asking yourself: What is wrong?) 

3. My own sweet spot definition: It must be sound, it must fit together, it must make sense, instruments, speed, loudness and much more need to fall in place, need to cooperate in my mind. Also very subjective, but for me, this is the sweet spot when music makes sense to me, in a technical sense.

 

Now my comment to your vision about fine-tuning human hearing:

 

I will quote Eminem: "You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go"

 

When I listen to Led Zeppelins Kashmir on a hot summer night with a glass of red wine, I am all there, I can lose myself in the power und pureness of this song and I can almost feel, how it was put together and under which or what influence as if I was personally there. Virtual reality meets HIFI. These are the songs we all have and know that never become boring, that we can enjoy hundreds and thousands of times throughout our life. 

 

My recipe:

I am a strong supporter of dynamic range, the loudness war debate, finding the best recording of a certain piece of music and so on.

The quality of food (the recording) and having a 5 star cook (the gear) should come together.

 

But listening satisfaction - to me - only comes when it is more than anything else exactly this dinner that you want to have right now. Who cares about a world class pasta if you need a steak?

 

A perfect quality recording of your favorite song, played with class HIFI (condition) and (as a must) your ability to lose yourself is all I believe we can get to and I find it very emotional. Besides, for me this is the one and only reason to spend so much money on HIFI.

 

What do you think, what do you feel? Makes sense?

 

Chris 

 

 


Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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On 5/31/2018 at 4:31 AM, Axial said:

 @ the end we achieve accurate music reproduction and yet it is not satisfactory in our ears, in hearing the music playing. 

 

It depends if the recording/mastering was any good and also depends on whether you are listening to your system or the music.

 

On 5/31/2018 at 4:31 AM, Axial said:

Can human fine-tune his own hearing, ears, canals, mind, brain, to accommodate the music that his playing, no matter what the source, the reproduction system, the resolution it was recorded @, to a higher nirvana hearing?

Hearing the music on a higher plane of emotional happiness by fine-tuning man's own body and mind...biologically, surgically and physiologically. 

 

 

Only if your name is Frank.

 

Of course you can enjoy the music however badly it sounds.

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27 minutes ago, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

It depends if the recording/mastering was any good and also depends on whether you are listening to your system or the music.

 

 

However, in my mind there are average recordings we still like because the song is simply good. The quality of the original recording to me is part of the story behind the song, the band, the circumstances at that time. 

 

I am not shy to give an example that can of course  be judged differently: The first three AC/DC LPs have a lot to do with my youth and include a number of songs I really like. But even the original LPs and the first CDs are really not amongst good recordings in my collection, too harsh, too rough, not very well balanced but with high dynamics (>10), regardless, to me this also a good historic document of what they were at that time. When John Mutt Lange took over and produced Highway to hell and moreover Back in black, the latter became one of the most respected Hardrock albums in history also because of the excellent sound quality (of the first release). Control had taken over and ruled some of the imperfection out. 

 

Take a listen to the Kinks "You really got me" original recording: To me this sounds like a school band rocking the garage but it is good. I do not even want to have a professional recording of that song as it would take the core away from it.

 

Chris


Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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37 minutes ago, HardrockInMiniMac said:

 

However, in my mind there are average recordings we still like because the song is simply good. The quality of the original recording to me is part of the story behind the song, the band, the circumstances at that time. 

 

I am not shy to give an example that can of course  be judged differently: The first three AC/DC LPs have a lot to do with my youth and include a number of songs I really like. But even the original LPs and the first CDs are really not amongst good recordings in my collection, too harsh, too rough, not very well balanced but with high dynamics (>10), regardless, to me this also a good historic document of what they were at that time. When John Mutt Lange took over and produced Highway to hell and moreover Back in black, the latter became one of the most respected Hardrock albums in history also because of the excellent sound quality (of the first release). Control had taken over and ruled some of the imperfection out. 

 

Take a listen to the Kinks "You really got me" original recording: To me this sounds like a school band rocking the garage but it is good. I do not even want to have a professional recording of that song as it would take the core away from it.

 

Chris

 

 Well said !

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On 6/7/2018 at 3:19 AM, HardrockInMiniMac said:

Take a listen to the Kinks "You really got me" original recording: To me this sounds like a school band rocking the garage but it is good. I do not even want to have a professional recording of that song as it would take the core away from it.

 

IMO, you are confusing performance, production, and sound quality. A raw spontaneous performance is not going to be negatively affected by being well recorded. On the contrary, that raw quality will be better preserved. OTOH, if the producer eliminates that raw quality through too many takes, overproduction or whatever, both the performance and the recording suffer, regardless of how well it is recorded. IOW, the better the sound quality of the recording, the more it will accurately reproduce the performance. Having said that, IMO a good raw performance may be enjoyed despite being poorly recorded, not because of it.


"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- William Bruce Cameron

 

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On 5/30/2018 at 11:31 AM, Axial said:

.......

 

 @ the end we achieve accurate music reproduction and yet it is not satisfactory in our ears, in hearing the music playing. 

.......

 

I'm curious.  Where did you get the idea that you've achieved accurate music reproduction? 

 

And why is your admittedly dissatisfaction to your ears not providing you any hint?

 

Sorry, but I had to ask.


The more I dabble with extreme forms of electrical mgmt. and extreme forms of vibration mgmt., the more I’m convinced it’s all just variations of managing mechanical energy. Or was it all just variations of managing electrical energy? No, it’s all just variations of mechanical energy.

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On 6/14/2018 at 9:54 AM, Allan F said:

 

IMO, you are confusing performance, production, and sound quality. A raw spontaneous performance is not going to be negatively affected by being well recorded. On the contrary, that raw quality will be better preserved. OTOH, if the producer eliminates that raw quality through too many takes, overproduction or whatever, both the performance and the recording suffer, regardless of how well it is recorded. IOW, the better the sound quality of the recording, the more it will accurately reproduce the performance. Having said that, IMO a good raw performance may be enjoyed despite being poorly recorded, not because of it.

 

I agree with you except I took Axial to mean that the kinks recording, as bad as it was, formed part of the nostalgia and enjoyment for him. If I am correct, I can understand the viewpoint. Of course I would prefer to have heard the kinks raw performance accurately recorded and reproduced as if I was standing in the studio with them all those years ago. 

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On 6/14/2018 at 9:24 PM, shtf said:

 

I'm curious.  Where did you get the idea that you've achieved accurate music reproduction? 

 

And why is your admittedly dissatisfaction to your ears not providing you any hint?

 

Sorry, but I had to ask.

 

It's a figure of speech for saying that a lifetime is not enough to hear all the beautiful live music on this planet. And by doing the best we can with our systems in trying to replicate some and developing our hearing, by the time we're ready our hearing is handicapped. 

 

It's like asking are you finally satisfied and enjoying the music playing.

To me that's accurate enough, more than stressing and struggling in the impossible poursuit. 

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On 6/7/2018 at 2:52 AM, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

It depends if the recording/mastering was any good and also depends on whether you are listening to your system or the music.

 

 

Only if your name is Frank.

 

Of course you can enjoy the music however badly it sounds.

 

A quality music recording, music we also love; the system disappears and we become the music spatially in time.

 

You flow high as Frank from your music system? 

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3 hours ago, Axial said:

 

A quality music recording, music we also love; the system disappears and we become the music spatially in time.

 

A little cryptic but I think I agree ?. I agree that the system should disappear, totally getting out of the way of the music and attracting no attention to itself.

 

Quote

You flow high as Frank from your music system? 

 

Oh, I fly much higher than Frank ! I have tuned my system with more magic 9_9

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On 6/17/2018 at 8:13 PM, Audiophile Neuroscience said:

 

A little cryptic but I think I agree ?. I agree that the system should disappear, totally getting out of the way of the music and attracting no attention to itself.

 

 

Some recordings are so bad we need the system to get in the way and fix the crummy sound.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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6 hours ago, Axial said:

But, is your brain interpreting it all correctly what you're hearing from your tuned up system?

Are you absolutely sure that you are excited when you are excited?


Software > Roon Server & HQ Player4 on Windows 2019/AO & MacMini MMK (plus Audirvana 3.5)  > Netgear GS105EV2 > Meicord Opal > Naim NDX 2 > Naim SN2 + Lyngdorf CD-2 + Rega RP8/Aria >  > Harbeth SHL5 plus

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Here something else to ingest, digest & feel. Web of music in mind & life maybe helpful clues to role in audio

 

https://aeon.co/essays/music-is-in-your-brain-and-your-body-and-your-life

 

“past few decades of work in the cognitive sciences of music have demonstrated with increasing persuasiveness that the human capacity for music is not cordoned off from the rest of the mind. On the contrary, music perception is deeply interwoven with other perceptual systems, making music less a matter of notes, the province of theorists and professional musicians, and more a matter of fundamental human experience.”

 

Recent readings remind of interesting truth not thought much but crucial for understanding audio: Music not exist in grooves, or pits, or bits, or in wires, or on diaphragms. Music not exist in pinna, staples, or cochlea. Music exist only in human mind, where wetware create music from vibration frequencies, intervals, relations, interactions, surprises, familiarities, & ??

 

(Bored with poor to meh posts so far. Need new spark.)

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