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11-08-2008 Post mapped to one branch of Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 1
Post ID: 8773
Reply to: 8773
The Sound and How We Hear It
fiogf49gjkf0d
How do we hear?

A recent article examined the capacity of the optic nerve to process visual signals. Based on the number of neurons in the retina, etc., an estimate of less than a megabyte of information was found, which is surprisingly low. This would produce a grainy image, at best. However, this is not our experience of vision. We see the world as a seamless, continuous ultra high resolution three dimensional experience, to which all our hi definition photographs pale by comparison. Considering further that all the information we receive through our eyes passes through a thick vitreous jelly before getting to the retina, it is a puzzle.

The answer to this is the incredible processing power of the brain to take this raw data and create the illusion of a seamless crystal clear image. The same is true of hearing. In fact the impulses received by the cochlear nerves are heavily processed in a complex bilaterally interactive redundant network of neurons in the brain. Thus much of how we hear is the product of our brains.

Since we are all different, we all hear differently. This may explain much of the controversy that occurs in the audiophile world. Why do stereos sound different? Why do loudspeakers that are much beloved and praised by some folks sound horrible to others? Is it a case of "wooden ears" and equipment reviewers accepting payola for good reviews? Perhaps not.

In fact, we may all be trying to achieve the same ideal result with stereo, but because we hear differently, we may require different input to achieve this ideal in our brains.

An interesting analogy is the well-described phenomenon of the "super taster." The number of taste buds on our tongues varies actually quite a bit. People with a lot of taste buds can discern extremely subtle flavors and are highly prized in industries where evaluation of complex taste is at a premium, such as the wine industry. However, these "super tasters" tend to prefer very bland mildly sweet foods, while people with fewer taste buds prefer strong flavored spicy foods. Why? Again, we are all probably seeking the same ideal flavor balance. We spice foods to compensate for the sensitivity of our tongues.

Likewise, we build stereos to accommodate for the variations in how we hear. One aspect of this is the concept of additive and subtractive error. Let's think of it this way: A ice cream cone manufacturer makes a vanilla ice cream cone dipped in a hard chocolate shell. He takes a photo of it and sends it to his employees so they can use their ice cream makers to make the same cone for customers. In this analogy, the ice cream cone manufacturer is the musician, the photograph is the vinyl record or CD, and the employees' ice cream machines are stereos.

Some employees have machine that have sprinkles mixed in to chocolate, so the cone they make has all the original ingredients plus the extra sprinkles. This is called additive error. Other employees have machines that make the chocolate coat far too thick, so they scrape it off to match the photo, but some of the original ice cream comes off too. This is called subtractive error.

In audio, some listeners will likewise prefer a system with subtractive error, where some of the original information is lost, but any added distortions are minimized. These are the audiophiles who prefer analytic "inner detail," paring away more and more of the music to "reveal" the details.

Other listeners prefer a system with additive error, where the original information is retained, but some distortion gets added as a trade off. These are audiophiles who prefer a colorful "musical" system.


11-08-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 2
Post ID: 8774
Reply to: 8773
What is the Sound?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Complicating this issue is the idea of differentiating sounds from the Sound. My way of thinking about this is that the sounds are the products of the stereo reproduction system. Ideas like bass, treble, transient response, and soundstage are common components. The SOUND, by comparison, is the expression of the original idea of the musical piece. It is not, by my definition, the score to the music or the idea in the composer's head; it is the way in which that piece is expressed by the musicians on that particular day in that particular performance.

It is attractive to fixate on the sounds. They are easy to hear and somewhat of a novelty. Many audiophiles get stuck at this level and very much enjoy a stereo which magnifies all these aspects. The think to remember is: what does this have to do with the original performance? We do not focus on attack, decay, or soundstage when we are sitting in a concert hall listening to a string quartet.

Likewise, it is easy to fall into the trap of the other extreme, seeking out the idea behind the musical piece as the ultimate goal. But, if this were the case, we would be talking about how well a particular performance achieved those goals, as we do when we discuss real live performances.

Instead, the goal of the Sound, is to achieve a connection to the expression of the musical performance -- to understand what the musicians were thinking when they were playing, to revel every time they succeeded in getting the crescendo right, and to sigh when they didn't quite get the composer's intent. The goal of seeking the Sound is to connect with that experience, mistakes and all, to know if the soloist almost got a bit lost on that last run, to feel the ennui of the cellist thinking about her next cigarette break.

How does this connect with audio? In my opinion, listeners who prefer additive error more often than not tend to seek the Sound (and this may be because they have difficulty connecting with the Sound in the first place due to the way their brains are wired), because the essential aspects of a recording that express the Sound are preserved, and they are able to ignore any added distrotions so long as their connection to the Sound is optimized.

On the other hand, listeners who prefer subtractive error (assuming they are not caught up with sounds) may have a much easier time connecting with the Sound intrinsically or they may be unable to ignore artifacts or added distortions, so they are thus drawn to more so-called "neutral" systems.
11-08-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 3
Post ID: 8775
Reply to: 8774
The sounds and my stereo
fiogf49gjkf0d
It is easy to be attracted to the sounds -- the artifacts f stereo reproduction. The diving rod I use is to keep in mind that I am thinking about a stereo reproducing a recording of a musical performance. I want to connect as closely as possible with the feelings that I would have had if I were at that exact musical performance live and in person as when I am listening to my stereo at home.

When some aspect of my stereo draws attention, it is usually a bad sign. The lasting changes made to my stereo are the ones which initially seem bland or disappointingly neutral, yet this is the path that ultimately seems to allow me to make the transducer of the stereo invisible and allow me to connect to the music.
11-08-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 4
Post ID: 8776
Reply to: 8775
"Neutral" versus "Bland"
fiogf49gjkf0d
Very interesting way to frame it, Adrian.  I always unthinkingly thought of "neutrality" as "faithful to what's on the record", with a Grand Assumption that if there's music on the record, then a +/- "neutral" system will let it out "unscathed".  Here, "neutrality' is not to be confused with "bland", nor does it allow for much "distortion".  In other words, "neutrality" is for me an ideal based on my own Sense of the Sound, and, obviously, I never thought of it in the terms you're proposing.  In any case, I also tend to think of the average "musical" system as sounding +/- the same regardless of what it's trying to play, if you know what I mean.

I can say that I enjoy fine Burgundy very much, speculate and make money on wine and wine futures, and I also like spicy food.  I love all the "realistic" tonal color and "natural" ambience I can get, but I am also pretty sensitive to and intolerant of distortion in my playback, and I think I tune it accordingly.

It would be educational to have you listen to and pronounce on my efforts, since I would of course not be put off if my system were "lacking"/bland in your terms, according to your theory, if I understand you correctly.


Best regards,
Paul S
11-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 172
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 5
Post ID: 8779
Reply to: 8775
An audio Dic
fiogf49gjkf0d
Let's first try to go over some concepts to see if the both of you are speaking the same language (from Sphile's glossary):

coloration
An audible "signature" with which a reproducing system imbues all signals passing through it.

distortion
1) Any unintentional or undesirable change in an audio signal.
2) An overlay of spurious roughness, fuzziness, harshness, or stridency in reproduced sound.

musical, musicality
A personal judgment as to the degree to which reproduced sound resembles live music. Real musical sound is both accurate and euphonic, consonant and dissonant.

dull
Lifeless, muffled, veiled. Same as "soft," only more so. The audible effect of HF rolloff setting in at around 5kHz.

dynamic
Giving an impression of wide dynamic range; punchy. This is related to system speed as well as to volume contrast.

neutral
Free from coloration.

timbre
The recognizable characteristic sound "signature" of a musical instrument, by which it is possible to tell an oboe, for example, from a flute when both are sounding the same note

tonality
In music, the quality of an instrument's tone, often related to the key in which the music is written. In audio, mistakenly used in place of "tonal quality."

tonal quality
The accuracy (correctness) with which reproduced sound replicates the timbres of the original instruments. Compare "tonality."

transparency, transparent
1) A quality of sound reproduction that gives the impression of listening through the system to the original sounds, rather than to a pair of loudspeakers.
2) Freedom from veiling, texturing, or any other quality which tends to obscure the signal. A quality of crystalline clarity.

---

I find most systems people call:

musical to be bland and lifeless (all sounds the same and pretty undynamic)

transparent to be bright and overwhelming in detal

euphonic to be as syrupy as an eggnog...


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
11-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 172
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 6
Post ID: 8781
Reply to: 8776
Music's ingredients
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
Very interesting way to frame it, Adrian.&nbsp; I always unthinkingly thought of "neutrality" as "faithful to what's on the record", with a Grand Assumption that if there's music on the record, then&nbsp;a +/- "neutral" system will let it out "unscathed".&nbsp; Here, "neutrality' is not to be confused with "bland", nor does it allow for much "distortion".&nbsp; In other words, "neutrality" is for me an ideal based on my own Sense of the Sound, and, obviously,&nbsp;I never thought of it in the terms you're proposing.&nbsp; In any case, I also tend to think of the average "musical" system as sounding +/- the same regardless of what it's trying to play, if you know what I mean.<BR><BR>I can say that I enjoy fine Burgundy very much,&nbsp;speculate and make money on wine and wine futures, and I also like spicy food.&nbsp; I love all the "realistic" tonal color&nbsp;and "natural" ambience I can get, but I am also pretty sensitive to and intolerant of distortion in my playback, and I <EM>think</EM> I tune it accordingly.<BR>


Hello Paul,

At the moment I am trying to figure out how distortion and tone relate to clarity.
For me it's very important that a system can produce contrast between piannissimi and forti as dynamics are one of (symphonic) music's main ingredients, something that a composer will always add to the pot. This somehow seems to be, in my limited experience I should stress, related to clarity and also to the ability of a system to play loud without distorting.
Dynamics, as most other sound characteristics, are of course recording dependent.
This fact does raise an interesting question: if all recordings sound different, how do we get a good tone? Since a system with "good" (or bad) tone would mask the sound of the recording, what I wish for is a system to portray a broad range of tonal colours. How to get there from here? I have no idea (limited time and budget, and very little technical knowledge don't help either).

Cheers,
Tuga


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
11-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 7
Post ID: 8788
Reply to: 8781
Something for Nothing
fiogf49gjkf0d
Tuga, clarity is certainly an important prerequisite for true dynamics, where "dynamics" is the musically meaningful idea of differences as applied not only to SPL but also to "rate", such as the space/contrast/interval between a 1/8 note and a 1/16 note, for example, and also to "timing", such as the point where a note begins or ends, as well as how it begins or ends.  As has been observed here, good "clarity" is not really all that common, and it is too often got at the expense of "stripping" away some temporal and/or dynamic aspects of the musical event, or "bleaching" away color/harmonics/ambience.  This can give the chain "less to do" and so create a greater sense of organization/clarity, but the downside should be obvious.  Attention to these considerations can also yield the wonderful benefits of quiet dynamics, including pauses and certain delicious ambience cues.

Tone and color are not the same.  Tone involves shape in addition to pitchThe idea, I think, is that a system should be capable of producing all tone and all color heard in live music.  If a component/system has its own signature "tone", then it is said to be "colored".  And likewise if a system is limited with respect to its available range of colors, it is thought of as "colored" according to its limitations, by which we identify the sound of the system itself, or it is thought of as "washed out".  One should not "add tone" to a system, but add to the system's ability to create tone.

Ironically, even a "dynamic" system can have trouble with dynamics, IMO.  I am thinking here of cartridges and speakers that can really crank up the sound, and that do contrast very well, but that call attention to themselves in the process, like one of those fitness-type "dancers".  Of course this phenomenon is observed in degrees, but it drives me nuts; the quintessential "high-end" "hi-fi".  IMO, although results are important, for the best results the means should get out of the way, too.

One thing we don't talk about very much - considering its prevalence - is noise, per se.  Noise can ruin music by confusing/overloading the system and our ears/nerves.  But too often attempts to cut noise also result in a homoginized and/or constipated sound.  The ways noise starts and propagates is for another thread, but it is a critical factor in getting a system to "work", that's for sure, and noise certainly affects color and dynamics, and, to a lesser extent, tone.

I see the ideal of "neutrality" as a system that allows and facilitates all the variety found in music without adding or subtracting anything, according to our experience of the music.  The real chore is to keep the whole thing balanced with real world compromises. For me, any "tone" that characterizes, say, a transducer, is a compromise.  I realize that this puts us at the mercy of our recordings.  But I have been surprised as much as pleased to find great music all over the place, not just from "audiophile recordings; in fact, pretty much not from audiophile recordings.  I am particularly gratified to find so much music in older records, despite their so-called "obvious limitations".

Where this leaves us is very much a question of how far along we are in our relationship with both music and reproduced sound/music, and our determinations about what works and does not work in terms of playback, all of this in abstract terms.  Of course this is a process, and in that sense "end results" is an oxymoron.  It looks like one's system will be a reflection of one's understanding on these levels, facilitated/exacerbated by whatever level of mania one experiences during the quest.

Best regards,
Paul S
11-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 8
Post ID: 8791
Reply to: 8776
Distortion and neutrality
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
"neutrality' is not to be confused with "bland", nor does it allow for much "distortion".; In other words, "neutrality" is for me an ideal based on my own Sense of the Sound, and, obviously, I never thought of it in the terms you're proposing.
Naturally there will be some audiophiles enamored with sensational artifactual sounds, with the physical appearance of vacuum tubes and blue LED’s, with the theory of circuit design extant of the sound, etc. However, for those audiophiles concerned with tuning their systems to the Sound, I am suggesting that the process is necessarily subjective and idiosyncratic – that there is no one objective perfect stereo set-up because we all hear differently.

Most of the terms we use are shaped by the audio reviewers who have applied them to different stereo components. Thus, when I say “neutral” I actually refer to the sonic signature I hear with most components that have been described as “neutral.” I am not referring to true neutrality the way it has been discussed in other threads on that topic. This is because based on what I am saying about how we all have the same goal but all hear differently, while we may have a goal of “true neutrality,” a component or a system could NEVER be described as neutral, since we all hear differently and thus differently tuned systems will be necessary for each listener to achieve true neutrality.

The idea of distortion is an interesting subject. There are clearly many different types of distortion that occur. Why? We have many different ways of describing characteristics of stereo components: soundstage, timbre, dynamics, transparency, etc. However, this implies that there can be a specific defect (i.e., type of distortion) for each of these descriptors existing mutually exclusively. Thus, it is not as simple as saying, “I don’t like distortion.”

Again, nobody likes distortion, but the types and amounts of distortion each individual can tolerate may be variable. Hence what may sound “musical” to one person may sound “horribly distorted” to another listener.

11-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 9
Post ID: 8792
Reply to: 8776
Synesthesia and audio?
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Paul S wrote:
I can say that I enjoy fine Burgundy very much,&nbsp;speculate and make money on wine and wine futures, and I also like spicy food; I love all the "realistic" tonal color and "natural" ambience I can get...


Paul you bring up an interesting point. One would not intuitively think that there would be a relationship between the number of taste buds on your tongue and your taste in music. I also like spicy food and enjoy a "musical" system, though.
11-09-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 10
Post ID: 8793
Reply to: 8781
Good and bad tone?
fiogf49gjkf0d
 tuga wrote:
At the moment I am trying to figure out how distortion and tone relate to clarity. For me it's very important that a system can ... play loud without distorting.
Of course both tone and clarity can have their own types of distortion. It sounds like you are very much having a preference for what I would call subtractive error (i.e., not tolerating any form of added distortion) but also still a bit obsessed with the sounds of your recordings, like the dynamics and clarity.

 tuga wrote:
If all recordings sound different, how do we get a good tone? Since a system with "good" (or bad) tone would mask the sound of the recording, what I wish for is a system to portray a broad range of tonal colours.
Well I do not agree that a system's "tone" would "mask" the sound of a recording. I would say it is all a part of an interactive chain that includes the original musicians all the way to your brain. However, this is probably why we all have favorite recordings -- these were probably recorded in a way best suited to our ears and brains (excluding glaring recording flaws of course).
11-10-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,295
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 11
Post ID: 8798
Reply to: 8773
The additive and subtractive listening
fiogf49gjkf0d

Adrian, I do not know if I agree with the theory or even with view of additive and subtractive listening. I feel that those approaches exist but I do not see them conflicting at all. In my view the reaction to reproduced music might be stratified within 7 levels:

1) Static perception
2) Dynamic perception
3) Emotional perception
4) Esthetic perception
5) Ethical perception
6) Re-Creative perception
7) Not Named Level

( From: http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=50 )

So, the additive vs. subtractive listening  “works” only at the most primitive Static perception level.  This is very simplistic level (where 99.99% of audiophiles minds operate) and if listening takes place ONLY at this fist level then I might agree: that additive vs. subtractive listening   might be responsible for differences in awareness about audio results. However, as soon listening consciousness moves to Dynamic level of perception then all bets are off and all illusionary cartoons that awareness made in listener’s head at the Static lever get reevaluated and become wiped out.  I propose that if a perception of a progressed listener operates at higher then Static level then the techniques that the person use  to get information at the Static level (additive vs. subtractive) care no consequence.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 12
Post ID: 8801
Reply to: 8798
Additive error and Seven levels of Listening
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:
I feel that those approaches exist but I do not see them conflicting at all. So, the additive vs. subtractive listening&nbsp; “works” only at the most primitive Static perception level.
I must disagree with this assessment. It is certainly up to the listener what depth of the seven levels he will listen to any particular piece of music on the stereo; however, all the information is there on the vinyl to provide this capacity.

Therefore, it must be that anything that can affect the audio reproduction can potentially affect all levels of our perception.

As you correctly describe it, it is the listener's PERCEPTION which is delineated into seven levels, NOT the music or the audio reproducing system. Certainly it is my experience that a certain stereo component can improve so-called clarity or some static concern but can have simultaneously a negative impact on emotional understanding of a piece or of other levels of perception. It is actually this very strange observation that has led me to formulate the idea of additive and subtractive errors in audio.
11-10-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,295
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 13
Post ID: 8803
Reply to: 8801
The propagation of listening attention across the levels...
fiogf49gjkf0d
Disagree. I researched this subjects. The propagation of listening attention across the levels does not happen as asymmetric cause-consequence. Also, it is not up to the listener to select the depth of the levels listens. (With exception of some expert Targeted Listening ™). I mean a listener does not do consciousness chooses but the "levels" are already in places. All 7 levels are there and act simultaneously, of cause with different amplitude. The lower levels act as blocking mechanism for higher levels, not truly blocking but rather as “power consumption” levels and that “consumption” eats out listening strength. The definition of success at each level could be determined ONLY by how far the success was reached at the NEXT level. It is impossible to have “improvement” at lower levels but at the same time to have a negative impact at higher levels. That is very much a base of my stratification of listing attentions. Under the umbrella of the 7th levels the meaning of “improvement” does not exist as abstract binary entry but very much self-evaluating and self- assessing entry… So, therefore diving deeper into Dynamic Level I feel it is almost-irrelevant if any additive or subtractive listening took place at Static level.


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 14
Post ID: 8809
Reply to: 8803
Copernicus, Ptolemy, and Listening
fiogf49gjkf0d
Firstly I do very much agree with the fundamental idea of the seven levels of audio perception, but my view on them is slightly different.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Also, it is not up to the listener to select the depth of the levels listens.
This implies that it is up to the stereo equipment to determine the perception and perhaps there can be one ideal stereo system. While it is consistent with what is observed, it means that there is no human variation in listening (unlike what has been demonstrated for all other human senses) and means that many people very interested in audio perversely prefer stereo systems they know sound bad. It is a difficult position to defend.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
The lower levels act as blocking mechanism for higher levels, not truly blocking but rather as “power consumption” levels and that “consumption” eats out listening strength.
Have you never been in a mood where a song comes on the car stereo which moves you greatly emotionally? Yet it is despite the very poor quality of the audio reproduction.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
The definition of success at each level could be determined ONLY by how far the success was reached at the NEXT level.
This says that the seven levels are linked (i.e., an effect on the the 1st level will impact the 4th, etc.) so that it implies errors on the static level must by definition affect the other levels.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
It is impossible to have “improvement” at lower levels but at the same time to have a negative impact at higher levels.
It is like saying you can not have a better frequency response but a worse transient response simultaneously. I do not buy it. I would suggest that all types of listening may potentially be mutually exclusive: static, dynamic, emotive, etc.

Adrian
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tuga


Posts 172
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 15
Post ID: 8810
Reply to: 8809
Romy's Unvollendete...
fiogf49gjkf0d
 drdna wrote:
Firstly I do very much agree with the fundamental idea of the seven levels of audio perception, but my view on them is slightly different.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
Also, it is not up to the listener to select the depth of the levels listens.
This implies that it is up to the stereo equipment to determine the perception and perhaps there can be one ideal stereo system. While it is consistent with what is observed, it means that there is no human variation in listening (unlike what has been demonstrated for all other human senses) and means that many people very interested in audio perversely prefer stereo systems they know sound bad. It is a difficult position to defend.



Hello Adrian,

I too am very tuned into Romy's Unvollendete. The way I see it, it somehow synthesizes the way an evolved person (which we all aspire to become someday) approaches a work of art.

And I agree that "a certain" system could somehow trigger the process but couldn't it be possible that "you" are traveling about the different levels unconsciously?

Best,
Tuga


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
11-10-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 16
Post ID: 8811
Reply to: 8810
The point: variations in listeners
fiogf49gjkf0d
 tuga wrote:
I too am very tuned into Romy's Unvollendete. The way I see it, it somehow synthesizes the way an evolved person (which we all aspire to become someday) approaches a work of art.

And I agree that "a certain" system could somehow trigger the process but couldn't it be possible that "you" are traveling about the different levels unconsciously?

Hi Tuga,

I take it for granted that a part of any process of perception must necessarily be unconscious. These are independent but not mutually exclusive. The amount of conscious perception varies with attention/focus.

Perhaps I just don't understand you correctly, as it seems a bit of a non sequitur.

I am saying:
1. All people listen differently.
2. The act of listening substantively affects the perceived sound.
3. There will be one ideal system for any individual listener but not one for all listeners.
4. The higher levels of listening perception are not independent of audio errors. A component change may simultaneously improve dynamics while lessening emotional impact, for example.

Adrian
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Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,295
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 17
Post ID: 8812
Reply to: 8809
Just another brick in the wall
fiogf49gjkf0d

 drdna wrote:
This implies that it is up to the stereo equipment to determine the perception and perhaps there can be one ideal stereo system. While it is consistent with what is observed, it means that there is no human variation in listening (unlike what has been demonstrated for all other human senses) and means that many people very interested in audio perversely prefer stereo systems they know sound bad. It is a difficult position to defend.

It is stereo equipment determines perception, it is the force of a given performance, it’s the power of composer’s interpretation of the idea, it is level of importance of the idea for the listener, it is the fluency of listener in the language of musically, and it is many other things. It is the melt of many ingredients and I would not assent one over another. A stereo system is just another brick in the wall of mach larger picture…

 drdna wrote:
Have you never been in a mood where a song comes on the car stereo which moves you greatly emotionally? Yet it is despite the very poor quality of the audio reproduction.

That set a need to review what the “quality of the audio reproduction” is. Let me to pitch a very fine moment in this. “Quality” is not what is “good” but what is “not bad”. The purpose of the lower levels is not to saturate the level with goodies but rather do not hurt at current level…

 drdna wrote:
This says that the seven levels are linked (i.e., an effect on the the 1st level will impact the 4th, etc.) so that it implies errors on the static level must by definition affect the other levels.

The linkage of the levels is given by the nature and was described in the initial interaction of SLLB’s elements. However, I feel that the most connection the levels have with neighboring levels.

 drdna wrote:
It is like saying you can not have a better frequency response but a worse transient response simultaneously. I do not buy it. I would suggest that all types of listening may potentially be mutually exclusive: static, dynamic, emotive, etc.

But the frequency response and transient response are both the subjects of the same first static level. I do not like the idea of mutually exclusive or encapsulated levels. It is opposite, the levels are much and non-exclusive opened but they opened not by intelectual connectively but by the fact that consciousness has ability of instantaneously browse time, space, perception and associations. Pretend this: you have 7 huge books with 2000 pages each and you need to found a single phrase somewhere in them. You might start to “search” from start of the first book or from the end of the last book. That would computers do. However, consciousness is able to enter the search at once in the infinite number of entry points of each book and to “search” in infinite amount of directions, with infinitely small resolution, and infinitely-large speed. Consciousness kind of simultaneously presented at each location of the books but navigation from book to book (from level to level) is not the matter of migration but rather the matter of recognition and acknowledgement.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-10-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 487
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 18
Post ID: 8814
Reply to: 8812
Effects can be mutually exclusive
fiogf49gjkf0d
Again, I want to emphasize that I very much agree with the idea that there are levels of perception. Your explanation is nevertheless a good one and is consistent with my ideas as well. I simply feel that once can AFFECT levels of perception independently.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
It is stereo equipment determines perception, it is the force of a given performance, it’s the power of composer’s interpretation of the idea, it is level of importance of the idea for the listener, it is the fluency of listener in the language of musically, and it is many other things. It is the melt of many ingredients and I would not assent one over another. A stereo system is just another brick in the wall of mach larger picture…
Very true. So imagine a situation where a listener is a professional cellist. The orchestral piece has a cellist that is not a good player. The listener is so fixated on the cellist's playing (e.g., he came in late, he scooped that note, etc...) that he is not connected to the piece as a whole, unlike another listener who is not a professional musician and is able to enjoy the whole orchestral work. So here is an example of an effect where emotional perception is decreased but dynamic and aesthetic perception are heightened. I simply say the same can be true of effects from an audio system.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
“Quality” is not what is “good” but what is “not bad”. The purpose of the lower levels is not to saturate the level with goodies but rather do not hurt at current level…
This is the basic idea of preferring "additive error."

 Romy the Cat wrote:
But the frequency response and transient response are both the subjects of the same first static level.
Yes, it was only an example, maybe not the best one.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
I do not like the idea of mutually exclusive or encapsulated levels.
Yes, sorry, I meant to say NOT that the LEVELS are independent, BUT that effects and errors can AFFECT levels independently.

Adrian
11-11-2008 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 172
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 19
Post ID: 8820
Reply to: 8811
Random access memory
fiogf49gjkf0d
 drdna wrote:
 tuga wrote:
I too am very tuned into Romy's Unvollendete. The way I see it, it somehow synthesizes the way an evolved person (which we all aspire to become someday) approaches a work of art.

And I agree that "a certain" system could somehow trigger the process but couldn't it be possible that "you" are traveling about the different levels unconsciously?

Hi Tuga,

I take it for granted that a part of any process of perception must necessarily be unconscious. These are independent but not mutually exclusive. The amount of conscious perception varies with attention/focus.

Perhaps I just don't understand you correctly, as it seems a bit of a non sequitur.

I am saying:
1. All people listen differently.
2. The act of listening substantively affects the perceived sound.
3. There will be one ideal system for any individual listener but not one for all listeners.
4. The higher levels of listening perception are not independent of audio errors. A component change may simultaneously improve dynamics while lessening emotional impact, for example.

Adrian


Hi Adrian,

I agree that listening (and hearing) are very much people (individual) dependent.
Different people focus on different aspects of the (domestic) musical experience. Even the same person, depending on the mood of the moment, can have a different approach to a musical piece presented by the same system.
I think that perception and level traveling capabilities are more the subject of internal than external influences. It's up to you to consciously build the database that will then be randomly accessed by the subconscious.
I once read an interesting essay by Merleau-Ponty on the subject of perception called "L'oeil et l'esprit". I'm not sure if this is the translated version:

http://www.amazon.com/Phenomenology-Perception-Routledge-Classics-Merleau-Ponty/dp/0415278414/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226404039&sr=8-1

Best,
Tuga


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
04-16-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Amir
Iran
Posts 129
Joined on 02-11-2009

Post #: 20
Post ID: 10240
Reply to: 8811
7 Level
fiogf49gjkf0d
 drdna wrote:

 
I am saying:
1. All people listen differently.
2. The act of listening substantively affects the perceived sound.
3. There will be one ideal system for any individual listener but not one for all listeners.
4. The higher levels of listening perception are not independent of audio errors. A component change may simultaneously improve dynamics while lessening emotional impact, for example.

Adrian


I hope to undrestand views correctly.
I think :
1. All people listen differently more in first levels of awarness
2. is not so and is more on first levels
3. I'm not sure
4. agree but higher level to me means less awarness and i think audio errors are very very small effects on higher levels





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