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In the Forum: Playback Listening
In the Thread: The unintended consequences of binaural things in Hi-Fi.
Post Subject: The unintended consequences of binaural things in Hi-Fi.Posted by Romy the Cat on: 8/4/2009

The last year there was some chatter up about artificially created so called “digital drugs”. If you are not familiar with it get familiar here for instance:

At the bottom of it a delivering of same sound to right and left ear with a very slight frequency bias, like left ear has a few hertz upper or lover pitch then right ear. The bias might be fixed or variable and might be modulated with the tempo of sound. The point behind it when a brain is trying to reconstruct the composite picture it goes a bit crazy trying to make since of it and those tasks pretty much do not exist in real world and our brain has no normal factions to do it.

The subject of using the binaural stimulators is not interest me but there is something in this that I find worth to consider. Do we have in audio the intended binaural misbais?

I will give you examples that made me to think about it. A few months back during my experimentation with different DHT tubes for MF channel of Melquiades I come across to the observation that when I used specific different tubes on right and left channels then I has very abnormal none-liner imaging corruption and sound generally made a great deal of discomfort. Drdna advised that it was due to I used different tubes and he was right - putting the same tubes on right and left channel fixed the problems. Still, I did not feel satisfied.  I know from my experience, and I did experimented this subject,  that the identical balance between right and left channels is not necessary to get proper “stereo” and that brain has an ability to tune itself off from tonal misbalance between right and left. So, if two Drdna’s tubes had different sonic signature then why did I have problems? Well, if to arm ourselves with the concepts of binaural misbalance of frequency then would it be possible that two specific different DHT tubes might create different pitches? A pitch is a tip of summit of fundamental frequency. So, it we presume that one tube make a note “A” as 440Hz and another tube makes it 470Hz then would our brain experience the  binaural discomfort even thought the sound when it reaches our years get greatly randomized?  I have to note that we have no absolute comfort reference to the location of the “A” pitch. There the history of music tuning to “A” was greatly fluctuating from Brits who played in 17 century “A” as low as 380Hz to Germans in 19 century that sometimes had “A” tuned as high as 490Hz. All of it is perfectly acceptable and out mind perfectly deals with but not in the case when left ear hears one center pitch but right ear heard another one. Pay attention that in my compliance about imaging corruption with use of the different tubes bother Drdna and I noted that it most happened on the extreme peripherals of lateral imaging – or at the location where one ear got the most attenuation from the speaker of opposite side.

Another example took palace a couple months back when Mani “made” me to buy Pacific Microsonics Model Two. Listening the Model Two next to my Lavry Gold I notices that Pacific has a very-very slightly differed pitch. It knows it sounds like BS but it is what it is. My Pacific Microsonics Model One had no “tuning” difference from Lavry Gold, my Bidat has absolutely identical pitch with Lavry Gold. The Pacific Model Two is slightly off. It affects absolutely nothing but there was one time a month back when I semi-accidently played left channel from Lavry Gold and right channel from Pacific Model Two. It is hard to describe that sound. It was not “bad” sound but it was sound that I just did not understand (I did not use headphones). Can that luck of my understanding of the sound derived from the fact that Pacific and Lavry rendered the intended binaural bias?

Audio people love to talk about “comfort” of pleasurable and congenial audio listening. I like to talk about contra- pleasurable listening and my own version of “simulative listening”. Would it be possible that among many aspects that are responsible for our perception of Audio Sound the binaural bias is a bit underestimated as we feel that at speakers level everything is mixed as the binaural pitch offset does not matter?

I still would love to sit at the middle of the very first rows and to hear a full orchestra with oppositely located first and second violins, but tuned at different pitch to play something. If the effect is impactable than would it be possible to CAPITALIZE on it, orchestrating certain things for slightly off-tuned instilments or sections positioned at very extreme right-left?  Has anyone have done it so far?

Rgs, Romy the Cat

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