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Auditory memory

MarkS

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How about visual memory or is that different?
The analogy to audio would be to compare two pictures, the same except that the tint has been very slightly changed on one, or a very small amount of pixel noise added (changing the brightness, say, of each pixel randomly by a small amount). It's MUCH easier to detect this if you can compare the two pictures side by side, instead of looking at one, and then, a few hours later, looking at the other.

But, as noted on this thread: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...alogue-of-blind-tests.8675/page-6#post-837183
I'm no longer interested in this discussion.
 
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pkane

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Side by side visual comparison may not be so easy. Which square is darker, A or B?

1625514680693.png



The analogy to audio would be to compare two pictures, the same except that the tint has been very slightly changed on one, or a very small amount of pixel noise added (changing the brightness, say, of each pixel randomly by a small amount). It's MUCH easier to detect this if you can compare the two pictures side by side, instead of looking at one, and then, a few hours later, looking at the other.
 

Blumlein 88

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The analogy to audio would be to compare two pictures, the same except that the tint has been very slightly changed on one, or a very small amount of pixel noise added (changing the brightness, say, of each pixel randomly by a small amount). It's MUCH easier to detect this if you can compare the two pictures side by side, instead of looking at one, and then, a few hours later, looking at the other.

But, as noted on this thread: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...alogue-of-blind-tests.8675/page-6#post-837183
I'm no longer interested in this discussion.
A better method is flipping between the two pictures. Have them the same resolution, and flip from one to the other in an instance. Any differences are starkly revealed. People have an idea side by side is better, but you do better with this flip method in my experience.
 

Blumlein 88

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I can't remember
Knowing what you know, remembering what you can ;) and taking stock of your personal experience, how long or how do you think comparing tracks should be carried out? Or is it merely that comparison of tracks itself you wanted to rant about?

I've mentioned I think 30 seconds is a good segment for listening. Yes it will miss the finer things, but if you can't pick it out that way it is at worst a small difference.
 

mansr

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A better method is flipping between the two pictures. Have them the same resolution, and flip from one to the other in an instance. Any differences are starkly revealed. People have an idea side by side is better, but you do better with this flip method in my experience.
Sometimes looking cross-eyed at side by side pictures makes minor differences literally jump out.
 
OP
Wes

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Knowing what you know, remembering what you can ;) and taking stock of your personal experience, how long or how do you think comparing tracks should be carried out? Or is it merely that comparison of tracks itself you wanted to rant about?

I've mentioned I think 30 seconds is a good segment for listening. Yes it will miss the finer things, but if you can't pick it out that way it is at worst a small difference.

I advise listening tests at both short and long terms, including hours.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I advise listening tests at both short and long terms, including hours.
Agreed but I also like my switchovers to be instantaneous, if possible, to enhance apparent contrast. ;)
 
OP
Wes

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Yes, we need a good, cheap "box"
 

Blaspheme

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I can't remember
I thought my browser failed to render something.

Anyway, to re-cap, conventionally we have sensory memory (direct, high resolution, fast-decaying) of which echoic is the auditory component (2-3 seconds apparently) then short term memory (10-15 seconds) and long term memory (where short term memory is consolidated and stored, unless discarded). Sensory memory is sometimes contested and presumably the part you referred to as not so well understood (or agreed) so there's that. Then we have synaptic consolidation (occurring within a few hours) and larger scale systems consolidation (occurring over weeks to years) and reconsolidating (reactivation of consolidated). Standard-ish stuff.

I think the echoic audio testing dogma misses something. Fast switching variable duration makes perfect sense. But I'll speculate that consolidated audio memory is possible at a level of detail beyond broad-brush. My example: I don't change audio gear much or often, so replaced an amp I had for ~15 years. The new amp was AB, measured well, yada yada like the old one and was quite—and initially—satisfactory (yeah my experience happened to be with an amp, if that's bothersome follow along and pretend we are talking about a speaker to get to the point, I imagine the same would apply). Same setup in every other detail. After a short time (days/a week or so) I was bothered when playing familiar music, which didn't sound so right. New music, no problem. Familiar music, wrong. I expect it was an amp-speaker-room synergy issue (assuming it existed, but again bear with me). This went on for several months. Yes, sighted bias, all the things. But still, I couldn't shake it. I assumed my ear/brain would re-calibrate, but it never did (at least not over the course of 3-6 months). I suspect I'd consolidated the memory of the long-term previous amp's sound in sufficient detail. Doesn't prove a thing of course, but it was pretty weird.
 
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Hayabusa

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When I was teenager I noticed that after a 2-3 week holiday, being deprived from listening from my home stereo, the stereo imaging was really spectecular when coming back home! This effect only lasted for hours, after that my brain/ears somehow got used to it.
So there are some time constants at work here that take weeks to 'wear off' and take hours to get back to the old situation.
This could maybe explain that changes in the sound can be perceived as 'better' at first glance but will wear off shortly after that.
 

sergeauckland

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When I was teenager I noticed that after a 2-3 week holiday, being deprived from listening from my home stereo, the stereo imaging was really spectecular when coming back home! This effect only lasted for hours, after that my brain/ears somehow got used to it.
So there are some time constants at work here that take weeks to 'wear off' and take hours to get back to the old situation.
This could maybe explain that changes in the sound can be perceived as 'better' at first glance but will wear off shortly after that.
I still have that experience when away from home for any period of time.
Indeed, even an evening listening to a friend's system, at first it sounds 'wrong', then after a time, say half an hour or so, it sounds fine, then when I go home, my system sounds 'wrong' at first.

I think that as long as a system basically decent enough, it will sound right after a period of acclimatisation. That's another reason why I never choose equipment by listening, as I can get used to anything as long as it's decent enough.

S.
 

Madeintooting

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Many years ago, listening alone to "Strong Persuader" by Robert Cray at immense volume my wife poked her head round the door and shouted "Phone Call" .

I still hear that "Phone Call" at exactly the same point in the song whenever I play it.
 

Pennyless Audiophile

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Speaking for myself I remember systems I heard in general terms, even some specifics, say, this morning, last week, last year, even fifty years ago. I suspect most people can remember such things too. You can remember what Elvis’ voice sounds like, right?

What you remember are the sensations and the emotions that the music gave you. Among those the sensation is the feeling of realism, if any. Another thing I remember is the soundstage built by the recording and I can say if it changes shape.
Plus you can remember particularly impressive snippets of sound.
For example the clocks in Pink Floyd's "time" are engraved in my memory.
I don't recall the tonal balance but the details (the breathing of a singer, the strings of the guitar, some background noise etc) I can retain forever.
Remembering the actual sound is almost impossible.

I am wondering how do professionals do it.
 

DSJR

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I still have that experience when away from home for any period of time.
Indeed, even an evening listening to a friend's system, at first it sounds 'wrong', then after a time, say half an hour or so, it sounds fine, then when I go home, my system sounds 'wrong' at first.

I think that as long as a system basically decent enough, it will sound right after a period of acclimatisation. That's another reason why I never choose equipment by listening, as I can get used to anything as long as it's decent enough.

S.


The dealer that's left in me tells me different, though I'm almost certainly being fooled here. I hear a good sounding stereo and it's immediately good and stays that way (I don't really care what the system is composed of and I've been surprised by some combinations I thought unlikely but which work for some reason). I go home and my current shit sounds, well, shit! I take twenty minutes or so to accommodate the tone so I can try to enjoy the music emanating forth, but going to hear something better I hear this immediately. I've swapped sources and amps to absolutely no avail and the old speakers upstairs have a totally opposite balance to the larger boxes down here so if I use them I swap a boomy all but bland noise for a toppy superficially 'exciting' one. Herself has decreed I mustn't change speakers until we know if we're moving or until after we've moved and then of course visuals will be paramount importance I suspect (I may be allowed the old Spendors back if the grilles are refurbished). Got so say it's been a long time since I've come home every night eager to play decently reproduced music after a day playing music via gear in the store.
 

Geoffkait

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Your judgment regarding the sound quality of any audio system is formed by the best system you ever heard. That’s what your “ideal sound” is, the best system you ever heard. People sometimes spend a lifetime chasing the dragon of that sound.
 

Blaspheme

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Your judgment regarding the sound quality of any audio system is formed by the best system you ever heard. That’s what your “ideal sound” is, the best system you ever heard. People sometimes spend a lifetime chasing the dragon of that sound.
Spending an afternoon with those Focal Grande Utopias was a mistake then.

When I was teenager I noticed that after a 2-3 week holiday, being deprived from listening from my home stereo, the stereo imaging was really spectecular when coming back home! This effect only lasted for hours, after that my brain/ears somehow got used to it.
So there are some time constants at work here that take weeks to 'wear off' and take hours to get back to the old situation.
This could maybe explain that changes in the sound can be perceived as 'better' at first glance but will wear off shortly after that.
Several times when I've spent a some hours with a particularly good system, it's taken a couple of weeks for mine to sound good again. I expect the re-adjustment time may vary with the degree of difference.
 
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Blaspheme

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What you remember are the sensations and the emotions that the music gave you. Among those the sensation is the feeling of realism, if any. Another thing I remember is the soundstage built by the recording and I can say if it changes shape.
Plus you can remember particularly impressive snippets of sound.
For example the clocks in Pink Floyd's "time" are engraved in my memory.
I don't recall the tonal balance but the details (the breathing of a singer, the strings of the guitar, some background noise etc) I can retain forever.
Remembering the actual sound is almost impossible.

I am wondering how do professionals do it.
It makes sense that we would consolidate high key events to long term memory. I expect it would be inefficient to retain vast amounts of high resolution detail. Your synapses would suck all the calcium out of your bones.

As for professionals, I think reference sound for comparative purposes (for example) would be high key and thus consolidated.
 
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