Randy on audio.

If I ask the most basic audio Question, "What part of your body do you use to hear with", most would deem it a silly question. Ears!!! Well, you are wrong. The specialised hairs lining our ears convert The frequency of sound waves, and their amplitude(volume) into electrical pulses(they are transducers,more later) but we cannnot hear these electrical signals.
We hear with our brain.
This may seem a silly distinction but it has more implications for subjective audio than almost anything else, so again....
We hear with our brain.
This means, amongst other things, that what we think we "hear" is affected by what we see, preconceived notions, memory, popularity, self-imageand on and on. At an Aes meeting, 400 of the best ears in usa were played a short piece of unintelligble noise. Playback stopped and all were asked if they could discern any words from the gloop. Not one engineer could make out 1 word. The track was replayed, but this time lines of text were simulteanously shown overhead. 400 hands went up. The words as written were easily heard throught the mess! But They Were not there! Our Sight cued our hearing on what to expect. Our vision made our brain pre-concieve what to hear, then Heard It!!!Soo, liking the video WILL change how you hear the song. Songs that you remember get other feelings attached to the memory, Like places, other people you enjoyed the song with, danced with and more These make Audio Engrams in our brain (another blog for this) These Engrams give songs their personal meaning, to us. (We all know a song where just the intro notes will trigger a cascade of emotions) Our brains do not make them for every song we hear, just the ones that mean something to us. As we age, engrams are harder to make, we are, on the whole, less receptive to new things. Tele1 saying "the peak of music was in 1975" is to me a ludicris opinion, as i have laid 1000's of songs with emotion and connection into my brain since then. But if no new songs have mean't much to Tele1 since then, his most recent engrams were laid in...1975. From his point of view This truly was hte peak of achieviement I listen, with Randette, eagerly to music we have not heard before, with as blank a slate as possible.
So close your eyes and listen as unbiased as possible
Music is listened to and danced to, and our audio focus is different for each. Many listeners focus on the vocals of a song as all important, the music a side dish. This is your loss. When focussing your audio attention on Vocals, this intricacies and subtleties of the music will be masked, so much so that you will nothear the musical notes with defined clarity. You think you are intimately familiar with the song, but the music is a far second to the vocals. Dancers and muso's listen foremost to the music, it's movement, placement and timing. It resolves to nuanced detail and you soon remember the bassline, beats, fills and effects. However the vocals also clearly resolve, sitting in thier sonic envelope within the song, which is much deeper and complex after several listens..
So, don't watch the video when evaluateing songs. Just listen down into the music.
Never, never never listen to a track on your fucking phone or similarly limited speaker at the give an opinion on it. You haven't really heard it. Opera thru a soundbar...fuck no, but phones are satan.
Volume and human hearing curve is another blog, but it is a huge difference experientially: suffice to say that as louder is always better, until distortion is evident(not metal distortion, Total Harmonic distortion). So you and i may playback the same song but mine will sound like a totally differnt cat, full of life and movement, but yours through a phone or Soundbar 2.1 is sucked of energy, life and nuance. Stereo music is recorded 2 channel, so your home theater does not help quality sound. These are movie based, often with subs for effect sonnds, not tight punchy bass. If listening on youtube, highest bitrate does make a big difference, and albumn versions are usually the best sounding. Listen to Tool at 128kbh compared to a Flac copy, and the 128kph is missing a lot of ....everything

Here is an effective way I know to improve your listening. Download"Harmon: how to listen" (win only) and install on computer with suitable speakers Or flat response headphones (audio technica are good price/clean quality, attached. It trains you to hear frequency changed by filters(EQ), and walks you through what different audio terms(phase, hum, etc) sound like' It was developed by Harmon Kardon to train their staff. Pass the program and you can repeatably reliably describe/point out aspects of sound quality to customers.

I wrote this quick and nasty. If it makes no sense to you i have failed to put it correctly. If anyone shows actually intrested I will make my clarity better. Next would be Human Ear freq response curves (remember loudness buttons?)And the vital role of volume in Audio experience.

Please, give a point of veiw but don't bother to try to change mine. I will expalin or clarify questions/citations but i won't argue with folks about this stuff. Been thru it. If i am unsure of a fact or statement it will be marked as opinion

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  • I traded in my JTM45 because I'm no longer playing in rooms big enough to crank it, I'm now using a Strymon Iridium thru IEM's, and whilst it's a decent facsimile, it's nothing like actual air being moved. 

    • Unless you are v.serious about your sound or making money emuators are just too practical.. Many swear they create exact waveform models of valve amps. They don't'. Just Nope. But they are close, and valve repair/tinkering is a dying expensive pain in the ass. My mate has blown tubes on a couple of jcm100's thru the heavy use of a powersoak( It's a big variable resistor that goes into your outputs, bleeding off current as heat, reducing volume but maintaining original freq distribution. It lets him drive Marsha(gotta run em hard to sound right) without destroying new neighbouring units.

      But it sends small unwanted feedback signal back thru amp,. They actually really efficient at turning valves into expenses


      • I know what an amp attenuator is, I tried using one once and it still wasn't the same. Nothing beats pure volume. 
        I agree that IR emulators are just too practical now. 
        I actually use two Iridiums in a Wet/Dry/Wet configuration, with one set up for the AC30 sound as my dry line, and the other set up for Deluxe Reverb setting for my stereo wet lines. 
        Have you ever watched That Pedal Show on YouTube ? They  did a couple of episodes on Hiwatt amps, and they are incredible. 

        • I Have an old Eminar head from 70's. A made in melbourne copy of Acoustic 360 amps.


  • I plead the fifth 

  • I hear you......but sound and music is all subjective.

    What one finds appealing others think sounds like an 80 year old smashing the doulton.

    Personally we hear what we want to hear and that's called bias. For mine the 80s was the best not just for music but movies, sport & so much more....

    • Oh and did I mention that was when Parra last won a premiership? Might have something to do with it also...

  • So, we hear with our brain, how the fuck does Dreggs hear?

  • My cock can hear a woman mentioning she's horny from the other side of a packed out AC/DC stadium concert.  The brain would be lucky to get a say the next day nerverlone hear it at the time. 

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