This is a fascinating article about a brand new study in human auditory perception that is showing that there have been "naive" applications of mathematical formulas onto our understanding of human auditory perception. 

I cannot claim to understand the math (the Fourier Unicertainty Principle lies at the heart of the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem, etc), but I can see that this study shows that the assumed limits of human auditory perception as figured by the Fourier Uncertainty Principle were too narrow - especially when expert listeners (a pro musician and an electronic music producer) are tested.

Some readers may realize that I'm posting this because of my concerns over the blanket acceptance of AB and ABX testing as the "gold standard" or human perceptual testing.  In no way am I claiming that my hunch about AB testing is vindicated by this new paper, but I do think it points to some interesting new areas of research that could reveal more about the limits of human perception, and about the different dimensions of sound (time-based events and frequency based events) that we can perceive and how those dimensions interact.

More pointedly: until scientists devise and conduct more tests like this one, we may need to continue with a skeptical stance toward the application of mathamatical formulas and AB/ABX testing as the end-all of our windows into human perception.

As always, keep a really open mind!  The Aesthetic Revolution will be beautiful.

I thank musician and all-around brilliant guy, Brad Williams, for pointing this article out to me.

Read about the new findings here.

 

Tape Op is a free magazine exclusively devoted to
the art of record making.

 
Tue, Sep 2, 2014 - 4:07AM
Add your two cents to the discussion below:
:
:
:
:
:
 
Sun, Feb 17, 2013 - 10:31AM
jc said about this:

>>> but I can see that this study shows that the assumed limits of human auditory perception as figured by the Fourier Uncertainty Principle were too narrow - especially when expert listeners (a pro musician and an electronic music producer) are tested<<<

What limits were so "figured"??? Very few people did believe that human auditory processing was FFT based, so these experiments are just confirming mainstream opinion. And what limits relevant to an ABX test would ever have been affected???

It really sounds to me as if you are using something you don't understand as an excuse to justify believing something that you want to believe is true....

 
Sun, Jun 30, 2013 - 3:49AM
Tomás Mulcahy said about this:

jc has perfectly described the fallacy here.

Here's a dragon slaying article by John Watkinson that might help, it explains how sampling works:

http://www.resolutionmag.com/pdfs/DRAGONS/sampling.pdf

 More Entries 
Larry Crane · July 29, 2008
Some Tape Op readers started this site/podcast some time back. More home recorded music. -LC "creot radio is produced by an international collective of independent artists. shows are recorded by individual hosts and are intended to reflect the...
Larry Crane · Jan. 11, 2012
Some Maybe Not-So-Obvious Items Every Studio Needs  In the past we've run a few columns about items every studio should have, like Sharpie pens and masking tape, but here I decided to look around me and think about all the items that aren't...
Larry Crane · Nov. 3, 2011
Artist/writer Keri Smith came up with this list some time back and it took on a life of its own. During a chat a client showed this to me as we were discussing being a musician and people that were "unhappy" with their lack of success. This sure...
Larry Crane · May 12, 2009
Our pal, Howard Massey, has a new book out, Behind The Glass Volume II. Volume I was a real treat, and Howard also co-wrote Geoff Emerick's excellent Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. There's a ridiculous amount...
Garrett Haines · Oct. 8, 2010
Lord knows why I was up, but at 7 am on September 14, 2010 the Today Show was on my television. They had a special musical guest scheduled, legendary singer Robert Plant. Before performing, Mr. Plant, answered a few questions from NBC’s...
Allen Farmelo · April 6, 2014
As we exit the era of digital audio data compression and begin the ascent into higher sample rates for consumer consumption (via multiple platforms, though most popularly Neil Young's PONO system), we are finding ourselves as a community of...
Larry Crane · Feb. 16, 2011
So during the mixing of a project last month I asked the band who they had picked out to master their album. They told me about someone I'd never heard of who was doing the job for very cheap, and I said, "Good luck." When they forwarded a...
Garrett Haines · Jan. 24, 2014
"...from what I have seen, the industry is fatally flawed. Everyone seems to want something for nothing and few are willing to pay for what something is actually worth. Plus, there are thousands of graduates flooding recording studios each year...
Vijith Assar · Feb. 17, 2009
Via the Village Voice and meta-via Brooklyn Vegan comes the tragic news that the NYC recording studio operated by Daptone Records was burgled last night, with a remarkable amount of main brain Gabe Roth's vintage gear lost. Even...