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Thread: Auditory Scene Analysis (ASA) explained

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Williams View Post
    Frantz

    I'm not a smart engineer like you to prove anyone wrong but you have been in and out of this thread on many occasions by your own volition. All I see John doing is to ask skeptics to think out of the box. Speculation...... perhaps but maybe not. I'm not a neuro scientist but then again neither are you. Beyond that I've been reading this with interest. I have nothing to contribute but not sure you do as well. Curiosity has always piqued my interest Frantz. Without it we would likely be back in the dark ages. Yet I have no idea whether there is fact or fantasy in ASA. Yet I'm an interested reader without casting aspersions nor doubts

    When I had just graduated meds school there was a young doctor who had some wild thoughts which were beyond mainstream medicine as we were taught. He was frowned on, shunned, laughed at and even sanctioned by the medical board. He kept doing what he did and challenged people to his way of thinking. Many years later he was proved correct. Is there an analogy in this story? That's up to you to judge and hence my comment re your signature line. If you believe what you put in your signature you might just think a little about either doing what John is asking or if you can't do that then that signature imo is contrary to your beliefs.
    Steve, ASA isn't fantasy - it's a well respected & active area of research & not some idea of mine

    What I'm doing is relating how the findings of ASA explain the reports of realism, soundstage clicking into place, air around instruments, etc - it's all about how the brain's processing of the sound better matches the internal model of hearing that we all have - it really is that simple.

    What is difficult is teasing out this model - it's not fully unraveled yet
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  2. #22
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] microstrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post
    (...) The Schumacher quote, I feel strongly about and try to abide to with (alas) too often spectacular failings: It is about the removal of complexity, not a negation of skepticism, of questioning and of discussing.. Far from that
    Curiously, the Schumacher quote, written by well known the author of "Small is beautiful", can be considered an abetment, even an endorsement of the boutique high-end audio and empirical developments of small manufacturers. The quote is not centered on removal of complexity at all, but on the small scale - the human scale. Anyway, Schumacher is an economist, I consider that the quote is meaningless in this thread...
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by amirm View Post
    From parallel thread where John indirectly references the book, "Auditory Neuroscience: Making Sense Out of Sound" which as best as I can figure out, he has not read:

    ...snip

    So we learn that ASA is a concept but not fully embraced by research community. Indeed the author goes on to explain how the test that John provided in hearing a tone within noise does not at all need ASA to be explained:
    ....snip
    In other words, the basic science of psychoacoustics is relevant and powerfully explains a lot of what we hear.

    That is not to say the concepts behind ASA don't have applicability. The cognitive part of our brain does get involved in interpreting sound. Here is the author again on the effect of vision on what we hear:

    ...snip

    And of course the whole notion of placebo and hearing elasticity is all a function of the brain as opposed to ear.

    Cognitive aspects of our hearing does explain for example why we don't hear room reflections as "echos" or why we can hear the signature of a speaker through the same reflections in any room.

    What it cannot be used for is random assertions that this and that imagined distortion is an audible problem.
    You were doing so well up to this point. And yes, we use all our senses when perceiving something - mainly because any one sense doesn't provide enough information in it's signal stream to come to a conclusive judgement about what's being sensed (remember we are perceiving the world every second we are awake so quick judgement is essential).

    "Random assertions", "imagined distortions", "audible problem" - could you use any more of a loaded sentence? I'm not even going to dissect this - it's getting boring to hear your same hand-waving assertions over & over.
    Such claims need to be demonstrated first using controlled testing. Proper references provided. Measurements to back it, etc. Otherwise it is just random chatter in a forum which I ignore, this thread notwithstanding at the moment.
    Sure, Amir, keep telling yourself this if it is the comfort blanket that you need.
    Last edited by jkeny; 05-19-2017 at 02:02 PM.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post
    Steve

    Not a problem with your approach. i for one am quite at ease with the fact that we don't know it all and that there aspects of things that are not easily explainable by current knowledge. So I hear you (pun intended) and feel comfortable with your viewpoint. As long as it is admitted that this is speculative, then I am fine. I can live with it. Coloring it as Scientific is what I object to.
    Additionally . How can we move forward if all that we do is admit without discussing? Which means coming up with different and contrarian viewpoints? Then JKenny and other will be forced to come up with better ways to frame their points, to convince.

    The Schumacher quote, I feel strongly about and try to abide to with (alas) too often spectacular failings: It is about the removal of complexity, not a negation of skepticism, of questioning and of discussing.. Far from that
    You know, I agree with you, Frantz - I find challenges help me to solidify my thinking on a topic & also to express it in a way that better communicates the concepts.

    But only if the challenges are specific & logical & show that the person is actually engaged in trying to understand what's being discussed.

    Hand waving & generalised objections are not of much value for moving a thread forward or for my honing of my thoughts
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post
    Could well be microstrip. In the absence of perfect knowledge we are left with .. again ... speculation ... The questioning in itself is healthy unless you just want us to accept anything and everything. You are not preaching that.. Are you?
    Frantz, I'm not asking you to accept anything but I am asking you to engage in a meaningful way that shows you have an interest in the subject & have read & follow the posts.
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  6. #26
    Member Sponsor [WBF Founding Member] FrantzM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by microstrip View Post
    Curiously, the Schumacher quote, written by well known the author of "Small is beautiful", can be considered an abetment, even an endorsement of the boutique high-end audio and empirical developments of small manufacturers. The quote is not centered on removal of complexity at all, but on the small scale - the human scale. Anyway, Schumacher is an economist, I consider that the quote is meaningless in this thread...
    OK
    Frantz
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  7. #27
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    If people want a good overview of ASA, this 2013 paper does a good job "The what, where and how of auditory-object perception"

    Oh & nearly forgot this link to Bregman - a video of one of his talks http://www.music.mcgill.ca/bkn25/videos/Bregman.mp4
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkeny View Post
    Ok, I think I see what you are asking - why do I mention digital audio as a different case to analogue audio & what has ASA got to do with this? Bear with my explanation until the end

    How we analyse audio signals isn't fully formed at birth - the mechanism is there ears, cochlea, auditory nerve, brain mechanisms, etc but it has to be learned. Just the same as speech isn't fully formed at birth but has to be learned - the mechanisms are there but learning is involved.

    We learn from the sounds in the real world. We generate our analyse based on the behaviour of these sounds. For instance we all now know that a big instrument will produce a series of harmonics resulting in a perception of deeper sound. We all now know that distant sounds have their HF attenuated. We all know that sound behaves in certain ways based on our experiences/examples of real world sounds. We didn't always know this, we learned it through constantly encountering the same experience of sound behaviour in the world & imprinting it in our analytic engine (brain).

    We do the same with all our senses - we learn & imprint the examples encountered in the real world.

    So when we first visited a hall of mirrors it was fascinating because we were seeing things in an unusual & funny way. We found them funny because we could understand how the distortion from the usual way of perceiving object occurred - it wasn't confusing/disorientating.

    Now if we couldn't understand the relationship between what we were perceiving & the image we are used to seeing, we might just be disoriented - if this presented image was the result of digital processing. For instance, if what we saw was slightly pixelated, & we are encountering it for the first time, we may sense something is wrong but not know what as we don't have the a reference for it - we have never encountered it before in our experience of the real world

    Now back to audio - analogue audio can only be wrong in a limited way - it is constrained by the mechanical & electrical behaviour of the devices which it uses to record & replay the signal - microphones, mic amps, amps, tape machines, vinyl cutting machine, turntables, needle, arm, etc. The errors introduced in this process are constrained by physics

    My point about digital audio is that it is the result of mathematical manipulation & signal processing - it is not constrained by the parameters of the physical world - subtle errors which haven't been encountered before & we have no reference for can be encountered. We can sense something is wrong but yet not know what it is - we have no frame of reference.

    Well we do have a frame of reference - it's how we have learned to analyse audio from birth & this is what ASA is about. With digital signal processing there are so many new ways in which the signal can be changed (purposely or in error) than are possible when we were relying on electro-mechanical means for recording/reproduction

    There, simple isn't it ?
    Against my better judgement and I will live to regret it

    John What do you mean that Digital is not bound by the physical world? it is. John.
    You don't hear Digital , We only hear analog and what we hear has lower and upper limits and digital won't change that.
    WHy is it in the absence of knowledge most people cannot discern digitally manipulated sounds from Analogu, even to the point that some claims (wrongly) to be aqble to derive the quality of a system from a Youtube clip a rather crude digital construct when compare to the SOTA DACS and High Res we have here?????

    At the end anything we hear when reproducing music in the here and now is through electromechanical means devices. I read somewhere in a High ENd AUdio forum that an Edison cylinder had a special sound. We had one at home and several 78 and frankly ... ... We are not yet at the point where sounds go directly to our brains through the application of electrodes on our skins or directly at a machine to human purely electrical interface and for that i doubt it would remain in digital form. At this point in time the interface remains electro mechanical and Analog .. We discuss here on WBF about an analog, electromechanical interface!! About electromechanical devices.. That is what our TT, DACs, Cartridge, DAC, Phono Preamp, DAC, R2R, DAC, preamp, SET, AMP, SS, and finally speakers contribute to make of electricity soundwaves for our enjoyment or not

    Another thing .. When you and perhaps most people visit a hall or mirror they may not have been disoriented or annoyed. OTOH, I, have seen people panic in Hall of mirrors.. So your experience is not a rule. Then again we are speculating... we can continue but I fail to see the relevance of ASA to Digital Audio which many here find perfectly acceptable and able to convey all the emotions they need from music , we even have some new converts . I say to them: Welcome !
    Frantz
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    "For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."
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    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
    — E. F. Schumacher
    (mis-attributed to A. Einstein)

  9. #29
    Site Founder And Administrator Steve Williams's Avatar
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    I don't see any new converts at all Frantz. I see people interested in discussing an interesting topic. Does that make me a convert? Definitely not. Your welcome comment I saw as somewhat acrimonious
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrantzM View Post
    Against my better judgement and I will live to regret it

    John What do you mean that Digital is not bound by the physical world? it is. John.
    You don't hear Digital , We only hear analog and what we hear has lower and upper limits and digital won't change that.
    What I meant was that prior to digital audio we were using electro-mechanical means of recording & reproduction - which are bound by the physical world. I thought I had explained this clearly?

    WHy is it in the absence of knowledge most people cannot discern digitally manipulated sounds from Analogu, even to the point that some claims (wrongly) to be aqble to derive the quality of a system from a Youtube clip a rather crude digital construct when compare to the SOTA DACS and High Res we have here?????

    At the end anything we hear when reproducing music in the here and now is through electromechanical means devices. I read somewhere in a High ENd AUdio forum that an Edison cylinder had a special sound. We had one at home and several 78 and frankly ... ... We are not yet at the point where sounds go directly to our brains through the application of electrodes on our skins or directly at a machine to human purely electrical interface and for that i doubt it would remain in digital form. At this point in time the interface remains electro mechanical and Analog .. We discuss here on WBF about an analog, electromechanical interface!! About electromechanical devices.. That is what our TT, DACs, Cartridge, DAC, Phono Preamp, DAC, R2R, DAC, preamp, SET, AMP, SS, and finally speakers contribute to make of electricity soundwaves for our enjoyment or not
    Hmmm. you are either purposefully pretending to not understand my posts or you really don't - I can't decide which yet?

    Another thing .. When you and perhaps most people visit a hall or mirror they may not have been disoriented or annoyed. OTOH, I, have seen people panic in Hall of mirrors.. So your experience is not a rule. Then again we are speculating... we can continue but I fail to see the relevance of ASA to Digital Audio which many here find perfectly acceptable and able to convey all the emotions they need from music , we even have some new converts . I say to them: Welcome !
    Right, I've given you the benefit of the doubt but decided you are not here to actually add anything other than disagreement with me, smoke & confusion - you certainly show no signs of listening to or understanding anything I posted.

    I won't be replying to you, Frantz unless you show an intention of engaging in a meaningful way with the thread topic

    Actually, I'll deal with the highlighted text "I fail to see the relevance of ASA to Digital Audio" is that not what I just tried to explain in a post in answer to this very same question of yours? So what's the point in coming back with exactly the same question as if I hadn't said anything? This is why I find your attitude here to be disingenuous - you don't wish to engage in what I said, you misunderstand or don't take time to read it & just post the same question again
    "which many here find perfectly acceptable and able to convey all the emotions they need from music"
    What is it about this way of thinking shown here & by Amir also - a binary way of looking at things which I suspect is just a debating tactic. I already explained that people can find their system sounds great & couldn't be better, then they discover with some addition it sounds even better, more realistic, etc. Does this mean that they found their system unacceptable prior to its improvement? No it doesn't. So using the argument that "many here find perfectly acceptable and able to convey all the emotions they need from music" is a meaningless as far as this is concerned
    Last edited by jkeny; 05-19-2017 at 02:45 PM.
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