Your aural memory...did I really hear that?

Soundproof

New Member
Jan 13, 2012
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Oslo, Norway
I'm a tad annoyed, because I actually heard the variation on the one I missed in this test, but it was so small that I said the two versions were similar - and they weren't.

Which tells you a little bit about the acuity of musical perception required to do well on this musical memory test. Since you won't have longer to wait between exposures than just a few seconds, you'll get a good indication as to how well you can discern, remember and compare musical passages.
One disadvantage here is that these are generated tones, but then that's what most people listen to, anyway.

It's a test worth taking. If one scores very well, then it says something about one's ability to retain and compare, as posited by the TS.

You want to do the test at the bottom:
http://jakemandell.com/tonedeaf/

Here's my score. What's yours?

Skjermbilde 2013-06-09 kl. 21.26.06.jpg
 
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DonH50

Member Sponsor & WBF Technical Expert
Jun 23, 2010
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But what do you want from a bunch of engineers who continue to stomp upon any biological principles?

You must really hate engineers, Myles, to slam them at every opportunity. Bummer they are needed to design and build this stuff, pesky little buggers. Shoot, there's even a field of study called bioengineering, my son is interested in it.
 

Phelonious Ponk

New Member
Jul 1, 2010
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I feel fortunate if I can remember lunch. I think when people "remember" the sound of system, they're just remembering their impression of listening to that system, that day. Fair enough. Could easily be completely buggered by any number of physical or psychological factors and change completely another day, but fair enough. When people think they can hear a substantive difference between the preamp they're listening to now, and even one they listened to an hour ago in the same system, I just take that with a huge grain of salt. Are you set up to do rapid switching? Cool. No? Then you haven't got a chance unless you're comparing things that sound radically different.

Tim
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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Yeah, my aural memory is so bad that every time my mom calls me on the phone I say "Who is this?"
 

NorthStar

Member
Feb 8, 2011
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435
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
I'm a tad annoyed, because I actually heard the variation on the one I missed in this test, but it was so small that I said the two versions were similar - and they weren't.

Which tells you a little bit about the acuity of musical perception required to do well on this musical memory test. Since you won't have longer to wait between exposures than just a few seconds, you'll get a good indication as to how well you can discern, remember and compare musical passages.
One disadvantage here is that these are generated tones, but then that's what most people listen to, anyway.

It's a test worth taking. If one scores very well, then it says something about one's ability to retain and compare, as posited by the TS.

You want to do the test at the bottom:
http://jakemandell.com/tonedeaf/

Here's my score. What's yours?

View attachment 10172

Are you a professional audio reviewer? ...You sure have one of the several aptitudes required. :b

- BTW I cannot do the test as I am fighting a cold right now; but soon that I'm back in shape I will.
Thx for the link! :cool:
 

NorthStar

Member
Feb 8, 2011
24,308
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435
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
Aural memory has been investigated in the past, and it looks as if it’s rather bad. I attach a file (in Word 2003) which contains an excerpt of a JASA paper. View attachment 10165

Klaus

Nice find Klaus, that's a keeper. However, I think the "memory" here is timbre rather than absolute pitch. According to James Johnson of DTS, timbre memory is less than half a second. So it's even worse than for pitch.

--Ethan

Yes indeed Ethan; it is now in my computer's memory. :b ...Thx Klaus!

* Nice to see you pop up like that Ethan. :cool:
 

Soundproof

New Member
Jan 13, 2012
429
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Oslo, Norway
I feel fortunate if I can remember lunch. I think when people "remember" the sound of system, they're just remembering their impression of listening to that system, that day. Fair enough. Could easily be completely buggered by any number of physical or psychological factors and change completely another day, but fair enough. When people think they can hear a substantive difference between the preamp they're listening to now, and even one they listened to an hour ago in the same system, I just take that with a huge grain of salt. Are you set up to do rapid switching? Cool. No? Then you haven't got a chance unless you're comparing things that sound radically different.

Tim

This.

I have a freak ability when it comes to the exact pitch, pace, rhythm and phrasing of music - but as I've mentioned in another thread, I can't remember a line of lyrics. But since I have this freak ability, I can rely upon it to identify specific recordings, variations between performances and nuances in reproduction.
I only need a short time to be able to discern whether a PU/phono stage combination seems realistic; or whether a loudspeaker/room configuration works (for me).
This has also made me skeptical about many claims made in HiFi, because I haven't been able to discern the claimed differences in some instances, while they are ridiculously obvious in other, yet ignored.

I have arrived at the conclusion that we interject our preferences between the stimulus and our appreciation of it, to an immense degree. And that we really shouldn't put too much emphasis on the subjective evaluations of others - they may work for them, they are unlikely to work for you. That throws a spanner in the works for the audiophile industry, of course, but it doesn't take away one iota of enjoyment from the informed listener, who chooses to listen with his self, and not through the projections of others.
 

NorthStar

Member
Feb 8, 2011
24,308
1,272
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Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
I think this is an art (aural memory), and like any other art it can be developed, nurtured, and mastered.
And of course some people are more talented than others in that specific domain.
 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
11,854
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Manila, Philippines
yeah, my aural memory is so bad that every time my mom calls me on the phone i say "who is this?"

rofl!
 

KlausR.

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2010
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MylesBAstor said:
Any testing procedures would automatically make any conclusions null and void. Just read up a little bit on short vs. long term memory and perceptual abilities, specifically the inverse U function relationship. Oh yes the key is how to convert short to long term memory. Same goes with sports. And of course, that doesn't even take into consideration that it's absolutely possible to enhance skill/memory acquisition; conversely, it's also extremely easy to degrade the aforementioned perceptual abilities. But what do you want from a bunch of engineers who continue to stomp upon any biological principles?


If you think that aural memory is as excellent as the audiophile and reviewing community claims it to be, provide evidence to that effect. And what makes you think that the author of that paper is engineer, did you read his curriculum vitae?

Ethan Winer said:
Nice find Klaus, that's a keeper. However, I think the "memory" here is timbre rather than absolute pitch. According to James Johnson of DTS, timbre memory is less than half a second. So it's even worse than for pitch.

Certainly pitch memory is not the whole story but I think that if a simple task such as memorizing pitch is as difficult as this research shows it to be, then I wonder what memory would look like when it comes to memorizing more complex signals. How is memory for intensity, loudness, temporal aspects?

Have reviewers or audiophiles ever put their claimed skills to the test, under controlled conditions that is? Whenever I proposed double blind tests to audio forum members, both the genuine audiophiles and reviewers politely declined!

Klaus
 

Soundproof

New Member
Jan 13, 2012
429
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Oslo, Norway
If you think that aural memory is as excellent as the audiophile and reviewing community claims it to be, provide evidence to that effect. And what makes you think that the author of that paper is engineer, did you read his curriculum vitae?



Certainly pitch memory is not the whole story but I think that if a simple task such as memorizing pitch is as difficult as this research shows it to be, then I wonder what memory would look like when it comes to memorizing more complex signals. How is memory for intensity, loudness, temporal aspects?

Have reviewers or audiophiles ever put their claimed skills to the test, under controlled conditions that is? Whenever I proposed double blind tests to audio forum members, both the genuine audiophiles and reviewers politely declined!

Klaus

Given that we're dealing with people who can hear what fuses are being used in a system, achieving a perfect score should be easy, I'd think. :rolleyes:

 

JackD201

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
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Manila, Philippines
I scored a pedestrian 83.3 through my computer speakers.
 

KlausR.

Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2010
291
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Soundproof said:
Given that we're dealing with people who can hear what fuses are being used in a system, achieving a perfect score should be easy, I'd think.

I admit that I'm running the 100 m faster than Usain Bolt, when no one's looking and using the stop watch of Christoph Columbus :cool:

Those people hear what fuse is in their amp as long as they know what fuse is in their amp. The very moment someone (a.k.a. controlled listening test) is looking they don't hear it any more. Evil to him who evil thinks.

Klaus
 

Ethan Winer

Banned
Jul 8, 2010
1,231
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New Milford, CT
if a simple task such as memorizing pitch is as difficult as this research shows it to be, then I wonder what memory would look like when it comes to memorizing more complex signals. How is memory for intensity, loudness, temporal aspects?

Exactly, that memory is even worse than for pitch. If you've ever watched a singer come out on stage and start singing a cappella, then the rest of the orchestra or band plays, that singer had to remember the pitch for at least 10 seconds or whatever after hearing it off-stage before coming out. I've tested myself with this many times (almost daily for several years now), and I can usually remember the high E string on my guitar for five minutes or more. When my recollection is off, my memory is always lower in pitch. That is, the note I think I remember and then sing is a quarter tone flat from the real pitch when verified.

But timbre is much more difficult to recall. JJ claims that timbre memory is good for only 1/4 second, though I think I can retain it for at least a second or two. :D

--Ethan
 

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