The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Does anyone know what the scientific term is for when the brain “adds” audio?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Franco's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Does anyone know what the scientific term is for when the brain “adds” audio?

I’m wondering if there’s a Scientific term for this, let me describe what I mean:

I’m mastering a song for a client (they produced and mixed the track) where they’ve used a sample of a speech in the intro, right before the first verse. The issue is that you really can’t make out what that clip of the speech is saying, it just sounds like words that (to my ears) sound tucked under the instrumentation.

He tells me he can hear it just fine (again, he’s produced the track and mixed it so he knows what that bit is, because he sampled it from the original speech and also mixed it).

We are moving on, and I’ve told him that it’s possible that because he has heard the isolated speech, his brain is able to pick out the words over the rest of the music, but that someone listening to the track for the first time might not, especially if they’ve never heard that particular speech. I thought it would be good to know if there’s a proper term for this effect; does anyone know?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Earcatcher's Avatar
Expectation bias?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 

The term is probably "cross correlation" but as Earcatcher indicates it is related to expectation or what you know or remember about a sound already.

Some air traffic controllers can hear noisy radio speech in very low SNR transmissions and still find it intelligible because their brain "cross correlates" a known command or remembered waveform or signature with the noisy signal and can "dig it out".

Have a look at Cocktail party effect too.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocktail_party_effect

The late great Prof Charles Taylor from Cardiff Uni did a lot of work on starting transients in musical instruments and their importance in recognizing individual instruments in an orchestral tutti for example. The brain is very clever.

Last edited by David Spearritt; 4 weeks ago at 01:01 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
lowland's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
The brain is very clever.
Incredible how we infer the presence of a fundamental tone on detecting a series of harmonics as when we 'hear' low bass from a speaker that rolls off well before that point, something manufacturers have traded on for decades.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Addict
Auditory hallucination - but Earcatcher is probably closer to what you are thinking with expectation bias.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Silvertone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I highly recommend the book This is your Brain on Music. It’s a heavy read but delves into how the ear/brain mechanism works.

We communicated with music before speech was developed. Music is the only thing that uses and is stored in every part of the brain. Now think about that for a moment. It’s stored in your memory which is why it can transport you in time. It’s stored in muscle memory, it can make you dance, I move when I play bass guitar and never knew why. It’s part of my retrieval system to remember bass lines.

It’s proven that people become smarter when exposed to music education. All music appreciation classes should be restored in our school systems.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Verified Member
...could also get associated with the wide field of psychoacoustics if not being at the core of how we function: we're making up things in a way which seems to make sense!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
mastermat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertone View Post

It’s proven that people become smarter when exposed to music education.
I don´t say you are wrong, but it´s not proven! as far as I know those studies failed to be reproduced and don´t count as scientific proof therefore.
basically everything that makes your brain "work out" makes you "smarter". music on the contrary is less effective in this than other things, eg playing chess. in fact it couldn´t even be "proven" by scientific standards that there is a benefit of musical education (also instrument playing) for the "smartness", whereas it could be proven without a doubt for other activities of the brain (eg chess). but what does "smart" mean anyway. there are certainly different forms of smartness
music doesn´t make you smarter imo, but it makes you wiser and more aware - but that´s of course difficult to prove (if possible to proof at all).
just read about that, sorry for trying to be a smart ass, but my alarm bells are going on everytime people mention "something is proven"

Last edited by mastermat; 4 weeks ago at 02:58 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
I get locked into listening to the track I'm working with and I exclude others to the point where other tracks get buried but I'm not realizing it at the time. I used to mix my vocals too low until a learned a trick where you take off your headphones and place them about 4 feet away and gradually turn down the master. When the vocals are the last thing you can hear then you are in the ballpark.

For me it's a little like painting and the use of color. For instance, stare at a magenta piece of paper then look away at green grass and trees. The green will look more intense than normal. While that has something to do with the rod and cones in our eyes, probably has a lot to do with our optic nerves and visual cortex. The same may hold true for our other senses.

The only thing I can do to avoid it is to take breaks. Right now I don't have another pair of ears to help me so I'm always second guessing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
I’m wondering if there’s a Scientific term for this, let me describe what I mean:

I’m mastering a song for a client (they produced and mixed the track) where they’ve used a sample of a speech in the intro, right before the first verse. The issue is that you really can’t make out what that clip of the speech is saying, it just sounds like words that (to my ears) sound tucked under the instrumentation.

He tells me he can hear it just fine (again, he’s produced the track and mixed it so he knows what that bit is, because he sampled it from the original speech and also mixed it).

We are moving on, and I’ve told him that it’s possible that because he has heard the isolated speech, his brain is able to pick out the words over the rest of the music, but that someone listening to the track for the first time might not, especially if they’ve never heard that particular speech. I thought it would be good to know if there’s a proper term for this effect; does anyone know?
In the case you describe the closest scientific term would have to be simply: memory.

Interesting answers in this thread though!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
It seems Auditory Illusion best describes the phenomenon as it relates to sound.

It is relatively common for listeners to "hear" sounds that are not really there. In fact, it is the brain's ability to reconstruct fragmented sounds that allows us to successfully carry on a conversation in a noisy room.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...1125134655.htm


There is also a visual phenomenon called Filling In. It's not too much of a stretch to imagine the brain can do this with other senses or more broadly with information processing, but visual perception has dominated the research.

The manner in which the brain deals with inexplicable gaps in the retinal image—a process called filling in—provides a striking example of this principle. You can demonstrate this using the blind spot of your eye.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/a.../mind-the-gap/
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 

I once spent 5 minutes working on a track at the mix stage thinking this sounds great,
until I suddenly realised I had muted the bass - my brain was literally filling in the bass line in my mind.

The thing is, I have very good internal auditory imagery and just occasionally I can come unstuck with filling in audio
that's not there!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothTone View Post
It seems Auditory Illusion best describes the phenomenon as it relates to sound.
The phenomenon the OP was referring to was not filling in any gaps for stuff that isn't there, it is filling in the gaps because you have heard what's there before and know what to expect. These are two completely different issues.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
SmoothTone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
The phenomenon the OP was referring to was not filling in any gaps for stuff that isn't there, it is filling in the gaps because you have heard what's there before and know what to expect. These are two completely different issues.
Fair point. After thinking more about it, I think Fabien is probably closest with 'audio imagery.'

I still have a hunch that this 'filling in' is indicative of a meta process underlying all types of perception and information processing.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Well in the 60's/70's they called it... Stoned!

BTW we have "ghost images" in high level Chess too. Including sometimes myself!

As both a Singer and Chess Master, I'm firmly in "Silvertone's Camp" on this.

Chess AND Music both improve overall intelligence. I've worked with thousand of kids, over the years-training them in Chess.
Plenty of them were into Music Lessons, etc.
Chris
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Franco's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Some very interesting answers indeed! I asked around on reddit and someone made me aware of the “McGurk Effect”. Not exactly related to having the information beforehand, but their point was that your auditory perception is “tricked” by other sensory perception/memory. Here’s a video on that:

https://youtu.be/G-lN8vWm3m0
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 
12tone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
YOLE

'Yanny' or 'Laurel' Effect.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Adam Dempsey's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
In the case you describe the closest scientific term would have to be simply: memory.

Interesting answers in this thread though!
Yes I'd say acoustic memory, which can be very acute. Similarly, if I think of it (as opposed to an "ear worm" which is involuntary) I can still hear a song as clear as day in my mind that I heard at lunch yesterday, that I hadn't heard since the '80s.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Bignatius's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Addeurism
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Gear Nut
 
Aivaras's Avatar
 

That is what we do all the time when listening to the same piece of music through different sound reproduction systems: 1) passively developing and 2) actively applying our synthetic experience (adding up multiple experiences into a complex perceptual whole). Humans are synthesizers! When they're fed a waveform, each one inwardly produces (synthesizes) a different sound, albeit similar (the single-nature, communal, intersubjective aspect).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Agreed. Memory always play a huge role, whether the listener is aware of it or not.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Fay Smearing's Avatar
 

Maybe it's Schizophrenia.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Fay Smearing's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fay Smearing View Post
Maybe it's Schizophrenia.
You might be on to something there.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Addict
auditory hallucinations are not exclusive to schizophrenia

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/h/hearing-voices

don’t feel bad, though - most professional doctors that don’t even understand the difference between schizophrenia and other disorders

i blame the education system and pop culture/media
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fay Smearing View Post
Maybe it's Schizophrenia.
What a great Who album!
Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 
12tone's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
What a great Who album!
Chris
Also a great album by Wayne Shorter.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
Gear Addict
Sepultura!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
Lives for gear
OP: I think this is called "knowing what was said because he sampled it" syndrome. That's it.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump