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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » sound question

   
Author Topic: sound question
RivalOfTheRose
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With absence of any room reflections, is it possible for humans to detect the vertical location of a sound that is centered in front?

I know both ears are on the horizontal plane, and the brain performs crazy calculations to find the audio location based the difference between the two ears, but would a sound that is perfectly centered be vertically indistinguishable?

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rollainm
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No reflection? I don't think that's possible.
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RivalOfTheRose
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Perhaps consider it theoretically?
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twinky
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Turn your head on its side!
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Dobbie
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That's already been tested scientifically.
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rollainm
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Then no. It is those reflections that allow us to target the origin of the sound.
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Jeorge
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Whenever I get done doing a ventriloquism performance, I will always have one or two people who say, "I could have sworn the voice was coming from the puppet's mouth!"

I just smile, and silently point at the left and right speakers at the front of the auditorium, and wait for it to sink in that the voice was actually coming from two sound sources several yards away from either me or the puppet.

Not that this has anything to do with the question at hand...it just amuses me. [Smile]

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rivka
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Humans are spectacularly bad at determining the source of a sound, and not just because of reflections.
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Jeorge
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And we tend to be very unaware of how bad at it we are.
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DSH
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeorge:
And we tend to be very unaware of how bad at it we are.

Until your phone ends up between the cushions of your sofa or under a pile of clothes on laundry day! [Wink]
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