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RE: A/B listening tests

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainwave_synchronization  :

>>The fixed, constant frequency of the synchronization...<<

please.... you're kidding us, right?

this kind of language-mangling does the semi-serious scientific research
into these phenomena absolutely no good at all.

[semi-jocose mode on]

I have my own theory regarding the perception of analogue & digital
audio, & it's more to do with these same super-low frequencies than
bit-depth or high-frequency response.
(I'd point out that no less an audio authority than rupert neve himself
conducted blind listening tests which determined that his test subjects
could reliably tell apart a sine wave & a square wave at 9kHz. if you do
the maths.....)

my theory posits that the reproduction of the audio is where the
differences creep in, & so it doesn't have much bearing on the outcome
if one's source material was recorded on an edirol flash recorder or
noah's walkman; it's to do with audio fingerprinting & tiny variations
in the timing of the various remembered/anticipated elements. 

your brain anticipates a reasonably predictable procession of sounds,
according to what you remember (or expect, if the audio is new to you). 

but because of the elasticity of the medium & of the mechanism (tape,
vinyl), analogue reproduction causes or allows perturbations in this
procession &.... well, you could call it "super-slow wow" if you wanted.
it's low-frequency modulation, anyway.
I suppose the end result is analogous (no pun intended) with playing
along with human musicians instead of against a drum machine. the brain
finds itself exercised, not unpleasantly, by these perturbations, & can
be disappointed if they are absent. 

this is why, when you replace a cherished vinyl LP with the remastered
digital version, you quickly get jaded & never play the album again. 
this leads to the whole unscientific "digital sucks" argument, when in
fact there is science in there to be had if only someone with more time
than me would get in there after it. 

it also explains why my drummer made the transition to digital audio
more comfortably than I did.

I use super-slow LFOs in my digital rompler synth modules to make them
sound nicer.

so. I blame quartz. :-) now I'm off to see if I can modify a cd player
to run off a non-quartz oscillator which I will bend out of a radio.