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Old 16th December 2013, 01:41 PM   #11
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pano View Post
Bill, on the flip side prove to us that it is not. I can do it blindfolded. But if using pure tones it can be hard to locate most sounds. Use band filtered noise and it's much easier. Try it yourself.

I know you said no personal stories, but I want to see solid evidence that it is not before I believe that it is not.
Okay fine, Pano, YOU are allowed an anecdote. Merry Christmas.

Myself, I'm sorry to disappoint, but I will not be providing any useful evidence one way or another. A useful result must exclude any mechanical or port noise, any box talk, any higher harmonic content, etc., that would provide undue cues for localization, and I know my limits.

My listening "laboratory" is a 110-year-old house with squeaky wood floors and rattling windows. Even if I had 10 bass boxes I could arrange into a 180-degree arc and a helper running a switch box for a blind test, there would be too many induced squeaks and rattles coming from every which way. That's why I'm interested in the results of those who have the wherewithal to perform legitimate scientific inquiry.

There must be a paper or two out there with good methodology and definitive answers...
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Old 16th December 2013, 01:51 PM   #12
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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Originally Posted by jcx View Post
sub frequencies are modal in small rooms - dominated by standing wave resonances and location of speakers relative to boundaries

there's no "floor bounce" at 50 Hz with most speakers sitting closer than 1/4 wave, 5' to the floor
Very true.

Regarding floor bounce cancellations, sorry I wasn't clear: I wasn't talking about bass, but higher frequencies where floor bounce would manifest, but frequencies too low for pinna transform to provide an elevation cue. What I recall reading is that human aural processing can use floor cancellation cues to assign an elevation to a sound source. But I can't find the study again...
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Old 16th December 2013, 02:23 PM   #13
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Think its the time delay I can hear rather than the frequency itself. Or maybe the bounces in the room. Big open spaces I find it harder to locate than in a small room for example.
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Old 16th December 2013, 02:40 PM   #14
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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Originally Posted by Absconditus View Post
My question is; why are you asking the question? (As you well know, such open questions often invite comments from people with "odd" ideas, many of whom are on my ignore list.) Do you wish to open a large can-of-worms that will, in all probability, offer nothing more than an exercise in the abstruse.
Ah! So you are skeptical of my skepticism. Well played sir!

Here's the background to why I'm asking the question:
My living room is rather typically sized and has a sparse modal zone (problem zone!) from about 40Hz to 120Hz. Thinking of how this could be overcome in an ideal scenario led me to the technically sweet "double bass array" (DBA) concept that attempts to launch plane waves the size of your entire front wall. Of course, this setup requires summing to mono--up to 120Hz in my case. Would I be giving up anything important in losing stereo separation up to 120Hz? I expect my perception would still be dominated by the properly located mid and treble cues, but this is just my conjecture.

Also, I thought this might be a useful discussion since co-locating bass sources with mid and treble may not provide the smoothest bass response. People seem to assume this is where bass speakers MUST be located, and this is common sense, but I'm just wondering if it has a solid perceptual basis, and if that justifies lumpier bass, which I think we can all agree is very audible.

If it turns out we have more perceptual wiggle room than we thought we did, then we can feel encouraged to seek higher levels of system refinement by moving our bass cabs around.

Last edited by Bill F.; 16th December 2013 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 16th December 2013, 03:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bill F. View Post
Ah! So you are skeptical of my skepticism. Well played sir!

Here's the background to why I'm asking the question:
My living room is rather typically sized and has a sparse modal zone (problem zone!) from about 40Hz to 120Hz. Thinking of how this could be overcome in an ideal scenario led me to the technically sweet "double bass array" (DBA) concept that attempts to launch plane waves the size of your entire front wall. Of course, this setup requires summing to mono--up to 120Hz in my case. Would I be giving up anything important in losing stereo separation up to 120Hz? I expect my perception would still be dominated by the properly located mid and treble cues, but this is just my conjecture.

Also, I thought this might be a useful discussion since co-locating bass sources with mid and treble may not provide the smoothest bass response. People seem to assume this is where bass speakers MUST be located, and this is common sense, but I'm just wondering if it has a solid perceptual basis, and if that justifies lumpier bass, which I think we can all agree is very audible.
The lower registers where the male voice predominates is normally associated with the woofer in a 2-3 way so placing them together was (is) the only way for proper integration. If we break the traditional mold, and place midbass/woofer/sub into their appropriate zones we can and often do move the subs or like per Geddes multi point/flank them. To get all that right limits the system to one sweet spot, but at least we've got one

The first system I built to address this was a sub sat system back in '84. Limits on technology in that day held back what could be achieved eg digital delay in 84? not happening
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Old 16th December 2013, 03:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bill F. View Post
Would I be giving up anything important in losing stereo separation up to 120Hz? I expect my perception would still be dominated by the properly located mid and treble cues, but this is just my conjecture.
Bill,

1) Your conjecture is correct.
2) Most (good) recordings have bass instruments centered, so there is little stereo separation below 120 Hz to start with.
3) Although I have no problem locating the origin of audio below 120 Hz outdoors, it is more difficult in small rooms.
If the DBA does indeed eliminate room modes below around 120 Hz, the advantages in sound quality would outweigh the lack of the few directional cues that would no longer exist that low.

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Old 16th December 2013, 03:50 PM   #17
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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The lower registers where the male voice predominates is normally associated with the woofer in a 2-3 way so placing them together was (is) the only way for proper integration. If we break the traditional mold, and place midbass/woofer/sub into their appropriate zones we can and often do move the subs or like per Geddes multi point/flank them. To get all that right limits the system to one sweet spot, but at least we've got one
Obviously much depends on where you split your bands. In a typical 3-way, the woofer might go up to 400Hz or more, and it could certainly be audibly localized (in azimuth) in its upper range by the perceptual mechanism of interaural time delay (ITD).

But I'd say it's far less of a slam dunk at lower freqs. ITD becomes less useful as ear-to-ear phase difference shrinks. At what point does the perceptual system begin to lose its grip, and what is the range of uncertainty? This is what I would like to find out.

Also, I believe Dr. Geddes would argue the opposite about multi-subs. They tend to average out room response lumps for smoother response over a wide area. If all you care about is the bass response at a single seat, then a single sub and an hour or two of move-and-measure can deliver a decent result.

Last edited by Bill F.; 16th December 2013 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 16th December 2013, 04:27 PM   #18
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Yes, there has been research done in this area. However, relying on Wiki or google will not get you very far. So far the question needs a bit more defintion before it can be answered.

Certainly down at 200 Hz, there is still decent localization. The mechanism would not be binaural differences in intesnsity, but rather binaural differences in time (it is more productive to think in units of time rather than phase).
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Old 16th December 2013, 04:32 PM   #19
badman is offline badman  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pano View Post
Bill, on the flip side prove to us that it is not. I can do it blindfolded. But if using pure tones it can be hard to locate most sounds. Use band filtered noise and it's much easier. Try it yourself.

I know you said no personal stories, but I want to see solid evidence that it is not before I believe that it is not.
Couple issues here-

1) Band-limited noise- perhaps higher frequency intermodulation artifacts are what you're localizing with band-limited.

2) I want to see solid evidence that your localization is not related to higher frequency artifacts before I believe it is not (note the fallacy of disproof).


I like lots of Sd in subs, finding that big subs disappear better- less localization. This would tend to indicate that the localization is tied to a higher frequency distortion mechanism. I get the same reduction in location cues from proper isobaric mounting, or bandpass mechanisms. I do run my mains full range with 40-50hz extension, so it's less an issue for me than someone considering a stereo setup with 80-120hz mains HP and trying to decide between mono or stereo subs.
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Last edited by badman; 16th December 2013 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Incoherent ramble correction
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Old 16th December 2013, 04:39 PM   #20
Bill F. is offline Bill F.  United States
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Quote:
Yes, there has been research done in this area. However, relying on Wiki or google will not get you very far. So far the question needs a bit more defintion before it can be answered.

Certainly down at 200 Hz, there is still decent localization. The mechanism would not be binaural differences in intesnsity, but rather binaural differences in time (it is more productive to think in units of time rather than phase).
My dear W/Tarragon, if we cannot expect Wikipedia and Google to deliver the known universe into our laps, then are we not a lost generation????

Let me try to reiterate my question:
Does anyone know of a scientific study quantifying the average human ability to locate sound sources--in azimuth or in elevation--over the range of frequencies between, say, 50Hz and 200Hz?

I have already mentioned the mechanisms of interaural time delay (azimuthal localization) and floor-cancellation analysis (elevational localization). There may be more, so feel free to shed any new light. What remains to be established is exactly how well these localization mechanisms work at the frequencies in question.

Last edited by Bill F.; 16th December 2013 at 04:47 PM.
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