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Sight vs Hearing
Old 22nd November 2009
  #1
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Sight vs Hearing

This is an digital vs analog question from a bit different angle.

I find it interesting that our sense of vision is so much more developed than hearing, so very few people have perfect pitch - recognizing frequencies without a reference point and almost everyone can do that with sight. So - you hear a frequency and you cannot say if it's a C or any other note, you only know if it is a low or high frequency, but you need a reference - intonation to know it, but everyone sees a frequency and says - "ah, green".

So up until recently if was painfully obvious to anyone if something was filmed with a digital camera or with a proper film camera. It wasn't until 2002 or something with one of the Star wars new trilogy that was filmed with a completely new Sony Digital camera and now with recent Red One cameras that finally achieved the resolution of film. Now we can't distinguish so easily whether it is a digital or analog shot movie. Before it was easy even for your grandmother and all - it looked "non-pro", like a home movie or something or at least "tv-production", not a proper movie, but now they can shoot digitally and it looks like H'wood...

It was (is) quite different with hearing - even the most primitive formats, converters, etc. could fool the hearing and now we have all those super accurate ones and can achieve anything. If it's properly done, nobody knows. And still the differencies are more in the artefacts than in the "resolution" of the medium itself - so even in the past that was what we mostly percieved - all the euphonic distortions, etc. , but in classical and other "clean" styles digital was percieved as an improvement (better S/N ration - better possible dynamic range, easier editing/cutting, etc.) even with lesser resolution than we have today. Interesting, no? If the film would be shot at those resolutions that we use for CDs, compared to analog it would probably look like VHS to us...

I say - today, digital technology is ripe enough. But how come our hearing is so much less accurate than our sight?

Also - what is this difference that if you record film analog or with contemporary high end cameras and release it on DVD it still looks pro, but if you would record it with lesser digital technology, you would see it immediately for what it is... similar as good audio recordings being recognized even after converting to mp3 - you still know if it is a pro or home sound... not neccessarily analog or digital - but obvioulsy we percieve some "meta"-data that enables you to recognize the quality even after the mp3 conversion. What is it that we percieve here?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
there are so many variables in the pro-sumer audio vs pro audio world that is adressed.

1. how monitoring is set up

2. how true the signal is recorded

3. how its processed before and after mixing.

4. how the master monitoring is set up.
Old 22nd November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
^^ You are aware this has nothing to do with what he just said right?



BTW OP I see what you are saying but have nothing worthwhile to add.
Old 22nd November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Les
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
But how come our hearing is so much less accurate than our sight?
I don't know, we just evolved that way. Look at the bandwidth required for video as compared to audio.

We could have evolved with wider bandwidth hearing, or better aural memory. Guess it wasn't needed for survival. Very good visual memory apparently was.

Quote:
Also - what is this difference that if you record film analog or with contemporary high end cameras and release it on DVD it still looks pro, but if you would record it with lesser digital technology, you would see it immediately for what it is...
It seems to me that the pro video stuff has gotten that good only recently. And...I'm guessing that some of film's gamma values have been duplicated in the digital stuff. It's actually hard for me to tell video from film sometimes. Used to be so very obvious.

Modern consumer video looks sorely lacking still to me.

But it's sure better than our old US NTSC system, which couldn't even render all colors for smaller details. And most colors you saw were magenta cyan blends anyway. I'm enjoying seeing colors other that pink and blue on my HDTV.
Old 22nd November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Nice...

Just remembered to add - because some people do possess the "perfect pitch" ability and are in this regard very different from the majority of us, I also allow for the possibility that some people might be more sensitive to hearing the differencies between analog and digital audio, the way we are all capable of noticing the differencies between (older) digital and analog film.
Old 22nd November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
In order to survive, for a human being sight is far more important than hearing.

You can see things by far earlier than you can hear them.
Sound travels very slow compared to light which makes sight more important.

Also, there is a theory that everybody has perfect pitch at birth and that it just gets lost.
I can't prove the above but I think it's safe to say that society puts a lot more effort in educating childrens sight than hearing.
Every child knows how blue looks but very few know how the musical note c sounds.

Strangely, often pitch is connected to colour for many people.
I do "feel" colours when listening to different tonalities for example.
To me A-minor is red, C-major blue, C sharp-minor green, E-Major orange etc.
Old 22nd November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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mexicola's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've found that doing a significant amount of live sound work will retrain your ears to hear specific frequencies. If feedback suddenly takes off, you've got to be able to say, "oh that's 3.15K" or whatever and pull it out of the graph or the channel.

I know it's certainly helped my ability to pinpoint specific frequencies, and become familiar with the "sound" of each frequency.

Although I'm sure the volume of live music has had a negative effect on my overall hearing
Old 22nd November 2009
  #8
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Geert van den Berg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Listener ➑️
So up until recently if was painfully obvious to anyone if something was filmed with a digital camera or with a proper film camera. It wasn't until 2002 or something with one of the Star wars new trilogy that was filmed with a completely new Sony Digital camera and now with recent Red One cameras that finally achieved the resolution of film. Now we can't distinguish so easily whether it is a digital or analog shot movie. Before it was easy even for your grandmother and all - it looked "non-pro", like a home movie or something or at least "tv-production", not a proper movie, but now they can shoot digitally and it looks like H'wood...

Also - what is this difference that if you record film analog or with contemporary high end cameras and release it on DVD it still looks pro, but if you would record it with lesser digital technology, you would see it immediately for what it is... similar as good audio recordings being recognized even after converting to mp3 - you still know if it is a pro or home sound... not neccessarily analog or digital - but obvioulsy we percieve some "meta"-data that enables you to recognize the quality even after the mp3 conversion. What is it that we percieve here?
What we percieve is that when it looks or sounds good it is usually recorded by a craftsman.

There are great cameraman in H'wood, they use high quality lenses, which you can compare to good microphones... the lighting of the set is also very important, and an art to do, you don't get this is in a consumer setting. The same can be said for proper acoustics...
Old 22nd November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Here for the gear
 
monkeyman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Seeing is important but........

In the animal world, most of them can hear much better than they can see. I think it's more a matter of priorities in the modern world. I know that after a lot of years dealing with live music, that I can pick out certain frequencies. And I also know that just by being around it and paying attention has helped me realize which freqs are most prone to feeding back when put through a PA system. Hearing is a muscle and a talent. It needs to be used and exercised to make it better. You just need to deem it important enough to put the time and effort into it. That's what I think anyway.
ps. I hear colors also......but I'm not sure if it's leftover from my "party" days.
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