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Souliarc

My Gift to You... The Cetera Algorithm

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When I saw the name "Virtual Barbershop" I thought it was going to be a song by a barbershop quartet. Now that would have been awesome to hear in fancy stereo.

Edit: I thought the whole idea of 3D aural perception had to do the actual structure of the outer ear, anyway.

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i think i've heard more impressive examples of simulated 3d sound. What I love about it is the barbershop theme.

These days, i just shave my hair myself every year or so. But I remember really liking getting my hair cut back in the day.

The cold sensation of the scissors, the sweet sound of it...I think I'd buy a cd with nothing but those scissor sounds in pristine stereo.

Better yet, I should get me a gf with some haircutting skills.

Oh man, rereading this, I think i may have a peculiar fetish :o

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Geez, you seem so bitter :P Unfortunately, I guess all it will be is techno-babble and self-induced hype to you.

I, and many others can personally vogue for the different way this sounds. There is a CLEAR distinction between stereo and what the algorithm provides. Like I said, it provides the brain with the necessary information to ignore the presence of the headphones. That is the biggest part. Clearly different from hearing two harsh "speakers" next to your ears. Just last night I had three different friends look around and behind them when they heard this. I didn't even explain what it was before I let them listen to it, to avoid the placebo effect. The reaction I have gotten from people is INSANE and could never happen with a typical stereo recording.

You're starting to sound kind of hurt that someone dismissed your fancy stereo thing as just that; stereo. What, did you but stock in that company or something?

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You're starting to sound kind of hurt that someone dismissed your fancy stereo thing as just that; stereo. What, did you but stock in that company or something?

He is starting to sound hurt? lol, read your own posts man. I understand if you don't hear it the same way or think its worth making a big deal of, that's fine, but leave it at that then if you don't want to discuss it reasonably. I'm positive Soliarc doesn't care much if you dismiss it or not.

If he did by stock in that company, he's in good shape! Seems like it's got a good response so far...

I'm looking for that Propellerheads track Zircon mentioned, if anyone knows of any other examples of this, post some links!

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You're starting to sound kind of hurt that someone dismissed your fancy stereo thing as just that; stereo. What, did you but stock in that company or something?

Well, I'm not gonna lie, I do care. I just get excited trying to help people understand things, especially when it comes to aural matters. I guess I failed though :\ I can see how my mindset of this topic is rather enthusiastic, but that's just my demeanor about things when they interest me. I'm a giddy little jitter bug.

You can dismiss it as stereo, I will see it as more. That's perfectly fine by me.

If he did by stock in that company, he's in good shape! Seems like it's got a good response so far...

It is really revolutionary, stock wouldn't be a bad idea.... :)

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Okay, maybe it's just my lack of comprehension here, so Souliarc, as you know more about this whole thing, explain it so I can understand it:

The audio is being recorded on two ordinary microphones therefore creating standard two-channel audio.

The audio is then played back on two ordinary speakers, producing stereo sound.

At what point do we apply algorithm A and how does it turn normal stereo sound into weird 3D true positioning sound, and how exactly does it do that considering that the microphones that recorded the original sound can not differentiate between different sound positions in relation to any axis except the one that connects the locations of the two microphones?

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You're starting to sound kind of hurt that someone dismissed your fancy stereo thing as just that; stereo. What, did you but stock in that company or something?

Your headphones are bad and you should feel bad! Of course it's "just stereo"... that's what makes it impressive.

But curiosity has the best of me, and I need to get to the bottom of this. If you're not just playing devil's advocate or overcompensating for hype, then maybe:

1) you have a giant afro (or different-shaped ears) which makes stuff sound different to you than it does to others?

2) your headphones are so good they already have the effect built into them?

3) your hearing is so good that you can't fall for any kind of headphone trickery?

At what point do we apply algorithm A and how does it turn normal stereo sound into weird 3D true positioning sound, and how exactly does it do that considering that the microphones that recorded the original sound can not differentiate between different sound positions in relation to any axis except the one that connects the locations of the two microphones?

This is what I'm wondering. It appears the only input data is sound - that must mean the sound waves are analyzed in some way in order to create different sound waves. I imagine it must analyze the sound sort-of the way your brain does in order to detect positions of sounds, and then reposition those sounds to the positions that your brain thinks they should be in?

As for the barbershop recording, maybe it's simply a marketing "demonstration" of the concept, a "this is how good our hearing aids sound; all other hearing aids sound like the normal stereo sound you're used to" kind of thing? Or maybe it's actually doing the algorithm and making some assumptions about your headphone speakers? (And The Damned's headphone speakers don't follow those assumptions?) I really have no idea. That article looks pretty half-assed.

(I know that's not the proper spelling!)

Also, I was under the impression that the dual-microphone setup required a head-shaped (and ear-shaped) device of sorts to absorb/reflect sound like a human head does. I think it did in the thread last year at least.

And I'm also wondering if this kind of thing has been used in any games yet (and if not, why).

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But curiosity has the best of me, and I need to get to the bottom of this. If you're not just playing devil's advocate or overcompensating for hype, then maybe:

1) you have a giant afro (or different-shaped ears) which makes stuff sound different to you than it does to others?

Nope, I need a haircut, but it's not anything that would inhibit headphones in any way. No hair coveringmyears, no lop-sided headphones, nothing inside or outside or beside or whatever in any way.

And my ears look and feel just like everyone else's... I know, because I touch other people's ears when they sleep. What, it'slegal here, don't look at me like that.

2) your headphones are so good they already have the effect built into them?
Sennheiser PX100s? They're nice, but they ain't top-of-the-line. And if the MP3 is supposed to already have the conversion done to them, why would the headphones have anything that can do it? It seems unlikely that the hardware would do what the software is supposed to.
3) your hearing is so good that you can't fall for any kind of headphone trickery?
Annual hearing tests are required by my company, and the only thing that has every popped up over the last five years is a slight (less than eight percent) drop in the 12 to 15 Khz range, and that's only if it's affected by an inner ear infection or a bad cold.

I may have fairly good hearing, but I doubt I can pick up any kind of super-secret frequency magics.

And I'm also wondering if this kind of thing has been used in any games yet (and if not, why).

I can see a few reasons, and I leave the one about it actually working aside.

The first is that they haven't gotten a way to do it real-time yet, which would be very handy for games, as real-time things tend to happen. It would kind of suck to be in the middle of a fight and then get killed by something, all because the audio couldn't keep up with the footsteps of what got you.

The other is that they might be licensing issues. Who owns the technology, how much do they want for it, who's willing to pay for it, etc. I suspect that most companies would just go for the current sound systems that they already have.

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This is what I'm wondering. It appears the only input data is sound - that must mean the sound waves are analyzed in some way in order to create different sound waves. I imagine it must analyze the sound sort-of the way your brain does in order to detect positions of sounds, and then reposition those sounds to the positions that your brain thinks they should be in?

It can't analyze the sound to detect the positions of sounds because this information does not exist in the recording. With a two-mic recording setup you can only tell positions apart in one direction -- the direction of the axis which connects the positions of the two recording microphones as a beeline. Since a sound from above or below the microphones would record the exact same waveform just as long as its position did not change in relation to this axis, how can the algorithm tell the difference between above and below? It can't. This is my contention.

Even our ears have no way of knowing whether a sound is actually coming from the front or back without another sound coming from the opposite direction to compare it to (as the shape of the ear distorts sound according to direction). If you hear a sudden sound coming from the left, what do you do? You turn your head left so your left and right ear can pinpoint the sound's location in a new direction.

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Would it work better if it was actually two speakers, placed at set distances apart, perfectly aligned to the listener? If it's all frequency based, then it should still work, right?

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Let's put a name with the face for some of these ideas:

-Recording with a dummy head and two microphones at the position of the ears is binaural recording.

-The ability of the brain to locate where a sound is coming from is called sound localization

You can get your fill there and figure things out for yourselves as I have became an ungiddy little jitterbug by not going to bed last night at all...

I am still not sure, but I belief I have used the Cetera algorithm as a misnomer due to an error in understanding by the author of the original article himself and my naivety. If you read the original he states "New sound algorithm to create 3d effects in sound" and "If this mp3 makes you crazy ,it is nothing but cetera algorithm." I believe this to be incorrect. The algorithm has nothing to with the mp3, that is simply binaural recording. The algorithm is ONLY used for the hearing aids in order for them to communicate to each other and mimic the process that the brain and ear goes through in processing interaural time differences and interaural level differences to give us sound localization. It is merely a communicative device between each aid to work together instead of two separate aids, which are unable to deliver sound localization like our ears do.

The mp3 is merely a display of what it can sound like, like friendlyhunter said.

While the cetera algorithm doesn't do anything special to recorded sound, I still believe that the recordings that binaural recording provides is more than just glorified stereo. I quote the article:

"The result is a listening experience that spatially transcends normally recorded stereo, since it accurately reproduces the effect of hearing a sound in person, given the 360° nature of how human ears pick up nuance in the sound waves. Binaural recordings can very convincingly reproduce location of sound behind, ahead, above, or wherever else the sound actually came from during recording."

It can't be achieved accurately by just having two microphones 7" apart either. Because sound is also shaped by our head and ears, there are head related transfer functions that must be taken into account.

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Right, so it is just an elaborate recording setting that simulates the ear positions of a human listener. The real ability of the human brain to position sound comes from the ability to turn the head and therefore give the two ears a new orientation. When a person hears a sound not before experienced, the brain cannot know whether this sound is truly coming from the front or back; this ability only comes from learning with experience the difference between how the ears interfere with sounds from different directions. Until this familiarity is achieved and primarily even after it is achieved for sounds often heard, positioning is done by first identifying the sound's position in the left-right direction and then turning one's head. It sounds complicated but we do this instinctively.

edit: typo patrol

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So... the barbershop demo is not the actual technology, but a simulation of what it would be like if you used it.

So I really didn't hear anything special, because there was nothing special to hear.

OK, gotcha.

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Well, not necessarily. I would consider the binaural recording to be special in its own right as it's not your typical stereo recording and many people haven't heard it like this. I guess I can change the title if that would make people feel better.

Even with the technology of the algorithm itself with the hearing aids, all you would be doing is hearing like you naturally would. The idea is transparency.

Interesting thing about the binaural recording though is that youre hearing an interaction like you were actually in the middle of it all. It's like the difference between hearing two crowd mics pointed towards the crowd, and actually being in the crowd. So it's kind of "creating" an environment.

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Mustin showed this to me, and I was very impressed by the out-of-head effect. You don't really get that listening to regular music or movies on headphones. It would be cool if video games used this algorithm (since actually doing separate binaural recordings would probably be expensive and impractical).

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That was great!

The parts with the plastic bag and the whispering were amazing, and now I wish someone would make a horror story using this technique, with you, the listener, as the protagonist. Done right, I think this could be quite frightening (of course, you should close your eyes for maximum effect).

Just imagine...You wake up in a strange room and hear all kinds of creepy noises around you. In the distance someone (or something) slowly walks towards you. You hear the floorboards creaking louder and louder as the entity moves closer. Suddenly, the floorboards stop creaking. Is it gone?

You think you're safe, when all of a sudden you hear a distorted, evil whisper extremely close to you...

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I do remember this the last time it came around on the forums. It's really neat. I bet the whispering woman has a great ass.

I couldn't find anything else on the technology, only some old talk about hearing aids. So, I don't know of the possibility for widespread applications. It'll probably stay pretty unknown for the time being, since we haven't heard about it in a year and a half. :(

On a side note, that guy's page has a lot of cool shit on it. Here's a video about some guy creating a piece of hardware that lets you interact digitally in the real world:

http://www.sajithmr.me/augmented-reality-6th-sense-amazing-video/

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