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View Full Version : Can YOU hear the noise?


ThreeDee
01-02-2007, 07:07 PM
Can you hear the noise? Supposedly, many older people cannot hear it while teens and children can.

http://graphics.nytimes.com.nyud.net:8080/packages/audio/nyregion/20060610_RINGTONE.mp3
(Using Coral CDN to save bandwidth)

Some kids have been using it as a ring tone to avoid being noticed with a cell phone by 'older' people. I can hear it fine. Gives me a headache after a while, but I can hear it.

Zesty
01-02-2007, 09:44 PM
Wow...are my ears bleeding? That's a ringtone that would make me knock the crap out of someone...heh.

CAlvarez
01-02-2007, 11:12 PM
I've tested that in groups of people a few times. It's interesting to hear the reactions from some... "Huh? Hear what?"

roncross@cox.net
01-02-2007, 11:26 PM
I hear it, what is the vibrating frequency of this ringtone?

ArcticStones
01-03-2007, 06:00 AM
.
A few months ago I read of a different implementation of this differing age sensitivity to higher audio frequency. An Australian company (I believe) had come up with a device that effectively prevented youth from loitering in shopping centres.

Fortunately, they quickly got civil rights lawyers on their back, in addition to a public outcry.

capitalj
01-03-2007, 10:47 AM
My 4 year old asked what the squeak was.

My 40 year old ears didn't so much hear it as feel it (ouchie) but not every time. Too much speed metal in the '80s?

NovaScotian
01-03-2007, 11:07 AM
Interesting. I am nearly 70 (July this year) and spent several years in the '50s flying and riding on very noisy propellor driven airplanes in the RCAF. If I open the QuickTime A/V Control panel, slide treble to the top of its scale and play with the pitch slider, I can hear the pulsing beat tone. Left as is I hear nothing in iTunes or QuickTime. This ring tone wouldn't bother me at all.

capitalj
01-03-2007, 11:32 AM
If I open the QuickTime A/V Control panel, slide treble to the top of its scale and play with the pitch slider, I can hear the pulsing beat tone. Left as is I hear nothing in iTunes or QuickTime. After reading this, I tried moving just the pitch slider - 2 lines to the left and it becomes clear. (Unadjusted gives me an occasional painful sensation.) I can't hear anything if I play it in iTunes.

Before I gave up my studio to become Mr. Mom, I heard from a few fellow glassblowers that the noise from furnaces, glory holes, fans, air compressors, and grinders eventually made some higher pitched sounds difficult or impossible for them to hear.

My wife (two years younger and at work right now) will likely attribute it to neither loud music nor industrial noise, but to age - unless she can't hear it.

styrafome
01-03-2007, 12:03 PM
Creepy. When I play it back through my mixer, the LEDs tell me something is playing at full line level. The room should be full of sound, but I don't hear anything. Guess I'm getting to that age. Not to mention I'm supposed to bring earplugs to every club and concert, but of course I forgot sometimes...

ArcticStones
01-03-2007, 12:08 PM
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Hmm... When I play it on my standalone laptop (PB 17") I canít hear a thing.
But when I plug in my digital speakers, I hear a most disconcerting hum, loud and clear.

NovaScotian
01-03-2007, 01:43 PM
Before I gave up my studio to become Mr. Mom, I heard from a few fellow glassblowers that the noise from furnaces, glory holes, fans, air compressors, and grinders eventually made some higher pitched sounds difficult or impossible for them to hear.
Grinding glass in particular produces a very high-pitched "squeal" that I can't hear, of course, but folks at Steuben Glass told me was there (I did an engineering consulting job for them years ago).

ThreeDee
01-03-2007, 04:44 PM
Don't put it in iTunes with Sound Check, Equalizer(duh), or Sound Enhanser on. Won't work then...

johngpt
01-03-2007, 08:15 PM
Clicking on the link and playing it in Quicktime, I needed full volume to hear a mild buzzing sound, which wasn't unpleasant or pleasant.

Hearing that somewhere would probably cause me to look for an audio device that had been inadvertently left on, without anything actually playing.

In a galaxy long ago and far away, I played drums in rock bands. My hearing today is rather diminished. My 55 year old ears have a difficult time discerning words, especially with ambient noise.

I would say my hearing deficit resembles a dysfunction of a 'figure-ground' relationship, where my ears won't be able to pick out some frequencies from the background. I've always thought it analogous to a color blind person looking at figures during testing and being unable to discern the figure from the background.

I've had high pitch hissing, called tinnitus, for decades. Just like I can ignore a chore needing to be done, I can ignore the hissing.

A couple years back, at a Geriatric Neurology workshop, I learned that there are age related changes to hearing, analogous to the changes in vision. It's called presbyaudia. We lose the higher frequencies.

And as well, we lose some ability to discern consonants. Which explained very much of my worsening ability to understand what others are saying, despite attempting to pay strict attention. And of course, it's the consonants which give words their meaning.

So, I'll hear the vowels, and the brain will attempt to fill in likely candidates for what was said. Sometimes quite entertaining. Sometimes very embarrassing.

C'est la vie.

Zesty
01-04-2007, 12:25 AM
Forgot to mention I'm 23 - but I really didn't think my hearing was all that great...maybe it's better than I thought - because that noise was worse than nails on a chalkboard for me!

Anti
01-04-2007, 02:34 AM
So help me god, if I were to hear that at my school, I'd have to knock someone's teeth out. Or smash a Windows-based machine. Or do something involving destruction, because that sound is so. damn. ANNOYING.

And I'm 17, my hearing is excellent, which makes things worse.

johngpt
01-04-2007, 06:38 AM
Interesting. I'll have to play it for my 18 and 15 year olds.

NovaScotian
01-04-2007, 07:54 AM
.... I would say my hearing deficit resembles a dysfunction of a 'figure-ground' relationship, where my ears won't be able to pick out some frequencies from the background.

I've had high pitch hissing, called tinnitus, for decades. Just like I can ignore a chore needing to be done, I can ignore the hissing. ....

Doesn't get better either, John. I'll be 70 in July and have all of the above, probably as a result of several years in the RCAF and many more as an automation consultant in rather noisy factories. When I see a kid in the mall now with his iPod so loud that I can hear it past his ear buds, I cringe. Little does he know (or at that stage in life, care).

ThreeDee
01-04-2007, 07:07 PM
Clicking on the link and playing it in Quicktime, I needed full volume to hear a mild buzzing sound, which wasn't unpleasant or pleasant.

It was actually a high-pitched continuous tone. http://bigpixel.macintoshdevelopers.net/yabbfiles/Templates/Forum/default/tongue.gif

styrafome
01-04-2007, 07:14 PM
The popularity of iPods today could make today's kids lose their high frequencies earlier than the rest of us did!

CAlvarez
01-09-2007, 07:22 AM
That's what they said about Walkmans in the 80s.

NovaScotian
01-09-2007, 08:54 AM
And about Rock Bands, Heavy Metal, etc. I wonder if anyone has ever followed up?

johngpt
01-09-2007, 06:05 PM
It was actually a high-pitched continuous tone. http://bigpixel.macintoshdevelopers.net/yabbfiles/Templates/Forum/default/tongue.gif

Haven't had a chance to have my one who still lives at home listen. Now I'm even more curious.

johngpt
01-09-2007, 06:12 PM
Okay. Just had my 15 year old listen.

At low volume, he said it was an annoying high pitched squeaking.

At slightly higher volume, at which I could barely make out a buzzing, he said that it was very loud and obnoxious.

He laughed and said it was a great idea to have it as a ring tone so that 'old farts' couldn't hear it.

johngpt
01-09-2007, 06:14 PM
And about Rock Bands, Heavy Metal, etc. I wonder if anyone has ever followed up?

When Keith Richards was asked, he said, "Eh?"