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equal auditory steps along F1/F2


This is a worthwhile question, but I don't know of an answer. Malcolm Slaney, Perry Cook, Roger Shepard, Al Bregman and I have been working together on this and related questions for the better part of 12 years now.
I think the most defensible position is to base any decision you make on empirical data. Our experience is that the distances are highly dependent on the paradigm you use (the question you ask, the way you present the stimuli, the subjects' task). I would advise then that you just make a good guess, perhaps equal distances in log space for starters, collect your data, and adjust accordingly.

I'm sure that the list members will be interested to see what you find (as will I!).

Dan Levitin

Date: Mon, 15 May 2006 22:20:43 -0700 From: Heriberto Avelino <avelino@xxxxxxxxxxxx> Subject: equal auditory steps along F1/F2

Dear List members,

I am designing an experiment and I need to synthesize an array of vowels
separated by equal perceptual magnitudes. That is to say, I need vowels
that sample the acoustic vowel space in equal auditory steps along the
continua F1 and F2.
Furthermore, I would like to justify such a magnitude, instead of just
doing a Hz to ERB/MEL/Bark etc. conversion, for instance.
I would appreciate any comment and suggestions about the relevant

Best regards,

'Life is short but wide'

Heriberto Avelino Ph. D.
Department of Linguistics
1203 Dwinelle Hall,
University of California at Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720-2650
Phone: (510) 642-2757
Fax: (510) 643-5688

Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Laboratory for Auditory Perception and Cognition
Program in Behavioural Neuroscience

Bell Chair in Psychology of Electronic Communication
FCAR/FQRNT Strategic Chair in Psychology
Associate, Department of Music Theory and Faculty of Music

Mailing address: McGill University Department of Psychology 1205 Avenue Penfield Montreal, QC H3A 1B1

Phone: +1 (514) 398-8263
FAX:    +1 (514) 398-4896
home page: http://www.psych.mcgill.ca/levitin.html