There seem to be a number of factors at work.
First is the heavy intermod/distortion of some equipment that is
used in a euphonic sense (perhaps not all people appreciate the euphony, I will
Second is the “rock and roll high”, which seems, if
I am to accept what some of the folks at the House Ear Institute and others
have said, to be partially a product of stimulation of the semicircular canals
by low frequency leakage from the cochlea. This is reputed to happen at the
90dB SPL level at low frequencies, give or take, and is reputed to create a
sensation of “being high”.
This could account for some measure of “loud”. I
suspect that the body stimulation from intense (not really loud, rather it’s
intense, really) signals also has something to do with it.
Having said all of that, not everyone (hello!) shares the desire
to have their outer hair cells shredded.
D. Johnston (jj@xxxxxxx)
CHIEF SCIENTIST - DTS, Inc.
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From: AUDITORY - Research
in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Brian
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2010 9:53 AM
Subject: [AUDITORY] Why it has to be played loud
I know from my experience as a "rock" musician that there are certain
amplifiers (Mesa Boogie, Gallien-Kruger and Marshall seem to be the best
examples) which sound their best when the gain is nearly at full. The
harmonics are richer, and there is an edge to the sound that is just not
present at lower settings. In fact, one G-K amp I had sounded fabulous
right before it caught on fire (really). I don't know if this is a
conscious engineering design (I suspect so) but I have found it's pretty
reliable. That's why the joke about "turning the amp to 11" in
Spinal Tap had such resonance.
Brian Gygi, Ph.D.
Speech and Hearing Research
Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System
150 Muir Road
Martinez, CA 94553
(925) 372-2000 x5653
From: Laszlo Toth [mailto:tothl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Friday, September 24, 2010 12:28 AM
Subject: Re: Hearing Loss "False Positives"
On Thu, 23 Sep 2010, reinifrosch@xxxxxxxxxx wrote: > Old guys with
undamaged hair cells have the advantage that they can fully > enjoy
classical tonal music with its change from dissonant to consonant > chords
and back. According to the Helmholtz consonance theory that > change is due
to the presence or absence of beats generated by pairs of > partial tones of
almost equal frequencies. These partials tend to be > soft, and their
frequencies tend to be high. Do you know the answer to the opposite: why is
rock music more enjoyable loud? I think that it would be important to
understand. Laszlo Toth Hungarian Academy of Sciences * Research Group on
Artificial Intelligence * "Failure only begins e-mail:
tothl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx * when you stop trying"