Monday, May 15, 2006

Did You Know?

Loud sounds can mask ambience changes. Sometimes in smoothing dialogue, an abrupt change to a different background sounds smoother than a more gradual change, because the ear is distracted by the louder sound and doesn't notice that the ambient sound has changed until... well, never. Ears are stupid that way.

It's like a magic trick. Only boring.


At 6:23 PM, Blogger MT said...

Makes perfect sense from my meager knowledge of psychophysics and trips to the Exploratorium. Our ears are not like simple microphones with a fixed sensitivity and amplification. They are adaptive. If things go quiet your ears go high gain, and a loud noise out of the blue will hurt. It's also going to make you adjust the gain appropriate to that loudness, which means it will overshoot the gain and spectral window receptive either to the old ambient sound or the new slightly louder ambient sound. When it recovers from the overshoot and adjusts to the new ambient level, you have no reason to think the level is any different. It's us that are dumb, not our ears. Nice wittle ears!


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