Friday, May 01, 2009

Finding Your Audible Frequency Level

Here's an amusing audio anecdote.

A friend of mine was recently playing back a TV program they had edited.

At the end of segment one, a twenty-something PA on the show turned to him and asked, "Was anybody bothered by that high-pitched whine in that segment?"

The Executive Producer looked at Show Producer who looked at my friend, the editor.

They all in unison asked, "What high-pitched whine?"

So, they got some teenage and early-twenty interns and PAs to listen to the audio in question.

After listening to it, they all said, "Ugh, that squealing is really irritating!"

However, anyone over their late twenties said, "What high-pitched whine are you talking about?"

They put a low-pass filter across the audio tracks and tweaked it until all the kids said, "That's better."

I guess your mix audibility depends on the age of the QC person listening!

That lead me to thinking -- let's test our individual audibility!

Find out what your audible cutoff frequency hearing level is here -- Frequency Hearing Test.

In average, humans loose 2 kHz every 10 years.
(More if you've stood in front of too many Marshall amps in your lifetime.)
[I made it to 17 kHz.]

This test is even more panicking -- Bink Audio Test.

Try listening to Tracks 6 or 7 with earphones. Normally, the sound should stay in the middle. If you find it panning left to right or the other way, that's when one ear has a different response to the other one.

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