PS AUDIO / Paul McGowan
In my recent post, Timbre, I brought up a number of examples of instruments that have unique timbre.
But, one of the problems we have in evaluating how well our systems properly reproduce timbre is in the recording itself. How was it miked? What kind of player made the sound? How do you know the recording captured the true nature of the instrument’s timbre?
The truth is you don’t.
So, what to do?
Well, aside from only buying your music from Octave Records, 🙂 you can choose to narrow your evaluation material to one instrument we’re all familiar with.
The human voice.
Research has shown that even in the womb, fetuses are able to recognize and respond to their mother’s voice.
Once born, infants show a preference for the sound of the human voice over other sounds. Studies have shown that even newborn infants prefer to listen to their mother’s voice over the voices of other women, and they can distinguish between the voices of different people.
As children grow and develop, their ability to recognize and distinguish between voices improves. By the age of 6 months, infants can recognize the voices of familiar people, and by the age of 1 year, they can recognize the voices of strangers as well.
All this to suggest that for as long as you have been alive (minus that first year of training) you’re an expert on vocal timbre.
There’s nothing better for identifying proper tonal balance and timbre than the human voice.