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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Sound, and reaching the Theta state while listening

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  • Sound, and reaching the Theta state while listening

    Reaching higher forms of thought/consciousness is the main reason why I have invested so much of my life building my system and music collection. This listening experience is something close to my soul so to speak, since this board is about home and health I just thought I would share one of my experiences listening to "noise" music. This type of music helps me meditate and calm down, still the mind.

    I tried to demonstrate what I am talking about here in this youtube video of my system:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1TmETKBHZI

    However I thought I would explain what I am talking about. Specific sound frequencies can help your mind reach the Theta state (state of meditation, etc...) while still being awake. There's lots of music that I listen to whether it's ambient or noise music that helps me relax so much that I get into a different plane of consciousness. I don't want to get too into the esoteric rambling here, just wondered if anyone else listens to music specifically to reach an inner realm which is not usually available without sitting there, relaxing, listening, etc... probably everyone here I would gather

    Jazz and Classical are also very good relaxation and thought processing genres as well, especially Piano works.

  • #2
    Pseudo-random noise and brain activity

    Originally posted by bullethead View Post
    Reaching higher forms of thought/consciousness is the main reason why I have invested so much of my life building my system and music collection. ......Specific sound frequencies can help your mind reach the Theta state (state of meditation, etc...) while still being awake.
    I think that this is really very interesting on a number of levels. I too have been curious about the reported ability of certain noises to stimulate brain activity.

    Can you tell us how you generated the noise? Are there any variables such as frequency balance (low, mid, high) etc. etc. that the user has control over when generating the noise? On first listening the noise is seemingly not random - there is a definite periodicity to it, hence a pitch.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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    • #3
      Originally posted by A.S. View Post
      Can you tell us how you generated the noise? Are there any variables such as frequency balance (low, mid, high) etc. etc. that the user has control over when generating the noise? On first listening the noise is seemingly not random - there is a definite periodicity to it, hence a pitch.
      I have had luck with using reverb effects and normalization. Basically with that track I created, I played power chords on an electric guitar in a loop, added reverb to the guitar sound. That brought the levels up, so I normalized it to about 20% of the volume, added reverb again, normalized again, I did this for about 20 times or so. I believe that sense of being in a large room hearing something from far away with the echo and ambiance adds to any sound really. When I used to create music I had another similar musician send me similar experiments produced from expanding and contracting a plastic milk jug. I also had another musician send me recordings based on recording his steam based heater in his apartment. In my experiences the reverb (especially multi layered reverb) ads a sense of atmosphere which helps one relax.

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      • #4
        Sound and brain developmebt and relaxation ...

        http://www.archive.org/details/Blacklab-Black_Forest

        For better understanding, I removed the YouTube clip due to the fact that the microphone used on the low quality video camera does not capture the essence of what I am talking about. I've linked to the FLAC archive of the track for further discussion. I am purely interested in unwinding and relaxing, and possibly forming synapses through listening and thinking while I listen. Destructive Creativity was the track I am referring to. That album is in the public domain I copylefted on purpose to share.

        Listening to white noise is one thing, if there is some substance such as reverberation, strings, other sounds which do fluctuate which one might not normally hear it does make for an interesting experience, especially played back when one has some "down time".

        I have also had great luck listening to impressionist piano works, too much stuff to mention really. It's really interesting you could have thoughts sort of spring up in certain ways and different thoughts with different types of sound. I tend to believe sound has an important place in brain development from an early age. Just like words you associate objects or emotions to certain sounds, hence eventually associating memories and or experiences with different sounds.

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        • #5
          Sound, and reaching the Theta state while listening

          I have always listened to music because it helps to reach a better/higher state of consciousness through evocation of emotion.

          The problem with audio equipment is, for me, one of avoiding noticeable colourations which draw the mind back into critical awareness. The music and recording quality are even bigger factors. I've been listening to Richard Hawley's Truelove's Gutter right through for weeks now without any need to skip tracks as the whole album is so wonderfully homogeneous and relaxing. It instantly establishes its own time and space.

          Over the years I am finding myself drawn increasingly to non vocal music when I want to use music to relax. This is in complete contrast to my previous tastes where the lyric was everything. I imagine that as you get older you instinctively veer away from a bright, sharp sound towards something more full and mellow.

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