AES San Francisco 2010
Tutorial T13

Sunday, November 7, 4:45 pm — 5:45 pm (Room 133)

T13 - Comparative Listening: What Can We Really Hear?

Eric Valentine

Learn objective comparative listening techniques while participating in a series of experiments that will dispel or confirm extraordinary claims made by equipment manufacturers and industry professionals.

Through out his 20+ years as a record maker Eric Valentine has continually heard extraordinary claims about hearing the performance differences between a huge variety of tools and products used in the industry. Frequently when asked, he found people are making claims based on a listening experience that is neither scientific or objective. As the industry continues to push for better and better performance from the equipment we use in many cases (digital converters, external clocking device, cables or even mic pres) the differences have become very minute and are impossible to evaluate in a casual way. Opinions derived from these casual listening tests can be the motivation behind purchases that involve many thousands of dollars. Valentine will explain how to apply traditional scientific method to listening tests; how psychological influences play a roll; and what it all means when choosing the tools and methods for record making. The goal of this tutorial is to have all the attendees leave with techniques and information that help them make confident, objective decisions when choosing equipment to buy or use, while participating in a fun interactive series of listening experiments.

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