is it normal to have trouble distinguishing very low pitches?


I was playing with and noticed that under around 50 Hz my pitch perception starts getting very fuzzy, but that also depends on the waveform used

@kiilas you can prob recognize pitches by the harmonics if it's anything other than sine waves (at least the harmonics will make it easier to distinguish pitches nearer your ranges) since they are distinctive

i'm psure it is normal to have less discriminatory resolution at the extremes of perception but i haven't studied it much

@kiilas i can just barely hear a pure sine wave (no harmonics at all) at 23hz but i can't really tell the diff between it and 25hz or whatever until it gets to about 27 hz. It makes my head hurt tho, like the ears are doing something just there's no nerves to pick it up. I bet i could hear lower on a large set of speakers (you'd feel it if it was loud enough no matter how low), though, it might be a hardware issue

@chaomodus My brain doesn't seem to take harmonics into account, and for most typical sounds I don't consciously perceive them so that doesn't help. Like even with the bottom octave of a piano, the notes lose their distinctiveness and blend into each other a bit.

I find it easier (but not effortless) to recognise super high pitches though.

I'm wondering if the smaller (linear) differences in Hz play a role.

@chaomodus nevermind, I totally struggle with anything above ~5kHz.

@kiilas THat's interesting, but you said before you had problems distinguishing pitches anyway, maybe it's a matter of training to be able to have some ability at these edges?

@chaomodus I can usually distinguish pitches within typical musical range, but I can't distinguish intervals, and I struggled (but got better) with directly differentiating higher/lower pitch, and differentiating equal pitch on different instruments.

I wonder if I could train the recognition of extreme pitches, but I'm having a really hard time hearing for example the D-ness of 36.708 Hz.

@chaomodus I did some research and apparently it's totally normal for absolute pitch perception to stop working beyond a certain range. Bass players can often recognise low notes so it seems trainable.

(I haven't done any significant ear training beyond my futile attempts at developing relative pitch.)

@chaomodus @kiilas one thing I can add: bass players often tune by playing harmonics directly and comparing those between strings, because it’s easier than using the low end of the instrument’s range.

not surprising
that's near the bottom of human hearing range

although i find those extremely low sounds to be interesting to listen to

also, i would guess you need a subwoofer to make those sounds audible ...

maybe you will start acquiring electronic noise makers of one type or another ...

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