Old 05-15-2018, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default audio forensics - Laurel vs Yanny?

Curious, have any of you analyzed the Laurel vs Yanny video and been able to decipher what the heck is going on?


I hear Laurel... My wife hears Yanny...


If you have no clue what I'm talking about, here ya go






https://youtu.be/KM38OFDKU20


I thought to download audio from the original clip and use a special analysis tool but, it dawned on me that I don't know what I'm doing...
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:03 PM   #2
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https://www.theatlantic.com/technolo...urels/560483/e

Try slowing it down and/or speeding it up by changing the playrate in Reaper. You'll hear it go from Yanni to Laurel.

At standard playrate I hear "Laurel" and even when having slowed it down to clearly hear "Yanni" instead, I still can't hear any trace of "Yanni" when it's played at normal rate.

Also there's a point when adjusting the playrate that I can hear qualities of both "Yanni" and "Laurel", where I can imagine hearing either.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:37 AM   #3
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Funny - all I can hear is "hearme" or "hearny"
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:57 AM   #4
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Funny - all I can hear is "hearme" or "hearny"
If you don't hear "Yanni" or "Laurel", it means you are a sociopath.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:00 AM   #5
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Is this a joke? Like the flat earth movement? Whoever hears something different from Laurel doesn't speak English or has a hearing defect.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:01 AM   #6
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If you don't hear "Yanni" or "Laurel", it means you are a sociopath.
Hahaha.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Funny - all I can hear is "hearme" or "hearny"
Says something of your secret fear of hernias!


Try as I might I cannot hear anything other than Laurel. Neither playing at half rate or chopping off all the bass and lower mid frequencies. I just hear Laurel.

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Old 05-16-2018, 02:23 AM   #8
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At least there's no visual distortion going on!

This stuff messes my head up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-lN8vWm3m0&t
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:13 AM   #9
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I hear "Yanni" very distinctly just until it is pitchshifted 40% and then equally distinctly it's "Laurel".
For me it's another little reminder about being humble in what we claim to be reality... I am not saying there isn't an objective reality out there BTW, just that it seems we do not have unmediated access to it.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:49 AM   #10
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Try as I might I cannot hear anything other than Laurel. Neither playing at half rate or chopping off all the bass and lower mid frequencies. I just hear Laurel.
Do you hear that in the same voice that speaks to you and tells you to kill your neighbors and put them in your refrigerator? You psycho!
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:03 AM   #11
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OK I half recognize the name Yanni. He was one of those "infomercial artists" like Boxcar Willie? Pan flute I think? Might have them all confused by this point. Never heard of a Laurel that I'm supposed to recognize from the single name. One ripped one of the other's songs off or something? I must be too old to get this one...
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:04 AM   #12
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"Melcombs 2"

Record it and test this in Reaper:

I found an EQ setting that allows me to filter the voice to hear some of the frequencies that accentuate the sounds that shape the higher pitched part of the signal (being severely distorted) "Yanny" (if I mentally ignore the lower frequencies still present -IOW straining to hear over voices, as per cocktail party effect) and switch off the setting to hear the full frequency "laurel".

If you have New Fangled/Eventide Equivocate try the setting "Melcombs 2". Switch it in and out to hear one then the other. You can accentuate the different by adding another instance of any EQ and cutting bass and mids severely, right up to the presence region.

I then hear something closer to "larry" rather than "Yanny"

I guess some people have been listening on really crappy speakers built into computer monitors or poor quality Smartphone speakers?

What a waste of time!

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Old 05-16-2018, 08:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Softsynth View Post

What a waste of time!
I've called the police and they're on their way to your house.



I love stuff like this sometimes. It effectively demonstrates how personal experience isn't nearly as reliable as we assume, and that we need to consider our biases when trying to learn. There are many examples of this but people need to be reminded.

PS. I'm listening with Steinberg MR816X and Adam A7 monitors (and comparing to listening over my Samsung Galaxy S6 phone's own tiny speaker). I still hear the same thing. So it's not about the audio device people are listening with (or at least, that's not the only factor). It's about your experience versus others', the way your ears hear it and the way your brain filters it.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:58 AM   #14
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Is this a joke? Like the flat earth movement? Whoever hears something different from Laurel doesn't speak English or has a hearing defect.
Umm not true, it's a hearing anomaly. It doesn't remotely sound like either to me and I speak English quite well. I'd say whomever is saying it so poorly, needs an English pronunciation refresher.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:21 AM   #15
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If you don't hear "Yanni" or "Laurel", it means you are a sociopath.
Better start sleeping with your eyes open and wearing chainmail, pilgrim!!!
(Mu-ha HAAAAAAAA.......)
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:23 AM   #16
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Says something of your secret fear of hernias!


Try as I might I cannot hear anything other than Laurel. Neither playing at half rate or chopping off all the bass and lower mid frequencies. I just hear Laurel.
Was operated on to fix a hernia at the age of 2. Caused by pushing a stone garden roller.

No, honestly!!!
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:50 AM   #17
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Better start sleeping with your eyes open and wearing chainmail, pilgrim!!!
(Mu-ha HAAAAAAAA.......)
Mithril blankets. Problem solved.

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Umm not true, it's a hearing anomaly. It doesn't remotely sound like either to me and I speak English quite well. I'd say whomever is saying it so poorly, needs an English pronunciation refresher.
Actually it means your brain is so twisted that you enjoy eating babies.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:02 AM   #18
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Actually it means your brain is so twisted that you enjoy eating babies.
They are a delicacy in these parts.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:04 AM   #19
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No wait, it was Zamfeir on the pan flute. Who's Laurel?
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:17 AM   #20
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Yanni was the New Age music guy with the moustache. Much mocked in the 90s, as I recall, although now I revere the likes of Solar Fields which isn't too much different, so go figure.

Laurel was the skinny one of Laurel and Hardy.

Edit to stay somewhat on topic (as it's clearly a critical topic): I hear a "speak and spell"-type voice clearly saying "Laurel".
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:47 AM   #21
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I hear a "speak and spell"-type voice clearly saying "Laurel".
"Perfect score! Press go to do some more!"

My younger brother had one.

Here's some fun with one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx-SBQNT-P0
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Softsynth View Post
"Melcombs 2"

Record it and test this in Reaper:

I found an EQ setting that allows me to filter the voice to hear some of the frequencies that accentuate the sounds that shape the higher pitched part of the signal (being severely distorted) "Yanny" (if I mentally ignore the lower frequencies still present -IOW straining to hear over voices, as per cocktail party effect) and switch off the setting to hear the full frequency "laurel".

If you have New Fangled/Eventide Equivocate try the setting "Melcombs 2". Switch it in and out to hear one then the other. You can accentuate the different by adding another instance of any EQ and cutting bass and mids severely, right up to the presence region.

I then hear something closer to "larry" rather than "Yanny"

I guess some people have been listening on really crappy speakers built into computer monitors or poor quality Smartphone speakers?

What a waste of time!
Agree with everything, including the waste of time. But when a young woman showed this to me last night from a phone, I heard something like "heauhwy" or "yeauhwy". No R's or L'.

I just came upon this thread on the forum, and I immediately heard 'Laurel' from my monitors. Playing around with reaeq, I can arrive at what I heard last night. It is a transient and frequency thing. Anyone can probably start to hear something other than "Laurel" by severely cutting at 4-5k, boosting hard just below that and moving the boost lower.

It reminds me of an argument that I had with a friend years ago. We were listening to a song through a crap stereo. In one line of the lyrics there is the word "fish". We both knew the lyrics to the song. But the transients were being smeared and distorted in such a way through that crap stereo that the word "fish" sounded like "mish". We listened back to it over and over, and he never heard "mish". I bet we argued for an hour over it. Ha ha.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:53 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by JamesPeters View Post
I've called the police and they're on their way to your house.



I love stuff like this sometimes. It effectively demonstrates how personal experience isn't nearly as reliable as we assume, and that we need to consider our biases when trying to learn. There are many examples of this but people need to be reminded.

PS. I'm listening with Steinberg MR816X and Adam A7 monitors (and comparing to listening over my Samsung Galaxy S6 phone's own tiny speaker). I still hear the same thing. So it's not about the audio device people are listening with (or at least, that's not the only factor). It's about your experience versus others', the way your ears hear it and the way your brain filters it.

Yeah, I find this borderline perception stuff fascinating.

The news program earlier suggestion more of the youngsters were hearing Yanny owing to more prominent high frequency content for them.

Earlier when I ran it through a couple of instances of EQ for a time I heard yanny/larry (with my frequency modifications), but then when I posted it I tried it again and I was back to hearing Laurel but now with the shadow of the Yanny frequencies which can be heard just after (or behind in timing) the laurel sound (like a fizzy aftermath).
So from that I can grasp how perhaps teenagers using low quality devices (lacking bass and decent mid) could be overwhelmed with very high frequency harmonics (say 18khz) from the Yanny part (if their smartphones and hearing go there).


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Agree with everything, including the waste of time. But when a young woman showed this to me last night from a phone, I heard something like "heauhwy" or "yeauhwy". No R's or L'.

I just came upon this thread on the forum, and I immediately heard 'Laurel' from my monitors. Playing around with reaeq, I can arrive at what I heard last night. It is a transient and frequency thing. Anyone can probably start to hear something other than "Laurel" by severely cutting at 4-5k, boosting hard just below that and moving the boost lower.

It reminds me of an argument that I had with a friend years ago. We were listening to a song through a crap stereo. In one line of the lyrics there is the word "fish". We both knew the lyrics to the song. But the transients were being smeared and distorted in such a way through that crap stereo that the word "fish" sounded like "mish". We listened back to it over and over, and he never heard "mish". I bet we argued for an hour over it. Ha ha.
Yeah, on another forum I have a read that a few laptop and smartphone users where hearing yanny then hearing Laurel on home stereo, so it depended on their playback devices.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:01 PM   #24
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OK, I hear "Laural" on my Macbook Pro speakers. I also hear a harmonic either overlaid or generated from some distortion (intentional or otherwise) that could possibly be isolated and sound like "Yanni". I'm not going to be piping youtube hash through the studio speakers. Good way to put an ear out!

But I've really never heard of Laural and I still want to know how Boxcar Willy fits into all this.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:06 PM   #25
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The news program earlier suggestion more of the youngsters were hearing Yanny owing to more prominent high frequency content for them.
I'm pretty sure if you speed it up/slow it down, what one hears will change. The closest I heard was yanny but as I mentioned earlier, that's simply less of a stretch than Laurel to my ears.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:24 PM   #26
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The saturated harmonic part sounds like an intentional overdub. Listen to this on a phone or Worst Purchase stereo and you'll mutilate the fundamental content enough to only hear the overdubbed harmonic sounding part.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:37 PM   #27
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Amazing! Reminds me of the Rubber Jonny video. Thanks for sharing!
https://youtu.be/eRvfxWRi6qQ?t=137
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:43 PM   #28
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I'm pretty sure if you speed it up/slow it down, what one hears will change. The closest I heard was yanny but as I mentioned earlier, that's simply less of a stretch than Laurel to my ears.
I tried that and heard no difference whatsoever, YMMV......
Using EQ OTOH I could get a yanny/larry sound as well as laurel.

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The saturated harmonic part sounds like an intentional overdub. Listen to this on a phone or Worst Purchase stereo and you'll mutilate the fundamental content enough to only hear the overdubbed harmonic sounding part.
Yeah, I discovered it pretty much sounds that way, as per details in my unscientific EQ tests in this thread.
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:56 PM   #29
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I heard it on the radio yesterday (no visuals) and I clearly heard Laurel, but it sounded like a synthesized "computer voice".

When the human radio personalities were discussing it I clearly heard them say. "Some people hear 'Yanny' and some people her 'Laurel".



P.S.
Crappy-average speakers at low volume.
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:24 PM   #30
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Sounds like speech synthesis to me. It apparently came from vocabulary.com. It is supposed to be laurel.

So it's probably very low bitrate sampled phonemes mixed with synthesis for the consonants.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:15 PM   #31
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Sounds like speech synthesis to me. It apparently came from vocabulary.com. It is supposed to be laurel.

So it's probably very low bitrate sampled phonemes mixed with synthesis for the consonants.
Sort of vaguely reflects my thoughts, there is no magic here when the pronunciation is so piss poor to begin with.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:23 PM   #32
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Sort of vaguely reflects my thoughts, there is no magic here when the pronunciation is so piss poor to begin with.
Yes,
Quote:
very low bitrate sampled phonemes mixed with synthesis
perfectly describes my general thought patterns as well.

Last edited by Reason; 05-16-2018 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:50 PM   #33
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Sort of vaguely reflects my thoughts, there is no magic here when the pronunciation is so piss poor to begin with.
Agreed, the pronunciation is not super clear but the difference people are hearing clearly is.

Yes it sounds like false voice synthesis but the difference in people's perception still stands.

If people can perceive an apparently simple word so very differently with high frequency noise added what does it say for how people perceive/hear track mixes with a wide range of playback systems, and perhaps audience age range?
Most likely nothing at all, but who knows?
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:54 PM   #34
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If people can perceive an apparently simple word so very differently with high frequency noise added what does it say for how people perceive/hear track mixes?
Everyone will perceive them differently I'm sure in various respects. It's the reason I no longer value mix critique comments in contests or posts in general that go beyond something being objectively wrong. Much of that conclusion came from my deciding not to use direct reference mixes and instead take a week and just listen to as many different mixes as I could across multiple genres which I found to be all over the farking map with all of them still being effective (so now I care about being effective).

I came to the conclusion that one is much better off to just make it sound how they want it to sound and leave it at that - or make is sound like someone is asking you to make it sound and leave it at that.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:56 PM   #35
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Fun game, I've heard it as both...

The fact the same sound can convingingly be one thing to one person and another thing to another person in the same room is a peek behind the curtain, that what we deem to be reality is what we perceive once we've filtered it through unreliable senses and given it to a brain to interpret.


So give the other guy/gal a break, whatever the problem
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:17 PM   #36
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Everyone will perceive them differently I'm sure in various respects. It's the reason I no longer value mix critique comments in contests or posts in general that go beyond something being objectively wrong. Much of that conclusion came from my deciding not to use direct reference mixes and instead take a week and just listen to as many different mixes as I could across multiple genres which I found to be all over the farking map with all of them still being effective (so now I care about being effective).

I came to the conclusion that one is much better off to just make it sound how they want it to sound and leave it at that - or make is sound like someone is asking you to make it sound and leave it at that.
I view reference mixes with some suspicion anyway. Many a classic album was a hit despite the quality of the production. I would aim for the best sound quality or a specific style rather than trying to match a specific mix.

I hope my previous comments won't make anyone any more paranoid than they might be already!
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:18 PM   #37
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Well, seing that I started a thread regarding audio degradation and streaming I thought I'd chime in on this one.

In the thread I started here (https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=206891) my research findings have let me to formulated the following hypothesis: people with slower Internet may hear more audio degradation.

My observations were that both Soundcloud and Youtube significantly deteriorate audio signals, but different people hear the distortions differently. I concluded that the streaming efficiency may have a role to play in what people perceive. I speculated that what someone is hearing is a function not only of what Youtube is putting out, but also whatever other factors can modify the audio signal from the Youtube server to your ears - this can include things such as your Internet provider, wifi connections, etc.

My hypothesis could be tested by trying to listen to the audio in different location (e.g. your home vS the coffee shop AND by using different devices (phone vs laptop).

Myself, I hear Laurel and I'm also subject to hearing great audio distortions from Youtube and Soundcloud : I have very slow Internet (via Hughesnet AKA speudo-satellite throttled down by design).

I could be wrong, this is just a hypothesis - a testable one!
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:38 PM   #38
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Well, seing that I started a thread regarding audio degradation and streaming I thought I'd chime in on this one.

In the thread I started here (https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=206891) my research findings have let me to formulated the following hypothesis: people with slower Internet may hear more audio degradation.

My observations were that both Soundcloud and Youtube significantly deteriorate audio signals, but different people hear the distortions differently. I concluded that the streaming efficiency may have a role to play in what people perceive. I speculated that what someone is hearing is a function not only of what Youtube is putting out, but also whatever other factors can modify the audio signal from the Youtube server to your ears - this can include things such as your Internet provider, wifi connections, etc.

My hypothesis could be tested by trying to listen to the audio in different location (e.g. your home vS the coffee shop AND by using different devices (phone vs laptop).

Myself, I hear Laurel and I'm also subject to hearing great audio distortions from Youtube and Soundcloud : I have very slow Internet (via Hughesnet AKA speudo-satellite throttled down by design).

I could be wrong, this is just a hypothesis - a testable one!
It depends on the implementation. Soundcloud is a fixed bit rate, YouTube does downgrade with low connection speeds.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:45 PM   #39
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Much as with the dress color thing, my guess is that playback is to blame for this, rather than perceptual differences (which are nonetheless occasionally profound). Everyone should report what kind of speakers they are hearing this through when they report what they hear. (And maybe streaming compression rates are relevant too, dunno. Edit: no doubt youtube at slow rates is probably contributing.)

To me, the only sane perception was "Laurel" until I heard a reproduction of it over a (particularly bad) laptop speaker. I'd guess smart phones are the same.

Over tinny speakers the distorted high frequency stuff pokes out and you get the "y", i.e. the vowels change from "au" and short "e" to "a" and long "e". The beginning of "Yanny" sounds as if begging with an unvocalized glottal stop, which i think helps explain how "Y" and "L" can be mistaken. This dovetails with those that can manipulate it via EQ to hear Yanny.

Does anyone listening on full-range speakers to the original (i.e. not compressed and re-compressed and re-compressed and re-uploaded) version (play it here) hear Yanny?

(Apparently the truly original original pre-viral version is here)
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:18 PM   #40
chip mcdonald
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Obviously it says "here's to my sweet satan".
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