Saturday, May 19, 2018

What's with Yanny/Laurel thing ?


An audio clip surfaced and now twitter is hearing two different things and arguing the other is wrong.

So this "Yanny or Laurel" debate is starting to take off so let me clear it up. If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's the audio clip that I'm talking about:

Some people hear "Yanny" and some people hear "Laurel" so what gives? The answer seems to be both actually. Yanny is being played on a high frequency and Laurel is being played on a low frequency. As people age, we tend to lose some hearing in general, especially in the high registers, so younger people are more likely to hear Yanny and older people are more likely to hear Laurel. A dude who knows much more about audio than me explains it and isolates the audio of the clip in this video.

https://youtu.be/OP_JKG8MAOw

But we're actually not done yet. The original source for the audio, not the viral clip that took off, is actually "Laurel" from vocabulary.com as can be heard here:

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/laurel

It's obvious that there is way less distortion on this than the viral audio clip so what happened?

Well I fumbled with the settings on my headphones to increase treble and lower bass and I could hear a little bit of the "Yanny" distortion in this. And when I set it back to normal, I could now still hear Yanny even quieter above the "Laurel" audio. What happened is that whatever the poster of the viral audio clip used to play and record the audio from vocabulary.com caused this "Yanny" distortion/illusion to be exacerbated to the point where it's pretty ambiguous and both answers are technically right.

In fact, the original poster of the viral audio clip explains that he played the vocabulary.com audio from his computer speakers and he recorded that audio with a separate device. He wasn't intentionally trying to enhance this illusion, but it seems like he accidentally made the perfect recipe for this illusion to occur.

TL;DR The answer for the original audio is definitely laurel, but for the viral clip the audio is distorted enough that technically both answers are correct.
Location: India

0 comments:

Post a Comment