Psychoacoustics Group

Psychoacoustics Group: Adam, Jake, Jorge, Allyson

Your jargon list is, as your group name suggests, all about how we perceive sound. These concepts were alluded to in, ‘How Does Digital Audio Work,’ though not necessarily discussed explicitly.  Therefore, it’s important that you supplement the reading with other research and your own knowledge.  Essentially I am asking you to define these terms in relation to their acoustic counterparts (i.e. pitch vs. frequency, amplitude vs. loudness). Begin by trying to define as many terms as possible, in your own words, without doing any research.  Some of these concepts have rather technical definitions.  For the purpose of this exercise, I’m more interested in a simple overview of the terms – finding a way to explain it so that the point is not lost on the newbie. Check yourself against the reading as well as the web, generally.  When you are satisfied with your definition, add it to the class glossary.  Be sure to include:

  1. A brief definition in your own words – what is it?
  2. Practical applications – why does it matter? (If relevant)
  3. Where can we find out more? Include links to useful text, video or images that contributed to your understanding of the term. (If relevant)

Each of you should be prepared to explain these terms to your classmates independently.  We will be dividing into mixed-groups for a jargon drill in part 2 of the exercise.

List of Terms to Define (Feel free to add any terms if other questions come up – they may be in others’ lists as well.)

  • Auditory Transduction – summarize the process of auditory transduction. (This video gives a nice overview):
  • Pitch (vs. frequency)
  • Loudness (vs. amplitude)
  • Fletcher-Munson Loudness curves


  • HRTF
  • ITD
  • ILD (or IID)
  • Binaural sound
  • Sound diffusion
  • Diffraction
  • Impulse Response (If you get bored)
  • Convolution (If you get bored)

Once you have finished defining these terms in the glossary, spend a bit of time thinking about the quickest way to clearly describe the meaning of, or the concept behind each term.  When you’re satisfied with your explanations, if there is time remaining before part 2, John, David, and Ziyun.  If they are still defining terms in the glossary, help them.  If they are quickly describing the meaning of, or the concept behind each term, take notes.


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