[bct] Re: Noise

  • From: "Joni Colver" <joni.colver@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 06:20:11 -0600

Tim I have always thought that perhaps people did a lot of lip reading 
without realizing it in noisy situations.  That makes a lot of sense to me. 
I too feel isolated in a situation as you describe when I can't hear the 
people around me well enough to participate in a conversation.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tim Cross" <tcross@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2006 1:04 AM
Subject: [bct] Re: Noise

I did read about some research some time ago into noise reduction. It
was quite interesting as they were getting really good effects in
reducing noise by generating noise!

The basic principal as I understood it, was that as noise is a wave
form, you could effectively neutralise it by generating an exact
inverse sound wave to the one you are trying to quieten down. in
effect, the two would cancel each other out and you wouldn't hear the
noise (as much).

The problem they have been trying to resolve in order for this to
become a practicle way of reducing noise is having equipment which is
able to both calculate the current sound wave and generate its inverse
in real time. I think this is also made more complex because sound
waves bounce around and when they are reflected off something, the
wave changes slightly, so the equipment which is attempting to
generate the inverse wave must also adjust quickly.

I've also been told that sufferers of tinnitus often use 'white noise'
generators when they are trying to sleep. Apparently its a similar
principal in that the sound waves from the white noise neutralise to
some extent the ringing etc the sufferer hears.

As Don points out, floor and wall coverings make a big difference, as
do things like acoustic tiles on the roof. Personally, I find things
like loud music not to be a big problem, but noise like you get in a
restaurant very difficult as I just cannot hear what the other people
on my table are saying and end up feeling isolated or left out.  I was
once told by someone that this is very common for people without good
vision because in noisy environment, nearly everyone lip reads without
knowing it. This is why some people who ware glasses have observed
they cannot hear people as clearly without their glasses on - its
because they are subconsciously improving what they hear by lip
reading. I've noticed since losing my sight that I cannot hear people
anywhere near as well in crowded situations as I use to.


Don Ball writes:
 > carpeted floors, wall covering, and even seating position make a 
 > in what you hear. some restaurants seat lots of people but you can still 
 > with a level of privacy because the place has done the necessary research 
 > eliminate noise or cut it to a minimum.
 > ----- Original Message ----- 
 > From: "Mike Busboom" <mbusboom@xxxxxxxxx>
 > To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
 > Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2006 9:58 AM
 > Subject: [bct] Re: Noise
 > Has anyone tried to keep up on what is being done (from a
 > technological perspective) to isolate noise?  I know nothing about
 > it, but it would seem that people who have hearing impairments and
 > blind people who can't tolerate high amounts of noise have convergent 
 > I am aware of technologies that are designed to direct "sound beams"
 > that contain information to specific individuals in a crowd while
 > others in the crowd hear nothing.  Wouldn't it be great if you could
 > use a similar technology to cancel specific noises while letting
 > other sounds through?
 > Whenever I travel to the United States, I am amazed at the decibel
 > level in many restaurants.  When I asked someone who worked at a
 > restaurant about this, she cited a statistic in which she alleged
 > that restaurants kept the music at a level that ensured a higher
 > turn-over of patrons.  She said that the average patron could stand
 > 71 minutes of music at a specific decibel level before getting up and
 > leaving.  I believe that we as blind people have a harder time in
 > such places because we don't get the visual cues which often mitigate
 > some of the negative effects of noisy environments.
 > My very best to all of you,
 > Mike
 > At 03:39 PM 11/02/2006, you wrote:
 > >Not only is it impossible to navigate in loud places, it hurts my ears 
 > >time--both then and pain continues for quite a while, even when it's 
 > >again.  Beth

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