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Posted By: Abdol 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 06:24 PM
Well, it seems there are few folks here, who believe 1ms is perceivable to ears.

Here is a challenge to study the 1ms issue and see who can perceive it and who can not and finally make a decision about finally put an end to this unsolved mystery.

Part 1:
1- Can we here an audio signal which is only 1ms?

Part 2:
2- Can we tell the difference between 2 audio signals that are delayed by 1ms from each other?

The results must be reproducible by anyone who is interested in doing so. So no-nonsense posts, please.

I am announcing the first three participants to prove their claims:

1- @nicknameTaken
2- @pianogabe
3- @Gombessa
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 06:51 PM
Totally irrelevant. The only latency I care about is a delayed sound from the piano, caused by latency in the VST event chain.

When latency is too great the fingers get confused, as the sound doesn't sync with what the fingers are doing.
So I only care about the time lapse between finger actions and sounds heard.
When that latency is low enough it's all good.

I don't care whether I can hear a 1 msec time lapse between two sounds. It has no meaning to me.
Posted By: nicknameTaken Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 06:58 PM
I agree.
I don't care whether I can hear a 1 msec time lapse between two sounds. It has no meaning to me.

What MacMacMac said - When latency is too great the fingers get confused, as the sound doesn't sync with what the fingers are doing.
It doesn't even have to be only latency, but other technical problems which add to the problem.
Posted By: Abdol Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 06:59 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Totally irrelevant. The only latency I care about is a delayed sound from the piano, caused by latency in the VST event chain.

When latency is too great the fingers get confused, as the sound doesn't sync with what the fingers are doing.
So I only care about the time lapse between finger actions and sounds heard.
When that latency is low enough it's all good.

I don't care whether I can hear a 1 msec time lapse between two sounds. It has no meaning to me.


Did I say anything about Pianos???
Posted By: Abdol Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:03 PM
Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
I agree.
I don't care whether I can hear a 1 msec time lapse between two sounds. It has no meaning to me.

What MacMacMac said - When latency is too great the fingers get confused, as the sound doesn't sync with what the fingers are doing.
It doesn't even have to be only latency, but other technical problems which add to the problem.


It's completely relevant to what you said in your post. You said you perceive the 1ms. You totally ignored the fact that Piano is an analog machine and all the folks here were counting milliseconds instead of focusing on the actual mechanics in a hand made-machine like Piano.

Now, since you denied everything about Piano in your post, you have a chance to prove yourself! Either you're making a joke or you are correct.

I just want to learn something from you and the other two guys here. Much appreciated.

And in further posts, I will make it more challenging. For now, let's just test the neurons.
Posted By: nicknameTaken Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:06 PM
Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Totally irrelevant. The only latency I care about is a delayed sound from the piano, caused by latency in the VST event chain.

When latency is too great the fingers get confused, as the sound doesn't sync with what the fingers are doing.
So I only care about the time lapse between finger actions and sounds heard.
When that latency is low enough it's all good.

I don't care whether I can hear a 1 msec time lapse between two sounds. It has no meaning to me.


Did I say anything about Pianos???


Why do you want to have approval for a study that has been already been approved and revised?
We are musicians at PianoWorld. Everything that counts for us is that our instruments are behaving the way they should. If they don't, something is off.

To accent it - I never was interested in distinguishing 1ms, but to say that when I use a VSTi, and it's on the reading which shows 1ms, it's too much for me.
Did you take into account that the latency of the digital instrument adds with the VSTi ? It's probably not 0. Therefore was never the same latency as the program reported. Right?

First, how can we find out the base latency?
Your understanding of my claim is off.
Posted By: Abdol Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:14 PM
Originally Posted by nicknameTaken
Originally Posted by Abdol
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Totally irrelevant. The only latency I care about is a delayed sound from the piano, caused by latency in the VST event chain.

When latency is too great the fingers get confused, as the sound doesn't sync with what the fingers are doing.
So I only care about the time lapse between finger actions and sounds heard.
When that latency is low enough it's all good.

I don't care whether I can hear a 1 msec time lapse between two sounds. It has no meaning to me.


Did I say anything about Pianos???


Why do you want to have approval for a study that has been already been approved and revised?
We are musicians at PianoWorld. Everything that counts for us is that our instruments are behaving the way they should. If they don't, something is off.

To accent it - I never was interested in distinguishing 1ms, but to say that when I use a VSTi, and it's on the reading which shows 1ms, it's too much for me.
Did you take into account that the latency of the digital instrument adds with the VSTi ? It's probably not 0. Therefore was never the same latency as the program reported. Right?


It has been studied? Who said that? We can continue this discussion in its relevant post (although it is a dumb discussion).

So in your own post, you were a physicist, neurologist, mathematician and now you have changed to a musician in this post?

And what's wrong with doing something as simple as this once again? Many scientists discovered new phenomena by repeating previously done experiments...
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:19 PM
Abdol: Maybe you need a new hobby?
Posted By: navindra Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:21 PM
Abdol, assuming this thread isn't closed, I'm willing to take the test for my own curiosity. Please let me know when you are ready to administer it.
Posted By: nicknameTaken Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:28 PM
Hit me with the challenge, too. I was just clarifying stuff.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:31 PM
Thanks, but this topic is already a bit too polemic, and I've already taken/posted one of many available online tests here:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ever-use-a-vsti-anymore.html#Post2919535

I don't have anything to personally prove, my point is just that I do believe people (and not just an anointed few) can perceive much smaller timing differences than some were claiming in the thread.
Posted By: navindra Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:38 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Thanks, but this topic is already a bit too polemic, and I've already taken/posted one of many available online tests here:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ever-use-a-vsti-anymore.html#Post2919535

I don't have anything to personally prove, my point is just that I do believe people (and not just an anointed few) can perceive much smaller timing differences than some were claiming in the thread.


Thanks. I passed the test. I can tell the difference between the 1ms delayed sample and the normal one.
Posted By: Abdol Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:43 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
Abdol: Maybe you need a new hobby?


Come on MacMacMac, this is fun? nothing wrong with it.

Originally Posted by navindra
Abdol, assuming this thread isn't closed, I'm willing to take the test for my own curiosity. Please let me know when you are ready to administer it.


Sure. I said initially and I'm here to do it.

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Thanks, but this topic is already a bit too polemic, and I've already taken/posted one of many available online tests here:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ever-use-a-vsti-anymore.html#Post2919535

I don't have anything to personally prove, my point is just that I do believe people (and not just an anointed few) can perceive much smaller timing differences than some were claiming in the thread.


30 fps... yes, but have you ever heard about "image persistence in neurons"? No one is against 30fps or 60fps. No one said it. The research about Piano is approximate. 25 or 26 ms has no difference.

This though is a different concept. I'm sure the outcomes are interesting.

Audacity is one free software that can be used. JIC and anyone interested can participate.
Posted By: pianogabe Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by Abdol
So in your own post, you were a physicist, neurologist, mathematician and now you have changed to a musician in this post?
And what's wrong with doing something as simple as this once again? Many scientists discovered new phenomena by repeating previously done experiments...


Abdol, I was the neurologist, not nicknameTaken.

I myself don't see the point to prove again this well-established scientific result. The fact that I can hear the direction of sound is continuous proof that I am able to detect latencies smaller than 1 ms. I pointed you to proper studies showing this up to 10 microseconds and to a study explaining how it works. This is basic text book stuff, and you can find many non-academic sources all over the internet explaining this.

However if you insist on experiencing this for yourself: take a mono piano sound, copy it, and make a stereo sound by combining them. This is sound 1. Now shift the mono copy by 0.3 ms (or 1 ms if that is really important to you). Combine that with the original mono to a new stereo sound. This is sound 2. It only differs from sound 1 in that there is a 0.3 ms latency between the channels. Listen to these sounds over headphones. Can you hear the difference? I am certain you can. You can make it smaller than 0.3 ms, I just tried this (especially for you!) for 50 microseconds: it is very clear.

I think I said all I can and am willing to say about this.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 08:07 PM
You can discriminate between zero latency and 1ms but the real question is whether you can discriminate between 1ms and 2ms, 3ms, ... There’s always some latency on real pianos as discussed, so the goal is not to neutralize latency but make it low enough and not lower smile And I’m with Abdol here. I think the thread where it all started was based on wrong assumptions and declared VST-s unfit due to latency. And we all know that’s not true. One can explain that with superhuman abilities but that’s highly doubtful smile
Posted By: MacMacMac Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 08:08 PM
I cannot distinguish 1 msec sounds ... but I can lose 30 pounds in 1 msec with the new Slim Fast diet! smile
Posted By: nicknameTaken Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 08:13 PM
Originally Posted by MacMacMac
I cannot distinguish 1 msec sounds ... but I can lose 30 pounds in 1 msec with the new Slim Fast diet! smile


I have problems with that challenge. But that wasn't in context of playing though. Like having it as a sample to interact.
Must I yell that you read that finally?

How to find out base Piano latency?
Because it ADDS with the VSTi latency.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 08:17 PM
Furthermore, your directional hearing ability is based on phase detection and that’s indeed within microsecond range but we’re talking about highly specialized system which is also calibrated with itself. You’re not detecting latency between different nervous stimulus, you’re detecting differences between two equal sensors: the ear drums, they are wired probably within the same brain region if not the same endpoint, if not the same neuron, specialized in that. Detecting keyboard latency on the other hand is a chain of many different events and signals, one neural signal commanding finger movement that takes time to physically move, then an analysis of the “key hit bottom” feedback compared to “ear heard sound”, these are different regions of brain. And there’s probably a separate region that compares them both. Apples and oranges smile
Posted By: pianogabe Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 09:28 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Apples and oranges smile

Perhaps you should have a more careful look at the original thread. Abdol claimed that the OP's experience could not possibly be true because "the speed of neurons is in ms" or something of that nature. You, of all people, then added that the OP would better consider alternative explanations than assuming that he had superfast neurons (which he never said or suggested by the way). These statements do not make, logically and factually, sense.

Yes my and Gombessa's counter examples are different from playing a piano, and from each other, but they invalidate the sweeping claims that were made, in the original and in this thread. Abdol clearly repeated here that he is not talking about pianos, but just perception in general. There is also the other study that was discussed that actually did come close to playing a piano. Did you look at it? That did not test 1-ms differences, but pretty close to that, and with clear results in terms of differences in perceived playability.

You are free to believe what you want, I respect that, but I would consider things again.
Posted By: bSharp(C)yclist Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 09:54 PM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
Thanks, but this topic is already a bit too polemic, and I've already taken/posted one of many available online tests here:

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...ever-use-a-vsti-anymore.html#Post2919535

I don't have anything to personally prove, my point is just that I do believe people (and not just an anointed few) can perceive much smaller timing differences than some were claiming in the thread.


The only reason I do well in the 1ms test (10/10) is because the two samples sound different to me, and then I can easily associate the label (sync, delay) to the sound I hear. However, it doesn't mean that I can tell if there is a delay or two separate sounds. I think the high hat sound comes second, so I perceive it to have a higher pitch, making it easy to recognize vs the bass sound. If I listen to the 100ms delay, then yes, I would say I hear two different sounds.
Posted By: Abdol Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by pianogabe
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Apples and oranges smile

Perhaps you should have a more careful look at the original thread. Abdol claimed that the OP's experience could not possibly be true because "the speed of neurons is in ms" or something of that nature. You, of all people, then added that the OP would better consider alternative explanations than assuming that he had superfast neurons (which he never said or suggested by the way). These statements do not make, logically and factually, sense.

Yes my and Gombessa's counter examples are different from playing a piano, and from each other, but they invalidate the sweeping claims that were made, in the original and in this thread. Abdol clearly repeated here that he is not talking about pianos, but just perception in general. There is also the other study that was discussed that actually did come close to playing a piano. Did you look at it? That did not test 1-ms differences, but pretty close to that, and with clear results in terms of differences in perceived playability.

You are free to believe what you want, I respect that, but I would consider things again.



The 3rd part of the challenge is for you @pianogabe... you don't need to run experiments for this, just an answer is sufficient:

Quote
Let's say you are left in a room with an acoustic piano and asked to play any key (the same or not) and measure their delays. You can repeat this experiment as many times as you want.



I did a survey and here is one selected-response example for you:

Quote
The 1st time I played not X I heard the sound faster than the 2nd time I played X or note Y. The 3rd time the delay was more than the 1st time but less than the second time... I played the piano at velocity 96, I was sure that my muscles moved exactly the same every time, I made sure the room temperature did not change (21 degrees Celsius) and the humidity was 71.5%. My ears told me the 1st time delay was 1ms and the second time was 4ms, 3rd time it was 2ms.


What would be your observation for the delays? Can you qualify your experience for me?

I didn't understand if you're talking about the fact that you can detect 1ms or not, but to me it is impossible to detect 1ms difference while playing piano. The same goes to when I play VST.
Posted By: magicpiano Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 10:25 PM
Originally Posted by bSharp(C)yclist
The only reason I do well in the 1ms test (10/10) is because the two samples sound different to me, and then I can easily associate the label (sync, delay) to the sound I hear. However, it doesn't mean that I can tell if there is a delay or two separate sounds. I think the high hat sound comes second, so I perceive it to have a higher pitch, making it easy to recognize vs the bass sound. If I listen to the 100ms delay, then yes, I would say I hear two different sounds.
I totally agree with you. IMHO, if you are always able to perceive the difference, what you feel is not a delay between 2 sounds, but a slightly different waveform generated by the sum of 2 other waveforms in different phases.
Posted By: pianogabe Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 10:25 PM
Abdol, I am not going to respond to new challenges, questions, different types of 1-ms tests. I do not have to prove that 1ms differences can be detected in any given type of test. My only point was to not dismiss people's experiences based on your belief of how neural systems work. I provided one example to show that your general claim was false. I did my very best to explain the example and support it. You asked for an test example so that you could experience it yourself. Gombessa gave one, I gave a different one. If that is not convincing you to retract your original claim, then I don't know what would be.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: 1ms challenge - 12/04/19 10:58 PM
Originally Posted by pianogabe
You, of all people, then added that the OP would better consider alternative explanations than assuming that he had superfast neurons (which he never said or suggested by the way).


He said:
Quote
But I'm very, very sensitive to everything and I may be 1 in 500.000 people.


See, I don’t care about neuron stuff. Abdol was wrong about backing his claims with neuron transmission speed. But you’re also wrong about comparing a primary function (such as our ability to hear directional) to a complex experience such as digital keyboard latency. I don’t care who’s wrong or right TBH.

What I care is simple: VST-s play well enough and we all know the latency is low enough and there must be some setup problem rather than extreme sensitivity or whatever. You must agree that bold statements like how one won’t play VST-s anymore because of “intolerable” 1ms lag are bordering on trolling and some people will respond to that. Abdol did it, maybe with wrong arguments but he’s ultimately right. Shifting the argument to the speed of neurons is another story for another Internet forum.
Posted By: Ojustaboo Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 12:43 AM
I would have thought that even if most people can’t tell the difference, there will always be a few who can?

I can hear certain noises before most other people, can hear an ambulance siren before any other person in the car can, I can also hear high pitched noises from electronics when other people can hear nothing .

Likewise, when all the shops switched over to the new low wattage bulbs (before they went to Led), certain shops would make me feel sick and disoriented, yet, apart from my daughter (who unlike me, suffers from photosensitive/light epilepsy) no one else I know experienced this.

I can also sense the smallest flicker in a bulb or tv screen etc and it drives me nuts.

I bought an expensive monitor a few years ago, had to return it as it used Pulse Width Modulation to dim the screens. Even though it’s supposed to be impossible to see the flicker, I could see it and I got massive migraines trying to use it. At the time I could find only one decent monitor that didn’t have it, and I’m still happily using that.

Just because science says something is unmeasurable to the human eye or ear, doesn’t mean occasionally someone will come along who has extra sensitivity in certain areas, and for them it is noticeable.

That said, it’s also quite possible that in some cases, the fact people are altering buffer sizes, seeing what their latency is reported at, they are subconsciously noticing something that had they come to a DP with exactly the same latency, they would think it’s fine.
Posted By: HarmonySmurf Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 12:49 AM
Well folks, you are in luck as I happen to be a scientist, physician and a musician. BTW, I used only free vsts with the exception of Echoboy. I couldn't find a free delay that went below 10ms(this is a clue to my result.)

I made two midi files that have a 32nd note at C8(chosen to reduce phase issues) with a BPM of 200. One track has Sonatina orchestra flutes(panned left) and no delay while the other has the same virtual instrument with a 1ms delay using Echoboy that is panned right. I used Live's Pan ability found in the audio effects utility folder. Test performed with properly spaced monitors.

THE RESULT: I notice no difference in either ear. YMMV. Try the test for yourself. TURN UP THE VOLUME TO HEAR THE TEST AND TURN IT REMEMBER TO TURN IT BACK DOWN BEFORE IT ENDS! https://soundcloud.com/user-703639001/1ms-test-file

Now with the web test from the other thread, I can't perceive anything shorter than 10ms as being from a separate source. At ten, it sounds like someone affected the attack. My understanding of the Haas effect is that the source will appear to be louder in the un-delayed ear at below 10ms and appear to come from another direction with delay times over 10ms. The echo time occurs at approximately 35ms.
Posted By: pianogabe Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 07:09 AM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Abdol was wrong about backing his claims with neuron transmission speed. But you’re also wrong about comparing a primary function (such as our ability to hear directional) to a complex experience such as digital keyboard latency. I don’t care who’s wrong or right TBH.


Well as said that example was given to counter exactly those claims. I compared digital keyboard latency in the context of a different study, based on a percussion instrument, that was specifically designed to address perception of MIDI instrument latency (variation). That had nothing to do with neurons or speed.

At the risk of unnecessarily prolonging a thread that has unfortunately become so negative, some explanation of my motivation here may be warranted.

I felt it was useful to counter the neural speed based claim because it is a recurring theme in this and other forums that people claim that other people cannot hear or experience something they say they do because of how hearing works. I think I can confidently say that we do not understand much about *how* hearing works. Specific claims about perceptibility will have to be tested as such (as was done in the study mentioned above), and results cannot easily be generalized far beyond what was tested. That is unfortunately the current state of affairs. Hence, I think we should not be overly dismissive of perception claims. Objectively measuring it is another matter of course, but with effort it can be done.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
What I care is simple: VST-s play well enough and we all know the latency is low enough and there must be some setup problem rather than extreme sensitivity or whatever. You must agree that bold statements like how one won’t play VST-s anymore because of “intolerable” 1ms lag are bordering on trolling and some people will respond to that. Abdol did it, maybe with wrong arguments but he’s ultimately right. Shifting the argument to the speed of neurons is another story for another Internet forum.


I understand your point, but my interpretation of the OP's post (in the other thread...) is entirely different. To me it seems he himself is disappointed in current VST technology given the amount of effort he put in to get it to work for him. I didn't get the impression that he dismissed VST being fine for other people. I didn't sense any trolling at all, not by him at least. I was curious about his post, and unlike you I was not convinced that it can only be a setup problem, although it could be. And frankly, after having found a study on this topic, I am happy that I was not convinced because to me these results are quite unexpected. I think I underestimated the value of having dedicated hardware. Nevertheless, I am sticking with VST for now because to me the sound is so much better and this outweighs the latency issues that do bother me a bit. I wish I had bought the CA-78 or CA-98 instead of CA-58!
Posted By: johnstaf Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 08:01 AM
The issue of perceived latency in a grand is complicated. If we are judging it in terms of the correlation between the key reaching the keybed and hearing the hammer strike, it must surely depend on how the piano is regulated.

If there is a lot of aftertouch (the last bit of key travel when the key no longer influences the hammer), the hammer will have progressed more by the time key bottoms out. This means we'll hear the note earlier.

If there is very little aftertouch, the hammer will strike later in the key travel.

On the other hand, an action with a lot of aftertouch can feel sluggish, and the perception of a sluggishness can be similar to the perception of high latency (at least to me).

An action with low (but sufficient) aftertouch feels nimble, presumably because a greater proportion of the key travel is spent driving the hammer, yet the hammer's journey will have progressed less when the key bottoms out.

This is a problem caused by the the perceived correlation between events that don't really a causal relation.

Playing softly enough to feel the "bump" and not playing to the bottom complicates things even further.

Posted By: johnstaf Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 08:16 AM
Which reminds me. There's a video of Daniil Trifonov rehearsing Chopin's Concerto no.1. He asks the tech to change the regulation of the piano as he says he hears the note before he plays it. I assume he means that he hears the note earlier than he normally does.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 08:38 AM
The standard regulation for aftertouch is around 1mm of key travel after the escapement. The hammer travels 1-2mm to the string after the escapement. If we take the 1:5 ratio of key travel to hammer travel, and if we assume the pianist pushes the key with a constant velocity and the hammer flies with a constant velocity, he would expect that the hammer hits the string 5mm after the escapement and not 1-2mm. So, that could create the feeling of hammer hitting the string earlier. Which would require setting the aftertouch to be shallower.
Posted By: johnstaf Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 08:56 AM
Indeed, but too much aftertouch makes the action feel sluggish, and the perception (to me at least) is very similar to higher latency in a DP. I think there's an apparent contradiction in that the action in which the hammer strikes earlier in the key travel is the action that feels closer to a higher latency DP.

In an action with no flex or play anywhere, the hammer will always strike the string before the key reaches the bottom. Only the AvantGrand and Novus pianos are the same in this respect. It would be interesting to know where in the key travel a MIDI note-on event is triggered in conventional DPs.
Posted By: Abdol Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 02:12 PM
Originally Posted by HarmonySmurf
Well folks, you are in luck as I happen to be a scientist, physician and a musician. BTW, I used only free vsts with the exception of Echoboy. I couldn't find a free delay that went below 10ms(this is a clue to my result.)

I made two midi files that have a 32nd note at C8(chosen to reduce phase issues) with a BPM of 200. One track has Sonatina orchestra flutes(panned left) and no delay while the other has the same virtual instrument with a 1ms delay using Echoboy that is panned right. I used Live's Pan ability found in the audio effects utility folder. Test performed with properly spaced monitors.

THE RESULT: I notice no difference in either ear. YMMV. Try the test for yourself. TURN UP THE VOLUME TO HEAR THE TEST AND TURN IT REMEMBER TO TURN IT BACK DOWN BEFORE IT ENDS! https://soundcloud.com/user-703639001/1ms-test-file

Now with the web test from the other thread, I can't perceive anything shorter than 10ms as being from a separate source. At ten, it sounds like someone affected the attack. My understanding of the Haas effect is that the source will appear to be louder in the un-delayed ear at below 10ms and appear to come from another direction with delay times over 10ms. The echo time occurs at approximately 35ms.


Well, thank you for the post.

As I said, 1ms doesn't make sense in whatever way you look at this issue.

It is extremely quick our neurons will never distinguish it. This means that you will never be able to see the details of a frame if someone shows you a picture for 1ms. The same goes for audio and everything else. You may/might be able to feel something, but you will never be able to say what it was.

From a mechanical and Piano perspective, there is no perception of 1ms. The piano's delay varies and is not set to a fixed value that your neurons get conditioned to it or learn any pattern from the delay. There will be an expected delay but 1ms is not going to change the perception from normal to abnormal.

If someone says I detect 1ms delay in an acoustic piano, I call on it BS. The same goes for VSTs.

There is no way that 1ms delay sounds abnormal and unnatural. Even the latency is already high since our brain works based on expected latency rather than a fixed latency values, I call it nonsense.

Thanks laugh
Posted By: CyberGene Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 02:35 PM
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Indeed, but too much aftertouch makes the action feel sluggish, and the perception (to me at least) is very similar to higher latency in a DP. I think there's an apparent contradiction in that the action in which the hammer strikes earlier in the key travel is the action that feels closer to a higher latency DP.

Hm, that's very interesting. I haven't had the chance to compare different aftertouch settings. I've seen YouTube videos where technicians basically use three standard settings, with one of them being the most common which I believe was ~1mm, others being slightly more and less, say 1.2mm and 0.8mm (they were all expressed as some fractions of inches but since I live in a part of the world where we use vastly superior measurement system, I never bothered remembering the exact numbers). I find it curious that deeper aftertouch would feel like being sluggish taking in mind the hammer will hit the string before the key bottoms out as you say. I'd be really interested in comparing them some day. What I have experienced with changing DP latency is that when I lower the latency too much, say a buffer of 64, I feel the action too hard-bottoming, whereas if it's around 128 it feels exactly how a piano feels not overly hard, so there's some brain stuff going on indeed.

Originally Posted by johnstaf

In an action with no flex or play anywhere, the hammer will always strike the string before the key reaches the bottom. Only the AvantGrand and Novus pianos are the same in this respect. It would be interesting to know where in the key travel a MIDI note-on event is triggered in conventional DPs.

I'm pretty sure the actual velocity is detected (and note-on event sent) when the key/hammer hits the bottom where the last sensor is. Even on triple-sensor keyboards where the first sensor is used for note-off events on release and the other two are used for velocity measurement.
Posted By: magicpiano Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 03:48 PM
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Which reminds me. There's a video of Daniil Trifonov rehearsing Chopin's Concerto no.1. He asks the tech to change the regulation of the piano as he says he hears the note before he plays it. I assume he means that he hears the note earlier than he normally does.
I wonder if in an acoustic piano (not perfectly regulated) is possible for the hammer to strike the string some milliseconds before the key is completely depressed...
Posted By: newer player Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 04:45 PM
Originally Posted by HarmonySmurf
Well folks, you are in luck as I happen to be a scientist, physician and a musician.
Thank you for this posting. Additional thoughts relating comments and popular research would be welcomed!

Originally Posted by HarmonySmurf
I made two midi files that have a 32nd note at C8(chosen to reduce phase issues) with a BPM of 200. One track has Sonatina orchestra flutes(panned left) and no delay while the other has the same virtual instrument with a 1ms delay using Echoboy that is panned right. I used Live's Pan ability found in the audio effects utility folder. Test performed with properly spaced monitors.

THE RESULT: I notice no difference in either ear. YMMV. Try the test for yourself. TURN UP THE VOLUME TO HEAR THE TEST AND TURN IT REMEMBER TO TURN IT BACK DOWN BEFORE IT ENDS! https://soundcloud.com/user-703639001/1ms-test-file
If I understand your simple test correctly, it runs several flute "beeps" of 10ms always at note C8, some samples include a 1ms delay. Is that correct? Or wrong (lol)?

My thoughts listening on laptop speakers:

- The longer duration beeps seem to be "flammed" and a bit softer

- The shorter duration beeps seem a bit brighter in frequency and shorter. Sometimes this seems easier to identify.

This test is approaching the limits of my perception so I am not 100% sure about anything.

It would be fun to have a few tests with different levels of delay so we can see what boundaries of perception for this is.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 04:52 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
[I find it curious that deeper aftertouch would feel like being sluggish taking in mind the hammer will hit the string before the key bottoms out as you say. I'd be really interested in comparing them some day. What I have experienced with changing DP latency is that when I lower the latency too much, say a buffer of 64, I feel the action too hard-bottoming, whereas if it's around 128 it feels exactly how a piano feels not overly hard, so there's some brain stuff going on indeed.


This is primarily what I notice in sub-5ms delays. It's not so much hearing the delay as it is feeling the slight difference between the key bottoming out and the note following afterwards. I found that I have a threshold below which everything seems more or less instantaneous, but even a few ms above which I can notice the latency.

Originally Posted by magicpiano
I wonder if in an acoustic piano (not perfectly regulated) is possible for the hammer to strike the string some milliseconds before the key is completely depressed...


It's certainly possible, not just milliseconds later but seconds, minutes, hours or more wink As you can guess, what I mean is that the hammer can hot the string even if the key *never* bottoms out, though that is more of a mechanical edge case than a common playing technique.
Posted By: newer player Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 04:57 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Indeed, but too much aftertouch makes the action feel sluggish, and the perception (to me at least) is very similar to higher latency in a DP. I think there's an apparent contradiction in that the action in which the hammer strikes earlier in the key travel is the action that feels closer to a higher latency DP.

Hm, that's very interesting.
Interesting indeed!

Originally Posted by CyberGene
I haven't had the chance to compare different aftertouch settings.
I suppose that would be easiest to do in a big factory, say where a bunch of identical small Yamaha pianos congregate after regulation, patiently awaiting the packaging crews. Or Maybe the factory store has a bunch of similar pianos on display.

Originally Posted by CyberGene
they were all expressed as some fractions of inches but since I live in a part of the world where we use vastly superior measurement system...
hahaha. What's wrong with the King's foot?
Posted By: Abdol Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 05:43 PM
Originally Posted by HarmonySmurf
Well folks, you are in luck as I happen to be a scientist, physician and a musician. BTW, I used only free vsts with the exception of Echoboy. I couldn't find a free delay that went below 10ms(this is a clue to my result.)

I made two midi files that have a 32nd note at C8(chosen to reduce phase issues) with a BPM of 200. One track has Sonatina orchestra flutes(panned left) and no delay while the other has the same virtual instrument with a 1ms delay using Echoboy that is panned right. I used Live's Pan ability found in the audio effects utility folder. Test performed with properly spaced monitors.

THE RESULT: I notice no difference in either ear. YMMV. Try the test for yourself. TURN UP THE VOLUME TO HEAR THE TEST AND TURN IT REMEMBER TO TURN IT BACK DOWN BEFORE IT ENDS! https://soundcloud.com/user-703639001/1ms-test-file

Now with the web test from the other thread, I can't perceive anything shorter than 10ms as being from a separate source. At ten, it sounds like someone affected the attack. My understanding of the Haas effect is that the source will appear to be louder in the un-delayed ear at below 10ms and appear to come from another direction with delay times over 10ms. The echo time occurs at approximately 35ms.


No one is really answering the original question. All I'm reading here is some folks posting irrelevant posts.

If you have something relevant post it. You can make thousands of new threads for your topics of interest!

Can anyone tell the difference as posted by @HarmonySmurf?
Posted By: Kbeaumont Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 05:56 PM
I tried the test by HarmonySmurf. No, I cannot tell the difference. But then I have issues with VST's and latency before and anything lower then 10ms has never been an issue for me.
Posted By: magicpiano Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 07:00 PM

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by magicpiano
I wonder if in an acoustic piano (not perfectly regulated) is possible for the hammer to strike the string some milliseconds before the key is completely depressed...


It's certainly possible, not just milliseconds later but seconds, minutes, hours or more wink As you can guess, what I mean is that the hammer can hot the string even if the key *never* bottoms out, though that is more of a mechanical edge case than a common playing technique.
So, when that pianist said he heard the sound before he played it, it could mean that the piano was not perfectly regulated and the hammer struck the strings before he depressed the keys until the bottom, so he had the feeling that the sound started in advance.
Posted By: CyberGene Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 08:06 PM
Originally Posted by magicpiano

Originally Posted by Gombessa
Originally Posted by magicpiano
I wonder if in an acoustic piano (not perfectly regulated) is possible for the hammer to strike the string some milliseconds before the key is completely depressed...


It's certainly possible, not just milliseconds later but seconds, minutes, hours or more wink As you can guess, what I mean is that the hammer can hot the string even if the key *never* bottoms out, though that is more of a mechanical edge case than a common playing technique.
So, when that pianist said he heard the sound before he played it, it could mean that the piano was not perfectly regulated and the hammer struck the strings before he depressed the keys until the bottom, so he had the feeling that the sound started in advance.

Me and John commented on that, you missed it.
Posted By: magicpiano Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 09:08 PM
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Me and John commented on that, you missed it.
Sorry, I noticed that now. wink
Posted By: HarmonySmurf Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 10:39 PM
Originally Posted by newer player

If I understand your simple test correctly, it runs several flute "beeps" of 10ms always at note C8, some samples include a 1ms delay. Is that correct? Or wrong (lol)?

My thoughts listening on laptop speakers:

- The longer duration beeps seem to be "flammed" and a bit softer

- The shorter duration beeps seem a bit brighter in frequency and shorter. Sometimes this seems easier to identify.

This test is approaching the limits of my perception so I am not 100% sure about anything.

It would be fun to have a few tests with different levels of delay so we can see what boundaries of perception for this is.


The short chirps should all sound the same. I made one track with painting midi and no delay before I copied the track.
Then I panned each identical track to each side and added the 1ms delay to the right track. The left ear should hear the chirp 1ms before the other. I don't notice it to be even remotely perceivable to be earlier than the other chirp. I made the samples as short as I could so the results wouldn't have the two sounds blur together. 10ms was mentioned a couple times in my post. The first is when I mentioned that I had to try a few delays to find one that would go below 10ms. The second was my description at the end where I mentioned 10ms in regards to the Haas effect.
Posted By: Gombessa Re: 1ms challenge - 12/05/19 10:49 PM
One thing to keep in mind that the speakers add 2-3ms of "travel time" to your ears, and depending on the positioning of the drivers and of your head, the timing of what you hear may be muddied; and there's also the impact of the stereo effect. For these types of tests, if you're actually trying to determine the limits of your conscious perception, you probably want to use headphones (and maybe try one ear at a time).
Posted By: johnstaf Re: 1ms challenge - 12/06/19 12:12 AM
I think the relationship between feel and aftertouch has something to do with being in control for a greater proportion of key travel.

Some of the people on the tech forum also feel that extra short letoff makes the action "feel" more snappy.
Posted By: pianogabe Re: 1ms challenge - 12/06/19 06:31 AM
Originally Posted by Gombessa
if you're actually trying to determine the limits of your conscious perception


Good to keep this in mind, indeed. Other people are talking about control/playability, which is based on the integration of information on intended movement and multiple senses. In the latency study people reported that playability was negatively affected by small jitter in sound latency but they were often not aware of the cause, although professional musicians were better at this.
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