"Together" Listening Experiments

This is the home page for the downloadable listening experiments for Matt Wright's PhD research. Click here to learn what this research is about and why it's important.

I sincerely hope you'll volunteer as a subject, by doing the following:

  1. Download and install the software for the experiments
  2. Run the software, following instructions, so that it can gather data about your subjective perceptual judgements of when two sounds are "together" in time.
  3. When you finish, the software will automatically format your results into an email addressed to me; you'll need to send it (which should be as easy as clicking "send" in your mail program) so I can use the data.

The software for the experiments is written in Max/MSP, so you'll install it differently depending on whether you already have Max/MSP.

If you don't already have Max/MSP

Download the "standalone application" version of this experiment for Windows or Macintosh:

Make a new folder, move the zip file into that folder, unzip the zip file (by double-clicking on it), and then double-click on the resulting application (+ListeningExperiment-win1.4.1.exe for Windows, or +ListeningExperiment1.4.1.app for Macintosh).

(If that doesn't work, you can download and install the free Max/MSP Runtime for Windows (maxmspruntime463.zip) or Macintosh (maxmspruntime463.dmg). Then you'll have (the free runtime-only version of) Max/MSP and you can continue with the next set of instructions.)

If you already have Max/MSP

Download and open the archive of programs and sound files that make up my experiment: listening-experiment.zip

Double-click on the file +ListeningExperiment.pat in the folder you just moved. That should open Max/MSP and show you the opening screen below; if not, then manually open the Max/MSP runtime program you just installed ("MaxRT.exe" on Windows, or "MaxMSP Runtime.app" on Macintosh), and then open +ListeningTest.pat by selecting "Open" from the "File" menu. If that still doesn't work, email a bug report to matt@ccrma.stanford.edu and I'll try to fix it.

Here's what you'll see once you open my program:

Opening Screen

Follow the instructions in the software to run the experiments.

How long will it take?

One complete "session" of this experiment consists of 75 trials, and is designed to take about 45 minutes. But the actual time you spend on it might be quite different, because for each trial you can take as long as you like adjusting the sounds until they sound right to you. One subject in the pilot study was so fascinated by the process that she took almost an hour for each one of her first few trials! But that's because she was so interested in hearing the exact effect of very small differences in timing; you won't need to spend anywhere near that much time on each trial if you don't want to.

Every single trial you do helps with this research, so you can stop at any time and email what you've done so far. Also, if you really get into it and want to do more, the software will let you keep going for as long as you like. You can quit the program after any trial, and then the next time you run it the software will pick up where you left off.

If you want to do the experiments at CCRMA or CNMAT

If you live near Stanford University or UC Berkeley and would like to volunteer as a subject but don't have access to a Windows or Macintosh computer, contact me at matt@ccrma.stanford.edu and I'll try to arrange for you to do this experiments on a school computer.

If you want to work without an Internet connection

Once you download and install my program, it doesn't need to access the Internet except when you're ready to email back your results at the end. So you could take your laptop to the beach or on an airplane or wherever and do the experiments there, and wait until you're back online to email me back the results.

In case your computer crashes or something between doing the trials and emailing them, you can later go back and retrieve the email data from your computer. The emails that the program generates live in html files (that consist of just a single huge mailto: link) in your Max/MSP application folder:

For More Information

If you'd like to know more about this research in general, like what I'm trying to learn, how and why I designed this experiment, etc., click here to learn what this research is about and why it's important. You can also email me at matt [you know what] ccrma.stanford.edu.