Echolocation with harmonic overtones for humans

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Signal-11, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #1
    For the past couple weeks, I've been trying to teach myself echolocation.

    Some things I've noticed:

    - Cupping my ears forward with my hands really amplifies the sound. The problem is that I think I lose the lower tone end of my hearing when I do this so I have to walk slower. But I'm not sure if this is because I'm just afraid I'll walk into things with my hands not able to catch me or guide me as well.

    - I tried some bowls and pasta plates, but this wasn't a very good idea because they would keep moving around without my noticing, which kind of explains the angle of stuff in my head was off from reality. I think I'm going to try some cut up paper bowls to use as training wheels until I get better.

    - The dogs don't like it very much. They start barking and howling, which tells me where they are but doesn't help me not run into tables.

    - Clicking doesn't work very well. I can't click from the front of my mouth loudly and consistently enough and if I try from the back of my mouth, the clicking noise is too close to my ear and drowns out the outside noise. Turns out that the mouth is a pretty good echo chamber.

    - Different tones and pitches work better at different ranges. I'm not very consistent but I think if I can alternate between high squeeking and low pitch wuffing, I can get a much better 'sight' than sticking with just one thing. I originally got this idea because while I was experimenting with different mouth shapes, pitches and stuff, I started thinking about the ranges at which animals that echolocate hunt. Bats are higher pitched and whales are lower pitch, right?

    - You can aim the noise you're making from your mouth just by altering the shape of your lips. I didn't realize people could do this until last week.

    So anyway, from the last two things, I was wondering if you were a harmonic overtone singer like those Tuvan throat dudes, if you could continuously generate a noise that you can use to echolocate without switching noises back and forth. Because it seems the dogs REALLY hate it when do this.

    I figured I'd ask here because there's gotta be a couple of acoustics guys and musicians who might know about this sort of thing.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Signal-11 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    2nd Star to the Right
    #2
    My first go at this was unsuccessful. I just couldn't get it with any consistency and ended up having a very frustrating time.

    Figured out my primary mistake from my first attempt. Don't start to teach yourself echolocation in a fully carpeted house.

    Seems obvious in hindsight, really.

    Also discovering the past two weeks how much homes of people can differ in terms of hard and soft surfaces. Never thought about homes in this way before.
     

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