Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Beginner Lesson #2 - The Basics of Echolocation - How to Know What to Listen For

Drawn by Theresa KnottImage via WikipediaIf you've never tried to echolocate before and don't really know what it is, then read this article, it will give you an idea of what to listen for.

One of the first times I noticed the effects of echolocation, I was sitting at my desk at work, and listening to the radio. The speakers were biased to one side of my head, and I raised a hand up on the opposite side of my head - maybe one foot away - and found that the sound reflected off my hand and into the ear that was getting less music. Try this, and now move your hand around a listen for the sound reflections. If it's not obvious enough with just your hand, try a folder or binder (something larger, flatter, and more rigid will be a better reflector). The image above illustrates why flatter surfaces make better reflectors. Sound reflects off of objects similar to the way light does.

Now try twisting your hand or binder back and forth, but keeping it in one place so that you're reflecting the sound away from your ear, and then directly at your ear, and then away in the other direction. It should appear as if the sound source is passing by, while really, it is just the shape of the reflecting object creating different effects.

The effects you will hear from this exercise are quite a bit more pronounced than the effects you will see when you start using clicking to echolocate, but this should give you a good idea of what kind of effects can be observed when sound reflects directly off of a small object.

Free 10-Minute Audio Lesson: Learn the Echolocation Click

Learn echolocation clicks with a free audio lesson
Learning how to click is one of the first steps to becoming an effective echoloator. This lesson provides clicking samples of a variety of different clicks and descriptions of when they might be most useful. This lesson has been used by O&M instructors all over the world.

Despite popular belief, it's easy to make your clicking quite subtle or unnoticeable even in quiet settings. There are many different clicks for different situations. I explain all of these in great detail and give examples of where, why and when they can and should be used.

Get your free lesson now:

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