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My audio memo technique for edges

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Oct 31, 2013
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Hello,

I wanted to present to you the method I'm using for edges memorization. It is an audio-based method that has the advantage of producing a very condensed audio sequence, and not needing to translate the letters into real words or images. You basically memorize just one long word composed of multiple syllables that doesn't mean anything, but that has no translation at all (what you read from the cube is exactly what you memorize).

A bit about me if you are interested: I'm Nicolas Aubinet, been doing blindfolded solving on and off for several years and participated in a few competitions here in Belgium. I am not the fastest solver but I'm really love blindsolving theory, memorization techniques and everything around it.
As a software (game) developer, I'm also the developer behind the Android cubing timer "Nano Timer" (that recently became free and open-source). Check it out if you haven't already: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cube.nanotimer.

* The method

Now about the method itself.

Each edge sticker has two associated letters/sounds: 1 consonant sound, and 1 vowel sound.
The idea is that you start by memorizing a consonant, then you memorize a vowel, alternating the two while producing syllables until the sequence is complete. This is the main thing that allows to have a very condensed audio word that does not mean anything per-se, but that can easily fit in the short-term memory (you will probably want to memorize edges last and solve them first as it generally is with audio memo techniques relying on short-term memory).
Using this method, you'll be able to memorize 1 cycle (2 cubes/stickers) per syllable, memorizing all the edges in a word of generally around 5 or 6 syllables.

The main issue I faced when trying to make this work was that there are not enough distinctive sounds to match the 22 stickers (24 minus the buffer edge).

* Consonants

For the consonants, I assign all the distinctive sounds to each stickers (so for example, I'm not using 'c' and 'k' because they sound the same). After doing this, I'm left with 4 non-assigned stickers to which I assign sounds composed of two consonants, such as "pr", "sp", "sk" and "sh" (see image below).
I left the UF cube empty as this is the cube I'm using as my buffer.

cube_consonants.png

* Vowels

For the vowels, this works a bit differently because there are just not enough distinctive sounds to assign them all. What I do is I only assign 11 distinctive vowel sounds: 1 per cube (not by sticker) minus the buffer cube.
To memorize the exact sticker I'm on, I use some kind of accentuation of the syllable. If the sticker is on the top, on the bottom or on a side layer not facing towards the sides, I just memorize normally. If it is on another sticker, I memorize the whole syllable using a strong sound, a bit like if I was screaming it.
This syllable accentuation takes a bit of time to get used to, but with a bit of practice it gets very easy to differentiate between weak and strong syllables.
As for the consonants, the bottom stickers are vowels composed of slightly more complex sounds to fit the remaining cubes.

Note that I have been using this method with the French language, meaning that I'm using some sounds that don't really exist in English (like 'an', 'in', 'on', 'ou' that each have a vowel sound). I have tried to adapt it as best as I could to the English language, it should work pretty well with vowels such as this:

cube_vowels.png

This is just an example of how you could setup the vowels.
I indicated the strong vowels placements with a following '!', but it is of course possible to rearrange the weak/strong positions the way that makes the most sense to you.
Here are some example words to indicate how the sounds from the vowels example above would pronounce:
A: Arm
E: fathEr
I: hIt
O: hOt
U: pUt
È: mEt
AY: fIve
UE: blUE
OY: bOY
EY: sAY
YU: pUre

* Examples

Here are a few examples. I indicated the strong vowels/syllables by printing them in capital letters. My buffer is UF:

1)
Scramble: F2 U2 F2 D' L2 F2 D B2 D' B' D' R F U L B' L R D' R' D'
Edges sequence: BL-FD-DB-FL-LD-UB-UL-RU-BR-LU-FR-RD-FR
Memorized: NUEskoweBIPATYUT

2)
Scramble: R2 U' F2 U' L2 D B2 D2 B2 U L2 U F' U B' F R' F2 R F2 R2
Edges sequence: DR-BR-UL-LF-DL-UB-LB-UR-DB-RF-DF
Memorized: shèBOspemiSCAYPR

3)
Scramble: F2 U F2 R2 U F2 D2 U' B2 U2 B2 L2 F B2 U' L2 D' L' B2 D F2
Edges sequence: BD-LU-RF-FL-RD-LD-FD-BU-RU-BL-BR-UR
Memorized: XAsoZOYVEhupi

* Ending notes

An interesting side-effect of this method is that you know that if it ends with a consonant (such as in the first two examples) then there is a parity.

I hope you will find this method interesting and that you will want to try it yourself.
I'm very interested to hear what you guys think of it, if you think it's good or bad, if you have ideas to improve it, or anything else.

Thanks for reading until here! Happy cubing
 
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#2
Since I use audio memo for BLD and I wanted to find a way to improve it, this is very nice! I also like that you can tell if you have parity quite easily. I might try using this
 
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Since I use audio memo for BLD and I wanted to find a way to improve it, this is very nice! I also like that you can tell if you have parity quite easily. I might try using this
Nice ! Please let me know what you think after having tried it for a bit then :)
 
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#4
That's a great technique, I've been struggling with audio memo since I've learned how to do blind

Could you post the same pictures but with the French sounds you've come up with ?
And also give word examples (like you've done) with sounds with a ! after
 
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Thread starter #5
That's a great technique, I've been struggling with audio memo since I've learned how to do blind

Could you post the same pictures but with the French sounds you've come up with ?
And also give word examples (like you've done) with sounds with a ! after
I'm glad you like it !
For the French words I can post the images later today after work if you want, but it's the same principle with a few different vowels:
BR: é (I realize now this one could be used in english too, like in "café")
FR: è
DF: an
DL: in
DB: on
DR: ou
The sounds with a trailing ! are just the same sounds, but yelled :) it doesn't change the sound, it's just and accent that you put on the vowel.
There are other ways to do it as well, like using some rhythm to have short/long vowels for example, but I found that weak/strong sounds work well (at least for me).
 
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#6
BR: é (I realize now this one could be used in english too, like in "café")
FR: è
DF: an
DL: in
DB: on
Oh ok thanks, no need to add the pictures then

The sounds with a trailing ! are just the same sounds, but yelled
Haha ok, I didn't know what you meant by 'strong vowel'

----
I'll let you know how it goes but it's going to take a while, 3BLD isn't my main focus right now :)
 
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Haha ok, I didn't know what you meant by 'strong vowel'
Yes I just noticed that in the OP I talk about "strong syllables" and not "strong vowels", but it's in fact the same thing.

I'll let you know how it goes but it's going to take a while, 3BLD isn't my main focus right now :)
Sure. It takes a little bit of time to get used to the letters at first, and it's clearly the first step before being able to use this method efficiently. But with regular practice it really comes pretty quickly.
 
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RowanKinneavy
#8
I used to have a memo method for corners which is somewhat similar to this, I posted it ages ago but I can't find it now.

Each piece has a consonant and each of the three orientations has a vowel sound. The consonants were something like: RLDBTKWS. Anyway the point was they had a fairly intuitive labeling scheme (R and L for UFR and UFL, D for DBL etc).

The vowels were 'a', 'i', 'o'. A piece would have 'a' if it's U/D sticker was in U/D, 'o' in F/B, and 'i' in R/L. Looking at URF, solved, it would have 'Ra'. if you apply an R move, you'd have the sound 'Wo'. If you then applied a U', that piece would have 'Bi'.

A full memo would be something like 'RaWiKo BiDo TaLo'. It's inefficient and hacky, but since you can learn and apply it in a few minutes, I think it's a viable 'get started in one afternoon' method. However, using it is a bet your working-memory audio loop is as good as your execution time is slow.

I thought about doing the same for edges but I had trouble devising a sensible system - I really like your dual-lettering per sticker, it makes encoding this way much more efficient. I'm curious to have a look at IPA: it would be interesting to map properties & positions of the cube to different sounds in a more structured way. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:IPA_chart_2018.pdf
 
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I used to have a memo method for corners which is somewhat similar to this
Nice to hear that you thought of something similar :)

I'm curious to have a look at IPA
Interesting, yes I came up with these sounds while trying to find the most distinct English sounds to not risk mixing them up together, but it would be pretty cool to have something that is more language-agnostic and with the lower risk to have similar sounds.
 
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#10
I also had this idea, a year or two ago. But I couldn't get enough vowel sounds to make it work. So I ended up with most of my "letters" being consonants, and the rest being pairs of consonant blends/clusters and vowels (such as pr/A, fl/E). I use this for not just audio, but also my word letter pairs. For example, AE is priest and EA is (snow) flake.
One exception is that H is paired with th: H/th.
(My BLD scheme is (currently) linked in my signature.)
 
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