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Re: [ARSCLIST] Harmony acoustics, 1925

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Karl Miller wrote:

> On Thu, 26 Oct 2006, Aaron Z Snyder wrote:
> > What 's usually missing is the
> > "floor" of these instruments (i.e. the fundamental), without the sound
> still
> > remains distant from reality. Finding and amplifying this floor for the
> > brass bass on the aforementioned Coon-Sanders Nighthawks recordings
> > immediately brings life and a sense of reality to the sound. However, if
> > bass data are not present on a recording, then no amount of restoration
> will
> > improve that part of the spectrum.
> Your comment reminds me of the audio examples I am preparing for a talk I
> have to give this weekend. In an effort to explain why many musicians
> decided not to make acoustic recordings, I put together some examples of
> comparisons of electric and acoustic recordings.
> While my observation is not "technical," it has crossed my mind that when
> we listen to an acoustic recording, we might be filling in the bass in our
> own mind. Listening last night to the Paderewski acoustic recording of
> some Debussy sounded pretty good...until I spliced in his electric
> recording at selected points. Not only was I reminded of vast differences,
> especially in the lack of the fundamentals in the acoustic recording,
> but also of the difficulties in listening objectively.

----- when you compare two sounds, there is a tendency to prefer the louder 
one. This means, try to make them sound equally loud. It is a vague concept, 
especially if the spectral content is not the same, but nevertheless.

----- as to tone tests, which are frequently ridiculed, because we do not 
wish to be impressed by that low-tech: Cecil Watts in memoirs tell us that 
his father used to demonstrate records like that in England, and that they 
had a recording of a silent groove that played along with the live performer 
behind the curtain in order to have realistic hiss! Suddenly it does not seem 
so ridiculous after all?!
 Then I tried to
> compare it with the roll technology of the acoustic era...c. 1916. The
> thought came to my mind that the only way to accurately reproduce a piano
> recording is to have the piano play the recording, assuming the
> technology would capture every aspect of the playing...leaving me to
> wonder if not in the future someone will invent a recording system where all
> of the sounds will be played back on reproducers that can be configured
> to vibrate like the original instruments...however, then one would need a
> reference
> sample of the original instrument and then configure the playback vibrating
> medium
> to replicate that original instrument's vibrating characteristics. And
> then one would need to somehow compensate for the acoustic of the
> recording venue. Somehow I vaguely recall reading about
> something like that in a science fiction book.

----- part of it is not so much fiction: In 1998 I heard a piano sound 
synthesized real-time based on differential equations for the contributions 
of the vibrating parts, these equations being solved real-time, so that you 
could play this piano tone synthesizer from a velocity pickup keyboard (and  
definitely not a sample reproducer) from a force and velocity pickup keyboard 
 through a gigantic loudspeaker setup. In the far field and with the level 
adjusted to the normal output of a grand piano I could not tell the 
difference. The disharmonic part where the hammer hits the string was also 
well calculated.

> No doubt, "they are working on it..."
> Karl

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