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03-12-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 3981
Reply to: 3981
A playback and wrong notes.

This weekend I discover interesting phenomena on which I did not pay attention before. The Montrealian Charles Dutoit conducted this weekend Boston symphony. I was listening the broadcast, recording it as usually. It was very bad. The BSO wind section butchered everything they could, particularly brasses that played 6 wrong notes out of any 10 notes. It might sound like a high-school Budweiser-loaded fun ….if it would not be coming for the most paid orchestra in US! Damn, it WAS disgusting! When they opened up with Rimsky-Korsakov Easter Overture I took for me a few seconds to figure out if they stat already to play or if they still keep tuning the orchestra…

Anyhow, after the broadcast I was doing something and ended up with Tannoy Reds connected. Since the Lavry was warmed I started to play the opened file off my hard drive with the Dutoit/BSO. In few minutes I realized that off-the pitch playing the BSO’s horns and trumpets did not bother me so much. I stopped the player and listen it again this time carefully. Sure, all wrong notes were there but total listening was near tolerable… I began to wonder….

The only difference between my initials very negative listening experience an my following tolerable experience was that first was “live” but second was off my DAW  in 24/88. Also, the different was that the first I was listening Macondo (driven by Super Milq) and the second on Tannoy Reds (driven by full-range Milqs). I turned on the Super Milq, warmed it up and played the same file. Now, the “tolerable” effect went away and each single wrong note begun to scream about itself with the force of a thermonuclear exposure. A switched it back to the Reds and all wrong notes sunk into a smooth Tannoyness. Sure, they were still the wrong notes but they kind of did not bother me…

Interesting observations… I wonder what Macondo does that wrong pitches so much stick out the whole sound? Both speakers are driven with the same amps. So, what would it be? The drivers? The horns topology? The crossovers? Go figure..

Also, if Reds could make wrong notes do not bother listener’s awareness then can I make a speaker that would make my own barbarically-Moronic play to qualify as a nominee for the Chopin Piano Competition?

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-13-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 4597
Reply to: 3981
The key in this game….
A follow up to the above-described effect: in case of the Injected Macondo the phenomena expectedly changed amplitude. With the Injected playback those “wrong” notes are more vivid but slightly less annoying then the raw Macondo. The wrong notes kind of faintly masked out behind the Red’s overly charismatic produce. Adjusting the Injection amplitude up to the point of “rightness” is a really key in this game….


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
02-25-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Andy Simpson
Posts 42
Joined on 10-21-2007

Post #: 3
Post ID: 9907
Reply to: 3981
All roads lead to rome ('the microphones are out-of-tune')
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:

This weekend I discover interesting phenomena on which I did not pay attention before. The Montrealian Charles Dutoit conducted this weekend Boston symphony. I was listening the broadcast, recording it as usually. It was very bad. The BSO wind section butchered everything they could, particularly brasses that played 6 wrong notes out of any 10 notes. It might sound like a high-school Budweiser-loaded fun ….if it would not be coming for the most paid orchestra in US! Damn, it WAS disgusting! When they opened up with Rimsky-Korsakov Easter Overture I took for me a few seconds to figure out if they stat already to play or if they still keep tuning the orchestra…

Anyhow, after the broadcast I was doing something and ended up with Tannoy Reds connected. Since the Lavry was warmed I started to play the opened file off my hard drive with the Dutoit/BSO. In few minutes I realized that off-the pitch playing the BSO’s horns and trumpets did not bother me so much. I stopped the player and listen it again this time carefully. Sure, all wrong notes were there but total listening was near tolerable… I began to wonder….

The only difference between my initials very negative listening experience an my following tolerable experience was that first was “live” but second was off my DAW  in 24/88. Also, the different was that the first I was listening Macondo (driven by Super Milq) and the second on Tannoy Reds (driven by full-range Milqs). I turned on the Super Milq, warmed it up and played the same file. Now, the “tolerable” effect went away and each single wrong note begun to scream about itself with the force of a thermonuclear exposure. A switched it back to the Reds and all wrong notes sunk into a smooth Tannoyness. Sure, they were still the wrong notes but they kind of did not bother me…

Interesting observations… I wonder what Macondo does that wrong pitches so much stick out the whole sound? Both speakers are driven with the same amps. So, what would it be? The drivers? The horns topology? The crossovers? Go figure..



What you describe sounds exactly like (bandwidth related reduction of) non-harmonic (intermodulation) distortion.

In other words, if we take a nonlinear system, any reduction of bandwidth will directly reduce intermodulation distortion - which products consist almost entirely of sharp/flat/out-of-key components.

Regarding the trumpets/brass, these instruments are often the most obvious at showing intermodulation distortion, which is perhaps related to their loud, harmonicly-rich & asymetrical output.

What you describe is almost the definition of 'musicality as a measure of intermodulation distortion'.

The interesting question is how do we relate this to your two systems? Bandwidth, linearity, both probably.

But wait, there is also the question of the nonlinearity of the microphones used in the recording. It may well be - in fact, almost certainly is the case - that the mics in question caused or enhanced the 'out-of-tune' sound by introducing inharmonic distortion products. It could be that this distortion is simply below the noise-floor or distortion floor of the tannoy system but not the main system, or it could be simple listening levels differing....or it could be a fascinating interaction, where nonlinear products fed into a secondary nonlinear stage give birth to further orders of nonlinear products. Oops.

Those microphones are out-of-tune. Not a joke. How much, depends on how loud the trumpets played.

Nonlinearity in transduction is responsible for more of the audio sins than might at first be expected.

Andy
02-25-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 9909
Reply to: 9907
Interesting…..
fiogf49gjkf0d
Andy, I do not know how accurate what you say. I do not think in the terms bandwidth reduction and intermediation distortions but if what you propose is accurate (and I do not see why it would not be so) then why is it not a common practice and understanding of anyone?

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-18-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,495
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 11782
Reply to: 3981
The pitch discrimination....
fiogf49gjkf0d

I kind of never paid too much attention to it a few years back but lately more and more it become to fascinate me. I am taking about the Macondo/Melquiades tandem’s ability to demonstrate distinction between pitches at alarming high level.  Sure the extreme of discrimination between the notes was always one of the main characteristic of playback. We select loudspeaker drivers, crossover topologies, stages operation conditions, cables and many other things based upon it. However, we still do not actively mitigate pitch discrimination we just navigate it but have no direct ability to impact.

The pitch discrimination was an objective during the Macondo/Melquiades but I more managed not the actions but rather the favoriteable predispositions.  So, I have no idea what I did right,  what was more or less important but the result with Macondo/Melquiades is from the perspective of pitch discrimination is very much further away than anything I heard from playback. 

Macondo/Melquiades is very bitchy in term of pitch and I have no idea way but it become worth and worth.

I have pretty much 4 playbacks that I listen regularly. One is in my car – the stock playback – complete garbage.  One is at my work – a CD player and headphone –high quality both.  Then the MiniMe and the Macondo.  I very seldom listen the playbacks of other people but I very rarely find it interesting and I do not it lately as much as I use to do it in past. The Car, the Work and the Mini from the perspective pitch discrimination are all the same – they mask out everything. The Macondo is very different story – it highlights the pitch differences and if anything is tonally off the wall then it screams like wounded in ass animal. All those minute offset pitches of brass in Mahler, or those pre-dialed in strings or those flattening sounds of bad copper … all of it VERY much highlighted with Macondo. You say that some pianist can play that the wrong notes are not “visible” – try it on Macondo! The wrong notes with Macondo sound like not less then somebody’s cold hands on your testacies!

It is really interesting where this effect come from and why other playbacks do not do it.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
10-18-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Andy Simpson
Posts 42
Joined on 10-21-2007

Post #: 6
Post ID: 11999
Reply to: 9909
Why is it not common practice?
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:
Andy, I do not know how accurate what you say. I do not think in the terms bandwidth reduction and intermediation distortions but if what you propose is accurate (and I do not see why it would not be so) then why is it not a common practice and understanding of anyone?

The Cat


This seemingly fundamental aspect of transducer design/operation should certainly be understood by those designing audio equipment, especially microphones.

However, in reality, the concept of intermodulation distortion (sum/difference products of a nonlinear system) has only been around since (I think) the mid-70s and unlikely though it might appear, the significance of the distortion has been, and is, massively under-estimated and misunderstood.

That microphones have been increasing in nonlinear distortion since the 40s (or earlier) at a rate that even the loudspeaker industry can't compete with is simply a sign that the industry has spent almost no money on fundamental research for the last 40 years.

Today we reach the point where, in the pursuit of useless 100kHz bandwidth, whose only motivation is marketing to match the digital converter bandwidth (!), microphones have become so distorted that the recording industry is forced to rely on 50 year old microphones. Not only that but as a result of this the scientific side of the industry has lost all credibility, having introduced worse and worse sounding microphones whilst claiming that each one is more perfect than the previous.

Try this file: http://www.simpsonmicrophonesarchives.com/switchAB.WAV

It illustrates (among other things) the contrast between a very nonlinear (popular) modern condenser microphone (TLM50) and a very much more linear design (of mine).

It will be interesting to see if you hear significant differences in tuning/intonation.

Andy
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   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  The 'Beethoven Test' of playback...  PS: No response required...  Playback Listening  Forum     9  41625  07-14-2008
  »  New  It is about timbres, stupid...  It is about timbres, stupid....  Playback Listening  Forum     0  9839  02-23-2009
  »  New  My playback’s sound vs. Live sound...  String bite...  Playback Listening  Forum     7  32950  03-28-2009
  »  New  Audio and the “Alzheimer’s triggers”..  Yet one more 'trigger' not mentioned......  Playback Listening  Forum     3  20532  08-12-2009
  »  New  A CD off tune? The Big CD Conspiracy theory?..  Low cost re-issues...  Didital Things  Forum     9  57579  08-25-2009
  »  New  About the Critical Audio Tune ™..  “Critical Audio Tune” bay-leave in the soup......  Playback Listening  Forum     5  32434  08-29-2009
  »  New  Romy The Cat's new Listening Room..  Won't be the last time he makes that trip!...  Audio Discussions  Forum     478  1820522  03-28-2010
  »  New  Rejection of non-natural sounds...  Agree with Romy...  Playback Listening  Forum     3  16175  03-15-2011
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