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05-03-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,716
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 16202
Reply to: 16202
About Timbre and Audio.
fiogf49gjkf0d

In thins thee I will be talking a bit about the things that unfortunately seldom spoken in audio - about Timbres. It will be an installment of a few posts most likely and I will  be uploading them as I have time and mood.

In my teens I was a creative photographer.  I had later engendering degree but I did not care about it too much and all that I remember from that time that with my exposing to adult life I was switching from participation in creative expositions to doing more banal commercial assignments.  I had photography as armature hobby and in 13 I begun occasionally to make money on photography. At my 20s I was making full-rime living by photography. At that time I lost my interest to express my artistic objectives by photography and become hard core pro.  I was involved in a number of projects, was myself a fine custom printer, own custom printing lab and owned a wedding business operation.  In the very summit of my wedding business, in September of 1990 my “studio” shut 28 full weeding in one day, not bad for 22-year-old, self-staring kid. The fist couple years as I arrived to US I was working in advertising and commercial photography, then I switched the field but the experience of around 1100 wedding that I personally shut over the years was too heavy luggage to waste and over the last 20 years I did occasionally shoot some weddings, not as much for money but rather as habit... During the pre-digital of photography and pre-computerized film reading the manual-printing labs that printed my film were pleased as my weddings required much less color/density correction than the film by other photographers.  The point was that being a fine custom printer myself I knew how to read color and density of the space and how this color and density will be transported to the color, density and contract of a given film and the given development process.  I was not a great custom printer, I knew people who were much better than myself but having strong chemistry and dark-room background let me to look the whole photographic processes from higher altitude and select the appropriate ways to deal with multiple circumstances in order to deliver stable and guaranteed results.

It is interesting that I begin my talk about Timbre and Audio with the story about my photographic past.  It is not accident however.  Sitting in lab and having in disposal only 33 yellow, magenta and cyan filters it is all that a printer needs to get any color. However, color is not all that mater and any good custom printer has MANY other ways to get what he needs. What is interesting is that in photography we did opposite of what we do in audio. In photography we have huge variety of wild colors, contrasts and etc and all that we were trying to do it to convert everything to a same standard acceptable result. In audio however we strive to do very opposite. The Pitch of the source is a constant. Pitch is fundamental of the sound – we do not fuck with it in audio. Loudness is also more or less fixed element.  Loudness is a measure of intensity of the fundamental – no matter what we do in audio it will be distorted if we like or not but we do not intentionally do anything with it. There is of cause also the timbre. Timbre is a harmonic content of the signal but the paradox is that harmonic content does not describe timbre.

In photography new had speed of film, or a sensitivity of a film to react to light. If you have color film that 3 color layers – red, blue and green and each layer has OWN sensitively to light.  You expose film to light and each layer took own does of light. Now, how green will be your image? It will be as green as the sensitivity of green layer of film was (in fact it is in reverse but it is not important). In audio we have paradoxically the same situation. The signal is whatever it is, and then our mechanical and electronic devises reacting to the signal enrich it with harmonic colorations that eventually become Total Timbre. The Total Timbre is the derivative of Original Timbre + Acquire Timbre.  There is nothing new in what I say but… In audio people unfortunately only look to maximize the Original Timbre and to minimize the Acquire Timbre. In contrary to this I always look to have maximum amplitude of Acquire Timbre in order to increase the Timbreral Dynamic range or to make min change of Original Timbre to lead to maximal amplitude of Total Timbre.  So, proclaim maximum Timbreral sensitivity of each Timbre-sensitive layer of photographic film. In photography it would be that if you have a minor blush then you face must be 200% red. In audio we will not have even near this result but the more Timbreral sensitivity we have then more expressive tools we get what we put everything all together.

Now, what would like to have that 200% red face? Well, I am a custom printer and I need colors to get neutral Sound. Neutral Sound is a face with skin tone and reflection coefficiency of 0.65 BUT it also a poison-red flower, and burning-green grass and deep-blue sky. How poison-red, how burning-green and how deep-blue the subject need to be? That is all depends from your artistic intention but you shall not be worry too much as in audio we have Timbreral Dynamic range in my estimation of 30%  average of what we have in live sound. The best playback I feel might push to 60%-70%, but in most case the recording processes itself eats over 50%-70% of timbres.

To be continued....

Romy 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
05-04-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Amir
Iran Tehran
Posts 221
Joined on 02-11-2009

Post #: 2
Post ID: 16203
Reply to: 16202
Records quality
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:

The best playback I feel might push to 60%-70%, but in most case the recording processes itself eats over 50%-70% of timbres.
Romy The Cat


audiophiles allways forget records are a big problem for final quality.

most studios in my country just produce crap .
05-04-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
scooter
Posts 161
Joined on 07-17-2008

Post #: 3
Post ID: 16205
Reply to: 16202
Photo work correlation
fiogf49gjkf0d
Thanks for taking the time to post this timbre dialog; most informative essay I have read all year. It also bridges the photography link, one I didn't fully appreciate previously. Good luck topping this one. . .
05-05-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,716
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 16209
Reply to: 16202
About Timbre and Audio #2
fiogf49gjkf0d

Continuing my observation about the Timbres and Audio.

From what I said above it is very important to understand that Timbres in Audio are not the photographic density of the colors themselves but rather an ability of a photograph to differentiate the subtle and delicate tonal nuances of the main colors. A note is characterized but pitch and amplitude and if the pitch and amplitude of the notes are the same then it is job of Timbres to make the note to sound different. The larger amplitude of differences is the higher Timberal capacity of playback, or what I called above the Timberal Dynamic Range.

My stressing of Timberal Dynamic Range is not accidental as Timberal sensitivity is not static characteristic. At my site I use before a category of “Absolute Tone”. The Absolute Tone is static properly. The Timberal Dynamic Range is max number of Timberal Varieties that a given playback is able to discriminate.

Now, what kind in audio extended Timberal Dynamic Range? This is very complicated question. If you will run analyses of harmonic distortion then it will lead you to nowhere. Let look the circumstantial evidences of Timberal capacity and analyze what kind equipment gives an extended Audio Timberal Dynamic Range? Below is my estimation how different audio elements effect the Timberal capacity.

Phono cartridges = 30%
Phono stages = 10%
Preamps = 3%
DACs = 10%
ADCs = 15%
Cables = 10%
Power SS amplifiers = 15%
Power Tube amplifiers = 20%
Acoustic system = 50%
Room = 20%
DSP = 80%

This is of cause an abstract list but it in my view set very accurate relative relation between contributors of Timberal quality.  It is very interesting the in digital domain the digital conversion itself, even it distract some Timbes but only to degree. The post- conversion DSP processing kills Timbres terminally and any after-conversion DSP modification of a file leaves it terminally Timbres -dead.

If to analyze my list then one can make very interesting observation. The most Timbres effective devises in audio are those the have an ability to inflict own resonances. So, in a way we might talk about the secondary injection, the supplement of Timbres of playback over the Timbres of recording.

I know that many of audio people are under a bogus impression that recordings we play is the same Sound as we had live and the duty of audio is to make reproduced sound identical to live sound. The whole idiotic industry is shaped to convince the fools that live and reproduced sound are the same and to convince the subordinate idiots that there is no difference. If it was the same then the photograph of your child would have the same needs as your child and you would need to prepare pampers and pediatricians to serve the need of your child photograph.

The people who read my site know that I do not consider Sound of playback to be hereditary to live Sound. Of cause the live sound is a blueprint of playback sound but playback sound is own awareness. The fact that this own awareness has own secondary Timbres sources is only reinforce my position.

So, what in playback serves the secondary Timbres injection? I think it micro-resonances of passive elements. I can name many-many different vibrating and resonating elements in playback that add all different chromatic infliction into sound. Balancing them into a neutral Timbral pattern is job no different then use 11 yellow, 11 magenta and 11 cyan filters to balance the tone of image to neutral. However, photograph is static, you have balance it out and it stays there. Sound of playback is very vibrant and sometimes some Timbral elements of layback let other elements to shine.

Do not be under impression that I have a full control over the process, I do not and I think that no one does. Still, answers come only if you look into the direction of answers. I think the creation of extended Timberal bandwidth in playback, balanced it out and them let signal to distort that balance is very perspective direction to go. This is my direction your view might be different but I do know certainly that the wider Timberal Dynamic Range exist in your playback the more capacity your playback has to swing listening awareness at the Level One:

http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=16196

To be continued....

Rgs, Romy 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
05-08-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Amir
Iran Tehran
Posts 221
Joined on 02-11-2009

Post #: 5
Post ID: 16226
Reply to: 16209
Timbres and Audio
fiogf49gjkf0d
Power SS amplifiers = 15%
Power Tube amplifiers = 20%


I think speaker amplifier matching is as important as other sections.
amp/speaker matching need a separate number.

11-19-2018 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
ArmAlex
Iran
Posts 101
Joined on 02-15-2009

Post #: 6
Post ID: 25162
Reply to: 16209
Timbers in audio
Dear Romy,
Aren't you going to continue this interesting topic please?

Armen
12-07-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 346
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 7
Post ID: 25702
Reply to: 16209
Timbre from the musicians view
It is excellent that Timbre is described here as color. This is actually how musicians speak about it. The problem with the comparison to photography is that color with a musical instrument is a moving target. If we take my own instrument, the trumpet, we can change the color based on loudness (softly played notes are “darker” than loudly played ones. We can also change color in the duration of a note. We can change the listeners perception of timbre by the strength of our articulation. A harder tonguing gives the listener the impression of more odd overtones. This effect applies to all acoustic instruments. More overtones means more resultant tones (sum and difference tones).
Throughout the history of the trumpet, there has been a struggle - one direction of development was to promote low, middle and high register with different timbre. These for instance were the trumpets that Mahler, Bruckner, Strauss and Wagner wrote for. The low register was fat, full and rich sounding. The middle octave is very clear and the upper octave is very brilliant. This characteristic created a much different section sound in the brass. This sound approach was followed by the germanic countries, Italy and to a certain extent England. All of the original renaissance and baroque instruments worked like this.
The other direction was to “homogenize” the sound. This was the direction of the French starting around 1850 and later the Americans. The various octaves were designed to sound the same. This is pretty much all that we find these days (with the possible exception of Vienna).
Unfortunately, only the historically informed players follow the former traditions. They do not get much opportunity for Bruckner, Brahms, Strauss, Mahler, Wagner performances.
Desired Timbre changed about every 50 years or so since the 1500s. This is exemplified in how the instruments are built. As orchestras got bigger and the scoring more complex, we speak about moving in and out of the “orchestral fabric”. Changing timbre makes the movement in the fabric less “predictable”/controllable by the conductor.
New generation trumpets are much louder than vintage ones. Getting appreciable brilliance means VERY LOUD. Now orchestras have to find schemes to protect the hearing of the players.


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
12-09-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,716
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 25703
Reply to: 25702
The proverbial chicken ...
It begs in interesting question. How much in the tendency of today musicians to “homogenize” sound and to play with a genetic color might be attributed that nowadays a recording media is a main avenue how music is consumed but recording playbacks are notoriously indifferent to tonal satellites. Charlie Schlueter reportedly did not go for “dangers to play” chromic expression during his Mahler recordings. Josef Hofmann reportedly reduced his dynamic accents in Rachmaninoff recording as he felt that records are not transparent for proper music timing.  Celibidache famously refused to consider his recordings as anything that has any connectivity to the actual performing event. Is it the media itself that has to be blamed of badly implemented media? I do not take side in posting this question, I just point out that sometime is hard to get where in a chicken and where is the egg


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
12-10-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 346
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 9
Post ID: 25704
Reply to: 25703
The chicken has been roasted
In the case of brass players - including Mr. Schlueter, I would maintain that many simply have no interest in historic context for Mahler or Bruckner - or older music. Case and point: a Giovanni Gabrieli recording by the Met brass section. Sure, it is “glorious” playing but completely ignores what we have learned in the last 40 years. It offers nothing over a Gabrielli recording by the Philadelphia, Chicago and Cleveland brass sections from the 1960s. They only played the notes. That is not a function of the media, it is a function of the modern musician not investing in their musical growth. 
In some cases, growth is even blocked by the orchestra. The last trumpet auditions for the New York Philharmonic specified that the audition was to be played only on specific instruments made by the Yamaha or Bach companies. Other manufacturers were simply not allowed. This is a restriction in dynamics and color not found in Europe for instance.
Celibidache is an idiot. He even refused to allow his solo trombonist to play in Munich - because she was not a man. She won the audition from behind a curtain - only the playing was evaluated. I would maintain that he fed his own ego and did not care if the music was comprimised. We are lucky that he had at least a couple of lucid moments. Paavo Jäärvi is another instance with this type of behaviour.
I would think that the jet set conductor flying all over the world is as much of a problem. They do not take the time to develop their own, and the orchestras voice. Collateral damage to the music is programmed. A possible light at the end of the tunnel is Currentzis with his MusicaAeterna. He is still young, but he has a voice and is investing in building his orchestras voice. I heard a very spectacular Verdi Requiem and Mahler 2 conducted by him. He is still young but investing in something very worthwhile in my opinion.


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
12-10-2019 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,716
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 25705
Reply to: 25704
I do not think you get me...
 rowuk wrote:
In the case of brass players - including Mr. Schlueter, I would maintain that many simply have no interest in historic context for Mahler or Bruckner - or older music. Case and point: a Giovanni Gabrieli recording by the Met brass section. Sure, it is “glorious” playing but completely ignores what we have learned in the last 40 years. It offers nothing over a Gabrielli recording by the Philadelphia, Chicago and Cleveland brass sections from the 1960s. They only played the notes. That is not a function of the media, it is a function of the modern musician not investing in their musical growth. 
In some cases, growth is even blocked by the orchestra. The last trumpet auditions for the New York Philharmonic specified that the audition was to be played only on specific instruments made by the Yamaha or Bach companies. Other manufacturers were simply not allowed. This is a restriction in dynamics and color not found in Europe for instance. .

Rowuk, look at the problem deeper. I was not looking for a sympathy to the sentiments that I express and we both obviously share. The idea that I proposed has a different angle. The people who run the music industry and the orchestras are not idea or who are in the mission to vandalize sound. They in a mission to make money to sell sound, would it be actual performances or recordings. As we, as society “progress”, classical live performances very much compete with other forms of time spending. Today most of classical music listening for a regular Joe is happening over youtube or via recordings. It is know that bad playback techniques (all forms DSP, compressions algorithms and many others) result of complete elimination or great degradation of playback to be less transparent to performing satellites, chromatic complexity and expressive density. As the result the music leader with MBA degrees do not particular feel that the musical intricacy is something that might be monetizeable, thus the demands to play Yamaha pipe only and neglect to musicians desires to go for complex colors. I am not insisting that I am right, is was just a perspective….

 rowuk wrote:
Celibidache is an idiot. He even refused to allow his solo trombonist to play in Munich - because she was not a man. She won the audition from behind a curtain - only the playing was evaluated. I would maintain that he fed his own ego and did not care if the music was comprimised. We are lucky that he had at least a couple of lucid moments. .

Come on, rowuk, you can do better than this. Let separate idiocy individuals from the musical event they produce. Adrian Aeschbacher was not only an idiot but a shit deserved to be hangs but it does not remove the fact that he was the one that give to humanity the most stunning Brahms Second concerto in December 1943. Should I start to talk about Wagner, I do not think that anybody argue that he was horrible human being but I do not think that anybody would argue that he was one of the greatest composers out there. Celibidache in fact much lesser evil.  It is very easy to hate him for numerous ugly interviews he gave, his behavior and yes, his celebrated stupid misogyny. However, he was no less than a product of his time. 100 years back misogyny, and particularly in orchestras, was very dominating tendency and Celibidache was just a product of his time. I can give from a top of my head a name of great of great conductors who were the very identical assholes, you do not need to listen me, just look at the rosters of the orchestras in the past. The guilt of Celibidache that he lived for a long time and was faced with the more contemporary society where women got not only voice, way to advocate their voices and ability to get a sympathy to own cases. The very same Abbie Conant would fight with let say Vienna Philharmonic (who OFFICIALLY do not accept female musicians in 20 century) during the reign of let say Toscanini, Weingartne, Knappertsbusch, Klemperer, Walter, Krauss then the new will not even make the newspapers. I would not be surprises if during the time of Hans Richter would not be permitted in the music halls …  Celibidache for sure is old school musician… 
 
Yes, I admit that when I looking at the face of Gunter Wand connecting Bruckner in 90s I see the most wonderful expression of humility and humanity. At the same time when I look at the face of Celibidache doing the same works then most of the time I want to vomit. Still, this is the biggest mystery of greatness: the content of actions overrides the content of character. Celibidache left very many stunning performances. Listen for instance his Tokyo Oct 1990 Bruckner 7 with Münchner Philharmoniker… 
 
You see the Goethe’s Mephistopheles is not devil, he is trickster, a seducer.  “I am part of that power
which eternally wills evil and eternally works good.”  Was Celibidache some sort of musical Mephistopheles? Well, in 2 days after Celibidache and Munich played the 7th I mentioned above they played the 8th. Listen that 8th from Oct 20 and you decide for yourself….



"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Page 1 of 1 (10 items) Select Pages: 
   Target    Threads for related reading   Most recent post in related threads   Forum  Replies   Views   Started 
  »  New  About destiny of “High-End Sound”...  Got today via email....  Playback Listening  Forum     6  51743  01-19-2007
  »  New  About the Audio Neutrality...  Taking neutral when/where one can get it...  Playback Listening  Forum     12  86170  03-31-2007
  »  New  Playback as an expressive tool: what are your listening..  The Sound of Decadent Delicacy...  Playback Listening  Forum     5  34865  05-01-2011
  »  New  Playing music for visitors...  ...and sometimes it might be so deferent.......  Playback Listening  Forum     11  67661  01-27-2006
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