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03-07-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,285
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 20643
Reply to: 20643
Making musical instruments by audio person?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Amy the wife has that notion that I have to make violins. Being with me, listening my constant comments how different technical aspens of audio impacts expressive signatures of sound she developed a feeling that I could be a good violin maker. I do understand where she comes from and I do not necessary disagree with her. I do think that I would very much enjoy making violins and I even think that if I did then I would be a good maker. The problem is that I do not make violins, never did, never even played violins and have absolutely no idea what encompass to make good musical instruments.

Amy insists that I have to try and she is keep looking for violins making seminars, classes etc… Honestly, I am so far from the world of instruments making that I can’t even support conversation on the subject. Still, Amy is indomitable and she bought for me violin making books and yesterdays a big box with violin making kit has arrived. She has a theory that if I make a simple violin from a kit that it might open a Pandora box of my interest in violin making. She might be right or wrong, the problem that I have is that I have no idea what makes sound in violins better or worse, I cannot even make a violin to sound… It would be like asking a deaf person to voice an amplifier….

Anyhow, I wonder if any guys among those who read this site and who feel that that have some control over audio methods have at the same time any experience to make musical instruments? If you do then can you share your observations? In theory to apply some audio methods to let say violin making would be “interesting” but I am so uninformed on the subject of instruments making…

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
03-07-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 20644
Reply to: 20643
How Long, Oh Lord?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy, I served a 4 year apprenticeship as a carpenter, and I have retained my woodworking and related skills with practice for 45 years. However, the skills for making violins are another order of magnitude beyond what I do with any consistency in the course of my business, that's for sure. I have an old friend, very gifted, who was once a professional luthier, and I am sure it would take me years to become anywhere near adept at this, even starting with my extensive "generic" experience and exacting sense of sound and sound propagation.

What I am saying is, how much are you willing to put into this, and how long are you willing to stay with it? Typically, for anyone who is good at this, it is a lifelong obsession.

Best regards,
Paul S

03-07-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 211
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 3
Post ID: 20645
Reply to: 20643
Every discipline opens new doors
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hi Romy,
I do believe that you can benefit from the study of making violins. It is one of the few instruments that are essentially "finished" in development. They have an essentially perfect string length for the played frequencies, the body size and shape has predictable and reproducable resonance pattern, there are millions of details to be understood.
In addition, the way that a violin is played next to the ear of the musician would give you remarkable insite into why string sections sound the way that they do. The applied effects of bow rosin would also for sure inspire you for further interesting things with the Macondo and Melquiades. A good set of strings lasts about as long as a set of 6C33C do, so maybe there is some synergy there too!




Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
03-08-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Jorge
Posts 134
Joined on 10-17-2010

Post #: 4
Post ID: 20646
Reply to: 20645
Passion Project
fiogf49gjkf0d

Romy,

There are a lot of things I am sure you will be very good at.  At our age we have maybe one good lifetime project left in us.
It has to be an obssession absolutley!

03-21-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 284
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 5
Post ID: 20664
Reply to: 20643
Single comment
fiogf49gjkf0d
Misdirection or the art of distraction. The so called code of omerta is nothing compared to the fear of the (unnameable) I have of revealing too much.
03-28-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
zztop7
Edmonds, WA
Posts 40
Joined on 11-02-2012

Post #: 6
Post ID: 20685
Reply to: 20643
Harsh Violins
fiogf49gjkf0d
The vast majority of time that I hear I violin, it is too harsh.  I like a sweet tone.  The major problem is that a violin must Cut through a vast hall; Stradivarius[?plural] are known for this.I have built instruments in the past to my taste.  First I study, second I study, ad infinitum of all aspects.  Then I build what I want.It would be fun to build another violin [last was many decades ago], but I would go for a beautiful tone that did not scratch my ear.  Therefore it would not have the volume, but I only play for me.
zz.
03-29-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,285
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 20687
Reply to: 20685
Loudness vs. tone
fiogf49gjkf0d

 zztop7 wrote:
The vast majority of time that I hear I violin, it is too harsh.  I like a sweet tone.  The major problem is that a violin must Cut through a vast hall; Stradivarius[?plural] are known for this.I have built instruments in the past to my taste.  First I study, second I study, ad infinitum of all aspects.  Then I build what I want.It would be fun to build another violin [last was many decades ago], but I would go for a beautiful tone that did not scratch my ear.  Therefore it would not have the volume, but I only play for me.
Interesting that the conflict between loudness and tone I observe in many different subjects, including audio.




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
03-29-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 284
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 8
Post ID: 20688
Reply to: 20687
Context
fiogf49gjkf0d
zztop7 The vast majority of time that I hear I violin, it is too harsh.  I like a sweet tone.  The major problem is that a violin must Cut through a vast hall; Stradivarius[?plural] are known for this.I have built instruments in the past to my taste.


Did Stradivarius really design his violins for modern concert halls? If so he was the Nostradamus of violin making. Violin "tone" is as much a function of the strings used as the construction of the body. One can put a mute on a violin and cut down the scratchiness also. I hate to be even more of a downer but there are many concert goers who think live orchestras aren't bright enough. Most recordings are treble tilted and that becomes the norm. Given the hearing loss prevalent among the many senior citizens in the audience, they may prefer brighter too. I think zztop just needs to get softer warmer strings put on the violin.

PS I wonder if this is just a big put-on since ZZ Top is a well known very loud rock band.  Smile
03-30-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
zztop7
Edmonds, WA
Posts 40
Joined on 11-02-2012

Post #: 9
Post ID: 20689
Reply to: 20688
Just a name
fiogf49gjkf0d
zztop7 is just a name that popped out when I needed a "user name". I do not even own a ZZ TOP recording [I do appreciate their style & sound].
So to answer the "I wonder" question: NO, it is not a "put-on"; I just write my personal feeling about subjects [do NOT get me started about mass entitlements & debt in this nation].


03-30-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 10
Post ID: 20690
Reply to: 20689
A Republican By Any Other Name
fiogf49gjkf0d
Any relationship to musical preferences may or may not pertain?

Paul S
03-30-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
zztop7
Edmonds, WA
Posts 40
Joined on 11-02-2012

Post #: 11
Post ID: 20691
Reply to: 20690
Totally independent
fiogf49gjkf0d
I am not sure why "Republican" was inserted in this thread.I Know that both parties totally waste the hard workers $$$ in order to get elected & reelected.My belief from studying the world since the 1950s is that only 100 to several hundred people truly run the world  [ever heard of & studied the Bilderberg Group, the IMF, the South American group, etc.].  Their agenda is alway to keep the hard worker as serfs.This typing will not continue for hours.99.99% of people are sheep - team sports are much more important than knowing the truth.
zz.
03-30-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 12
Post ID: 20692
Reply to: 20691
Now We're Talking
fiogf49gjkf0d
Yes, I've heard/studied. The post stemmed from the fact that, among all options, of anything that might have been said, there was - inexplicably - seemingly-enraged reference to "entitlements", which, of course, are still part of the class structure in this country, in the first place, not to mention the fact that they have become a form of corporate welfare, ultimately well-enjoyed by the Waltons, etc.. Still, like "God", the whole "anti-welfare" line of thinking has been essentially coopted and franchised by Republicans, along with "fighting for freedom", etc., ad nauseum, for use in their call-and-response ranting. Meanwhile, Dems want to take the spare change from the 1% to spread it among the 2% (ie, themselves), along with promises of "greater equality". And, yes, Demopublican = Republicrat, and both are bought and paid for, mostly by the same people.

Germane to this thread, we have discussed around these parts how mean-spirited thinking either stems from or ultimately causes deafness, or it effects the symptoms of deafness, hence relevant here.

Best regards,
Paul S
04-07-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
zztop7
Edmonds, WA
Posts 40
Joined on 11-02-2012

Post #: 13
Post ID: 20693
Reply to: 20687
In blind test, soloists like new violins over old
fiogf49gjkf0d

"Ten world-class soloists put prized Stradivarius violins and new, cheaper instruments to a blind scientific test to determine which has the better sound. The results may seem off-key to musicians and collectors: The new violins won handily."
Read more at:  http://phys.org/news/2014-04-soloists-violins.html#jCp


zz.
04-07-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 284
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 14
Post ID: 20694
Reply to: 20693
All literature is a footnote to Faust
fiogf49gjkf0d
And some posts reduce the history of reproduced sound to a footnote as well. Stereo Review lives on in Academia.
04-07-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 15
Post ID: 20695
Reply to: 20693
The Sad Truth
fiogf49gjkf0d
Another "classic" "experiment". Too bad the average player cannot begin to get the most from a Strad, and too bad the average listener/reader has no clue - at all. I am reminded here of upstart CA wines being "more popular" than top 1855 marques in a similar "blind experiment", also done at a time when decent CA wines could be counted on one hand. Blind, indeed. Oh, well... more for me.

"Physics"??? I guess everything today is "interactive"...

Fun post, though; like dripping hot wax on an anthill.


Paul S
04-14-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
soundstrad
Posts 1
Joined on 04-14-2014

Post #: 16
Post ID: 20711
Reply to: 20695
Player vs. listener
fiogf49gjkf0d
Hello, new to the forum... very glad to find it.  I'm a sound guy at a small celtic/trad venue, I've had the opportunity to hear everything from Strads to FO Stanley's.  I'm not professing to be an expert, I've just had the chance to listen to a good number of instruments
There is a difference between the player's ear and the listeners ear.  Fiddlers tend to be deaf to their own instrument, hearing fatigue on the side where the instrument is held.
 A great instrument tone seems to more a mutual agreement between the player and audience. 
The room and situation play large role too.  The best instrument I've heard so far was at a small fiddle contest, it was a mid 1800's German instrument, and a outside gig...  This kid and his fiddle blew everyone away, amazing...  you never know when or where a captivating experience can grab you.
I also am acquainted with several builders locally, building is a different art than the player's, not necessarily the same ears as the player (or listener), both can take a lifetime's practice.
04-14-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 284
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 17
Post ID: 20713
Reply to: 20711
What's new
fiogf49gjkf0d
"There is a difference between the player's ear and the listeners ear.  Fiddlers tend to be deaf to their own instrument, hearing fatigue on the side where the instrument is held.  A great instrument tone seems to more a mutual agreement between the player and audience. "
"

Of course there were all kinds of methodological issues with the "field study" cited on violinists' taste in instruments. Perhaps the most obvious is the dishabituation effect so prevalent in audiophilia. This is produced when something sounds better or at least different in precisely the area where the current system is weak. It is also true that different violinists produce different tone from the same violin. Sometimes that tone complements the instrument's tonaility other times it goes against it. Can't we say the same thing about different tubes in a given component? If a Strad or other classic violin could be taken apart and analyzed with perfect accuracy then presumably we would unlock the secret of their tonality. But the idea that there is some kind of Emperor's clothes conspiracy that extends across the centuries since these violins were made is preposterous.
04-15-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 211
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 18
Post ID: 20714
Reply to: 20711
Deafness is not in the fiddler
fiogf49gjkf0d
I will disagree with the premise that the fiddler is deaf to their instrument. They have a direct link between the instrument and the soul with every sense and emotion that they were born with - taste, feeling, smell, look and hearing. This is true for very many musicians and is the reason that they can maintain such a high level of play into old age. Perhaps a scientists measurement would not line up with reality. We have a saying in german: wer misst, misst mist. Roughly translated "he who lives by measurements, measures shit".

The proof is in the pudding. Intonation, volume, balance, intensity are all factors "of the moment". If the player had a handicap, other things would be comprimised.


The Stradivarius myth has also been more or less unravelled and most top players do admit that there are more than enough "new" top instruments around to meet the demand. The "run" on Strads is more like proving your worth by having access.


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
04-15-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,052
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 19
Post ID: 20715
Reply to: 20714
Loaners
fiogf49gjkf0d
It has been educational to hear local/regional prodigies and generally well-connected/lucky musicians playing priceless old instruments on loan from various trusts, including some orchestras, or facets of certain orchestras. Sure, not all Strads, etc. were created equal, and certainly not all have been or are equally well served by their conservators, but just as important in terms of sound, I reiterate, not every musician gets a "connection" with every instrument on any given occasion. The gift Robin speaks of is unquestionable. However, this, too, is not something that is distributed equally among musicians. No doubt, some musicians can get a lot from any instrument they happen to pick up, and some can do it in short order. For others, it is some instruments, and we might be talking a longer time period for "acclimation". Also, many of the best instruments need to be played regularly, almost continuously, in order to produce their best sound. Back to listeners, there are so many variables involved with this sort of experiment that the results are little more than "interesting"; it's hardly a balloon popper. While one might grant that some modern instruments are noble, still, to remain scientific, one must needs draw conclusions from this experiment very carefully.


Paul S
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