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02-02-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,534
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 20504
Reply to: 20504
Playback and chamber music.
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I always wonder why Playback is so merciless to chamber music. We can get Sound out of chamber music and playback is fine to do all audio tricks to make less say quartet music to sound very impressive. However, Playback always miss the body movement and face expressions of the players and without it many aspect of quartet because less interesting.

With large symphonic work we do not really see smallish details of playing. The chamber players are naked and always well exposed.  I do not mean to introduces any video to sound or playback but I wonder if anything in Sound, other than sonic expressions, might care the information or rather to say the feeling about the quartet’s members behavior.

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
02-02-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,143
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 2
Post ID: 20506
Reply to: 20504
Tableaux
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Interesting Question, Romy. Whatever it is that goes missing in hi-fi, I know I try to "make up for it" with "details" that I hope will convey the "conversational" aspect of the duets, quartets, etc. Whatever it is, it is largely just this quality that I am after when I listen to "chamber" music. I have not yet thought about the point at which this particular phenomenon ends, but at a certain point, with a certain number of performers, it becomes "orchestration", where the conductor pretty much "directs" the interplay. I have to say, I will soon go out to my listening room to hear some salon-type music, to hear the way the timing, and the inflection, etc., etc. play out. It is amazing to think of the way the thread of a conversation can weave such fantastic tableaux. One thing the best performances have in common is, the audience is somehow included.

Best regards,
Paul S
02-02-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 302
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 3
Post ID: 20508
Reply to: 20504
Togetherness
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If you went to a concert with chamber music and closed your eyes how would it be different?

I think it would be because of the improved sonics. Orchestral music is more the grand gesture and the overmic'ing of orchestras disturbs this gestalt. Conversely, you are right that chamber music depends on musicians acting almost as concurrent soloists. However, the kinds of subtle interaction you note are often lost in the recording process. For the most part chamber music is very poorly recorded whether analog or digital which is inexplicable since it should be much easier to record well. Even relatively good digital recordings betray a lot of processing of the sound and this seems to be increasing. I can only infer interactions, pace Paul S, by how smoothly call and response passages, unisons and chords are managed.
02-02-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,143
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 4
Post ID: 20509
Reply to: 20508
Le Mot Juste
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The English language got so big because we English speakers have long simply adopted words and phrases from other languages to try to better describe things. Americans at times use the word "ensemble" to speak of what we discuss here, but I think the French have a more applicable sense of it, at least as far as the music ensemble is concerned. Anything that belittles the meaning to "assemblage" status is incomplete, IMO; the parts should not be lost in the whole.

Paul S
02-04-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,534
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 5
Post ID: 20534
Reply to: 20508
Good question, Steverino.
fiogf49gjkf0d
 steverino wrote:
If you went to a concert with chamber music and closed your eyes how would it be different?

Steverino, I think that the main difference between listening quartet recording and blind listening of live quartet is ability during life music to domically focus own attention to individual instrumentalist. During live musical even perception acts in multi-thread fashion and can at the same time completely independently focus on individual players. What is very important is that instant spotlight of listening attention on some phrasing of second violin for instance the whole perfection does of the work does not get ruined. Furthermore, as it shall be in real time multi-thread operation the focus from one player to another plays, to group of players switched instantly, without losing anything from the  while quartet. In fact hearing in case of live music works like vision: your are at a hill and see a whole field of cows and you have no problem to observe each of them at the same time. With recorded quartet you rather watch at those cows in binocular, you can zoom in and out but you do lose the native relation between cows.

I do get the Steverino’s point that most of quartets are horribly recorded. I however mean something different. Is it possible to record and reproduce quartets differently? My leading idea that I discussed with a friend of mine a few days back was to  record  and to playback a quartet “in a grid”, where we record (and reproduce (!!!)) not only pressure and frequency but also timing when given pressure change. The second running idea was to reproduce sound with 4 omni-directional, octave-centric loudspeaker positioned as the players were recorded.

For sure it would be just an attempt to reproduce a “realistic” filed, he direction that I feel is not fruitful to begin with, however it would be interesting to hear it and to see how different might it be.

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
02-05-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 302
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 6
Post ID: 20535
Reply to: 20534
Time and space
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Yes there is a spatial aspect in the live performance that is lost in recording. The players are typically a bit farther apart from each other than the left right placement of the speakers. Also, the audience is farther back so the sounds blend but are still isolable if we focus that way. So we can say that the low level sounds plus the physical arrangement permits the sensation of ensemble: discrete instruments playing coherently together. We noted previously that speakers cannot reproduce accurately spatial arrangements and the recording process tends to obliterate or greatly distort low level information.
02-05-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
tuga


Posts 174
Joined on 12-26-2007

Post #: 7
Post ID: 20537
Reply to: 20534
The AR live vs. reproduced sound demos
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 Romy the Cat wrote:
 steverino wrote:
If you went to a concert with chamber music and closed your eyes how would it be different?

Steverino, I think that the main difference between listening quartet recording and blind listening of live quartet is ability during life music to domically focus own attention to individual instrumentalist. During live musical even perception acts in multi-thread fashion and can at the same time completely independently focus on individual players. What is very important is that instant spotlight of listening attention on some phrasing of second violin for instance the whole perfection does of the work does not get ruined. Furthermore, as it shall be in real time multi-thread operation the focus from one player to another plays, to group of players switched instantly, without losing anything from the  while quartet. In fact hearing in case of live music works like vision: your are at a hill and see a whole field of cows and you have no problem to observe each of them at the same time. With recorded quartet you rather watch at those cows in binocular, you can zoom in and out but you do lose the native relation between cows.

I do get the Steverino’s point that most of quartets are horribly recorded. I however mean something different. Is it possible to record and reproduce quartets differently? My leading idea that I discussed with a friend of mine a few days back was to  record  and to playback a quartet “in a grid”, where we record (and reproduce (!!!)) not only pressure and frequency but also timing when given pressure change. The second running idea was to reproduce sound with 4 omni-directional, octave-centric loudspeaker positioned as the players were recorded.

For sure it would be just an attempt to reproduce a “realistic” filed, he direction that I feel is not fruitful to begin with, however it would be interesting to hear it and to see how different might it be.

The Cat

Romy,

Your ideia is somewhat coincident with what AR was doing in the '60s, although Villchur was using a stereo pair of direct radiation speakers for reproduction.
I guess the sucess of these demonstrations resulted from the fact that the Fine Arts Quartet was recorded in free-field and because the recordings were then played back in a music hall, with listeners sitting far enough from the speakers so that direct sound was very much (overly?) influenced by the rooms acoustics:





Cheers,
Ric


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes
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