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08-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 498
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 1
Post ID: 5106
Reply to: 5106
Musicians' ear

So apparently Jordi is some kind of professional musician.  I find it is very interesting that I have met a lot of professional musicians and have seen a few post comments on this website.  Does anyone else notice that their preference in audio playback seems very idiosyncratic?  Usually it is a mix of mid-fi and hi-fi stuff that seems like a weird combination. 

I wonder if it because they have trained to play instruments so they learn to listen for very specific things that have to do with playing instruments and then shape the stereo set around magnifying those elements?

To me their systems always sound kind of strange.  My analogy is that I might hear a duck quacking and then the musician's setup is more like you have grabbed a hold of the duck and really squeezed it to make it loudly quack this kind of strangled frenzied cry, and they say to me "Listen to how clear the quacking sounds!"  Well, this sounds actually mean, and I don't intend it that way.  I am just saying I think they are listening for very specific things and it all sounds kind of foreign to me.

To be clear, my girlfriend plays in the local symphony and also has a jazz band she leads.  So I have nothing against musicians!  SOmetimes, when I had changed my stereo, she would say "Yes, I can hear the difference, but I don't care!"  Interestingly, when she recorded her last album, I helped her to mix it.  I swore the engineer had some distortion on this track she recorded, but he said "No" and nobody else heard this on the studio monitors.  Well, we played the demo on my home stereo and sure enough it became very obvious to everyone.  Then we had to take the CD to get re-mastered to try and sort of hide the damage of the distortion, actually to Paul Stubblebine (he is good friends with Mr. Bottlehead) but this is another story...

08-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 2
Post ID: 5107
Reply to: 5106
The different listening techniques.
I always was under observation that musicians use different techniques - they do not listen played back music but they rather register the pointers to keys and intervals and then they reconstruct in their consciousness the fabric of the music in accordance with their perception. I am not a musician, in fact I have no good music abilities at all (I can’t hear myself) but I do use these listening techniques sometimes.

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
08-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
mats
Chicago
Posts 76
Joined on 09-18-2005

Post #: 3
Post ID: 5108
Reply to: 5107
Perception or memory?

Romy said:  "they do not listen played back music but they rather register the pointers to keys and intervals and then they reconstruct in their consciousness the fabric of the music in accordance with their perception."

Do you mean that the musicians reconstruct the music in accordance with their memory, or knowledge of the piece?  Or even their opinion of how it "should" sound? 

For better or worse I am quite familiar with the live sound of Bob Dylan's band.  When I listen to audience-recordings, they are surely not of great sound quality, but they give me a lot of the joy and feeling of the live events.  Could it be similarly that these simple recordings  provide enough of the keys for the music to be reconstructed in my consciousness?  I doubt I would be as interested in this quality of recordings if it were of unfamiliar music. 

Mats
08-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Paul S
San Diego, California, USA
Posts 2,145
Joined on 10-12-2006

Post #: 4
Post ID: 5110
Reply to: 5108
Anyone know any musicians with "good" hi-fis?
I thought it was a garden variety truism, if not the truth, that musiicians typically "make do" with - whatever - in the way of hi-fi.

Although we "should" demand "the same thing" from hi-fi that we seek from live music, I would not be surprised if it turns out that musicians are simply able to "get more" from any given playback system.  How can musicians not hear differently than the musically challenged?

I do not mean to be a critical listener all the time, but I have to admit that I have a critical element at work much of the time when I listen, not just to hi-fi but also to live music.  Now that I think of it I guess my hi-fi listening habits carried over to live listening.

Ugh.

I can still just melt when I hear a great performance, and great performances are more likely to overcome problematic sound for me.

I know plenty of musicians who just do not regard hi-fi as "Real Music" but rather listen to playback only for certain cues.

I have also known musicians who seem to like recorded music well enough to collect it, yet they still seem to regard playback in an entirely different way than they they regard playing or even listening to live music.

I imagine the (rectangular!) K-Horns beat out the old SS receiver/CD combo and small-ish Sanyo speakers my friend's son (a long-time professional musician) seems perfectly happy with.

The gal next door played with a symphony for years and now teaches, owns lots of violin recordings and a truly dreadful system.

????

Best regards,
Paul S
08-24-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Bud
upper left crust united snakes
Posts 87
Joined on 07-07-2005

Post #: 5
Post ID: 5111
Reply to: 5110
Boyk on musical values
Check out what this musician has to say about the problem.

http://www.performancerecordings.com/capturing-music.html

Bud
08-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 498
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 6
Post ID: 5112
Reply to: 5110
Seperate but equal
 Paul S wrote:
I thought it was a garden variety truism, if not the truth, that musiicians typically "make do" with - whatever - in the way of hi-fi...


Well, I don't know; I would say there are obviously some musicians (e.g., Jordi, Stingsteen, etc.) who have audiophile tendencies, just like in the general population.  It is something of a surprise the percentage is not higher, considering music is their business, but again this further strengthens the supposition that musicianship and audiophilery have nothing to do with one another. 

 Paul S wrote:
Although we "should" demand "the same thing" from hi-fi that we seek from live music, I would not be surprised if it turns out that musicians are simply able to "get more" from any given playback system.  How can musicians not hear differently than the musically challenged?


I just feel compelled to say that a non-musician may not be musically challenged.  I personally am wondering if the musician and non musician hear things differenty; I prefer not to make a judgment about better ot worse.  When I listen to a piece by Penderecki I may feel a degree of wistful sadness and reminisce about the time I kissed that Canadian girl when I was ten years old.  A musician may think "the oboe player came in late and the tenor is flat." Just as an example.  So, with these different objectives, wouldn't they be listening for different things.  I think so.  Exactly what differences, I can't say.

 Paul S wrote:
I do not mean to be a critical listener all the time, but I have to admit that I have a critical element at work much of the time when I listen, not just to hi-fi but also to live music.  Now that I think of it I guess my hi-fi listening habits carried over to live listening.


Paul, stop that!
08-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 7
Post ID: 5113
Reply to: 5108
Do not think memory is not a perception?

 mats wrote:
Do you mean that the musicians reconstruct the music in accordance with their memory, or knowledge of the piece?  Or even their opinion of how it "should" sound? 

I do not think that memory or knowledge has anything to do with it. Sure the memory or knowledge are more developed with musicians but it is not important for audio subjects. There is a difference between musical knowledge and musical understating. Musical knowledge is a great thing but it has little application to audio. The musical understating is more beneficial but it is not necessarily higher developed among musicians. The knowledge of the driven musical peace is very overrated. How many times you heard a new peace that you never heard before and recognized that it was badly played, not technically badly but musically badly? Instead of knowledge I would vote for an evolved understanding….

Rgs, 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
08-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,540
Joined on 05-27-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 5115
Reply to: 5111
An excellent article but….

 Bud wrote:
Check out what this musician has to say about the problem.

http://www.performancerecordings.com/capturing-music.html

… unfortunately this article has some, from my point of view, “issuers”. The author advocates needs to build but better audio in order to make audio better. I disagree with this approach. I feel that better audio comes from evolvement of listening consciousness and a better audio will just organically flow out from the consciousness’ progress. Also, the author advocated a vertical partition of musical idea. I very much degree with it and in my view the musical ideas has strictly horizontal nature. I wonder what would be the outcome of Mr. Boyk if he would play with my concept of listening re-composition of played back material.

Anyhow, with some minor exceptions it is an excellent article. Still this article is hardly presents an emblematic musicians point of view on audio as Mr. Boyk is rather audio–anomaly among typical musicians.

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
08-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
drdna
San Francisco, California
Posts 498
Joined on 10-29-2005

Post #: 9
Post ID: 5116
Reply to: 5113
Emotional and Factual Memory
 Romy the Cat wrote:
Mr. Boyk is rather audio–anomaly among typical musicians.

Well, I have to agree with this.  I guess you do not publish an article of some point of view that is very obvious to everyone.

 Romy the Cat wrote:
I do not think that memory or knowledge has anything to do with it...Instead of knowledge I would vote for an evolved understanding….


I agree also, but maybe I would use the term emotional memory.  The standard memories are processes through a part of the brain called the hippocampus.  If this is damaged or destroyed, no new memories are stored; but emotional responses will still form memories because they are processes through a part of the brain called the amygdala.  Pleasure-pain learning occurs by yet another pathway. 

Probably different aspects of memory are stored by each path and reconstituted as a whole when we recall something (including recalling or evoking music when we listen to a song.)  So, as musicians are forced to strengthen certain aspects of learning music, they probably recall musical memories by a different proportion of the different pathways of memory.

Since different paths of memory may store different aspects of sound memory, the hallmarks of "important aspects of sound" will vary accordingly, as will the steroe system one builds to suit it.
08-25-2007 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
jessie.dazzle


Paris, France
Posts 456
Joined on 04-23-2006

Post #: 10
Post ID: 5119
Reply to: 5110
Your Garden Variety Fetish-Free Musician
Paul S wrote :
"...I thought it was a garden variety truism, if not the truth, that musiicians typically "make do" with - whatever - in the way of hi-fi..."

Yep!

The French have a proverb that translates something like this :
"Its always the cobbler (shoe repair man) that is the least well-shoed"
This is of course just unbelievable to a guy with a shoe fetish.

The few musicians I've known have tended to give priority to experiences which might directly enrich their lives, and translate into a better art. Discussing quality audio would likely really bore them.
This is of course just unbelievable to a guy with an audio fetish.

jd*


How to short-circuit evolution: Enshrine mediocrity.
06-03-2014 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 225
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 11
Post ID: 20937
Reply to: 5107
It is not the ear, it is what the ear feeds........
fiogf49gjkf0d
 Romy the Cat wrote:
I always was under observation that musicians use different techniques - they do not listen played back music but they rather register the pointers to keys and intervals and then they reconstruct in their consciousness the fabric of the music in accordance with their perception. I am not a musician, in fact I have no good music abilities at all (I can’t hear myself) but I do use these listening techniques sometimes.

The caT


I agree with this. Many times when I listen, I don't hear what is played, rather how I thought it should have been, or I compare to how I would have played it. Especially when I read the score when listening, at least half of what I hear is my "imagination". Some of my best playback is when the stereo is OFF!

This does leave a lot of room for creative playback.........


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
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