Subject: Re: multi-track
From: Andrew Lewis (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Nov 04 1996 - 06:33:43 EST
>> Why? Because we don't have ears in the back of our heads -
Tim Ward said
>But we live in a world where sound comes at us from all directions.
Ambrose Field quipped
>You would not find it hard if a bus came screaming down the street behind you.
Yes, but the most we can tell about sounds which are behind us is that they
are behind us, not whereabouts behind us they are. The only message our
brain gets is 'There's something behind you - turn around if you want to
get a fix on it, or else just run away.' Not an unpleasant experience now
and again in a concert situation, I'll admit, but a long way from what some
composers expect of our rearward cognition. Anyway, lots of people get run
over by screaming buses all the time, and almost always its because their
ears have let them down.
Tim Ward continued
> Multiple independent sources can of course be used to help the listener
> comprehend the complexity, with spatial localisation becoming a more
> significant musical parameter.
To be musically significant it has to be *perceptible* (oh no, another can
of works just burst open). What I mean is, the amount of significant
information which spatialisiation contributes to the musical argument is
directly related to the detail of spatialisation which can be perceived -
i.e for some ambisonic systems, not very much in my experience.
Ben Thigpen retorted
> ...from an aesthetic point of view, a sound behind "means" differently
>than a sound in front.
> In other words, this is a significant compositional parameter to be
>exploited and explored.
I agree completely. "Behind yoooooou!" That's about the limit of the
contribution that a rear sound can make, and it's a useful one. Oh yes, can
also help to draw a front sound more towards the back, into the audience
say. It's the concept of (a mythical example) twelve equally important
point sources at the hours of the clock that I find hard to swallow. Such
an arrangement works brilliantly in every respect, except one - the real
world. I admit it's sometimes hard to accept the verdict of one's ears when
one has formulated some really elegant spatial concept on paper, and
probably worked very hard at trying to realise it, but I'm afraid at the
end of the day it's our ears (those of the audience if not of the composer)
which must have the final word.
> And there are very simple movements which cannot be created in stereo.
> Example: One sound event dying out (in stereo) in front while another begins
> (in stereo) behind. This is hardly difficult for ear or mind to comprehend.
Well, I'm not so sure. My mind has little trouble with it, you'll be glad
to hear, but I have a feeling that my ears might have difficulty picking up
the fact that the behind sound was behind until it was getting quite loud.
I know one might *imagine* it would sound really clear, but have you
actually heard the real thing so you can be sure? I have not, but my
experience of such things leads me to believe it would not work as well as
one might imagine/hope.
>If it almost never happens, why not consider trying another method _too_?
Cos I'm just an old stick-in-the-mud who is frightened by new ideas and
just wants to stay within the safety of what I know.
> This is particularly true, in my experience, on the "speaker orchestra"
> multiple speakers of varying phase coherency, bandwidth and SPL
> have yet to hear a piece that has not been somewhat mangled in the process
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Wed Jun 11 2003 - 13:12:37 EDT