Acoustic / electroacoustic

Subject: Acoustic / electroacoustic
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Thu Sep 15 2005 - 21:01:23 EDT

This is, IMV, not a discussion about parallel systems. Overly
simplified, a loudspeaker is (effectively) a point source, an
acoustic instrument is not.

Many acoustic instruments are a discrete source of frequency (keys on
a piano). A loudspeaker is a transducer, not a source. This
contributes to the perception by some people "I've yet to hear any
computer-synthesized sound that comes close to the richness of timbre
of most acoustic instruments and sounds in general."

A microphone cannot pick up the sound of a wave breaking as the
(acoustical) sound has a 'statistical' identity. Place 12 mics and
record the same wave. The (sonic) "identity" of the real wave is the
sum (and abstraction) of millions of microactions, and the 'specific'
sound heard by one individual cannot be heard at any other place than
where the listener is. This is back to the 'rainbow', which doesn't
exist, as it is the convergence if light at a particular place, not
an 'object' that is perceived. (It is often interpreted as being an

As I noted above, this is an overly simplified explanation, but I
feel the essence can be deduced.

Instruments are also limited by (real) mechanical restraints, these
(almost) do not exist in the manipulation of numbers inside a

These considerations (along with some others) have led me to the view
that this is not a meaningful comparison.



As I have come to form this understanding, 'my' definition of ea has
settled on the loudspeaker one I offer.

At 19:57 -0400 2005/09/15, Ned Bouhalassa wrote:
>A sampler/cd/turntable/cassette deck can make any noise in
>existence, but only because it _records_ other sounds. If you're
>talking about synthesized sound, then I disagree. I've yet to hear
>any computer-synthesized sound that comes close to the richness of
>timbre of most acoustic instruments and sounds in general. I believe
>it has to do with the natural chaos of transient material and
>unpredictability of partials over time occuring in a natural
>setting, but... I'm in over my head. You guys and gals will surely
>correct my pop acoustics.
>On 15-Sep-05, at 7:19 PM, Morgan Sutherland wrote:
>>The computer can make virtually any noise in
>>existence while an acoustic instrument is confined to a narrowband of
>>timbre, however with many many possibilities within those limits.
>w w w . n e d f x . c o m
> Ned Bouhalassa
>n e d @ n e d f x . c o m

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