Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place

Subject: Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place
From: Richard Wentk (
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 09:13:51 EDT

At 01:35 16/09/2005, you wrote:

>well, it's not a contest right? and it depends on what
>you mean by 'broader' and 'pallet'. i think what
>ned's talking about is how complex, say the sound of a
>piano note is when you play a key and listen to the
>sound of it decay...the sound is incredibly complex,
>resonates with the other strings, different harmonics
>(or partials, or overtones, whatever) reinforce and/or
>cancel each other, and this all occurs over a period
>of time and is influenced by how well it's tuned, how
>hard you hit the key, the temperature in the room,

I listened to someone performing professionally on a top of the line
Bosendorfer recently, and it was *the* most amazing thing. The initial half
second or so of each chord was perfectly in tune (or as in tune as anything
can be in 12ET), and then all the partials seemed to decorrelate
simultaneously to produce a fantastic chorus and bloom.

I've listened to quite a few pianos over the decades, and it's the first
time I've ever heard a sound quite like that.

> to try to do that with a computer, well, we're
>not there yet. and i'm not sure i'd want to be..there
>are plenty of things a computer can do that a piano

But there's always the issue of quality versus quantity. Begin able to make
an endless variety of sounds becomes less interesting if few are musically
worthwhile. Or if they're less musically worthwhile and satisfying than
acoustic instruments.

There's a *huge* amount still to find out about the intricacies and nuances
of acoustic instruments, both as sound generators and as performance tools.
I think it's a shame to concentrate on virtual experiences so much when
acoustic experiences still remain richer and more interesting.

Bridging the gap is a good thing to aim for, but I think that's going to
need much better tools and more imaginative thinking about synthesis than
we seem to have available today.


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:11 EST