Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place

Subject: Re: Le mat?riau Sonore, hidden place
From: Morgan Sutherland (
Date: Fri Sep 16 2005 - 09:18:59 EDT

yes, quality vs. quantity, but it's not a direct relationship. There's
no acoustic instrument that can approach the quality of computer
generated white noise for instance.

On 9/16/05, Richard Wentk <> wrote:
> 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,
> >etc.
> 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
> >can't...
> 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.
> Richard

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