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MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART => Music Gearheads Tech Talk => Topic started by: stargazer on February 25, 2020, 11:39:37 AM

Title: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: stargazer on February 25, 2020, 11:39:37 AM
Velocity, volume and noise

Velocity is the main key for dynamic sounds. But today I miss the use of velocity in many many productions.
Velocity, that means sensitivity and touch. The way you know it from playing naturally instruments, or from classical music.

Velocity directly influences volume. Volume could thus serve as an indirect measuring device for the presence or lack of velocity.
Many productions, especially also in the Ambient genre, seemingly reaching the volume limit of a sound constantly without being dynamic.

As is known, we have had a volume increase for several years. Caused, for example, by improper use of limiters, compressors and equalizers.
In addition, there are templates, general requirement, the (missing) playback options on appropriate equipment, and digitization.

Digitization and streaming definitely leading to a change in musical production and listening experience.
For instance, there is a whole new approach on noises. First they would be eliminated, to be later added again. Instead of simply being recorded.

I recently got to know that there are piano players who record their compositions with microphones on the open piano.
So, you can also hear all the rhythmic sounds from inside the piano. This is natural integration of noises.

I find authenticity in music very important. For me, the most important thing is to integrate my feelings into the music.
Feelings are so different, in any case they don't scream constantly. They are also not constantly quiet. They are dynamic.
Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: stargazer on February 26, 2020, 12:18:47 PM
I modified the article a bit. I think it is clearer now. Feel free to talk about the theme.
Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: petekelly on February 27, 2020, 02:50:48 AM
Keeping my response to ambient (primarily), another factor is dynamics (or the lack of) in the compositional process itself.

If there is little in the way of dynamic variety in a track in the first place and a large amount of maximising is applied, then yes, the infamous maxed out waveforms will be produced. If there are dynamics in a track, then even heavy maximising wont bring everything up to 'the max' - unless an insane amount of maximising is applied, you will just have much louder' loud' parts.

Regarding velocity and dynamics in playing an instrument, I'm a guitar player and something that I've noticed is that a lot of guitarists never use their volume controls - let alone the tone pots to vary their tone. I know this can be done with actual playing technique, but when people are using hi-gain amp / simulator sounds this doesn't work as well, so it's 'full-on' all the time.
Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: stargazer on February 28, 2020, 01:37:16 PM
Pete, thanks for your thoughts. Very interesting. Knowing and coordinating your instrument and yourself is a league of its own. It takes a lot of time and practice and routine to develop freely with all the sensitivity and expression.
Dynamics then arise entirely on their own, and thus your very own composition.
Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: petekelly on March 02, 2020, 08:06:21 AM
Thanks for your response too Jana.

Unfortunately. it looks like this forum's days of discussions (beyond new releases and the like) are pretty much gone. Sad to see.
Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: Castleview on March 02, 2020, 07:21:04 PM
I've actually been paying more attention to velocity/touch when playing with my MIDI controller while finishing up new material. It's such a simple thing, but it definitely affects the type of sounds you produce, whether you're on guitars or synths.

Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: stargazer on March 05, 2020, 02:47:57 PM
Thank you for your thoughts. Very appreciated. I would love to discuss the musical theories (that are based on the natural expression) even more to the depth.
Because I wonder why such simple things seem to decay. The love to a sound, tones and timbres, ten-finger chords, and the likes.....
Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: stargazer on March 14, 2020, 06:18:35 AM
Tones and timbres

I recently found a good citation by Thomas Köner about tone colour (timbre):

"Music does not exist". "And how could it?" "The beat has no presence and can only point to the following beat, the insubstantial note depends completely on its neighbors in the melodic line, the chord is dispensable after its harmonic release, and one abstract noise obstructs the other. I contend that these musical elements are marginal and peripheral,..." The only element that is independent and able to communicate itself according to Köner is tone colour. Köner states: "And as it became clear, the mysterious seed, the topos of all sonic expression, lies in tone colour, or better, lies in the awareness of it, which is its resonance. The textbook definition of tone colour can only describe what it is not: qualities of sound that are not related to pitch, volume, or duration. Tone colour is therefore the absence and yet the total presence. For example, a mother reading a fairy tale to her child is reading words made of letters - but the child hears the mother’s “I love you“ in her voice. This is resonance. I throw a pebble in a lake and there is resonance. If the pebble is dirty, there is still resonance. There is a sense of purity. Thoughts create resonance. Sounds create resonance. Resonance is pristine, detached of the object. Appearing as tone colour, sound has the potential to become its own resonance, effortless and luminous."

The theoretical background:

In music, the timbre is one of the parameters of the individual tone. It is determined by its sound spectrum, i.e. the specific mixture of fundamental tones, overtones and noise components as well as the temporal course of this spectrum (influenced, for example, by transient and decay processes and the construction material of a musical instrument), the volume and other parameters. Fundamental frequency, also called fundamental vibration or fundamental tone, is a term from vibration theory, acoustics or electrical engineering, which describes the lowest frequency in a mixture of harmonic frequencies. Overtones (also partial tones, secondary tones or additional tones) are the components that resonate along with the fundamental tone of almost every instrumental or vocal musical tone. Such an acoustic signal is almost always not a tone (sinus tone), but a sound or sound mixture, i.e. a sound event, which is primarily composed of several sinusoidal partials. The deepest part is called the fundamental and determines the perceived pitch in most cases, while the other partials, the overtones, influence the timbre. In general, physics understands noise (also called background) to be a disturbance variable with a broad, non-specific frequency spectrum. It can therefore be interpreted as a superposition (overlay) of many harmonic vibrations or waves with different amplitudes and frequencies or wavelengths.
Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: Castleview on March 16, 2020, 02:35:14 PM
I love the way that Thomas Koner thinks about music. Thanks for sharing that.
Title: Re: Velocity, volume and noise
Post by: stargazer on March 17, 2020, 01:34:33 PM
In Germany we have the saying "Der Ton macht die Musik" (It's not what you say but how you say it). Literally translated "The tone (of voice) makes the music".