Tube Amps / Music Electronics
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|6/24/2000 6:38 PM|
||Re: R.G., here's a test for you|
I think that the word you are looking for to describe EJ's idiosyncracies would be "psychotic"...
P.S. So what gauge rubber band does he use? .012 for jazz songs and .009 for rock? I heard that the rubber band sounds even better if you boil it in oil for 15 minutes first...
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|6/25/2000 12:52 AM|
That would of course also describe it! (ha, ha)
Oil would give your tone a "greasier" feel but if that's what you are looking for...then cool!!! I think a little witch-hazel would do the trick just fine...also a little dab on the magnetic pole pieces would give you are "warmer" tone.
|6/21/2000 3:08 AM|
|6/24/2000 12:56 PM|
|6/26/2000 4:49 PM|
||Some popular misconceptions|
"Psychosomatic" (mind / body) refers to *real* physical ailments that have a psychological base, usually from prolonged stress. E.g., a stiff back from cowering in fear towards your supervisor all day would count as psychosomatic.
"Hypochondriasis" is the disorder people usually mean when they say psychosomatic. Hypochondriasis is generally characterized by the overinterpretation of, and overconcern about, bodily symptoms, and is more typical of generally anxious or depressed people. So, the person may feel some heartburn on several consecutive occasions, and start to ruminate about it and believe it is actually something far worse. Ironically, the stress resulting from hypochondriasis can sometimes result in *real* psychosomatic problems; in effect the hypochondriac becomes "justified".
As for psychoacoustics, one might consider it a branch of the more general field of psychophysics - the study of systematic relationships between sensory stimuli and sensory experience. The acknowledged godfathers of psychophysics include Herbert Von Helmholtz, Gustav Fechner, S.S. Stevens, and Carl Weber. All had a great deal to say about hearing, and Helmholtz' 19th century classic "On the sensations of tone" continues to be sold as a standard reference, rather than a historical curiosity (PAiA carried it for a long time and probably still does).
Whenever one studies the subjective experience of sensory events, however, the judge must be taken into account (including both their past and present experience, motives, and situational constraints), so a big part of psychophysics is the study and application of "signal detection": the patterns of capacity to detect/discriminate sensory distinctions under varying conditions. The most obvious example would be the thresholds for detecting just-noticeable differences in intensity at varying intensities. The classic finding is that small differences are more asily detectable at lower intensities.
I mention this because although one can scientifically study signal detection and psychoacoustic processing of sound events, the "human-ness" of the human judge is never far away. That is to say that events can be mistakenly perceived for all the same reasons that lots of things are misperceived. In the same way that you can fail to "see" things in the classified ads because of what you are and aren't interested in, you can fail to detect some auditory events, or over-detect others because of motives. The example I would generally use in class is hearing the phone ring while you are in the shower and expecting a call about a job interview, vs not expecting such a call. The signal is the same, but the detection is different.
As well, all sensory events that are consciously perceived are perceived in reference to another experience, and at that point it becomes an exercise in memory as much as an exercise in sensing. When you hear a fuzzbox played, what are the steps you go through in mentally classifying the timbre produced? Do you use a "mental standard"? Do you attend to specific features of the envelope, bandwidth, dynamic timbral changess, etc.? When someone compares a commercial product they are tinkering with in the showroom, how do they mentally compare it against the tone of a product used in a revered song from long ago (that embeds the effect in amongst all the other sounds in the final production). So, how would you know that a fuzz REALLY sounds like "Over, under, sideways, down", or that a Leslie simulator truly sounds like "Badge"?
The psychoacoustic processing, memory, and attention aspects are separate from the post hoc reasoning processes one uses to make attributions for how one *perceives* them to have sounded. People can come to remarkable consensus about ambiguous events when they put their minds to it, and the explanation offered by one person sounds plausible enough to the many (Len Feldman used to question the content of The Absolute Sound on similar grounds!!).
Here is where we get to beliefs about rubber bands, batteries, placing one box on top of another, cheap Y-splitters, etc.
So, in sum, people can:
- hear stuff that others can't hear because of real hearing differences
- hear stuff that others can't hear because of the unique circumstances they hear it under
- hear stuff that ain't really there because they believe it should be
- hear stuff intermittently and believe they hear it at those times where it isn't present
- hear *something* but mistakenly attribute it to the wrong sources
This is of course why one prefers to use blind A/B testing, a variant of signal-detection techniques. The identification of *real* lawful relationships between true audio signal properties and sensory experience can really only be gotten at once you factor in false positives (detecting something that ain't there) and false negatives (missing an actual event) in conjunction with detected events/changes.
Finally, much of what gets labelled as "psychoacoustics" is often equivalent to the study of visual (or other) illusions, only with hearing. In part, it is the study of illusions which allows us to isolate the factors that lead to normal perceptual experience. So, identifying those features of a 2-D image on paper which can successfully create the *illusion* of depth helps to understand vision. Similarly, identifying those manipulable parameters of a digital or analog delay line that can mentally create the illusion of different physical spaces or locations within space helps to understand how we interpret space from sound during the regular interaction with physical objects.
All of this means that although you can study psychoacoustics "scientifically", the real end point of psychoacoustics - understand why it *sounds* the way it does to the listener - involves the juggling of a great many factors and considerations. Science doesn't equal straightforward or simple, especially when addressing human experience.
|6/26/2000 5:44 PM|
Wouldn't that be hypoacoustic, i.e the overinterpretation of, and overconcern about sounds, whereas psychoacoustic would be real sounds that have a physical effect, such as temporary hearing loss from a 4x12 Marshall on 11.
|6/26/2000 6:30 PM|
I'm not sure. Ask me again when I'm finished rubbing the letters off the chips in my pedals so they'll sound "boutique-ey".
(Maybe the DVD re-release of Spinal Tap will inspire DiMarzio to re-release those Nigel Tufnel volume knobs they made for a while that DID go up to 11.)
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