Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Sethoflagos, Apr 18, 2015.
Only if I want to be - you don't get to decide what I do or don't post.
Jeez guys, I can handle the occasional troll on these pages, but it pains me to see shots fired back and forth between people whose posts I enjoy and respect.
Like it or not, the passion required to stick with playing such an obdurate instrument can equally support passionate arguments or experiments into the mechanics of the beast - either of which may seem irrelevant or irrational to those infected with a different variant of the trumpet bug.
So.... Seth, re dB, before I opened my browser this morning, I'd re-thought the relevance of the question. My background was electronics and RF comms before being seduced by the trappings of an IT job. I'm happy using dB as an indispensable measure of ratios that would otherwise be unwieldy or as an absolute measure - dBm.
Patrick and Ed, of course one's ears are used to correlate what's measured to what's heard. I can't speak for Seth, but for me time spent on esoteric experiments ranks well down the list below listening, practising, browsing TM, writing etc but is nonetheless interesting. If you have no interest in a topic that's fine.
As has been touched on, if each of us were we to play the exact same instrument and mouthpiece, I believe the electronic graphs would be different regardless of which log base reference was established. Too, it is my opinion that the graphing would vary with the input obtained in various venues and the patronage present in each. Personally, my biggest complaint would be the extra baggage I'd have to drag around to gather such data. With my trumpet slung over my shoulder, one hand pulling my wheely loaded with mutes and music, and a walking cane held in the other, I'm barely able to go from one place to another. Really what is important to me is what the audience hears and to know that I'd like to set a wireless mike 3/4th into the audience with a feedback receiver I can hear ... but that won't happen either.
All this I state and yet I make no claim to be anyone even remotely learned in the field of acoustic engineering.
Really I don't see any of the instrument manufacturers touting such data, and although they may, I don't know of any that do gather it.
I find this thread fascinating at several levels. First of all, there is so much garbage out there about the differences between instruments. There has been some really educated analysis, but those numbers are not readily understood by lay people.
So what can we glean from what we have until now:
1) we need more consistent methodology
2) we are showing differences even at our primitive state correlate to many subjective impressions
3) we have a couple of people that have given serious thought about how to do this
4) We all agree that the numbers do not express the artistic intentions of the person who designed the horn or who is playing it
5) Very soon the actual position of the mike will become a serious issue for repeatability - that knowledge is also useful on stage for sound manipulation
6) there are those that could give a crap about this
So, what to do? I will be posting some of my own findings/results shortly. I will tell all exactly what I did and how I interpret the results. Others mileage will vary, but I think that there are some important lessons here about subjectivity - even if we think that we have good data.
Let us see where it goes. From what I have seen here up to now, I am pretty sure there are a couple of horns that don't match me very well.........
Let's all just take the numbers for what they are currently worth: preliminary steps at classifying frequency response. Perhaps there are some other places that we can go with this. I have about 10 pages..........
For arguments sake, we DEFINITELY need more consistent methodology. I may have missed it, but was there anything posted about what microphone was used, what preamp it went through, or what interface was used?
Let's take the microphone as just one factor. Was it a condenser microphone or a dynamic microphone? If it was a dynamic mic, what kind of mic was it? If it was a dynamic mic, was it a Shure SM57? Was it something cheaper? Was it something nicer? was it something as nice as a Sennheiser MD 441? Was it something like a Shure SM7B?
Let's talk about condenser mics - are we talking small diaphragm condenser? Large diaphragm condenser? Are we talking something really nice like Neumann U87, or something like one of MXL's offerings? Was it something like a Blue Yeti? Maybe it was something like a Shure SM81. Was it a ribbon mic!!??
All of that matters because microphones all have their own character with unique frequency responses.
And what about the preamp? There are some preamps that are used specifically because they color the sound in certain ways. And how much, or how little gain was used? How close was the bell to the mic? How loud was the player playing? Was there any compression being used on the signal on the way in to account for variances in volume?
There are SO many variables, that in order for this to have any real value, even in an academic sense, there has to be some kind of definition in the methodology.
Rowuk, you say you've found a couple of horns that don't match you very well, and this rises my thought that you don't match those horns very well. On the other leg, if I were to loan James Morrison (and many other pros) any of the pre-owned student quality trumpets I have, I feel certain that in a blind test I couldn't discern their playing these student instruments to their playing the best of the state of the art instruments where from I certainly take the attitude of "make do" with what you have available.
When I tutor a student, I attempt to use an instrument and mouthpiece as near to what they are using for my demonstrations. Sure, I don't find a Bach 7C the most comfortable, but such doesn't negate my using it whenever appropriate.
Yes, I read much of one player after another either touting or quashing certain mouthpieces and while I do consider physiological differences and also that certain mouthpieces perform best with certain horns, I'll still make my own determinations and play what I want to play and how and when I want to play for as long as I'm now still able and have the capability.
In 1970, Arthur Benade studied the internal and external spectrum of the trumpet with Charles Schlueter. Benade wrote that his external mic placement was "about 5 cm away from the end of the bell" and "about one bell radius away."
Relation of Internal to External Tone Color Spectrum and linked pages.