Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Texture in Audio

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Texture in Audio

    There's probably no more curious audio term than texture. Texture's use in describing the sound of an audio system is antithetical to the actual to the musical meaning. Over the years, reviewers have used the term density, density of orchestration, density of the mix, when they were actually talking about texture.

    As defined by JGH in The Audio Glossary:

    (1) A recognizable pattern or structure in reproduced sound, even if random in nature.
    (2) A sensation that the energy continuum of reproduced sound is comprised of discrete particles, like the grain of a photograph.

    In Music:

    "Texture is the overall quality of sound of a piece, most often indicated by the number of voices in the music and the the relationship between these voices. A piece's texture may be further described using terms such as "thick" and "light," "rough" or "smooth." The perceived texture of a piece can be affected by the number and character of parts playing at once, the timbre of the instruments or voices playing these parts and the harmony, tempo and rhythms used. Musical texture can be used by composers to create drama and contrast by differences in the layers of sound, whether melody or harmony the relationships between these layers of sound, and how many layers there are."

    From another source:

    "In music, texture is how the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, thus determining the overall quality of the sound in a piece. Texture is often described in regard to the density, or thickness and range, or width, between lowest and highest pitches, in relative terms as well as more specifically distinguished according to the number of voices, or parts, and the relationships between these voices. For example, a thick texture contains many layers of instruments. The thickness also is affected by the amount and the richness of the instruments playing the piece. The thickness varies from light to thick.


    In audio terms, texture runs the gamut from coarse (gritty, large or even boulder sized particles) to liquid (complete absence of grain). Of course over the years, these terms have taken on different negative connotations. In the days of old, solid state electronics were considered gritty and tubes were associated with liquid. But these terms often became associated with negative connotations. To wit, liquid was often associated with tube electronics and and a thick, almost muddy smoothness accompanied by a loss of information. Over time, either extreme tends to be deleterious to the listening experience. Gritty leads to listening fatigue while overly liquid leads to boredom.



    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Oy vey! Tough subject. Is tough or rubbery a texture? Seriously Myles, as a musician the definitions you have quoted are accurate. For me texture in audio has been to what extent I can HEAR texture in a familiar recording with a rich orchestration or even in a single instrument being played or sung. I know it when I hear it and to me it definitely exists in an audio system. Dare I say I hear it more often on vinyl than digital?
    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

    VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

    Piega C711 Loudspeakers

    Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

    Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

    Comment


    • #3
      When I think texture I automatically think layering and that's really the only word that comes to mind. I also hear it more clearly defined on vinyl.
      Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
        When I think texture I automatically think layering and that's really the only word that comes to mind. I also hear it more clearly defined on vinyl.
        I associate layering in audio as part of the soundstage. That effect is built more into some recordings and not others. Then the ability of the system to enable you to hear that effect comes into play. Texture to me is hearing the head and material of a drum, the reedlike quality of a double reed instrument, the brassiness of brass instruments, the sound of a bow on strings, and the really tactile feel you can get on some guitar recordings. Some of my Accent lute recordings demonstrate what I am trying to say or Harmonia Mundi recordings of early violin music are really good at letting me hear these qualities. I think in addition to vinyl being better at this than digital tubes are better than SS as well at this.
        TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

        Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

        VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
        Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

        Piega C711 Loudspeakers

        Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

        Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

        Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

        Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 1morerecord2clean View Post

          I associate layering in audio as part of the soundstage. That effect is built more into some recordings and not others. Then the ability of the system to enable you to hear that effect comes into play. Texture to me is hearing the head and material of a drum, the reedlike quality of a double reed instrument, the brassiness of brass instruments, the sound of a bow on strings, and the really tactile feel you can get on some guitar recordings. Some of my Accent lute recordings demonstrate what I am trying to say or Harmonia Mundi recordings of early violin music are really good at letting me hear these qualities. I think in addition to vinyl being better at this than digital tubes are better than SS as well at this.

          I only assign soundstage in terms of space. The word "soundstage" makes sense when applied in the capacity that I do. Quite frankly I find trying to define what we hear with a word is nary impossible as we oftentimes each have different interpretations and there is so much crossover.
          Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

          Comment


          • #6
            OK, so "texture" is likening a piece of music to the warp and weft of weaving of a piece of cloth. Is it heavy brocade? Is it cheesecloth? Is it a scratchy wool sweater (uncomfortably disharmonious)? Is it chilled silk on the skin (Netrebko and Garanca duets)?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdc2...PTUCSeO2guDqhw

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm sure many can remember the boulder size grain in early solid-state electronics. Today, the grain has been greatly reduced in all gear but all it takes is a quick listen say to a SE tube amplifier to realize that there's still some artificiality and lack of smoothness to the sound of many pieces of gear. And then sometimes, that grain is just endemic to the recording.
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • #8
                ##Bump##
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Cool, I got it right. I am big on texture and in audiophile terms to me it is about specifics in timbre. Typically the harmonics produced by the instrument's materials. How nylon like anre the nylon strings? How woody is the soundboard?

                  IN the past when editing, layering became second nature. Especially if you are doing sound for film where you don't just pay attention to music, you pretty much pay attention to the sounds all around you through your waking hours. Your output has to sound natural, as in literally like nature lest you kick the stool from beneath your audience. Do that long enough and your judgements on what sounds closer to the real thing or not gets srtict. So yes I do think layering is part and parcel of the overall texture. Low pitched roomtone in a recording gives the impression of actual warmth at the venue just as a too quiet backdrop gives the impression of chilliness. You can almost imagine audience members rubbing their arms to keep warm in the latter. Jazz, oh I love old Jazz. The mics leaking, short reverb times make the air feel hot and thick, smoky even.

                  Okay I'll shut up now. I am a very involved listener type. Kind of weirds some people out.
                  Last edited by JackD201; 05-13-2016, 12:24 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JackD201 View Post
                    Cool, I got it right. I am big on texture and in audiophile terms to me it is about specifics in timbre. Typically the harmonics produced by the instrument's materials. How nylon like anre the nylon strings? How woody is the soundboard?

                    IN the past when editing, layering became second nature. Especially if you are doing sound for film where you don't just pay attention to music, you pretty much pay attention to the sounds all around you through your waking hours. Your output has to sound natural, as in literally like nature lest you kick the stool from beneath your audience. Do that long enough and your judgements on what sounds closer to the real thing or not gets srtict. So yes I do think layering is part and parcel of the overall texture. Low pitched roomtone in a recording gives the impression of actual warmth at the venue just as a too quiet backdrop gives the impression of chilliness. You can almost imagine audience members rubbing their arms to keep warm in the latter. Jazz, oh I love old Jazz. The mics leaking, short reverb times make the air feel hot and thick, smoky even.

                    Okay I'll shut up now. I am a very involved listener type. Kind of weirds some people out.
                    Weird? Count me in. 🙃
                    TW Acustic TT with Ref motor & controller; Tri-Planar Arm; Ortofon Windfeld-Ti Cartridge, Harmonix-Combak platter matte & weight; Arcam R Phono Preamp; KLAudio Ultrasonic Record Cleaner.

                    Bluesound Vault-2 Music Server & Streamer

                    VTL 6.5 preamp Series II
                    Pass Labs 150.8 Amp

                    Piega C711 Loudspeakers

                    Symposium Osiris Rack; Symposium Platforms and Roller Blocks plus grade 2.5 Balls

                    Acoustic Revive RR-888 Low Frequency Pulse Generator

                    Shunyata Hydra 8; Shunyata AC Cords; Synergistic Research Level 3 HC AC Cord and Level 3 power cord, Synergistic Carbon fiber wall plates & Blue Outlets, Furutech NCF Booster Brace, Audio Art Ref balanced ICs, MIT Oracle IC and Magnum Speaker Cables

                    Sennheiser HDV 650 Headphone Amp; Sennheiser HD1200s Headphones.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would call this the "hardness" to the sound, in that it sounds solid or not. Does that make sense? With that I believe there is a sweet spot between too much and too little.

                      Comment


                      • mep
                        mep commented
                        Editing a comment
                        "Hardness" has a negative connotation.

                      • jonathanb
                        jonathanb commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Solidity is probably a better term.

                    • #12
                      Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4095.PNG
Views:	41
Size:	99.6 KB
ID:	61870
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I like solidity. At some point it becomes hard.

                        Myles, your graphic makes no sense to me. I wouldn't use those terms since they cannot relate to the electronics. They seem more like descriptions of music.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Just not a term I use to describe the sound quality of music...too subjective like most audiophile review word jargon. Reviewers have a tough job putting those words into meaningful context that readers can understand and relate too when listening to music through stereo systems...just my jaded opinion of course...:wink:
                          Christian
                          System Gear

                          Comment


                          • Folsom
                            Folsom commented
                            Editing a comment
                            It is very subjective, but the snap of a snare drum sounds real or dull depening a lot on solidity.

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Folsom View Post
                          I like solidity. At some point it becomes hard.

                          Myles, your graphic makes no sense to me. I wouldn't use those terms since they cannot relate to the electronics. They seem more like descriptions of music.
                          That was actually the subject of the thread and covered in the OP.
                          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                          ________________________________________

                          -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                          -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                          -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X