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The Silence Between the Notes

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  • The Silence Between the Notes

    It's not just lip service. Nor a funny meme. The silence between the notes is an especially important quality in music and for our audio systems to reproduce correctly. More thoughts to come.
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    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
    Agreed!!! Just listen to Pink Floyds DSOTM!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Silence sets the stage for the following note - me

      Comment


      • #4
        It takes talent to stop a note. It takes practice for a section or ensemble to stop together.

        I'm beginning to think one measure of a system's resolution is its ability to reveal the exact line between decay and the abyss. Transients aren't just at the beginning. Hearing the absolute end of a note, that very distinct point at which the final harmonic ember blinks out, slips over the line and then true black. As if for an instant, the heart stops. Before the pre-echo, breath intake and page turning kick the second hand forward.


        Comment


        • #5
          “There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.”
          ― John Cage
          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


          • #6
            There is beauty in silence!
            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


            • Garth
              Garth commented
              Editing a comment
              Go ahead a tell the wife that one and see what it gets you

          • #7
            shhhh your interrupting my silence.
            digitalphile here yay

            Comment


            • #8
              It's not just silence in an absolute sense- e.g. the difference between an instrument playing or not- but how that instrument (and its harmonics) decay as well as the transient attack at the front of the note being played that defines so many characteristics of the acoustic envelope that we hear into- granted, most stuff is fiddled with in recording and mastering, but assume you are dealing with a simple recording that is straightforward. The representation (because a recording being played back is merely that, not the real thing) that best replicates the nuances of the playing of the instrument as well as the acoustic space that it is being played in is usually one the one that sounds the most 'real,' 'accurate,' etc.
              I agree, musically, with the notion of silence or rests defining the music itself. That's not just an acoustic or audiophile issue, it is, as some of the above quotes indicate, part of the composition and performance itself. I think it was Leslie West (the rock guitarist who most famously played for Mountain with the late, great Felix Pappalardi) who commented about another guitarist: "He's good, but he plays too many notes." (West was hardly a techno-manic guitarist- his best work is simple, and all about tone and sustain). Ditto, Janos Starker- it was pointed out to me that he did not use much vibrato to conceal the point where he hit the note- he was able to go to it and start the note playing it 'clean.'
              Last edited by Bill Hart; 03-20-2016, 09:46 AM.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Bill Hart View Post
                It's not just silence in an absolute sense- e.g. the difference between an instrument playing or not- but how that instrument (and its harmonics) decay as well as the transient attack at the front of the note being played that defines so many characteristics of the acoustic envelope that we hear into- granted, most stuff is fiddled with in recording and mastering, but assume you are dealing with a simple recording that is straightforward. The representation (because a recording being played back is merely that, not the real thing) that best replicates the nuances of the playing of the instrument as well as the acoustic space that it is being played in is usually one the one that sounds the most 'real,' 'accurate,' etc.
                I agree, musically, with the notion of silence or rests defining the music itself. That's not just an acoustic or audiophile issue, it is, as some of the above quotes indicate, part of the composition and performance itself. I think it was Leslie West (the rock guitarist who most famously played for Mountain with the late, great Felix Pappalardi) who commented about another guitarist: "He's good, but he plays too many notes." (West was hardly a techno-manic guitarist- his best work is simple, and all about tone and sustain). Ditto, Janos Starker- it was pointed out to me that he did not use much vibrato to conceal the point where he hit the note- he was able to go to it and start the note playing it 'clean.'



                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


                • #10
                  All great posts and hard to add anything meaningful on the music side.

                  For me, one of the biggest effects of the silence between the notes is feeling the pulse of the music.

                  For the longest time, this was an extremely hard area for equipment, transducers, etc. to reproduce correctly. On one hand, you had gear that artificially exaggerated the transient attack; on the other hand, you had gear that smeared, blurred or obscured the silence between the notes. There's not just one but many factors that contribute to the reproduction of the silence between the notes besides the basic circuit design. Parts. Electricity. Speaker cabinets. Room acoustics. Cables. Yes and especially cables. I've found at least in my system, once the equipment reaches a certain level, cables really are the missing link and make a huge difference in the noise floor of the system.
                  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

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