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The Silence Between the Notes

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  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    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.

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  • MylesBAstor
    replied
    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.'



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  • Bill Hart
    replied
    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.

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  • Garth
    commented on 's reply
    Go ahead a tell the wife that one and see what it gets you

  • pharoah
    replied
    shhhh your interrupting my silence.

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  • Johnny Vinyl
    replied
    There is beauty in silence!

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  • 1morerecord2clean
    replied
    “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

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.


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  • Rust
    replied
    Silence sets the stage for the following note - me

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  • jcmusic
    replied
    Agreed!!! Just listen to Pink Floyds DSOTM!!!

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  • MylesBAstor
    started a topic The Silence Between the Notes

    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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