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11-09-2004 Post mapped to 2 branches of Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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Audio and Music: four levels of unity and separation or…

Audio and Music: four levels of unity and separation or… ...or a short and slightly dipped into Dostoevsky essay about Audio inevitability in case of …an Audio progress.

Kакие б чувства ни таились
Тогда во мне - теперь их нет:
Oни прошли иль изменились…
Mир вам, тревоги прошлых лет!

Пушкин "Oнегин, путешествия..."


Audio comes to our lives first. Audio comes to us as a wonder of an intellectual achievement, as a man-made heresy, as the Melquiades’ ice, as an enigmatic paradox that unexpectedly is fully under our control. For us, the people who were born after Audio become a dally commodity, Audio always comes first. When we just notice Audio existence (actually when we just discover Audio it is not Audio but only the Sounds Reproduction) we do not acknowledge Music. At this premature level Audio exists as ”a result producing”, or as self-detachable entity of a Sounds Reproductive entertainment. People who operate at this level have no interest in Musically and use Music and an unavoidable residue of Audio. Approximately 65% of people in Audio are operateting at this sub-classified level of the most primitive understanding of relativity between Audio and Music. Those people - mostly have the barbarian result producing and horribly sounding playback systems; are absolutely clueless about their own Audio sense of actions; are numbed about own sense of motivation and directions; and are pretty much the hostages, main targets and subjects of abuse by the notorious, well-oiled Audio industry. Those Level#0-people consider that Audio is thier hobby and they are at sub-classified #0 level of comprehension of unity and separation between Audio and Music.

Along with am individual’s cultural intensification a person begin to sense a unity between Audio and Musicality. At this new level Audio serves as Musicality’s media, and Music serves as an ultimate evaluation essence of Audio’s successes and failures. This is a First level of comprehensions of unity and separation of Audio and Music and at this level Audio and Musicality are combined within a listener’s awareness. At this level a listener perception builds various “bridges” and various cognizant shortcuts in order to convince itself that there is no differentiation between a perceived Audio and perceived Music. No mater what we do, but our perception unavoidably finds a subjective delta between Audio and Music and uses the rationalized delta as a tool for the Audio evaluations. Those evaluations are primary based upon “comparing sound” and acknowledgment of the “auditably executable contrasts”. In Audio, approximately 30% of all participants are operating at this First Level. They have a lot of respect to thier own feelings of unity of Audio and Musicality. Those people generally have somewhere OK Audio installations and thier systems with more or less high level of rightnessness reproduce Musical performances. The people of the First Level call Audio as their way of thinking and consider that Audio helps them to recognize and to browse human experiences.

A further evolvement of an individual into the intensity of Audio capacities and into a depth of Musical appreciation creates within a person an observation that Audio’s and Music’s successes and failures are not necessary related. Eventually it brings to a person a feeling of a separation between Audio and Musicality. The events in the world of Audio and the events in the world of Musicality stop to relate to each other, and the most important is that they begin to run by totally different roads and with totally different accelerations. At this, the Second Level, Audio stops to be transportation for Musicality and the faithfulness and authenticity of Audio begin to loose any substance and meaning. A person begins to realize that conceived Music, performed Music and by any means reproduced Music are inherently the subjects of the same source and they all deliver the very same beneficial purposes. At this level a listener is loosing interest to Audio and if people still continue thier drift in the Audio then they do it without any objectives to accomplish  “a better Audio” but juts due to a nature of habits. In Audio approximately 1%-2% people are functioning at the Second Level. Many of those people cashed out their playback systems or dumped them in storages and they are listening the cheap $100 worth table radios. The most important that thy do thier “table radios” without any significant deterioration of Musical perception. The Audio people of Second Level distinct themselves form the rest of Audio crowd by their phenomenal taste, in-depth knowledge of the entire recorded material, evolved understanding of Musical culture and it’s expressive methods. Those people consider Audio as an extremely important phenomena of human self-awareness, however they themselves, have no intentions or desire to participate in this movement.

The real “dangers” things begin at the Their Level of understanding of Audio’s and Music’s unity and separation and the people who comprehend Audio at sub-classified or at First Level are disabled to understand or even remotely imagine the level of that “danger”.  A Third-level person suddenly again gains an interest in Audio and the Audio’s unity with Musicality. However, now the person (after passing the first Two Levels) motivated not by Music but by Audio. At this level the listening of all those  “subjective bridges” and ”auditable contrasts” suspended and the person’s internal divine composite resonance takes over his or her Audio subjectivism. At this level all artificially-foolish notions about sound: resolution, micro-dynamic, soundstage, macro-dynamic, imaging, spaceal allocations and so on… receive totally new meanings and gain for a listener the deeply sensed definitions. Those meanings - are directly associated and invariably linked to the person’s concrete realizations and those definitions  - are direct and tangible reflection of person introvertial world. When a Third-Level person talks about Audio with people of the First Two Levels then they got totally confused or even afraid. The people of the sub-classified #0 level when the deal with Their Level people feel that they being catapulted from another planet as there are completely no common grounds or even a mutually understood vocabulary for those collaborations. The radicalism of views and judgments at the Third Level is extremely high. What is interesting is that with a certain level honesty with themselves and within a lack of any agenda the people of the Third Level are able to facilitate a phenomenal level of exactness and objectively within thier Audio observations. At this level a person expresses interest in the performance and interpretive capacity deliberately-inducing Audio reproducing methods and the person utilizes Audio as a creative tool (and it is after being at the Second Level!) In Audio there are very few people who are capable to operate at this level. Thos people might have very different playback systems and thier playback installations “sound” very “bizarre” for the ears and brains of the sub-Third Level listeners. The sound of the third-level-people’s systems it is a manuscripts of the owners perceptions of life and thier playback systems are not something that brings Music to their homes but rather something, that help to the system owners to create own Musicality of their lives. Those systems do not reproduce the “whole Music” but just fill the wills and conducting intentions of the systems creators. It would not be advisable for the people of the First and Second level to approach or to try to assess the Third Level playback installations without a comprehensive understanding of reasons, motivations, goals and the internal objectives that the Their Level people had while they created thier installations. The people who operate at the third level of understanding the unity and separation of Audio and Music are able to let this own awareness rollercoaster across entire Audio and Music as well as across many other areas of art or engineering. They are capable to find absolutely imposable (for the First and Second Levels people) associations and connections, discovering unity within absolutely irrelevant subjects and to surmise deep-seated Audio observation upon observing of the very ordinary results. The third-level people consider Audio as “one of the tools”. If you meet such a person and s/he suggests that Audio is not “one of many tools” but “the tool” then you deal not with a Third-Level person but with a person who understand the unity and separation of Audio and Music at the sub-classified #0 level


At the Four Level Audio, once again, loose it’s unity with Music and this is a final division. Due to some pedagogical (and due to some other reasons) I would not go into the explanation of what going on at the Four Level.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat




"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
11-12-2004 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Antonio J.
Madrid, Spain
Posts 269
Joined on 08-15-2004

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Re: Audio and Music: four levels of unity and separation or…
Oh Romy, come on! you cannot leave us this way, tell more about the fourth level, please.
11-12-2004 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
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...I understand your pain.

Antonio, I understand your pain but I have my reasons do not divulge what is going on at the fourth level. However, my principles might be easily defeated if you post a receipt indicating that you have contributed money, service or efforts to my beloved pussies

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-19-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Axel
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4 Levels, I see --- and so why not?

After all let's recall that it was Nietzsche who also stated,(I think actually one of his main themes): "Everything is about perception" i.e. the perception of the individual, not what others think and tell...

Next, since we're at it, it was Immanuel Kant (yes the one with the "K") that figured out, what he then called 'a priori'. The basis for us to make sense of our world. If someone tries to tell you that thing over there is motor-bike, and it looks just like a bicycle, no motor I guess, you know it’s BS i.e. it does not fit our bicycle 'a priori'.
You can go look at it from every possible angle and it still remains a bicycle. So much some instant help from nature. (Looks like a duck, sound like a duck, so it’s a duck)

Back to the 4th levels, and I'm not going to give any 4th level perceptions, since in my current universe it’s maybe a bit simpler, maybe.
B U T, something’s amiss in these level descriptions (could have missed it) the OBSESSION with SOUND at the level 3, in disfavor of MUSIC.

Sound at this level seems to become everything, never mind the MUSIC.
I think this is a form of retrogression and infantile, and incidentally the reason, I think, why no person like professional singers, or musician are really falling for it.

You have to be some techno-obsessive individual with your mind sufficiently 'bend' or infused by the 'Technology über alles' mind-frame to go for that.
Given that, it is a form of relieve to hang yourself onto techno-babble, and this measurements only believe, because otherwise it gets just too scary with all music only, and for goodness sake, going with EMOTIONS!

Much safer to hang on to PARAMETERS proper, so long we can measure them of course.

Absents of measurable parameters brings out every insecurity of the techno-mind, now we are at sea and no life saver measurements to hang on to any more.

I think it is for this reason that most audiophiles like to stay in the comfort-zone of level 3.
At level 4 it gets to scary, emotional, undefined, you become vulnerable to attack of level 3 people, 'cause your sound stinks :-).

As a test, when all is said and done i.e. your system sux - tell one how much you liked the music you listened too!
Hey, what was that? No, man but what about the resolution, the depth of stage, tonality, grain, etc. etc.

I think, I mentioned it before, if your system works (for you) you listen to music ONLY, MOSTLY anyway, and all this definition stuff feels more and more like mind-fucking, that takes you away from the real thing -- the music, what it's all about.
It’s a bit like you want to go for a joy ride and the person in the seat next to you keeps on about the tire pressure in

the left front tyre is by 0.1 bar off, etc!
07-19-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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 Axel wrote:
I think, I mentioned it before, if your system works (for you) you listen to music ONLY, MOSTLY anyway, and all this definition stuff feels more and more like mind-fucking, that takes you away from the real thing -- the music, what it's all about. It’s a bit like you want to go for a joy ride and the person in the seat next to you keeps on about the tire pressure in
  
Well, you might feel it this way only if you do not cook music/sound of your own. If you go to a nice restaurant have very good food and you are just a visitor then you could state that it is only about taste and you will be right. However, if you talk with the cook who made for you this meal then you might discover that he used a lot of “mind-fucking techniques” that you just took for granted. It is not somebody talks about the about the tire pressure while you are on your joy ride. It is rather you have no joy from you ride because your car does not handle well, has too bumpy ride and does not deliver power and “somebody” (perhaps the very same cook) deliver to you the “spontaneous ride joy” by decreasing the tire pressure, calibrate you ignition signal sensor and fixing you bolt-joints. I do not feel any conflict between knowing how a car works and loving to experience joy from ride. In fact, I think both of the fields are very complementary…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-19-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Axel
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OK, maybe it needs a bit more detail ,or say perspective as regards to this audio-cooking effort. NO QUESTION, we first have to look after the object before we joy-ride, or joye-feast, oh yes!
I mentioned quality and caring somewhere just a short while ago, and how tools/objects may acquire 'soul'...
If I talk about 0.1 bar tire pressure differential, it is EQUAL to moving my head 5cm this or that way... that's mind-fucking to me, period.
And it is this kill-joy that is OFTEN practiced by some audio-friends that just now missed this french-horn in the second last row clearing his spit-valve.
That's NOT what I come for when I want to hear e.g. Bartok's Concerto For Orchestra  (which I have done just now - by myself).
I have been training as a chef (I couldn't take it...) but I do know ALL about 'Hell's Kitchen', and can appreciate it --- no mind-fucking in this effort
AT ALL, but KNOWING, UNDERSTANDING, EXECUTING, with best possible effectiveness. QUALITY performance, oh yes.
But NOT mind-fucking just another word for BS as far as my vocabulary is concerned. Maybe HvK was giving his Berliner's a tough time so
I can enjoy his Beethoven reditions, that does not mean I want to listen to it on a Transistor-radio - it at all possible :-)

 

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Amir
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Thanks Romy for interesting article, I like it.
excuse me for bad english Smile

I think our perception is a wonderful universe and it can focus on objects in outside. target of this focus across time will change our brain state and it's response will be different to sound in comparison with others.
musicians, sound engineers and audiophiles , each have their universe because their mind had different road in focusing and communication with sound.

I think sound is not 100% independent of music (like relation of body and soul) in my brain and their relation (sound and music) is a complex function that is dependent of my brain state when i start to communicate with external object (sound).
I some cases sound come first and my mind return to focusing on sound and some times music move me toward forgetting sound.

In some cases music effect on brain is deep and in that mode i can not active my awareness for checking sound and it seems in that mode sound have less effect on me.

I think we can setup our audio in some levels. first is impressive mode that morons do it (like improving sound macro parameters like bass extension, improving illusion of resolution and ...), second is decreasing listening fatigue factor in long term that it needs a little more experience and do not refer to sound macro parameters, it needs we scan our brain state after time, third level is making better sound for accelerating in merging with music and giving better result when we like to focus on music and last level is the most difficult level.

In last level that our brain communicate deeply with music it's so hard we design a system that it effect on this communicating. when music completely control my awareness then finding relation of music and audio in that level is so hard.

I think i'm not sure it's possible or not for me.

in short, I like to listen music and a audio designer with analyzing my brain make a good audio for me (i know it's impossibe Smile). i do not like spend my brain energy on changing sound to a better direction Smile
audio design is a bad road in our brainless audio world and many audiophiles spend many time, energy and money for improving it and many of them find no thing. i do not like this world.

regards
Amir

07-20-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


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The whole idea of a hierarchy...

Amir,

so, you proposed the 4 levels of hierarchy:

1)      Immediate level
2)      Long-term level
3)      Musical level
4)      Transcendentally-submissive level

Sound reasonable to me but with some cretinism. The first two levels are more about the “endurance” of experiences the second two are about use of gratification that experience offer. I do not see them related. The level #4 might kick in without respect to levels one or two. The whole idea of attempts to make up an artificial structure of perceptional hierarchy is that it offers an option for reversed debugging. What you propose is legitimate but in my view is not useful as in your hierarchy a triumph at higher lever does not automatically presume that lower levels when successful.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
07-29-2009 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Amir
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Romy
I hope to transfer my idea with my bad english Smile

I should to say that my view is based on my personal experience and i have no stress on my views.
I share my views but for knowing more not for disagree other views because i think this discussion is a little complex and i can not be sure about my ideas.

I think the levels you described from Mr.Dostoevsky should be reviewed by regarding to music type.
in my idea sound is multi dimensional and different type of music like Classic or pop have different structure.
we like music because music is a special type of sound and we do not like many other forms of sounds like sound of cars on streets.
I want to say that if we divide sound to two type, "music" and "non-music" we should consider that musics are not equal and our perception can divide them to "n" dimensional vector.
these dimensions are based on effects of music on our brain, soul and in one word "our perception".

as you had a very good post at here:
http://www.goodsoundclub.com/Forums/ShowPost.aspx?postID=11135#11135

I think musics have different effect on different section of our perception and some of them like hard rock are based more on first impression and their effect on a audiophile is more dependent to sound character.
some musics like classic have different effect on listener and their effect is less dependent to sound we hear and more dependent to harmony.

with this view i think a classic music listener could be in level 2 (Mr.Dostoevsky level 2) and there is no need to think to a better audio system.
when i listen to persian classic music and music have a deep influence on me i 100% forget the sound but when i listen to hard rock i like to have better audio system.
I think a music like hard rock or many pop musics are more dependent to sound and this mean these types of music are more dependent to audio systems and a audiophile that just listen to these types of music can not stay in level 2 .

I think audio majority is dependent to relation of music with our n dimensional perception and we can not have a hierarchy without considering to this.

in my audio hierarchy i tried to describe road of making better sound and for this reason i not mentioned the level2 (no relation between audio and music) in my levels.

regards
Amir



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Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
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Absolute and mandatory condition.
Amir, you need to stop even to mention non-classical music in context of audio applications. I do not want debates and I do not want agreement or disagreement – just stop it. If you imply ANY audio assessment then they might be made ONLY in context of classical music, otherwise all bids are off and there is nothing to talk.

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
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  »  New  How to evaluate playback... or the Six-Leveled-Listenin..  Introduction to Level #2 - the Dynamic Level...  Playback Listening  Forum     3  32400  06-12-2004
  »  New  There is nothing subjective in music reproduction...  The Nietsche of my tail....  Playback Listening  Forum     9  29310  03-08-2006
  »  New  Time Alignment : Live Performances vs Audio..  Stating the obvious...  Playback Listening  Forum     9  37057  03-07-2007
  »  New  Playback journeys and Music..  Audio form and content...  Playback Listening  Forum     1  9393  04-29-2007
  »  New  The 'Beethoven Test' of playback...  PS: No response required...  Playback Listening  Forum     9  23487  07-14-2008
  »  New  Philosophical approach to build up a good audio system..  The Music!...  Playback Listening  Forum     4  14629  07-19-2008
  »  New  Music reviews are written in a manner…..  Music reviews are written in a manner…...  Playback Listening  Forum     0  5488  10-31-2008
  »  New  About the Playbacks’ Thinkability...  The right stuff...  Playback Listening  Forum     5  15921  01-30-2009
  »  New  Macondo: new horizons. A few thoughts in context Zander..  What does make a playback to stop?...  Playback Listening  Forum     9  27273  02-02-2009
  »  New  My playback’s sound vs. Live sound...  String bite...  Playback Listening  Forum     7  13875  03-28-2009
  »  New  What I am doing?..  What am I (Axel) doing?...  Playback Listening  Forum     15  36815  05-12-2009
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