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location Cologne, Germany
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Functional programming enthusiast, audio engineer & musician. Whilst not busy with any of that, I study physics at Universität zu Köln / Bonn-Cologne Graduate School.


May
26
comment Appropriate temperament for violin
@BobRodes: it is relevant because whereas a perfect fifth sounds really good in 12-edo, the pitch relation this tuning gives for a major third sounds less than pleasing if played on, say, two string instruments (though vibrato and lush emsemble unisono can mostly obscure this).
May
26
comment Appropriate temperament for violin
@Tim: "Any particular interval in any key is now the same as that same interval in a different key" that absolutely holds for just intonation as well. Which is my point: there is not one single just-intonation pitch for a given note name, each key requires different fine tunings (hence that app can't possibly work for just intonation). Hardly any musician knows exactly how to do that, but they can feel it while playing. There is no problem here that equal temperament would fix (though it does fix problems which can arise from comma pumps etc.).
May
25
comment Add pre amp to audio interface to enhance sound quality?
"Also with high distortion, I experience clipping..." you're aware that distortion is nothing but clipping (deliberately shaped in a particular way)?
May
25
comment Appropriate temperament for violin
Neither. Forget about apps like that. If you take what's "correct pitch" from any kind of display it'll greatly obstruct you in getting a proper feel of what pitch is right in a given musical context. And what's correct does depend on context: there's no such thing as a single "just scale". Just intonation always needs a particular key and harmonic relationship to be well-defined. OTOH, equal temperament is always well-defined (it's a sort of one-size-fits-all approximation to just intonation), but apart from being not ideal it doesn't really help you in understanding intervals etc..
May
25
comment Why is music theory built so tightly around the C Major scale?
"G# is different than Ab, despite being (tonally) the same note" I think you mean "frequency-wise the same". That's not even true, only by conincidence it works out in 12-edo (and though keyboards and guitars default to 12-edo, it is not "the one correct" tuning in any way). Even then, as cyco says G♯ has not the same function in a given key as A♭, so they still wouldn't sound the same.
May
20
comment Are we all born with the ability to detect a note out of tune?
I think that works similar to how we derive diatonic scales from 5- or 7-limit just intonation. An equal-tempered 3/4 step is almost exactly 12:11 in ratio (150.637 cents), so that would be the obvious derivation. (Cf. the just / Pythagorean whole step 9:8 at 203.91 cents, actually rather more off!)
May
20
comment Are we all born with the ability to detect a note out of tune?
Good point, you wouldn't notice wrong 3/4 steps if you don't notice wrong 3/4 steps! — As I said, I know close to nothing about Maqamat (is that the correct plural?), but they certainly are not derived from 24-edo like dodecacophony is from 12-edo, but from something different. Singers will tune intuitively according to some physical / physiological guide, and whatever that is in Arabic music it should be perceptible to the listener as well.
May
20
comment Are we all born with the ability to detect a note out of tune?
Well, my question was: have you actually heard any out-of-tune middle-eastern performance yet, without noticing anything wrong? I haven't, but I think I would notice it if they hit the 3/4-tone steps wrongly. Because, and that was my point about 12-edo temperament, the piano keys are not really how most listeners categorise notes. Rather, you notice certain intervals within the harmonies and melodies, and those intervals can be derived from some kind of just intonation; the principles are the same in Western through Indian music, though the tunings restrict you to different groupings.
May
20
comment Are we all born with the ability to detect a note out of tune?
How do you know you couldn't sense a middle-eastern singer being out of tune? I'm pretty sure I could, though I know little about arabic scales. Only, bad performances are rather unlikely to ever make it to Westerner's ears! — Also: I doubt you hear "in a well-tempered tone system", otherwise Barbershop singing ought to sound pretty horrible to you. You hear just intonation and leading notes and you're used to the 12-edo approximation of these concepts.
May
14
comment How do you check or correct the FOH sound engineer?
In my experience, fans tend to give horrible advice. Most either say everything's fine regardless of what a complete mess the sound is, or always say the vocals are too quiet when the problem lies somewhere completely different that just happens to make the voice incomprehensible. Of course, you can't generalise this – there will usually be some guys that know a good bit about sound, but you should know whom to ask. But +1 for the other paragraphs. When the engineer is bad then loud criticism from stage usually won't help much either, better let them concentrate as good as they can.
May
10
comment Are smartphone tuner apps reliable?
I think more problematic than the limited frequency response (a properly designed autocorrelation algorithm won't be affected too much by this) is the distortions bad cell phone microphones indroduce, possibly mingling the instrument sound with environment noise to cause intermodulation shifting.
May
10
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Are smartphone tuner apps reliable?
May
4
comment What is the proper name of the dash symbol over a note and how to play it
@Sazid_violin: I first wrote only pressure, but that doesn't quite catch it. There are multiple ways to execute tenuto with the bow; as you teacher says one of them is to use more bow (increasing the bow-speed and thus tone intensity, but not the attack). I think "pull" is a good description of how to do this. You may however amplify or replace this effect with some firm and steady extra pressure and perhaps move closer to the bridge, in particular if using much bow is not feasible for some reason (e.g. it's an upstroke and you're already close to the frog).
May
3
answered What is the proper name of the dash symbol over a note and how to play it
May
2
comment What food / drink affects vocal characteristics?
Actually, I was sure to remember the wolf used gingerbread to sweeten his voice, but as you can see in the link it's really chalk.
May
2
comment What food / drink affects vocal characteristics?
Chalk, of course!
Apr
29
awarded  Civic Duty
Apr
28
awarded  Enlightened
Apr
28
comment Why is music for strings more likely to be in keys with sharps?
@steveverrill: true, though at least for the tin whistle I reckon it's more the other way around: because the fiddlers like D major, let's build the whistles in that key!
Apr
28
comment Why is music for strings more likely to be in keys with sharps?
Yes, I'd reckon so. Personally I certainly find the minor keys till C or F to be quite nicely playable on the cello. But in folk playing in minor keys you use parallel major chords quite often (and major dominants much less), so I reckon the minor keys should be considered more like "use the major relative key, but end on the Tp" here, rather than "flatten the third, sixth and seventh degree".