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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.


Aug
4
comment When is a note b5 and when #11?
IMO, if they write it as d♭ then it must be a d♭ and not c♯, so it can't possibly ♯11. But then again, Jazz guys tend to treat enharmonics in a way I often don't agree with, so...
Aug
2
comment What makes an interval “Perfect”?
@supercat: might be a point for purely-sawtooth-synths-music, but with acoustic instruments there's always enough "movement" regardless of intonation. I don't think anybody really has a preference for slightly-sharp thirds as such, they'll either not notice them at all or notice them as dissonant. However 1) that dissonance can have leading character 2) if you tune some of the thirds to just 5/4 but keep the same 12 pitch classes and try to play arbitrary music, you'll invariably have some intervals gotten way more dissonant, which is really the reason why 12-edo has been so successful.
Jul
31
comment Why am I always sticking to minor keys?
@ethc: in a major key, you'll typically have a fat bass note whose 5th harmonic matches directly with the third you're trying to play... but can't. In a minor key, the detuning is more subtle; the third doesn't have a very clear relation to the fundamental at all here (the 15th harmonic isn't usually audible very clearly), and the fifth to which it might have a stronger relation normally isn't played as loudly as the fundamental. So the discrepancy from just intonation is better "hidden" in a minor chord than it is in a major chord.
Jul
26
comment Is the particular skill of singing the melody correctly necessary to be able to play the trumpet?
Having a good musical hearing does not imply that you can sing melodies correctly (though it does imply that you notice it yourself when you're off).
Jul
24
comment How does phantom power work?
This kind of question would really be better off on electronics or Sound Design. Anyway I don't think you're actually talking about phantom power: as you see on Wiki or Kevin's answer, that's mostly used to power microphones but definitely not sufficient for stage monitors. Also, phantom power almost always uses XLR connectors, not 1/4".
Jul
23
comment Can Imaj7(#5) resolve to I?
@RolandBouman: you certainly can't just ignore any non-chord tone, least so if it's in the bass. But pedal points are a special case, they aren't really considered part of the harmony at all but rather "reminder of what tonic we eventually want to end up in". Then, there's not actually an f in G♭9, but if set so clearly as a dominant the seventh would be somewhat implied. As for the G itself, that's not in fact present in the diminished-seventh chord – since the bass has a pedal point the fifth-movement is out as a resolving effect anyway, so it's mainly the third b that resolves to the tonic.
Jul
22
comment Techniques for “Dynamics” with Distortion on Electric Guitar
As another way of broadening the timbre range, consider putting away the pick sometimes! Fingerstyle is mostly associated with clean/acoustic guitar, but guitarists like Jeff Beck (who's also master of volume- & tone-pot dynamic play) demonstrate how much extra possibilities it offers in distorted sounds.
Jul
18
comment Why are guitar strings numbered this way and not the other way around?
It might have something to do with the fact that many historic precursors of the guitar were played in a rather more upright position. In such a position, you read the string order more "left to right" than "upmost to downmost".
Jul
18
comment How to improvise a walking bass line
"Improvising" live according to a deterministic algorithm, why not...
Jul
17
comment Why does the orchestra tune to the oboe?
bretpimentel.com/why-tune-to-the-oboe
Jul
15
comment Advantages/Disadvantages of a line out compared to a close mic system
True. Of course under bad conditions, in particular for something like a musical production, the engineer will usually have enough trouble preventing all other mics on stage from getting drowned in bleed from the guitar amp... which is certainly an argument for using only a small cabinet as "guitar monitor" and getting the proper sound via line, rather than using a nice all-tubes monster that would on its own sound much better with a mic.
Jul
15
comment Advantages/Disadvantages of a line out compared to a close mic system
+1 for the sound considerations, but I really don't see under what circumstances you fear feedback for a mic'd guitar amp. Guitar amps are basically the single thing where mic-feedback is never an issue, because •you don't need the signal on the monitors (at least not on any close to the guitar amp) •you can put the mic closer than on most other instruments •you have plenty of sound pressure from the speaker to work with •and the signal doesn't even need to be particularly loud on the PA. Bleeding can be more of issue, but even that only for an uncharacteristically quiet guitar amp.
Jul
13
comment How do I know when I'm singing in key?
Honestly, I don't think it's a good idea to rely on a tuner for practising intonation, certainly not for vocals. Not only is the feedback mic->processor->display->eyes much slower than the immediate hearing you need when actually doing music, it also trains a cue you can't use when playing with others. (Also, it's not really accurate if you want proper just intonation.)
Jul
13
comment Best DAWs for absolute beginners
I don't think this is a good question for this site; but my recommendation would definitely be Reaper
Jul
12
comment Intended shift of meter in certain songs?
What's weirder is if the guitar starts and is really on 1, but sounds like it's playing offs... that's how I perceive This Fire Is Out Of Control by Franz Ferdinand.
Jul
12
comment Intended shift of meter in certain songs?
I think Sting got the idea for that one from Stewart Copeland: there's a whole lot of Police songs with such beginnings, e.g. Bring On The Night, Spirits In a Material World, Murder By Numbers. Another great example is Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin. – One of the oldest instances would of course be Beethoven's 5th: the beginning so sounds like a triplet on 1, rather than a rest and four quavers!
Jul
12
comment Intended shift of meter in certain songs?
The Eagles definitely do this live as well, e.g. Hell Freezes Over. It's very much on purpose and nothing comes in wrongly, indeed the first guitar chords are just syncompated in an unexpected way but they count as in the rest of the song right from the beginning. Don't know about cover bands... I did cover the song once with a band, and we played the original intro.
Jul
11
comment Are octaves, fifths, fourths and thirds considered as “consonant” in all music cultures?
+1 for a proper source, but I don't agree with some of the conclusions. Octaves and fifths certainly are consonant in western music, only, consonant plus dissonant makes dissonant and 8ve and 5th take part in both kind of chords. Perfect fourths are also never dissonant on their own (though they may become so by addition of a fifth, implied or real, to make a suspended-4th chord). – As for "the skillful musician will produce thirds still more out of tune"; yes, there is "expressive intonation", but its purpose is not emphasising major vs. minor. but consonant major vs. dissonant major.
Jul
11
comment Acoustic guitar live set ups
I can certainly sound good (depending on what sound you want), but at any rate it is a big difference. For one thing, e-amps don't have any dedicated treble drivers: a clean electric guitar has a cut-off at no more than 6 kHz anyway and distortion introduces rather too much in the range above; but for a clear acoustic sound a faithful projection of the range 10-15 kHz is really desirable and you won't get that from an electric-guitar amp. Also, the uneven frequency response tends to make any feedback problems rather worse.
Jul
10
comment Difference between recording with a microphone in front of the amp vs. using an amp simulator?
"I can tell you no one there would even consider blind test of tube amps vs. simulators, too obvious" well, refusing to do some scientific test on grounds of "too obvious" is often a good sign somebody's just scared to find out they've been wrong.