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location Cologne, Germany
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visits member for 3 years, 1 month
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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.


Jul
9
comment Is it better to tune an instrument by procedure, or while playing?
Of course, tuning a chord won't give quite the same result as with a tuner (12-edo) or 5-7-frets harmonics (Pythagorean), in particular if you tune the G-string so its g♯ fits E-major in just intonation then other notes on that string may be a bit too low. Similarly, tuning an A-minor chord will give you a slightly sharp b-string.
Jul
9
comment Curved fingertips causing buzzy sound when playing guitar
"don't blame the shape of your fingers" indeed. While stocky fingers seem at first sight only good for playing bass, there's a surprising number of guys who can play violin or mandolin really well, though the instruments' necks are barely thicker than the player's thumb!
Jul
8
comment Will Playing a Guitar Through a Bass Set-Up Damage the Amplifier and/or Speaker?
Note that one of the most-acclaimed and influential guitar amps is actually a bass amplifier. (Modern bass amps are typically designed quite differently though, much cleaner than what you normally want for guitar.)
Jul
3
comment Do power chords have some kind of function/meaning?
Actually not that bad? A Pythagorean major triad does sound pretty awful to me indeed (though inversions and minor chords are rather more bearable). Remarkable enough that 12-edo is merely half-way between Pythagorean and just intonation.
Jul
3
comment Do power chords have some kind of function/meaning?
Note that thirds can actually sound great through distortion. Unfortunately, 12-edo has blessed us with thirds which are rather far off from just intonation; it's mainly this difference that makes full chords so messy through distortion. In Bohlen-Pierce tuning (which is pretty weird because it has no octaves, but has much more precise third and harmonic-seventh intervals) even 7th chords sound pretty amazing distorted.
Jul
3
comment If Für Elise is in Am why there is a D# in it?
Agree with both the double-dominant analysis (perhaps there's no whole such chord in there, but this d♯ definitely has the leading character of a B-7th's third) and the anacrusis (indeed I tend to sort of count the first two bars as one 3/2-hemiola, though I'm not sure if Beethoven would have liked that).
Jun
24
comment H-S-H vs H-H what can do one and can't another?
BTW, Superstition is not played on synth but clavinet, a stringed keyboard instrument with magnetic pickups that are, in this song, actually used like two guitar single coils. — I quite agree with all your arguments, however I prefer HSS on a strat-like guitar as it doesn't have the too-muddy-neck-humbucker problem. On a Les Paul or Tele, a neck humbucker is much more useful of course.
Jun
24
comment H-S-H vs H-H what can do one and can't another?
Please do not forget that for a properly fat sound you need not only a neck humbucker but foremostly a suffiently rich guitar, in terms of mechanical response. Les Pauls and semiacoustics are obviously great, but there's no way to get a "proper" jazz sound out of an average HSH superstrat.
Jun
22
comment Techniques for pitch shifting vocals while maintaining a natural sound
That's exactly it: slowing down the voice lowers not only the the pitch but also the formants, that's the main cause for this particular sound. A lungful of Xenon can also do that, and might still be cheaper than a new larynx!
Jun
22
comment Is it common to play several strings of a cello simultaneously?
@RobertSoupe: well, for string quartet, my point wouldn't apply. Surprising! Although, it doesn't really tell very much without knowing about the particular synths that were used.
Jun
22
comment Is it common to play several strings of a cello simultaneously?
@RobertSoupe: interesting (do you have a reference?); but I'd strongly suspect this was for ensemble sounds. In a string ensemble, so many instruments play unisono that the instruments' nuances are "smeared out" to something you can basically model as noise. In a wind section, there's less duplication.
Jun
22
comment Is it common to play several strings of a cello simultaneously?
When somebody talks about a straight bow I'd normally take it that they mean the angle between bow and string, i.e. it's straight vs. angled. Curved bows, though extant, are sure rather exotic.
Jun
18
comment Which audio file to use for benchmarking?
@Dave: exactly. Because there's so little sound in that recording, nothing to mask any artifacts the compression algorithm might produce. (Actually I do hear some gentle reverb in the record, but hardly enough to be much use for masking.)
Jun
18
comment Which audio file to use for benchmarking?
I'm quite sure parameters such as power consumption will not be measurably different even in a comparison of chamber music with dubstep. Just use any file you happen to have lying around, that's not a problem license-wise and perhaps which you like yourself.
Jun
18
comment Which audio file to use for benchmarking?
If anything, this could be a question for either sound-design or DSP – but at the moment, it's far too vague for both. You'll need to properly describe what you're trying to benchmark: an audio compression codec? Some speakers? An audio file by itself can't have good or bad "performance".
Jun
17
comment What use is knowing how many sharps or flats a key signature has?
Sure you need to know which sharps if you want to play. OTOH, if you just want to know the key quickly by looking at some sheet music, counting is faster and quite sufficient.
Jun
17
comment What characteristics of a single-coil (Telecaster) sound to consider for simulation?
Nice analysis! — "Unlike a nylon string"? I was always under the impression that nylon strings had stronger inharmonicity, have you measured otherwise? (Of course, on a nylon string the higher harmonics decay faster, so it might just be less noticable.)
Jun
17
comment Can I use bass pick as guitar pick?
Brian May would use a sixpence, not a dollar of course!
Jun
10
comment What is the origin of the up bow and down bow symbols for bowed string instruments?
That's what I always though as well, but I don't have any sources either.
Jun
8
comment What is causing this weird distortion coming from my amp?
You're probably just not giving it enough peak level from the computer, that's why you don't hear distortion (modern mastered tracks, due to RMS optimisation, sound much louder at the same levels than a raw guitar signal). At any rate the keyboard is distorted in much the same way as the guitar, so this definitely is about the amp.