Michael Appleman Posted June 28, 2016 Report Share Posted June 28, 2016 This is an interesting and destabilising test. I gave it my sincere best shot right from the beginning, when Don posted the first file, but I have to admit I can't honestly say anything about the different violins. It's a stark reminder to me that what we're looking for in a violin can be worlds apart depending on what and how we play, what we hear as an ideal or a model in our heads, what we hope our violins will do to help us get there. I really don't want to seem dismissive or disdainful, but what I'm hearing is so far from the kind of sound and playing that I spend my days trying to achieve and try to help my students approach, that in all honesty, I can't really judge these violins. (I haven't listened to the second file) It's a bit like showing a car nut a bunch of motorcycles. He might be able to spot the make, model, year etc of any car, but to his eyes, a bunch of bikes might all look the same. A couple of thoughts I'd like to share: I once participated in a test organised by Claudia Fritz and her team. I believe there were 6 or 8 violins to try, and once I was in the darkened room with my goggles on, there was an initial "meet and greet" where I could play for a few minutes on each fiddle. I was encouraged to bring my own fiddle to try in the same circumstances to get a feel for the room's acoustics. Once the real test began, I was given only pairs of fiddles to evaluate one against the other. It took over an hour, but they gave me the 6 or 8 trial violins only in pairs, with some pairs surely identical to see whether I'd rate the violins against each other the same way. I came back for another test later, listening to recordings of the second Strad vs. Modern test, and once again, the protocal was comparing pairs of recordings, with only the testers knowing what I was listening to. Another thought: I have a little "home studio" where i work on recording projects. I do use it to record my violins, old ones in my collection as well as new ones I've made. I'm constantly shocked by how two violins that can sound and feel so different under the ear can sound so similar through a mic at even a close distance. Just for info, I usually use Neumann k184 small capsule mics running through an ART tube pre-amp and d/a converter into a PC, my favourite software being Adobe Audition. For fiddle tests I often use one mic going monaural to minimise any room effects, but also use a pair in ORTF spacing when i want a spacial sense. For the recording nerds, I usually use 32 bit depth, but I haven't really found an audible difference in going all out for high sample rates. I'm getting old so I'm sure I can't hear the high frequencies anymore anyway. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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