Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Is the research on violin acoustics a viscious circle?


Andreas Preuss

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 390
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

1 hour ago, Bill Merkel said:

I wouldn't trust the testing.  Even when you'd think a researcher should be qualified, the field attracts eccentrics and he's likely as not to discover the secret of cold fusion while violin testing.  Just an impression.  The best bet would be some disinterested, music hating if possible, signal processing PhD hired away from the semiconductor industry for a month

 

55 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

No.  Well, yes, if you want the violins to fly or undergo fission.  It's a signal processing problem, quite a specialty

 

40 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

Would you want your aerospace guy doing the nuclear research?  The nuclear guy making sure your wings didn't fall off?  But their signal processing is tops I'm sure

 

12 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

Somebody with a background in amplifiers with specialized physics knowledge of mechanical analogies who makes a peanut butter sandwich using differential equations

Burgess's patience with this is most commendable.  :)   Here's my take on it.   :ph34r: :lol:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Yup. Lots of 'em.

I can see how some of the results might, someday, be of use to some engineer working for a manufacturer of mass-produced fiddles.  OTOH, it looks to me like it's proved of minimal use to experienced makers.  IMHO, any decently built modern maker's violin can be made to perform acceptably in the hands of a skilled and experienced player who applies themselves to adjusting to it.

What do you think about it?  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

IMHO, any decently built modern maker's violin can be made to perform acceptably in the hands of a skilled and experienced player who applies themselves to adjusting to it.

What do you think about it?  :)

I more of less agree. The biggest difference, I think, is how hard they might need to work or concentrate to do it. The potential for multi-tasking saturation overload.

And there are some violins which simply don't have the the loudness desired for some situations, no matter how they're played. It looks like more and more soloists are being mic'd these days, though, so maybe  loudness or "projection" won't matter quite as much in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I more of less agree. The biggest difference, I think, is how hard they might need to work or concentrate to do it. The potential for multi-tasking saturation overload.

And there are some violins which simply don't have the the loudness desired for some situations, no matter how they're played. It looks like more and more soloists are being mic'd these days, though, so maybe  loudness or "projection" won't matter quite as much in the future.

Thanks.  I hadn't considered the hard-to-start, won't sustain, or lack of projection cases, because I select responsive, strongly projecting violins to keep for my own use.  I'll drop the "any", in favor of "most".   I have one violin (a Chinese-made JTL knockoff I've had for over a decade) that I use a pickup on, for some noisy gigs, and my own amusement in playing with the amp, but I much prefer straight acoustics.    :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Violadamore said:

I can see how some of the results might, someday, be of use to some engineer working for a manufacturer of mass-produced fiddles.  OTOH, it looks to me like it's proved of minimal use to experienced makers.  IMHO, any decently built modern maker's violin can be made to perform acceptably in the hands of a skilled and experienced player who applies themselves to adjusting to it.

What do you think about it?  :)

Yes, larger manufacturers produce much more data but at the same time they are less precise in construction and concentrate on building large numbers that will sell regardless of quality of tone. It would be the middle sized workshops that produce decent violins in high quality material and workmanship that could potentially get most of this. They can produce enough data to feed the AI and get some meaningful results and they have certainly some expectations about tone of the workshop instruments and don't want them to be too variable with whatever personnel is working that day.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, David Burgess said:

also the guy who told me that human bowing wasn't gonna cut it, if one wanted to pick out the fine details. Often, the difference between two bow strokes, even when a  professional was trying to do them exactly the same, could be bigger than the differences between two violins.

This.

The differences between bows, bow preparation (hair, rosin, tightness, etc) and bow strokes is what makes much of this discussion the equivalent of chasing  unicorns. It is impossible to objectively and quantitatively compare violins without controlling for the bow, but it is relatively easy to subjectively compare violins. People do it everyday when they compare violins and ultimately purchase the one that they prefer.

Bow control is everything. :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

This.

The differences between bows, bow preparation (hair, rosin, tightness, etc) and bow strokes is what makes much of this discussion the equivalent of chasing  unicorns. It is impossible to objectively and quantitatively compare violins without controlling for the bow, but it is relatively easy to subjectively compare violins. People do it everyday when they compare violins and ultimately purchase the one that they prefer.

Bow control is everything. :)

 

That's why impact hammer testing has become so popular among researchers. It makes it much easier to objectively compare measured acoustic profiles of different violins, than using a bow does, by reducing the number of variables.

While I'm not sure, I think that may have largely been drawn from vibration analysis in the aircraft industry, where vibration and cycle life can make the difference between life and death.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Violadamore said:

I can see how some of the results might, someday, be of use to some engineer working for a manufacturer of mass-produced fiddles...

What do you think about it?  :)

I'm leaning toward no... at least in terms of producing practical/observable improvements.

1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

While I'm not sure, I think that may have largely been drawn from vibration analysis in the aircraft industry, where vibration and cycle life can make the difference between life and death.

Aerospace may have been the first practical application, but the theory has been around forever.  I remember learing about impact in college (shortly after the Big Bang), and how it contained a wide frequency power content.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

Aerospace may have been the first practical application, but the theory has been around forever.  I remember learing about impact in college (shortly after the Big Bang), and how it contained a wide frequency power content.

I must be much younger, since the earliest thing I can remember is walking across the land bridge between what is now Russia, and what is now the United States. ;)

When did you start banging on things, and measuring? Did  you use it before you started using it on violins?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, David Burgess said:

My opinion is that the switchover from the nailed surface-mounted neck to the mortised neck, had mostly to do with the eventual realization that the neck projection on pretty much all violins changes over time, and that it was a lot easier and less destructive to change the angle on a mortised neck, than on a nailed neck.

My observations on necks sinking is due mostly to the neck bowing upwards, a point Jacob has made.

I have measured the changes in several instruments. What is the solution? Will shaving the neck near the nut and reducing nut heights to get  the projection back down just make it weaker and more prone to bowing upwards again?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Violadamore said:

I can see how some of the results might, someday, be of use to some engineer working for a manufacturer of mass-produced fiddles.  OTOH, it looks to me like it's proved of minimal use to experienced makers.  IMHO, any decently built modern maker's violin can be made to perform acceptably in the hands of a skilled and experienced player who applies themselves to adjusting to it.

What do you think about it?  :)

Though many really skilled players can adjust themselves to almost any decently made violin, that’s not what is their own choice. Almost any high level performer searches THE instrument with THE sound which fulfills his/her artistic needs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Dr. Mark said:

Daedalus warned Icarus to fly neither too high nor too low.  It was Icarus who ignored him.  'According to scholia on Euripides, Icarus fashioned himself greater than Helios, the Sun himself, [Wiki]'  Again you blame the mirror for it's reflection?  One of the reasons I like Don Noon - he restricts himself pretty much to describing the image.

I don’t think I am flying too high. We had a lot of ikarusses or violin makers who tried to ‘improve’ the sound of the violin. That’s not what I pursue.

 

Such figurative comparisons don’t mean anything to me. You may think so, I don‘t.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

I don’t think I am flying too high. We had a lot of ikarusses or violin makers who tried to ‘improve’ the sound of the violin. That’s not what I pursue.

I'm fairly dense, I still do not understand what it is that you do pursue. And no I don't see how research has benefited violin making other that letting everyone know that all violins have basic modes during operation, which has only a small part to play relating to their overall successful use as musical instruments.

A bowed string incorporated with a resonator box that has an A-0 from C to D will sound like a violin.

I hear it said that "I am looking for my sound",,,

They all just sound like violins to me. Some are bright and clear without much damping, some are dark and woolly sounding like a bad viola, and everything in between,balanced and unbalanced, loud and scratchy, or smooth and rich and sweet.

I really don't understand what you are looking for, or how,, somehow something in the industry is stopping you from reaching your goals.

Seriously?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Such figurative comparisons don’t mean anything to me. You may think so, I don‘t.

I can be non-figurative but it's less fun:  You're talking about science creating hype and forming belief.  It does nothing of the sort - people do that themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Evan Smith said:

I'm fairly dense, I still do not understand what it is that you do pursue. And no I don't see how research has benefited violin making other that letting everyone know that all violins have basic modes during operation, which has only a small part to play relating to their overall successful use as musical instruments.

A bowed string incorporated with a resonator box that has an A-0 from C to D will sound like a violin.

I hear it said that "I am looking for my sound",,,

They all just sound like violins to me. Some are bright and clear without much damping, some are dark and woolly sounding like a bad viola, and everything in between,balanced and unbalanced, loud and scratchy, or smooth and rich and sweet.

I really don't understand what you are looking for, or how,, somehow something in the industry is stopping you from reaching your goals.

Seriously?

Does it sound as if acoustic research is preventing me to pursue what I am pursuing? 

Nothing like that. In contrary.

Just was looking if anything in the acoustic research had a broader picture to offer than examinations on the classic Cremonese construction method. Well, there is close to nothing. That’s fine with me. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, David Burgess said:

When did you start banging on things, and measuring? Did  you use it before you started using it on violins?

For personal use, that all had to wait for both the hardare and software to become easily available.  The earliest measurement I can find is late 2005, using software developed by Ed Glass.

Work-wise, I never used anything closely related, but do remember efforts (which worked poorly) to simulate pyroshock using shaped pink noise and impact tables (a large steel plate whacked by a hammer, and you select the zone on the plate to mount your hardware depending on the vibration you want).  That may have been a couple of years earler.  But that kind of testing is different from looking for acoustic output.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Dr. Mark said:

I can be non-figurative but it's less fun:  You're talking about science creating hype and forming belief.  It does nothing of the sort - people do that themselves.

Researchers are also people who believe something.

i think there is a huge difference between research on natural phenomena (like atoms) and man-made phenomena. (Like violins)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Don Noon said:

For personal use, that all had to wait for both the hardare and software to become easily available.  The earliest measurement I can find is late 2005, using software developed by Ed Glass.

Work-wise, I never used anything closely related, but do remember efforts (which worked poorly) to simulate pyroshock using shaped pink noise and impact tables (a large steel plate whacked by a hammer, and you select the zone on the plate to mount your hardware depending on the vibration you want).  That may have been a couple of years earler.  But that kind of testing is different from looking for acoustic output.

Yup.  Dear old MIL-STD-810 stuff.  

  https://mil810.com/test-methods/pyroshock/

@David Burgess  aerospace and military test methods (like sticking entire fighters in huge driven shaker frames, or firing frozen chickens at a canopy from air cannons) usually have more to do with making things fail (to see if they meet contractual requirements) than with functional analysis.  The impact hammer idea is more likely linked to something someone learned in a physics class.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Violadamore said:

The impact hammer idea is more likely linked to something someone learned in a physics class. 

Well, there's a field of study of ultrasonic transients produced by deformation processes in some materials, like structural aluminum, fiber composites, etc. etc.  Back around the 1960's some wag introduced the idea of breaking a 0.5 mm 2H Pentel pencil lead as a reproducible calibration source.  Breaking for reproducibility became an art with lots of 'how to' presentations and papers and at least a couple of patents.  Here's an example:  https://atgndt.com/ae-calibration-and-simulators/calibration-signal-source/.  That way they could mount an ultrasonic transducer (don't even think about it) in some convenient place (no recommendations please) and measure the combined material/transducer response to an approximate step-function input.  When they record a signal from a real deformation process during the test, the calibration response can be deconvolved from the signal to get the time dependent source function.  A set of properly positioned sensors allow the entire source tensor to be recovered using a little mathematical magic that our computers will now do for us, so we don't really need to know much about it.  The impact hammer is a device pulled from the same wigwam for (hopefully) creating a reproducible, fairly broad-band (in the acoustic range of frequencies) excitation.  Like the Pentel pencil, some ersatz violin expert can carry one in his coat pocket and pull it out to tap on violins and feel all technical: The Calibrated Hammer - here's a high-tech version: https://patents.google.com/patent/US4689985A/en.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Researchers are also people who believe something.

I think the mirror analogy is a good one.  I'm not passing judgement on your opinion or explaining any more, and I won't try to convince you.  Back to violins...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...