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Brighter G string


H.R.Fisher

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58 minutes ago, D27 said:

A bright sound is a bright sound, dark is dark.

There was a time, long ago, when I would have made the same assumption. But the more I learned, the more it confounded that assumption.

Back when I started messing around with violin FFT spectra a lot, it initially threw me for quite a loop. "Dark" and "bright" violins did not show their differences in the parts of the spectra where I expected them to be. And playing with the settings on 30-band graphic equalizers did not produce bright and dark outcomes in the bands where I expected them to be.
Have you done much experimenting with both these things?

A lot of what we think we hear is heavily reliant on brain processing, and that aural system does not seem to be prioritized to just feed accurate information straight through. It has its own system of filters and tweaks, removing some information, and manufacturing or creating an illusion of some others.

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58 minutes ago, D27 said:

Visual colors are also very objective and can be measured and calibrated. RGB 255-0-0 red is always RGB 255-0-0 red. After you look at other reds, It may seem lighter or darker, but it's still RGB 255-0-0.

Colours also have no objective reality. We have determined that a certain range of wavelengths give human beings an inexplicable sensation we call "redness" that on account of the physiology of our retina turns to "blueness" when the wavelength becomes shorter, but who knows how other creatures with more or fewer types of retinal cone see them.

 

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1 hour ago, D27 said:

But what is bright and what is dark, that's pre-existing information, it's objective.

The closest we can get to objective is a scientific definition, i.e. a term is accepted by practitioners to correspond with a measurable quantity that has a specified value or falls in a specified range.  As indicated by Mr. Burgess and matestic above even that is no guarantee that our experience is the same, only that we all agree on the definition of the term.  Maybe there are violins that everyone would agree are 'dark'.  Some measurable quantity that differentiates between those and any other violin would be nice - Mr. Noon, Mr. Buen, or Mr. Kasprzyk may know if that exists...

 

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1 hour ago, D27 said:

A bright sound is a bright sound, dark is dark. If someone perceives more or less after playing one or other violin, that has nothing to do with the definitions of bright and dark not being objective.

You can have a big car and a bit smaller car. The smaller car will seem much smaller after you get used to the big car, but that doesn't change its physical size.

Visual colors are also very objective and can be measured and calibrated. RGB 255-0-0 red is always RGB 255-0-0 red. After you look at other reds, It may seem lighter or darker, but it's still RGB 255-0-0.

A car is a car - whether it's big or not depends on what you're used to ...

It's odd how you seem to detach phenomena from perception, as if the brain were some kind of infallible machine.

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9 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Wow! So many fancy ways to avoid saying that you have no idea how to brighten the sound of the G string. This is a master's level course in posturing!

I couldn't find a like button.

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1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said:

Wow! So many fancy ways to avoid saying that you have no idea how to brighten the sound of the G string.

I have no idea how to brighten the sound of the G string.  How's about just telling yourself 'it's brighter now!'?  Purely subjective, but hey...

But we got off on other things - and I ... I couldn't just stand by and say nothing, officer.

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1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said:

Wow! So many fancy ways to avoid saying that you have no idea how to brighten the sound of the G string. This is a master's level course in posturing!

Yes I completely forgot about that ...

Buy a brighter G String.

Or buy duller D, A and E strings - that'll do it for ya.

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5 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Wow! So many fancy ways to avoid saying that you have no idea how to brighten the sound of the G string. This is a master's level course in posturing!

Isn't that example of "moving the goalposts"?
I suspect that you know (or should know) that musician descriptions of sound can vary widely. Haven't you yourself alleged that if one needs to make a violin conform to the description of what the player wants, you adjust it in the opposite direction to satisfy that player?

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9 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Isn't that example of "moving the goalposts"?
I suspect that you know (or should know) that musician descriptions of sound can vary widely. Haven't you yourself alleged that if one needs to make a violin conform to the description of what the player wants, you adjust it in the opposite direction to satisfy that player?

So it's moving the goalposts to say no one answered the question? OKkkkkkk.

I ask the player what he thinks I should do and do the opposite, but when he has something to say about what he hears, I listen closely, assume that his problem is real, try to figure out what he means, and act on that, if I don't hear the problem myself. I never ever tell him that it's all subjective, his question has no meaning, and send him on his way, as happened above. I did send HR a PM asking for clarification and suggesting what he might be hearing, asking if I was correct. THAT is how you work towards solving a problem. Can't believe I actually have to say that out loud. . . . 

Such a bunch of nonsense. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said:

Such a bunch of nonsense. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves.

Thank you for enlightening the respondents about their transgressions and stupidity, and warning readers, Mr. Darnton. :lol:
Reverting back to your old ways?

Wasn't my first response (post #2), a request that the OP better define what the issue was? Or was it so cloaked in subtlety and politeness that you interpreted it differently?

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43 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

 I did send HR a PM asking for clarification and suggesting what he might be hearing, asking if I was correct.

So you have Henry's problem figured out, Great!

I hope so, he is such a nice guy, it would be great to see him be successful.

We would all like to learn also, please do tell.

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Sorry but I'm not following the discussion about "is the bright sound" objective or not. It is an academic topic. For me bright tone is basic frequency tone with lot of upper overtones or harmonics, if you wish. Dark tone is the tone which is missing some of the upper harmonics completely and the rest of them are quite weak. It is not subjective but objective because all composers are using "sul tasto" and "sul ponticello" marks in their compositions and these are objective marks and they require objective change of the bowing technique and sound even on one instrument. 
 

15 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Wow! So many fancy ways to avoid saying that you have no idea how to brighten the sound of the G string. This is a master's level course in posturing!


As for as , "what can be done on violin", I already answered. Find it in older posts.

 

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The OP's question was what cam be done in the construction of a violin to achieve a brighter G string.

I think it's legitimate to point out that anything aimed at achieving that will have consequences for the entire violin, not just the G, and to question exactly what it is that the OP wants to achieve - whether it's high frequency content, clarity, less "boomyness" or better overall balance.

I agree that the discussion of what constitutes brightness is a bit of a side issue, but it's by no means irrelevant to the question.

Similarly sound adjustment of an existing violin to the satisfaction of a musician is another side issue, equally interesting but even less relevant to the OP's question.

 

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21 hours ago, D27 said:

A bright sound is a bright sound, dark is dark. If someone perceives more or less after playing one or other violin, that has nothing to do with the definitions of bright and dark not being objective.

You can have a big car and a bit smaller car. The smaller car will seem much smaller after you get used to the big car, but that doesn't change its physical size.

Visual colors are also very objective and can be measured and calibrated. RGB 255-0-0 red is always RGB 255-0-0 red. After you look at other reds, It may seem lighter or darker, but it's still RGB 255-0-0.

Colours may or may not exist in the world if not seen by a human. Specifically, they don't exist if not seen by me, myself, personally.

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12 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Have the Burgess- Darnton wars resumed once again, after having had a short period of peace?

Stay tuned, if you were ever a fan of soap operas, or the Jerry Springer show! :D

Oh, I'm a big fan, keep it going, guys!!

I'm definitely on Mr. Swan's and LCF's side, anyway, in the brighter war. Everything is subjective in violin land. Wait, that was a different war :lol:

On a serious note... Some building techniques were suggested.

One "cheap" setup trick I have used to get a little more "brightness" into a string is to thin the upper bridge a little right at that string (seems to work best on G and E).

O, I hope that sets some sparks off!!

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"Well it's one, two, three,
What are we fighting for.
Don't ask me I don't give a damn,..."

Spent quite a bit of time yesterday talking to a Vietnam vet, while we were waiting at the tire store. Brought back some old memories. He knew quite a bit about artillery, but nothing about how to make G strings brighter. At least I tried. ;)

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19 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

....

I'm sure we'd agree on what sounds brighter or darker in specific contexts  however to build or adjust something to be like that is complicated and sometimes paradoxical. Eg per the various factors that Evan listed. 

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6 hours ago, trick-nobody said:

Dark tone is the tone which is missing some of the upper harmonics completely and the rest of them are quite weak.

Well, two things:  The second is let's accept your definition, such as it is, since there is support in a general way in the form of common usage e.g.  Wiki's content on timbre: " The term "brightness" is also used in discussions of sound timbres, in a rough analogy with visual brightness. Timbre researchers consider brightness to be one of the perceptually strongest distinctions between sounds,[14] and formalize it acoustically as an indication of the amount of high-frequency content in a sound, using a measure such as the spectral centroid ", although I could ask you (but won't) to be more specific regarding what constitutes upper harmonics, and how we would discern when enough of which higher harmonics have been suppressed to result in 'dark' tone.

The question then becomes how we raise the amplitude those higher harmonics that are suppressed in a 'dark' violin, and how do we suppress higher harmonics in a 'bright' violin.  Is that acceptable formulation of the OP question?  The answers can be divided into a) during the build, which is problematic unless tonal quality can be determined prior to assembly, say just prior to varnishing, and b) in a violin brought into the shop.

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While looking into this a bit more I found the attached, which seems interesting enough to post on an initial browse.  Caveat emptor : https://www.researchgate.net/publication/363058741_Correlation_between_Acoustic_Analysis_and_Psycho-Acoustic_Evaluation_of_Violins

7 hours ago, trick-nobody said:

Dark tone is the tone which is missing some of the upper harmonics completely and the rest of them are quite weak. It is not subjective but objective

The first thing is that studies of timbre involve psychoacoustics and perception.  Professionals seem to regard timbre as subjective, at least in part.  You'll hurt yourself thinking that you know something beyond doubt and you won't get any sympathy from me - just sayin'.

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Rereading the OP's first two posts, I don't see the word "dark" but "dull or muted". The analogy with light breaks down because in sound "bright" has two antitheses. What factors make a violin's tone "dark" as distinct from "dull", which I think we'd all agree are quite different?

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