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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000229.txt from 2005/04

From: "Benjamin Maas" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Test Results
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 19:47:20 -0400

While I believe this test was certainly an interesting exercise, it was
certainly NOT a scientific test and that is the reason why I refused to =
part in it. It seems like a great excuse for either side to posture =
why the other side is wrong. The simple fact is that there were far too
many variables for it to be anything other than a exercise.

Let me explain from a technical point of view (Lelia Loban did a great =
of outlining much of musical issues). Recordings by their very nature =
lies. They express a point of view of a specific group of people- the
performer and/or the engineer that made it. As an engineer, I can
drastically change the sound of a given instrument through the use of
different microphones and different placements of that microphone to the

To do this test properly, you would have to have a collection of players =
a single acoustic environment. Each player would have to be mic'd in =
same manner (wouldn't matter which mic was used, although I'd suggest
something relatively neutral like a Schoeps or Sennheiser MKH series
microphone). The mic would have to be the same distance and at the same
relative level for each player (keep the RMS and peak for each sample =
a dB or so). That means that stronger sounding players will have to =
their level lowered in relationship to the softer sounding players. =
person listening to the test would have to listen back in the same =
environment as well (same speakers, room, etc...) for all of the =

Anything less is not going scientific and any results will be purely

Then, this tests the subjective issue of sound... It says nothing for
nationalistic styles of playing. Much of what we discuss when we talk =
nationalistic "schools" of playing is not just the tone of the =
(although that is a large portion of it), but rather the issues of style =
phrasing. The histories of different locations have different methods =
approaching the same musical material. I would venture to say that this
would be easier to see in Europe rather than in the US where, like our
nationality, we are a melting pot of styles...

My $0.02 FWIW...


Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Los Angeles, CA

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