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How We Interpret Sound-Dr. Floyd Toole

How We Interpret Sound:

An Interview with Dr. Floyd Toole

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Original link: https://hub.yamaha.com/how-we-interpret-sound/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=CEG&utm_campaign=AV14315_Interpret_sound_blog&utm_content=AV14315_text_over_image_module_interpretsoundblog

 

 

Interpretation is a critical part of life. It determines our likes, dislikes and personal preferences regarding everything from food and clothing to living environment and choice of entertainment.

Photo of Dr. Toole.To better understand the concept of how people interpret sound, I interviewed famed loudspeaker and acoustics expert Dr. Floyd Toole, who has devoted his entire career to acoustical and psychoacoustical research for the National Research Council of Canada and Harman International.

How We Interpret Sound

For some people, great sound is considered to be whatever is popular in current culture. That might be rumbling bass and just enough treble to hear the melody or it could mean an engrossing listening experience that envelops like a blanket on a cold day. Then there are the physical aspects of what is actually coming out of a loudspeaker — something that most people are not aware of, although it’s simpler than you might think.

According to Toole, internal perception and scientific truth are the two elements at play in the way we perceive sound. “The reality is that in the history of audio, the mythology that has built up about certain brands and speaker designs and electronic algorithms and so on … [but] precious few if any of those comments are based on double-blind tests, so the opinions people have expressed were partially formed before they ever heard a sound,” he says. “I did my first double-blind sound test in 1966. I thought I would [use] a [single] loudspeaker and that would be that, [but] this particular loudspeaker was awful. A friend brought [another] … loudspeaker in and it was very different. So I did [a] randomized double-blind listening test. It was very important [that] people not know what they were hearing.”

Everyone in the test agreed on what they liked, and all favored the same loudspeaker — the one with the smoothest and flattest response. Yet the results were not what Toole expected, and to his surprise, he discovered that there had never been any serious scientific research done on the relationship between measurements and subjective opinions of loudspeaker sound quality. He spoke to his boss and began his life’s work.

“I spent the rest of my [career] doing that,” he says. “Everything that followed since those early tests has confirmed those findings: The smoothest, flattest loudspeakers win double-blind listening tests. However, when you go into a store and remember what you may have heard about a product, or listen to a salesman, your mind is partially made up. When listening “blind,” without the biasing influences of price, size, brand and appearance, people turn out to be remarkably similar in [terms of] what they like and dislike.

“Recordings sound better when played through neutral loudspeakers. The goal is for everybody in the audio universe to have neutral loudspeakers. And we’re not far away,” Toole states. “Most of the professionals and [many] loudspeaker manufacturers have figured it out. The problem is, the populace at large is not well-informed.”

“If you are fortunate enough to see a set of anechoically measured curves (i.e., measurements taken in a room with virtually no sonic reflections—Ed.) that are smooth and flattish on and off axis, the loudspeaker is likely to sound good — [that is,] neutral,” he adds. “There’s no mystery to it: If you don’t like what you hear in that loudspeaker, don’t blame the speaker, blame the recording.”

How to Optimize Sound in Your Home

To make the most of your home sound system, it’s no secret that you’ll need quality speakers. “If you purchased a good loudspeaker to begin with, leave it alone.” Toole advises. “Several room equalization techniques exist, implying that any loudspeaker in any room can be made to sound good. [Equalization] may or may not improve the sound of a poor loudspeaker, but unfortunately there is a good chance you could degrade the sound of a good loudspeaker. Two ears and a brain respond very differently to a complex sound field — and are much more analytical — than an omni-directional mic and analyzer. That said, equalization at bass frequencies is almost always helpful in dealing with room “boom” – [that is,] resonances in small rooms.”

According to Toole, the first thing you should do when setting up your home sound system is to adjust all channels to be at the same levels, and so that they all arrive at the right times. Many receivers and processors offer controls that can can assist with this.

In terms of room acoustics, if you start with well-designed loudspeakers, normal furnishing may be all you need. “Some audiophiles think all reflections are bad,” observes Toole, “but such rooms are oppressively dead. It turns out that a happy medium is easily achieved in normal rooms. Bookcases, lamps, tables, chairs, carpet and drapes — all of these things bring room acoustics into the range of acceptability. If you live in such a room, just buy some very good loudspeakers, hook them up, turn on your system, play something you like and enjoy it.”

“Take note of the fact that there is substantial scientific research that has been done to provide guidance,” are Toole’s parting words. “Manufacturers of quality loudspeakers tend to reveal the performance of their products. Others don’t. You should be skeptical of those who don’t.”

Photograph courtesy of Dr. Floyd Toole.

 

For more information about Yamaha home speakers click here.

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Diginoiz FREE Digi Drum Loops 3

December 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Digi Drum Loops 3

Diginoiz releases Digi Drum Loops 3 and it’s FREE until January 5-th

Free Drum Loops (Mid tempo-bangas abound!)

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Our good friends over at Diginoiz have seen fit to outfit your drum loop library with an early X-mas goodie-bag.

They just said:

The third part of the Digi Drum Loops series from Diginoiz. Groovy, dynamic, great sounding and fresh! Exported from Diginoiz previously released construction kits. You will find there 50 drum loops in the R&B, Hip Hop, Pop genres ready to be a part of your upcoming projects. If you are looking for drum loops that sound like those from your favorite tracks you are in the right place.

AVAILABLE FORMATS

‘Digi Drum Loops 3’ 50 drum loops exported from previously released Diginoiz construction kits, 176 Mb material (24-bit WAV,) ready to use.

DOWNLOAD DETAILS

Every purchase you make is contains 1 Zip (160 Mb after zip compression),

Wav

  • 50 loops (24-bit WAV)

INSTANT DOWNLOAD PRICE 0 EUR (until January 5-th) than 9.90 Euro

More information, free audio demo & demo pack visit:

 

http://diginoiz.com/series/drum-loops-digi-3/

Sequence: Hip Hop Beat Creator

September 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Product Highlight:

Sequence: Hip Hop Beat Creator

SEQ01_1

Kontakt Player 5
Kontakt 5
Plug-in
$ 99.95

 

Big Fish Audio presents: Sequence Beat Production Plug-in

The Soft ware Soft sampler Soft sequencer is Hard to beat at this price.

Big Fish Audio, the top dogs in sample libraries have been known to drop soft-sampler instrument products from time to time. Their newest heavyweight is an NI Kontakt player-powered sequencer called….Sequencer.

“Sequence is another ‘secret weapon’ that adds a sonic palette to your arsenal and brings any producer’s sound into a contemporary context.”

 

Getting up to speed consists of two download packages. The Installer (~1.1 GB zip) and the Library (~766 MB zip). We updated to the most recent version of Kontakt.

and then registered the library. New to me was Native Access, the preferred method of managing your Native Instrument products. I was very comfortable with their Service Center and interestingly enough, you’ll still need to keep the S.C. handy for legacy products.

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/specials/native-access/

Native Access

Since the time of the super-producer passed, more has been required of the beatsmith. No longer is the signature sound of a producer the ultimate determining factor of a rapper’s trajectory. Versatility is now key as the digital musician needs more sounds and styles at his fingertips. You are tasked with creating, cloning, crafting and commanding a kaleidoscope of compositions. Let’s face it. Sequence is another ‘secret weapon’ that adds a sonic palette to your arsenal and brings any producer’s sound into a contemporary context. In an average set of hands, you will have all the tools available to nail the most popular styles in today’s commercial spectrum. In the hands of a creative talent, Big Fish Audio’s Sequence is poised to usher in a new tool to facilitate the translation of your imagination into a…

Enough with the flowery talk.

Big-Fish-Audio-Sequence-mixer

The pros are the interface and stability  provided by the Native instruments Kontakt host and the sound design and sculpting potential of Sequence’s sonic engine. The con is the closed system that makes sample/sound import impossible. The promise is more and extended life from future expansion libraries. The plus is the price ($99.00 USD) and ease of use. The negative is ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’. The sonic imprint has taken a few turns in recent years and any producer who hopes to remain relevant needs tools like these. You can’t always remix your ear, but you can add new tools to your studio for additional sonic variety. This is one of those purchases. Enjoy.

Wished for in updates…

1) Session files and modern song starters

2) live recording and

http://www.bigfishaudio.com/Sequence.html

-Griffin Avid

UndergroundHipHop.com shutting down

December 27, 2016 Leave a comment

On January 1, 2017,

UGHH will be shutting down

https://www.undergroundhiphop.com/blogs/ughhblog/this-is-farewell

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Posted by Adam Walder on December 27, 2016

“I have some very sad news to share with all of our visitors and wanted to wait until after Christmas so you could all have a happy holiday. On approximately January 1, 2017, UndergroundHipHop.com (UGHH) will be shutting down permanently. We have been fighting our hardest to stay in business for the past few years, but with declining revenues it is impossible to stay in business at this point. Any orders placed will be fulfilled and we will stop taking orders as of tomorrow morning (Wednesday, December 28). When I opened our first online store in 1999, we experienced 60% growth year after year, for over a decade. However, in 2012 revenues plateaued and have been declining ever since. Our overhead is too great (rent, payroll, internet fees, bank loans, credit cards, etc.) and it makes business sense to not continue in what can only be described as an adventure of a lifetime.

I started UGHH out of my Northeastern University dorm room in 1997 as nothing more than a hobby to share the underground hip hop music I loved so much with the world. I had no idea it would lead into a 20 year career doing what I love to do – bringing this culture to the masses. I grew up listening to this music as a kid (I remember being 7 years old or so in the mid 1980’s, and a neighbor giving me a copy of LL Cool J’s – ‘Radio’ and The Fat Boys album dubbed on a cassette) and I was hooked. As a teenager, my music idols were Gang Starr and my favorite MC was Jeru The Damaja. Never in my wildest dreams would I think I would become friends with the artists I grew up on, but I am happy to say I actually became friends with Jeru so… my life is complete 🙂 If you want to read more about the 20 year journey of UGHH, go here

Running your own business is incredibly hard (and rewarding) work and I am very proud with what my team and I were able to achieve with this website. We had a retail store for ten years (another dream of mine come true), became close friends with many of the artists we are fans of (I went to Apathy’s wedding!), and helped so many labels and artists get the exposure they deserved. I could have worked a standard office job after college, but I followed my dreams and created a world renown, highly respected website loved by many.

There have been so many people who have contributed to helping make UGHH what it is today and there is no way I can list them all. I would like to give a special thank you to my staff who stuck it out with me to the very end – Jeremy (15+ years at UGHH), Aaron (10+ years at UGHH), Tommy (5+ years at UGHH), and Ian (he stopped working at UGHH 1.5 years ago after 10+ years on the job but has been my personal therapist since then). Thank you to the forum moderator Clokworx, who contributed his time to keep our forums running as smoothly as possible as well as all other mods. An extra special shout out to my wife and children, who were patient enough to put up with the ups and downs of the business and some very long work days.

There are many great websites to get your hip hop from, but some recommendations include: GetOnDown.com (for product and they should be expanding their catalog greatly in 2017), 2DopeBoyz.com (for videos) and HipHopDX.com (for news). There are so many great labels putting out quality product, but some suggestions are: Snowgoons, Ill Adrenaline, Mello Music Group, HiPNOTT Records, Rhymesayers, Fat Beats, HiPNOTT, and too many more to list.

I wish the best of luck to all of the artists, producers, record labels, distributors, etc. who make a living from hip hop music. You are doing this for something much deeper than a paycheck, and I respect you all for that. Thank you to all of our customers who have made purchases from us over the years. We have customers who have been dedicated to shopping with us for well over a decade, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking of UGHH when you were thinking about hip hop. Until the next adventure…”

– Adam Walder
Founder, UndergroundHipHop.com


 

Sad, sad news as so many good and interesting times were spent on the forum. Not only did so many magazine staples come from there, including Sean Maru, Redsecta Mastering, SoundsforSamplers and BanginBeats etc….. a huge amount of subscribers came from that forum. And…and there were so many crazy threads on their forums. Some real wacky stuff used to go down. Unfortunately spending habits change with generations. UGHH will always be missed. A great many things passed in 2016.

-Drew Spence

Arturia DrumBrute: Analog Drum Machine & Sequencer

DrumBrute is a powerful beat-making instrument

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DrumBrute is an all-in-one analog drum machine designed with performance and in-depth sound editing at its heart.

Providing 17 distinct, fully analog drum and percussion instruments with an intuitive sequencer, massive connectivity, a two-mode Steiner-Parker filter, and dynamic performance controls, DrumBrute will take your beat production to the next level.

Create energetic and exciting drum beats with a single, user-friendly device. With its vast sonic potential and smooth workflow, DrumBrute meets and exceeds the expectations of demanding musicians. Bridging the gap between inspiration and technology, DrumBrute offers punchy analog drum sounds, advanced 64 step / 64 pattern sequencing possibilities and ultra-effective performance controls.

Find out more: https://www.arturia.com/products/drumbrute/overview

Arturia DrumBrute Key features:

  • Analog powerhouse: DrumBrute contains 17 fully analog drum & percussion instruments, including two kicks, snare, clap, open & closed hats, high & low toms and conga, maracas, rimshot, clave, tambourine, zap, cymbal, and even a reverse cymbal.
  • Exciting synth features: the main output contains a highly regarded two-mode Steiner-Parker filter, allowing you to add dynamic frequency sweeps and satisfying bass drops. Not only that, but every drum sound has multiple parameters that can be tweaked to achieve your perfect kit.
  • Easy to use, quick to learn: each one of DrumBrute’s 64 sequences can contain up to 64 steps, and can be chained together in a song mode. Despite this massive performance power, punching in your perfect beat is simple and fast. Fans of vintage drum machines will feel right at home with the familiar layout.
  • No menus: every feature has its own dedicated button, knob, or pad, so you’ll spend less time navigating endless sub-menus and more time making music.
  • In-depth editing: get in the groove with the natural Swing feature, inspire yourself by dialling in some Randomness, mix up your rhythm with Step Repeat, Roller and Looper functions, accent particular drum hits to add some punch to your beat… DrumBrute has a wealth of advanced features that will satisfy even the most discerning musicians and producers.
  • Plays well with others: DrumBrute has extensive connectivity and sync options, including MIDI, Clock, 1PPS, 2PPQ, DIN24, and DIN48. This means that DrumBrute will work seamlessly with all of your other modular, synth, and sequencing gear.
  • Amazing in the studio: DrumBrute boasts dedicated audio outputs for each instrument channel giving almost limitless options for external processing and multitrack recording; 3.5mm and ¼” headphone outputs so you’ll never have to hunt out an adapter again; and it can act as a fully-fledged MIDI interface to control your DAW. DrumBrute is an essential tool for the modern producer.
  • Reliable on stage: with rugged housing, chunky pads, and wiggle-free knobs, DrumBrute can be relied upon to perform show after show. Always striving to improve with every new release, Arturia have created a strong, enduring instrument that’s ready for life on the road.
  • Punches above its weight: DrumBrute stands toe-to-toe with the leading drum synths on the market, but at a fraction of the price. No other all-analog drum machine features such inspiring and dynamic features while retaining a sense of intuitive, tactile fun.
  • ————————
  • DrumBrute is priced at 449€ / $499.

    DrumBrute will shortly be shipping, and will be arriving at your local music store in November. DrumBrute is available to order now from the official Arturia web store, and from retailers worldwide.

    For more information on features, specifications and dimensions, visit: www.arturia.com/products/drumbrute

     

Samplephonics: 808s hidden production secrets.

September 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Samplephonics has the hook up …

——-

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Whether you are using the real thing, one-shot drum samples or the Samplephonics 808 virtual instrument, there is more to the classic drum machine than meets the eye. In this post, we unearth some of the 808’s hidden production secrets.

1. USE THE BASS DRUM AS A SUB BASS

Probably the least secret of all the TR-808’s ‘hidden’ features is the ease with which its Bass Drum sound can be pressed into service as sub bass instrument – it’s just a sine wave with a pitch envelope, after all. Set the hardness of the attack with the Tone control, the length of the note with the Decay, and pitch it up and down to ‘program’ a bassline using your DAW’s automation system.

2. AMBIENT COWBELL FX

Arguably the most instantly recognisable of all its voices, the crazy TR-808 Cowbell played a major part in defining the beats of countless old-skool RnB and hip-hop cuts. Although it carries too many stylistic connotations to be used ‘as is’ in most modern productions, drenching it in cavernous reverb and/or delay can turn it into a beautiful, frequency rich sound effect.

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3. TUNED PERCUSSION

The 808’s Toms and Congas come in High, Mid and Low versions, giving you three distinct notes to play with. For more complex melodic parts, however, simply automate their Tuning (pitch) controls in your sampler. Try to restrict each of the three samples to as short a range of pitches as possible to maintain their sonic integrity, though.

4. DUB-STYLE CYMBAL FX

The longest sound in the 808’s arsenal (almost five seconds at maximum Decay) and bursting with scintillating high frequencies, the Cymbal makes great fodder for dubbed-out filter feedback delay effects. Shove it through a suitably equipped delay plugin (Audio Damage Dubstation or Soundtoys EchoBoy, for example), crank the feedback up to ‘freeze’ the cymbal, then play with the filters in real time to manipulate the resulting ‘wash’ of sound. Insert a limiter first, though, as the volume will quickly get out of hand!

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5. TRIGGER OUT PERCUSSION

Each of the TR-808’s three trigger outputs delivers a series of 20ms pulses following the Cowbell, Handclap or Accent patters, that can be used to fire off other drum machines, synths and sequencers via their CV/Gate inputs. Obviously, such functionality isn’t necessary with your software 808 emulation, but the sound of the trigger out signal itself works as a great glitchy percussion hit, as used most famously (and frequently!) by Egyptian Lover. To work it into your tracks, hunt down a sample of it and add it to your 808 sampler patch.

6. THE LOW TOM KICK DRUM

The 808 Bass Drum is one of the greatest sounds in electronic music, but you don’t have to limit yourself to it when programming authentic 808 kick parts. Pitched down, the Low Tom serves as a fine alternative, offering a subtly different tone that can work well on its own, or as a second, distinct voice for ghost notes or simple note-to-note variation.

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7. SNARE RIENFORCEMENT

Although the 808 Snare Drum is a fantastic, characterful option when you don’t need a great deal of power in your backbeat, its lack of weight could reasonably be considered a downside in most other settings. Bolster that notoriously thin sound by layering a Tom or Conga under it, carefully tuned and with a short Decay – instant body and depth!

8. IT’S NOT JUST FOR DRUM KIT PARTS

Like any drum machine, the 808 is primarily thought of and employed as a source of kick/snare/hi-hat patterns, but even if you’ve already got your main drum kit together via other means, keep it in mind as a generator of complimentary ‘Latin’ percussion parts. The Conga, Cowbell, Claves and Maracas sounds sit together beautifully and are ideal for adding a bright, funky top end layer to any drum track.

 

More on the Samplephonics blog…

8 things you didn’t know you could do with an 808

513 Free Analogue Tube Drum Samples!

September 16, 2016 Leave a comment

FREE goodies from our friends over at Samplephonics

our-mission1

Samplephonics says:

Some time ago we gave away some deliciously tasty drum one shots that had been processed with some gorgeous analogue tube saturation. Since then, the Samplephonics community has grown dramatically and we thought it would be a shame to deprive all of our noobies from the tube goodness!

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513 FREE ANALOGUE TUBE DRUMS SAMPLES!

We hope you enjoy this gift and turn these little beauties into something special. Send what you create with them to info@samplephonics.com

Until next time!

– The Samplephonics Team

https://beta.samplephonics.com/