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Author Topic: Critic At Large, Vo. I to IV  (Read 9327 times)

Barry Hufker

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Re: Critic At Large
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2008, 12:14:52 am »

I subscribe to Tape Op but I can't say I've ever read an entire issue.  The font is small and always over some graphic which doesn't provide enough contrast for these 54 year old eyes.  No matter which glasses I use.

Sigh...
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studio1117

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Re: Critic At Large
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2008, 12:46:38 am »

I think tape-op is about as good it gets, it's no REP but it's not bad (and hey for some of us..it's free). At least there's some "real" articles in there.  We should be thankful we are in the industry we are in. Can you imagine reading an insurance trade magazine?

Barry Hufker

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Re: Critic At Large
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2008, 03:37:27 pm »

Can you imagine making the money an insurance agent makes?  That offsets the magazine.
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Klaus Heyne

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Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2008, 05:47:17 pm »

Today was another of those excruciating ‘phone days’. Excruciating, because when I consulted with several mic owners for several hours on various topics, it was not fun. Not because the persons or objects of discussion were unpleasant, but because the physical act of communicating was.

By now, a clear majority of people I talk to on the phone for business and pleasure use cell phones, not land lines. Almost always bad sounding cell phone connections with efforts, at least on my end, to decipher some of the words said.

One of the calls today was to James Gangwer, a friend and repairman for vintage audio gear, when suddenly (and as usual, at a particularly relevant point in my argument) the connection was lost. He called right back. “What happened?” I inquired. He: “sorry, I bent forward; where I’m sitting, that’s what usually happens.” I said: “Why are you participating in a technology which promised so much and over the years has delivered so poorly?” He: “I have to.”

James is right. Most people get fired these days if they refuse to strap one on their belt, during and after work, on weekends, during vacations.

But this is also the age of voluntary, constant, habitual communication, the kind not required by the ‘man’. Soon it will be the majority of strollers on the streets of Honolulu, Tokyo or downtown Portland who habitually talk by themselves, or walk with others and talk alone. They don’t check their surroundings anymore and are not participating in the community around them- they are absorbed in a mental space at least partially removed from the physical space they’re in.

So be it. Besides, what am I? A Luddite whiner? Like those geezers shuffling through the park, pushing candy wrappers with their canes, complaining how the world has gone to hell?

No, but I would have thought that, given the significant amount of time we, the buying public which has made a Mexican the richest man on earth this year, because we spend so much time with our precious, super-high-fidelity-capable ear on that microwave thing, we would have demanded by now a more pleasurable audio experience from our cell phones!
At least, audio that is not a constant strain on the listener.

I would have thought that shoppers who shell out $300+ for their next communication device in one of those Verizon kiosks or ATT boutiques would at least partially test and select for sound quality- the core interaction of cell phones between man and machine.

It’s been a long time since I last asked, in the middle of a phone conversation, what brand and model the other party was using. Yes, I was always delighted when that rare call would come in where it sounded as if the caller was in the next room, not across the continent. I have more than once then gone out and bought that phone, so that my counterparts would have a more enjoyable calling experience when they talk to me.

Maybe we deserve the abominable audio quality that dominates cell phones, cordless phones, car stereos, and increasingly, CDs,
because, though we participate in a free and adaptive market now, we are not insisting on good audio of these devices as deal breaker for our purchase.

I bet you: if just 10% of consumers were insisting on better sounds from their audio-reproducing consumer devices we would have them by next year, 18 months tops.

So what kind of fool am I, spending the rest of my good, healthy ear-days in forums discussing the minute, barely audible differences between brands of capacitors or biasing methods in microphones?

Why do we even bother to strive for better sounds in recordings anymore? Why would anybody who accepts the sound quality of cell phones care for high fidelity anywhere else in his life?

Where have our expectations for technological progress in devices like phones gone, given that the first cordless phones, in the mid 1980s, sounded about as bad as the average phone does now?

P.S.: due to a software glitch, I had to copy and paste in the first few responses to this subject

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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2008, 05:48:50 pm »

Barry Hufker wrote:
I don't own a cell phone and with a little luck maybe never will.

I pay the phone bill. The phone is for my convenience and no one else's. I enjoy being in the car where no one can reach me. I don't have the radio on. I even wear earplugs. It is quiet. And quiet is healthy. I refuse to be bombarded at every moment with some sort of sound by someone. I even have a dog who doesn't bark unless there is real danger. Quiet is our friend. I make it wherever I go. My students don't understand that - yet - and maybe never will. But quiet is a commodity not easily acquired.

A cell phone is a nuisance and not an advancement. I don't know how people talk so much on the phone - to whom - about what - why?

I'll say it again. Quiet is a friend.

I had a cell phone vendor ask me what I would do if my car broke down on the road and I needed to call a tow truck. I told him I'd waive someone down who had a cell phone.

http://www.hufkerrecording.com
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2008, 05:49:46 pm »

YZ wrote:
Quote:

Klaus Heyne wrote on Fri, 11 July 2008 20:23

the buying public which has made a Mexican the richest man on earth



Nationality a problem, Klaus?

Kudos to that Mexican, I personally prefer it to be him than someone from 'the usual places'.

regards,

YZ

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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2008, 05:50:20 pm »

Mike O wrote:

Cell phones are only the most recent examples; add a couple of personal pet peeves to the list. We can build $300 million aircraft that contains some of the most advanced technology available. We are told that communication with passengers is required before, during, and after every flight.

And a good portion of the time the communication from the attendent and/or captain is useless.

Or how about any drive through? Spend a gazillion $ trying make these enterprises as effecient as possible in terms of pushing people through. Put in a audio system that subverts the very communication that is critical to starting each ahd every transaction and is a major component of ensuring accuracy.

Audio communication is most certainly undervalued in much of our interaction with each other.

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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2008, 05:50:47 pm »

YZ wrote:
Back on topic:

My first cell phone was an Ericsson, in 1998.

Very good sound quality, I was surprised.

From then on it was a steep downhill run in terms of sound, as the phones got smaller.

I have my cell phone for emergencies, so I rarely make a call; when I am called I keep it short and I don't answer the phone if I am driving.

I agree with most of what has been said, specially about being disconnected from your immediate surroundings... last year I saw a teenager chatting on the phone and the girl next to her texting avidly as they rode in Disneyworld's Splash Mountain...
Not to mention people discussing personal matters or business loudly in public places so comfortably as if they were inside the 'cone of silence'.

But I extend this 'anti-cell' rant to include the use of portable computers; Several times I saw important or sensitive info being typed into spreadsheets or presentations in public places.

regards,

YZ

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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2008, 05:51:20 pm »

Silvertone wrote:
Barry, I'm with you. I don't want to be found when I'm away from Silvertone. I know "but what if it is an audio emergency?". My answer... "get a life, there is no such thing as an audio emergency!"

Klaus, I agree when people listen to bad MP3's all the time I think, "why do I spend so much time laboring over this material?" but we both know the answer... It is to please ourselves even more than the client!

btw I hope James is feeling better these days. I owe him a phone call.
Larry DeVivo
Silvertone Mastering, Inc.
PO Box 4582
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
www.silvertonemastering.com

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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2008, 05:51:57 pm »

RPhilbeck wrote:
Cellular carriers took their networks digital a few years ago. That means they can compress signals as the traffic on the network increases, so they can fit more calls in, and we all know what compression does to audio quality. It is going to get worse as unlimited plans become the norm, and people start using their phones as baby monitors and such.

That is a larger part of the equation. The other part is just the speaker/mic components for that particular brand of phone, and how many times its been dropped, had coca cola spilled on it, dropped in the toilet, road noise, etc.

I've got a Blackberry 8830 and the wired ear bud to keep that thing as far away from my head as possible.
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2008, 05:52:53 pm »

teleric wrote:
Quote:

 Barry Hufker wrote on Sat, 12 July 2008 01:49

Quiet is our friend. I make it wherever I go. My students don't understand that - yet - and maybe never will. But quiet is a commodity not easily acquired.

I had a cell phone vendor ask me what I would do if my car broke down on the road and I needed to call a tow truck. I told him I'd waive someone down who had a cell phone.

Very good points. How bad would i love to be able to open the window in my apartment and not hear a single car, or drilling machine. I'm bound to live in a doubled glass windows home.
Or how great it would be to walk in the city without having to wear ear plugs.

THE big selling argument (not just for phones) is FEAR!!

I once had a Siemens phone that wasn't bad. Now I have a Nokia from work I can barely use because the speaker is so bad. It has become painful to speak with it in a noisy environment.
eric harizanos
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Klaus Heyne

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2008, 05:53:30 pm »

Barry Hufker wrote:
For the audio professional: an all tube cell phone (select AC701) with either an M7 or CK12 capsule. Cost of the cell phone: $300.00. Cost of the microphone connecting into the cell phone: $11,000. Knowing you've got the coolest cell phone: priceless.

Stay tuned for the electrostatic earphones so you can hear the cell phone.

http://www.hufkerrecording.com
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Klaus Heyne
German Masterworks
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2008, 06:08:05 am »

I find the cell phone to be a tool. And as such, we should not blame the hammer, L2 limiter or the cell phone but perhaps the people abusing them. I too agree on the way kids today are slaves to their cell phones which makes them miss a lot of the real life that's going on around them.

I keep my cell phone around wherever I go. But I rarely answer whenever someone is calling, unless I really want to. I don't go running to it whenever I get a new SMS to find out what it was.

And it's almost always in silent mode.

I do play a lot of small games on it, say some Sudoku while in the subway, or so. And by doing certain simple communication over SMS both my friend and myself can tend to it whenever we feel like it. It's nifty to be able to Google something if you ar curious but not next to a computer. And it's very good to find out about the subway schedule when you're out and about.

So in a way I find it to be a very useful tool, and it is rarely bothering me because I never let it do so.
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Tomas Danko

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2008, 06:21:59 am »

Quote:

RPhilbeck wrote:
Cellular carriers took their networks digital a few years ago. That means they can compress signals as the traffic on the network increases, so they can fit more calls in, and we all know what compression does to audio quality. It is going to get worse as unlimited plans become the norm, and people start using their phones as baby monitors and such.

That is a larger part of the equation. The other part is just the speaker/mic components for that particular brand of phone, and how many times its been dropped, had coca cola spilled on it, dropped in the toilet, road noise, etc.

I've got a Blackberry 8830 and the wired ear bud to keep that thing as far away from my head as possible.
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A connection over a network, be it GSM, AXE or whatever, can be flagged for higher bandwidth/better sound quality by the system. A friend of mine who used to do a lot of phone system hacking knew how to do this, and whenever I spoke to him on the phone he told me to hang on for a moment and then he upgraded the quality of the line.

Sometimes the difference was tremendous.

I don't know how one can order such a service, let alone if it even exists on today's GSM networks. But it's there somewhere.

Another friend of mine works at Sony Ericsson, he's developing their smart phones (P-series). He told me that they had sent out a specification for the loudspeaker in one of the phones (IIRC it was the P800 and/or P910i). The bean counters thought it would be too expensive so instead they ordered an inferior transducer that was not even close to spec.

It turns out it had a huge resonance once implemented into the physical structure of the cell phone, which made it sound totally awful.

The solution?

They had to code some DSP functions that notched out the resonant frequency, which caused the phone to be more sluggish and some functions to be downsized. Talk about a band aid.

Way to go.
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MagnetoSound

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Re: Critic At Large, Vol. II
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2008, 06:30:17 am »

Tomas Danko wrote on Mon, 14 July 2008 11:08

I keep my cell phone around wherever I go. But I rarely answer whenever someone is calling, unless I really want to. I don't go running to it whenever I get a new SMS to find out what it was.

And it's almost always in silent mode.



And you can always turn it off.


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Music can make me get right up out of my chair and start dancing or it can get me so pumped up I have to walk around the block.
It can also knock me back and make me sit there and cry like a little baby. This shit is as powerful as any drug!!!
- Larry DeVivo

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