The sound is an ambiguous thing. Some listen to music through EarPods, while others work on creating musical works on professional equipment. For the third, the sound plays the role of a supplement to the sport or a life hacking
for well-being, and for the fourth it is nothing more than mathematics.
Many specialties are connected with the sound ecosystem
, and in each it plays its role. In this material we will look at how those who work with it
perceive the sound.Photo Pinnacle_College / CC-BY
There is no perfect sound.
There is an opinion that the more expensive the equipment, the closer its sound is to the “professional” studio sound. In fact this is not true.
"Like in the studio," music only sounds in the studio, says
Chester French singer David Wollach:
“The only way to hear music as a musician hears while recording is to listen to it on the same equipment in the same room.”
Before the release, the composition is auditioned on different equipment and they achieve such a sound that it suits a wide audience of listeners.
Moreover, the desire to hear the song in the form in which it came out of the studio, can lead to not very pleasant "discoveries" and frustration. On professional equipment, you can hear some of the “bumps” and flaws made when working with a song, if it was recorded hastily.
“HD resolution allows you to see every pore, every flaw on a person’s face. Headphones can do the same: if the music is poorly recorded, ”writes David.
Daniel Dobosh, the drummer of the BCB group, also saves ordinary listeners from buying professional acoustics: “Having bought professional monitor speaker systems, a person will listen at home, probably recordings prepared for a home system. Accordingly, something [in sound] will climb a little more. ”
Daniel notes that sound engineers need professional equipment so that they can refine the material in the process of recording and processing. It makes no sense to buy such a home even with the condition that you find high-quality recordings. For home use, you need to buy the appropriate hardware from the user segment.
“It's just a very delicate instrument. Why cut the cheese with a medical scalpel? This is useless. Very accurate, but generally not fast and uncomfortable.
And on the contrary, doing operations with a kitchen knife is also somehow not good. So it is here. This is a very delicate tool, but it's for work. ”
In theory, the perfect sound exists, but it is almost impossible to achieve. The main thing is that people like the
sound of a certain system. Therefore, you need a choice - because you want to use what suits you, even if this is not ideal. Audio engineer Yury Fomin
adheres to this opinion about sound:
“There is a statement that acoustics should not distort sound at all. And it is correct. But the fact is that for some reason everyone does not pay attention, in fact, acoustics are the same instrument. Imagine, from the point of view of technical understanding, we did everything so that acoustics do not have nonlinear distortions.
But the most interesting thing is that the loudspeaker is a generator of own noise. Transmitting musical chords, it itself generates some harmonics inherent only in this loudspeaker. That is, a priori it is impossible to get rid of nonlinear distortions. ”
Distortions of various components are taken into account when creating the equipment. In accordance with this make adjustments, which form the final sound.
“I do not say whether it sounds better or worse, it’s not for us to judge. Judge will be the people who choose the audio system or not choose "
For those who would like to get acquainted with the process of creating their own acoustic systems, we have developed a special "designer". Anyone can study the audio system, upgrade it at its discretion and even organize its own small production.
“Each speaker model has its own character of sound. Someone has a small form, some have a greater sound pressure. The whole set of loudspeakers and boxes makes it possible to collect virtually any thing, ”explains Yuri Fomin.Photo from the review of our "designer" Audiocore Kit (plus fresh material on the topic on the GT )
Sound, acoustics and audio content have a different purpose.
High-quality sound is great, but in some situations it fades into the background. For example, at large concert venues. It happens that the sound engineer “did not cope” with the sound, and people hear the “porridge” without distinguishing between individual instruments and sometimes even vocals. And at the same time they are satisfied - the energy was so powerful. This is one of the main objectives of the sound that we used to hear at concerts.
“If you take a giant platform, there is no question of sound quality. The main thing is that everything is audible. We need to transfer energy to a large stadium, ” explains BC Dobos, drummer of the BCB group.
"Professional" sound quality at concerts sometimes even interferes. Especially if the site is not designed specifically for such events.
“Once I was at an electronic music concert. There were professional loudspeakers Funktion-One. They gave a very powerful sound.
He was fairly clean and good, but so powerful that my whole body vibrated and my shirt went shaking. The sound was not bad, but it was too much and I wanted to go somewhere, ”says Daniel.
Those who are involved in broadcasting have to think not only about quality (compression plays a significant role here, and there are enough other concerns). For example, a number of main tasks include the formation of a playlist
This is done by individuals at the radio station - they choose whether the composition is suitable for broadcasting, and negotiate with the right holders. Music is selected according to several criteria:
- The song must have the potential. It should not be popular here and now, but become so in the process of rotation.
- Length - up to 4 minutes. Even popular tracks are cut if they are too long.
- There should be no moments with complete silence and long introductions.
These are not “reinforced concrete” criteria, but they are trying to be observed at all stations. After the tracks are selected, they are divided into categories. Each station has its own approach.
The order of these tracks is made with the help of special programs, but it is impossible to take and simply mix the playlist for the air. You cannot play several similar songs in a row: sad music should be diluted with cheerful, male vocals - female.
The tasks that radio stations solve are fundamentally different about those they encounter, for example, concert organizers (which we talked about above).Photo by Joe007 / CC-BY
In movies and video games, sound and music should emphasize what is happening on the screen. Moreover, in games, sound is often part of the gameplay. It is not only about Guitar Hero, TapTap and analogues, but also, for example, about World of Warcraft. There, the distinctive stealth sound brings balance to the game.
For more information about the role of sound in games, you can read in our material on GT .
In cinema, the sound engineer should take care that the soundtrack does not just emphasize the video series, but sometimes “sweetens” it. Sad melodies enhance the dramatic effect, and in horror the
creaking and “moaning” music sometimes scares the viewer more than anything else.
There is also the profession of noise
- these are people who create sound for films. The sound of footsteps, the rustling of clothes, the clank of armor is
recorded separately, and not during filming. And sometimes you need such sounds that do not exist at all in real life.
“If this is something unreal, you need to dodge, turn on your wit and creative imagination,” sound engineer Evgeny Pereyaslavtsev tells about his work. For example, in the cartoon, to which I wrote noises, there was a moment when a ladybug flies from a distance and sits on the glass. It was necessary to pick up the sound for her wings.
Understandably, there are no such sounds. And as a grotesque cartoon, I would say, a bit psychedelic, the sound had to be something more than it is in living nature. Upon reflection, we came up with the idea of recording the sound in this way: we took a plastic card and drove it along the piano keys.
This plastic mechanical crackling went very well into the film picture. When we see this flying ladybird, the crack of the plastic card on the piano keys sounds ”
Not only entertainment, but also an area for research
sound from many different angles. Including how it affects productivity. Music can increase productivity, if it is associated with monotonous activities, helps to better concentrate on what is happening and raise the emotional background.
Other scientists are studying the connection between music and physiology, such as goosebumps. This phenomenon even has a name - free-music, and music can cause it. From 55 to 86 percent of people are subject to such effect (examples of scientific works: 1
). But most often it happens to those who are open to new experiences and have a rich imagination.
Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin believes that music is a powerful tool for building social connections. In his book, he wrote that this is the only thing that can make a person join the twenty thousandth crowd.
Music directly affects the emotional background: it produces the “happy hormone” dopamine, increases the level of serotonin and oxytocin, and activates neuroreceptors that are susceptible to other hormones.
Biologists study how animals perceive sound
. Many of them have no ears, but they still hear. For example, a grasshopper has special membranes on its front legs.
Music for animals does not sound like for humans. Your cat will not distinguish, Dorn you turned on or Black Sabbath - for her both that and the other will be a set of sounds and noises, not always pleasant. Some of them are not heard by a person.
However, composer David Teie recorded music for cats . He says these are relaxing compositions. It’s not clear to the end whether cats like it or not, but they definitely react.
Software engineer and musician Andrew Duncan made out
music from a combinatorial point of view. He counted the number of variations of the 12-ton chromatic scale. To this end, he combined notes in a circle of 12 elements (semitones). If a particular semitone was present in the selected key, interval, or chord, it was colored white. Otherwise, black. Duncan received 2 ^ 12 = 4096 combinations that make up the music.
You can read more about the connection between music and mathematics in our article “ Number 5 and a little about how a usability and a programmer " see "music ."
Other materials in our "World Hi-Fi" .: