Amateur speaker designer/builder, DSP programmer.
System: my own three-way speakers with linear phase, DSP active crossovers, driver correction, time alignment, calculated in-room EQ to compensate for directivity characteristics. I wrote the DSP software in 'C' using the FFTW library to perform the filtering and convolution; it runs on Linux.
I seem to be the only person around here who is sceptical of all of the following:
- in-room measurements and target frequency responses
- room correction
- listening tests
- the statistics used in audio experiments
- dipole speakers
- bass reflex
- frequency domain-based thinking
What does that leave? Well, it leaves speakers and systems that are purposely designed to behave
very simply - not that the hardware or software is necessarily simple.
I am an audio optimist. Not only have audiophiles got it wrong if they believe that room correction and target frequency responses are valid, they are spreading their misery to those who would otherwise not have worried about such things.
And the same goes for stereo. People in the 1970s believed that stereo was a semi-holographic rendering of a real soundstage, but the pessimists of audio have decided that it can't be because of acoustic crosstalk to the 'wrong' ear, thus ruining the experience for audiophiles who now think they must be deluding themselves about what they hear.
However, a closer examination of Blumlein stereo reveals that the crosstalk is what produces an actual, physical, stable time-of-arrival difference at the listener's ears. The audiophiles of the 1970s had it exactly right but few people today can allow themselves to believe it.
A piano improviser, I can do a convincing impression of piano playing. Without having had lessons, at some point I forced myself to learn to play major and minor chords and arpeggios. I start off with these (I think) then adapt and fill in the rest around them as I feel like. Over the years, I think I see myself thinking of chords in the same way I used to think about individual notes. I can string together interesting 'compositions'.
In the 1980s I dabbled in synthesisers and computer composition but I think I could be more imaginative now. However, fear of the learning curve for the sequencer app draining away the creative impulse - and fear of failure - prevents me from doing it again. I would rather write my own software than try to learn to use someone else's, and I may never get around to it.
Two of my 1980s creations:
- primarily sequences of notes, chords, sounds which trigger something pleasurable in my brain;
- I am not immune to artistic creations that appeal at the level of ideals that I aspire to. Maybe it's the artist themselves, the lifestyle represented by the music, the fact it makes me feel clever, a good video, nostalgia. It's hard to separate these factors from the music sometimes.