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Master Thread: Are measurements Everything or Nothing?

Geert

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Looks like it's been a year since any comments to this other, possibly pertinent thread...

Bump.


We're first concluding this thread.
 

Sokel

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Nice to see you two came to an agreement:
The thing is that the producers choose the instrument,not the musicians ;)
That's an educated decision probably has to make with the electrical qualities of the instrument or something technical like that.
 

gavagai

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The thing is that the producers choose the instrument,not the musicians ;)
Yes and no. It's not a choice : p-bass is an industry standard. The lesson of the video is that, as a true studio artist, you have to acknowledge what standards are, and build your artist singularity around them. You do not express your freewill when you fight them. Quite the contrary.
I think that you can transpose this in the hifi field ;)
 

Robbo99999

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Stratagem 1 of The art of being right. 38 Ways to Win an Argument by Schopenhauer :
The Extension. - This consists in carrying your opponent's proposition beyond its natural limits; in giving it as general a signification and as wide a sense as possible, so as to exaggerate it; and, on the other hand, in giving your own proposition as restricted a sense and as narrow limits as you can, because the more general a statement becomes, the more numerous are the objections to which it is open. The defense consists in an accurate statement of the point or essential question at issue.

So my defense is here :
The experiments show that the general idea that violin soloist in classical music choose their antique and very expensive instrument because they like their sound is false. The other idea that it's more likely to love the sound of antique instrument because of their inherent sound superiority is also false.
So one can deduce (you know the silly "class inclusion" of logic) that there is a least one exception to the general proposition : "musician choose their instrument because they like their sound".

Here's another one :
Why do the session legends all use P basses? Here's why
(Spoiler alert : it's because producers and audio engineers love their sound that is very easy to record)

Concerning great players, I think that their sound is in their brain/body, not in their instruments. Strange isn't it ? I am a logic and science believer (social science included - for me tastes and preferences have causes) and yet here we are : me defending a humanist position, and you defending a reductionist position ;)

PS : I'm French. My english must be far far from perfect. Sorry for that.
(To be clear, Matt is not winning the arguments in this thread, even if he does stay in it the longest)
 

charbong

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I said I wouldn't post again to this thread, so with egg on my face I'll say one last thing: I can't think of a better example than this thread (last 100 posts or so) to show that science, in practice, really is nothing more than a socio-political and tribal enterprise.

I think it was Plato who said, "if you attack me, you attack science", so y'all are in good company.
 

gavagai

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(To be clear, Matt is not winning the arguments in this thread, even if he does stay in it the longest)

I'm afraid the reference to Schopenhauer may be not entirely clear. The Schopenhauer's book is a manual on how to fight people that refuses to admit rational arguments (not only scientific arguments) and uses various rhetorical techniques (stratagems) to be always right (hence the title in french "L'art d'avoir toujours raison", "The art of being always right").

It's quite effective !
I can't think of a better example than this thread (last 100 posts or so) to show that science, in practice, really is nothing more than a socio-political and tribal enterprise.

Stratagem 33 : It Applies in Theory, But Not in Practice.
 

pkane

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I said I wouldn't post again to this thread, so with egg on my face I'll say one last thing: I can't think of a better example than this thread (last 100 posts or so) to show that science, in practice, really is nothing more than a socio-political and tribal enterprise.

I think it was Plato who said, "if you attack me, you attack science", so y'all are in good company.

If you think this thread is representative of science or the scientific process, you're deeply mistaken.
 

Doodski

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I said I wouldn't post again to this thread, so with egg on my face I'll say one last thing: I can't think of a better example than this thread (last 100 posts or so) to show that science, in practice, really is nothing more than a socio-political and tribal enterprise.

I think it was Plato who said, "if you attack me, you attack science", so y'all are in good company.
That's a overbearing statement. I was a subjective-ite for decades and went back to study electronics. I can say now that it is science but it is not out of the reach of everybody. The pace and structure of studying electronics is challenging and fast but with some study and a want to learn it everybody could study electronics. It's not a tribe nor politics. :D
 

charbong

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I'm afraid the reference to Schopenhauer may be not entirely clear. The Schopenhauer's book is a manual on how to fight people that refuses to admit rational arguments (not only scientific arguments) and uses various rhetorical techniques (stratagems) to be always right (hence the title in french "L'art d'avoir toujours raison", "The art of being always right").

It's quite effective !


Stratagem 33 : It Applies in Theory, But Not in Practice.

Let me give you a bit of advice. You aren't going to be winning many arguments pointing out how silly someone's shirt is.
 

MattHooper

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Thank you gavagal.


Stratagem 1 of The art of being right. 38 Ways to Win an Argument by Schopenhauer :
The Extension. - This consists in carrying your opponent's proposition beyond its natural limits; in giving it as general a signification and as wide a sense as possible, so as to exaggerate it; and, on the other hand, in giving your own proposition as restricted a sense and as narrow limits as you can, because the more general a statement becomes, the more numerous are the objections to which it is open. The defense consists in an accurate statement of the point or essential question at issue.

So my defense is here :
The experiments show that the general idea that violin soloist in classical music choose their antique and very expensive instrument because they like their sound is false. The other idea that it's more likely to love the sound of antique instrument because of their inherent sound superiority is also false.
So one can deduce (you know the silly "class inclusion" of logic) that there is a least one exception to the general proposition : "musician choose their instrument because they like their sound".

Again, I'm familiar with the blind experiments comparing old and new violins. I've used references to those experiments myself (along with other classics like the same wine served in different bottles) when arguing to other audiophiles about the relevance of blind testing and science to audio.

But as I've said, those particular studies are a red-herring as it relates to the argument I have been making. It's a red-herring in broadly two respects:

1. The debate had been over to what degree people making music recordings have aspirations to reproduce aspects of real life sound. I was arguing that
the aspirations span a gamut, from occasionally wanting the listener to have a sense of "realism" like they are listening to a real event, on down to simply trying to capture aspects of the real life sound and translate those in to recording. The Yo-Yo Ma example was simply one of countless possible examples in service of that argument.

So remember, the argument is "what are they trying to do when recording?"

It doesn't matter if it happens that Yo-Yo Ma wouldn't select his particular 1733 Montagnana cello as preferred in a blind test against something else.
When it comes to recording time, what matters is the sound his instrument actually has (as it's being played by Yo-Yo Ma)! And how to best capture that sound in a recording. Typically the recordist will select microphones (and other gear) and mic positions that try to capture the sound of that particular instrument as best as possible. Like I said, they won't want it to sound like a kazoo...but like the cello it REALLY is. (That's why different mics will be used for capturing symphonies, or drum sets, or acoustic guitars, or vocals etc - sometimes microphones are used to deliberately color a sound, but often they are selected as to their ability to best capture the essence of a sound. All depends on the aim of a particular recording). (Also, when claiming even in such circumstances as the classical musician "they don't choose because of the sound, it's due to other biases" remember that bias effects can actually change the perception of sound).

So I hope you can see why the reference to those experiments fails to address that point.

It's also a red herring because:

2. The limitations as to what can plausibly be argued from those experiments. (As it relates to my arguments).

A sub-point of my argument was that musicians do indeed select their instruments - both as players, and for any particular recording - because it has the sound they want.

Do you truly imagine that a reference to those strad studies is tantamount to refuting that general idea? (Remember, I said musicians tend to choose their instruments for a reason. I wasn't being absolutist).

Think of how cautious scientists are (or should be when doing good science) in terms of what can be extrapolated from limited experiments or studies.

Take the example of optical illusions, like one presented earlier in the thread:


Is our sight unrealiable in such circumstances in determining the shade value of the squares? Yes.

Is it reasonable (much less scientific!) to leap from that to "Therefore our sight is wholly unreliable?"

Of course not. Why? Because THAT claim, derived from the optical illusion experiments, would have to also explain how we manage to successfully navigate the world via our sight all day long. Untold numbers of instances where our sight clearly works reliably. So the reasonable interpretation from such isolated tests is that, while our sight is clearly useful and often reliable, it is not perfect, and there are examples in which it can be unreliable.

Apply this reasoning to the relevance of those isolated strad tests to the vast number of decisions being made by musicians, mixers, engineers etc in choosing different instruments and sounds. In the strad test there was massive specific bias regarding the exaulted status, age and cost of one instrument over another. Is THAT bias somehow sufficient to explain the absolutely vast choices made by musicians and engineers in terms of their sonic choices? As if many drummers aren't really selecting drum sets based on how one sounds (and plays) vs another? Or guitarists selecting which guitar to use for the next track? Or which synthesizer to use over another? Or the mixer choosing one type of reverb over another? And on and on.

What is the most plausible, parsimonious account, all things considered? How about: Yes various biases exist that can influence our choices, more heavily in some circumstances vs others, but generally speaking our perception is reliable enough to recognize real sonic differences, and select from between them to meet our goals.

And that serves my argument perfectly.

Otherwise, as it relates to that argument, you will have to come up with some hypothesis where our inferences about sonic differences are generally unreliable, but in a way that also explains the apparent reliability of our sense of hearing (by which we succesfullly navigate much of reality, and which can be demonstrated as reliable in all sorts of ways).


Here's another one :
Why do the session legends all use P basses? Here's why
(Spoiler alert : it's because producers and audio engineers love their sound that is very easy to record)

Which is consonant with the point of my arguments.

Concerning great players, I think that their sound is in their brain/body, not in their instruments. Strange isn't it ? I am a logic and science believer (social science included - for me tastes and preferences have causes) and yet here we are : me defending a humanist position, and you defending a reductionist position ;)

I'm not sure where you got that. My arguments have been anything but reductionist. They've acknowledged all sorts of differences of goals, including accepting the influence of bias, and I have been making a wholistic account for the Bigger Picture.

PS : I'm French. My english must be far far from perfect. Sorry for that.

Your English is great!

Cheers!
 

MattHooper

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(To be clear, Matt is not winning the arguments in this thread, even if he does stay in it the longest)

Oh yeah of little faith :)

I presume since you won't get to the end of my argument, you'll never actually know if that's true or not. ;)

(Not that I blame you).
 

Robbo99999

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Oh yeah of little faith :)

I presume since you won't get to the end of my argument, you'll never actually know if that's true or not. ;)

(Not that I blame you).
Well, I used to read your posts all the way to the end, but you use so many words to say ultimately nothing, and you also have a penchant for metaphors which is useless and just a ruse of understanding. I know that's pretty damning, but that is my assessment. I know I said yesterday (or was it this morning) that I don't bare grudges, and I believe that to be the case, so I'll probably start reading your posts thoroughly again sometime in the future in another thread, where the same arguments are not being beaten to death.
 

charbong

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Well, I used to read your posts all the way to the end, but you use so many words to say ultimately nothing, and you also have a penchant for metaphors which is useless and just a ruse of understanding. I know that's pretty damning, but that is my assessment. I know I said yesterday (or was it this morning) that I don't bare grudges, and I believe that to be the case, so I'll probably start reading your posts thoroughly again sometime in the future in another thread, where the same arguments are not being beaten to death.

Just curious, do you have an unlimited data plan on your home internet?
 

Plcamp

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I can't think of a better example than this thread (last 100 posts or so) to show that science, in practice, really is nothing more than a socio-political and tribal enterprise.
I suggest science is the thing that survives all that practice, because the laws of physics simply don’t care? (You may experience a delay getting there.)
 

maverickronin

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I can't think of a better example than this thread (last 100 posts or so) to show that science, in practice, really is nothing more than a socio-political and tribal enterprise.

The irony of posting this statement on the internet is so thick you can cut it with a knife.
 

MattHooper

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Another thing worth noting: despite the name of this forum, and the fact most here (like me) agree on the relevance of science to audio: many if not most of the posts and discussions here are not scientific. And also, even referencing any particular scientific study does not entail someone is making a sound argument. There can seem to be a bit of a presumption sometimes that "Because I've referenced a study, the science and facts are on my side; therefore my argument is correct." I think most of us recognize however: It actually takes analyzing the assumptions and inferences one is making from a study, in service of their argument, to see whether the case is sound or not.
 
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