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Music for Testing Treble (High Frequency) Sound

bachatero

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the CD versions I now have in my collection sound raw and grainy.
I only have the CD versions and was wondering about that too after seeing "digitally restored" on the cover. After ripping the files and importing them into a spectral analyzer, it appears as though they originally converted them to a 16kHz bandwidth digital recording, then basically copied and pasted the violin harmonics into the 16+kHz region to make a "22kHz" recording.
 
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dualazmak

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dualazmak

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Under the context of "multiple transient harmonic tones in high frequency zones", the sound of lute has a kind of similarity with harpsichord.

Throughout my long years of enthusiasm in classical music and Hi-Fi audio, I have always deeply loved lute music, and within ASR Forum I have been hosting an independent thread entitled "Lute Music and Other Early Music: Stunning Recordings We Love".

The reproduction of stunning recordings of lute music, therefore, is always one of the major targets in my DSP-based multichannel multi-SP-driver multi-amplifier active audio project (ref. here for the latest setup).

In this post, I would like to share only one of such stunning recording-quality lute tracks which I use for tuning and checking of my audio system; Rolf Lislevand (baroque lute) plays "La Psyché in A Minor by Jaques GALLOT", track-11 of solo lute album "La Belle Homicide" E 8880 Naïve (Astrée). Since the sound quality of this YouTube video clip would not be optimal (depending on your web browsing environments), I highly recommend you to purchase the CD album (or HiRes downloadable album, if available).

I analyzed the purchased CD's track-11 by 3D color spectrum (gain/Fq/time) of Adobe Audition 3.0.1 for visual observation;
WS00006706.JPG

(ref. here.)
By looking at this 3D spectrum, you may easily understand what I mean by saying "nice challenge to our audio system".

Now, I need to repeat the last two paragraphs of my post #17 described on harpsichord sound again on this lute sound, as follows...

We definitely need not only excellent HiFi tweeters and super-tweeters but also optimal XO (including overlap) between all the SP drivers, phase continuity, 0.1 msec precision time alignment, suitable relative gains (tone control), perfect L&R balance, and so on.

Once you could establish best/optimal tuning of all the factors in your audio system (including room acoustics), this track could "Wow!" and "deeply amaze" you with perfect disappearance (illusion?) of all the SP drivers.
 
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pavuol

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Does it qualify for this thread? :)

The All Star Percussion Ensemble - Canon & Gigue in D Major, P. 37: Canon (Arr. H. Farberman for Percussion Ensemble)
[Bizet, Beethoven, Pachelbel & Berlioz: Works Arranged for Percussion Ensemble]
.. was featured also in the "Audiophile Reference IV" sampler

 

Aynsley

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I only have the CD versions and was wondering about that too after seeing "digitally restored" on the cover. After ripping the files and importing them into a spectral analyzer, it appears as though they originally converted them to a 16kHz bandwidth digital recording, then basically copied and pasted the violin harmonics into the 16+kHz region to make a "22kHz" recording.
Thank you for that surprising insight into the digital processing of Grumiaux' 1961 recording of Bach's works for solo violin.

I had no idea such shifting of violin harmonics was possible. It does, however, provide a convincing explanation for the poor quality of the 'remastered' CDs.
 

Aynsley

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In this post, I would like to share only one of such stunning recording-quality lute tracks which I use for tuning and checking of my audio system; Rolf Lislevand (baroque lute) plays "La Psyché in A Minor by Jaques GALLOT", track-11 of solo lute album "La Belle Homicide" E 8880 Naïve (Astrée). Since the sound quality of this YouTube video clip would not be optimal (depending on your web browsing environments), I highly recommend you to purchase the CD album (or HiRes downloadable album, if available).
Thank you, yet again, for introducing an artist and an album with which I was unfamiliar.

The recording is, indeed, excellent, but I couldn't help noticing the presence of extraneous sounds. I know that it's almost impossible to place microphones so that the squeaky sound of fingers sliding up and down strings is minimized. In this recording those sounds are, if anything, more pronounced than in other lute music recordings in my collection. I can also hear creaking noises that might have come from the artist shifting on his chair.

Could it be that recordings of this high quality bring out such 'natural' sounds?
 
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dualazmak

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Does it qualify for this thread? :)

The All Star Percussion Ensemble - Canon & Gigue in D Major, P. 37: Canon (Arr. H. Farberman for Percussion Ensemble)
[Bizet, Beethoven, Pachelbel & Berlioz: Works Arranged for Percussion Ensemble]
.. was featured also in the "Audiophile Reference IV" sampler


Thank you for your sharing the link to the unique YouTube clip.

I listened to it using my audio setup (in high and medium total gains), and also quickly analyzed the audio layer by Adobe Audition 3.0.1 and MusicScope 2.1.0 (after extracting audio into 48 kHz 24 bit AIFF PCM using JRiver MC 31);
WS00006710.JPG


WS00006711.JPG


Yes, I agree with you that this track, even just heard and analyzed the YouTube clip, is well fit for the perspectives of this thread!
 
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dualazmak

dualazmak

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Thank you, yet again, for introducing an artist and an album with which I was unfamiliar.

The recording is, indeed, excellent, but I couldn't help noticing the presence of extraneous sounds. I know that it's almost impossible to place microphones so that the squeaky sound of fingers sliding up and down strings is minimized. In this recording those sounds are, if anything, more pronounced than in other lute music recordings in my collection. I can also hear creaking noises that might have come from the artist shifting on his chair.

Could it be that recordings of this high quality bring out such 'natural' sounds?

Thank you for your impression and points on the specific lute solo track/album.

I essentially agree with you; in terms of "musicality" of lute recording, I too feel the microphone position (too close to the lutenist) and direction (picking-up too much finger-sliding, etc.) would not be optimal, even though the track is suitable for tuning and checking of our audio system.

I assume you and me would be more comfortable listening to the solo lute recordings like these YouTube clips;;) (ref. here.)
Great lutenist David Taylor from Voices of Music plays lute pieces of J.S. Bach (a little bit of too much hall reverberation, though?):

 
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dualazmak

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Faint but crystalline clear/transparent participation of glissando tones of "wind chimes" (even synthetic or real) in excellent recordings of popular and/or smooth jazz music often give us very much refreshing and heart-ease feelings; these are also nice challenge to our tweeters and super-tweeters (as well as to our ears and brain), and tuning thereof.
WS00006718.JPG


Let me share just one such easy-listening track containing faint but charming and crystal-clear wind chime tones from my digital library; Peter White (guitar) "My Prayer" track-7 of album "Perfect Moment" CK69013 Columbia Records - SONY. you can hear it on YouTube;

As you can easily understand, this track is also a great challenge simultaneously to your (our) sub-woofers!;)
 
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dualazmak

dualazmak

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Excellent recording tracks of huge pipe organ in magnificent cathedral/church are frequently quoted/referred as sample/reference for bass sound (down to 16 Hz - 37 Hz sub-woofer zone) for our audio system tuning and check; many of them, however, simultaneously have very high frequency keynote pipe tones and their higher harmonic tones very suitable for testing and tuning of the sounds covered by tweeters and super-tweeters.

Here, I would like to emphasize that we can check and tune the high frequency reproduction of the pipe organ sound which played/recorded simultaneously with rich low frequency sound to be covered by sub-woofers, woofers and midrange squawkers, in terms of suitable XO frequency and filter slopes, phase continuity (0.1 mse time plaginmnet), relative gain balance between the SP drivers (tone control), perfect L&R gain balance, preferable transient behaviors, etc.

In this context, it would be very nice if you (we) have safe and flexible "solo" and "mute" controls in each of the output channels for multiple SP drivers including L-channel-only and R-channel-only. Just for example, I use system-wide DSP Center EKIO in my PC, and its flexible "Solo / Mute" buttons (can be pushed by mouse cursor) in all output channels gives on-the-fly (while listening to a music track) flexible selection/combination of any of the SP drivers; such as sub-woofers + tweeters, tweeters only, L-tweeters only, R-supertweeters only, L+R sub-woofers only (foot keyboard actions!), all the 10 SP drivers together, and so on. Just for your reference, in my DSP-based multichannel multi-SP driver multi-amplifier system (ref. here for the latest setup), I use five (5) SP drivers (subwoofer, woofer, midrange squawker, tweeter and super-tweeter) in each of the R and L channels, so total ten (10) SP drivers available.

Let me share in this post just one of such excellent recording-quality pipe organ tracks very much suitable for intensive tuning/checking of all the SP drivers and total sound quality of our audio system.

In this stunning performance and recording, Ton Koopman plays huge pipe organ at Waalse Kerk in Amsterdam, J.S. Bach Trio Sonata #2 in C Minor BWV526 3rd mov. Allegro, digitally recorded in 1982, track-6 of the remastered CD release of DG 447 277-2 ARCHIV. You can hear it on YouTube;

I analyzed the specific CD track by 3D color spectrum of Adobe Audition 3.0.1, and I also analyzed it by MusicScope 2.1.0 as follows;
WS00006728.JPG


WS00006727.JPG


By hearing the YouTube clip (even though the sound quality would not be optimal depending on your web browsing/hearing environment) and looking at these spectrum, I assume you can easily understand what I mean in this post under the perspectives of this thread.
 
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Aynsley

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In this stunning performance and recording, Ton Koopman plays huge pipe organ at Waalse Kerk in Amsterdam, J.S. Bach Trio Sonata #2 in C Minor BWV526 3rd mov. Allegro, digitally recorded in 1982, track-6 of the remastered CD release of DG 447 277-2 ARCHIV. You can hear it on YouTube;
I have a few versions of that Trio Sonata in my collection, but not this one. I don't think I've ever heard the Waalse Kerk pipe organ before. It's a truly magnificent instrument. Even on YouTube the rumble of the bass notes and the complex tones of the reed pipes come through very clearly. I wonder if this is the result of the remastering.
 
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dualazmak

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I have a few versions of that Trio Sonata in my collection, but not this one. I don't think I've ever heard the Waalse Kerk pipe organ before. It's a truly magnificent instrument. Even on YouTube the rumble of the bass notes and the complex tones of the reed pipes come through very clearly. I wonder if this is the result of the remastering.

Thank you for your positive comment!
You can find the brief story of this stunning performance and recording in my post #641 and in the bottom portion of my post here #688 on my project thread.

Very much interestingly, the excellent digital recording of stunning performance of Ton Koopman was done in May 1982 by ARCHIV, but the very first release was in 2-LP set album which I purchased in 1984 or 1985; I believe this LP album still is one of the best sound-quality LPs so far produced and it is my treasure, as you may agree. We definitely need top-grade HiFi LP player plus MC cartridge as well as excellent phono-stage amplifier for perfect playback of the LPs.

The magnificent pipe organ at the Oude Walem Kerk Amsterdam (usually called Waals Kerk) was built in 1734 by Christian Müller. The largest pipe is 16" in 37 32 Hz. Very fortunately, I once attended Koopman's organ recital there, so I know "the sound of that pipe organ in the Church" by my ears and brain as well as by my body and brain.

I have been waiting for long years for remastered CD release of this six trio sonata performance/recording in one CD, and I finally got it in used market (in perfect shape) in 2012; this CD is one of the ARCHIV remastered series. I believe the sound quality of the remastered CD is as excellent as its original LP release, even though the CD release does not have the wonderful six Schübler-Choräle BWV645-650 which were included in the original 2-LP album;
WS00006731.JPG
 
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dualazmak

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Hello again, @Aynley,

A little bit out of the scope of this thread...

Do you know David Sanger's Bach Trio Sonata CD album (CDE 84209 Meridian) on a rather small pipe organ (The Frobenius organ at Kingston Parish Church, Surrey)?

I also love his authentic (to me) rhythm and steady performance, and the quality of recording;
WS00006730.JPG
 
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Aynsley

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The magnificent pipe organ at the Oude Walem Kerk Amsterdam (usually called Waals Kerk) was built in 1734 by Christian Müller. The largest pipe is 16" in 37 Hz. Very fortunately, I once attended Koopman's organ recital there, so I know "the sound of that pipe organ in the Church" by my ears and brain as well as by my body and brain.

It must have been an unforgettable experience. When I was living in London I attended the Wednesday afternoon organ recitals at the Royal Festival Hall, and heard some of the greatest organists of the day, but I never had the opportunity to listen to organ music in a church setting.

I often wonder how sound engineers cope with the acoustic environments of churches. I suspect that each of the great churches and cathedrals has a different acoustic signature requiring meticulous placement of microphones.

My gold standard for Bach's organ works has always been Helmut Walcha's recordings from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. He favoured the organ in Kirsche Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune, Straßburg, and the Frans Caspar Schnitger organ in the St. Laurenkirk, Alkmaar. The quality of the recordings is unfortunately variable. I don't know if it's possible to 'remaster' analogue recordings of that era.
 

Aynsley

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Hello again, @Aynley,

A little bit out of the scope of this thread...

Do you know David Sanger's Bach Trio Sonata CD album (CDE 84209 Meridian) on a rather small pipe organ (The Frobenius organ at Kingston Parish Church, Surrey)?

I also love his authentic (to me) rhythm and steady performance, and the quality of recording;

Yet another outstanding recording that I'd never heard of until you kindly introduced it. The depth and breadth of your knowledge of fine musc is extraordinary.

I found a copy of this album on the Apple Music streaming service but was disappointed to find that it's not available in lossless format. Despite the lossy format, I was able to enjoy Sanger's interpretation which, as you note, is rhythmical and steady. I much prefer such interpretations of Bach's work. Artists are at liberty to vary tempo and ornamentation, but I find they distract from the elegant beauty of Bach's music.
 
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dualazmak

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I much prefer such interpretations of Bach's work. Artists are at liberty to vary tempo and ornamentation, but I find they distract from the elegant beauty of Bach's music.

Yes, I fully agree with you.:) It looks we have same preference and respects for Bach's music.
 

Aynsley

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I was able to find several near-mint copies of the Koopman Trio Sonatas through Discogs, and purchased one from a very helpful German vendor. It arrived yesterday and I'm enjoying the music and the recording.

While I was waiting for the disc to arrive, I spent some time listening to other recordings of Bach’s organ works, looking out for ones that were able to capture some very high (and low) frequencies. The closest to the acoustic signature of the Koopman Trio Sonatas are some of those in Marie-Claire Alain's Johann Sebastian Bach: Complete Works for Organ on the Erato label. The analogue recordings were made between 1978 and 1980 on instruments in Switzerland, Denmark, and France. The ones most closely resembling the instrument used by Koopman were played on the Schwenkedel organ, Collégiale de Saint-Donat, Drôme, France.

I have only limited knowledge of the mechanisms of pipe organs, and probably couldn't distinguish pipes made of different alloys, or wooden pipes, or pipes with vibrating reeds. However, both the Koopman recordings that you kindly introduced, and the Schwenkedel recordings made by Alain, are wonderfully rich in complex harmonics that sound somehow 'reedy' to me.

Would it be possible to begin a discussion in this thread of the effect of hall acoustics on recordings of piano music? Perhaps another thread would be more appropriate. Your advice would be much appreciated.
 
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dualazmak

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I was able to find several near-mint copies of the Koopman Trio Sonatas through Discogs, and purchased one from a very helpful German vendor. It arrived yesterday and I'm enjoying the music and the recording.

While I was waiting for the disc to arrive, I spent some time listening to other recordings of Bach’s organ works, looking out for ones that were able to capture some very high (and low) frequencies. The closest to the acoustic signature of the Koopman Trio Sonatas are some of those in Marie-Claire Alain's Johann Sebastian Bach: Complete Works for Organ on the Erato label. The analogue recordings were made between 1978 and 1980 on instruments in Switzerland, Denmark, and France. The ones most closely resembling the instrument used by Koopman were played on the Schwenkedel organ, Collégiale de Saint-Donat, Drôme, France.

I have only limited knowledge of the mechanisms of pipe organs, and probably couldn't distinguish pipes made of different alloys, or wooden pipes, or pipes with vibrating reeds. However, both the Koopman recordings that you kindly introduced, and the Schwenkedel recordings made by Alain, are wonderfully rich in complex harmonics that sound somehow 'reedy' to me.
Very nice to hear your above comments and information!

Would it be possible to begin a discussion in this thread of the effect of hall acoustics on recordings of piano music? Perhaps another thread would be more appropriate. Your advice would be much appreciated.
Also nice and exciting suggestion; first you would please visit my post here #590 on my project thread;
- Excellent Recording Quality Music Albums/Tracks for Subjective (and Possibly Objective) Test/Check/Tuning of Multichannel Multi-Driver Multi-Way Multi-Amplifier Time-Aligned Active Stereo Audio System and Room Acoustics; at least a Portion and/or One Track being Analyzed by Color Spectrum of Adobe Audition in Common Parameters: [Part-02] Solo Piano Music: #590

Since I have been already hosting several threads including my intensive audio project thread, I would highly appreciate if you yourself could start such new thread under the category of General Audio Discussions or Reference Quality Music.:D
 
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