Musical Fallacies

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by bostjan, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    238
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    Not here
    I love how his complaint starts with onomatopoeia. Like, he acknowledges that it's the 60/120 Hz mains noise you encounter in the US - But if it isn't Homer Simpson going "Hmmmm", then it should be called "hiss" or "noise"; and not "hum"...even if it's still a 60/120 Hz tone? For me, it's more of a "buzz" - Specifically, Kevin McCallister's older brother.


    [​IMG]

    And what of the 50 Hz hiss/noise/buzz/nothum other countries encounter?
     
    Leviathus likes this.
  2. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Really? I've never actually encountered it in the wild (again, other than with grounding problems or bad filter caps).

    I guess I was wrong! Carry on, then.

    Edit: I've got no problem with the word, "hum". I know what 60/120 sounds like - it sounds like hum, but you can call it whatever you want. I just have never honestly heard it from a guitar amp coming from anything other than the amp itself. So naturally I assumed nobody else did either.

    But maybe my understanding of 60 cycle him is wrong. Is are there more frequencies in the signal than the 60 fundamental and the 120 hz from the rectification? I suppose you end up with a saw wave - esque shape after rectifying, so that's gonna be more complex than just two frequencies. Hmm. Learn something new every day I guess.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  3. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    (double post)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    12,276
    Likes Received:
    683
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    [​IMG]

    FFT of mains hum.
     
  5. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Picture doesn't work but I looked it up. Wow. So maybe what I have always assumed was random radio/wifi/lighting noise might actually be mains hum. I always assumed it was that low drone you get with bad filter caps.
     
  6. Leviathus

    Leviathus Psychotic Monster

    Messages:
    509
    Likes Received:
    103
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Location:
    Low Earth Orbit
    lol @ buzz's gf, woof!
     
  7. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    83
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Location:
    Nowhere
    You fools, everyone knows 60 cycle hum is the result of ghost bees. True singles just constantly pick up EVPs, but all the human ghosts are drowned out by the countless dead bees filling up the afterlife.
     
  8. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    92
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    There's a concept album somewhere in there.
     
  9. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    83
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Someone get Merzbow on that.
     
  10. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

    Messages:
    3,139
    Likes Received:
    399
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    NoIL
    As I said, I wasn't the first to whip-out the degree and use the "argument from authority" fallacy. I just provided the info as counterpoint to the condescending "argument from authority" fallacy that was used.
    And that's all it shows. Different boards produce different FFTs. Big whoop. The problem is that the tonewood fanatics use it to prove that the tonewood myth is true. It doesn't show that in the least. Show me a way to map an FFT into a species of wood in that controlled experiment, and I'll say there's been progress to proving the tonewood myth. That said, identifying the species of wood in a controlled experiment like that is still a long way from saying that specific species of wood consistently and predictably produce specific tones in a finished electric guitar that are identifiable to a listener.
    My point exactly. Arguing in favor of the tonewood myth is like arguing that Chevron-branded gas produced in a Chevron plant produces a noticeable decrease in your commute time over the Chevron-branded gas produced in a Shell plant. Or that you can identify a car that used U.S. Steel over one that used imported steel as it drives by.

    Yes, with a priori knowledge that different woods are being used, people notice a difference in tone. But to claim that wood species produces a uniform, identifiable difference to a listener is a stretch.

    One classic example is the single-blind test of Stradivarius violins. They had a team of TRAINED LISTENERS listen to eight (four Stradivarius and four modern) violins and attempt to identify the Stradivarius. The success rate was 50%. Not only was the success rate equal to random guesses across the violins, but there was as many false positives as false negatives for each violin. There was not even one violin that was universally identified correctly or incorrectly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
    stevexc likes this.
  11. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

    Messages:
    3,139
    Likes Received:
    399
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    NoIL
    "Sampling rate only needs to be twice the highest frequency you want to record."

    The worst distortion of what the Nyquist Frequency really represents.

    The sampling rate needs to be twice the frequency of the highest frequency PRESENT in the signal to avoid aliasing (production of frequencies that are NOT present in the original signal), but if you low-pass and then sample at twice the highest frequency passed, you'll only get two samples per cycle of your highest frequency, and if the samples are out of phase, you'll face attenuation too boot. In fact, if you hit all the zero crossings, it can appear that there is no signal at that frequency when there actually is a large signal component.
     
  12. marcwormjim

    marcwormjim SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    238
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Location:
    Not here
    I appreciate what you're doing, but fear your understanding is wasted on their belief. No matter how convoluted the mental gymnastics of the tardwood rebuttal, it's only going to amount to "nuh-uh!" I don't know that there's any fighting that.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    12,276
    Likes Received:
    683
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    I think the main problem lies in the limited understanding of the term.

    The term "tonewood" refers to the concept that certain species resonate with different characteristics, making some species more suitable for a pleasing tone from a certain type of instrument than others.

    The predicate of the term is certainly true. Some might argue that it is not, but the experimental results posted here strongly support that idea, and the idea is firmly ingrained in our discussions here already.

    The last clause of the term is probably where you get into some heated arguments. I think with guitars, this is especially complex, since there has never really been a standard formula of materials to build a guitar. Does cedar yield a more "guitar" sound than spruce? Certainly not. But, keep in mind that the idea is not stemming from guitar building, but rather, all instrument building in general... so, a traditional violin is build a very specific way (which actually, is dissimilar from the methods Stadovarius initially employed), whereas guitar is one of the least specified instrument. There is little tradition in guitar building that goes back before the 19th century, really, which is why the violin has a spruce top with maple back and sides and ebony fingerboard and hardware, yet the classical guitar can be made of dozens of different materials and yet still be considered just as traditional.

    We get people on the extreme edges from time to time here, which I cannot support their statements neither that wood does not make any noticeable difference in tone, nor that one particular species of trees produces objectively superior tone over others.

    So, I guess, in order to have a defensible stance, it's necessary to clearly define your stance.

    But ultimately, what's the point? The only reason anyone would want to prove that rosewood makes the best fretboards would be if you were in the business of selling rosewood, and the only reason anyone would want to prove that tone is not affected at all by wood species would be trying to look smarter than everyone else who believes otherwise. I think it's perfectly fine to acknowledge that the truth is somewhere in between those two extremes, that you can make a guitar out of [insert material here], and it'll still sound pretty much like a guitar, but also that a guitar made of hard maple will sound different from a guitar made of pine.

    I think the car analogy is a little poorly fit, since cars are not built to sound a certain way, nor to reduce the amount of traffic on a morning commute. Your analogy would make more sense if the car was tested at the race track for maximum performance with different fuels. In those conditions, fuel quality and frame material would play an important role, yet any high quality fuel and high quality frame materials should work more or less equally.
     
    couverdure and laxu like this.
  14. arasys

    arasys SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    San Diego,CA
    Here's an article about Stradivarius violins I read few months ago about quality of sound and how aging process have some effect on the tone; and there's some more explanation

    "Aside from the performance of the musician, the quality of the sound can be affected by the rigidity of the connections between bridge and the panels, the shape and size of the panels and the material they are composed of. "


    https://phys.org/news/2016-12-scientists-uncover-stradivarius-violins-special.html


    "you can't start playing electric guitar if you don't know how to play acoustic" always been my least favorite when I started playing.
     
  15. ElRay

    ElRay Mostly Harmless

    Messages:
    3,139
    Likes Received:
    399
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Location:
    NoIL
    This probably is a better analogy. An unrealistic, overly simplified, not really testing what needs to be measured experiment (fuel economy of a vehicle on a racetrack) being used to justify a seemingly related measurement (total weekly expenditure for retail fuel purchases).
    Here I'll slightly refine, and disagree. Yes, selling "toanwood" to justify a higher price, corksniffery over what you've purchased, or brand loyalty, etc., has a value to the people that refuse to understand reality and continue to believe the myth. It also gives people a way to justify opinions, or supply a seemingly simple answer for a complex and variable issue. As for those that disagree, it's not trying look smarter, it's more of a lack of tolerance for BS passed as fact. Ignoring BS spread as fact has gotten us the sharp increase in creationists, anti-vaxers, flat-earthers, moon-landing deniers, free energy, 'A' should equal 432 Hz., Dr. Oz supporters, BS justification of anti-LGBTQ politics and Trump in office. Even on more mundane levels, how many people think Columbus proved the world was round, or that water goes down the drain in the other direction south of the equator, or think that tremolo tailpieces actually do tremolo?
    Again, something that seems to make sense, and has a HUGE amount of a priori knowledge that leads to conformation bias, but doesn't hold up to reality. When trained experts can't identify Stradivarius violins better than random chance, and they can't even agree on which ones sound like or don't sound like Stradivarius violins, the claim not only hasn't been proven, it's been demonstrated false. It's back to "That can't be a basswood guitar, it doesn't sound like crap." and "That's can't be mahogany, it's too bright." and "Wow, that's an Alder body? I usually don't like alder." statements.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  16. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

    Messages:
    2,397
    Likes Received:
    146
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Washington
    GOT A SISTER!? RUFF RUFF!

    Extra points awarded if you know the reference.
     
  17. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    161
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    china
    wait are we doing tone wood again.
     
  18. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    75
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    Location:
    MT
    This may have been touched on already, but "Tube amps must be cranked to sound good." Or, "A 100 watt tube halfstack is way too much volume for home use."

    This isn't the 70's anymore. Modern high gain amps rely almost completely on preamp gain. My 6505 and 6505+ sound amazing at low volumes.

    Also, the trend in mini-heads that can be reduced to 1-5 watts for "bedroom" playing with "better tone." A lot of these heads are designed with metal playing in mind, and truthfully don't sound better than a high-watt version simply turned down to the same volume level.
     
  19. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    42
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Location:
    Helsinki
    I agree. This depends a lot on the amp in question though. For example pick something like most Marshalls and they still sound best cranked somewhere around 5-6, which is not suitable for anything but arena gigs. There are better master volume designs but often they are not found in more mainstream amps. Metal amps are the exception because they are heavily based on a clean poweramp and tons of preamp gain.

    I don't like the mini heads because I feel that they have a low end that is pretty flubby. The higher wattage amps even when turned down have more punch and clarity. Power tube type surely plays its part here as most low wattage amps are 6V6/EL84 and higher powered ones EL34/6L6 or variants of those.
     
  20. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

    Messages:
    4,817
    Likes Received:
    1,611
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    "You can play such-and-such scale over such-and-such key and all the notes will sound good".

    Not a blatant fallacy, but a misleading over-simplification. Some notes of the scale will clash with some chords in the key. In the C major scale you have 1/2 steps between E and F as well as B and C. You can do some damage if you land on an F note over an Em chord, or a C note over a G chord. So knowing your arpeggios is a good idea, even if you're an adult and don't plan to use them for sweeping.
     

Share This Page