March is slowly approaching its end, and this reminds me that for quite some time I haven’t written anything in this blog. The reason is simple, not much is happening here, though some interesting bits are circulating in my emails to Biju and Peter recently. I find writing to a real person safer and easier than to an abstract audience. Writing for the general public is like wielding a two-edged sword – you never know how the effect of your writing will reflect on you. Email communication is enjoyable, but it is a private thing, and there is not much left for you, dear reader.
I have to confess I was growing impatient lately, counting the days left until the opening of the main audio event in northern Germany – Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage. The fact that the city I live in hosts the second biggest audio show in Germany makes me feel lucky, because it is great opportunity, that costs basically nothing, to align one’s expectations and internal reference to what is considered top-notch in terms of audio reproduction nowadays.
Today I would like to talk about a method for adjusting an audio system with the help of recorded natural sounds. Why natural sound recordings? There are several reasons but the aim is to lighten the process of referring to real life acoustical events. First point is that such records are carried out in an open space – somewhere in the woods or in the fields – which means that they are stripped of any room resonances and reverberations. Though close miked studio recordings also strip most of the environmental acoustic artefacts, resonances and reverberations inherent to the musical instruments themselves might overlap with reverberation modes of the reproduction space, which become relatively hard to distinguish.
It all started with the love for music. We didn’t have proper audio back at these communist times in the 80s, which were dominated by cheap Russian transistor electronics. I was introduced to what should have been an advanced audio system in the home of my teacher where I was taking drawing lessons together with a bunch of other kids. The room in the old house was brightly lit and we were all staring at the still life arranged in front of us.
Today I would like to talk about the backbone of my system – the rack, this sacred place where all the electronic components are placed. Some of you might ask what is the difference between a regular lowboard one can obtain in every furniture shop and a HiFi rack made especially for audio applications. In order to comprehend the difference one should first realise what a tremendous impact vibrations have on audio reproduction.