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Old 23rd February 2011, 05:44 PM   #10101
wrinkle is offline wrinkle  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by scott wurcer View Post
Fewer of those than you think.
Housewives? or commercial free?
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Old 23rd February 2011, 05:58 PM   #10102
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Housewives? or commercial free?
Good question. At least I would say there are probably very few housewives reading BTII.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 06:06 PM   #10103
pooge is offline pooge  United States
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Good question. At least I would say there are probably very few housewives reading BTII.
Guess you didn't understand the initial quip.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 06:18 PM   #10104
jlsem is offline jlsem  United States
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Originally Posted by Soundminded View Post
Beranek didn't say which way. Definitely an issue though because halls can sound audibly quite different under different circumstances. Many halls have adjustable baffles and banners which can also be used to control acoustics.

Beranek has a link to his paper on his web site in which he compares 59 concert halls using 20 measured parameters and the opinions of "golden eared" conductors and other afficionados of live music as to their relative ranking and opinions of each. In the paper he tries to find a correlation between what he measured and the preferences of the golden ears. No individuals were familiar with all of the halls, probably most if not all with only a fraction of them. They are all over the world. The number one correlation was what he calls "BQI" or binaural quality index. This is equal to 1-IACC where IACC is interaural cross correlation. BQI is a measure of the stereophonicity of the sound. The second highest correlation factor was bass response.

Personally I prefer to listen in an empty hall because there is more reverberation. I've admitted that I am a reverb freak and have always loved listening to sound in highly reverberant rooms even if they do at times blur definition. That is one reason why I find the sound of most recordings absolutely dead compared to live music. The best way to hear music in an empty hall is to find a way to get into rehearsals in the main hall. Another is to attend concerts when 24 inches of snow have just fallen on the ground and the concert wasn't cancelled.

BTW, Beranek made this comment during his Guggenheim lecture in 2001 at the mechanical engineering department at Georgia Tech. I'm afraid it's been removed from their web site. I must have watched it at least a dozen times. An excellent quick tutorial about concert halls and music.
Thanks for the information. The paper on 58 halls is very interesting, but one wonders how a conductor can be an accurate judge of the quality of the hall when presumably he spends all of his time at the podium. It would be nice to believe that a conductor comes to a hall and carefully at some leisure finds a suitable listening position and evaluates the quality of the hall. Certainly he is unable to evaluate a hall comprehensively because in any hall, every section is different. Obviously conductors do spend some time at a hall to listen to another orchestra and conductor for his own entertainment, but with such schedules as they usually have I wouldn't think this happens very often. Any good conductor has a full schedule and when not working with his own orchestra he usually jets into a city on a Monday or Tuesday, then rehearses that Tuesday and Wednesday a few hours for performances on Thursday through Sunday.

So, although it is romantic to believe the best judge of a hall would be the professional conductor in fact the real answer is the (gasp) aficionado, who is usually an amateur enthusiast, sometimes a professional reviewer and (egad) often an audiophile. I have only limited experiences with other halls outside of Dallas but I have some friends who have worldwide experience and rate Russian halls among the best. This not surprising considering the amount of important work done in acoustics by Soviet designers. Keep in mind that in the last fifty years no country has taken classical music and performance more seriously than the Russians and it is a shame that Beranek has left their performance halls off the list, especially the more modern ones.

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Old 23rd February 2011, 07:17 PM   #10105
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There's an interesting (I think) thing with Concert Halls. When I did my interview with Vandenhul, he said that he can recognize in which hall a recording has been made. Each hall has a characteristic acoustic that carries over into a (good) recording. BUT, he said, if the conductor for the recording is a conductor who is not often playing in that hall, it is much more difficult to recognize the venue. The casual conductor is less able to find the 'right way to play the hall' so as to exploit its strengths.
We didn't discuss this further and I didn't press it so I don't know whether this is a common feeling under the experts, but I thought it was interesting.

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Old 23rd February 2011, 08:02 PM   #10106
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In the liner notes of Boulez's recording of Bruckner's 8th, Pierre shows his understanding of the venue acoustics in the Abbey Church of St. Florian.

The buildings are enclosed. Obviously, there are variations in response with nodes and reflections. However, on average there is only like 5 to 6 dB difference front to back.


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Last edited by johnferrier; 23rd February 2011 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 08:51 PM   #10107
jlsem is offline jlsem  United States
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Yes, there is a great deal more preparation in that respect where a recording is concerned.

john
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Old 23rd February 2011, 08:59 PM   #10108
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Soundminded, in Beranek's book, can you find the phrase 'From the first tutti ... ' Then mention to us what concert hall he was referring to? Hint: Now, it is Avery Fisher Hall.
Then we can talk about subjective impressions.

Last edited by john curl; 23rd February 2011 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 09:25 PM   #10109
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Avery Fisher Hall now has a bad acoustics, from what I've heard. My dad told me they plan to build the New York Philharmonic a new hall, but the recession has held it up. Just looked up on Wiki:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia - Avery Fisher Hall
The acoustical consulting firm of Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN) was hired to design the interior acoustics for the hall. Based on their experience designing and analyzing existing concert halls, BBN acousticians recommended that the hall be designed as a "shoebox" with narrowly-spaced parallel sides (similar in shape to the acoustically-acclaimed Symphony Hall, Boston), with seating for no more than 2,400 patrons. Lincoln Center initially agreed with the recommendation, and BBN provided a series of design specifications and recommendations. However, the New York Herald Tribune began a campaign to increase the seating capacity of the new hall. Late in the design stage, the hall was redesigned to accommodate the critics' desires, but these changes invalidated much of BBN's acoustical design.[1] BBN engineers told Lincoln Center that the hall would sound different from how they had intended it to, but they could not predict what the changes would do.

Philharmonic Hall opened on September 23, 1962, to mixed reviews.
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Last edited by Johnloudb; 23rd February 2011 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 09:31 PM   #10110
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Actually my dad says that Avery Fisher Hall was always considered a disappointment.
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