Standards, Tone, & Perception

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jondog, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    OK, here goes. I've been thinking about this for awhile. What do you think about . . .

    I do not hear some tonal differences that other people talk about, and they don't hear some differences that I tell them about.

    Your first experience with a tone, if it is positive, can set your standard, and since it was first and positive, it frequently becomes the model against which all others are compared.

    For instance, I've got a recording of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor that I got when I was young. I love it and have played it a million times -- the organ tone is deep and rich and the interpretation of the piece is both cohesive and exciting. When I hear other recordings or performances, I may enjoy them, but they rarely match my internalized standard.

    How am I supposed to know if my original recording, my standard that I love, is *really* THAT good? I could look up what other critics say about this cd, but I doubt they'd say it sets the standard for all subsequent performances. I could play it for you, but in many cases other people say they do not hear the nuances I describe (like when other musicians do not hear fine points in bass tones, like the difference between a P and a J).

    Am I better off not thinking about this stuff and just enjoying my standards? Why or why not?

    :confused: :confused:
  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Well, tone is definatley a taste. At least I believe so. I mean, that's why there's so many amp companies and why they put EQ's on amps. I'm glad we are living in a era where you can basically get any tone that you dream of. You now have a wide choice of both tube and SS, speaker size all the way from 5" to 18", all kinds of amp modeling effects, and way more brands than just Ampeg, Fender, Marshal and Acoustic. (I talk like I was actually living back then 30 years ago :D ) I don't know, as long as the tone is cutting through and not sounding like a ball of mud, I really don't care what other people think of mine. Tone's more of a personal thing. (and I can get real anal about my tone, my next head is only going to have a 3 band EQ, less time fiddiling, more time playing) I'm more interested in what someone else thinks of me as a player.

    On that note, I cannot stand the sound of boosted mids for the most part. Chances are, if a bassist uses a lot of boosted mids, I'm not going to be into their tone. Still a lot of those players and awesome and I'm still going to listen to them and give them full credit as a bassist, simply because I'm not going to let something trival like a players tone keep me from enjoying their music.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I 've had the same experience - so if I discover by accident, a particular Classical piece that I really like, I will tend to play it a lot. Then go look through reviews and try to find the best recording. But often I find that the overall "sound" of the first recording I heard has lodged in my head and I miss it, when I listen to new recordings.

    So - for example, I first discovered Walton's 1st Symphony through my local record library and it became one of my all-time favourites, so I have since bought 3 other highly recommended recordings on CD, by different orchestras/conductors.

    Now I can appreciate that these are better recordings, better playing, better conducting.....but I still sort of miss the sound of the first time I heard it!
  4. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about!

    So, was seeking out those 3 other cds really worth it?

    I like having alternate versions of songs, so I can hear different interpretations, and I guess there are times when I like versions other than the first one I bought.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - 2 of the CDs are excellent and I still play them a lot - I always buy Simon Rattle's recordings and so I had to have his version and it is now my favourite. One of the others - I primarily bought as it also included Walton's 2nd Symphony and I wanted to hear it. But this wasn't as good although it was worth hearing the other symphony.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Bottom line: it's OK to disagree with the majority. If only more people did this, we'd have a better variety of music on the radio!