THE BEAUTIFUL and TRAVELLING SOUND: new spectrum analyzer by LUCCHI

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by vitoliuzzi, Feb 12, 2010.


  1. vitoliuzzi

    vitoliuzzi

    Dec 7, 2003
    South Italy
    Dear Collegues,
    it has been quite difficult for me to find the correct place where to talk about this new software created by maestro Giovanni Lucchi, the famous italian bow maker. I hope this can be the right one.
    I would like to listen to your opinion, because I don't know if to buy it or not!!
    Well, Mr. Lucchi, who is also a researcher in the matter of the quality of sound, has created a software that you can see here:
    that is a sort of spectrum analyzer of your sound.
    It seems very easy to use, but the results should be incredible.

    I have thought. This software allows me, in example, to see on my PC the quality of my sound in the different frequencies. The qualities of harmoniques and if my back sound is good or not. Than, I might compare the quality of sound of a double bass with another one, because it's simple to understand and see through the spectrum which is the one that produces more harmoniques respect to the basic line.

    But, I think, that with this software I might solve the question with the choose of a bow. In example MR. Lucchi use an instrument to calculate how the sound travels in a pernambucco wood, so to have the real possibility of that wood to be a good or optimum bow. But now, with this new software that calculates also the back sound, I can compare two or more bows and understand wich one produces the best sound and the more travelling one.

    I'm not an expert, but I think that if the software allows me to understand also when I'm producing a good sound rich of harmoniques in a estimated frequencies, surely I will have a better result than my ear (that remains always the better solution) to understand a question: Vito, now your sound is full and well travels.

    I stop here. But my answer for the forum is: do you think Lucchi's spectrum analyzer is an incredible method of analyze our sound (based on Math equations), or one must think that only his own ear its the better thing?

    Thanks in advance.

    Vito Liuzzi
     
  2. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I was unable to see the video. Still, as one who is quite familiar with objective measures of acoustics and the instruments and techniques used to achieve those measures, the best "devices" you can use are the two attached to the sides of your head, i.e., your ears. I strongly suggest you develop and improve your sound using them, rather than a spectrum analyzer. A spectrum analyzer can show you the relative amplitude of the frequencies that compose a sound; it cannot tell you what sounds good! Even if the software tells you what spectrum you should be aiming for, using it would cause you to end up striving for what someone else thinks sounds good. That's assuming that it even works as advertised. Even if it does, the software couldn't tell you how to change your technique to reach the goal. In my opinion, you should save your money. A teacher would be a far better idea.
     
  3. vitoliuzzi

    vitoliuzzi

    Dec 7, 2003
    South Italy
    Thank you a lot Drurb, your words are very important for me.
    If I have well understood you say it's better own ear than a software. In my italian Blog I told that there are a lot of soloistes, not only bassist players, which have a horrible sound when you listen to them near, how can I say, when you are at two meters far from the source. But when they sound in a great hall their sounds travels in an incredible way. I would like to use the software with them to understand why their sound is so beautiful when you are far. For these soloists their sound on the place probably is beautiful, let's leave apart the instrument, strings and bow. So a violinst who has the "f" at few centimeters from him might thing is sound is good, but when he is in a hall, none listens to him. For double bass this is the main problem and one day probably I will try to explain why this is so. So, Mr. Lucchi when invented his electronic instrument to measure how the sound travels in the wood, now the best liuthers use this one. What I mean! Sometimes technology helps a classical player or maker.
    A double bass in carbon fibre has got an horrible sound, but sometimes a carbon fibre bow might have a composition that allows sound to travel fastly, and you don't listen to noise produced by hairs on the string.

    I'm not right or exact. So I hope to listen to more opinions.

    Regards
    vl
     
  4. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    There is more to this than would be captured by mere long-term spectral analysis. There will be substantial variance in the spectra of different basses played by the same player. I do not see how this would be a fruitful approach.
     
  5. vitoliuzzi

    vitoliuzzi

    Dec 7, 2003
    South Italy
    It's true. But if a different player is able to play with a better sound on the same bass respect to another, the spectrum should tell you what is different. So, I think, that a sort of "imitation" should help the other bassist to have the same spectrum of the good one. Boh ...
    By the way, dear drurb, when I will have it I promise you to tell my sincere considerations.

    I really thanks a lot you for your contribution to my perplexities.

    Regards

    Vito liuzzi
     
  6. +1.
    That kind of approach is not new, and the "beauty" or "musicality" or whatever you call them are subjective impressions that cannot be analysed that way.
    I don't think it can be analysed at all, in fact.
     
  7. vitoliuzzi

    vitoliuzzi

    Dec 7, 2003
    South Italy
    But I try three different bows: I understand with my ear that the best one is the second, in example, but the spectrum tell you it's no rich of harmoniques in comparison to the first one, what do you do?:meh:

    Francois, if the asap the software I will tell you with my experiments and five bows. Three in carbon fibre (Arcus is the worst one, my God!) and two in good pernambucco.

    regards

    Vito
     
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    What do you do? You use the second bow. I'll try once more. Francois and I essentially agree, except that I believe the sound can, indeed, be analyzed. Much as my professional life involves just such measurements in another context, I believe it would be impractical to even attempt to assemble a set of objective measures that would reliably and objectively capture the nuances and important aspects of the acoustics that are important. So, in the end, it appears that Francois and I agree on this point after all.

    Consider the following. An expert player, whose sound you like, plays his bass in several different venues. I guarantee you that the long-term spectra measured in the venues will be radically different. In the end, ANY differences in sound can be described via quantitative measures. The point is that it would be impractical to assemble all you'd need to capture the relevant dimensions. That's something your ears will do for you. In addition, your brain, and even moreso that of an expert teacher, can evaluate that sound from an artistic point of view. A teacher can guide you toward what is the preferred sound and the technique used to achieve it. Long-term spectral analysis alone will miss many of the physical acoustical features of importance. To echo what I said earlier: get a teacher, forget spectral analysis. Just my (informed) opinion.
     
  9. Fortunately, drurb has a much better english than I do!
    I completely agree with him.
    I didn't mean it could not be analysed in a physical way, but in the subjective way.
    The matter is essentially aesthetic.
    Numbers and Fourier transforms are useless in that field, IMHO.
     
  10. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Indeed, I agree! Perhaps it's worth clarifying a point I made earlier. Even if you could practically capture all the relevant dimensions, all the "numbers and Fourier transforms" couldn't make an aesthetic judgment for you. I think it is folly to think that one could specify in any meaningful way what combination of values of the measures equals "good sound." Again, part of the problem is that they will vary so much across situations. Ears and an artistically savvy human brain are what is needed. :)
     
  11. Not to mention personal tastes!
    :)
     
  12. kaybass1952

    kaybass1952

    Mar 12, 2004
    Good points generally in this discussion so far but I don' think ,in his case, Vito needs a teacher.
     
  13. vitoliuzzi

    vitoliuzzi

    Dec 7, 2003
    South Italy
    Thanks a lot Kay but it's not this the main question.
    I'm not pro or contra some opinions, and I'm not pro or contra Lucchi new software. But I like to understand also through other collegues.

    In example, when I tell you that Arcus is the worst bow fibre maker in the word (expecially in comparison to quality/price),
    is because I buy an Arcus and in the first time I was positive impressed. But my ear wasn't good. When I have had to be the first to test a Lucchi one (at the same price), the differences that my ear perceived were incredible. Now, with the two bows on my hands I say: "My God, but when I bought an Arcus my ear didn't work well .... and I have lost a lot of money".

    With this software now I will make a lot of experiment. I've a scientific formation, probably It will help me.

    Now what I mean. I teach and play as soloist from almost twenty years. I know the sound I want from my students.
    These ones have an incredible "FOCALIZED SOUND" after few months they study with me. My teacher as a not so good focused sound, but it travels in a magical way. Gary has the maximum of the focused sound (one day I will explain little secrets about him) but he travel as an italian Ferrari.

    I would like to study what it's better for sound, in example: it's better to push on the string until sound doesn't break, it's better to follow the vibration of string in a way btter than another, the use of the angle hairs respet to string, what happens during vibrato and much and much more.

    I don't know if this software will help me (my brother live in Denmark as a sound technician and his spectrum analyzers are not a simple program ... but it's to far ... even if I play Fortissimo with my doublebass:crying:). But I'm sure something interesting might go out.

    Thanks to all.

    Vito Liuzzi
     
  14. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    You're correct. I should have read his profile carefully. Given his expertise, it makes it all the more futile to consult a spectrum analyzer which, at it's best, could only guide one to make the trivial distinctions between awful and acceptable sound. Even then, it would be ill-advised. For a player with a high level of expertise, the assumed subtle differences he wishes to discern will not be captured in any meaningful manner by such measures and, given that expertise, one wonders why he seeks to go beyond his ears and brain which, in this case, will be superior.

    The idea behind what you seek is admirable but the specific strategy will not be successful. It is akin to obtaining a color mapping of paintings and trying to discern which are the da Vinci's and how to create one that has the same aesthetic. It's not gonna happen! ;) The irony here is that I rely on high-level, sophisticated acoustic measures every day in my professional life and here I am arguing that you should trust and train your ear and brain. In this case, that's the appropriate choice, IMO. Far be it from me to dampen your empiricism. You can download and run free spectral analysis programs on your PC. Try it for yourself.
     
  15. vitoliuzzi

    vitoliuzzi

    Dec 7, 2003
    South Italy
    I'm sure Giovanni Lucchi is not a professional analyzer spectrum with an FFT Analyzer (based on Trasformata Veloce by Fourier) that allows you to obtain the maximum of informations. And it's always important to have got a good microphone than can capture the signal at its best level.
    My brother uses this one in Denmark.
    http://www.test-italy.com/ZoomImage.aspx?image=Advantest_R3361A-C.jpg

    Only once I used it here in Italy. Ah Ah, with my collegues we tested our instruments and bows: the analyzer captured everything (I think it begins from 9/10 hz, boh!!). But its price is much and much higher than Lucchi's one. No comparison. Surely Stradivari had a good ear or did he use marvellous materials with his secrets.
    I'm sure that if in its time he had a professional spectrum analizer he would have used it.

    Naturally, the most important thing it's to use and develope the ear of a student or a professional double bass player: this is fundamental! But when new tecnologies help you, why should not we use them.
    In the opposite case, let's return back to gut strings !!:)
    So when we play Classic we really play like in the ancient time. But our ears during the time have lost the 20% of their ability to listen. So they invented the loudness and the question was solved. In music they invented alluminium, or bronze strings and so the question was solved: but it's not the sound that people listened in the XVI century.

    Vito

    post scriptum: I think to a jazz double bass player. He can have the best double bass in all over the world but if he doesn't use a Neumann or Shoeps or a good pick up, who would be able to listen to him? But the worst thing is that an acoustical signal is converted in an analogic or digital signal, compressed and equalized.
    The future of the classical double bass, also, is in the new tecnologies. Some of the greatest classical soloist guitarist now play with amplyfier in a great hall. Michael Wolf has used a little microphone in a open-live-concert (Mosè by Bottesini). When I listen to great soloist in a big hall that plays Koussevitzky concert with great orchestra, often nones listen to the solo double bass. It's a great doubt!! I would have used an Alter Ego bass, it's not the same but all my previous work in studying would have had a reason ;-)!!
     
  16. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I'm not so sure. We have analyzers available today and I'm not aware that any luthiers use them, nor do I think they would be particularly useful.

    Again, the idea is a good one and if a practical set of measurements could be made that would help, I'd be all for it. As I've said over and over here, I don't believe that long-term spectral analysis is a measurement that would be particularly helpful.

    Edit-- You may wish to check out this free software.
     
  17. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I was searching on the web for the Lucchi carbon bows, as Lucchi has a reputation for having some of the best bows out there. Turns out that there are a number of top bow makers out there using his meter for evaluating bows. I didn't really read anything in depth, but it appears that if top bow makers are using this to meter and measurements to essentially advertise their bows, that there might be something at work here.
     
  18. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I don't doubt that one might be able to use spectral analysis for looking say, at the impulse response of a bow stick, etc. For that application, one might even achieve some success at defining a template for what will produce a good-sounding bow. For what it's worth, my comments were directed toward the broader applications explicitly mentioned by the OP.
     
  19. Ok, I apologize now in advance- it might get long.

    In the hands of a maker, software tools can MAYBE be helpful. The maker can strive for what he considers the best curve of his bow, and work on the bow until it's done. He can, IMO, use software to as much as possible eradicate variation between bows, so that the customer knows what he gets. Quality control.

    In the hands of a player, I don't see that much benefit. Most of us, we play for EARS. All of those we want to touch with our music will be touched or not touched because their EARS give them the sound, while their EYES give them the players looks, appearance, and antics, and their whole BODY responds to the vibration caused by what the player does with his instrument and bow.

    To try to use software analytically in this case opens up a whole aquarium of worms. There's just too many variables- the bow hair (a natural product with considerable variation), the bow hair tension (or who does have a tension-meter on his bow?), the amount of rosin (ultrafine weighs needed), not to speak of the humidity and its impact on the rosin, the wood of the bow, and possibly the hairs- oh, and on the bass... There are numerous other variables, I think. Even if some of those variables seem unimportant (they probably are to most EARS), the software might detect all of the effects the variables have. The result is data that doesn't help the player much. Instead, he used considerable time and energy on ruling out as many of the variables as he could think of, when the time invested could have been so much more fruitfully used in meditating, playing, and imagining the sound he wants.

    I would doubt that any great player touches me more or less deeply depending on the bow he uses. It might feel different for him, and his preferences and EARS will make him choose what feels best beforehand, but if he'd be forced to use another second-grade bow, he'd touch me as deeply.

    An example on piano is Jarrett's Koln Concert. Played on an instrument considered sub-par by the master himself- touched quite a lot of people (even though Jarrett certainly played differently because of his discontent with the instrument involved). I think the same would be true for basses and bows.

    Best

    Sidecar
     
  20. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I can't imagine Keith in a situation where he didn't find something to be discontent about.