[log in to unmask] schrieb:
> ----- Original Message -----
>The information available to any
> third-party observer is a summary of what the listening party
> THINKS he/she/it hears; as such, it is of limited value in a
> scientific sense.
> Steven C. Barr

You are completely right with this statement as seen from a scientific
point of view.

On the other hand this scientific view at least partially misses our
objective. We are, or should be, dealing with - hopefully recorded -
sound and not with its technical representation. At least that should
ideally be, what we are cumulating in our libraries. We only use the
representation, because this is the best we can achieve. One might even
argue, that the original sound only exists in the listener's ears and so
does a replay of its technical reproduction.

Thus there are indeed two separate lines of investigation and two
separate ways of gaining additional knowledge:
There is the scientific quest for the best possible representation of
sound by technical means and there is sound itself, which defies
scientific treatment, because it is impossible to treat sound
scientifically without using a electronic - or any other human-free -
representation of it.

In other words: We are dealing with something, which we want to preserve
for posterity, but which only really existed during its creation.
Anything we do depends on our ears and minds as well as it depended on
the ears and minds of the players and those, who recorded it.

It is of course our first obligation to do anything we can to make a
representation of a performance as accurate as possible and this can
only be done with scientific means applied to all parts of the
recording, preservation and replay processes. Even if one can only
measure, what one wants - or expects - to measure.

Anything else has to be left to the device for which any sound was
meant, the ear. No serious judgment made with this instrument should be
dismissed. Even if the results are not quantifiable, we must consider
them real, because there is no way of falsification.

I do not want to start any 'flame wars' or any needless self-repeating
discussion about basic facts or decisions, but I want to make a clear
distinction between the technical processes involved in recording and
playback and the decidedly non-technical and non-scientific processes
involved in listening to/using/understanding any sound, which must
define how we think of it and how we measure its technical


U. Sieveking