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Re: [OT] Vivi, the Virtual Violinist, plays LilyPond music

From: Kieren MacMillan
Subject: Re: [OT] Vivi, the Virtual Violinist, plays LilyPond music
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 09:01:42 -0400

Hi James,

> do you have any reference to those recent studies?

Search Google for <study prefer mp3s berger> and you'll find the MP3 study.

> My own anecdotal evidence is that it depends on the 'depth' and how much you 
> 'study' music as a profession or significant hobby

Definitely. And -- a propos to this thread -- the average person in, say, 1850, 
who made it through "the sieve" into a musical career had a greater depth and 
more study than the average person today who does the same, because the sieve 
has larger holes ("lower barrier of entry") and is more localized (q.v., the 
waning influence of A&R reps).

> I think psychologically in this case it DOES matter what the content is and 
> the fact is some types of music suffer far less with compression than others 
> - to generalise, music that has a lot of quiet parts 'suffers' far more from 
> the music that has a constant volume where overall volume/dynamics are less 
> important.

True... Furthermore music which is less compressed and/or normalized in 
mastering suffers less from audio compression, due to its inherently more 
narrow dynamic and timbral range. I'm not saying that isn't a factor (nor was 
Berger, for example) -- I'm simply pointing out that the study attempted to 
control for content.

> Also I expect that you'd notice less compression in a piece of music if you 
> were very familiar with it simply because your brain would 'fill in' the 
> 'gaps' and compensate for the compression 'failings'.

Interesting idea… Berger definitely suggests that students who are "more 
comfortable" with compressed audio tend[ed] to prefer it more, e.g., over time 
the preference grew. Furthermore, there is evidence that many producers are now 
mastering music to ear buds, which obviously changes the sound versus other 


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