The words that get bandied about in magazines, shows, demonstrations, but how do they translate into music? Some ideas, hopefully inviting comment and examples to expand my music collection.
Bass, midrange and treble can be reasonably easily described because instruments and voice have specified, measurable frequencies. In reading through the forum there are often references to hearing loss and I have seen and heard arguments that treble becomes superfluous because of this. I can recall a lecture where this was debunked with the argument that harmonics are what give instruments their characteristic sounds. So, I just looked this up and as a for instance, a double bass with a highest fundamental of 248Hz can have harmonics to 7kHz. Typically, descriptions of bass vary, I am told that I cannot listen to reggae because my system does not have bass, I can then put on a test disc where (admittedly at lower output) 27Hz can be heard and felt in my room. OK, since I had double glazing installed the windows no longer rattle, but the person that told me this had replaced the seats in the back of his car with two 15-inch woofers and 1000-watt amplifiers. Of course, there was no specification to the 1000 watts and it just went thump, thump, thump. My guess is that all contributors here will want their bass to play tunes, not pin them against a wall. Bass underpins music giving timing and rhythm, but then falling into subcategories –
Simple bass – Rebecca Pidgeon; Spanish Harlem. Mary Coughlan; I Want To Be Seduced. Applewood Road; Applewood Road. Diana Krall; Temptation.
Driving bass – just too many options so, any track from Sly and Robbie; Mambo Taxi.
Fun bass – exaggerated? funky? Sharon Shannon; Mighty Sparrow.
Then we get to the hi-fi words-
Slam – I think the traditional track was Yello; The Race. My most up to date one, Rhiannon Giddens; Waterboy
Air – Dead Can Dance; The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
Dynamics – Cantate Domino; Weihnachtslied
PRAT – when everything comes together, I sometimes want to make it PRATE, adding ensemble. The whole playing together in time, in tune etc. My standout point in upgrading was when Weihnachten from Cantate Domino stopped being a jumble of notes and made sense. Just an organ solo!
At which point, I stop and ask for your words and your tracks…..