30 August 2006

Artificial Acoustics

Had the pleaure of taking in a marimba recital by Nathaniel Bartlett yesterday. He has a very interesting and surprisingly (to me) successful system of creating the iilusion of a larger concert hall. Four speakers are set up surrounding the audience; mics pick up the sound of the instrument, which goes to a computer; the computer adds the reverb and the next thing you know, you're in a large, reverberant room. At first, I thought to myself "How gimmicky" but it actually worked VERY well. Perhaps tuba players will be stealing this technique in the near future as our instruments are also made to sound ideal in larger, more reverberant spaces than are often available. Aside from matters of acoustics, it bears mentioning that Mr. Bartlett showed himself to be a fine player and very intelligent speaker.

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