Re: Balloon juice

1

And you happened upon this site...how?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:54 AM
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I'm not just going to tell you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:59 AM
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I vote we not, er, burst Ben's bubble.


Posted by: Adam Roberts | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:08 AM
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Always a heartwarming moment, when a young man has his first experience with balloon fetish porn.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:34 AM
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They're so...round....and floaty...


Posted by: salacious | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:38 AM
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OK, so I see the balloons, what's juice part? Ben? Anyone?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 6:56 AM
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Pervert!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:29 AM
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That's the part that you provide, JP.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:45 AM
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NSFW:L Naturally suitable for weekend.


Posted by: E | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 8:01 AM
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Balloons on parade!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 8:14 AM
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Chase Utley:

Chase's brillant defensive play helped lead the Phillies win their first championship in 28 years."

World fucking champion!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 8:15 AM
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I like the balloon fetish because it is so abstract, almost formalist. It's like people are an inch away from simply masturbating to a picture of a circle.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:35 AM
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12: Real mathematicians are category fetishists.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:00 AM
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Mathematics will not be truly free until the last category theorist is strangled with the guts of the last algebraic geometer.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:21 AM
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Playboy has developed a Playmate fetish generator. They'll never have to hire another model again -- you just have to input fetish parameters and then tweak the output a little.

It writes the autobiographies too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:27 AM
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What's bizarre to me is how absolutely tame this fetish is. I can think of at least three ways that balloon fetishism could be turned incredibly dirty (and, frankly, a lot more interesting). Maybe I just miss the point entirely, and this is one of those things like want to dress up as a little girl and be cuddled, but I just can't see what taboos are being explored here.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:35 AM
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Here's a dude talking about how to find women who are into the fetish:

It can be terribly frustrating to have a girlfriend that doesn't like balloons or doesn't want to do any balloon stuff with you. I have always made it a point to introduce balloons into the relationship very early on to see if balloons were going to be a problem or not. I have had mostly success with introducing balloon stuff to girlfriends, but I did have a couple of noteworthy failures.

A good first step is to give her a balloon bouquet. You can generally tell whether or not she likes balloons from how she reacts to that. To see how she handles popping balloons, try giving her a "love letter" or some type of small gift that is inside an inflated balloon. This way you can observe how she handles popping. You should continue doing more and more things that involve balloons. Use your imagination. The general attitude I saw was that looning was a bit odd, but it is fun too.

Is that really the way to do it? I mean, if you give her a balloon and she starts licking it and moaning, you know you've met another 'looner' (apparently that's the term), but it can't happen that often.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:52 AM
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6: ask John Cole.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 10:53 AM
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I think it's pretty obvious that loonerism is not actually about "sex" in a lot of ways. "Oh look! She's delighted by small toys and notes hidden in balloons!" I think that's more evidence that your girlfriend is a five-year-old than that balloons get her aroused.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:16 AM
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'looner' (apparently that's the term)

It took me a while to figure that out. At first I was thinking, ok, so these women are all ... Canadians? Perhaps?

I think that's more evidence that your girlfriend is a five-year-old than that balloons get her aroused

SatanPolymorphous perversity is real, AWB. Lots of crazy shit is about sex.

I was shown (not came across) this when, last night, I was reading aloud from Nancy Bauer's piece in N+6, "Pornutopia", and she referred to the titanomachia being waged between those who get off on the sudden "pop" of an expiring (literally! A balloon expires more literally than people do!) balloon, and their opponents from time immemorial, who hold that the most erotic moment comes when the balloon has been inflated just to the bursting point, but has not yet burst.

The site linked in the post was then shown to me, but it doesn't seem to capture either of those two perspectives, really.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:39 AM
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To put it another way, paraphilias are not particularly about fucking. Someone may have "erotic" feelings about balloons, or the way they represent arousal or something, but it's not necessarily about fucking balloons.

My friends in the BDSM scene often talk about how little of what they do is related at all to sex. It's about fabricating scenes of emotional intensity that are perceived as erotic, but it's very rarely about orgasm.

I guess to people like me who don't have strong paraphilias (I used to have a bit of a necktie thing) there's a bit of a "but when do you start fucking?" problem.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:49 AM
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To put it another way, paraphilias are not particularly about fucking.

The existence of guides detailing how to copulate with an automobile suggests that this is only sometimes the case.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:53 AM
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They are often necessary for fucking. A paraphilia can be a sine qua non for arousal. I adore you, but unless you're holding a cigarette/balloon/Treasury bond, I'm not gonna be able to get it up.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 12:29 PM
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I guess it's a bit difficult for me to understand how a paraphilia can last beyond a month or two. Once you've gotten off on the same thing a few times, why not mix things up a bit? I've dated a few people who really couldn't get off without going back again and again to a single very specific sex act (or non-sexual but related act), and after a few weeks, it starts to feel like when you play make believe with a child who can only work with the same scenario for years on end. "You'll be the witch and I'll be the assistant and we live in a giant castle without any parents!!!" x 400.

I will admit to being rather intolerant of repetitive sex. That's my fetish.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 12:43 PM
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I guess it's a bit difficult for me to understand how a paraphilia can last beyond a month or two

You know how some people are attracted to members of the opposite sex?

***

Anyway, I object to the term "paraphilia". What's so para about them?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 12:53 PM
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AWB, fetishes are often deep-seated, based in some childhood wire-crossing or other foundational event. I'm sure there are people who have free-floating kink that seeks out the not-obviously erotic for short periods of experimentation, but I don't think it's the end of the line.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:01 PM
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AWB is paraphiliaphobic. Bad bear!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:11 PM
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fetishes are often deep-seated, based in some childhood wire-crossing or other foundational event.

This sounds like Freudian bullshit. Is there actual research on this?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:16 PM
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No balloon!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:16 PM
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29 to 27.

28: All I know is what my friend the reporter said at breakfast one New Year's, but she researched it for a while. Google, go!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:18 PM
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Robyn Hitchcock!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:24 PM
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Googling "etiology of paraphilia" and "etiology of fetishes" just turns up a bunch of just-so stories. (Although I am not motivated enough to read beyond the first few entries, so who knows what brilliant ideas lurk in the bowels of the internets.) Freudians think it's because of childhood trauma! Behaviorists think it's a conditioned response! (Shocking.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:24 PM
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The childhood wire-crossing is a pretty standard neuroscientific model; check out the Wikipudia. According to one source, Freud departs from this model:

Freud offered a widely different account of fetishism. At the root of it, in his view, is a fear of castration: "Probably no male human being is spared the shock of threatened castration at the sight of the female genitals." The fetish itself stands for the penis, and takes the latter's place, as it were, as a defense against the horror of castration. Fetishism is thus a way of denying the condition of castration. It is a means of over-coming castration anxiety. It is an attempt to deny the lack of a penis in woman. Fenichel sums up the "unconscious reasoning" as follows: " `The thought that there are human beings without a penis, and that I might myself be one of them, makes it impossible for me to grant myself sexual excitement. But now I see here a symbol of a penis in woman; that helps me shut out my fear, and thus I can permit myself to be sexually excited.' "

Unfortunately, my source for that right now is Old and Sold: An Antiques Guide so don't take it as chapter and verse.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:25 PM
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Whether or not there's consensus on the origins, I think it's pretty clear that sexual fetishes are deeper than passing enthusiasms, which is what "Why don't you get bored of that?" would seem to assume.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:27 PM
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33: but nothing the Wikipedia article describes sounds like actual research, it's all just people postulating theories, usually ones which are very close to the theories they propose for every other aspect of human psychology. Not very enlightening.

34: Sure, which is why the etiology seems like an interesting question. There's something unusual and unusually enduring happening in these brains, and the interesting question seems to be what the mechanism is that gives these traits such stability.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:30 PM
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I am aware that fetishes reflect deeper psychological issues, but I guess I am somewhat confused by the advice often given by Dan Savage and others that it is one's duty in a relationship to play along with someone else's kinks, as evidenced in the "OMG it's so frustrating when your girlfriend isn't into balloons!" thing above. If someone has a seriously consistent paraphilia, it seems they might be tempted to find partners on that basis, rather than guilt-trip their partners into pretending to have the same paraphilia or trying to convince them of the inherent sexiness of it. It's one thing to play along with an occasional kink; it's entirely another to feel trapped in a sexual relationship with someone who simply cannot enjoy sex without the constant introduction of the same object or scenario every time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:33 PM
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(I am perhaps overidentifying with the baffled girlfriend implied in 17, who comes increasingly to the realization that her boyfriend is passive-aggressively suggesting without telling, again and again, that she is wrong not to get off on balloons, because balloons are so obviously the only interesting thing about sex.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:37 PM
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Oh, I partly take back 35.1; the work Wikipedia mentions by V S Ramachandran sounds like it potentially has some explanatory power in the particular case of foot fetishes. This Everything2 entry turned up in a google search, and mentions some interesting evidence from amputees who experience orgasms simultaneously in their genitals and their phantom limbs.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:40 PM
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My reading of Dan Savage is that you should play along under the auspices of GGG, but only if the other party can reciprocate with vanilla sex and general menschiness.

E.g.:

Guys don't ever get over their fetishes, CTQ, so I would urge you to quit smoking and quit the boyfriend at the same time. However fond he is of you, your boyfriend's smoking fetish predates your relationship and I guarantee you that it will postdate your relationship.

OR:

The boyfriend needs to know that his insistence on crossdressing and mask-wearing during sex to the exclusion of other kinds of sex will, as DR points out, have consequences. [...] FTM's ex-boyfriend needs to know he can be a crossdressing, latex-mask-wearing perv but he can't be a selfish, crossdressing, latex-mask-wearing perv.

Etc. Generally DS objects to "feeling trapped" and tries to explain to kinksters that they need to either find a reciprocant or compromise to keep a vanilla partner. (Apologies for implying that you're "vanilla" AWB which seems very wrong.)


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:42 PM
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OK, DS is off the hook.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:47 PM
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It's one thing to play along with an occasional kink; it's entirely another to feel trapped

The trick is to play along occasionally with a perpetual kink.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:48 PM
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And yeah, I guess maybe I rankle a bit at the idea (not yours, WS) that people who want to do the same thing every time they have sex are interesting and people who like variety and experimentation are "vanilla." It's like the paraphiliac is sort of saying "Come on; be open-minded! Get off on the one thing I get off on all the time!"

This is probably too much related to experience in relationships for me to be objective about. I've never dated a true paraphiliac, but there have been similar situations in which I felt I was being guilt-tripped for not being totally sexually enthusiastic about doing exactly the same thing every night for months on end.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:54 PM
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AWB, why do you think these people want to do "the same thing"?

You yourself said that discussion of fetishes makes you want to ask: but when do we get to the fucking?—IOW, you're always on about the same damn thing!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 1:56 PM
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Ben, have you ever spent six months having sex with someone who has to go through an identical ritualistic order of events in order to experience pleasure, and who expected you to get off on performing your role in that identical ritual? Surely "fucking" can connote a wide range of activities and experiences.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:02 PM
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I think Freud is projecting.

Freudians think it's because of childhood trauma! Behaviorists think it's a conditioned response! (Shocking.)

They're both working from the soft angle. It seems like you can treat it (paraphilias) as someone with an extra circuit jumpwired into their visual cortex (for most paraphilias). So, for a balloon fetishist, a picture of an ugly woman with a balloon has about the same effect as looking at a picture of Monica Bellucci has on a normal male. Practice the fetish enough, and the effect of the normal stimulus fades away compared to the effect of lighting up that extra circuit, which is where the behavior reinforcement effects kick in.

max
['That'll have to do until you can actually trace the things.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:03 PM
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I guess what I don't understand, AWB, is why you think there will be a prescribed "identical ritualistic order of events" necessary for the cultist sufferer from OCD person with a fetish to get off.

Maybe some people have Robert's Rules fetishes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:09 PM
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||

More quotes from essays: "I think it's really important to remember that it doesn't matter which division of Christianity you belong to."

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:20 PM
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Even the Coptics?!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:22 PM
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This particular student is a member of Opus Dei.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:23 PM
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||

"Yet all the time you hear people complaining about the separation of Church and State, but what they fail to see is that that doesn't mean separation of God and State."

What does that mean?

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:25 PM
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44: Maybe ben just has really boring sex? Aside from the balloons, of course.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:30 PM
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I can only get off when the sex is really boring.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:31 PM
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It means the writer believes in the universal church? (That is, they're groping towards unitarianism of a sort.)

max
['Not a friendly unitarianism.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:32 PM
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The specific set of ritualistic acts I have to go through to experience pleasure take four months from start to finish, and can only be begun when the moon is either new or full.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:32 PM
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53: Same student that acknowledged the truthiness of all forms of Christianity mere sentences earlier.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:33 PM
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54: It involves menstrual cycles, doesn't it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:33 PM
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Menstrual cycles and afterbirths, yeah.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:35 PM
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And after the afterbirth is the hotel lobby.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:36 PM
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50: Most charitably, it means that the prohibition on the establishment of a state religion does not believe that faith and belief should be excluded when trying to answer civic questions.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:37 PM
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And yeah, I guess maybe I rankle a bit at the idea (not yours, WS) that people who want to do the same thing every time they have sex are interesting and people who like variety and experimentation are "vanilla."

Just because people have random fetishes doesn't necessarily mean that's all they want to do in/around sex; it simply means that a particular thing is a consistent turn-on. Nor should "vanilla", IMNSHO, indicate anything other than "culturally-normed mainstream sexual activity". People who use "vanilla" pejoratively, IMX, are not particularly imaginative or tolerant. [Also, vanilla: my favourite Haagen Dasz flavour. Its name shall not be besmirched!]

You're taking the appellation a tad too negatively, I think. It has its uses, especially amongst mixed social groups where knowing that X is/isn't into a particular fetish may preclude/encourage interest. [Somewhat like knowing whether a person one might date is allergic to cats. That would be a deal breaker for me, as would dating someone who couldn't imagine not wearing cologne/perfume, most of which I am allergic to.]

Dan's GGG is what he encourages people to be vis-à-vis their partners - give X a try, see if X is something you can accept into the mix on occasion - but don't do X if it disturbs you, grosses you out or if you're the only person who is doing the GGG bit. He's into fair play, quid pro quo, whatever you want to call it. "Vanilla" and "kinky" are just handy terms to use in casual discussion, and even then, the latter is a catch-all for a variety of things.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:37 PM
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People who use "vanilla" derogatively would be well advised to buy a vanilla bean, split it lengthwise, and inhale deeply.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:39 PM
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55: Yeah! Working from s/h/it's POV: You believe in God, but you also allow for lots of different churches. Then you sorta expand your POV to include Jews and Muslims (maybe). Obviously, pagans are out because they believe in the devil. Chinese? Ne'er heard of them. So, while you might be against making Christian Science the law of the land, you'd still be in favor of the nation acknowledging YHWH.

max
['Keep plugging little student!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:39 PM
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59: I'm not feeling very charitable, since he goes on to bitch about all the lawsuits against Christianity and how "Christmas Break" has been changed to be called "Winter Break". And his other essay was about how tough it is to be white because everyone blames you for their race problems.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:39 PM
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Just because people have random fetishes doesn't necessarily mean that's all they want to do in/around sex; it simply means that a particular thing is a consistent turn-on.

Of course this is reasonable.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:40 PM
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Sometimes I think I'd like to teach, and then I get set straight.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:42 PM
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Working from s/h/it's POV

It's the views that are s/h/itty, max, not the student.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:42 PM
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Sometimes I think I'd like to teach, and then I get set straight.

That's not the way things'll be if prop 8 passes, you know.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:44 PM
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65: I'm just totally unequipped to teach this class. I hate engaging with people who I have such massive fundamental disagreements with. I just don't enjoy it at all and my MO is usually to say that I don't agree and leave it at that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:45 PM
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Jeebus - stop typing in order to cuddle the kitten for a few minutes and the discussion goes from fucking to church.

I'm going to go engage in particularly kinky behaviour right now and drive into... The Valley. [Those persons living in the LA area will know of what perversion I speak.]

Oh - and check out Mistress Matisse's blog - the wingnuts are now writing articles pointing out that hookers tend to register as Democrats. The party of Socialists and Sin!!! Anything kinky you might find there is your own fetish should be ignored.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:46 PM
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66: I have a fetish for immature/inchoate conceptions of the world!

max
['I enjerkulated.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:47 PM
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There are always the students who make it worthwhile, but sometimes, their existence just makes the ones who email you with

prof. i DOn"t get - whats wronG with the PAper you graded is There something baad aboutt it i do"nt no wut 2 do i rote u n i kneed yr FeeDback ASAP!!!!!!!!!

Yes, the paper, in an advanced English class, looked exactly like the email.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:47 PM
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makes the ones who email you with ... seem all the more depressing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:48 PM
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Hey, I'm depressed from just hearing about it, and I already hate humanity.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 2:57 PM
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I think the weird thing about the balloon fetish is that texturally balloons are kind of unpleasant. So grabby and unlubricated.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:01 PM
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You are clearly no looner, HG. In most of the descriptions, it's the grabby texture and squeaky sound that these women are so clearly enjoying.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:04 PM
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I AM TOO! I'm just a maverick looner.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:08 PM
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texturally balloons are kind of unpleasant. So grabby and unlubricated.

True, but you can give each other noogies with the balloons and then they'll stick to the walls!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:17 PM
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I've met Jammies, and he is not the oil-covered amputee that 74 might suggest.


Posted by: Neil Sinhababu | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:19 PM
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He was actually limbless from birth and exudes mucus from his pores.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:22 PM
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Nina seems to be enjoying inflating a condom as an expression of balloon fetish, but condoms are often lubricated. And while an inflated condom might have the same texture as a balloon I think the notion of a condom would still convey to the fetishizer the sensation of a different texture.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:31 PM
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Jammies is a hagfish.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:32 PM
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I've met Jammies, and he is not the oil-covered amputee that 74 might suggest.

To be fair, you haven't seen him for ten months.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 3:38 PM
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Maybe some people have Robert's Rules fetishes.

I really hope that this is the case. A world with Robert's Rules fetishists is surely better than a world without.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:06 PM
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I will link to an XKCD comic. In 3, 2, ...,


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:11 PM
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85

We've heard about that one already.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:26 PM
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And yet I was the first one to link to it. Something to ponder.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:28 PM
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I'm very pleased with the results of the new version of my dynamic compressor.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:32 PM
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No one else linked to it because it sucks.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:35 PM
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Kurt Goedel was sort of a middlebrow guy who preferred American pop to Viennese pop and didn't like classical music. He was devoted to his lowbrow wife, whom everyone else held in contempt. He followed American politics closely and was a political centrist. He had what I think were paranoid episodes but was not as crazy as some have claimed. Hao Wang's two books on Goedel have lots of interesting biographical stuff.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:43 PM
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88: I figured it was because no one reads my blog, and most people don't know what the hell a dynamic compressor is anyway.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:47 PM
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88 to 86, obvs.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:48 PM
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Of course, W-lfs-n probably thinks dynamic compression is only for the hoi polloi.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:48 PM
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91: Maybe so, but that way I don't get to talk about me.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 4:49 PM
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92: The "the" is there just to piss W-lfs-n off, isn't it?

He was devoted to his lowbrow wife, whom everyone else held in contempt.

This reminds me of a funny story from the last institution where Goedel worked, which unfortunately I can't tell on a publicly accessible webpage.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:06 PM
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95

I do have an email address. I live for gossip, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:07 PM
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I have to say, I am generally anti-compression, but that looks like a very cool project.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:07 PM
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84: We know not to link to that comic so that we don't have to be reminded how ben persists in error.

89: I always found it interesting that with all of Schopenhauer's mystification of the role of music that he had rather middle-brow tastes.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:08 PM
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Someone commented that at a certain point his pessimistic philosophy brought him happiness. Afdter his mother left the scene, I think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:12 PM
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88: Quite right, this is the good XKCD comic on the subject. (And of course the website now exists.)


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:13 PM
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97.2: And as Nietzsche pointed out, played the flute. The flute, for crying out loud! Some pessimist.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:17 PM
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The cello, English horn, bass clarinet or oboe would have been appropriate. The xylophone would have been almost impossible. Probably the violin and viola would have worked.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:29 PM
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A funereal trombone quartet from the Moravian tradition would have been best. But he would have had to have found four other pessimists.

The so-called trumpet of the last judgment in Mozart's Requiem is a trombone.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:31 PM
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Three.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:32 PM
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96: I think the need for compression is entirely a function of the listening environment. Ideally, audio tracks (and DVDs have this feature, BTW) would be stored with some information on how to compress them so that cheap circuits could do the compression and not drain battery and so that the producers have complete control over the compression, and then you could dial it in or out on your playback device. Unfortunately, I doubt such a feature would be used as much as it should be. How many people here knew DVDs could do that (for some titles)?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:42 PM
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103: No, 103.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:42 PM
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(And of course the website now exists.)

Yeah, because Munroe started it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:44 PM
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Same phenomenon as the "died from blogging" thing.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:47 PM
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There are other webcomics that are good.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 5:48 PM
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95: I have sent you the anecdote, which is not actually about Goedel, just wives and the place that he worked.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 6:00 PM
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Like what, pdf?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 6:11 PM
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Why, I didn't have anything particular in mind, Ben.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 6:16 PM
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Ben just wants to be called a little bitch again. It's been awhile.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 6:30 PM
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I'm not sure that hyperlinking has an established grammar at this point.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 6:37 PM
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It's more of a pass-fail system. If you don't hyperlink properly, your links don't work.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 6:48 PM
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I'm not sure that hyperlinking has an established grammar at this point.

It does. My question was meant to indicate that I thought the one you linked wasn't good. You see.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 6:59 PM
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115: The art starts out a bit weak, but it gets a lot better.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:00 PM
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115: You're being pretty negative today. Does someone need a huuuug?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:04 PM
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YOU'RE GOD DAMN RIGHT I DO.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:13 PM
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Ha! Everybody hug ben! Now! He might stop grinding his teeth.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:14 PM
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H-u-u-u-g-s!


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:48 PM
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I need hugs, too. I also need this fucking election to be over so I can start sleeping and working and stuff.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:56 PM
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(That's not to imply that, unlike many of you brave souls, I've been doing anything productive other than trying to guilt-trip my students into registering, but the worry is wearing me out.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 7:57 PM
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120: Sweet, and some very competent html linking too!

And yeah, election over, that'd be good. Everybody's freaking out, and one becomes a little stressed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 8:02 PM
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I tried making plans with someone on Tuesday, who couldn't make it it was Election Day, a fact that I had completely forgotten.. I think subconsciously I now believe that the election is never actually coming.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 8:30 PM
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It's the November Surprise.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 8:45 PM
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Election? Is there an election? I thought they had canceled it.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 8:52 PM
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126: Only in South Carolina and only for Democrats.

We had RAIN today. Or, to be more precise, a sudden torrential downpour of very wet, somewhat acidic water, as if the gods themselves were indulging in a golden showers fetish, which pretty much did in that demo against Prop 8 on the corner in teh Vallee. Placards, when wet, droop so very badly. And I feel for those who had lined up at the one - yes, one - location for early voting in LA county, a county who fucked up getting all of its absentee ballots out, so that many people who were not going to be able to go to their polling places on Tuesday had no choice but to go hang out in Norwalk for several hours, in the mad hope that they'd get a chance to vote.

Over here, in Not-the-Valley, there was rain, during which a lightning strike and accompanying thunder so freaked the kittens - during whose short lives there had yet to be precipitation, much less LIGHT!!! NOISE!!! - that they both headed for someplace *safe* so quickly that we spent about an hour trying to find the Izzy kitten, who had disappeared herself totally.

Apparently, downstairs, under the sofa, is "safe".


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:24 PM
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This is awesome but also very difficult to listen to.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:25 PM
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FNS: I must say, Governor Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life, you know, Hustler's "Nailin Palin."
SP: Oh, good, thank you. Yes.
FNS: That was really edgy.
SP: [Laughs] Well good.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 9:32 PM
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Hmm. Politicians like being "edgy" now. Edgy is out.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 1-08 11:31 PM
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I won't hug Ben until he puts those balloons down.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 1:44 AM
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I also need this fucking election to be over so I can start sleeping and working and stuff.

Ain't that the goddamn truth.


Posted by: Neil Sinhababu | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:00 AM
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re: 104

I've joked with friends about needing a compressor/limiter solely for the 'vinyl records/bath' problem.

Vinyl doesn't have the theoretical dynamic range that CDs do, but in practice a lot of older vinyl is mastered with a huge dynamic range compared to modern stuff. This is particularly noticeable with classical stuff. So, the problem is this, I cue up some record and set the volume level. There's a nice solo cello intro, or something, maybe a quiet orchestra.

Climb into the bath.

Then about 30 seconds later leap out of my skin as if electrified when the full orchestra comes in on a big forté moment and the whole house shakes with cavernous bass, tiles are falling off the wall, etc.

This still gets me nearly every time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:26 AM
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129: It pisses me off that the transcript repeatedly says she "giggles" when in fact she's got a perfectly ordinary laugh. Which doesn't take away from the fact that she and her campaign are horrifyingly inept.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 3:04 AM
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134 was I.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 3:07 AM
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133: I'm of the opinion (and this is a personal thing) that when you have to change the volume on something as you're listening to it more than two or three times per five minutes or so, that it needs dynamic compression. If it has any jumps up or down of more than 20 dB, then it needs dynamic compression. (That much and you're either jumping out of your seat with surprise or wondering where the music went.)


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:06 AM
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I think that standard recording technology, standard amplification technology at concerts, bad acoustics in most halls, arena concerts etc. have combined to give most rock / pop (etc.) very limited dynamic range which makes it less interesting: basically f, ff, fff on up to eleven.

Probably the techs aren't at fault, they just know that the audiences are mostly horny, substance-impaired dorks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:15 AM
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standard recording technology

This one, no. Standard recording technology is amazingly versatile and becoming more so (and cheaper) by the month. I think the driving factor for recordings (or what I heard) was radio competition. The louder your song is on the radio, the more likely people will hear and remember it. Some bands do radio versions of popular songs, and some (most?) radio stations apply their own compression, but it still helps some for songs to already be really compressed.

At least, that's what I read some recording engineer complaining about on the internet.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:28 AM
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Of course, I don't have too much of a problem with that, since I like dynamic compression.

I play classical piano. When you're playing a piano, your ears actually do some compression for you. (Not like when you're playing a woodwind, but still.) You don't really hear the loudness in itself, past variations of 12 dB or so, just the tones. It's the tones that are important. My compressor, with its default settings, converts variations of 40 dB to variations of 10 dB, at a ratio of .75. I think 10 dB is all you really need. In fact, I don't think most people would notice at all if you applied light compression (.25 level) to their classical records.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:35 AM
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I think it really depends in the context. If I am sitting in my living room listening to music with speakers facing me, the big dynamic range is fine. I don't have to have it particularly loud to hear all the nuances of the quiet stuff and the loud stuff isn't overpowering.

If am in the next room, though, the volume I need to hear the quiet stuff at level that isn't annoyingly 'peripheral' translates into really huge volumes when the big stuff kicks in.

A lot of music doesn't have a big dynamic range anyway. Solo classical piano doesn't, really, for example. The stuff that really jumps out is orchestral music, particular concerto type stuff where there's a soloist.

The loudness wars really are a bad thing for music, though. A bit of soft compression isn't what's going on there. Everything is blasted up to 0db.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:46 AM
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Hey, that's cool. That 40 to 10 was just a guess, but it turns out it's the mathematically correct answer. .25, similarly turns variations of 40 dB into variations of 30.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:48 AM
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Solo classical piano doesn't, really, for example

Does too. The older recordings don't, but newer recordings tend to have a really big dynamic range. (I can measure and cite if you like.) The range is only like 10-15 dB less than that of my orchestral recordings. (Also newer.)

I think maybe back when they recorded on tape they applied compression beforehand because the dynamic range of tape isn't very high?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 7:50 AM
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"Standard recording technology/amplification" means what the generic standard average recording technologist/sound man is able to do/habitually does. Radio is probably a factor.

Even the ones not loud to eleven, such as singer/songwriters, seem to restrict themselves to a very narrow dynamic range at the other end of the scale.

I can think of exceptions but it just seems that lots of pop/rock/etc. just doesn't use the resource of dynamic variation much.

We talked about this kind of thing recently on the Motown thread -- Motown was engineered and produced for crappy sound systems such as car radios, jukeboxes, and cheap 45rpm record players.

I remember that when I heard my first high fidelity jukebox, it just didn't seem right at all.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:02 AM
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I agree with you, John. And honestly, I'm not sure dynamic variation really fits the genre well. Maybe the reason they don't use that resource is because it doesn't sound very good? I mean, how much variation are you asking? Plenty of bands already use 15 dB of variance, though most probably don't. Would you like to see 25? 35? I can see a case for the former, but not the latter.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:05 AM
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Just rambling on, but Phil Spector seems like an exception. You had the contasts between the solo parts and the ensemble / wall of sound parts. It may be that the actual dynamics were about the same, but that the wall of sound effect made it seem louder. Anyway you had that contast there.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:09 AM
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Hmm. The unfoggedbot is offline.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:11 AM
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Well, there's a chicken-and-egg reinforcement loop convergence thingie, where musical style develops to fit the technology and the audience's tastes gravitate toward the musical style et cetera.

I really appreciate the dynamic range when listening to classical, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:13 AM
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Turn on the botsignal.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:14 AM
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Dynamic range (over a 12 dB range) must be destroyed!


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:14 AM
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Rambling still further, but does prog rock (which I rarely hear) use dynamic variation much?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:14 AM
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Crap. I don't think I messed up the tags there.

Your software sucks, Unfogged.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:15 AM
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Hmm. I must have messed up the tags.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:15 AM
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The one rock band that sticks out in my mind as using dynamic range is A Perfect Circle. I would imagine Tool is good about this as well, but I don't know.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:16 AM
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re: 142

It's still less than orchestral stuff. I have a lot of solo classical piano recordings, vinyl and CD, recent and old. None of them have the full whammy of an orchestral recording. Take something like the Rite of Spring and the contrast between the opening bassoon and the big crescendos; it might only be 10-15 db* but at reasonable speaker levels -- in terms of the subjective experience of listening to it -- it's pretty dramatic when compared to solo piano.

* and you're already on record in the above comments that 10-15db is non-negligible, anyway


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:16 AM
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A 6 dB difference is subjectively twice/half as loud. The total dynamic range of an orchestra is around 60 dB.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:18 AM
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re: 155

Well, quite. Hence, solo piano discs don't have the subjective impact of an orchestral recording.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:19 AM
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Stravinsky tells Rite of Spring orchestras to "play softly, because the music is written loud". In Paris there was a sort of largest-orchestra competition. IIRC he also had a number of rare instruments such as a section of tenor tubas (= euphoniums) in the score. Baritone horns are common and play the same range, but Stravinsky had to be a little bitch.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:23 AM
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Eh. It's true, but you're overstating the difference some. And anyway, my comments above about piano solos apply to orchestras too. It's all about the tone.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:23 AM
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BTW, perhaps the most dramatic example of orchestral range is the opening of Ravel's Daphne et Chloe.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:24 AM
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re: 158

Well, I can't really overstate the difference. I am talking about first-person subjective experience, and, for me, solo piano recordings just don't have the dynamic range of orchestral recordings. That's not a value judgement, I listen to far more solo piano than I do orchestral stuff, but, nonetheless, it's not solo piano recordings that have me leaping for the volume dial because the house is shaking.

Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of ladling compression over everything, but there are some contexts where I'd welcome it. Headphone listening on public transport, for example. It'd be great if I could switch in some harder compression/limiting on my MP3 player when it's noisy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:27 AM
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Rite of Spring is punk rock.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:27 AM
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You can, on IPods. Not sure if you can control the level.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:28 AM
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iPods have compressors? Audio compressors?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:29 AM
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solo piano discs don't have the subjective impact of an orchestral recording

I interpreted this as a claim about people in general's subjective experience. As such, it would be an objective claim.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:29 AM
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IIRC.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:29 AM
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They call it something strange and "user-friendly", but I believe so.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:30 AM
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re: 164

Well, I'm assuming I'm not a freak here. I'd bet if you asked most people if they perceived more dynamic difference between 'ppp' and 'fff' on orchestral or solo piano recordings they'd choose the former.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:31 AM
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And since you've already stated yourself that there's 10-15db difference (in 142) they'd be right. I'm not really sure what you're arguing here.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:32 AM
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Well, of course. The question is the subjective impact that difference has, and whether it's tied mainly to the volume or the tone.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:32 AM
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Huh. I should go get The Rite of Spring


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:35 AM
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My (one-disc) Stravinsky compilation doesn't include it. Bummer.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:37 AM
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Hmm. The unfoggedbot is offline.

Yeah, I don't know why it does that---every month or two it has to be restarted. It really is a complete mystery to me. I blame Twisted. I didn't know anyone else used it, though.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:41 AM
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Also, re: rock music and compression.

Rock music is naturally compressed anyway. One of the effects of over-driving a guitar amp [or using a pedal] is to completely squash the dynamic range. With loud clean guitar sounds the dynamic range is painful, hence the extensive use of compression pedals (particularly in country music and other genres that favour clean sounds).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:47 AM
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could you check it in a cron job, ben?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:48 AM
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I could!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:50 AM
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Huh. Sending it random text doesn't trigger a basic usage string response.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:51 AM
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It should at least laugh at cock jokes.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:52 AM
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Oh, wait: the unfoggedbot is not the ToS?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:54 AM
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Sending it random text doesn't trigger a basic usage string response.

Of course it doesn't, luser.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:54 AM
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Looks like Ben needs another huuuuuug.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:55 AM
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John: Clicky.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:56 AM
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I like crackmonkey refreshing. Without it I would be picking at my skin until I drew blood and then scratching off the scabs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 8:59 AM
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I was trying to get some other work done at the same time, and found myself refreshing way too much. "Oh, wait. They fixed that problem already."


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:00 AM
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Can you tell it to ignore comments from a certain username? (I.e. your own?)


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:10 AM
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If given the source to this program, I could hypothetically add these features. My e-mail is the obvious GMail address.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:12 AM
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Oh, god, the source, I'd be ashamed to let anyone see it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:20 AM
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Well, I make my source available.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:22 AM
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It appears to be online anyway.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:24 AM
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Cool. I'll get back to you in a week, between 9 and 5.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:31 AM
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It's true: with my stereo volume at "do not disturb the neighbors" level, the first couple of minutes of Daphnis et Chloe are basically silent.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:35 AM
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I bought my CD of it at this used CD place that has little booths where you can actually play the actual CD, which is awesome. Less awesome is the fact that the volume is severely restricted. I thought the player was busted.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:37 AM
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(Despite the fact that you used headphones.)


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:40 AM
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One reason to use compression even for direct listening: You can boost the quiet parts to realistically loud levels (which makes them better) without having to play the loud parts at realistically loud levels.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:41 AM
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pdf23ds is arguing against dynamic range? Sheesh!

I don't think the iPod has a compressor so much as that headphone-level outputs are amplified differently, which produces a different dynamic range. I could be wrong about that.

It is true that, if you're listening to things quietly, it can be nice to have some compression. On the other hand, on a nice stereo with good volume, more range means more drama, and more happy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:47 AM
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That said, yeah, most music is compressed a lot in the mastering process -- symphonic music probably less than other genres, but still -- so you're really almost never listening to uncompressed music.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:49 AM
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A lot of classical has almost no processing done to it. Purists. It's nice if you want to do your own processing, or have nice hi-fi equipment you can play loudly.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:51 AM
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re: 194

It is true that, if you're listening to things quietly, it can be nice to have some compression. On the other hand, on a nice stereo with good volume, more range means more drama, and more happy.

Yeah. Shame I have neighbours. I don't have particularly efficient speakers but I rarely get my amp above 1/8 of the way up on the dial.

I suppose the U-shaped EQ curve introduced by the 'loudness' control on many amps acts in a way analogous to compression if you are listening very very quietly indeed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:52 AM
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re: 196

I've mentioned before, but a lot of classical music production sucks balls.

I have 'acclaimed' editions of things that wouldn't pass muster as jazz recordings.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:55 AM
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I have a good murray periaha recording. Other than that, it's all pretty much mediocre to really bad. I have one CD with piano two concertos that are pretty well done, but then there's several solo pieces that it sounds like they didn't move the microphones for. Great job, dudes.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:58 AM
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One of the kits PAiA sells (actually browsing around, I guess "used to sell") is a home hi-fi compressor for, as they put it, "late night listening".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 9:58 AM
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re: 199

The one that really stands out to me is the Sinatra "Only the Lonely" album which has such amazing production/engineering/mastering. The orchestra is as good as anything I've ever heard, and it's from 1958.

By contrast I have modern orchestral recordings that sound like they were recorded in a toilet by comparison.

Ditto with chamber music or solo piano. Everyone recommends the (1954/55) Walter Gieseking Debussy disc, but even the remastered version sounds like it was recorded by dangling a telephone inside a metal bucket. The comparison with, say, the Rudy Van Gelder produced stuff from the same period is laughable.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:02 AM
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I have one classical recording (Anthony Rooley conducting John Dowland) that's really super nice, and has been kind of my reference work lately for sitting dreamily in front of my speakers, but it's relatively simple choral pieces where having everybody stand in front of one mic is the way you want to go anyhow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:05 AM
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What's the preferred way to record an orchestra nowadays? In a sound room with many mics? I think that's how they do it for Hollywood stuff.

It's kind of funny to me how snobby people can get about equipment to play classical music considering the quality of the input.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:07 AM
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Quality varies a lot by label. Hyperion generally has very good engineering; DG too, but less uniformly so. Biddulph remasters of older recordings are also excellent IME.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:09 AM
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Early rock was pretty poor too, until maybe 1965. The first two Stones albums were mono. It sounds like jazz was where people took that stuff seriously.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:13 AM
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It's kind of funny to me how snobby people can get about equipment to play classical music considering the quality of the input.

Yeah.

One set of recent recordings I really like are the Naxos solo guitar discs: the 'laureate' series, which are all recorded in the same church in Canada. Produced by Norbert Kraft.

The sound (and playing) on those is stellar.

There are some nice youtube vids from the recording sessions:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=hAmMf-nctk4
[Rafael Aguirre]
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=L7EJbEws9yM [Petrit Ceku]
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=8zOFrb7MYek
[Marcin Dylla]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:15 AM
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Speaking of audio-type things, I just picked up a pair of Skullcandy headphones for 20 bucks, and they're great.

Anyone that uses a music player: if you still have the original headphones, stop using them and get some Skullcandy heaphones. You'll never regret it.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:22 AM
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"portable music player"


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:22 AM
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I finally took the plunge on some expensive earbuds and damn, yeah, what an unbelievable difference. I can listen for way longer, at a way lower volume, and it's just so, so much awesomer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:23 AM
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One thing about the more expensive ones (says this guy at Best Buy) is that they block out external sound better, leaving more room for the music. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that's the main difference in the high quality ones.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:25 AM
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The test of good headphones: Can you hear Glenn Gould humming?


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:27 AM
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209: What'd you get?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:29 AM
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212: Etymotic HF2s. Not super expensive, but more than the $30 I'd usually spend. I already broke them, and they replaced them free: sweet!

211: ooh I'm going to try that on my speakers later.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:31 AM
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I love my Ety's, except for the wire noise I get when walking. But, since I mainly use them in my cubicle or standing/sitting on transport, that's OK.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:40 AM
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I have a set of decent earbuds for my MP3 player and a headphone amp [although I usually just leave the headphone amp plugged into my Mac at work, with a set of closed back Sennheiser 'phones]. The Sennheisers weren't expensive [40 dollars or equivalent] but are great for work. Too big/heavy for on the move, though.

The [built into an altoid tin] headphone amp is cool, shame that the iMacs don't have a line-out like the Quads.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070814222624/http://www.evilfire.com/sindy/


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:42 AM
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re: 211

I bought the Zenph 'rerecording' of Gould just to avoid hearing the humming.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:43 AM
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I get the same thing with my SKs. I think it's probably unavoidable for closed-ear buds, though you might be able to somehow tie the cord to your neck somewhere. But then turning your head would be a problem. Hmm.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:43 AM
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re: 217

Yeah, I find keeping the cable short helps. My earbuds came with an extension cable [because the main cord is very short] and I found that incredibly microphonic. Just constant noise. Keeping the MP3 player in a top pocket and removing the extension lead really helped.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:46 AM
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What kind of Skullcandy? I'm on the market.

I hate that name.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:46 AM
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Bet it got your attention, though!


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:49 AM
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215: I thought the headphone out was "switching", but maybe I'm wrong. You could always buy a cheap USB soundcard to get the line-out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:54 AM
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Crap. I just broke a little tiny part to my keyboard trying to clean out the Coke. I can snap it back together, I think, but it's going to take awhile.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:56 AM
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217: there's a clip, that can be helpful if you clip it in the right place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:57 AM
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I just use the Glenn Gould De-Vocalizer.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 10:59 AM
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Crap again! I got it back together, but the wrong way around!


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:02 AM
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Twin questions:

Are there any iPhone* headphones out there between $30 and $100? I keep fucking mine up, which means I keep buying new ones. I wouldn't mind better sound, but I need the iPhone functionality, and I can't afford $100 for something I'll likely break in the next ~4 months.

The twin to this question is, Hey Sifu, watcha doin' with your old iPhone 'phones?

* As in, has the brilliant little microphone/remote thingy


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:02 AM
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I do clip it to my dress-shirt collar. That helps some. Shortening the cable would help, but I like the player on my belt. I have found that holding the cable around the LR split does damp out the noise. I used to use Sennheiser's active noise-canceling earphones. Good, but a bit bulkier than I wanted.

What I need are stereo Bluetooth earbuds from someone like Etymotic.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:02 AM
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224: The sound clips on that site are hilarious.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:05 AM
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OK, reading backwards I now see the link to Skullcandy, and theirs are $80, which is right around my limit. Maybe for my b-day.

Any others?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:07 AM
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Skullcandy runs from $25 to $160. I'm just wondering which one PDF is recommending.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:09 AM
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The ones at best buy were 19.95.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:10 AM
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One of the bottom end ones, then. They have several.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:11 AM
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I'm not really saying the more expensive ones aren't good, but I *am* saying no one has an excuse not to get some better headphones for their music player, as the default ones are so crappy. But maybe you people know that already.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:12 AM
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I picked mine by color.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:12 AM
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I like my Etymotic in-ear headphones, but I got icked out by the way the flangey bits get discolored by my earwax -- even after careful washing, which is annoying. But also, AGH how extremely ugh they look when I have just taken them out of my ears.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:16 AM
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225: you shouldn't be snorting coke off your keyboard anyhow. Recipe for trouble.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:21 AM
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226: you could buy the equivalent of my old iPhone headphones for the cost of postage, pretty much. I only have one set of nice iPhone headphones.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:22 AM
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236: Back to hookers for me! I'm swearing off keyboards.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:23 AM
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Keyboards are surprisingly durable and accepting of fluids.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:28 AM
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My in-ear phones are by Phillips. I think I paid 20-25 quid for them. The sound is fine. I preferred the sound I used to get from a little set of Sennheiser MX300s [5 quid!], but the Sennheisers don't cut out enough external noise.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:30 AM
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Crap, I broke one. Thankfully, though, it was only F8, and it'll still be partially functional.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:50 AM
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I spilled chicken soup on another keyboard. It stopped working. It was a cheap keyboard, too, not worth cleaning.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 11:51 AM
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234: a) racist b) they are priced differently at Amazon by color. Lime is $19.99. Black is $24.95.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:10 PM
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Odd. They were all the same price at Best Buy.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:11 PM
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234: a) racist b) they are priced differently at Amazon by color. Lime is $19.99. Black is $24.95.

How much are "earwax"?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:15 PM
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$78.50


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:22 PM
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Everyone's earwax is a little different. It will stand out if you get the wrong color. To do it right, you need a custom job.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 12:24 PM
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247: Ben has lime-green earwax?


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 1:32 PM
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I got some lime juice at the store yesterday. It's quite good.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 1:34 PM
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Everyone's earwax is a little different. It will stand out if you get the wrong color.

Racist


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:05 PM
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Who's the real racist, Knecht? The racist, or the person who can tell that the racist is a racist?

I think we both know.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:18 PM
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Is that like "the one that smelt it dealt it"?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:28 PM
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Is that like "the one that smelt it dealt it"?

Contemporary jurisprudence favors the doctrine of "he who denied it, supplied it".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:31 PM
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I *am* saying no one has an excuse not to get some better headphones for their music player, as the default ones are so crappy. But maybe you people know that already.

I already knew it, but people giving that advice tended to go on to point to $100 earbuds as replacements; it seemed like saying, "Don't buy a Ford Escort, they're crap. This Audi drives much better." But apparently the Skullcandy are the Mazda3 (if you will) of the earbud market. Although, again, $80 is steep for the iPhone replacements.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:33 PM
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While 253 is undoubtedly correct descriptively, it's worth noting that the contemporary consensus stems from what is arguably a misreading of the case normally given in its support. The event at issue is deeply ambiguous between the two doctrines: the person in question is said to have sniffed audibly, and then said "whoever did that, it wasn't me.". It is certainly true that the court in its discussion focussed on his denial, and it may be that in that particular case, that was the more salient. But it cannot be denied that we have here both a smelling and a denying, and given the fact that the court did not explicitly dismiss the smelling as a relevant factor, there's a fair case to be made that the "denier/supplier" doctrine is overly, and without warrant, relied on these days.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:36 PM
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there's a fair case to be made that the "denier/supplier" doctrine is overly, and without warrant, relied on these days

Plus, there's an unresolved circuit split, with the 4th circuit continuing to rely on the controversial "the smeller's the feller" language.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:46 PM
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the controversial "the smeller's the feller" language.

Sexists.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 11- 2-08 2:55 PM
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Shoot, I've been mostly offline this weekend, and missed most of this thread.

but people giving that advice tended to go on to point to $100 earbuds as replacements

I've had good luck with some of the headphone recommendations at Good Cans and they have a page for ipod recommendations starting at $20.

As far as classical recordings with good dynamic range, I don't listen to that much classical music, but I have a friend who has been passing along recommendations for audiophile recordings (since I got my new sound system) and he just recommended a Mahler recording (which I cannot unfortunately identify online right now) which is a very nice orchestral recording, and makes very good use of dynamic range.

I can also say that, on a good system, this is absolutely thrilling.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 11- 3-08 12:04 PM
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