About Fonodithers



Fonodizing as a method of psychoacoustic correction


During World War II, bomber aircraft used mechanical computers for navigation and bomb sights. It was found that these mechanical computers, filled with hundreds of gears and gears, worked more accurately when flying on board an airplane than on the ground. The engineers realized that the vibration caused by the aircraft reduced the error caused by sticky moving parts. On the ground, they moved in short, abrupt movements, and in the air, their movement was more uniform. This effect has been called "dither", from the Middle English word "didderen" meaning "to shake."


Norden bombsight was used to drop an atomic bomb from an Enola Gay, B-29, flying 31,000 feet above Hiroshima


As can be understood from the described effect, vibration ruptured randomly formed feedbacks in mechanical mechanisms. Specialists remembered this fact some time later when they had to deal with digital signal processing. Here it should be remembered that a person perceives sound and visual information in a certain frequency range, and with different sensitivity within this range. When digitizing an analog signal for its equivalent recovery, we need to select the frequency range we need, otherwise we will need endless computing power, which is understandably impossible. But the important point here is that head-on digitization does not take into mind our frequency sensitivity. This is where dithering comes in. It distributes sampling error / variance among multiple frequencies, and it depends on the dither function; they do not focus on low frequencies. Signals are often oversampled at the edges of the perception spectrum, where perception is insensitive. For example, standard audio sampling rates can reproduce signals that most adults cannot hear at all. This makes the idea of ​​using dithering and error shifting in this frequency range very attractive.



Lavry Engineering is a highly respected American digital audio converter manufacturer


So how does it work? Dithering consists in adding specially generated noise of small amplitude to the original signal before quantization. Depending on the properties of this noise, audible harmonic distortion can either be completely eliminated or significantly suppressed.


But what if we apply a similar method for the psychoacoustic correction of a sound recording by a person online using the computing resources of the brain? The engineers from Snegartel began to work in this direction.


Assuming the obvious that almost any recording does not satisfy listeners in terms of a number of parameters, ranging from sound design and album cover color to grounding quality in a home audio system, it became necessary to find a way to redistribute this dissatisfaction without loss.



Typical listening room


Dissatisfaction can be divided into two parts, technical and mental, although they are closely related, it is not so easy to determine the contribution of each. For example, the listener understands and may have already tried to change the acoustic design of the listening room, but came to a situation in which it is impossible to implement the required changes, both for technical and financial reasons. The experience of realizing this further increases the dissatisfaction with the quality of the phonogram.


It is for the redistribution of dissatisfaction between the conscious and unconscious areas of consciousness and the articulation of the desired effects that the fonodizer serves - the next stage in using the dithering technology. The fonodizer is designed to increase emotional involvement in listening to audio recordings by the listener himself. In the current models, a classic film photograph of an analogue turntable has been chosen to more clearly demonstrate this effect. The natural distribution of the crystals of the emulsion of the analog film also serves to achieve the required and obligatory unevenness of the noise being mixed.



Fonodither #1


The image of this particular sound source was chosen, among other things, because of the vivid association with the golden age of audio, that is something well-known to audiophiles - the heyday of the production of high-quality equipment and its worthy recordings.


So, the observation of the described photograph causes the viewer to associate a lost sound, which, together with the soundtrack sounding in the present, gives the synthesis of the desired sound. We can say that the effect is well described in terms of residual hauntology, when the ghost-noise illuminates and colors the music sounding in the present.


The priority here is getting pleasure from listening to music, while the technical component is placed in a subordinate position. Using the power of our minds to help us, we use the fonodizer to filter the ghosts of ideal sound, ideal technique and ideal acoustic models, creating an individual sound stage.



Microcrystals of silver halide after development, under a microscope


Here's what Snegartel's fonodizer developers have to say:

"The view of listening to music as a holistic approach has long been around. Everyone agrees that the acoustics of the listening room are just as important as the power cable that the amplifier is connected to. What component always remains in the shadow of our own nose? It's ourselves, our desires and the endless search for our sound make us constantly improve our musical system, forgetting that the main part of this search must go inside us. It is at the mind that the gaze of our fonodizer is directed, catching this look, you can reflect that same analog warmth, on the technique itself, not fake or just a joke?
The answer: Yes!


According to Snegartel, the originality of the method lies precisely in the maximum use of the intellectual resources of the listener himself, often at an unconscious level. Hence, another plus of fonodizing technology follows - the ability to vary the scale within wide limits: from a home computer to public spaces. Probably the influence of the fonodizer on collective experiences will have an even greater effect, so the work will be big and interesting.


Please visit Snegartel Saatchi Art page for more info

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