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The Harbeth User Group is the primary channel for public communication with Harbeth's HQ. If you have a 'scientific mind' and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - audio equipment decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual Science of Audio sub-forum area of HUG is your place. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and should be accessible to non-experts and able to be tried-out at home without deep technical knowledge. From a design perspective, today's award winning Harbeths could not have been designed any other way.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings area is you. If you are quite set in your subjectivity, then HUG is likely to be a bit too fact based for you, as many of the contributors have maximised their pleasure in home music reproduction by allowing their head to rule their heart. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area only, although HUG is really not the best place to have these sort of purely subjective airings.

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{Updated Oct. 2017}
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To hell with the technical quality! Music as a motivator!

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  • To hell with the technical quality! Music as a motivator!

    I've been into Spin Biking for some years which I absolutely adore. I'd go to the class every night if my wife would let me. There are 40 bikes in my group, and attendance varies from 35+ (New Year resolutions) down to 5-10 mid summer. Pretty average PA speakers and depending on who is leading the class, some really attractive dance/beat music. If the music is right, you can push yourself to the outer limits of your physical capabilities - working at 101%. I can't recommend it enough and I've made more friends and acquaintances at the gym than anywhere else in my adult life. Physicians, lawyers, pilots, accountants, IT people, plumbers, midwife, nurses; a real cross mix all motivated to keep active and have fun doing it.

    For weeks I've been trying to catch a few lyrics from one song near the end of the session on a Monday night .... the line a search for 'we both know how this ends...' leads to over 2000 possible songs. I've asked Stuart, our tutor the name of the name of the song, but have always been so busy cycling like fury that I lose track of whether it's the seventh or eight or whatever. Not tonight! First I sneaked into the gym a dictation recorder, and second, I forced myself to count the tracks to elicit the details from Stuart so finally, I've identified the mystery piece! Yippee!

    This is what my micro recorder captured .... life doesn't get any better than this.... 128bpm

    Loading the player ...


    And here is the track, finally identified.

    (to follow)

    And here, for the classically inclined, is a brilliant solo piano version I discovered when searching on-line. I think I'll buy this and use it at Bristol next month ....

    (to follow)

    Anyone with stories about the music that gets them physically motivated to work at 100%? And any fellow Spinners here?
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    There is a free app called Shazam. It can 'listen' to a section of a tune. You just hold your smart phone with Shazam running in 'earshot' of the sound source, and it will identify the song or piece from that. It works pretty well. When we are playing a film and some music comes on which we would like to know what it is, Shazam usually gives us the answer. You could have discovered your song weeks ago with Shazam.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jeff_C View Post
      There is a free app called Shazam. It can 'listen' to a section of a tune. You just hold your smart phone with Shazam running in 'earshot' of the sound source, and it will identify the song or piece from that. It works pretty well. When we are playing a film and some music comes on which we would like to know what it is, Shazam usually gives us the answer. You could have discovered your song weeks ago with Shazam.
      Of course I'm well aware of that sort of app. The reality is that you can't effect a controlled wind-down, get off your bike, walk over to a loudspeaker, ask the instructor to be silent, capture thirty seconds of audio... in the public gaze of 39 people whose class you've just messed up!

      When the MP3 player is repaired, we can try pushing the recording I made at my bike into Shazam, complete with instructor's voice. I expect that it will prove what we already know, that the ear can be trained to identify useful audio in a very noisy environment but how difficult that is for a computer.
      Alan A. Shaw
      Designer, owner
      Harbeth Audio UK

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by A.S. View Post
        Anyone with stories about the music that gets them physically motivated to work at 100%? And any fellow Spinners here?
        I am sure 'Spinning' does you good. I have looked in at our local gym's spin classes and it looks a bit too vigorous for me to attempt. Do they tone it down a bit for seniors? . 20 years ago I would have cycled 100+ miles in a day. Now I take much more leisurely cycle rides of 25 miles, but I do not manage to get out on the bike as often as I should. I do a fair bit of walking, but my main exercise is squeezing myself around the cramped spaces within soft play areas with grandchildren.

        As for inspiring music I really like the music which accompanies the cycling film "Chasing Legends" about the history of the Tour de France which focuses on the HTC Columbia team in the 2009 Tour. Excellent music. I think about that music and visualise the pain on those cyclists faces climbing up mountains. It motivates me to carry on when I am tired out cycling home.

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        • #5
          Shazam is pretty impressive. Quite a few years ago I was shown it working in a noisy pub. That was using an old phone (not a smartphone) and it received a text with the identified track. Goodness knows what algorithm they used.

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          • #6
            I listen to music in the car, mainly classical. I does help calm me down especially if there is bad traffic or other stress going on in my life. I listen to rock music on the treadmill via an ipod.

            They have spin classes at my gym but the volume level of the music they play seems loud enough to induce real serious damage to the eardrums so I have avoided it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by grandwazoo View Post
              They have spin classes at my gym but the volume level of the music they play seems loud enough to induce real serious damage to the eardrums so I have avoided it.
              I was thinking the same thing. Those spin classes are usually for young head-bangers not 60 somethings like me.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Jeff_C View Post

                I was thinking the same thing. Those spin classes are usually for young head-bangers not 60 somethings like me.
                Maybe, but I and my three similarly-aged chums put in by far the most individual physical effort, far beyond the young ones. As physician Kevin says, 'we four, with a combined age of 212 are social deviants .... physically active, on-weight, able to cope with stress; just look at the statistics for what's happening in society and see for yourself'.

                You can tell just how much effort folks put in by the pool of sweat and by the temperature of the front aluminium wheel. That doesn't lie.

                One thing I can categorically assure you of: whilst the pursuit of high fidelity may well relax the mind, it does absolutely nothing for physical fitness, muscle strength of the heart, overall CV efficiency, thigh muscles (vital for stability in old age) and so on. Given the choice between being slumped in front of the stereo neurosing about cables or spikes, amplifiers, interconnects or spinning, it's a no-brainer. Honestly, give it a try: the best investment in yourself you'll ever make - it'll take years off you, and keep your rejuvinated ears in tip top condition.

                The trick is not to over-exert yourself in those critical, habit forming weeks. The first few weeks for me was torture because I didn't now khow to pace myself. Once you listen to your body, with a motivational leader and great beat music, you can do truly amazing physical things. And feel fantastic. And yes, the beat music is essential, and it doesn't need to be absurdly loud.
                Alan A. Shaw
                Designer, owner
                Harbeth Audio UK

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by A.S. View Post
                  And yes, the beat music is essential, and it doesn't need to be absurdly loud.
                  No it doesn't, but it just is. A newcomer could hardly go in and ask for the music to be turned down. It would be like going into a nightclub disco and asking for the music to be turned down.

                  I know you are mindful of what your ears are subjected to, so maybe your class has the music not quite so loud.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jeff_C View Post

                    No it doesn't, but it just is. A newcomer could hardly go in and ask for the music to be turned down. It would be like going into a nightclub disco and asking for the music to be turned down.

                    I know you are mindful of what your ears are subjected to, so maybe your class has the music not quite so loud.
                    Maybe you could wear ear plugs!

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                    • #11
                      MP3 (and MOV) players now fixed (thanks Ivan, again).

                      So, from post #1, can Shazam identify the piece? Anyone willing to try?
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

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                      • #12
                        Simple: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxxstCcJlsc

                        What makes it even more impressive is that - given that I didn't want to disturb others in the office - I held the phone up to my headphones.

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                        • #13
                          I regret that track would only motivate me to lead a life of monastic contemplation. I think I might go to the gym if they played Ian Dury, Madness, Elvis Costello, that sort of thing. No screeching diva's.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by grandwazoo View Post

                            Maybe you could wear ear plugs!
                            Damn. You would find a workaround wouldn't you. No need for you to 'avoid' your gym spin classes either 'grandwazoo'.

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                            • #15
                              shazam reported after about 3 seconds that it was Clarity (Tiesto Remix) Zedd feat. Foxes. Is that correct?

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