Exploration - Instrument Noises

I’ve been working on dialing in a new pair of speakers. One quality in music that I’ve found helpful for gauging if I’m headed in the right direction is to listen to music that carries instrument noises… bass/guitar string farts, piano key presses and creaks, lip smacks, etc. I find these sounds really bring out the “liveness” of the music when heard in the right proportion and with the right tone and weight.

It’s been tough finding good examples, so I’d like to share a couple I’ve found that, with the right configuration of my cables, tubes and other tweaks, I’ve found to sound lifelike.

When these noises aren’t right, the sound feels distant, an OK facsimile. When they’re right, they’re right there in the room.

Please share your picks.


Have just done this whilst buying some speakers. My entire playlist of sounds and a little music is about 40 minutes.

For starters, Marimba and Vibraphone, first and last track.

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Drums, Rebonds A on this.

Piano - OK Chorale here See Qobuz.

Lip smacks. It ain’t me babe from here:

You have to purchase a lot of these, but I’ve used them to purchase my entire audio system and the recording quality is difficult to match. There are many others.

For imaging, try One Zero, The Conference. About 60 seconds in there is a Tabla, it was direct cut and should focus exactly centre to a pinpoint sound image, with nothing else in the sound field. You should also be able to hear his fingers slide across the drum surface. See Qobuz.

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Hey Vee great point you brought up…

The earliest known cd probably is
Jazz at the Pawnshop…live recording in Stampen
Sweden…Loaded with jazz club people chatting
and what seems to sound like a cash register
drawer open and close. The band warming up
and leader giving a cue to start the music.
As well as clapping from the audience aloing with vocal
approval of the performance.

A student of Lionel Hampton playing the vibraphone
is stunning…

Recording was analogue transferred to didgital AAD
no hiss or wow and flutter from the master tape.

Great piece to listen to.

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Keith Jarrett, “The Köln Concert”

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