From the Explanatory Notes of Visual Music Studies, Volume 1 - Pythagoras & Pellegrino In Petaluma - of the Visual Music Studies DVD Series by Ron Pellegrino, composer:


This material can also be viewed as a vehicle for learning to tune all the video and audio variables on your DVD playback system. If I were sitting next to you, I'd adjust those variables until the sound and light results were as close as possible to the original experiences, experiences I've had for decades but most likely relatively unknown or at least somewhat new to you. So the point is to experiment with tuning the video and audio variables so what you hear and see works best for you at whatever level of experience you may have in the visual music field. You can expect a good return on the efforts given to those tuning experiments. So don't be bashful about playing with the DVD controls.

Getting close to the original experience is as good as any of us is going to get. At one time or another you may find the audio too raw, so adjust the audio level to suit your situation remembering that you'll hear deeper into fuller sounds. That's just another way of saying you'll hear more of the spectral content with a full sound than you'll hear with a thin sound. A full sound is not necessarily a loud sound. Tune the audio level just below your personal threshold level of loud and remember that loudness threshold levels vary according to fundamental frequency, spectral content, spectral component activities, as well as your personal preferences at the moment. And those preferences are subject to any number of different variables - time of day, your age, your health, your state of mind, your experience, etc. Of course those principles must be balanced with the psycho-physical need to avoid the discomfort of continuous full sounds, so that means that the duration of the sound is another variable that effects the tuning of the amplitude level.

Also, search for the sweet spot in the stereo audio field which is to be found near the apex of an equilateral triangle formed by you and the stereo speakers. When you find that sweet spot slowly turn your head from side to side to make it easier to perceive the connections between phase changes and light form movement. There's much to be learned here about the connections between psycho-acoustics and psycho-optics. Getting a sense of the common ground shared by hearing and seeing should be one of the benefits of working with these visual music studies.

Bear in mind that the material on these DVDs is a media translation. There are significant size and quality differences between the original projected laser light forms and the video light forms you'll be witnessing from the DVD. Additionally for the video, gamma adjustments to tone down the midtones were made to compensate for lack of contrast that creeps into the image via the steps of the media translation process. The first step in that translation chain involves the original laser projections on a screen being picked up by an analog S-VHS video camera which is patched to an S-VHS analog video taperecorder for recording to analog videotape. The material on the analog videotape is then translated to digital videotape. The material on the digital videotape is then transferred to a computer. Finally the material is translated to MPEG, the DVD format for the storage of video. That material is a long way from the original experience. It's a high tech wonder that the material remains relatively intact. It's also a testament to just how forgiving our perceptual systems are.

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