Pace Ryhtm and Timing

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Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby zach » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:51 am

ey folks!!! its been awhile..:D i tried searching if someone posted this topic already...my apologies kung nag doble.. anyway, i just wanted to discuss this term in audio..you here this a lot (in discussions between tube and ss). ive heard differences...there are systems that are "nagmamadali"...meron naman "mabagal"...meron namn " tama yung "PRAT" we see upstart audiophiles scratch their heads when these terms come up...these have nothing to do with the sound, nor the tone..but rather as id think.. the presentation of the performance.. now how do we test this? is this a pitch issue? how does a system slow down the pace of music. and on the same note speed it up...how can we quantify when an audiophile says" bagal ng system mo chip..parang tinatamad mag conga si giovanii hidalgo"..:D how does this happen? tone, you can never get perfect, same with the dark, bright, sound system issues, the only way to hear it as it was intended by the artists in its pure form is to go to the studio where they recorded it and litsen to the master tapes on THEIR playback system....but how about PRAT? is there a "standard"? :)
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby Pause » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:15 am

I used to scratch my head when i heard this too, i thought that meant the music was played at a faster tempo but I only really understood it when I heard it for myself ( not with an amp change or source but surprisingly with cables, i know it sounds like bull but i swear it's real ) and it really adds to the musicality of a system. Obviously there's no way for me to quantify it but it just sounded right, not slow, not fast, just right. Maybe it's like porn, you know it when you see it ( or in this case, hear it ).
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Re: Pace Rhythm and Timing

Postby egay » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:01 am

I can't exactly put my fingers on it - BUT there really is that "perception" in a particular equipment configuration - in Terry's case it was the cables, in my case it was the tube-rolling :| ... by golly, one set of 6922s made Michael Feintein sound tired, but another set made him wake-up and more alive :o ...

Don't ask me to explain, more so quantify, my experience because I can't - it's just how it was/is.

Perhaps our more tech guys can have some scientific/technical explanations?

OH, BTW - I just noted that RHYTHM is one of those words that do not contain a vowel 8)

Greets!
.e.
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby rtsyrtsy » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:50 am

One simple term you often read or hear from audiophiles is "toe-tapping." I find that with systems with good PRAT, you can't help yourself but go with the beat. A more extreme flattery on this note is the phrase "makes you want to stand up and dance."

I realize above are unscientific but I've found that to be simple explanations.

One artist that to me truly exemplifies excellent timing is Frank Sinatra. If you are karaoke fan, his phrasing is tough to match. He makes lot of little pauses that seems off beat but is perfectly suited to the song he is rendering.
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby Jon Agner » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:50 am

Yup, this was a discussion during the early years of WS. Here's one I found:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5018&hilit=PRAT
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby zach » Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:13 pm

aaah...yes...that heated discussion alomst 6years ago...hahaha...i even forgot my own answer..after reading that thread again...makes you wonder how a system does it no?...hay audio nga naman...
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby JackD201 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:24 pm

PRAT, in my mind, must be the dumbest term adopted by Audiophiles. I personally think it's dumb for the following reasons:

1. The term is borrowed from Physiology and was not as previously thought, one dedicated to reproduced music.

2. Pace, Rythm AND Timing. Kokopyahin man, hindi pa linubos. Ang iniwan pa yung talagang may saysay. A should not be AND. It should be ATTACK. :o

So why dumb again? Pace, Rythm and Timing are not steady states in musical reproduction. They are an essential part in music YES but not in the reproduction. Why do I say so? Regardless of what you got plugged into your wall socket or hooked up to your batteries, PRT is dictated by playback at the proper speed. Nothing more. Be it 30ips,15ips, 331/3, 45, or whatever that crystal inside the DAC says to play at.

Every system has PRAT and as Einstein said in the greatest cop out and scientific theory of modern history...."It's all Relative, Baby". Okay I added the "Baby".

So ironically it's on the now missing A. A for Attack. It is this and not P,R and T that remains constant relative ( :P ) to the playback gear that gets the toe tapping.

Wanna know what determines the missing A? Okay I'll give it a shot since I looked all over Google and haven't found anybody who actually tried to explain it. I'll try to give it my best. We'll have to divide the playback chain in two for now and sew it all back together. Electronics on one side and Electromagnetics on the other. So digital players, amplification on one side and cartridges and speakers on the other.

Electronics. Good attack comes from high rise times or available current on demand. Dynamic headroom is a big plus for the feeling of speedy attack. That's why traditionally Class A/AB , AB and Class D (with big power supplies) have excelled. Brute power is not the determinant rather the ability to accelerate when called for. Think a 2000bhp Earthmover vs a 140bhp Sport Bike. Even preamps and analog stages in source components, in ML speak, make "copies" of the input signal. This is only half the story though because we have to look at WHAT is being accelerated.

The loudspeaker. Good attack comes from loudspeakers whose diaphragms are light, have powerful magnetic fields and high impedance. Look familiar? looks like the requirements for any high sensitivity design doesn't it? Well yes and no because again, sensitivity is relative. Thank you Mr. Einstein. Given enough juice even low sensitivity speakers can give tremendous attacks. Geez I wish I had some waveforms of a snare vs an electric bass to show or better yet a bass vs a kickdrum vs a bass and kickdrum together. Zach, can you provide some screen captures?

Sewing it all together. Lets add an "s" to Attack to make it "Attacks" because it is the series of individual "Attacks" that psychoacoustically trigger the toe tapping, fight or run for your life mode. If you have a combination of a even reasonably tonally balanced source, an amp and speaker combination that can reproduce what they put out at a level that can mentally and physically affect you, then there you have it. PRAT.

So are we done yet? Ummmm. No. Because depending on how you look at things there are ways to either "enhance" or "cheat". Electronic designers and speaker designers don't just have tone or voicing contours in their arsenal. If one can use dips to enhance vocal intelligability (<---paano ba spelling niyan?) and humps to enhance bass, there are tricks to subjectively make a component or speaker seem to have more Attack or dynamic punch. This is done many ways in electronics like emphasizing the frequencies that make up the leading transients of percussion instruments but more commonly be voicing it so the levels of the sustain and decay of the envelope fall off just that much more quickly or a combination of both. Think of a drummer hitting a cymbal quickly. If he doesn't damp it it will sound like a long "Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh" as opposed to doing it when "pinched" (HELP ME ZACH!!!!) and you get practically all attack with very little sustain or decay. Speaker designers have their own tricks too. Some do exactly the same thing with their crossover designs as electronics designers do while some do their trickery with driver construction. Midrange drivers that use very stiff surrounds almost always have faster decay times. The latter makes a speaker sound more punchy. Do it right and the adjectives used are often "tight", "tuneful" and even "dry bass" but go too far and the adjectives often used are "stiff", "boxy" and/or "over-damped".

Okay so that's about as well as I can put things for now. I skipped dynamics on purpose because I think that side of things is already very well understood. I have a headache now. I hope this helps somewhat.

:)
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby mandym » Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:43 pm

JackD201 wrote:PRAT, in my mind, must be the dumbest term adopted by Audiophiles.


Jack you beat me to it!!! My timidity made me wait too long. Yes, I think it is indeed the dumbest term invented in the history of Audio (except maybe for "perfect sound forever"). I never understood why they used the term. What happened to the word REALISM? Not impressive enough?

Thanks Jack. You are one politician with balls (lady politicians are excused).
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby O.D. Yeo » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:03 pm

mandym wrote:
JackD201 wrote:PRAT, in my mind, must be the dumbest term adopted by Audiophiles.


Jack you beat me to it!!! My timidity made me wait too long. Yes, I think it is indeed the dumbest term invented in the history of Audio (except maybe for "perfect sound forever"). I never understood why they used the term. What happened to the word REALISM? Not impressive enough?

Thanks Jack. You are one politician with balls (lady politicians are excused).


It's a great relief to know that I am not the only one who, all this time, did not get it. :?: :tmi:
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby JackD201 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:21 pm

Merci mon amis :)

I've always found "Drive" to be a better word than "PRAT" or at least what "PRAT" has popularly become known to mean. Sheeeesh. Both connote an outside influence toward motion but drive does so without sacrificing the rest of the sonic envelope in the pursuit of greater perceived Attack. Furthermore "Drive" relates to the musical intent of a piece rather than as a kind of effects overlay. The latter or those that have tried to lean heavily on it have a staccato quality to them that just sounds unnatural to me in the way individual notes are played. Parang sakal. The sad side effect of the premature truncation of sustains and delays is a foreshortened soundstage. It's almost a given.

I've heard systems like this and admit to their certain appeal especially with pop music and rock. What I absolutely can't stand is the term PRAT. Like I said. Kokopyahin lang mali pa!

My acid test is acoustic guitar and a vocalist. If you want to go Footloose like Kevin Bacon when listening to a ballad MAYBE you've gone too far. :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby zach » Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:33 pm

hahaha...good read jack! apir plak!!
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby Agent007 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:09 pm

I agree with Jack 100% on this regard:clap: :clap: :clap: ...

From Mr. Wikipedia it says PRAT when referred to audio it is the acronym of Pace, Rhythm, Attack, Timing... :^) :?: :|

Now from Mr. WikiAnswer and Mr. WorldWideWords I found out that prat is a British terminology or slang sense dates from the 1960s and means an incompetent, foolish or stupid person. It became popular in the 1980s. It refers to your backside or buttocks. If you call someone a prat, you are calling them an ass or an idiot.... :lol: :lol:
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby ProtegeManiac » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:33 pm

I must admit I never encountered PRAT before, I always just used the individual terms :D but in addition to the observations that these were improved by cable and tube rolling, I had a couple of experiences with this too. First, when I "upgraded" my NAD304 to a BOM Tubepreamp+Technics SE-A7, I got a lot more power and deeper bass, but some songs seemed slow and made me want to sleep while listening. The most obvious difference was listening to the Focal 6 CD. Then out of curiosity I upgraded the crap ceramic 2.2uf caps to Mundorf M-Caps (would have done this for all caps but AudioAmp's out of the 1.0uf; Supremes cost more than the preamp itself). When I got the preamp home I couldn't believe what I was hearing, the China preamp actually made my car's Pioneer/MTX/JBL system suck.It was warm with a lot of impact, the tracks on the Focal disc seemed "faster" while naturally "slow" tracks sounded a bit more "live," or engaging. These didn't sound any faster as there was barely any percussion in the background but they weren't for sleeping anymore.

Later I sold these to return to my NAD304, and a few months later I got a tweaking itch and had my lampcord upgraded to an IEC socket and got a "DIY" powercord. Wow, I thought I was making compromises by simplifying the system, but whoa! In all counts aside from absolute loudness the NAD304 trumped the pre-power I had, as best as I recall their sound, anyway. At least this one doesn;t have the nasal tendencies of the China tube pre, although I admit I hadn't got around to tube rolling.

I thought before the speed of the attack and decay could be duplicated in the car with the existing gears, although I did upgrade to Hertz speakers and used the Pioneer receiver's active crossover, removing the ones for the tweeter and mids. It did improve the sound, and by now I have the time alignment tuned perfectly, but the Focal disc tracks still sound a bit "slow." Other discs aren't as obvious, you'd have to really strain to hear anything, and at that point you'd wonder if you are hearing it or it's just psychosomatic. Unfortunately I think it might be the amp, and obviously with car amps, there's just no place to spot for cramming a better cap in it. Not to mention that this particular amp is DC, no signal caps.
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Re: Pace Ryhtm and Timing

Postby egay » Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:21 pm

Call me too simplistic, but i think If our real interest is music and not mere reproduction, it is only natural that we would often forgo these idioms for recordings of our preferred artists and/or interpretations, reducing this issue to plain academic interest.

When we are "involved" in our listening, we just can't think of the equipment or the surroundings anymore but simply immersing ourselves into what is being played. I think what we lack is a real proper listening attitude because of this frenetic life we have that we are mostly in a hurry to enjoy. This demand for 'excellent audio result' in a jiffy makes us watch our equipment play which we mistake for listening, therefore we become concerned/obsessed with PRAT (or whatever characteristics we wish to find), and then we are robbed of that fleeting moment.

Hmm, where did I learn this :?:

.e.
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