Saturday, February 13, 2016

Is Your Audio System Cat-Friendly?

While early high fidelity audio systems got notoriety for “scaring away the horses” – is your current audio set-up cat-friendly?

By: Ringo Bones 

Maybe we should blame cellist David Teie for this given that his Kickstarter funded research into feline-centric / species-appropriate music that recently got scientific verification by a recent independent study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and published in Applied Animal Behavior. Also, Teie’s Music for Cats compositions recently got scores of positive testimonials by early purchasers who tested Teie’s cat music recordings on their own cats noting that it actually had a relaxing effect on their own pets. 

Cello player David Teie comes from a long line of musicians, composers and professional instrumentalists. Since 2014, he has been the conductor and music director of Washington D.C.’s premier chamber orchestra – the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra – and currently serves on the faculty at the University of Maryland’s School of Music. Teie’s career has spanned performing as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra under Russian maestro Mstislav Rostropovich. And also as the acting principal cellist of the San Francisco Symphony where Teie performed as cellist on Metallica’s 1999 album S&M. His research has been published in the Royal Society Biology Letters and in Evolution of Emotional Communication. His invention of species-specific music was described by the New York Times as the number one idea of 2009. 

According to cellist David Teie, cats were our first choice because they’re widely kept as pets which allowed us to easily share music with them. Given that cats can hear audio frequencies way above the human hearing frequency limit of 20,000-Hz, can cats even appreciate those upper octaves of Teie’s music given that most entry-level audio systems have trouble playing at significant volume – never mind proper phase linearity – of audio signals above 20,000-Hz? 

With the relatively wide availability and relative affordability of audio components and recordings capable of producing cleanly audio signals above 20,000-Hz – i.e. 24-Bit 192-KHz sampled PCM DVD Audio files and Super Audio CD recordings that can produce notes above 100,000-Hz and some moving coil cartridges like the Dynavector 17D2MkII Karat Diamond whose shorter 1.7-mm diamond cantilever allow it to have a high-frequency extension above 100,000-Hz and diamond coated tweeters that can cleanly play 100,000 Hz or higher audio frequencies – then it is now relatively easy to upgrade your audio system that can produce sounds that even cats, dogs and even bats can clearly hear. 

Maybe it was due to the fact that he hanged out with Metallica for a relatively long time during rehearsals in comparison to us mere fans back in 1999 or whether he is already a Metallica fan back when bassist Cliff Burton was still alive that got me wondering how much Metallica was an influence to cellist David Teie upon hearing of Cozmo’s Air – one of the tracks of his Music for Cats – that it reminded me of the ambient into of Metallica’s Damage, Inc. – the last track on the Master of Puppets album. Well, at least Teie managed to make his “cat music” also interesting to hear for us human music lovers which will probably give Pet Sounds a whole new meaning to audiophiles around the world. 

1 comment:

VaneSSa said...

Structurally - I think cat's ears are biologically adapted to hear phase linearity up to 100,000-Hz. Checking on David Teie's Music for Cats official website, he didn't yet place diagrams research materials regarding the ultrasonic phase linearity of cat's ears.