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Author Topic: Rubato doesn't belong in CW  (Read 835 times)
W3ULS
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Posts: 69




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« on: May 22, 2002, 09:33:06 AM »

It is one thing to hear an orchestra conductor using rubato in the performance of a 19th-century symphonic work; it is quite another to hear rubato being used, sometimes to wretched excess, in CW sending. I hear quite a few signals from East Coast hams on 7.025 MHz and above showing the kind of rhythmic flexibility that would give credit to Wilhelm Furtwangler, a conductor who was famous for using rubato. However, 40 meters is not a concert hall. I suggest that the stretching of dashes, shortening of dots and random spacing does not contribute to the "art" of ham radio. IMHO, the hobby would suffer no loss if the practice were abandoned. I find a fist with lots of rubato to be close to unreadable. What I'm used to listening to are code practice tapes and W1AW broadcasts consisting of perfectly balanced code, not to mention the pros who mostly inhabit the space from 7.000 to 7.025. Hearing a fist with rubato is the aural equivalent of a taffy pull.    
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20666




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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2002, 04:45:27 PM »

I agree with you.  Of course, an electronic keyer cannot duplicate this; the operators sending as you described are mostly using "bugs," and they're not very good at it.  I'm not amused by them, either, and simply don't answer them -- even if they call me.

WB2WIK/6
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N5XM
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Posts: 242




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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2002, 07:41:36 AM »

What is rubato?  I am not a classically trained musician, and I wonder honestly how many of our other CW ops have any idea what the word means.  I think I understand based on your description of non-standard dits and dahs, and yes, it probably is bugs you are hearing.  In my opinion, most of those folks using bugs couldn't copy their own fists if they had to...in that sense I understand exactly what you are talking about.  I don't have anything intrinsically against bugs, I just wish these folks would practice off the air until they had some proficiency with them, and could send recognizable code! Hey, I'm not Mozart with a set of paddles, but I guarantee you can copy my fist. On the other hand, some of the offenders are using straight keys and probably paddles as well, so it is just unpracticed fists in general you are talking about, in my opinion.  The answer is for people to realize that it is as important to practice sending as it is to practice copying.  How often have any of us worked someone who we couldn't wait for the QSO to be over so we could find someone we could work who had at least a decent fist?  Be honest here.  Also, folks need to think hard before they radically change the weighting on their keyers, and maybe tape themselves and see what they sound like...maybe they don't sound like they think they sound.  
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