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Midrange frequencies an "acquired taste"?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I wasn't too sure where to post this, so I figured I would post it here instead of once in the fullsize headphones, one in the portables, etc.

I don't know about you all, but most of the people I've talked sound and music with (outside of here) don't pay much attention to the mids in music reproduction. Usually it's just the [mid]bass they look for, occasionally piercing highs, but not much attention to the midrange.

I was thinking it was likely because of the type of music that is popular nowadays; as long as you can hear the words, I just want more bass! After musing over it a bit more, I thought it might also be because of their lack of exposure to quality equipment so they can't really appreciate good mids. Most people run around with their iPod buds or just add subs into their car, neglecting the sucky stock speakers that produce the rest of the sound.

So basically, I think good sound in general is something that has to be heard to understand and respect but I think mids are generally the last range appreciated.

What do you think? Does this make sense? Obviously it's not the same with everyone and this is only what I've noticed around my area. I personally started my journey looking for clean bass but I've come to love the rest of the human hearing range just as much.
post #2 of 27
The thing with music is, for a lot of people, like it or not: its "background noise". It is NOT normal to plan a considerable chunk of your day for focused listening (as much as I wish music was a larger part of everyones life than it really is).
With bass, midbass and piercing highs you have the kick drum (between 5 hz and 50 hz - typically about 33-36 for pop music), Snare drum (100 hz and 1000 hz for the main body of the instrument, although regularly boosted at 5-6khz), and cymbals with the ring at 10kHz to 14kHz.

With this youve got your basic rock beats being emphasised (and lets face it 90% of pop has this emphasis); 1 3 1 3 1 3 in the kick, 12 22 32 42 in the hats and 2 4 2 4 2 4 in the snare.; with 1 and 3 being the main focus.

Hate to say it, but a lot of people who like pop music are just looking for the beat- NOT the vocal line, however the lyrics tend to play a larger role in whether the song becomes successful (especially if it has unsubtle euphemisms about sex).

It's such a shame people spend so much on music gadgets when they dont actually listen.
post #3 of 27
mr green is right. you can't expect people that don't focus on listening to actually reproduce the music correctly... they want the boom for their buck. listening is not something to just do on the go, and you can't impress someone with a nice listening rig as quickly as a big screen tv. it takes focus, and most people just don't have the time or persistence to deal with that.
post #4 of 27
I also agree with MrGreen.

I also think that a lot of the popular music that most people listen to is mixed to emphasize the bass & treble and to lessen the mid-range. Since most people spend most of their listening time listening to music with such sound characteristics, they think that that's what music is supposed to sound like. And something that sounds different is not appreciated. So I don't think people necessarily dis-like mids, they are just so used to music lacking a well presented mid that it doesn't sound "right" when they do hear it.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by wantmyf1 View Post
I also think that a lot of the popular music that most people listen to is mixed to emphasize the bass & treble and to lessen the mid-range.
i can't say that i agree with this... i think that much popular music emphasizes the bass, but midrange is still the place for most all melodies, despite the genre. whether it be voice, guitar, piano, whatever. the main melody usually lies in the midrange. i guess the definition of midrange could vary somewhat though.
post #6 of 27
The human brain is most sensitive to the mids - where human voices are. We're tuned to hear voices more than perky highs or low bass.

The mids are more important to me than any other range, and that's what makes or breaks a transducer for me. It also explains my preference for DHT tube amps - DHT really puts the magic in the midrange. Also why I love the DT48 (exquisite mids) and loathe the K-701 (plasticky vocals).

A lot of people are turned on by deep bass, but it seems a lot of people come around to loving the mids after they get some experience.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by etiolate View Post
i can't say that i agree with this... i think that much popular music emphasizes the bass, but midrange is still the place for most all melodies, despite the genre. whether it be voice, guitar, piano, whatever. the main melody usually lies in the midrange. i guess the definition of midrange could vary somewhat though.
Well to clarify, I don't think that the mid is intentionally mixed down, just that the bass and treble are a little pumped up. Nothing extreme because you're right, most actual music is in the mid range. Which makes sense seeing as the mid range makes up most of the frequency spectrum that humans can functionally hear. As Uncle Erik said, we are literally wired to best hear human voices (and apparently men are wired to hear female voices better than males, but that's another topic). But people want their bass. Just look at the prominence of bass driven phones on the lower end of the quality spectrum.

Not that I'm an audio expert. Just seems to me to be that way
post #8 of 27
Midrange makes or breaks a headphone IMO..
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
The human brain is most sensitive to the mids - where human voices are. We're tuned to hear voices more than perky highs or low bass.
This relates to my opinion.

I think it has a lot to do with what the majority of people listen with every day. Ipod buds, car speakers, mono stereos at work, computer speakers. Mids are about all they reproduce, and poorly at that. These are the reference systems for 90% of people. Any time they hear a system with more treble quantity or more bass quantity, they exclaim "that has good sound!". Hence all the attention to treble and bass.

At least, that's my theory about why mids are neglected.
post #10 of 27
^^ that makes sense.
post #11 of 27
I agree with the comment that most of what we hear is in the mids. It's the survival band, the place where we spend most of our listening lives, including the important frequencies of human speech. Because of crappy equipment, with crappy woofers and crappy tweeters, there's a craving for the extremes. One of the most recognizable differences noticed between somebody's plastic squawk box and a live concert is the bass and treble "presence" even though it's the mids that allow us to listen to, and recognize, music from very junky devices.

The mids get little appreciation because they're just not that "exotic" to the casual listener. Yet, the quality of the mids is most important to the clarity and detail of the music we listen to. Once you get plenty of bass and plenty of treble, you end up realizing that the best part of the spectrum is in the middle. With a few notable exceptions, most instruments are in the midrange, so if you have crappy midrange, you have crappy sound, regardless of how you dress up the bass and treble.
post #12 of 27
The magic of music is in the midrange
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post
The magic of music is in the midrange
Lies. Music is in every part of the spectrum. Well except maybe below 30 hz and above sort of 12000
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post
The magic of music is in the midrange
I think you're right.
post #15 of 27
Punisher makes a great point, Especially given the fact that low budget stuff, almost always draws the mids bask some. The theory with lousy stuff, is less mids are better than really poor mids. Hence the v-moda vibe. The push the mids back theory is not new. And, in my opinion, on way too many pop recordings, the vocals are very poorly presenyed. I think that's why so many users that are new to (just an example) The se 530, seems rough and harsh to them, but at least in my opinion, it's one of the very finest iem's on the market. Mids, are abdolutely the most important part of good music, no matter the genre. I am baffled by how often the new pop recordings screw up the vocals.
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