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Equalise to get a flat frequency (WHY NOT?) - Page 6

post #76 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

We hope so - it's possible the engineer used uncalibrated and/or lousy hardware.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

But why should one calibrate to flat response if that's not what the person enjoys the most? I want more bass than flat, I like aprox 7~9dB or so boost depending on the resonance and all that stuff, the Q40 have about 8dB boost in bass which is quite perfect to me.

 

I'll let you guys work out whether the response curve calibrations in recordings are consistent or not.

 

For me, I've found that most classical and jazz recordings are all calibrated to a flat response. The best sounding pop and rock recordings are too. The rest are all over the map and generally sound like crap no matter how they're EQed.

post #77 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralStorm View Post

 

More bass where? Are you actually sure your bass is flat?

Most of headphones and IEMs actually roll off in subbass... I hate bass boosts and upper bass boosts though, they dull the sound of everything bassy.

 

What you're describing is likely reasonably close to a perceptually flat eq for Q40. Check it. No really, please do.

 

Edit: Yep, it is quite close, if the boost is subbass, then you're just turning a hump into a much less obnoxious slope. You might be listening far too loud if you're actually boosting lower midrange with these, unless by lower midrange you mean 300-1k - boosting there would counteract the bass boost.

Source: http://en.goldenears.net/9049

 

Q40 is actually the first headphone which is so close to my preferred balance so I don't EQ it at all (disabling EQ leads to better results but if I had a proper hardware EQ for example I'd most likely EQ it a little though). Only place I'd EQ it a little would be boosting the lower-midrange (300-1k) by aprox 3dB or so, so it would be a little more in-line with the 2kHz bump. The female vocals and guitars etc sound very alive and forward with that 2kHz bump, you can tell the lower-midrange is slightly less forward when listening to music but I hear the Q40 generally as a significant bass boost, neutral lower-midrange and slight boost around in the upper-midrange and reasonable neutral highs but lacking extension (lack of airiness and that 9kHz bump is tamed down slightly by the padmod, I stuffed some papertowels underneath the pads which cover the openings in the pads on the bottomside which tends to increase highs as well as making the cups deeper which allows better soundstage/separation).

 

From Q40 I'd mainly want improvement in soundstage & airiness and separation although separation is quite good after the padmod and perfectly satisfying to me but roughly keeping the same FR balance with very slightly more forward lower-mids. I'm EXTREMELY satisfied with its bassresponse and how it handles female vocals and acoustic instruments as well as the absence of resonance throughout the whole mid and highrange though and I do listen to all kinds of genres but nowadays I'm mostly involved in the hardstyle music scene where I'm promoting music, mastering for upcoming producers, giving feedback etc and this genre doesn't really need a highly detail headphone at all, the most important is that it has a good balance between subbass and midbass presence as hardstyle music uses a wide variety of bass frequencies so you can accurately tell the different bass elements is in nice balance which Q40 does pretty well.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/30/12 at 12:09am
post #78 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

It doesn't have anything to do with preferences. It's calibration to a standard. Once you're calibrated, you can use the bass and treble to set it the way you prefer if you like a different sound from the one the artists who made the recording intended. But you should start from a zero point so your calibration is the anchor to your settings. That way you can always get back to calibrated.
But calibrated doesn't sound any particular way. It just sounds the same as the engineers heard.

 

Not having any exaggerrated frequencies is a particular sound, one which you prefer.

But people who prefer exaggerrated frequencies have no use for a "calibration standard". Why calibrate if you are going to boost frequencies by ear anyways? That doesn't make any sense.

The perception of music is ultimately a subjective endeavor, so it makes sense to use your subjective faculties to determine the EQ settings. While I understand and personally agree with the principle of wanting to have the most accurate sound, I also understand that people may not agree with the artist's original intention.

post #79 of 119

music is about the experience, so why not tune by ear? afterall its the ear that decides what's good and whats not.
which happens to sound similar to the LCD3 vs HD800 arguement, yet no one fights over which is flatter. 

for songs with real instruments,(classical,jazz,rock etc) flat is quite important for the instruments to sound natural, for electro however where no real instruments are present, it is not so important, and tuning should be mostly done by ear, having (calibrated) flat only as a reference/starting point
 

post #80 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisenhower View Post

 

Not having any exaggerrated frequencies is a particular sound, one which you prefer.

 

Flat response can have exaggerated frequencies and underplayed ones. It's whatever the recording engineer wanted the music to sound like. Maybe I'm not using a clear enough term for you. When I say "calibrated" I mean that it's matched to the recording engineer's equipment. If that engineer likes a lot of bass, you get a lot of bass. if he likes a thin sound, you get a thin sound. Flat doesn't sound like anything. It's just accurate sound. You set your system to flat, then you have tone controls to use on a case by case basis if your taste is different. Equalization is not the same thing as bumping up the treble or bass to suit your taste. They're two separate things. I know some people use equalizers like tone controls, but they're using them wrong.

post #81 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

music is about the experience, so why not tune by ear? afterall its the ear that decides what's good and whats not.

 

Equalizing by ear is possible using good recordings of acoustic instruments, but it takes a very long time, and even then, you can only get the overall curve. smaller wolf tones and dips at crossovers are very hard to detect without tone sweeps. I haven't had much luck with automatic equalization tools that use a microphone. They seem to have problems at the ends of the spectrum, particularly the bass. I find that using tone sweeps by ear is the best. But even then, it might take a little fine tuning by ear with music.

 

All music benefits from having accurate response, even electronic. it's just harder to tell if electronic is out of balance.

post #82 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

Flat response can have exaggerated frequencies and underplayed ones. It's whatever the recording engineer wanted the music to sound like. Maybe I'm not using a clear enough term for you. When I say "calibrated" I mean that it's matched to the recording engineer's equipment. If that engineer likes a lot of bass, you get a lot of bass. if he likes a thin sound, you get a thin sound. Flat doesn't sound like anything. It's just accurate sound. You set your system to flat, then you have tone controls to use on a case by case basis if your taste is different. Equalization is not the same thing as bumping up the treble or bass to suit your taste. They're two separate things. I know some people use equalizers like tone controls, but they're using them wrong.

 

No, I mean exaggerated relative to an artists intention. Not doing that, by having a flat response, is a particular sound.

It might not seem that way if you look at individual tracks (since as you say, some may have lots of bass etc..), but on average, a flat response has a particular sound given a large set of songs. This is especially true given that the entire purpose of mixing/mastering (aka equalizing) is to not have exaggerated frequencies.

This is why certain sound signatures are called "neutral". Maybe you would say that don't have any sound signature, but I think that is silly.. clearly you can distinguish a headphone with a flat response from one without a flat response, so it must have a sound signature.

 

Well "equalization" may have originated as meaning "adjusting frequencies to a flat response", it now means "adjusting frequencies". It's a misnomer, just like calling a series of filters an "equalizer" since it isn't limited to that use.

 

Defend a flat response on its own merits (which are numerous), instead of avoiding it altogether by saying "you can't dislike a flat response because it doesn't have a particular sound!".


Edited by Eisenhower - 11/30/12 at 3:22pm
post #83 of 119

Frankly, I wouldn't care less about how the sound engineer wanted it to sound like, I'm just looking for maximum enjoyable listening experience. I've always had a hard time understanding how people are able to get maximum enjoyable listening experience "knowing" they have it configured as closely as possible as it was "intended to sound like" instead of just tweaking it according to what your senses wish to hear. I always operate on the basis of what my senses/ears wish to hear. For most people it's probably reasonably close to that "intended sound" / flat response but hardly it's EXACTLY the same for everyone. I see it as every person having his/her invidual perfect sound which differs slightly for everyone, can be very tiny nuances or it can be a bit bigger variety depending on person, one might want 1dB louder midrange than another person but that every1 would like the same sound on 0.1dB-precision basis is just scientific nonsense IMO.

 

Equalization I always understood is the process of tweaking the frequency response, not in what way it's tweaked.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/30/12 at 3:52pm
post #84 of 119

agree with that^
for me i also tune it by instinct, so that all the elements work in harmony, enough bass to support the instruments, but not too powerful until it kicks everything else out and grabs all your attention, enough sparkle to light up the song, but not too much until it blinds everything else, enough energy in vocals but also gentle and soothing enough. its all about harmony.(to one's ears)

post #85 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

agree with that^
for me i also tune it by instinct, so that all the elements work in harmony, enough bass to support the instruments, but not too powerful until it kicks everything else out and grabs all your attention, enough sparkle to light up the song, but not too much until it blinds everything else, enough energy in vocals but also gentle and soothing enough. its all about harmony.(to one's ears)

 

That's one other good way of putting it yes.

 

What's "suitable bass" for example will greatly vary from person to person, I think it's more about how we like to hear it than the ears aren't hearing it in the same way why we can't go the objective route to determine what's best for everyone. Having said that I use objective measurable data now that I've learnt my subjective preferences in sound by testing different headphones and comparing their measurements against each other. I first operated on my instinct/senses, then went down to compare the data and then I get to learn my personal preferences in sound.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/30/12 at 4:03pm
post #86 of 119

exactly, some like the bass to actually kick really hard and be a centerpiece of the track, some like it to just blend in with the elements in harmony, and some like it to play it shy and let the other parts of the song shine through easily, giving it a clear feeling. to my surprise i found the XB500 to have appropriate amounts of subbass for me. midbass i'm not so sure, didn't audition it for long enough to know

post #87 of 119

Tuning by instinct? Bah, equal loudness sine tones (gives Independent-of-Field compensation) are far, far better and more reproducible. Also easy to make.

 

Here's the latest tuning for my pair of RE-ZERO with stock short biflanges at optimum seal (referenced to 500 Hz, -15 dB):

700

 

This is pretty much the smalllest RMS difference from flat yet. Better than T70p, SE-5 or even B2. They don't have any noxious resonances either.

Before, they sounded good. Now, they sound superb - best out of all the abovementioned equalized specimens. (they're 20-20k like SE-5 too - this highest end boost is a shelf)

Funnily enough, the correction shape is very, very close to RE272 in general... More bass and ridges are flatter.


Edited by AstralStorm - 11/30/12 at 4:20pm
post #88 of 119

though with enough practice and songs, one can tune pretty well by ear and instinct too.
this pair was once said to be bad with electronica with a veil. now the veil is lifted and the subbass is powerful enough for such genres. well at least from my experience


 

 

1000


Edited by streetdragon - 11/30/12 at 4:21pm
post #89 of 119

The problem with those tones is that I can't enjoy listening to test tones like I can when listening to music, therefore I always EQ when listening to music. :) What's percieved as perfectly flat white noise/sinewave sweeps etc isn't necessarily what I like to hear when listening to my music. :) So for me Equalizing using test tones actually leads to worse results. Using that method is an objective way of doing it but the problem is my "enjoyment"-senses doesn't operate on an objective basis.

 

It's the same as how I value an artists stage presence/ability to provide me a feeling higher than his/her technical ability to sing "correctly". The objective way would be that both aspects are equally valuable, for me the feelings are of more importance.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 11/30/12 at 4:24pm
post #90 of 119

Feel free to measure your feelings and then we can all have fun at your expense (or perhaps not?) when you post the difference curve.

 

Equalize the headphone with sine tones, then equalize it to music. Pretty please!

For your convenience, here's the equalization playlist for Foobar2000.

 

 

 

 

equalization.zip 1k .zip file

 

 

Also correction: RE-ZERO are 17Hz-20kHz. I also recommend setting Foobar to -6 dB FS and set the volume so that 1000 Hz tone is only slightly annoying.


Edited by AstralStorm - 11/30/12 at 4:52pm
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