Originally Posted by bigshot
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