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post #16 of 78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

When I supervise mixes, usually the director speaks in terms of emotions. As producer, I translate that into practical technical terms and pass it along to the engineers. Works pretty good.

 

Certainly. But so what? 

post #17 of 78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

 

From the implicit assumption (yours) that one of the harmonics of the bass (including the non-linear ones imparted by non-ideal audio equip) ends up in the same frequency as the fundamental of a particular guitar note

 

 

 

There is no such assumption: that is an illustration. Think about it: all a headphone knows is that there is a wave at X Hz. How can it "know" - ever - whether this is a fundamental or harmonic? There is no physical difference.

post #18 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

Plenty more to laugh at - or despair at - here: http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary

Note that every new Head-Fier is directed to that page upon registration. They're taught to hear all kinds of meaningless stuff from the get-go.

rolleyes.gif
post #19 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

The in context of the definition, fundamentals refers to the fundamental or lowest frequencies of a sound. 

 

Yes, everyone knows this. The questions is, how can a "bright" headphone know that a 2000Hz wave component is a harmonic rather than a fundamental?

 

 

Quote:

 

In other words, the word harmonics refers to the scientific definition and should not be thought of as harmony, as in singing kumbaya in harmony.

 

I wrote: 

 

How does a piece of audio equipment know that a bit or an electron is part of a harmonic and to emphasize it? How does a headphone resonance chamber look at two waves of equal frequency, one being the fundamental say of the lead guitar and the other the first harmonic of the bass, and know to emphasize the second?

 

 

So how you managed to mis-understand is beyond me, but that you did says a lot about why it is possible to set margins of hi fi hardware so high.

post #20 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

When I speak about sound, I talk about response (subbass, bass, low mids, mids, upper mids, treble, high frequencies), distortion (crunchy or smooth), dynamics (punchy or dull), reverb (dry or wet), etc. Everything relates to one of the aspects of sound. I don't use vague words like fuzzy or veiled.

Fuzzy/veiled I can live with. It might be hard to measure, but it is a least comprehensible. But a specialist vocabulary should structure knowledge to increase clarity, not to obfusticate, and should never include obvious impossibilities. Wet/dry for reverb is very good - it's immediately comprehensible to the non-technical, but also something that I know how to graph - the wet reverb will smear more, yes?

post #21 of 78

The idea is to describe sound in a way that you can do something with it. If you say, "It needs more oomph." Where do you start? What knob adjusts "oomph"? But if you say, "The upper miss are too high." you know exactly how to go about fixing it.

 

Yes, wet is a more spread reverb.

post #22 of 78

For "veiled" I would think deemphasized attacks, maybe less volume, probably less dynamic range, maybe less high frequencies, or...?  Not sure; the definition is veiled itself!  Depends on the situation..

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The idea is to describe sound in a way that you can do something with it.

 

Sure, so the mechanisms behind "doing something about it" are different for performers than for those tweaking a mix.  As a result, the vocabulary is different.  That works for me.

 

So for those selling audio, the idea becomes to describe sound in such a way as to convince people to spend money?  Tailor the message to the audience.  That's obvious, but there's something to be said for that.

post #23 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

The idea is to describe sound in a way that you can do something with it. If you say, "It needs more oomph." Where do you start? What knob adjusts "oomph"? But if you say, "The upper miss are too high." you know exactly how to go about fixing it.

 

Yes, wet is a more spread reverb.

 

Exactly. useful terminology should be both intuitive and exact. If something is exact but isn't intuitive, that isn't too bad... but intuitive but not exact terminology probably is bs.


Edited by scuttle - 2/8/13 at 11:07am
post #24 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

For "veiled" I would think deemphasized attacks, maybe less volume, probably less dynamic range, maybe less high frequencies, or...?  Not sure; the definition is veiled itself!  Depends on the situation..

 

 

I think you've just shown how useless that term is, as it stands - I agree, "this definition is itself veiled"! Surely volume is matched for comparison? And what are "attacks" - maybe we are talking about poor decay, the stuff that shows on a waterfall graph - but why not say that? If we mean less high frequency sound, why not say that - "This can is missing treble"?

 

So veiled should go and instead we should have:

 

"This can is missing treble" - and this could be related to and backed up by a frequency response graph when available.

 

"This can has poor decay" - and then you could say what part of the spectrum decay is poor for (slow decay is poor btw) and give a waterfall graph if you had the hardware

 

In this way we'd replace bs with concrete, measurable terminology - if it became standard then makers would even have to start providing graphs, ideally from neutral labs. Now, a graph isn't everything and you should always listen to headphones -  but a graph is damn useful and anchoring terminology to measurable quantities prevents bs.

post #25 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

There is no such assumption: that is an illustration. Think about it: all a headphone knows is that there is a wave at X Hz. How can it "know" - ever - whether this is a fundamental or harmonic? There is no physical difference.


I think I get where you are coming from: You are referring to the harmonics of a fundamental that are present in a recording. However, I think the bright definition there refers to the harmonics imparted non-linearly by the audio equipment which are not present in a recording... and can make things sound bright (and wrong.) Headphone measurements such as THD, IMD and such show these non-linear issues.

 

The headphone doesn't discriminate source fundamentals and harmonics, but it can introduce harmonics of it's own because a headphone is not a purely linear system. A good headphone, in my book, approaches linear behavior better than it's peers though. Linear frequency response weirdness issues can be fixed with a well implemented equalizer. Non-linear issues are not that easy to get rid off (if at all.)

 

In many headphones, non-linear distortion is dominant at lower frequencies resulting in inaccurate (and a bit emphasized) bass response. Such is the case of my HD558 and to a larger extent the SRH1840 and SRH1440 with THDs north of 1% from 20 to 1kHz: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/ShureSRH1840.pdf

 

However, relatively high non-linear harmonic distortion can be present in the mid and high frequencies resulting in a perceptually bright headphone (or adding to such perception.) Consider the following:

Grado PS1000: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/GradoPS1000.pdf (> 1% THD from 2kHz and up @ 100dB)

Grado SR60i: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/GradoSR60i.pdf (> 1% THD from 2kHz and up @ 100dB)


Edited by ultrabike - 2/8/13 at 12:09pm
post #26 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

There are good and bad specialist languages. A good specialist language never uses mutual recursion to defines words!

 

As for using words for the utterly subjective, ***if something is utterly subjective it does not exist.*** 

 

Are you still talking about the audio sales conspirators or philosophy or linguistics or logic or technical jargon? Your usage of the language of computer science to criticize human language is a false equivalence: yes, there is recursion in the definitions of the linked lexicon; no, this does not invalidate it because specialist languages have different standards for what constitutes valid usage based on their specialization. Besides which, you're complaining about terms thrown around on a forum and generalizing them to a predisposed bias against all proponents of high end audio or anyone who has ever used a term you're not familiar with. If you're doing a study then it helps to quantify human hearing by using something like the listener training program (& lexicon) by Harman. In any other instances (including music production, consumption, discussion and equipment sales), human beings (as mentioned previously in the thread) do not think or communicate in a completely logical way.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

In this way we'd replace bs with concrete, measurable terminology - if it became standard then makers would even have to start providing graphs, ideally from neutral labs. Now, a graph isn't everything and you should always listen to headphones -  but a graph is damn useful and anchoring terminology to measurable quantities prevents bs.

 

This already happened back in the 70s at the NRC. Have you tried contacting a headphone or speaker manufacturer about receiving some graphs? If you're clever and polite you'll be surprised how many would be forthcoming. So let's add straw man to the list of fallacies.

 

To expand upon what ultrabike and purrin already mentioned, higher order harmonics are more noticeable. They result in an unpleasant sound quality which could be described in varied ways, e.g. "shrill".


Edited by anetode - 2/8/13 at 12:40pm
post #27 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

Yes, everyone knows this. The questions is, how can a "bright" headphone know that a 2000Hz wave component is a harmonic rather than a fundamental?

 

 

I wrote: 

 

How does a piece of audio equipment know that a bit or an electron is part of a harmonic and to emphasize it? How does a headphone resonance chamber look at two waves of equal frequency, one being the fundamental say of the lead guitar and the other the first harmonic of the bass, and know to emphasize the second?

 

 

So how you managed to mis-understand is beyond me, but that you did says a lot about why it is possible to set margins of hi fi hardware so high.

 

Ah, I get what you are trying to say. For the sake of simplicity and from the recording engineers point of view, the "harmonic" regions tend to be exclusive of the fundamental regions - in other words, the higher harmonics exclusively outside the range of the fundamental notes (despite the fact the lower order harmonics of the lower notes may also reside in the fundamental region).

 

Here is an example: http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

 

Again, calling the yellow bars harmonics is not technically correct because the harmonic regions do extend lower into the red fundamental regions. It's simply a convenient use of the term in "working" system. Also, as I've said, the definition was not very precise in the first place. However, I do think you need loosen up a bit, maybe get laid, and not assume that the definition was expressly and intentionally written for the evil purposes of marketing and selling snake-oil to "fools" and "weak-minded" people who haven't read 1984 such as yourself.


Edited by purrin - 2/8/13 at 1:30pm
post #28 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post


I think I get where you are coming from: You are referring to the harmonics of a fundamental that are present in a recording. However, I think the bright definition there refers to the harmonics imparted non-linearly by the audio equipment which are not present in a recording... 

 

 

That's so weird an idea that it never occurred to me. Upon a moment's reflection I can see why people think that it be a good idea to add such sounds, but also why it is not:

 

1. The ratio of such harmonics to the fundamental is a characteristic of the instrument and the way in which it is played; if you try to add such harmonics then you will force different recordings to sound alike and, generally, wrong

 

2. The system never has access to individual waveforms for each instrument, instead it is adding harmonics to their momentary superpositions - this is even more wrong! At least in general - such technology does arguably have a role in improving low br recordings in lossy formats.


Edited by scuttle - 2/8/13 at 1:14pm
post #29 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

I think you've just shown how useless that term is, as it stands - I agree, "this definition is itself veiled"! Surely volume is matched for comparison? And what are "attacks" - maybe we are talking about poor decay, the stuff that shows on a waterfall graph - but why not say that? If we mean less high frequency sound, why not say that - "This can is missing treble"?

 

So veiled should go and instead we should have:

 

"This can is missing treble" - and this could be related to and backed up by a frequency response graph when available.

 

"This can has poor decay" - and then you could say what part of the spectrum decay is poor for (slow decay is poor btw) and give a waterfall graph if you had the hardware

 

In this way we'd replace bs with concrete, measurable terminology - if it became standard then makers would even have to start providing graphs, ideally from neutral labs. Now, a graph isn't everything and you should always listen to headphones -  but a graph is damn useful and anchoring terminology to measurable quantities prevents bs.

 

It's important that you understand that such colorful audiophile terminology is not necessarily always used by the audiophile salesman. Oftentimes, such terminology used among friends to describe and communicate qualities of sound (again, not all of my friends have measuring equipment like I do.) Friends usually know each other well enough to understand the nuances of the words used. Sometimes special vocabulary may be used. I've often been known to use the word "plankton" (which of course is probably meaningless to you and most everyone else in the world), but my friends and close Internet associates know exactly what I mean.

 

I agree that graphs are useful. Personally I like the the trifecta combination of FR, non-linear distortion, and CSD plots. Absent of those, I would rely on my friends' use of terminology. And then after that maybe with associates who I've established some common ground with in terms of personal preferences and use of terms.

 

Nebulous and ill-defined it is, but incredibly, you'll find a probability field of various terms which do tend to trend or collapse into a single point when there are sufficient data points. And again, the use of these terms usually have nothing to do with Orwell, consumerism, fools, weak-minded stormtroopers easily swayed by Jedi-mind tricks, Don Cheadle in Boogie Nights - but rather have a lot to do with communication of sonic qualities among friends who do not have measuring equipment and who are not androids like Commander Data.


Edited by purrin - 2/8/13 at 1:31pm
post #30 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

Ah, I get what you are trying to say. For the sake of simplicity and from the recording engineers point of view, WRONG >>> the "harmonic" regions tend to be exclusive of the fundamental regions <<< WRONG - in other words, the higher harmonics exclusively outside the range of the fundamental notes (despite the fact the lower order harmonics of the lower notes may also reside in the fundamental region).

 

Here is an example: http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

 

Again, calling the yellow bars harmonics is not technically correct because the harmonic regions do extend lower into the red fundamental regions. It's simply a convenient use of the term in "working" system. 

 

Ok: you don't understand the basic physics and that graph is criminally misleading - it at least needs explanatory text. Let me explain it to you. Here is your graph:

 

 

 

The red shows the fundamental region for each instrument.

 

The yellow shows where there are harmonics outside of the fundamental range. But it does NOT mean that there will be no harmonics there! You have mistaken a graph that has been simplified for easy use in marketing for a one displaying the actual truth. Let's look at some real harmonics  - see the one for 100Hz at 146Hz? From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flageolette.svg - note that the fundamental is where your graph has the bass note of the human voice BUT THAT THE HARMONICS ARE NOT, NO WAY, NOT EVEN NEARLY RESTRICTED TO THE YELLOW BAR! Viz -

 

 

Yes, your graph shows harmonics for the human voice starting at 1000Hz - but this is physically impossible for an "instrument" with fundamentals starting at 100Hz! (Trust me: I have a physics degree - if you don't trust me, find a highschool textbook. Plus just look at the picture of the string: there are EIGHT harmonics for a 100Hz tone before you get to 1000Hz, not zero!) 

 

So harmonics for different (or even the same) instrument are not as easily separated by frequency as you think - you can't say "Overlaps by reds and yellows are rare, so overlaps by fundamentals and harmonics" are, which is what I think you're trying so say.  No. If you have a guy singing in the middle of his range then many of his harmonics are going to be scattered in the female voice's fundamental range. Yes, your graph doesn't show this - look at the human male voice

 

And in practice, things are even worse than this, because tones are not pure, so even MORE overlap! And a multiple string instrument will almost certainly have fundamentals for one string in the same range as harmonics for another...


Edited by scuttle - 2/8/13 at 1:40pm
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