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Skeptico Saloon: An Objectivist Joint - Page 18  

post #256 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post


 I know my ears make the same stereo at home sound awful one day and awesome the next.

 

That happened to me. My system sounded anemic. I tried to fix it with EQ and nothing worked. Then I noticed the dog had tripped over the power cable to the subwoofer and unplugged it. The woofer took the woof out of my woofer!

post #257 of 1671

What I find natural (you may call it "neutral") isn't that response with anemic bass and mids in the foreground and piercing highs.

 

It's a smooth response with bass > mids > treble. Ideally, all your preference may change is the downward tilt of the frequency response. Some like a bit more bass, others a bit more treble, but on average you arrive in the natural middle.

post #258 of 1671

Why would engineers in a studio with calibrated monitors that are stone flat create a mix that had thin bass, mids in the foreground and piercing highs? If that's the sound you get, you aren't flat.

post #259 of 1671
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

What I find natural (you may call it "neutral") isn't that response with anemic bass and mids in the foreground and piercing highs.

It's a smooth response with bass > mids > treble. Ideally, all your preference may change is the downward tilt of the frequency response. Some like a bit more bass, others a bit more treble, but on average you arrive in the natural middle.

This is a great way to put it. Transitions between frequencies should be smooth, but there is room for subjectivity in the slope of the FR.

Relatedly, lately I'm finding that iems need more emphasis below ~60Hz than what has traditionally been considered to be flat. The new Olive-Welti reference seems to show there's some merit there as well. I'm looking forward to more iem makers using O-W as a reference.
post #260 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Why would engineers in a studio with calibrated monitors that are stone flat create a mix that had thin bass, mids in the foreground and piercing highs? If that's the sound you get, you aren't flat.

 

Engineers are an interesting subject. I'm a photographer, and I have developed a mechanic in my brain that allows me to predict how the light my eyes perceive will end up on the much more limited range of the particular camera sensor or film I'm using. When I look the photo on the PC screen I can imagine how a print on a particular type of paper will work under a certain type of lighting... and so on.

 

Engineers must have something similar when it comes to monitors, room acoustics and audio perception.

post #261 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post.
It really doesn't matter how much your ears color the sound, because they do it consistently 24 hours 7 days a week.

 

Came to think of something else. Hearing is not consistent 24/7. There's the recommendation that you find your comfort volume before exercise and don't increase it during training to avoid hearing damage. Blood pressure, I think. So, it's probably likely that your audio sounds differently on a Monday evening after you've picked up the kids or battled your way through a crowded supermarket on your way home from work than it does on a Sunday afternoon after a long lunch on the patio and a stroll to the ice cream place.


Edited by anodyne - 10/8/13 at 11:56am
post #262 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Why would engineers in a studio with calibrated monitors that are stone flat create a mix that had thin bass, mids in the foreground and piercing highs? If that's the sound you get, you aren't flat.

Apparently you never listened to early Genesis...

post #263 of 1671

Back in the day, I had it all in Charisma UK LP pressings. Sounded fine. Well, as fine as overworked, noodley, meandering pretention can possibly sound...

post #264 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Back in the day, I had it all in Charisma UK LP pressings. Sounded fine. Well, as fine as overworked, noodley, meandering pretention can possibly sound...

 

+1

:biggrin:

 

Ok, silly joking aside.  I like the direction the discussion is going, but I would like to add one thing: we do not 'hear' with our ears.  It's much more complex than that, and involves the auditory cortex as well as elements of the limbic system.  From an objective point of view, 'neutral' is desirable if one is willing to listen to and explore the different tastes and implementations of various engineers and producers, or sound signature.

 

Venturing into old Prog territory, Eddie Offord had a sound that was totally distinct from say, Conny Plank. I suspect that most people think that good music sounds the same, which is why they prefer 'colored' sound reproduction vs. neutral.  To be objective in listening to music, I think that one must be willing to explore, appreciate, and enjoy multiple sound signatures.  I am not sure how common that is...


Edited by swspiers - 10/8/13 at 1:09pm
post #265 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by anodyne View Post
 

Came to think of something else. Hearing is not consistent 24/7. There's the recommendation that you find your comfort volume before exercise and don't increase it during training to avoid hearing damage. Blood pressure, I think. So, it's probably likely that your audio sounds differently on a Monday evening after you've picked up the kids or battled your way through a crowded supermarket on your way home from work than it does on a Sunday afternoon after a long lunch on the patio and a stroll to the ice cream place.

Yes there are even physical exceptions such as the acoustic reflex, but the pinna and ear canal will "shape" the sound (I'm usually using the physics definition = oscillation of pressure traveling through air) consistently e.g. depending on the direction the sound is coming from.

I'm talking about the huge roughly +15 dB boost around 3 kHz for example. If there were no consistency then we'd have a much harder time localizing sound sources.

 

 

Of course, depending on my mood I might prefer Deep Purple over some Metal band or vice-versa, but that doesn't change the sound imo. A bad cold would though.


Edited by xnor - 10/8/13 at 1:29pm
post #266 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post
 

Yes there are even physical exceptions such as the acoustic reflex, but the pinna and ear canal will "shape" the sound (I'm usually using the physics definition = oscillation of pressure traveling through air) consistently e.g. depending on the direction the sound is coming from.

I'm talking about the huge roughly +15 dB boost around 3 kHz for example. If there were no consistency then we'd have a much harder time localizing sound sources.

 

I guess this subject needs a separation between "color" and "frequency perception". Color is what the brain does with the input and I suppose that goes in the hairy and somewhat more philosophical category of qualia, while the variations in frequency perception is a more physical thing that can be measured and changes from person to person, with body state and over time as we age.

 

So, I think my point is that anyone interested in good sound should think a little more about how their ears work. It could be particularly useful for those who refuse equalizers and keep spending even more money on the next slightly more perfect-tested component without getting a sound they really enjoy anyway.

post #267 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by anodyne View Post

 

So, I think my point is that anyone interested in good sound should think a little more about how their ears work. It could be particularly useful for those who refuse equalizers and keep spending even more money on the next slightly more perfect-tested component without getting a sound they really enjoy anyway.

 

I agree with the point above, but IMO one way to keep things simple is to use IEMs and headphones.

 

Reason being, the room is a much bigger place for sound to move in, and room acoustics, speaker placement, and listening position can make a world of difference. Add to that your speaker FR, EQ and the usual setup issues, so you're dealing with a lot of variables.

 

Ofcourse, the payback maybe worth the effort, but creating a good setup takes a lot of effort. If you just don't have the space, or patience, its best to stick to IEMs and headphones.

post #268 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

I agree with the point above, but IMO one way to keep things simple is to use IEMs and headphones.

Reason being, the room is a much bigger place for sound to move in, and room acoustics, speaker placement, and listening position can make a world of difference. Add to that your speaker FR, EQ and the usual setup issues, so you're dealing with a lot of variables.

Ofcourse, the payback maybe worth the effort, but creating a good setup takes a lot of effort. If you just don't have the space, or patience, its best to stick to IEMs and headphones.

I disagree. Having spent some time with both headphone and loudspeaker equalization I think the latter is easier to do. Just buy a measurement mic, place at listening position and you're almost set. With headphones it's close to impossible to get a state-of-the-art sound result without access to a state-of-the-art loudspeaker rig as well as in-ear measurement apparatus. Even quite modest HT amps come with room measurement and correction capability these days. But you'll never see a headphone amp bundled with a dummy head for headphone measurements because everyone's ears are different. In the loudspeaker world it doesn't matter, as you just need to reproduce the sound waves of the original venue and all different ears will hear the same great fidelity. In headphone audio there is no such convenience.
post #269 of 1671
I had absolutely no luck with automatic EQ with a sensor mike. I tried it and the curve got tied in knots. I had to do it the hard way.
post #270 of 1671
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I had absolutely no luck with automatic EQ with a sensor mike. I tried it and the curve got tied in knots. I had to do it the hard way.

 

So you didn't use measurement data at all?  You could have used Room EQ Wizard, got FR charts for individual channels and then dialled EQs manually based on this information.

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