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Is There a Correct or Proper Sound Presentation? - Page 2

post #16 of 56

You hear a balanced frequency response every day of your life listening to the world around you. Does that sound flat and lifeless too?

 

I think most people just haven't heard what a balanced frequency response sounds like, because it's a lot of work to get there.

 

By the way, I'm not talking about setting the EQ or tone controls to flat. I'm talking about using the EQ or tone controls to adjust the sound to make it balanced. That is never a flat line in the real world with real speakers or headphones.


Edited by bigshot - 10/27/13 at 3:12pm
post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I think most people just haven't heard what a balanced frequency response sounds like, because it's a lot of work to get there.

 

Or they're used to *boom* *boom* disco and car sound and incidental music genres.

post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

Equalization can put it in everyone's budget range.

 

Possibly, but in my experience, better systems respond to EQ far better than the poorly designed ones.  Yes, there may be good designs in lower price range, and vice-versa, but the usual correlation is that moderate to high end systems are well designed.

 

Imagine buying an off the shelf 5.1 and EQing it. You may get mixed results.

post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post
 

 

Or they're used to *boom* *boom* disco and car sound and incidental music genres.

 

Well, people tend to have a natural liking for bass. I'm not sure why.

post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post
 

 

Well, people tend to have a natural liking for bass. I'm not sure why.

 

If you're listening to House and HipHop, technically stronger than too flat bass would be more "faithful" to what the artist intended. Now if someone's looking to have the bass guitar at exactly the same level as the guitars on other genres, then there's a problem - for most (definitely not all) rock and metal it's usually recorded a bit in the background and you only hear it when the both guitars aren't going all-out. Now if you're listening to Sevendust, even a balanced system (no need for artifical bass boosting) you should be able to hear the bass guitar well enough and still have enough kick in the bass drum. Boost that, and it's like being in the very front row of a concert, which acoustically speaking is never teh best place to be in (visually of course it's the best experience regardless of who's playing, just don't try to take photos of Axl Rose or he'll smash that camera or smartphone).

post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

If you're listening to House and HipHop, technically stronger than too flat bass would be more "faithful" to what the artist intended. Now if someone's looking to have the bass guitar at exactly the same level as the guitars on other genres, then there's a problem - for most (definitely not all) rock and metal it's usually recorded a bit in the background and you only hear it when the both guitars aren't going all-out. Now if you're listening to Sevendust, even a balanced system (no need for artifical bass boosting) you should be able to hear the bass guitar well enough and still have enough kick in the bass drum. Boost that, and it's like being in the very front row of a concert, which acoustically speaking is never teh best place to be in (visually of course it's the best experience regardless of who's playing, just don't try to take photos of Axl Rose or he'll smash that camera or smartphone).

 

I don't listen to a lot of rock/metal, but there's a bit of deep house in my music. I've listened to the same songs on some mid centric IEMs and Headphones, and one with a slightly bass heavy signature.

I think different headphones bring out different aspects, I've never felt that the song needed more or less bass, maybe because the vocals and other stuff was shining through.

 

So I guess it boils down to the complexity of the music as well. If all the track consists of is thumping bass with some poorly recorded/performed vocals and nothing much in the mid range, then yes, it'll sound boring without bass.

 

But, for others, like jazz, a bit of a bump in the mid-bass and bass brings out the double bass very nicely, and mid centric EQ presents the vocals and accompanying instruments....

 

The perfect combination would be ofcourse a totally flat system.

post #22 of 56

agree.Assuming proper engineering, a balanced response makes everything sound good.

hDDnd7

post #23 of 56

I think the big problem is that people don't seem to understand what "flat response" means. It doesn't mean bland sound. It means balanced sound. A flat response can have huge bass or sparkling treble. It's just calibrated to the way the people in the recording studio heard it when they were mixing it.

post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
 

I think the big problem is that people don't seem to understand what "flat response" means. It doesn't mean bland sound. It means balanced sound. A flat response can have huge bass or sparkling treble. It's just calibrated to the way the people in the recording studio heard it when they were mixing it.

 

Yep, they confuse dynamics with response. A system with as flattest a response as possible with enough (not necessarily a lot) headroom, or at least the amp isn't running out of steam on a difficult load (which is also rarer than a lot of people assume it is), can sound right.

post #25 of 56

A flat response is easier for amps to drive and transducers to reproduce.

post #26 of 56

A flat response means the drivers will reproduce the sound exactly as it is on the source, provided all your gear can accurately collect the information.

 

I read somewhere that headphones are not designed with a flat response because of the shape of our ears and the influence they have on drivers close to them.

 

  • Between 2000Hz and 5000Hz the concha (the little cup in your outer ear around the entrance to your ear canal) acts as a focusing dish to get sound into your ear canals, and as a result provides some significant gain to the signal at these frequencies.
  • The length of the ear canal provides opportunity for modal artifacts; typically peaks at 3kHz, 9kHz, and 15kHz roughly, depending on the exact size and shape of the ear.
  •  

This comes from this link:

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/headphone-measurement-proceedures-frequency-response

 

Clearly as our ears are shaped differently we will hear different interpretations of the same sounds. How much difference I don't know but it seems to me that there is a justification for using EQ.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial

post #27 of 56

EQ does help.

But after a while one forgets the EQ is being used at all. The new sound becomes natural.

post #28 of 56

There are a lot of very arrogant responses in this thread. An "If you don't have my set of preferences, you're wrong" attitude.

 

Different people have different preferences.

 

To answer the original question, no. There is no one "correct sound presentation." The correct presentation for you is the one that you like the most. If you love the way that your music sounds through an 8-track player using old ear buds, then listen to your music through ear buds on an 8-track player.

 

bigshot will think you're an idiot, but who cares?

 

Edited because the forum wanted to my post


Edited by reginalb - 11/1/13 at 4:27pm
post #29 of 56

If someone really prefers colored sound, I'm sure a hearing aid that boosts or cuts whatever frequencies they want can be created so they can hear their preferred sound signature 24/7 in the real world.

post #30 of 56

Different strokes for different folks.

 

If you prefer X over Y nobody can tell you that you don't.

 

 

The thing is, if you record, mix, master music to sound perfect on calibrated speakers, then on any system that has frequency response anomalies it's gonna sound worse. If you record your voice, or some instrument with a mostly flat mic and play it through flat speakers it's gonna sound more like the real thing. Any deviation from that will change the timbre and it will sound unnatural.

 

If you produce an electronica track on a system where the sub is way too loud and play this track on a "correctly" calibrated system it's gonna sound thin. If you listen to such music then the "correct" way will probably never satisfy you, which is completely fine.


Edited by xnor - 11/1/13 at 6:30pm
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