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Bright vs. Warm

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Browsing through these forums, I often hear the descriptions "bright" and "warm". I believe warm sounding is a more emphasized low to mid response where as bright I believe is the opposite.

 

Are there any songs that would be good at showing the differences between a warm sound and a bright sound? I can read descriptions all day long but I believe I would understand it much better if I could hear the difference.

 

EDIT:

 

Also if there are songs that show examples of other sound types as well such as "Dark" that would be helpful too.


Edited by Kdavis71 - 12/23/13 at 6:31pm
post #2 of 8
I hope you get some responses - but I won't be surprised if you don't get many. Explaining what you hear in words is very difficult, and explaining what the words mean that are used to explain what you hear is EXTREMELY difficult. Throw-in the people that *think* they know what these things mean, but are either confused or talk about small differences as if they are huge chasms in perceived sound - and I think this simple question is a potential minefield. I don't think I can attempt it. I will say that unless you have two or more sets of headphones that you can compare side-to-side, I don't know if it is possible to really learn what these terms mean to you. If you only listen to one headphone, and someone else says it is "bright", how do you know what that means? I will claim you can't - unless you also have current or past experience with a headphone that is NOT "bright".

Now, I'm betting someone is going to come back and talk about sibilance in bright 'phones - but I would claim that sibilance is something that might be present in some bright 'phones, but not all. This has become even more confusing since the relatively recent popularity of extremely "V" shaped 'phones that emphasize both sizzling highs and booming lows. This is much different than the more classical definition of "bright", that often implied a lack of lows - or at least lows that tended not to balance their highs. In the old days, we used to use Etymotic as an example of a balanced IEM that tended toward the bright side, and we used Shure as an example of balanced IEM that tended toward the darker side. But now, there's far too many other sound signatures are all shades of gray between and far beyond each end of those two old favorites.

Good luck!
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank's Billybob. I hope I get some responses too and I am looking to expand my headphone inventory but it's an expensive hobby that I can't exactly afford right now.

post #4 of 8

 

well, what billybob said is all very true. ill make an attempt though,

 

heres a "warm" sounding song, with alot of bass:

 

 

 

that was easy, i know alot of bass heavy songs, now for something "bright" hmmm.... well, maybe not the best of examples, try this one:

 

 

she has a very high voice and the music is also pretty "bright" i guess, though not exactly bass shy...

 

thats my attempt, i hope you get better ones =]

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks, seems like warm is more relaxing to listen to and bright is more exciting.

 

EDIT:

 

Although that could just be the fact that the first song is a more slow paced song.


Edited by Kdavis71 - 12/24/13 at 11:48am
post #6 of 8

The way I think of it is with guitar strings.

 

If you ever heard a brand new set of guitar strings slapped onto a guitar, it will sound very bright

 

However, play that guitar for a week or so, and it will begin to sound a bit more warm as the strings begin to settle.

 

Ask a guitar playing friend to demonstrate for you.  :)

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdavis71 View Post
 

Browsing through these forums, I often hear the descriptions "bright" and "warm". I believe warm sounding is a more emphasized low to mid response where as bright I believe is the opposite.


That's about all you need to know. I don't think it's possible to show the difference through songs, because your own playback equipment will affect what you hear. If you have bright headphones, for example, almost everything is going to sound bright. 

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kdavis71 View Post
 

Browsing through these forums, I often hear the descriptions "bright" and "warm". I believe warm sounding is a more emphasized low to mid response where as bright I believe is the opposite.

 

Are there any songs that would be good at showing the differences between a warm sound and a bright sound? I can read descriptions all day long but I believe I would understand it much better if I could hear the difference.

 

EDIT:

 

Also if there are songs that show examples of other sound types as well such as "Dark" that would be helpful too.

 

You're almost correct. Almost, because Warm means a higher mid/low-mid response along with a slight dip in the highs (Dark is similar, just more bass oriented response). Bright is the opposite as you say.

 

IMO, the best way to identify these differences is to use an audio track utilizing the entire range of sounds. A symphony orchestra, for instance.  The violins, piano, clarinets and the like will be prominently heard in the warm headphones, the cymbals will be adequate, but not piercing, the cello and bass,tuba,bassoon etc will be prominent as well.

Bright will be the opposite.

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