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Is soundstage actually detrimental to spatial audio?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by silikone, Sep 5, 2019.
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  1. castleofargh Contributor
    and my reply was nerdy nitpicking. because we can! ^_^
    I like considering weird situations TBH. so long as you don't try to take that model as evidence of what is right for normal listening like a certain someone, please go ahead and let's be nerds.

    the quarter wavelength idea about resonance is obviously a recurrent event with waves and stuff to bounce off of or make vibrate. the basic idea is the same but I was thinking of absorption specifically. my doubts were about those wedges, not the general principle. their geometry being pretty special and all, I suddenly felt very unsure ^_^. it turns out that it's apparently and sort of logically a rule that also applies to those long wedges. the material shakes with the wave, which results in a lot of the energy absorbed/converted into heat(everything ends up as heat anyway... no future!). and my concern for lower freqs turns out to be justified in this case too. now that I've done some fact checking, I can pretend that I knew I was right all along :wink:.

    did you check if it's an audiophile one?
    Chris Kaoss and TronII like this.
  2. bigshot
    I hit it with Maxwell's Silver Hammer and it's a perfect A 440!
  3. 71 dB
    1. I have been in the impression that I do understand what people are talking about. If that's not the case I am surprised.

    2. Complex complex…of course it is... so what? Who says it's half-right what happens in a room? I have a stochastic take on these things. What happen is a room is thousands of small reflections creating a ramdom stochastic soundfield. Move the sofa and you have another ramdom stochastic soundfield. Only the direct sound and early reflections aren't random. In fact diffuse soundfield is crusial part of good acoustics.

    3. Why should this even be possible and how does it refer to crossfeed? Mono doesn't need crossfeed, not does crossfeed benefit mono sound. Personally I listen to mono recordings very rarely.

    4. Yes. I don't have Smyth Realizer, but I do have crossfeed. Simply using what I have and that's better than nothing.

    5. Agreed. Looks like I have made people think crossfeed makes headphones sound like speakers? I don't know how that happened, but I think I am clear: Headphones + crossfeed can only give miniature soundstage of a few feet, not speaker soundstage. I don't use crossfeed to have speaker soundstage. I use it to have NATURAL spatiality (unnatural spatiality sound crap to me fake bass, annoyance, listening fatique, messed up spatiality) I don't mind the soundstage is small, I care about the spatial naturalness, ILD levels my spatial hearing expects. I can get speaker soundstage simply by listening to speakers. However when I listen to headphones I prefer crossfeed with most stereo recordings.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  4. bigshot
    I was pointing out how important the effect of physical space on sound was to sound quality.

    To repeat what I've been saying for the past few months, if not years...

    The room is as important a part of the sound of a speaker system as the speakers are. Headphones have none of that because they are pressed up next to your ears- no room for the sound to inhabit. Crossfeed is fine to take the curse off of ping pong stereo, which sounds funky in headphones. But crossfeed doesn't at all replace or simulate or even enhance soundstage in headphones, because soundstage requires physical space. Headphones are incapable of reproducing true soundstage. Headphones have "headstage"... the sound is a straight line through the middle of the head. It isn't a dozen or more feet in front of the listener like in soundstage.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  5. 71 dB
    1. The less spatial information the recording itself contains the more important physical space is.

    2. Wrong. The room (and speaker placement) is more important than the speakers.

    3. Eardrums don't care about how much "room for the sound" there is. All that matters is what kind of air pressure changes there is. If you somehow can create the same spatial information than the room creates, eardrums can't tell the difference.

    4. Yes, but also "better" stereo recordings can be scaled to be more suitable for headphone listening. Ping Pong just need stronger crossfeed, while another stereo recording may need only a touch of crossfeed. Some recordings don't need crossfeed at all. That's why I have a "off" switch in my crossfeeder.

    5. Crossfeed doesn't do what room acoustics does except it simulates acoustic crossfeed of direct sound, but that's all it does. However, crossfeed makes it possible for the spatial hearing to make better sense of the spatial information of the recording itself. In my opinion this works even when 30 microphones has been used with multiple spatial scenarios. Spatial hearing needs to deal with the multi-spatiality also without crossfeed, but since crossfeed creates the simulation of acoustic crossfeed and increases correlation between ears so that it's more natural, spatial hearing can make more sense of the spatiality than without crossfeed.

    6. Yes, or at least you need very sophisticated signal processing. In my opinion headphones have headstage or miniature soundstage depending on what the spatiality of the recording allows and how properly it is "scaled" for headphones.
  6. bigshot
    No more attention for you for a while. You’re cranky and you need a nap.
  7. gregorio
    1. And that's been the problem all along! You are considering a fact (singular) and ignoring the other facts (plural).
    1a. Indeed there is: We've got a whole bunch of relevant facts and what's "playing here" is someone cherry-picking one of them, ignoring/dismissing the others and also making up false facts in order to justify an explanation they've invented!! For example:
    1b. No, that is NOT true, you've just made that up! If we "put an artificial head in a typical room with a typical speaker setup and measure the impulse responses from the speakers in the typical listening spot" what we actually detect is NOT just the level of acoustic crossfeed but also a bunch of initial reflections (which are very directional), plus an amount of reverb sustain/decay (which is not very directional). But hey, let's just ignore/dismiss those early reflections (despite the fact they're very/vitally important to the perception of "spatiality") on the basis that simple crossfeed messes them up and is therefore against our agenda!!

    2. Why isn't the answer to that question obvious to you? Obviously we should call it: "A headphone spatiality that doesn't exceed the max ILD vs frequency curve that would occur with speakers". What we should NOT call it is "natural spatiality" because there is a great deal more to "spatiality" than just ILD! How many times??

    1. That's clearly false. You've stated numerous things about engineers, including the (false) statement to which I was responding ("The engineers who created the music intented something to happen, for example acoustic crossfeed*)!
    1a. Indeed you are and that's the problem!
    1b. So you admit you don't know much about sound engineering, would like to learn but can't afford to. What you're effectively saying therefore is that it's perfectly OK for you to just make-up whatever you want about sound engineering/engineers because you can't afford to learn about it and then argue/defend what you've made-up against someone who has learnt about it?!

    2. Again, you freely admit the courses you took didn't even touch these issues but then you repeatedly defend your assertions with what you were taught at university?!
    2a. NO IT DOES NOT! How many times? Music and music recordings have relatively little to do with how human ears and hearing works and everything to do with our PERCEPTION of our ears/hearing and while perception can be somewhat similar from human to human it's individual because perception is based on a range of personal/individual experiences, knowledge, biases and preferences. And therefore:
    2b. Yes, it absolutely does matter! Because engineers (and composers, musicians and producers) are specifically manipulating and taking advantage of perception (biases, preferences, etc.). That's what makes creating music and music recordings an art (rather than a science) in the first place!
    2c. And there's your problem!! You maybe qualified to comment on ILD based on your "knowledge of human hearing" but with music recordings we are NOT dealing with human hearing, we're dealing with the perception of hearing and you admit you know little/nothing about this. This then is YOUR PROBLEM THROUGHOUT and still continues to be, you (falsely) believe you're "qualified to comment", when in fact you're COMPLETELY UNQUALIFIED and, you're using your knowledge of one aspect of human hearing erroneously!! How many times????
    2d. Our "intensions" have very little/nothing to do with spatial hearing and everything to do with perception. Therefore, pretty much all commercial recordings go "against spatial hearing", how many times??
    2e. No, we are NOT looking at the same facts from different perspectives! As a sound engineer I'm looking at the facts of how we perceive sound and how to manipulate that perception. You though, are NOT looking looking at the facts as an acoustic engineer because you are ignoring/dismissing many of the facts of acoustics (and concentrating on only one of them) AND, even if you were looking at ALL the facts of acoustics, still your knowledge of the facts would be inapplicable with commercial music recordings because music recordings are an art which is NOT constrained by the rules of acoustics! How many times???

    3a. You dream that in a sound science forum people are going to say that your inapplicable or made-up, false assertions are applicable and true? Rather than dreaming of a day which is never going to come, why don't you do the obvious: Either gain the knowledge which IS applicable to commercial music recordings or stop trying to (falsely) apply the limited knowledge you do have?

    I though it was too good to be true. This quoted statement is a deliberate, self contradictory lie! It's a self contradictory lie because just 3 days earlier you admitted that crossfeed does NOT produce natural spatiality, you use it because: "I prefer unnatural spatiality that has natural ILD levels to unnatural spatiality that has unnatural ILD levels." but here you are, just a few days later, peddling the same falsehood you've peddled for years about crossfeed producing "NATURAL spatiality". It's nonsense!!

    Round and round we go, you can't even agree with yourself, let alone all the facts!! When will the "really crazy" ever end?

  8. 71 dB
    What does ignoring those early reflections mean? Ignore in what sense? What would be not ignoring them? I know early reflections happen in a room, so how am I ignoring them. I am not claiming they don't exist so how am I ignoring them? Headphone listening doesn't have those reflections unless you simulate them with some signal processing. So, headphones ignore early reflections technically even if I as an listener am aware that early reflections happen with speakers. How does that technical ignorance of early reflections become suddenly a (bigger?) problem when crossfeed is used?

    If you talk about ER of the recording, then you imply crossfeed messes them up. I say it doesn't, but let's assume you are right, BUT then speakers mess up things because of Acoustic crossfeed. So how is it? You keep telling headphone sound without crossfeed is fine and so is speakers but crossfeed which is "between" isn't? Makes no sense
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
  9. bigshot
    Speakers are the way recordings are intended to be listened to. You can feel free to listen on headphones. You can even prefer the sound of headphones to speakers. That is your personal preference and science has nothing to do with it. If it's a subjective preference there is no reason for other people to argue about it objectively.

    (I keep throwing these lifelines and they're misconstrued as attacks.)
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  10. 71 dB
    1. That's exactly why headphones are problematic and benefit in my opinion from tweaking such as crossfeed. For me it's like using a voltage adapter to use North American 120 V devices in Europe (230 V). Instead of lowering the voltage we scale ILD from speaker range to headphone range.

    2. Yes I can. I live in a free country.

    3. To me speakers and headphones have their pros and cons. No wonder both are used. Compared to headphones speaker sound tends to feel "muddy" and "dirty" as the room acoustics is added to the sound and varies when you move. Just a few inches of head movement changes the sound a lot, althou this is a stereo sound thing and when more speakers are used including center speaker especially mono sound (such as movie dialog) is very stable. Speakers create strong demands over the whole room they are in. Where things are in the room, how the acoustics is treated and so on. Speakers can also distrurb nearby people such as neighbors. Not all people live in the own houses isolated from civilization in the middle of nowhere disturbing only snakes, spiders and eagles in the sky. Also, the harmonic distortion of bass frequencies tend to be huge with speakers even at moderate levels unless your speakers are really BIG. Headphones have the problem that you have to wear them in your head and maybe you can't move around so freely because of the cable. Also, recordings are mixed primarily for speakers and headphones can't give speaker soundstage… so pros and cons…

    4. Seems like science is problematic in audio since everything comes down to personal preferences in the end…

    5. Makes sense. Some people prefer live performances and for them listening to recordings at home is for losers… Science is good at explaing how inanimate objects behave, but bad at explaining the behavior of animate objects.
  11. bigshot
    People can prefer whatever they want. I have no argument with that. It's just that the presentation of speakers is what the engineers are creating. Unless it's a dedicated headphone mix, headphones aren't what was intended. You can ignore that and listen to headphones anyway... and you can patch the problems caused by using the wrong kind of transducers with whatever DSP you want. You can even like the sound of the unintended sonically repaired music. That is fine with me. It just isn't the same as speakers. Not even close. And it isn't anywhere close to what the engineers who mixed the album were hearing. If that doesn't matter to you, fine.

    Personally, I find it's good to at least start at the baseline of what was intended before you start adding subjective frosting to the audio cake. Otherwise you can end up with more frosting than cake. Soundstage is an important part of the sound of music to me. Headphones are incapable of creating soundstage. So they don't work for me for anything but technical or non-critical listening.

    I also think you have no concept of what a decent speaker system sounds like. You claim that you do, but I don't believe you. I think you keep yourself in the dark about that to make it easier for you to justify using headphones instead. To be honest, I don't think any of this has anything to do with sound. I think you are just using argumentativeness in an internet forum to get attention.

    I honestly don't care.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  12. 71 dB
    Perhaps the strangest suggestion I have read in this forum. I agree with you that speakers give superior soundstage and you conclude I don't have no concept of what a decent speaker system sounds like? What? I was a "speaker guy" from about 1993 to 2012 (19 years) before discovering headphones and realizing I can get enjoyable sound without speaker soundstage and NOT disturb neighbours. I think I have a pretty decent 5-channel speaker system and I have heard some quality speakers in my life having visited hifi-expositions and working in the acoustics lab. B&W Nautilus, Duntech Princess, Genelec speakers (even Genelec headquarters in Iisalmi, Finland), Gradient,… so if I don't know what decent speaker system sounds like I don't know who does! Never mind crossfeed, I think you just made the worst insult I have experienced online. Amazing arrogance. What do you want? Me to give up headphone altogether? Maybe you don't have neighbours. I do.
  13. bigshot
    Comments like this make me doubt you've ever even heard a decent speaker setup.

    Comments like this make me wonder about you.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019
  14. 71 dB
    Well, perhaps poorly chosen words. Sound is hard to describe. "Muddy" means the room acoustics. It can be a good thing, but it's something that is missing with headphones. After a long period (say two weeks) of headphone listening speakers have in my opinion this "muddiness" in comparison at first, but after a few minutes my ears adjust to the room sound and the muddiness gets weaker, but the difference is there. Speakers and headphones just sound different. So, I should have said different instead of muddy
  15. bigshot
    It isn't "different" if the person doing the mix *intended* for room acoustics to be wrapped around the sound. The vast majority of commercial music is designed to be played on speakers in a room. That's how the engineers monitor the mix and that is the sound they want.
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