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Songs to test by

Discussion in 'Music' started by pl4y3r 0n3, Jul 27, 2016.
  1. PL4Y3R 0N3
    I was wanting to find some songs to test out certain frequencies on my headphones. Namely sub-bass, mid-bass, mids, highs, instrument separation, and sound stage.
    What songs do you use to test out new headphones?
  2. wskl
    If you read Brooko's reviews, you will find that he writes about the test tracks he uses and how they sound on the headphones he is evaluating.  Might be a good starting point for you.
  3. Zapp_Fan
    So, this is something of a gravebump, but this is a topic of constant interest to me, as I do a fair number of tests of different equipment, and need a reliable set of tracks that I can use to expose flaws / strengths on various equipment.

    This is what I am using right now:

    Notorious BIG - Everyday Struggle - this has a really fast but also extremely low bass drum that challenges a lot of speakers and even some headphones to reproduce the dynamics. Also, the snare is mixed pretty poorly, and if there is any touch of harshness inherent to the highs, you'll hear it right away. The snare will kinda hiss / grate instead of snap.

    Spectrasoul - Stock Sound - the intro of this song has a bass sweep that goes from ~500hz down to 25hz. It also fades in and out in the recording, so it's useful as a quick check for sub-bass performance. The main bassline is operating in the 40hz range, so there's no cheating on this one.

    The Bar Kays - Holy Ghost - the synth bass in this track along with the slap bass are somewhat poorly mixed, but also have a fairly nice sub-bass component - good to check the responsiveness and overall quality of bass FR. If the synth bass sounds clear, deep, and distinct, it's because the gear is picking up the slack. It sounds iffy on most systems.

    Paul Simon - Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - all around solid track for checking mid and high-mid performance. Paul Simon's voice tends to reveal unwanted midrange peaks pretty easily. As a bonus it sounds very nice on a good system.

    Flux Pavilion - I can't Stop - the bass/lead of this track is a pretty broadband, high amplitude, low dynamic range assault on a speaker. It's useful for testing maximum output and amp performance, as it will stress all drivers at once in a multi-driver system. If stuff generally sounds good but this lead suddenly loses highs or sounds harsh, the system might be underpowered. Also gives you some idea of evenness of FR overall.

    Jamiroquai - Little L - the bass in this track sounds like it is noise-modulated, making the timbre really interesting. This is another good one to test the quality of the bass, as the noise component (i.e. quick changes) will come through on a system with a very responsive low end. On a less responsive system it will just sound kind of like a regular bass tone.

    Funkadelic - Holly Wants to go to California - So this is basically George Clinton, some piano, and a bunch of random noises in the background. Good for checking detail (the random noises) as well as high-mid / high performance, as Clinton's voice has a very raspy edge to it that requires a decent high end to come through but not sound harsh.

    Fleetwood Mac - The Chain - good for testing sensitivity, as there are a lot of rather quiet sounds in this one. Also good for evaluating mids, with the guitar and vocals being pretty clean / isolated at various points in the track.

    (I just started using this one) Plump DJs - The Rub Off - this track, more than any I've heard, relies on click sounds for the lead instrument - it's almost a raw saw wave. This makes it really easy to hear if there's a reasonable transient response or not, as the clicks that are used for the grace notes in the lead will tend to fade without it.

    Change - Change of Heart - this is just a typical 80s-style pop /R&B tune, but I like it. Has a lot of synths and drum machines that are mixed relatively well, (i.e. lots of highs without being distorted in the recording) so it can pretty quickly reveal problems in the treble range.

    I'm definitely interested in suggestions anyone else has for test tracks. I don't really need demo tracks, i.e. things that sound really good on good gear. I need tracks that expose flaws in gear quickly...

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