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Stereo imaging - Vocals towards left side

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by sidewinder, Jul 13, 2010.
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  1. Markolav
    In the first track you heard main vocals slightly from the right side, with my HD 598 they are in the middle. Does it mean that your Monoprices are faulty? Probably not. Their imaging and soundstage just differ from each other.
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  2. bigshot
    No it was the same with my Oppos. It is a little bit to one side. There is a vocal fill that is in the mono spot. Right after 2:00 "The Blend". They have a stereo filter on the lead vocal so they've slid it a bit to the right. Again, the way to tell is to listen to mono. It should be right in the middle of your head with mono. If it isn't something is wrong.
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  3. castleofargh Contributor
    why don't you just turn your headphone around? if the mono track moves to the other side, you have your answer. there really is an imbalance and it's not caused by your ears.
  4. Markolav
    But how some tracks sound just normal? For example, this mono track sounds like mono:

    This is very confusing. Drives me crazy

    E: Ok, now after relistening the other mono track it sounded more mono than last time. Are my ears just f*ck*ng with me? Am i going insane or what? :beyersmile:
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  5. bigshot
    Not all mixes put the vocals exactly in the center.
  6. ev13wt
    You are teaching them new tricks and they are like: "What dude leave me alone. Here. Have some vocals off to one side BITZCH" :)
  7. TheSonicTruth
    If you, and others, are familiar with Foobar's TT Dynamic Range meter, besides a DR value per track, it also calculates a song's peak value and RMS, both in dBfs.

    I noticed that most songs I've run through it register a slightly higher RMS value for the left channel. No more than 0.5db higher though, normally 0.2 to 0.4.


    'RMS: (L)-10.70 (R)-11.00'

    Wonder if that vocal is what's causing these results, or something else.

    One theory postulated on rec.audio.pro(Usenet) was that since most people use their right hand to control their mouse or other DAW interface, their body is naturally turned toward their left just slightly, but enough so that their right ear is a few mm closer to their near fields, and the left ear, slightly turned away. The theory being that they turn up the project's left channel a hair to compensate, without being conscious of actually doing so.

    My only issue with that theory is that I noticed that slightly higher Left ch. RMS on rips from CDs made from waaaay, waaaay pre-DAW, and pre-digital, for that matter, -era '70s or '60s albums.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  8. bigshot
    Those dynamic range gizmos are BS. They measure everything but how the track actually sounds.
  9. castleofargh Contributor
    0.5dB after instruments get panned individually isn't exactly a drama.
  10. hobbes4444
    I'm having a similar issue with relatively new Oppo PM-2s via an Oppo 205 jack and my SimAudio amp jack. My system is:
    Oppo 205 > SimAudio Moon 340i (analog and digital coax)
    Oppo 205 > Marantz 7012 (analog and HDMI)

    Listening to almost all songs results in significantly left panned vocals and instrumentation is a bit louder on the left. Mono sources also tend to be left shifted rather than dead center. This happens with both the Oppo jack and SimAudio jack.

    When I play those same tracks through the Marantz jack, vocals are centered.

    When I play those same tracks on my Fiio X5, with the mini cable, vocals are centered. (Using the 1/8 cable and an adapter into the Oppo jack and SimAudio jack results in left panned vocals again).

    It's not an imbalance, left louder than right. It's truly panned vocals that seem to be mixed just in the left channel. But I know that's not the case since they are centered with other gear.

    Very perplexed and hoping someone may have a suggestion. I'm going to swap out analog cables between the two of Oppo and Sim, but I can't imagine that will make a difference since the panning issue happens on the Oppo and Sim jacks whether analog or digital inputs are selected on the Sim. That also leads me to believe it's not the DAC. Happens with sources played via USB and CD.

    Thanks for any insights...
  11. bigshot
    If you put the headphones on backwards, does the imbalance flip? If so, it's the headphones. If not, it's your ears.

    If it's the headphones, cables won't fix it. You'll have to adjust the balance control.
  12. hobbes4444
    Yes, when playing back through the Oppo or amp flipping the headphones flips the vocal panning. But, if I'm hearing vocals centered on other gear, it seems to me it is more likely gear related...
  13. bigshot
    It's your headphones. Sounds like they are out of spec. You'll have to correct for it using the balance control.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
  14. castleofargh Contributor
    it's strange to say the least. perhaps the headphone has some imbalance somewhere, and your amps own imbalance move one way or the other making it fine on one but increased and obvious on the other? but that would really be the worst of luck for that to manifest clearly only on one headphone as a panning problem. because if you can't perceive the same thing with other headphones when going from one amp to another, it has to mean that the imbalance from the amps aren't a big deal.
    in any case, I agree with bigshot that based on your explanation, the headphone must be declared the cause of all this. maybe(****wild guess time***!!) the 2 drivers have a somewhat significant impedance different(despite each being flat over the frequency range), so depending on the amp's impedance, that variation translates into a different amount of channel imbalance? IDK.
  15. TheSonicTruth
    Again, it's just a measurement, and not *always* audible. But consistently, on digital files(CD, WAV, MP3) of stuff from 1960 to last year, the majority of them return a left channel RMS of just under 1dB higher than that on the right.

    And that cannot be blamed on headphones - or any other listener gear. It's in the FILE.

    That theory, regarding the physical position of DAW users, deserves at least further study.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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