To crossfeed or not to crossfeed? That is the question...

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by jasonb, Oct 21, 2010.
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  1. bigshot
    The problem with doing audio apps for iOS is that things keep changing and developers don't want to keep up with updates. I bought an EQ app and with the next os upgrade it broke and they never did an update to make it work again.
    Malfunkt likes this.
  2. 71 dB
    I know nothing about apps. I am an old fart using a "dummy phone" waiting to get old enough to die away from this icky world of selfies and constant competition.

    It wasn't. Wrong OS. Lumia phones had also great cameras and rich recording (undistorted recorded sound up to 140 dB!), but wrong OS ruined it all and Lumia went literally out the Window. Nokia had no clue how to advertise Lumia Phones (great engineers, idiotic bosses).
  3. Arpiben
    Same situation in other divisions or companies. Uncorrelated management.
    No fix or cross-feed available.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
  4. pinnahertz
    Me too, my youth was entirely tube-based. But I've embraced enough of the current tech to put some to good use.

    Here's all I know about apps: if you can make one that isn't in the App Store 25 times over, and there's a clear need, purpose, and advantage, you can hire a kid app designer and pay him/her a percentage of your cut from the App Store, and fund your obsession, hobby, collection, travels, health care, whatever for a few years until someone notices you have the top app in its category then builds a better one. The hardest part is finding an app designer you can work with and understands your first language.

    BTW, the equalizer apps are all nonsense too.
  5. 71 dB
    You are a youthtube -person, not a youtube -person pinnahertz. :dt880smile:

    Technological advancements allow so much today, put the potential is not fully used in a rational way.

    Vinyls use "elliptic filtering" to reduce channel separation (horizontal stylus movement) at bass frequencies. This filtering it actually a kind of cross-feed. I think this is one off the reasons why some people find technically inferior vinyl sound more pleasing.
  6. castleofargh Contributor
    I personally prefer even a bad crossfeed to nothing at all, but that's only because headphone panning annoys me a lot. I know several people who don't feel there is an issue as they like headphones' presentation just as much if not more than speakers(seems weird to me, but hey, different people, different habits and taste). I feel like simply getting a delay with some attenuation closes to what I need, is an actual improvement over nothing at all. but there is no point in pretending that basic crossfeed has it right either. you don't simulate HRTF and a room with a simple slope starting at a more or less arbitrary point, a delay picked by somebody else, and no reverb. fairly often the center voice takes a hit with default crossfeed and it can end up being just as annoying as the "double mono" effect from usual headphone use.
    I personally use some sort of crossfeed on everything headphone or IEM related(ok not on podcasts), so I don't need convincing about how I crave for anything taking me away from default headphone stereo and most albums. but if I had to pick a side in that long ping pong game between you and pinnahertz, I would more often take his side. because while crossfeed is at least to me a step in the right direction and much better than nothing, it's an incomplete approach. customization from measurements at the ear is the right approach. if speaker sound is what we desire, then room simulation is the right approach. and in front of it, crossfeed is more like a flawed toy.
    crossfeed is amazing because of how cheap and readily available it is compared to better stuff. but it's not the answer, it's a lousy band aid until the industry admits that customized solutions are the only path toward actual headphone hifi.

    vinyls accumulate so many issues and specificities that it's hard to make up a reason to anything. the crosstalk is so bad that it's audible, that alone can't be without consequences on the perceived "stage".
  7. bigshot
    Crossfeed only addresses one of the problems with headphone listening. You can spend thousands on black boxes to make headphones closer to being speakers, but it still isn't going to be like speakers. I just take headphones for what they are and I don't fuss with it too much. I'm happy with my speakers, so I only use headphones when I have to keep quiet for other people or when I'm working on noise reduction on a transfer from an LP or 78.
  8. pinnahertz
    Good one!
    There are many reasons people find they vinyl experience more pleasing. That certainly could be one of them, but the thing is there was no fixed elliptic filter in the mastering chain. Bass mono-ing was done as needed, and to the degree needed, varying from none to mono below 250Hz. Mostly the determining factor was how "loud" the record was cut, and how much bass modulation was a part of it. Yes, the loudness war existed on vinyl! Oh, and the basic channel separation of vinyl is not fantastic, so there's a bit of built in crossfeed, albeit just reduced separation.

    I think the discussion of vinyl preference is off topic here, but it is something I have delved deep into. I found the results interesting.
  9. pinnahertz
    You should audition the Smyth. Not easy to do, but if you ever get a chance, take it. It might change your mind on a few things.
    jgazal likes this.
  10. pinnahertz
    I'm not finding "readily available" on many platforms. It might be cool to provide a list of cross-feeders and platforms they work on.
  11. castleofargh Contributor
    that's good idea, I can't claim to be an expert though, Ive tried several on PC but that's where everybody would expect to find some in the first place.
    on portable stuff, for me it started with rockbox. sony DAPs have some surround DSP settings and the first one "studio" is fairly close to a default crossfeed as the reverb is really minimal. on my android phone I think the neutron player had some crossfeed, but I usually end up using the player provided with my BT headphone so I go mostly for viper4android(needs root and is system wide). but for some time now the option has also become something more than just crossfeed and doesn't really offer settings(not for that at least, else it has EQ, convolver,...) :frowning2:. I've been using a UHA760 DAC/amp for a few years and it has 2 crossfeed settings(analog stuff this time). so while I've clearly been aiming at stuff with crossfeed of sort for some time now, I never felt like it was really hard to find.
    on mac I know nothing for religious reasons, but I remember a buddy talking about canopener having crossfeed features?
  12. 71 dB
    "Headphone panning" means "illegal/impossible" spatial information which doesn't make sense to our brain. It is no wonder such information annoys.

    Most people are not aware of the concept of spatial distortion so they don't know the full potential of headphone listening (I was one of these people until 6 years ago). I personally think investing money on expensive headphones and listening to them without cross feed while pretending the sound quality is good is silly. Those who don't like cross-feed (know about it and have tried it) do not in my opinion fully understand what cross-feed is about and they misunderstand in my opinion what being a purists means.

    "Basic" cross-feed is right in the sense that it reduces or removes spatial distortion making the signal "legal/possible" for the brain. In other words, a recording could have be done in real world that sounds exactly the same when played back perfectly. How do you know what the sound originally was? Isn't the most important thing that the recording sounds as if it is identical to the original sound? If cross-feed places the drums 5° too left, then what is the problem really? The drums could have been 5° more left in the studio. At least the drums won't sound "fake" and "all over the place" because of spatial distortion.

    How much can we improve sound quality by going from basic cross-feed to "customized solution?" Is it worth the increased complexity and price? I ask this because I am a "bang for the buck" guy.

    Technically vinyl is abysmally bad compared to digital audio formats, but still many praise it being superior. This is an interesting issue and I think I have found some explanations for it.
  13. 71 dB
    What are the other problems not addressed by cross-feed?
  14. 71 dB
    My cross-feed is based on DIY headphone adapter, but there is Vox - player for Mac (and iPhone?). It has 3 different cross-feeders to choose from: Bauer stereo to binaural, Chu Moy and Jan Meier.
  15. bigshot
    The things I was thinking about in that were the kinesthetic feel of the bass in your chest, not getting sweaty ears from the ear cups, and the ability to share music with friends while you visit. I’m sure the SR solves the problems of directionality and room acoustics.
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