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What is soundstage?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by sneaglebob, Jan 13, 2012.
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  1. frodeni
    That would be my understanding as well. If soundstage is the imaginary space of width and dept that is.
  2. icebear
    (1) I don't know how it works I have listened to examples that clearly let me locate a sound source above the rest of the orchestra, and that is with two channel stereo.
    (2) TV sound bars for example[​IMG].
         Could you please put some info in your profile with what kind of set up you are listening, so we have an idea why you hear or don't hear certain acoustic aspects?
    (3) For me sound stage are the dimensions of the recording venue and imaging is the position of the individual sound sources within this stage.
         This obviously limits the natural sound stage to live recordings and not something pieced together and artificially panned between the left and right channel.
    (4 a,b,c) You wan to invent a new language and set the definitions differently because we need this? [​IMG] Have fun.
    (5) Yes indeed, this how it actually works. It is a very complex interaction of time differences between the direct sound and the reflected sound bouncing of all the walls in the actual 3D space. There is no single factor that you can measure from the signal and get a reading on sound stage.
  3. frodeni
    Then we are in agreement then. This is the defacto meaning of these terms. Formalizing it, is not making a new language.

    Listen: If you hear instruments above the rest of the orchestra, well you probably do. I simply do not know why. Ideally, you simply should not.
    A guitar often spans over the range all elements of a speaker. Tapping or the base, is reproduced low, like at the floor sometimes. The guitar box is often lower than the hand hitting the strings. Yet the singer might be at height of the strings.
    Sometimes, hitting higher tones, results in an increase in rendering height. The fingers hitting the guitar neck, often results in highs for the tweeter, rendered high up there, as by physical height.
    This happens all the time for two or three way speakers of classic design. 
  4. icebear
    I can't really follow your decription of guitar sound reproduction.
    If it sounds like you describe, then I guess you have a problem with your speakers.
    Get your self THIS CD (not the regular edition) and have a listen how live guitar sound can be captured with a lot of ambient information that let you "hear" the space of the venue.
  5. frodeni
    There has been absolutely nothing wrong with the like 30 setups I have heard this on. And sure, this is a distortion, and thinks should behave exactly as I described, as that is the expected behavior. The descirpiton in the last post, was for the classic tweeter on top, then mid, then base designs. This is the way they behave. If you do not follow, how bad is it? Where did you loose the description?
    It is just the result of music being reproduced at the height of the speaker elements, and that depends upon the frequency.
    As for buying a CD for the sole purpose of hearing great sound, and not for the music, I do not do that anymore. Thanks for the tip anyway.
  6. icebear
    If the (multi-way/driver) speaker is breaking up the different frequency parts the way you describe it, than the construction of the speaker, most likely the design of the crossover network is screwed up. Listen with a single driver speaker e.g. Lowther. If you want to get to terms with something like soundstage reproduction you will have to eliminate obvious shortcomings of the equipment.
    When the sound is audibly separating between the individual drivers you might consider your judgment of quote "there has been absolutely nothing wrong" as possibly not the last word in accuracy.[​IMG]
    Roly1650 likes this.
  7. frodeni
    A short primer:
    A speaker pair with this setup:
    Sound input is then split between the different elements. They are filtered by frequency range. For this particular speaker, the circuitry is like this:
    Crossover frequency is at 300Hz and 3500Hz.
    That leaves us with:
    • Tweeter at 3.5-20KHz
    • Midrange at 300-3500Hz
    • Base at (40)-300Hz
    I once read an entire book on this subject, but that was years ago. The bases is still the same, there is some overlapping between the elements, in which both 1 and 2, and 2 and 2 reproduce sound. LIke at 298Hz and 3550Hz. The roll off might be sharp or slight.
    So any sound at say 6KHZ will be reproduced by the tweeter. Sounds at 1KHz will be by the midrange. 150HZ by the base.
    As for soundstage, that will be the triangle running from your head and the speakers. It will be the extension of that triangle, running behind the speakers. It is flat and two-dimensional. Lets just keep the assumption of a acoustic dead room for now.
    By this speaker, it should be pretty obvious, that the tweeter is significantly higher positioned than the base. There would be a significant difference in height between all these elements.
    Playing a guitar, could produce sounds being reproduced by all three elements. Some by the tweeter, some by the midrange, and some by the base.
    These sound will emerge at the soundstage given by each element, which is at different heights.
    The high pitch finger play on the guitar neck, as when changing the grip, will be at both tweeter and midrange.
    The tune of the strings them selves, are like 70-700Hz, meaning both base and mid. So when moving up the tone scale of the guitar, the reproduction will move from the base elements to the midrange. By definition. During the cross over, the sounds will gradually move up in physical height.
    So, the guitar playing will be in the height center of those two bases. For both some tones, and some drumming on the guitar.
    The tones coming from the guitar, covers a range going into the heart of the midrange element. As you work your way up the guitar scale, the reproduction will move up in height, from the base to the midrange elements..
    Now, the finger play, will sometimes be firmly by the tweeter. That will be even further up in physical height.
    This is how things are expected to reproduce, and this is how they are reproduced. It is easily audible. And not just for the guitar. It manifests for any speaker with an off center design. Most speakers are.
  8. icebear
    You keep dissecting your sound impressions on your journey to describe and analyze sound stage and imaging.
    To make the problem easier to tackle you might seriously consider a single driver speaker, just a suggestion.
    The drivers and electronics in a '97 loudspeaker might be due for a check-up.
    I have never heard the effect that you describe.
    Sometimes ignorance can be bliss you know, I enjoy listening to music.[​IMG]
    I'm out of this one here, some else please take over[​IMG]
  9. frodeni
    Great, so you got that point.
    KEF makes such a speaker, but it was six times as expensive as the ones I got.
    Not hearing this effect, is probably a blessing for some. For me, it is not like the only effect I sort of know of. Still enjoy the music.
    As for dissecting, that is right on the money to. That is just how I roll.
    Keep on enjoying the music! That is the spirit.
  10. Ruben123
    Does sound stage even EXIST at all?
    You can pan a sound, by hand (mixing) or in real life (stereo microphone). That will be your left and right (width). The "depth" is as easy as louder sounds seem to be nearer than softer sounds. That is, to me, a dynamic range thingie (the source recording or volume of the amp)  and not per se the speakers themselves. The height is just a joke as it seems to me, because mostly the tweeter is higher than the base speakers so the higher frequency will always come from above.
    Of course some of these things might be altered (err, all are altered) by frequency response differences. Because of that, sound stage could be different.
    Isnt it that simple?
  11. Audioholic123
  12. frodeni
    If that was the case, there would be plenty of dept by headphones, but there is not.
    The main positioning mechanism, is time delta.
    As if the sound stage exists at all, you at least need to define it first. Then the definition should exists. From there on, it is insanely debatable, all they way to that it does not exists at all. Like given by Descartes. Easy to get lost in that line of thought, yet very useful to understand the arguments.
    The soundstage is a sonic illusion, just like the screen you read this on, is a visual illusion.
  13. Audioholic123

    Fundamentaly though, Ruben123 is right. He just didn't go into detail. The truth is, soundstage is literally decided by how a sound is recorded and then panned. Depth is influenced by volume and frequency, thirdly by distance. Yes there is more to it but really, these are the basic principles of soundstage. I used to record music on the Reason Synthesizer Programme. I have plenty experience on this.If it helps then you should know that the spatial elements of a passage of music is really down to our aural instruments telling our brain to localize individual parts of a recording
    I think we all just dont know how to use the term soundstage.
    Roly1650, bfreedma and money4me247 like this.
  14. frodeni
    I know that this is often times how it is done, and that to some degree, that works for speakers. But really, turning up the volume, do not alter the soundstage much, which should tell us something?
    It is more like a painting technique, in which objects farther away is given less saturation and less accuracy. But claiming that such techniques makes the painting 3D, is a far stretch. But it sure helps a bit.
    I am not particularly impressed with the music industry, and how a lot of things seems to be understood. A lot of things is done as by need, but the need is not understood. The explanations for the way things are done may be completely off.
  15. Shaffer
    Imagine sitting in a concert hall and the band/orchestra is playing some distance away, as happens in real life. A stereo recording played through a capable system (not headphones) can recreate the three-dimensional perspective of such an event. That's a soundstage in a nutshell. Headphones cannot do this. Headphones do not soundstage. They project a soundfield, for a lack of a better term, centered in one's head, not an illusion of sitting in an audience listening to a performance taking place on a stage.

    Edit: text
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