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Embracing Simplicity in Audio: Anyone Else Skipping Room Correction, Measurement Microphones, and the Like?

Geert

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Or are you implying that DL can also correct for phase error which is literally hard-wired into a passive crossover? If so, sweet!

Much more than that: "If the system is not minimum phase (and this is the case in our normal listening rooms) the frequency response will still be flat, but the impulse response will not be ideal, (exactly how it looks will depend on the phase). In order to get the impulse response correct for a non minimum phase system you need to use a filter that is not minimum phase. What this filter will do is shift certain frequencies in time in such a way that they all arrive at the same time, thereby achieving the desired result".
 

Whoareyou

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There is another side to the dilemma:

Agreed but its ironic that sound altering room effects are often coveted on the recording side and I would argue on the playback side by some too. Look at these AVR modes.
Post Decoding Formats:
  • Dolby Surround: expands 2-channel or 5.1 audio to play over systems with more speakers e.g. 7.1 or 5.1.2
  • DTS Neural:X: expands 2-channel or 5.1 audio to play over systems with more speakers e.g. 7.1 or 5.1.2
  • DTS Neo:6 Music: uses the DTS Neo:6 or DTS-ES Matrix decoder to expand 2-channel music to the surround/surround back speakers
  • DTS Neo:6 Cinema: uses the DTS Neo:6 or DTS-ES Matrix decoder to expand 2-channel movie audio to the surround/surround back speakers
Stereo Sound Programs:
  • 2ch Stereo: for mixing down multichannel sources to stereo.
  • 9ch Stereo: for sending sound to all speakers. Ideal for background music.
Movie Sound Programs:
  • Standard: emphasizes the surround sound without disturbing the original positioning
  • Spectacle: delivers a wide dynamic range and expansive soundscape
  • Sci-Fi: for Sci-Fi and SFX movies. Clear separation between voice, effects and music.
  • Adventure: for action and adventure movies. Less reverberation and an expanded sound field left and right.
  • Drama: for drama, musicals and comedies. Provides a gentle echo for a wide stereophonic sound.
  • Mono Movie: creates a surround sound experience for old mono movies.
  • Enhanced: creates a sound field that emphasizes 3D object-audio.
Entertainment Sound Programs:
  • Sports: for sports and light entertainment TV. Centers the voice and highlights the atmosphere.
  • Action Game: for action gaming audio. Emphasizes effects to make the player feel right at the center of the action.
  • Roleplaying Game: for roleplaying and adventure games. Adds depth to the sound field to emphasize background music and special effects.
  • Music Video: for pop, rock and jazz concerts. Reproduces the feel of a hall and emphasizes the rhythm.
  • Recital/Opera: reproduces the feel of a concert hall with emphasis on the depth and clarity of the human voice.
Music Sound Programs:
  • Hall in Munich: reproduces a Munich concert hall with 2,500 seats and a wooden interior.
  • Hall in Vienna: creates a Vienna concert hall with 1,700 seats and a shoebox shape.
  • Hall in Amsterdam: simulates a large Amsterdam concert hall with 2,200 seats and a shoe box shape.
  • Church in Freiburg: reproduces a stone church with a long and narrow shape.
  • Church in Royaumont: simulates the dining hall of a Gothic monastery.
  • Chamber: reproduces a wide space with a high ceiling.
  • Village Vanguard: simulates a small jazz club in New York.
  • Warehouse Loft: simulates a concrete warehouse.
  • Cellar Club: reproduces an intimate concert venue with a low ceiling.
  • The Roxy Theater: creates a 460-seat rock music venue.
  • The Bottom Line: simulates a 300-seat jazz venue in New York.
I have no idea what those (IMHO horrible) playback effects sound like, but they'll sound different in each and every listening room unless every playback room is exactly the same. The point of DSP is to make them sound the same in each room.

Same thing goes for the in studio effects placed in recordings by the engineer. They should sound the same in my room as they sounded in the recording studio, and once again, the point of DSP is to make them sound apples to apples, my playback room to recording studio.

Let's take something such as instrument location in the image. The engineer placed the trumpet, via timings, at a certain "location" in the sound field. Let's say left of center. Forget about whether or not you hear the playback frequencies as they should be i.e is that bass line has disappeared or is bloated? Where is that trumpet located in your playback room? Do you hear it left of center?

You should hear all of the effects, including timings introduced by the engineer, in similar fashion to how the engineer created those effects on the recorded side.

That's what proper DSP does.
 

jhaider

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Some modern technologies are not compatible with everything I have here. I would have to give it up and rebuild some things from scratch. For everyday listening, I mostly listen directly in the near field. That's my simple method of minimising room influence.

There’s a widespread misperception that nearfield listening removes modal issues. I’m not sure where it came from. It’s never been what I’ve heard, and measurements certainly don’t show it.
 

CapMan

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Measuring the response in my room and understanding the measurements has been an amazing journey. Turns out my hearing is really not that insightful! Also recently found that speakers that measure well with excellent directivity are much better in my poor listening room - validated with measurements .
 
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Geert

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There’s a widespread misperception that nearfield listening removes modal issues. I’m not sure where it came from. It’s never been what I’ve heard, and measurements certainly don’t show it.

This is one of the project studios with a near field setup I measured. Red is before acoustic treatment.

index.php
 

mhardy6647

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I don't think that I have too much to add to this discussion, but I'll offer one thought, speaking strictly for and from my own perspective.
I am not sure that I am interested in simplicity as much as elegance. There is much that is supremely inelegant in terms of current philosophy (and implementation) in the reproduction of audio.

I would further suggest that the constant change in approaches ("standards", if you will) is symptomatic of this inelegance.
 

Timcognito

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Let's take something such as instrument location in the image. The engineer placed the trumpet, via timings, at a certain "location" in the sound field. Let's say left of center. Forget about whether or not you hear the playback frequencies as they should be i.e is that bass line has disappeared or is bloated? Where is that trumpet located in your playback room? Do you hear it left of center?
I think your are purest, as am I. I don't even like engineered soundstage, the best recordings seem to have fewer mic's and less mastering, IMO. Remember most of those programs are in AVRs that have DSP for the speakers and room and are gimmicks rarely used by ASR readers/posters. But as AI, sound and video merge they play role in creating believable realities that would be too expensive or impossible to undertake and will become very realistic over time. They may even rescue failed or poor recordings from the past and make sound better.
 

Geert

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What closefield listening does is REDUCE THE RELATIVE EFFECTS of the room.

For reverb yes, but not so much for room modes and SBIR. The graph I posted above, that's effectively how it sounded. Played a scale on the keyboard mounted in the desk, sounded like the B1 key was broken.
 

CapMan

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There is much that is supremely inelegant in terms of current philosophy (and implementation) in the reproduction of audio.
I think this deserves to be expanded upon. Do you mean in the process of capturing the performance or in rendering the performance at home?
 

LTig

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[..
In my experience, I've found success in keeping my signal paths straightforward. I've been hesitant to transform my regular home listening environment into an acoustic laboratory with heavy computer usage or reliance on proprietary DSP products. Call me old-fashioned, but I value the simplicity of my setup.

Are there others out there who, like me, choose to forgo room correction, measurement microphones, and other sophisticated tools in favor of a more straightforward audio experience? I'd love to hear about your approaches, experiences, and the reasoning behind your decision.

Is simplicity still a virtue in the ever-evolving landscape of audio technology?
I like simplicity but will not skimp on room EQ which is the next best thing in audio. Read my posting to understand why.

My system is complex despite having no power amps, but it is wired such that one flick of a switch and one press on the AVP engages the whole system to play music from FM.
 
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mhardy6647

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I think this deserves to be expanded upon. Do you mean in the process of capturing the performance or in rendering the performance at home?
Sorry, I was atypically too laconic! ;)
I was thinking of, and referring to, home reproduction.
I do like minimalist techniques in recording, too -- but I also like way too much music that doesn't lend itself well to such. ;)
 
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For reverb yes, but not so much for room modes and SBIR. The graph I posted above, that's effectively how it sounded. Played a scale on the keyboard mounted in the desk, sounded like the B1 key was broken.

I see now what you're saying. I agree.

Jim
 

CapMan

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Hi
Sorry, I was atypically too laconic! ;)
I was thinking of, and referring to, home reproduction.
I do like minimalist techniques in recording, too -- but I also like way too much music that doesn't lend itself well to such. ;)
Thanks for that ! I wondered, what does good look like for the at home scenario?

I guess I mean - how pure / simple / elegant does it get .
 

Ron Texas

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Using a microphone and REW is simple enough. What's not simple is adding a sub or building a surround system.
 

Curvature

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For everyday listening, I mostly listen directly in the near field. That's my simple method of minimising room influence.
Your method has no effect beyond changing the ratio of direct vs. reflected sound intensity.

By definition, the room's primary influence is in the transition region and below.

Things were never simple in audio. At best there were temporary moments of peace between format transitions. Technological discomfort is an unavoidable feature.
 

jhaider

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What closefield listening does is REDUCE THE RELATIVE EFFECTS of the room. It doesn't do this by affecting the room's native acoustics, but by changing the relative pressure levels of direct-vs.-reflected sound at the listener's ears.

The thing is, where the room does its worst, there’s de minimis impact from listing close to the speakers. One can make arguments in terms of imaging focus, and certainly dynamics for a given loudspeaker capability, but the biggest footprint of the room is how it destroys bass fidelity. Listening up close changes the specific modes (so does, e.g. moving one’s desk from seated height to standing height) but reduction or augmentation of modal issues comes down to dumb luck (or incredibly good models).
 

dweeeeb2

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I look at it this way, nodes and FR spikes effect sound more than anything else, DSP can improve these. To me DSP is by far the simplest solution but is only needed to fix a problem.

If you don’t hear any problems then you don’t need it.

If you look harder though I almost guarantee you can find a problem. Use measurements to find a consistently better sound.
 

eddantes

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If a journey from [Source_1+Source2+...SourceN+Pre+Amp+Sub+SpkrsA+SpkrsB] to [GCC+DAC+AMP+Sub+SpkrsA] is a journey towards simpicity then.... yes? I suppose? All the tools, the software, the microphone, the DSP etc were necessary to learn.

But in the end solutions don't have to be complex, because one doesn't need to solve to the Nth degree. For example - room modes you can do by ear with trial and error - and it won't take too long or require the sub to move too far, if you are not trying for perfection, but instead are trying for better. Don't need HiRez - cause I can't tell the difference - so Spotify is perfectly fine. Don't need Ultimas because F35s get me 9/10 there (or even further). Don't need 120+ SINAD because I can't hear the difference between that and 100... or maybe even 80... So...

My journey to simplicity is mostly my acceptance of my own limitations.
 
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Chrispy

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I do use the gear in initial setup as a baseline but generally tweak to taste from there, but unless something is changed out, I don't fiddle with it much in between. The only room I haven't used measurement/dsp as much for in for setup is my workshop....just due to the various places in there I spend most time, just found something that works for those positions fairly well plus its not exactly a critical environment. Measuring and applying eq is worth the effort generally though and personally find it improves the experience, rather than those who said it degraded it.
 

ahofer

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Active speakers with built in room correction are pretty simple. A lot of ‘simple’ audiophilia isn’t.
 
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