• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Message to golden-eared audiophiles posting at ASR for the first time...

Sal1950

Grand Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
14,155
Likes
16,841
Location
Central Fl
They have big horn speakers; I have big horn speakers. What's not to like? ;)
I heard you were a horny type guy.
I've got smaller horns but still can be very dangerous. LOL
Also... relay contacts. My AVR is 2db down on the right channel due to relay contact oxidation. Audyssey compensates but still.
Are you sure about that? Like a dirty volume pot or switch, the issue is usually noise and an unstable level change.
 

fpitas

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 7, 2022
Messages
9,885
Likes
14,201
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
I heard you were a horny type guy.
I've got smaller horns but still can be very dangerous. LOL
511s are decent size. If my music room had been a lot larger, I might have wedged some 1803 multicells in. Probably best I didn't though lol.
 

thecheapseats

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 22, 2023
Messages
727
Likes
776
Location
Los Angeles refugee
I gotta' laugh a bit reading comments here - thanks for that... the idea that recordings could/might/can be made to sound as 'real' as they did, or even laughably MORE REAL than they did when the original recordings were made/performed/recorded is (to me) simply effing hilarious... ain't gonna' happen...

good lord - please enjoy the music for what it is in whatever reproducable method you might have at your disposal... but many won't... and therefore the continuous, perpetual "let me fix it' debate/jerk-off continues... however it did make me laugh - so there is some redeeming quality in the comments... please continue...
 

fpitas

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 7, 2022
Messages
9,885
Likes
14,201
Location
Northern Virginia, USA
Without taking any sides in the discussion, I use headphones as a sanity check. If the speakers sound similar (or sometimes better), I'm happy.
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,286
Likes
12,190
I gotta' laugh a bit reading comments here - thanks for that... the idea that recordings could/might/can be made to sound as 'real' as they did,

I don't think anyone argued for perfect realism. Certainly not me.

But there is clearly a continuum between "less realistic and more realistic" sound. Surely you acknowledge this?

or even laughably MORE REAL than they did when the original recordings were made/performed/recorded is (to me) simply effing hilarious... ain't gonna' happen...

If you can get over laughing long enough....

So is it your position that some recordings can't be manipulated to sound more natural/realistic?

Do you have any experience in this area?
 

Robin L

Master Contributor
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
5,267
Likes
7,694
Location
1 mile east of Sleater Kinney Rd
When a recording is done in different studios, at different times, with none of the musicians ever playing together, there is no 'performance' to be recorded. The 'performance' is entirely created artificially. A very few recordings, like the Jazz At The Pawnshop series were actually recorded live, straight to stereo (Nagra recorder)

Orchestral recordings, notably Decca, were done as a full orchestra and with only a few microphones. Everything else since the invention of multi-track recorders has been assembled from individual recordings. Even highly regarded 'purist' classical recordings have been assembled from many different takes. One exception are Nimbus, who claim to use the edit to save a special preformance, not to creat one.

Consequently, trying to recreate a 'live' experience at home is pretty much futile as few recordings have ever been made that way.

S.
Here's the rub---microphones are transducers, like speakers functioning in reverse, really more like phono cartridges. Instead of electrical impulses creating changes in sound pressure levels, changes in sound pressure levels create electrical impulses. So, the colorations of the microphones impose themselves on the recording. Those purist recordings of Decca, EMI and RCA in the distant past are still colored by the selection of microphones. Speaking from experience, a couple two three of Neumann's finest will not reproduce the sound of a live performance, even if only two or three are being used in an ORTF or Decca microphone tree configuration. And the majors, like Decca and RCA, figured out that two or three microphones were not enough to capture all the sounds of a symphony orchestra pretty early. I made a fair number of recordings of symphony orchestras for radio and usually used six microphones. If I could have used more, I would have. I've been present at recording sessions of symphony orchestras run by highly regarded recording engineers, they used something like 11 different microphones, selected for their particular sonic qualities. While the design and manufacture of recording gear is a science, recording is an art.
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,286
Likes
12,190
When a recording is done in different studios, at different times, with none of the musicians ever playing together, there is no 'performance' to be recorded. The 'performance' is entirely created artificially. A very few recordings, like the Jazz At The Pawnshop series were actually recorded live, straight to stereo (Nagra recorder)

Orchestral recordings, notably Decca, were done as a full orchestra and with only a few microphones. Everything else since the invention of multi-track recorders has been assembled from individual recordings. Even highly regarded 'purist' classical recordings have been assembled from many different takes. One exception are Nimbus, who claim to use the edit to save a special preformance, not to creat one.

Consequently, trying to recreate a 'live' experience at home is pretty much futile as few recordings have ever been made that way.

S.

This fallacy continues to be propounded.

The idea that If the means of generating the sound/recording were artificial THEREFORE the resulting sound will be artificial (in the sense of less natural or realistic).

That's just not how things work. First...ALL methods of recording are "artificial."

Second, the degree to which something is perceived more like the real thing is dependant upon the end result, whatever the process, and often what people think of as "more artificial" means actually result in "less artificial" seeming results.

Just look at how AI is coming up with ever more realistic images, as well as re-creating artists voices that have fooled people. And think of how massively complex and 'artificial' that process is! Look at how utterly artificial and complex the process can be with CGI, and yet scenes are routinely created (especially backgrounds, people don't realize how many of those are CGI now in "regular" dramas) which fool people in to thinking they were the "real thing" photographed by the camera. Same with any endeavour.

Often what people think of as "more artificiality" (e.g. more mics introduced for recording an orchestra) is actually there to allow for manipulating the sound to be MORE like one hears from the real thing. (All depending on the goals of the engineers/producers).
 

OldHvyMec

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 5, 2022
Messages
366
Likes
287
If you can get over laughing long enough....

So is it your position that some recordings can't be manipulated to sound more natural/realistic?

Do you have any experience in this area?
I have been to a lot of concerts in my life. Small venues to very large ones that still sound good. The last big, but yet great concert was Prince for me.
Though the sound was very dynamic and I always loved to watch Prince perform my playback system is better than any concert I've ever been too,
including Pavarotti live, twice.

Nothing is perfect in a band live, nor will it ever be on a recording either. BUT it will sure sounds better to a guy like me if the people mixing half way
know what they are doing. What do you do with a person that plays and mixes his own music to ready it for sale? Maestro.

WHO has the stones to argue with a person about his or her intentions when they hand you an LP/CD/ReeltoReel/or cassette. After all they put it on that
medium. There must have been a reason to record it that way and then mix it the way they did or didn't.

Fruit for thought.
 

DonR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 25, 2022
Messages
2,992
Likes
5,671
Location
Vancouver(ish)
I heard you were a horny type guy.
I've got smaller horns but still can be very dangerous. LOL

Are you sure about that? Like a dirty volume pot or switch, the issue is usually noise and an unstable level change.
Oh absolutely. Relay contacts exhibit a couple hundred milliohms of resistance for that speaker. I use an outboard amp now so it is not an issue. One day I will take the relay out and clean it.
 

thecheapseats

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 22, 2023
Messages
727
Likes
776
Location
Los Angeles refugee
...Speaking from experience, a couple two three of Neumann's finest will not reproduce the sound of a live performance, even if only two or three are being used in an ORTF or Decca microphone tree configuration. And the majors, like Decca and RCA, figured out that two or three microphones were not enough to capture all the sounds of a symphony orchestra pretty early...
exactly...
 

Axo1989

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
2,877
Likes
2,913
Location
Sydney
511s are decent size. If my music room had been a lot larger, I might have wedged some 1803 multicells in. Probably best I didn't though lol.

Yes, when I hear weirdness coming through speakers, reaching for the headphones to check is a thing I do. Usually it's the music. Overdrive on vocals or various noise or distortion effects in general often makes me think I've broken my speakers. :eek:

Killdozer wrote many things.

What specifically was killdozer right about?

Oh come on, @Newman made a post that was correct, asking for specificity just breaks the method. :)
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,286
Likes
12,190

Ok, so then you would understand that sound can be manipulated to sound less or more natural/realistic, correct?

What, then, do you actually disagree with that I have written?

Or is your derisive laughter pointed at someone else's posts?

If you think people were arguing that we are able to reproduce live music to sound indistinguishable from real, then that's clearly a strawman. Nobody (that I saw) has said such a thing, and most have argued why that is unlikely (including me).

So then we have the discussion of whether sound reproduction can be on a continuum to more or less natural/real. Which brings up the fact that one can manipulate some recordings to sound more natural/realistic than they would have sounded if they hadn't been altered (which is a way of coloring the sound).
I don't see how you could disagree, especially if as you claim you have any experience in sound recording/engineering/manipulation. But I'm all ears if you have a legitimate counter argument.

What exactly do you find so preposterous? (That is actually accurate to what anyone is saying).
 
Last edited:

kemmler3D

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 25, 2022
Messages
3,346
Likes
6,810
Location
San Francisco
I think the idea is try to recreate the experience of the studio monitoring of the final mastered mix.

Good luck with that.
I used to go with this idea pretty uncritically. More fidelity is always good. Fidelity is a relative concept, a reproduction has to have fidelity to an original.

If we keep going upstream to more and more definitive versions of the recording, we eventually pop out of the microphone into the room with the live performance, or we pop out of the monitor into the recording studio.

So then you have two schools of thought on maximum fidelity - replicating a live performance, or replicating what was heard in the studio. Both are hard, I think studio sound is easier to achieve, because at least we're using speakers to emulate speakers.

Perhaps the sound in the mastering suite is the best and most definitive version of any recording. But what does the mastering engineer listen to when they go home at night? Or ... is "studio sound" really the best, most suitable, and most definitive experience?

I would say it's obviously so when it comes to FR, and distortion ought to be as low as we can get it. However, when it comes to dispersion and the room, I am not sure the studio is obviously the optimal experience. I'm not saying it isn't, either... I'm just not necessarily sure anymore.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
7,938
Likes
6,088
Location
PNW
I tend to think about recordings intended for home use as well as home reproduction systems, to simply be a different aspect than an actual live performance. If the recording can up the ante on helping you feel like you're there, great, but IMO it's just different in general.
 

Newman

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
3,503
Likes
4,331
Perhaps the sound in the mastering suite is the best and most definitive version of any recording. But what does the mastering engineer listen to when they go home at night?
Hopefully their kids practicing scales on the french horn...or a partner recounting their day...anything but recordings.
 

dmilller

Active Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
102
Likes
64
The final mix is a compromise between the playback devices that are expected to be used. The mastering engineer listen to the mix on his car system, and perhaps plays it on airpods when he gets home. There is no ideal mix, and popular music isn't mixed for the audiophile. They don't mix for what they consider the best sound in their studio.
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,286
Likes
12,190
The final mix is a compromise between the playback devices that are expected to be used. The mastering engineer listen to the mix on his car system, and perhaps plays it on airpods when he gets home. There is no ideal mix, and popular music isn't mixed for the audiophile. They don't mix for what they consider the best sound in their studio.

It might horrify some to find out that, these days, the mix for film and tv is often monitored by clients and creative personal...from their own home, via video conference. So..whatever headphones or speakers (usually headphones) the client has chosen to wear.

And yes this can cause problems. Sometimes they want us to change something..."I need to hear more X"...just because they have their volume turned down too low!

(For the vast majority of film work in my career, it was not like this; we were all in the mixing theater together, for the most part).
 
Top Bottom