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'Height' as perceived by some: Fact or placebo delusions?


britishcomposers
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Test sounds for UP, OVER, LATERAL and BEHIND (I've only tried with headphones):

http://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_ledr.php

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5 hours ago, rv295 said:

I know you are joking but just in case, I've started an argument with my wire and asked her to check the soundstage during the argument, at which point I know she's paying attention to every word I say and every sound being made.  She confirms the height placement. :D

I would like to hear your system Luke as I've not seen anyone go to such lengths in a domestic environment.  My hat is off to you. I haven't asked as the only time I ever get free is when the wife, daughter, business partners and clients have all gone to bed. One day i hope to. 

I moved up here from South Bham and the results were the same, I suspect they use the same water supply. It's those towns and cities with clean water that I feel sorry for. :o

With something as obvious as birds, I could imagine that possibly being expectation related but height really does make or break a system for me.

My experience of studio's is very limited.  I've recorded and produced a track in a proper studio belonging to Trevor T from Music Youth which is/was located in South Birmingham. There the mixing desk was out in the room so the monitors were not flat against a wall. I've been in two other studio's although briefly, and they didn't have speakers flat against the wall either.

This kind of set-up:

maxresdefault.jpg

This is why I like to listen in the dark or with my eyes closed. It stops my eyes overwriting what my ears are telling me.

 

I didn't  say flat against the wall I said perched on a mixing desk two feet from your face at most and only a few feet apart, from a depth perspective they may just as well be flat against the wall cos there isn't any - but there again they don't want them against the wall as that would reinforce the bass and mess up the mix.  Many still have Yamaha NS10s which are on the bright side of painful :) 

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11 minutes ago, uzzy said:

I didn't  say flat against the wall I said perched on a mixing desk two feet from your face at most and only a few feet apart, from a depth perspective they may just as well be flat against the wall cos there isn't any - but there again they don't want them against the wall as that would reinforce the bass and mess up the mix.  Many still have Yamaha NS10s which are on the bright side of painful :) 

I'd imagine (if someone mixed enough) they would be able to listen to the monitors on their desk and know (quite well) what any positioning changes are going to translate to in the listening area or on a hi-fi.  I don't recall the studio monitors imaging badly at all, quite the opposite as I'd heard very little hi-fi at that point so didn't have much to compare it to. 

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2 minutes ago, rv295 said:

I'd imagine (if someone mixed enough) they would be able to listen to the monitors on their desk and know (quite well) what any positioning changes are going to translate to in the listening area or on a hi-fi.  I don't recall the studio monitors imaging badly at all, quite the opposite as I'd heard very little hi-fi at that point so didn't have much to compare it to. 

Judging by the number of bad versus good recordings methinks some of them do not listen at all :) Even with George Martin we had to wait 50 years to get a decent stereo mix of Sergeant Pepper ... I was surprised he never tackled that when doing the previous remasters considering by the 70s he had got the hang of stereo seeing how he did such an excellent job on Blow by Blow  (Jeff Beck), Holiday (America) and The man in the Bowler Hat (Stackridge) ...

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I suspect they may feel like they are that good, they don't need to.  :nup:

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I'm still struggling with this height thing - it only happens if I artificially change time alignment between mid-highs within the OBs, whereas leaving them as calibrated, images are very precise at a point between midrange driver & ribbon positions. Image clarity is outstanding, as is soundstage depth (less so width beyond the speakers) but never height. Mono recordings always play at a vertical point in space between speakers & chair you can almost touch.

I can only surmise that this is as a result of the corrections made from my original speaker measurements (quoting DEQX themselves..."DEQX-Cal breaks the measured response of the speaker into thousands of separate frequency groups, minutely adjusting their timing so that all groups arrive at the listener’s ear at the same time.").

I guess that this level of correction may account for what I (don't) hear. In some ways I wish I did!

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I am stuggling with the question itself . Stereo sound is an illusion , it is not real at all .It is a manufactured replica of in some cases something that never actually took place. As we have moved from the early original and probably purest recordings things have just become more complicated with technology enabling the engineer / producer to change almost every parameter within a recording . It is certainly possible to hear and percieve height in a recording but like the rest of the recorded sound it is all false .

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I was told about the LEDR test by a studio engineer who used it to set up loudspeakers in the studio. By using various 'tricks' they can then record sound images in left/right and depth planes including going beyond the left and right boundaries of the speakers. Also getting sounds to start at the sound-stage front and then disappear off to the far distance is a common trick. But height was an interesting effect.

There are 'real recordings' where you can hear height information from naturally recorded music. Then there are studio recordings. Pink Floyd have played a lot with adding height as has Peter Gabriel. Unfortunately I have lost contact with my pal who knew Chad Blake to ask him how they do height on PG recordings or whether it was an accident (I doubt this knowing the care they take). 

Some people can't hear the stereo effect which is 'strong' so the subtle height information will be more difficult to hear. I can hear height and that is with Audionote Es against the wall. ;)  

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i thought we wanted emotional content to come through so dont get too bothered by false stereo illusions.  a long read but for those who only know stereo,mono rocks !http://www.anstendig.org/Stereo.html

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20 hours ago, SergeAuckland said:

what they need is the short-sharp shock of a Class A amplifier gripping their woofers. 

My Tannoy Westminsters demonstrated otherwise;  speaking with their multiple panels when something wasn't right.  A big, fast class AB twin-transformer Kenwood L-09M or it's smaller Trio L-05M mono amplifier (pair) had considerably better control than the class A Sugden tried, (leaden and lumpy bass) - and it wasn't about power but in their damping factor;  pulling the punches as I refer it as.

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13 hours ago, uzzy said:

Judging by the number of bad versus good recordings methinks some of them do not listen at all :) Even with George Martin we had to wait 50 years to get a decent stereo mix of Sergeant Pepper ... I was surprised he never tackled that when doing the previous remasters considering by the 70s he had got the hang of stereo seeing how he did such an excellent job on Blow by Blow  (Jeff Beck), Holiday (America) and The man in the Bowler Hat (Stackridge) ...

Though not on Youtube, the last show of Flanders & Swann's review, 'At The Drop Of A Hat' in 1960 and performed at the Fortune Theatre in London's West End, (available on CD), Geaore Martin did record what for me is one of the best demonstrations of properly recorded stereo;  Michael Flanders spinning to and fro in his wheelchair centre-stage, bellowing-out the humouresque lyrics while Donald Swann sat with back to Flanders at his Boudoir grand piano, stage right.  The track for the then burgeoning hi-fi business for the well-heeled hobbyist, (and typifying the F&S audience remit), being 'Song of Reproduction' where Flanders even makes mention of all the extra apparatus rigged up in front of the stage;  going so far as to saying, "If you move around a bit, they'll use it for demonstration purposes!"   Sadly, all Youtube has is the 1957 mono recordings that are in a much lower fidelity.

No, GM knew how to record stereo.  His training was of a more 'classical' grounding though, which is where he would have gained much of the new order of stereo balancing techniques required.  Commercial pop (particularly singles 'chart' releases) was largely mono until the early 70's, though Decca did more stereo than most in what was the modern genre at the time.

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19 hours ago, britishcomposers said:

Though not on Youtube, the last show of Flanders & Swann's review, 'At The Drop Of A Hat' in 1960 and performed at the Fortune Theatre in London's West End, (available on CD), Geaore Martin did record what for me is one of the best demonstrations of properly recorded stereo;  Michael Flanders spinning to and fro in his wheelchair centre-stage, bellowing-out the humouresque lyrics while Donald Swann sat with back to Flanders at his Boudoir grand piano, stage right.  The track for the then burgeoning hi-fi business for the well-heeled hobbyist, (and typifying the F&S audience remit), being 'Song of Reproduction' where Flanders even makes mention of all the extra apparatus rigged up in front of the stage;  going so far as to saying, "If you move around a bit, they'll use it for demonstration purposes!"   Sadly, all Youtube has is the 1957 mono recordings that are in a much lower fidelity.

No, GM knew how to record stereo.  His training was of a more 'classical' grounding though, which is where he would have gained much of the new order of stereo balancing techniques required.  Commercial pop (particularly singles 'chart' releases) was largely mono until the early 70's, though Decca did more stereo than most in what was the modern genre at the time.

Love Flanders and Swann, its a favorite of our family growing up, you certainly don't want flutter on your woofer.....

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I have a setup CD from Mains Cables R-Us and track 11 - 13 are LEDR tests. Track 11 is supposed to start a chuffing sound behind the base of the and climb vertically around 6Ft.

Track 12 checks if the sound starts low outside the left speaker moving up smoothly towards the right hand speaker then repeats it from right to left.

Track 13 is a lateral check going left to right then repeat right to left.

On all tracks the sound is lateral only, I could not detect any height difference in any of them.

However on some of my CD`s, there is some definite height information.  Capercaillie  Nadura is a case where the accordion player can be heard going back and forth and up and down with the violin player doing the same on the left hand side.

My Pink Floyd live CD has surround sound that does go all the way around the room.

I think it will depend on the recording and who does the final mastering as to wether there is height information or not.

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As someone who claims to hear height (in the same way I claim to see light), I guess I should at least give the LEDR tests a go.  Hopefully this evening.

As two people have said they only get lateral movement in the LEDR test, my expection is already bias to the idea that I wont hear height.  It should be an interesting experiment then.

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A bit of an update to my previous post.

I have just had a good listening session tonight and I thought that I would try the LEDR test again with everything warmed up and listened at a higher volume.

It worked, the vertical up did exactly as noted, it went almost up to the ceiling on both channels and back down again.

The up and over worked as well from left to right and then right to left.

When I tried it the first time I must admit that I went upstairs, turned on the speakers and stuck the CD in without thinking about listening levels or warm up time.

So if you have this test available make sure you turn on the system to get it up to its normal temperature, then make sure you listen to the test CD at what would be your normal listening level.

I was quite amazed at what can be done with stereo effects, so I stand corrected ;-)

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