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Realism vs Accuracy For Audiophiles


tuga
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1 hour ago, audio_PHIL_e said:

I've had people tell me I enjoy "distortion and colouration" because I listen to vinyl through a valve amp!

Engineers will tell you that you listen to an "effects box". Very irritating to a musician who uses "effects" like guitar pedals which have nothing to do with good audio reproduction. 

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3 minutes ago, pmcuk said:

Engineers will tell you that you listen to an "effects box". Very irritating to a musician who uses "effects" like guitar pedals which have nothing to do with good audio reproduction. 

's funny. I am a guitarist and I do use FX (and amplifier setups) to make the instrument sound like I want it to. I often treat the amplifier as another part of the instrument. I also like acoustic instruments and try to record them so that when played back, I hear the same kind of thing as i was hearing when I played for the recording.

When it comes to reproducing electric guitars, we want our HiFi to reproduce faithfully all the distortion & feedback in the original sound ...

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I would favour realism over accuracy every time.  I produce, record and generally screw up live sound on a daily basis. I use enough technology to scare most purists and every night the sound will be different, could be the same room, the same number of people the same gear, but it will sound different.

Our first priority is vocals, get them right and everything else is secondary. Effects, we use them all, often it is part of the bands sound. Compressors, they are just part of the process of getting the sound the band want you to hear.  

The question I always ask about accuracy; what is the standard we are measuring against.

As for timbre, it is the reason why I get so much work, I use some very classic mic's which are hard to use, fussy, dynamically limited and far surpassed by modern microphones. Yet often this is exactly what the artist wants, it is all about the timbre.

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58 minutes ago, audio_PHIL_e said:

's funny. I am a guitarist and I do use FX (and amplifier setups) to make the instrument sound like I want it to. I often treat the amplifier as another part of the instrument. I also like acoustic instruments and try to record them so that when played back, I hear the same kind of thing as i was hearing when I played for the recording.

With classical, and even with acoustic jazz and traditional music, prefer a recording that shows the listener's perspective, not the player's.

Rock/pop is a different beast, the end result is what matters, the production is the actual musical event.

58 minutes ago, audio_PHIL_e said:

When it comes to reproducing electric guitars, we want our HiFi to reproduce faithfully all the distortion & feedback in the original sound ...

To do that you need to faithfully record the all the distortion & feedback in the original sound in the first place, the system on its own cannot do that tinting everything with the same brush. Who would enjoy listening to vocals with added distortion? (I guess one could say that different types of distortion produce different effects)

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1 hour ago, moo-fi said:

I would favour realism over accuracy every time.  I produce, record and generally screw up live sound on a daily basis. I use enough technology to scare most purists and every night the sound will be different, could be the same room, the same number of people the same gear, but it will sound different.

Our first priority is vocals, get them right and everything else is secondary. Effects, we use them all, often it is part of the bands sound. Compressors, they are just part of the process of getting the sound the band want you to hear.  

The question I always ask about accuracy; what is the standard we are measuring against.

As for timbre, it is the reason why I get so much work, I use some very classic mic's which are hard to use, fussy, dynamically limited and far surpassed by modern microphones. Yet often this is exactly what the artist wants, it is all about the timbre.

I agree, but only if for pop/rock and jazz. Classical music recordings are generelly a lot "purer", as they should.

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3 hours ago, pmcuk said:

Timbre is a lot more than frequency response. You can take 2 systems with equally flat frequency responses, outside of extreme bass and treble, and the clarity of timbre can be very different. I think extreme bass and treble are a lot less important than a flat response in the critical listening range. Particularly for older listeners. 

i didn't read the pieces I'm afraid.

.

and Rob Watts has done experiments on the leading edge of notes and has shown that without the accurate leading edge to a note it is not even possible to identify which instrument is playing. Clearly as you say there is much more going on than frequency response and which may well be more important than frequency response for accuracy. 

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1 hour ago, pmcuk said:

Engineers will tell you that you listen to an "effects box". Very irritating to a musician who uses "effects" like guitar pedals which have nothing to do with good audio reproduction. 

Musicians produce music, playback systems reproduce music recordings. You can't blame engineers for trying to reproduce your effects as accurately as possible.

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Timbre = emotion = soul (guts of the music) = enjoyment for the listener.  Unless of course you analyse constantly, which is a necessity for the producer but does not equate to pleasure for the listener surely ?  I know that I am in the minority saying this but hifi is mad enough without feeding folks neurosis with doubt. Et voila...the hifi industry :o  Imo we are all raving firkin mad...but the debate actually is,  to what degree ?  :)

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8 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

and Rob Watts has done experiments on the leading edge of notes and has shown that without the accurate leading edge to a note it is not even possible to identify which instrument is playing. Clearly as you say there is much more going on than frequency response and which may well be more important than frequency response for accuracy. 

Indeed, and some of those who purport to favour “accuracy” above all else are very quick to decry his work and products, whereas his aims seem to be to reproduce, or perhaps reconstruct, the recording as accurately as possible. Ironic really, and maybe indicates that their ideas are stuck in past concepts of adequate.

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19 minutes ago, tuga said:

Musicians produce music, playback systems reproduce music recordings. You can't blame engineers for trying to reproduce your effects as accurately as possible.

The term "effects box" is used pejoratively by audio engineers who go by measurements rather than listening. They like solid state with plenty of feedback and .0000003 THD. It doesn't refer to sound engineers in studios. 

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30 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

and Rob Watts has done experiments on the leading edge of notes and has shown that without the accurate leading edge to a note it is not even possible to identify which instrument is playing. Clearly as you say there is much more going on than frequency response and which may well be more important than frequency response for accuracy. 

I'm not familiar with RW, but in the video beneath, he appears not to understand how sampling works, and why sampling at 44.1 kHz will time transients perfectly, even if the transient begins "between samples". This is because there is only one mathematical solution with a bandwidth-limited signal.

I think this is a common misunderstanding of sampling theorem. Linn refer to "missing information" between samples in their marketing puff for so-called "high resolution" files with higher sample rates than 44.1. It's nonsense.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist–Shannon_sampling_theorem

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8 minutes ago, Blzebub said:

I'm not familiar with RW, but in the video beneath, he appears not to understand how sampling works, and why sampling at 44.1 kHz will time transients perfectly, even if the transient begins "between samples". This is because there is only one mathematical solution with a bandwidth-limited signal.

I think this is a common misunderstanding of sampling theorem. Linn refer to "missing information" between samples in their marketing puff for so-called "high resolution" files with higher sample rates than 44.1. It's nonsense.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist–Shannon_sampling_theorem

You don’t think Rob Watts understands sampling theory? Some chutzpah!

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8 minutes ago, rdale said:

You don’t think Rob Watts understands sampling theory? Some chutzpah!

Watch the first five minutes of the film above, then watch this. Linn don't appear to understand it either:

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1 hour ago, Blzebub said:

I'm not familiar with RW, but in the video beneath, he appears not to understand how sampling works, and why sampling at 44.1 kHz will time transients perfectly, even if the transient begins "between samples". This is because there is only one mathematical solution with a bandwidth-limited signal.

I think this is a common misunderstanding of sampling theorem. Linn refer to "missing information" between samples in their marketing puff for so-called "high resolution" files with higher sample rates than 44.1. It's nonsense.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyquist–Shannon_sampling_theorem

Oh for heavens sake. You are not familiar with the name of one of the foremost experts in the design of digital audio equipment and then you post a link to wikipedia in support of you claiming that Rob Watts does not understand how sampling works.

I might be more impressed if you could list the DACs you have designed and then we can compare that to the digital design work of Rob Watts going back many years.

Oh, dear.

Edited by Fourlegs
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2 hours ago, tuga said:

prefer a recording that shows the listener's perspective, not the player's.

How does that work? Especially if the player is trying to play like it would sound good if he/she were sat there listening to the performance?

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