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Realism vs Accuracy For Audiophiles


tuga
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8 hours ago, tuga said:

Other genres, use amplifiers and/or PAs usually in non-dedicated venues, even jazz, and are often plugged to the desk. The sound of instruments goes through EQ, compression, and effects such as reverb are applied to the mix, even in a live event.

If there are problems with the studio mix or mastering then a high res system will expose them mercilessly, and because we are dealing with the reproduction of a fabrication instead of reality I can conceive that a low fidelity system which will strip the recording of the sonic detail and of those problems may redirect focus onto more musical (in a non-audiophile sense) aspects. But if this had been the goal of the artist then he would have made that choice in production.

At least that’s how I see it.

Amplified music is not a fabrication and it is reality. It’s quite an elitist view that only orchestral music is a performance and is real.
 

When I programme a sound on my ARP Odyssey and play it through my Eventide and Strymon effects units it is real. I play all of my lines the same as a pianist or violinist does. I know this because I am a pianist and violinist. But clearly the difference here is that there are many many more recording process permutations than with classical music and therefore albums that sound quite different from each other as they should do. 

At least this thread has helped me to understand your perspective a bit more. If your prime focus is in listening to classical music and capturing the ambiance of the venue then your objectives are very different to mine as I need to balance a variety of recording outcomes and have a system that will play nicely with my music preferences.

By the way I doubt now if I would replace the Quad 909 for the Artera or any more revealing amp as my new DAC is already sometimes too revealing on a few albums - and I don’t want to increase the number as this would diminish my musical enjoyment.
 

It’s no coincidence that for many months my tag line on here has been ‘the best system is the one that is best for you.’

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2 minutes ago, Fourlegs said:

I watched that a long time ago.
 

Have you watched the Rob Watts seminar though?

So, if you've already seen it, you'll know that a great deal of what RW is claiming is in fact incorrect.

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3 minutes ago, Blzebub said:

No it isn't, because he demonstrates it all on camera. The equipment he's using can't have a bias, and nor can it be "wrong" (unless it's broken).

RW, OTOH, is throwing out a lot of unsubstantiated (and incorrect) claims without showing any evidence whatsoever.

I own a couple of Chord DACs which Rob Watts designed, and they sound great. As far as I’m concerned there is plenty of evidence that he knows exactly what he is doing. 

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Blzebub said:

We use ultrasound in medicine. It's inaudible.

You seem like a sensible person.

'I know what I don't know', is often the sensible approach.

Speakers usually extend to around 35kHz or higher in usable response. Electronics mostly far beyond this, but are limited to avoid potential HF oscillation. A great many musical instruments produce sound energy well beyond these limits. Cymbals are still going strong at over 100kHz.

It seems to to me that the only reason for the 44kHz limit is pragmatism and available technology. Those constraints no longer apply, so basically, why not?

If you want to award a Nobel, I think you may find suitable candidates. A very quick search produces Oohashi et al. for example (High-Frequency Sound Above the Audible Range Affects Brain Electric Activity and Sound Perception), suggesting that sound above 26 kHz "induces activation of alpha-EEG rhythms that persist in the absence of high frequency stimulation, and can affect perception of sound quality." I have no idea whether this is peer-reviewed, but I believe it has been published. I also believe this is not the sole piece of research making similar claims.

Edited by rabski
Useless spelling :-)
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1 hour ago, DomT said:

Producers and engineers get work because they are in tune with the band. Between them they have a language where they will understand what musical means. 

This is so, so true. I've experienced the nightmare of a recording engineer who consistently maintained he knew better than me how to record my band, and overruled me regarding the balance of parts of the arrangements. Never again.

I've spoken at length to one of the UK's leading young singers and she vividly describes how she talks to engineers. Like "I want this with more of a boing..", or "that's too woody sounding..", or "can you make the bass a bit more elastic?" Funny enough, but serious too. A lot of creatives use language in unique ways. If you're a long-time sound engineer you must have had a lot of this! 

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39 minutes ago, pmcuk said:

This is so, so true. I've experienced the nightmare of a recording engineer who consistently maintained he knew better than me how to record my band, and overruled me regarding the balance of parts of the arrangements. Never again.

I've spoken at length to one of the UK's leading young singers and she vividly describes how she talks to engineers. Like "I want this with more of a boing..", or "that's too woody sounding..", or "can you make the bass a bit more elastic?" Funny enough, but serious too. A lot of creatives use language in unique ways. If you're a long-time sound engineer you must have had a lot of this! 

All perfectly normal. Musicians are not engineers although it helps to have an engineer or producer who is a musician. I remember a Steve Jansen quote along the lines that he wanted the drums to sound like they were bouncing off the wall and Nigel Punter needed to work it out; which he did.

I certainly have worked with non-musicians and musicians who had all sorts of ways of expressing themselves. I also trained my ex who was a very good artist to write music. I would ask her what colours she wanted to use and what type of paint and would the brush strokes be long or short etc etc. She ended up with her own radio show and appeared a backing singer for some reasonably known band whose name I can’t remember right now. 

Edited by DomT
Typo
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57 minutes ago, Blzebub said:

Yes, but that is utter nonsense, assuming a well-implemented filter.

Ah, the penny is starting drop! Not all filters are created equal. The theory relies on a perfect filter.

Some do a decent enough job; adequate for many, it has to be said. Rob has developed a filter that is rather better than adequate and many users of his designs have found that equates to better, as in more accurate, natural and realistic sound quality. Try one of his designs, you might find it difficult to go back to another designer. Unless of course your “knowledge” prevented you from being able to hear an improvement. ;)

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, DomT said:

Amplified music is not a fabrication and it is reality. It’s quite an elitist view that only orchestral music is a performance and is real.
 

When I programme a sound on my ARP Odyssey and play it through my Eventide and Strymon effects units it is real. I play all of my lines the same as a pianist or violinist does. I know this because I am a pianist and violinist. But clearly the difference here is that there are many many more recording process permutations than with classical music and therefore albums that sound quite different from each other as they should do. 

At least this thread has helped me to understand your perspective a bit more. If your prime focus is in listening to classical music and capturing the ambiance of the venue then your objectives are very different to mine as I need to balance a variety of recording outcomes and have a system that will play nicely with my music preferences.

By the way I doubt now if I would replace the Quad 909 for the Artera or any more revealing amp as my new DAC is already sometimes too revealing on a few albums - and I don’t want to increase the number as this would diminish my musical enjoyment.
 

It’s no coincidence that for many months my tag line on here has been ‘the best system is the one that is best for you.’

I may have expressed myself poorly.

What I meant to say is that distant minimally mic'ed classical music is (almost) a snapshot of reality (because stereo over speakers is 1D). Like a documental photograph.

6fZoPj9.jpg

.

A studio mix, is a composition that is made of several close-mic'ed takes, sometimes in mono, in quasi-anechoic conditions, which are EQ'ed and processed or manipulated with different effects and mixed into an imaginary soundscape; the result is fabricated reality or if you prefer a second nature, like the composite image below.

2nJvXi6.jpg

Edited by tuga
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Camverton said:

Ah, the penny is starting drop! Not all filters are created equal. The theory relies on a perfect filter.

Some do a decent enough job; adequate for many, it has to be said. Rob has developed a filter that is rather better than adequate and many users of his designs have found that equates to better, as in more accurate, natural and realistic sound quality. Try one of his designs, you might find it difficult to go back to another designer. Unless of course your “knowledge” prevented you from being able to hear an improvement. ;)

According to Jussi Lakko it is actually a rather crude filter (from a technical perspective). I guess it depends on who you ask, or would rather ask...

Edited by tuga
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17 minutes ago, DomT said:

All perfectly normal. Musicians are not engineers although it helps to have an engineer or producer who is a musician

I like this thinking.  Probably didn't hurt to have Alan Parsons working on DSOTM.  I like his subsequent project as well.

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1 minute ago, tuga said:

I may have expressed myself poorly.

What I meant to say is that distant minimally mic'ed classical music is (almost) a snapshot of reality (because stereo over speakers is 1D). Like a documental photograph.

6fZoPj9.jpg

.

A studio mix, is a composition that is made of several close-mic'ed takes, sometimes in mono, in quasi-anechoic conditions, which are EQ'ed and processed or manipulated with different effects and mixed into an imaginary soundscape; the result is fabricated reality or if you prefer a second nature, like the composite image below.

2nJvXi6.jpg

We have a fundamental difference of opinion of what a piece of music is. To me the process of recording is irrelevant even if recorded a bit at a time rather than a band playing live. However the finished product to me is exactly the same as your pictorial example of a live piece - in that it is music to be listened to ‘as a whole’.
 

What you maybe saying though, and I agree if you are, that the finished piece on a very revealing system may sound like it is made up of many parts. A lower resolution system will normally present it as a coherent whole. 

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I think this guy has a point. As good as we have it I still don't think the technology is there and not even for the foreseeable future either. I kind of understand what he's getting at here as well with the being a density or tangibility to the sound. I felt an old trichord dac had this sort of thing. I have a 'better' dac now so moved on and the Trichord couldnt match it's resolving capabilities or resolution or even 3D effect, its just a better all round dac but there was always something substantial with that old dacs sound. So it's a hard question again this as he tries explaining in the video. The thing is we are still using basically very old technology in the same way to produce real sounds. But some of it don't half still sound very good! :)

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1 minute ago, DomT said:

We have a fundamental difference of opinion of what a piece of music is. To me the process of recording is irrelevant even if recorded a bit at a time rather than a band playing live. However the finished product to me is exactly the same as your pictorial example of a live piece - in that it is music to be listened to ‘as a whole’.

Think of each microphone as a camera which due to its closeness to the subject cannot capture any ambiance cues.

Mic each instrument with one or more mics and you have a bunch of snapshots with no background.

Mix all these snapshots, add some ambience cues and effects and you get a stereo mix with a soundstage. Or what you can see in this photo. It is a coherent work, but it wouldn't have been possible to hear it or in this case see it as pictured.

2nJvXi6.jpg

1 minute ago, DomT said:

What you maybe saying though, and I agree if you are, that the finished piece on a very revealing system may sound like it is made up of many parts. A lower resolution system will normally present it as a coherent whole. 

I agree that some lesser productions may not sound as a coherent whole but most studio mixes do.

Quite a few classical music labels also produce multi-track mixes which sound more like the composite image I posted above.

I have an unprocessed non-comercial recording of Petrouchka. It was made with a single pair of mics in X-Y configuration and the soundscape is remarkably realistic. It doesn't have any of the spectacular bells and whistles of multi-mic'ed recordings, no hyper-realism, no fake air, no mechanical noises, and yet it just feels right, a coherent depiction of an orchestra playing in a hall.

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1 hour ago, ChemMan said:

This is great fun!  Just like a cable thread.  Go Boys GO!!

Despite an extensive search, including the full Oxford English Dictionary, this appears a new definition of 'fun'.

  • Haha 4
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