Heathen vs. Hotel California and the LFE channel

Discussion in 'Music' started by Brian L, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I made an interesting (at least to me and probably others that obsess over this stuff) observation yesterday, WRT the use of the LFE channel (or lack thereof).

    It appears that Heathen has pretty much ALL the low bass in the LFE channel, while Hotel California (at least on the title track), has very little, mixing it in with the mains.

    I found this out quite by accident.

    I recently moved some components around in my rack, and apparently failed to fully insert the RCA connector in the Sub/LFE jack of my universal player (Pioneer 45A used with an ICBM).

    Since I had not played any MC music or any movies since then, I did not immediately notice.

    However, when I sat down to listen the the SACD MC mix of Bowie's Heathen, which is VERY bass heavy, I immediately thought something was very, very wrong. There was hardly any bass at all.

    Checked all settings in the player, but still no bass. I then cued up the Stereo tracks (using the stereo output pair, not the 5.1 outs), and like magic, the bass was back.

    I then put in the DVD-A of Hotel California, which has some pretty strong kick drum and bass on the title track, and it sounded fine.

    WTF? My player is acting up, but only with SACD's?

    Last thing I did was poke my head in back of the rack, and immediately noticed my error. Plugged the RCA in fully, and all was right with the world.

    Not sure there is anything earth shattering here, but in a round-about way, it does show that with proper Bass Management, it doesn't much matter where you mix the bass. In the end, it ends up where it belongs.

    BGL
     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    But where the bass "belongs" on your system isn't necessarily where it belongs on my system, or the next guy's, or the guy after that. For one, I don't use a subwoofer for music playback.

    But I find your findings to be rather odd anyway. Are you perhaps performing some kind of player-based bass management on your SACDs, but not your DVD-As? If so, that would explain the difference you've found.

    And I'd add that I've never heard any onboard bass management circuitry on any SACD player that doesn't degrade the sound quality (what player are you using?).
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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