Should a system bring the performers into your room, or bring you to the performance?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael R Price, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    The title says it all. We hear things about audio systems which create the illusion of a singer standing right in front of you, or of the spacious ambiance of a concert hall. Which should we achieve and how? Do we want to turn our room into a rock concert or jazz lounge? Or should our room serve as the acoustic environment for the music?

    I presume "bringing the performers into the room" would mean letting your room influence the sound? Perhaps this would work better for music recorded in a studio or otherwise not having an ambiance or environment of its own, or with smaller-scale music such as jazz or vocal?

    On the other hand, taking the listener to the performance would involve deadening the effect of your room, so the speakers can produce the reflections and directional cues present on the recording?

    I'm not sure which is more important, but I'm leaning towards "taking you to the performance." I can still enjoy music if I hear all the performers and instruments arrayed in front of me without any particular "ambience," (such as in a studio recording) but wouldn't want my room to mess up a recording made at a certain venue (as in classical music).

    I'm curious to hear your thoughts. Should we let our room influence the music?
     
  2. john_focal

    john_focal Agent

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    I say no.... I am a big fan of things sounding as "intended" as possible though..... the room adding a dimension to the sound is a bad thing IMO.
     
  3. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    The idea is that *you* are taken to the room that the music was recorded in. If it is a large scale orchestral performance at the Kennedy Center then you should be taken to that room. If it brings them to your room, then, as you indicated the recording is being colored and that's a bad thing. Regards.
     
  4. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I like to go to the performers. Lets say the recording took place in an Arena style theatre with lots of echoes/spaciousness.

    When I listen to the recording in my house I want to be put at that Arena and not have the performer sound like they are speaking in my house through a reverb.
     
  5. BobRoulier

    BobRoulier Second Unit

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    Bill, That may be what the recording was meant to do but it truly depends on what sounds best to the individual! example ,in my case I dont care for live recordings I prefer digitally mastered music I always have. I have gone to many concerts and they have always disappointed me after listening to the cds for a while


    bob
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    well I don't want them in my room. they expect you to pay them, never bring any gifts, eat your food, use all the toilet paper and then expect to stay over...
    but all kidding aside, i simply expect it to sound lifelike seeing as how artists or performers tweak things around each time. that and the venue is different
     
  7. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Take me to the venue. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir would have a hard time fitting into my living room.

    On well recorded rock concerts (which are a rarity), the sound of the crowd does sometimes give the illusion of coming from several feet away, beyond the walls of my room.

     
  8. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Michael:

    Your query is often spoken of as "you are there" vs. "they are here." I prefer the former, as I believe it to be more realistic to the original performance. For those who prefer the latter, bi- or omni-polars may be the speaker of choice.

    Larry
     
  9. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    I want it to sound like the performers are in the room. When I listen to Booker T and the MGs I want it to sound like a Hammond and Leslie, a Rogers kit, a Twin Reverb and an Ampeg fliptop are right there. I want it to sound like real musical instruments are right there. I listen to the music not the room and the more realistic the actual instruments sound the more realistic the music sounds.
    Music starts with sounds in people's heads, I doubt that many composers are thinking about room sound or hall sound when they write music.
    Of course most loudspeakers are incapable of that kind of dynamics, low distortion and realistic presentation, then "imaging" must suffice.
    Who in the Devil even knows what the original room effect was when the recording was made anyway? Many studios have little or no such effect or work to kill any such effect.
    My opinion, others see things different. (Which is a problem, many audiophiles think of and describe music in visual terms---"image".)
    www.chicagohornspeakerclub.org
     
  10. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    After seeing these comments, I don't know which I prefer. I love the sensation of being in a really big place with the instruments arrayed in front of me and the sounds reflecting everywhere, but I also love the sensation of instruments seeming to sit in my room.

    What would it be like to listen to music in an anechoic chamber?
     
  11. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Bob,
    It doesn't have to have been a live concert. I merely gave an example. YOU should be taken to the room the music was recorded in, not vice versa. It's about accuracy and faithful reproduction of the recording medium, period. [​IMG]
     
  12. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

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    A good system will put the performers in the room with you, but a great system will put you in the room with the performers.

    You know your system is good when you can identify the venue. For example, when I first listened to a Koch CD of Miklos Rozsa's violin music on my system, I said to myself, "This sounds like Bridges Hall at Pomona College," a venue that I know intimately. I checked the CD, and sure enough it was recorded there.
     
  13. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    An anechoic chamber is not really a room acoustically speaking.
    Therefore, whatever you play in one will sound like the room it was recorded in.
    I think it would be cool to have an anechoic chamber for critical listening. To solve the problem of "acoustic suffocation" I would have speakers playing ambient noise so that the chamber sounds like a room.
    Then when the real music starts to play the ambient noise turns off along with the lights. And so I would be acoustically placed inside the performers room with only my sense of smell telling me where I actually am.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Bill Lucas:
     
  15. Manuel Delaflor

    Manuel Delaflor Supporting Actor

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    What I think is that audiophiles get lost somewere in the "equipment trap" and obsessively pursue some conceptual ideas of "what is right and what is not".
    Me? I don't care at all about "what was intented" (up today we have no way to know for sure what was really intented).
    What I want is a system that let me enjoy my music.
    That's all. [​IMG]
     
  16. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    I think it depends on the type of music. For classical music, or other large-venue performances such as concerts, obviously you want to "be there". But for rock or other music recorded in a sound studio and digitally mixed and mastered, what exactly does "being there" mean? I think that for this type of music, it's often the intention for the singer to sound like they're right in front of you, and that's fine.
     
  17. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Jeff, that is almost exactly what I was thinking. It depends on the scale of the music.
     

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