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Author Topic: Is it just me?  (Read 7106 times)

Ivan Beaver

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Is it just me?
« on: September 11, 2011, 12:40:57 pm »

Recently I was reading an article and the author (who shall remain nameless for now), says that when he is doing a system, he "voices" the background speakers so they are bass heavy, so that they sound "far away".

That is one of my complaints when I go somewhere and the background music is all "muddy".  I would prefer to knock the low end out so they are a bit clearer sounding.  Not so much as to be "foreground" speakers, but not just a distant mud that you find yourself listening hard to the music to figure out what song is being played.

They could still be run at a low level, but be clearer.

Maybe it is just me-but what would be point of trying to make the speakers unclear and distant?  Just turn them off at that point.

At least that is the way I feel. 

Opinions?
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Ivan Beaver
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PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Jay Barracato

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 01:36:53 pm »

Recently I was reading an article and the author (who shall remain nameless for now), says that when he is doing a system, he "voices" the background speakers so they are bass heavy, so that they sound "far away".

That is one of my complaints when I go somewhere and the background music is all "muddy".  I would prefer to knock the low end out so they are a bit clearer sounding.  Not so much as to be "foreground" speakers, but not just a distant mud that you find yourself listening hard to the music to figure out what song is being played.

They could still be run at a low level, but be clearer.

Maybe it is just me-but what would be point of trying to make the speakers unclear and distant?  Just turn them off at that point.

At least that is the way I feel. 

Opinions?

I have been thinking about a quirk/deficit in my hearing. If you were to test my ears for absolute levels one tone at a time, my ears are in great shape. However, for as long as I can remember, I have trouble with clarity if there is any sort of background noise. As a result, I absolutely cannot hold a conversation in a bar/party type setting because while I can hear the sounds, I can't understand them.

I think this quirk is why I believe vocal clarity is such an important aspect of any system I have to work on.

While I have had some systems that sounded good while the band was playing, they sounded like crap in between songs and it would bother me the entire set. On the other hand, I do not believe I have ever run into a system that sounded good for the spoken word, that didn't also sound good for music.

Death to the mid range mud.
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Jay Barracato

Ivan Beaver

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 02:19:01 pm »

I have been thinking about a quirk/deficit in my hearing. If you were to test my ears for absolute levels one tone at a time, my ears are in great shape. However, for as long as I can remember, I have trouble with clarity if there is any sort of background noise. As a result, I absolutely cannot hold a conversation in a bar/party type setting because while I can hear the sounds, I can't understand them.

Thanks (NOT) for taking this on a complete topic swerve.

But I also have the same problem as you describe.  I didn't use to have the problem, but it seems as if over the last several years it is becoming harder to distinguish "clarity" in situations such as a resturaunt at a large table with lots of people talking and different conversations going on and possibly other tables making noise.

Even though I may be talking directly with a person, it is harder to understand them than it used to be. :(  And yes my hearing is still very good-as long as it is still "related".  id same piece of music, single conversation , test tones etc.

And to try and turn it back to the origional topic, the LAST thing I need is a bass heavy background music system.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
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Jay Barracato

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 02:53:17 pm »

Thanks (NOT) for taking this on a complete topic swerve.

But I also have the same problem as you describe.  I didn't use to have the problem, but it seems as if over the last several years it is becoming harder to distinguish "clarity" in situations such as a resturaunt at a large table with lots of people talking and different conversations going on and possibly other tables making noise.

Even though I may be talking directly with a person, it is harder to understand them than it used to be. :(  And yes my hearing is still very good-as long as it is still "related".  id same piece of music, single conversation , test tones etc.

And to try and turn it back to the origional topic, the LAST thing I need is a bass heavy background music system.

It really wasn't meant as a topic swerve. To me it seems a direct connection,my ears have trouble with clarity, I don't understand why anyone would purposely introduce a lack of clarity, which seems to be what the author you were refering to advocates.

My intent was to agree with you, the muddy background music means I cannot enjoy either the music, nor the surroundings.
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Jay Barracato

Pete Erskine

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Re: Is it just me? - SNR loss
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 04:16:35 pm »

Read here about the HINT (HEARING IN NOISE TEST).  This is called SNR loss or signal to noise ratio loss.  it has to do with the inner ear muscle flexibility or transient response which degrades with age.  I have the same problem.  When tested I am fine if the noise is only in one ear.

http://www.californiaearinstitute.com/audiology-services-hint-bay-area-ca.php

There is a lot on the web about this.

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Tom Young

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 05:47:02 pm »

Recently I was reading an article and the author (who shall remain nameless for now), says that when he is doing a system, he "voices" the background speakers so they are bass heavy, so that they sound "far away".

That is one of my complaints when I go somewhere and the background music is all "muddy".  I would prefer to knock the low end out so they are a bit clearer sounding.  Not so much as to be "foreground" speakers, but not just a distant mud that you find yourself listening hard to the music to figure out what song is being played.

They could still be run at a low level, but be clearer.

Maybe it is just me-but what would be point of trying to make the speakers unclear and distant?  Just turn them off at that point.

At least that is the way I feel. 

Opinions?

No. It is not you.

This guy is a bonehead.

The system should have as close to the same response at all seast/areas as possible.

The idea of making something sound more "distant" by altering frequency response (other than an "aural art" installation, but even in this case it might not make sense to me) is completely without merit.

Clarity and intelligibility are the goal, whether it is background or foreground. At some point, background music may be so low in volume that clarity is no longer a factor because ambient noise masks it.

But if you want "distance" ..... take a long walk  ;-)
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Charlie Zureki

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 06:16:52 pm »

No. It is not you.

This guy is a bonehead.

The system should have as close to the same response at all seast/areas as possible.

The idea of making something sound more "distant" by altering frequency response (other than an "aural art" installation, but even in this case it might not make sense to me) is completely without merit.

Clarity and intelligibility are the goal, whether it is background or foreground. At some point, background music may be so low in volume that clarity is no longer a factor because ambient noise masks it.

But if you want "distance" ..... take a long walk  ;-)

   +1

    these are the same boneheads that think they're getting all mystical and magical with their ideas. "Clarity and Intelligibility" should always be the goal.

  Cheers,
  Hammer
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2011, 06:35:23 pm »

No. It is not you.

This guy is a bonehead.

The system should have as close to the same response at all seast/areas as possible.

The idea of making something sound more "distant" by altering frequency response (other than an "aural art" installation, but even in this case it might not make sense to me) is completely without merit.

Clarity and intelligibility are the goal, whether it is background or foreground. At some point, background music may be so low in volume that clarity is no longer a factor because ambient noise masks it.

But if you want "distance" ..... take a long walk  ;-)
The reason he has remained nameless (so far) -is that he is well respected (by some/a lot?) on this forum and others and I did not want to sway peoples opinions just to "follow the pack".

I don't automatically "jump on the wagon" so to speak, and like to investigate a bit deeper on most subjects to form my own opinion.  Despite what others may think/believe because of what they have been told.

At least so far it is not me. :)
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Ivan Beaver
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2011, 06:41:16 pm »

   +1

    these are the same boneheads that think they're getting all mystical and magical with their ideas. "Clarity and Intelligibility" should always be the goal.

  Cheers,
  Hammer
I agree 100%.

Just because it is "different" does not make it better.  But it is amazing to me all the "ideas" that some people come up with to "make it better" yet, they have to real bearing in reality.

Some radical ideas actually do work (that are based on actual theory and have measurements to back them up), but I hear so many others that have no basis and are just guesses and are done to try to "impress" gulible people.  Then they get spread around until somebody actually questions them.

Things like the controls on the front of amps actually control the wattage the amp puts out.

We see that one hear all the time.  See how it spreads?  Over decades of time.
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A complex question is easily answered by a simple-easy to understand WRONG answer!

Ivan Beaver
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PHYSICS- NOT FADS!

Charlie Zureki

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2011, 11:24:22 am »

I agree 100%.

Just because it is "different" does not make it better.  But it is amazing to me all the "ideas" that some people come up with to "make it better" yet, they have to real bearing in reality.

Some radical ideas actually do work (that are based on actual theory and have measurements to back them up), but I hear so many others that have no basis and are just guesses and are done to try to "impress" gulible people.  Then they get spread around until somebody actually questions them.

Things like the controls on the front of amps actually control the wattage the amp puts out.

We see that one hear all the time.  See how it spreads?  Over decades of time.

   Hey Ivan,

    you forgot some other audio urban legends:

      "Oxygen free" copper wire...it's always oxygen free
      "Aligned Atomic structure" ...wire
      "Laminar Flow" wire
      Phantom power ruins dynamic Microphones
      Subwoofers are "totally omni directional"
      "Line arrays are always the best choice"
      "Tube preamps are always better"
      "This is the only Mic you can use on this...."

   Cheers,
   Hammer     
   
     
     
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drew gandy

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2011, 11:18:55 am »


Things like the controls on the front of amps actually control the wattage the amp puts out.


The controls do control the wattage.  All the way down is definitely different that somewhere else on the dial. ;)
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Brad Weber

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2011, 12:33:31 pm »

The controls do control the wattage.  All the way down is definitely different that somewhere else on the dial. ;)
Not sure if you were kidding or not but just so others don't misinterpret it, the level controls on an amp typically vary the signal level needed to generate a certain output but they do not change the potential output.
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drew gandy

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2011, 03:37:53 pm »

Thank you Brad for spelling it out. I expected that someone might need to.  And yes, when I use the winking thing it means I think I'm being clever or sly in some way and I want the reader to know it and look for clues.  What I was trying to imply was that when the control is all the way down there is no gain hence no watts.  Anywhere else on the dial and we don't know how many watts but in the 'no watts' position we can be sure of the output (well, short of a leaky gain pot).  So, there is some amount of control of the watts there.  And yes, this is not so clever or sly but it did bring the topic up in more detail.  Maybe that's helpful to someone.   

-drew
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Jean-Pierre Coetzee

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2011, 06:18:45 pm »

Recently I was reading an article and the author (who shall remain nameless for now), says that when he is doing a system, he "voices" the background speakers so they are bass heavy, so that they sound "far away".

That is one of my complaints when I go somewhere and the background music is all "muddy".  I would prefer to knock the low end out so they are a bit clearer sounding.  Not so much as to be "foreground" speakers, but not just a distant mud that you find yourself listening hard to the music to figure out what song is being played.

They could still be run at a low level, but be clearer.

Maybe it is just me-but what would be point of trying to make the speakers unclear and distant?  Just turn them off at that point.

At least that is the way I feel. 

Opinions?
If I ever got a requires for more 'distance' it would be the HF that I drop and not the LF going up, or more 'verb :P... Can you mention which article this was, may be something that is unclear and you missed the point?
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Chris Davis

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2011, 03:26:56 pm »

   +1

    these are the same boneheads that think they're getting all mystical and magical with their ideas. "Clarity and Intelligibility" should always be the goal.

  Cheers,
  Hammer

I have heard a different kind of effect while waiting on hold on the phone.  It sounded like someone connected an unbalanced "line in" to just the two hot leads from a stereo signal (no ground).  The net result seemed to be missing most of the "center" of the stereo image, exposing a bunch of reverb.  Like being in a large shopping mall. 

Unintentional or not, it gave my hearing a rest.  I didn't like the music they were playing anyhow.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 07:03:31 pm »

Unintentional or not, it gave my hearing a rest.  I didn't like the music they were playing anyhow.

One time I called tech support, and after wading through several menu options, the last menu was what kind of on-hold music I wanted to listen to... unfortunately, I only got to listen for a few seconds before a real person came on the line.

Maybe some day someone will figure out a way to drive a DSP from a telephone keypad so we can play with the sound while we're on hold.
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Re: Is it just me?
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 07:03:31 pm »


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