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Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => LAB Lounge => Topic started by: David Parker on June 02, 2011, 06:46:34 am

Title: crazy ears
Post by: David Parker on June 02, 2011, 06:46:34 am
my rig always sounds louder on the left side when I'm in the middle. It's been that way for YEARS! Setup is random as to which speakers are on which side, and which side of everything is on which side. It's been through several major system changes, different speakers, mixers, processors, etc., but the left side always sounds louder. When I wear headphones, the music is centered up, same level on both sides, so it really doesn't make sense. It sounds like only the left side of the rig is playing unless I move way over to the right. Also, this is different venues every time.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Rory Maguire on June 02, 2011, 06:55:13 am
Possibly a silly question, but your SURE your standing dead center, and it's not the Haas effect coming into play??
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Brad Weber on June 02, 2011, 07:09:28 am
Do you get the same result in different venues?
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Ivan Beaver on June 02, 2011, 07:38:32 am
my rig always sounds louder on the left side when I'm in the middle. It's been that way for YEARS! Setup is random as to which speakers are on which side, and which side of everything is on which side. It's been through several major system changes, different speakers, mixers, processors, etc., but the left side always sounds louder. When I wear headphones, the music is centered up, same level on both sides, so it really doesn't make sense. It sounds like only the left side of the rig is playing unless I move way over to the right. Also, this is different venues every time.
Have you done a simple (even SPL) measurement?  TUrn on the left side only and measure-then turn on the right side only and measure.

Be usre you are equally in the same pattern of both sides when doing this.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS on June 02, 2011, 08:22:59 am
my rig always sounds louder on the left side when I'm in the middle. It's been that way for YEARS! Setup is random as to which speakers are on which side, and which side of everything is on which side. It's been through several major system changes, different speakers, mixers, processors, etc., but the left side always sounds louder. When I wear headphones, the music is centered up, same level on both sides, so it really doesn't make sense. It sounds like only the left side of the rig is playing unless I move way over to the right. Also, this is different venues every time.

Are you married?  When driving around with your wife do you normally do all the driving?  Could be that your wife has damaged your right ear by screaming at you for years or possibly you have just mentally learned to only really listen with your left ear>   ::)
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Jay Barracato on June 02, 2011, 08:34:30 am
Are you married?  When driving around with your wife do you normally do all the driving?  Could be that your wife has damaged your right ear by screaming at you for years or possibly you have just mentally learned to only really listen with your left ear>   ::)

How about turning directly away from the speakers to listen (swap the left ear for the right ear)?

Actually I would suspect an uneven makeup gain somewhere post your board (eq's or dsp) or uneven inputs at the amps.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Steve Hurt on June 02, 2011, 09:02:22 am
my rig always sounds louder on the left side when I'm in the middle. It's been that way for YEARS! Setup is random as to which speakers are on which side, and which side of everything is on which side. It's been through several major system changes, different speakers, mixers, processors, etc., but the left side always sounds louder. When I wear headphones, the music is centered up, same level on both sides, so it really doesn't make sense. It sounds like only the left side of the rig is playing unless I move way over to the right. Also, this is different venues every time.

Ever pull the cables at the output of your board and swap them?
If it's something after the board causing it, the volume change will switch sides.

If it doesn't, it's happening before it leaves the board, bring a Mackie 1202 or something small and try it at sound check to eliminate your board from the equation.
Using a stereo compressor inserted on your mains? pull it.  etc etc.

Last thing to check - your ears - when I got my hearing checked, my ears didn't chart the exact same response
I do hear a bit different on one side (bit of tinnitus on the right side) The difference is more obvious with speakers than with headphones.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Brad Harris on June 02, 2011, 01:23:35 pm
Where is your amps and length of speaker runs? Are the amps on the left side and shorter runs to the Left PA when you notice this? After about 50' of speaker cable I can hear differences in level between lengths of cable (ie, 50' vs 80'+).

What about the drive snake, is it always the same drive lines? Maybe one is down? Same with post console gear (Drive racks, etc)

Also, just from driving with the window down, my left ear is down .5-1 dB from 1-5KHz last time I had my hearing checked, so don't dismiss the 'environmental' affects on hearing (although if it sounds right in the cans ....)

my rig always sounds louder on the left side when I'm in the middle. It's been that way for YEARS! Setup is random as to which speakers are on which side, and which side of everything is on which side. It's been through several major system changes, different speakers, mixers, processors, etc., but the left side always sounds louder. When I wear headphones, the music is centered up, same level on both sides, so it really doesn't make sense. It sounds like only the left side of the rig is playing unless I move way over to the right. Also, this is different venues every time.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on June 02, 2011, 01:40:09 pm
my rig always sounds louder on the left side when I'm in the middle. It's been that way for YEARS! Setup is random as to which speakers are on which side, and which side of everything is on which side. It's been through several major system changes, different speakers, mixers, processors, etc., but the left side always sounds louder. When I wear headphones, the music is centered up, same level on both sides, so it really doesn't make sense. It sounds like only the left side of the rig is playing unless I move way over to the right. Also, this is different venues every time.

Are you left or right handed?
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Rob Gardner on June 02, 2011, 02:27:09 pm
my rig always sounds louder on the left side when I'm in the middle. It's been that way for YEARS! Setup is random as to which speakers are on which side, and which side of everything is on which side. It's been through several major system changes, different speakers, mixers, processors, etc., but the left side always sounds louder. When I wear headphones, the music is centered up, same level on both sides, so it really doesn't make sense. It sounds like only the left side of the rig is playing unless I move way over to the right. Also, this is different venues every time.

Stupid question (and correct me if this was already mentioned) but sometimes the simple solutions are the least obvious - is it possible one side of the rig is out of phase? This would cause an obvious difference in the apparent left-right balance...
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Chuck Simon on June 02, 2011, 02:33:43 pm
Quote
After about 50' of speaker cable I can hear differences in level between lengths of cable (ie, 50' vs 80'+).
You can hear the difference in Db level due to the voltage drop of a signal travelling across 30' of wire????    With 12 guage wire into an 8 ohm load, 30 feet represents a voltage loss of about 1.2%.  You've got some good ears!
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Patrick Tracy on June 02, 2011, 03:13:25 pm
Stupid question (and correct me if this was already mentioned) but sometimes the simple solutions are the least obvious - is it possible one side of the rig is out of phase? This would cause an obvious difference in the apparent left-right balance...

How so?
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Steve Hurt on June 02, 2011, 03:16:31 pm
How so?

Top cabinet and the bottom cabinet on the quiet side out of phase with each other. 
Probably the low/mid driver being the one that is out from the sub and horn
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Rob Gardner on June 02, 2011, 05:22:39 pm
Top cabinet and the bottom cabinet on the quiet side out of phase with each other. 
Probably the low/mid driver being the one that is out from the sub and horn

Also (and correct me if I'm wrong on this one), if the drive line is out of phase on one side it would cause the same effect...
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Steve Hurt on June 02, 2011, 05:25:14 pm
Also (and correct me if I'm wrong on this one), if the drive line is out of phase on one side it would cause the same effect...

It would cause cancellation, but it wouldn't cause one side to always be quieter.
When there was cancellation, both sides would be quieter

(I'm sure I'll be corrected or at least refined by those with more knowledge)
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Tim McCulloch on June 02, 2011, 05:27:31 pm
Top cabinet and the bottom cabinet on the quiet side out of phase with each other. 
Probably the low/mid driver being the one that is out from the sub and horn

Also (and correct me if I'm wrong on this one), if the drive line is out of phase on one side it would cause the same effect...

No, it wouldn't.  It would leave a 'hole' in the spot between the stacks, but if there was no other difference the left & right should sound the same.

And it can't be out of PHASE.  Phase is frequency/distance (time domain) dependent.  POLARITY is the word you were looking for, and the answer is still 'no.'
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: David Parker on June 02, 2011, 08:17:05 pm
All good responses, but again, everything in my setup is random with regards to right or left. This has also spanned 3 very different setups. I pay no attention to right and left stereo, since I don't pan anything other than the mp3 player and stereo reverb. I've had my hearing tested, and one ear is worse than the other, but I think it was my right ear that was better, and the left side of the rig always sounds louder. As far as being on center, I have to walk halfway to the other side before it sounds louder on the right. As far as polarity of drivers, again, that is not  an option, because of the random setup. Sometimes the amp rack is on one side, sometimes on the other, so the longer cables switch sides randomly also. Someone said that the difference in hearing wont show up on headphones so much, that might be the answer.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Patrick Tracy on June 03, 2011, 01:04:44 am
Top cabinet and the bottom cabinet on the quiet side out of phase with each other. 
Probably the low/mid driver being the one that is out from the sub and horn

I was responding to "one side of the rig is out of phase", which is true of all systems anywhere except at points equidistant from both sides. I suppose one cabinet in a stack could have polarity inverted, which would lower the level in the crossover region(s) if the cabinets are sufficiently in phase.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Mike Reilly on June 03, 2011, 09:36:28 am
I've had my hearing tested, and one ear is worse than the other, but I think it was my right ear that was better, and the left side of the rig always sounds louder.

IANAD, but this might be it, in a "psychoacoustic" kind of way.

As in, if your right ear is "better" (which usually means you can hear more high end on that side), then your left ear is hearing less high end and therefore proportionately more mids & lows, which your brain then interprets as "louder."

Other than that, the other suggestions about testing your rig & swapping cables seem reasonable as a reality check, as it's not utterly impossible that your "random" setup has by sheer chance often put the same speakers/cables/etc on the same side night after night.  Plus of course if there's an issue with your desk or snake or FOH gear/cables then one side could be louder regardless of speakers & amps.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: David Parker on June 03, 2011, 09:56:01 am

Other than that, the other suggestions about testing your rig & swapping cables seem reasonable as a reality check, as it's not utterly impossible that your "random" setup has by sheer chance often put the same speakers/cables/etc on the same side night after night.  Plus of course if there's an issue with your desk or snake or FOH gear/cables then one side could be louder regardless of speakers & amps.

this goes back several very different systems. Everything has been changed. Several times. Different mixers, different eq's, different crossovers, different speakers, different bands, different venues, and within all those differences, never set up the same way twice, and it's always the same, the left side appears louder. Unless of course my mix position is way on the right side, which sometimes it is.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Mike Reilly on June 03, 2011, 10:35:36 am

Other than that, the other suggestions about testing your rig & swapping cables seem reasonable as a reality check, as it's not utterly impossible that your "random" setup has by sheer chance often put the same speakers/cables/etc on the same side night after night.  Plus of course if there's an issue with your desk or snake or FOH gear/cables then one side could be louder regardless of speakers & amps.

this goes back several very different systems. Everything has been changed. Several times. Different mixers, different eq's, different crossovers, different speakers, different bands, different venues, and within all those differences, never set up the same way twice, and it's always the same, the left side appears louder. Unless of course my mix position is way on the right side, which sometimes it is.

Well, that rules out any technical causes, so I would guess there's something physiological/psychological at work here, including what I think Dick was suggesting - that you have a dominant left ear.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on June 03, 2011, 10:56:53 am
If you turn your back to the system, does the same side sound louder?

JR
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: David Parker on June 03, 2011, 12:19:34 pm
If you turn your back to the system, does the same side sound louder?

JR
I'm going to try that tomorrow night. That would tell all. First law of A-B testing, swap EVERYTHING around, including your ears!
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Chris Hindle on June 03, 2011, 12:24:33 pm
If you turn your back to the system, does the same side sound louder?

JR
I'm going to try that tomorrow night. That would tell all. First law of A-B testing, swap EVERYTHING around, including your ears!

I recommend putting on a blindfold, and having someone turn you around on a swivel chair. A couple of times pointing foreward a couple of times pointing backwards.
Take your eyes out of the calculation.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on June 03, 2011, 01:22:50 pm
If you turn your back to the system, does the same side sound louder?

JR
I'm going to try that tomorrow night. That would tell all. First law of A-B testing, swap EVERYTHING around, including your ears!

I recommend putting on a blindfold, and having someone turn you around on a swivel chair. A couple of times pointing foreward a couple of times pointing backwards.
Take your eyes out of the calculation.
IMO that wouldn't work. You should be able to pretty easily determine front or back from the ear's pinnae transform based on sound arrival path. Comb filtering occurs due to reflections off our outer ears that color sounds coming from above and behind differently than from straight forward. 

The sound from behind will have less HF content but may be enough to identify a relative gain issue with his meat machinery.

Note: I run a lot so get plenty of practice listening to to the sounds of vehicles coming from behind me. It is different, we hear much better in the forward direction. 

[edit] easier yet to test your ears, just listen to a pair of cans first one way, and then reversed, and if the same side sounds louder the problem is you... [/edit]

JR
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Jay Barracato on June 03, 2011, 01:24:51 pm
I'm going to try that tomorrow night. That would tell all. First law of A-B testing, swap EVERYTHING around, including your ears!


I recommend putting on a blindfold, and having someone turn you around on a swivel chair. A couple of times pointing foreward a couple of times pointing backwards.
Take your eyes out of the calculation.

IMO that wouldn't work. You should be able to pretty easily determine front or back from the ear's pinnae transform based on sound arrival path. Comb filtering occurs due to reflections off our outer ears that color sounds coming from above and behind differently than from straight forward. 

The sound from behind will have less HF content but may be enough to identify a relative gain issue with his meat machinery.

Note: I run a lot so get plenty of practice listening to to the sounds of vehicles coming from behind me. It is different, we hear much better in the forward direction. 

JR

Well I guess standing him on his head...
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Tim Padrick on June 05, 2011, 05:53:34 am
Ever pull the cables at the output of your board and swap them?  If it's something after the board causing it, the volume change will switch sides.

If it doesn't, it's happening before it leaves the board,

You got it backwards.
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Steve Hurt on June 05, 2011, 10:59:50 am
You got it backwards.

You're correct. 
D'uohhh!
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: Marsellus Fariss on June 27, 2011, 02:48:38 pm
I experienced this in the venue I work for. Turns out it was two things. Although the hang is the same distance over the edge of the stage on each side (I hung it, I measured) the center line of the stage is not actually the dead center. It's a few feet to one side. A symptom of how the semi-circular stage was built. It's a little irregular. So the left hang was a dB or two hotter then the right cause I was standing a few feet closer to that hang.  ::)

Other thing I discovered is that analogue limiter we used had knobs that couldn't be placed on the shafts very accurately and the input gain on one side was a little lower then the other although visually they where both set the same. I had to pull the unit, insert it on a mix buss at FOH and have a good listen with headphones to adjust the two sides to be even regardless of what the knobs looked like. 
Title: Re: crazy ears
Post by: duane massey on June 27, 2011, 07:22:35 pm
JR's headphone test is a great idea.