realism in sound recording

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A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
"The quote here by Degas, where he says 'Drawing is not what one sees, but what one must make others see', and in a way that's what we do in sound. The recording is not what one hears, but what one must make others hear.

"They were designed to not be a photograph, but to be an impression of what life was really about, so they actually would give more depth in their painting than a photograph could ever do, and, when I came to working as a producer, up to that time people had been making records as faithfully as they could, reproducing the original sound, and, what they were doing was making photographs, and I said, 'Well, you don't need to do that. Let's paint instead of having photographs.'"

- Sir George Martin
 
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A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
The stereophonic spatial illusion is artificial stereo channel level and time differences rendered by natural binaural spatial cues that locate speakers. The stereophonic spatial illusion does not replicate natural binaural spatial cues of singers and musical instruments in a concert hall performance venue setting.

The stereophonic spatial illusion occurs at the listener's ears, not between the speakers in the listening room.

Audiophiles who pursue a subjective "absolute sound of reality" are equivalent to medieval alchemists striving to transform lead into gold.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
George Martin was right. A very good point.

A producer of recorded music clearly does have an artistic role in the process. There certainly can be differences of taste in the various techniques involved. But this process ends with the finished recording. Home audio should aim only to reproduce the recorded sound with as much fidelity as possible.
 
Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Warlord
The stereophonic spatial illusion is artificial stereo channel level and time differences rendered by natural binaural spatial cues that locate speakers. The stereophonic spatial illusion does not replicate natural binaural spatial cues of singers and musical instruments in a concert hall performance venue setting.

The stereophonic spatial illusion occurs at the listener's ears, not between the speakers in the listening room.

Audiophiles who pursue a subjective "absolute sound of reality" are equivalent to medieval alchemists striving to transform lead into gold.
This is certainly true for recordings of live performances, where all the musicians perform as one group, and multiple takes were not an option.

But with studio recordings in which the performances were recorded on separate tracks, possibly at separate times, all with multiple takes, it becomes murky. The details of how the spatial illusion might get perceived by listeners at home don't exist at all in the original recording tracks. But as the final product is created during mixing and editing, those spatial cues do get created, altered, and emphasized.
 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Here's a link that has interesting comments about some binaural recordings- headphones should be used to really show the effect.

 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
George Martin was right. A very good point.

A producer of recorded music clearly does have an artistic role in the process. There certainly can be differences of taste in the various techniques involved. But this process ends with the finished recording. Home audio should aim only to reproduce the recorded sound with as much fidelity as possible.
And then add EQ to taste at home. I find dynamic loudness is very nice when not listening loudly, and bass/treble can be useful at times for music that is not recorded that well.
 
A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
Here's a link that has interesting comments about some binaural recordings- headphones should be used to really show the effect.
Thank you!

I like Binaural Enthusiast https://binauralenthusiast.com/examples/

I prefer specifically in-ear earbuds for binaural so that the sound is not processed by outer ears twice, the artificial outer ears on the recording mannequin and my own ears. In-ear earbuds bypass my own outer ears. One of the limitations of binaural is that outer ears are unique, even asymmetrical, so the sound is not perfect listening with someone else's ears or generic artificial ears.

The point of my comment was that stereophonic spatial illusions are a limited, artificial artistic expression.
 
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A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
This is certainly true for recordings of live performances, where all the musicians perform as one group, and multiple takes were not an option.
My point is that the stereophonic spatial illusion is artificial, even live recordings. Stereo channel level and time differences rendered by speakers do not replicate natural interaural level and time differences. Studio recordings assembled from separate monophonic tracks are more obviously artificial.
 
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A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
And then add EQ to taste at home. I find dynamic loudness is very nice when not listening loudly, and bass/treble can be useful at times for music that is not recorded that well.
I was referring to the stereophonic spatial illusion, direction and depth. Spatial illusions require interaural differences. Stereo channel level and time differences rendered by speakers do not replicate natural interaural level and time differences. EQ and tone controls have more effect on timbre and a little effect on depth. One problem with EQ and tone controls in playback is they effect everything in the mix so they may cause problems while attempting to fix others.
 
A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
Here's a link that has interesting comments about some binaural recordings- headphones should be used to really show the effect.
Thank you all for your comments. You have given me a new ideas to ponder. I have been not totally satisfied by the tone of my in-ear 'phones when playing binaural recordings. Maybe the equalization of headphones should be different depending on whether they are playing stereophonic or binaural recordings. The problem may also be the quality of the microphones embedded in the binaural recording mannequin artificial outer ears. The problem may also be that the structure and density of the material of the binaural mannequin head may not simulate the tissue density of a human head and the enclosed cavities.
 
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A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
I find dynamic loudness is very nice when not listening loudly,
I am intrigued. I am very old school. I remember stereo receivers with loudness buttons that were fixed EQ based on Fletcher-Munson curves. I am aware of the variable loudness knob found on Yamaha integrated amplifiers and the dynamic compression in AVRs. What equipment do you have that has a dynamic loudness control?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Thank you all for your comments. You have given me a new ideas to ponder. I have been not totally satisfied by the tone of my in-ear 'phones when playing binaural recordings. Maybe the equalization of headphones should be different depending on whether they are playing stereophonic or binaural recordings. The problem may also be the quality of the microphones embedded in the binaural recording mannequin artificial outer ears. The problem may also be that the structure and density of the material of the binaural mannequin head may not simulate the tissue density of a human head and the enclosed cavities.
For a start, the mannequin head doesn't have floppy ears like humans but the real idea has to do with placing the mics on opposite sides and not really receiving the same direct sound but that completely ignores the brains' influence on what we hear, how we localize the source based on arrival time (Haas Effect), how our hearing adjusts for extreme SPL and many other aspects.

Here's something to read-


 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
I am intrigued. I am very old school. I remember stereo receivers with loudness buttons that were fixed EQ based on Fletcher-Munson curves. I am aware of the variable loudness knob found on Yamaha integrated amplifiers and the dynamic compression in AVRs. What equipment do you have that has a dynamic loudness control?
I'm not sure the loudness circuits were designed so scientifically- they just tried a few circuits and listened, picking the ones that worked with the speakers of the time- they were compensating for a hearing characteristic but the real issue was that most speakers didn't do well in the low end.

Only AVRs have dynamic loudness and unless all of the volume/tone controls are software-based, it can't be very specific to the level of change needed vs the SPL.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
I am intrigued. I am very old school. I remember stereo receivers with loudness buttons that were fixed EQ based on Fletcher-Munson curves. I am aware of the variable loudness knob found on Yamaha integrated amplifiers and the dynamic compression in AVRs. What equipment do you have that has a dynamic loudness control?
On the AVR side there is Audyssey that has what they call DynEQ that generally works well. The loudness increase is based upon distance from reference level at 0 dB, but does have a reference level offset if the effect is too strong for taste or inappropriate for the content (like, say playing a classical CD).

The other I have is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS for stereo desktop use (active monitors and headphones). They call it Dynamic Loudness and is configurable at what volume level the bass/treble is at max level and then the loudness is decreased as you increase the volume. The level of bass and treble is individually configurable from 1 dB to 10 dB in steps of 0.5.

Most of my listening is at fairly low volume so this is very nice for me to have a “fuller” sound. Do note it’s configurable so it’s not like the old loudness button.
 
A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
For a start, the mannequin head doesn't have floppy ears like humans
Good binaural recording ears are made of silicone that is pliable like real human ears. Where do you get your information?



Geil, Fred G. "Experiments With Binaural Recording" db The Sound Engineering Magazine, June 1979, Volume 13, Number 6, pp 30-35


but the real idea has to do with placing the mics on opposite sides and not really receiving the same direct sound but that completely ignores the brains' influence on what we hear, how we localize the source based on arrival time (Haas Effect)
If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

All sensory perception is processed by our brains, but air pressure variations that are sound produce nerve impulses at our ears. Even though we have a brain, if we do not have functional ears, we cannot hear.

The sound at our ears produces nerve impulses processed by our brains. We do not hear the sound anywhere else in the listening room.

Sound comes from the direction of the speakers. The stereophonic spatial effect is an illusion. Sound does not come from the direction of phantom stereophonic illusions. This is contrary to Paul McGowan's assertion that the sound heard from a direction between the speakers comes from a direction between the speakers.

Interaural Time Difference (ITD) and Haas effect are entirely different concepts.

The brain perceives direction to the source because of the distance between the ears and the speed of sound in air. Sounds not shadowed from the opposite ear by the head may arrive at left and right ears at different times because of different distances to the source.

The Haas or precedence effect describes how we localize sound by the first arriving sound and not by later arriving copies of the sound such as early reflections.

The distance between microphones in a binaural mannequin head approximate the average distance between human ears, and so approximate Interaural Time Difference (ITD).

Quoting from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization :

"The azimuth of a sound is signaled by the difference in arrival times between the ears, by the relative amplitude of high-frequency sounds (the shadow effect), and by the asymmetrical spectral reflections from various parts of our bodies, including torso, shoulders, and pinnae."

"Helmut Haas discovered that we can discern the sound source despite additional reflections at 10 decibels louder than the original wave front, using the earliest arriving wave front. This principle is known as the Haas effect, a specific version of the precedence effect."


 
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A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
I'm not sure the loudness circuits were designed so scientifically- they just tried a few circuits and listened, picking the ones that worked with the speakers of the time- they were compensating for a hearing characteristic but the real issue was that most speakers didn't do well in the low end.
Who is "they"? How do you presume to know this information?


"The Fletcher–Munson curves are one of many sets of equal-loudness contours for the human ear, determined experimentally by Harvey Fletcher and Wilden A. Munson, and reported in a 1933 paper entitled "Loudness, its definition, measurement and calculation" in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America."

Fletcher, H. and Munson, W.A. "Loudness, its definition, measurement and calculation", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 5, 82–108 (1933)

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America not scientific enough for ya?
 
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A

Audiophile Heretic

Junior Audioholic
On the AVR side there is Audyssey that has what they call DynEQ that generally works well. The loudness increase is based upon distance from reference level at 0 dB, but does have a reference level offset if the effect is too strong for taste or inappropriate for the content (like, say playing a classical CD).

The other I have is the RME ADI-2 DAC FS for stereo desktop use (active monitors and headphones). They call it Dynamic Loudness and is configurable at what volume level the bass/treble is at max level and then the loudness is decreased as you increase the volume. The level of bass and treble is individually configurable from 1 dB to 10 dB in steps of 0.5.
How does DynEQ compare to the variable loudness control on current Yamaha integrated amplifiers A-S301, A-S501, A-S701, A-S801 and Yamaha stereo receivers back to the 1970s?

What is this Audyssey you speak of? Is this the Audyssey in Denon AVRs that is similar to YPAO Yamaha Parametric Acoustic Optimizer in Yamaha AVRs? Is DynEQ an abbreviation for Dynamic Equalization? Yamaha does not have anything like Dynamic Equalization in any of the models that I have owned.
 
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Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
How does DynEQ compare to the variable loudness control on current Yamaha integrated amplifiers A-S301, A-S501, A-S701, A-S801 and Yamaha stereo receivers back to the 1970s?

What is this Audyssey you speak of? Is this the Audyssey in Denon AVRs that is similar to YPAO Yamaha Parametric Acoustic Optimizer in Yamaha AVRs? Is DynEQ an abbreviation for Dynamic Equalization? Yamaha does not have anything like Dynamic Equalization in any of the models that I have owned.
DynEQ is the Dynamic EQ feature of Audyssey room EQ on Denon and Marantz AVR/AVP. Similar to YAPO.

I don’t have Yamaha so can’t comment on their variable loudness control.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Good binaural recording ears are made of silicone that is pliable like real human ears. Where do you get your information?



Geil, Fred G. "Experiments With Binaural Recording" db The Sound Engineering Magazine, June 1979, Volume 13, Number 6, pp 30-35




If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

All sensory perception is processed by our brains, but air pressure variations that are sound produce nerve impulses at our ears. Even though we have a brain, if we do not have functional ears, we cannot hear.

The sound at our ears produces nerve impulses processed by our brains. We do not hear the sound anywhere else in the listening room.

Sound comes from the direction of the speakers. The stereophonic spatial effect is an illusion. Sound does not come from the direction of phantom stereophonic illusions. This is contrary to Paul McGowan's assertion that the sound heard from a direction between the speakers comes from a direction between the speakers.

Interaural Time Difference (ITD) and Haas effect are entirely different concepts.

The brain perceives direction to the source because of the distance between the ears and the speed of sound in air. Sounds not shadowed from the opposite ear by the head may arrive at left and right ears at different times because of different distances to the source.

The Haas or precedence effect describes how we localize sound by the first arriving sound and not by later arriving copies of the sound such as early reflections.

The distance between microphones in a binaural mannequin head approximate the average distance between human ears, and so approximate Interaural Time Difference (ITD).

Quoting from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_localization :

"The azimuth of a sound is signaled by the difference in arrival times between the ears, by the relative amplitude of high-frequency sounds (the shadow effect), and by the asymmetrical spectral reflections from various parts of our bodies, including torso, shoulders, and pinnae."

"Helmut Haas discovered that we can discern the sound source despite additional reflections at 10 decibels louder than the original wave front, using the earliest arriving wave front. This principle is known as the Haas effect, a specific version of the precedence effect."


I got that information from memory of the effing plastic head that JVC shipped with their binaural headphones to the stereo store where I worked. At the time, that's what they had, but I never wrote that advancements didn't occur and the pinna (outer ear) isn't the only thing that determines how we hear or how a binaural head could allow recording the sound.

Also, I had mentioned the Haas Effect in the post you responded to, here.

So far, nobody has created a recording system that can process sounds as well as the human brain.

Thanks for man-splaining, but I knew this from working in audio since before 1978. I have also taken college-level acoustics classes.
 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Slumlord
Who is "they"? How do you presume to know this information?


"The Fletcher–Munson curves are one of many sets of equal-loudness contours for the human ear, determined experimentally by Harvey Fletcher and Wilden A. Munson, and reported in a 1933 paper entitled "Loudness, its definition, measurement and calculation" in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America."

Fletcher, H. and Munson, W.A. "Loudness, its definition, measurement and calculation", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 5, 82–108 (1933)

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America not scientific enough for ya?
I have spoken with people working in the design departments of several audio manufacturers- aside from google searches, do you have any 'from the horse's mouth' info?
 

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