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Mario Martinez

PlayClassics master file giveaway for CA members

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I can assure you nobody touched anything :)

 

That effect around the 1 minute mark is just the result of the drummer hitting harder and maybe in a slightly different sport of the membrane which produced both a higher volume with a slightly different tone. If we were editing that is probably the kind of thing that we would have edited out.

 

We are not using dynamic range compression so that makes this kind of "accidents" really hearable. The use of dynamic range compression does not just allow for a higher playback volume, it also helps mask minor volume unevenness on the instruments.

 

One interesting thing about these experiment is how it affected the drummer himself. He had never been recorded this way. He had always been recorded using multiple close mics with lots of compression. When you apply that much compression to an instrument you are making it very difficult for the performer to try to create layers of sound. It is very interesting to see how as he progressed further in the recording session he started to experiment more with this kind of layer effect. He heard the playback of each improvisation right after he played them. So my guess is he realized that there was room for that possibility and he tried to take advantage of it. You can tell that at the end of the third take (after minute 3:36) he was already experimenting quite a bit with these layer effect.

 

Ha Ha! Now that the drummer can hear how he sounds to others, perhaps he will change his playing.

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from that page:

 

Then we set up the mics.

 

The mics were two stereo pairs of Schoeps 48V phantom powered omni microphones. The two left channel mics and the two right channel mics were set up as close to the physically same location as possible. It was our aim to get acoustically identical signals into each stereo pair. We placed a Jecklin Disk between the two mics for better stereo separation.

The secret to good sound.

 

 

Hi Dennis,

 

It would be nice to read your opinion and francisleung's on these recordings.

I have downloaded Duet No.5 and found that the closer proximity of the microphones is noticeable, although we are listening to the acoustics of a different room and now have two drum sets instead of a single one which in turn could lead to false conclusions.

You mentioned that Mario's mic's were picking up the drum sound off axis and that this would produce a certain amount of treble roll-off.

The LessLoss mics are pointing straight at the drums and the top octaves are indeed more noticeable...I wonder how much of that is due to the axis angle or if it's also got something to do with the distance.

I also find that there's a slightly annoying roughness in the high(?) treble, it would be interesting to know if anyone else can hear it as well.

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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Hi Dennis,

 

It would be nice to read your opinion and francisleung's on these recordings.

I have downloaded Duet No.5 and found that the closer proximity of the microphones is noticeable, although we are listening to the acoustics of a different room and now have two drum sets instead of a single one which in turn could lead to false conclusions.

You mentioned that Mario's mic's were picking up the drum sound off axis and that this would produce a certain amount of treble roll-off.

The LessLoss mics are pointing straight at the drums and the top octaves are indeed more noticeable...I wonder how much of that is due to the axis angle or if it's also got something to do with the distance.

I also find that there's a slightly annoying roughness in the high(?) treble, it would be interesting to know if anyone else can hear it as well.

 

R

 

Well, I don't want to discuss other files from other sources very much in Mario's thread.

 

These are much closer, and I believe the room is more reflective while also not supporting really low frequencies as well. Another big difference is the use of omni mikes. Theoretically omnidirectional with the same response in all directions. The pointing of the mike will make very, very little difference. Plus omni's simply have a different more sparkly sound to them than the cardioids that Mario would have been using in an ORTF arrangement. I didn't hear any roughness even at elevated volumes.

 

I do think this recording is probably too close to sound like what drums sound like from even a front row audience perspective. Perhaps the roughness is what I hear as too much of the instrument noise. Some slapping or ringing of the rims of the drums etc. Sounds you wouldn't hear from 20 feet away.


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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Well, I don't want to discuss other files from other sources very much in Mario's thread.

 

I was thinking of this before I posted my question to you, but to be fair Mario's recordings do not exist alone in the universe and the only way to evaluate their qualities and shortcomings is to compare them with the benchmarks (both live and recorded).

I'm afraid in this case measurements are not enough... :)

 

It would be helpful if Mario could define whether or not the mentioning of recordings originating from other sources can or cannot be used in this topic.

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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These are much closer, and I believe the room is more reflective while also not supporting really low frequencies as well. Another big difference is the use of omni mikes. Theoretically omnidirectional with the same response in all directions. The pointing of the mike will make very, very little difference. Plus omni's simply have a different more sparkly sound to them than the cardioids that Mario would have been using in an ORTF arrangement. I didn't hear any roughness even at elevated volumes.

 

I do think this recording is probably too close to sound like what drums sound like from even a front row audience perspective. Perhaps the roughness is what I hear as too much of the instrument noise. Some slapping or ringing of the rims of the drums etc. Sounds you wouldn't hear from 20 feet away.

 

Thanks.

Your impression seems very much in tune with my own.

I also felt that the the bass drum sound not only did not extend as low in frequency but it's sound didn't linger on as much...I guess some people might prefer this "tighter", "faster" sound, though (just like they prefer small stand mounts to "full-range" speakers).

 

Cheers,

Ricardo


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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IMG_4987.jpg

 

Christmas time now, so went to watch Nutcracker ballet with live accompaniment by sinfonietta.

Coming out from the theatre, I heard a band playing in open air.

Went to the side to listen specifically to the drum set about 12 ft away. In the photo herewith taken with the phone, there were 3 cymbals. The yellow drum next to the red hanging tom was the snare. I was able to reaffirm my listening perception of the sound of cymbals, the sheen, the vividness, the crash. On the other hand, perhaps I was off axis, the kick drum was barely heard though I could see clearly the drummer kicking it.

 

Hi semente,

I have listened very briefly to tracks 2 and 4 of the Lossless downloads. Below Mario’s league. IMG_4987.jpg

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Christmas time now, so went to watch Nutcracker ballet with live accompaniment by sinfonietta.

Coming out from the theatre, I heard a band playing in open air.

Went to the side to listen specifically to the drum set about 12 ft away. In the photo herewith taken with the phone, there were 3 cymbals. The yellow drum next to the red hanging tom was the snare. I was able to reaffirm my listening perception of the sound of cymbals, the sheen, the vividness, the crash. On the other hand, perhaps I was off axis, the kick drum was barely heard though I could see clearly the drummer kicking it.

 

Low frequencies are omnidirectional so my guess is that the missing walls made all the difference.

 

R


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira Pascoaes

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Demo0a_truthful_master files

Mario, been busy getting ready for the holiday and just had a chance to give these files a close listen tonight.

At first I was a bit confused as the drums seemed to lack impact till I realized they were recorded at a much lower overall level than I'm used to having on the system. After I turned the level way up I started to really appreciate the sound you have captured. Impact on the rimshots could be startling and the snares had just the right "rattle" to them. Tophats and cymbals each had the very individual true shimmer that let me hear the different pieces in the kit clearly. Most commercial recordings just sound like a bunch different air hoses letting out blasts.

Sorry but my writing abilities don't allow me to put my thoughts clearly into words. But bottom line is that was the most realistic sounding recording of a drum kit I've heard. Really let the abilities of my DC-1 DAC/HP Amp and Senn HD 650 cans show off their stuff.

Thanks for the opportunity to listen to these files.

Merry Christmas and God Bless you and yours in the high holidays.

Sal


"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

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Hi semente,

I have listened to track 2 of the Lessloss files again.

It was recorded in very low level such that I need to raise the gain to -1/-1. Mario’s piano and tenor tracks are -20/-20 and the drum track -7/-7. Playing a track at this level must be very cautious because if it is on playlist and the next track is a high gain one, one is likely to see a reduction in bank balance.

As I hear it in my system, chimes and bells are on the right just off centre, at the plane of the speakers whilst brushes on snare are on the left, just off centre at several feet behind.

If these are correct positioning of the two in the recording, the track may be used to evaluate high frequency dispersion of speakers, especially those with tweeters enclosed in boxes. Many, even expensive ones, may have these stuck to the cabinets.

I came across these downloads over 2 years ago and had them archived. Will have the newly downloads archived as well because there are many tracks in storage that I have not yet listened to.

For evaluating high frequency dispersions of speakers, I will use a track called 八音和. This piece was composed in Taiwan, featuring 8 types of percussive instruments, drums, gongs, cymbals, cowbell, wood blocks etc. They spread across the soundstage, also in front and behind. I heard it played live by a percussionist and have a video of another player performing it in China.

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Hi semente,

I have listened to track 2 of the Lessloss files again.

It was recorded in very low level such that I need to raise the gain to -1/-1. Mario’s piano and tenor tracks are -20/-20 and the drum track -7/-7. Playing a track at this level must be very cautious because if it is on playlist and the next track is a high gain one, one is likely to see a reduction in bank balance.

LOL, Yea I just did that tonight. I had ELO Alone in the Universe in the cue after Marios files. When the track changed I about had a coronary.


"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

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Just listened to these again, with the volume turned up about 15db higher than how I usually listen to rock/jazz music.

 

Wow! Amazing. You can hear all the detail of each kind of cymbal, and clearly hear how the contact with each type of drum head sounds different. Too bad there isn't any popular music recorded like this.

 

And people who listen to high volume compression mp3's think we audiophiles are crazy....


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS >SOtM Lan Isolator>Bricasti M5 Network Player >Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also 2 SBT and an SB Boom. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Just listened to these again, with the volume turned up about 15db higher than how I usually listen to rock/jazz music.

 

Wow! Amazing. You can hear all the detail of each kind of cymbal, and clearly hear how the contact with each type of drum head sounds different. Too bad there isn't any popular music recorded like this.

 

And people who listen to high volume compression mp3's think we audiophiles are crazy....

 

What's amazing is how we can become so accustomed to music with all the life squashed out of it, we can almost miss the details that make a recording like this so special because of old hardware settings habits.


"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

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The flamenco tracks:

I have now listened to track 2 in addition to track 1 previously, and found that at 4 minutes into track 1, the female singer is obviously located 2 to 3 ft behind the guitar. She remains at this location at the start of track 2 and comes forward to the plane of the guitar at 3 minutes. Both are now at the same plane.

Anyone interested in performing a similar assessment may carry out what I did using a Mac.

1. click “music” under library in iTunes

2. find track 1 in the list of all your tracks and highlight it. Click “file” at the upper left corner of the menu bar; after the list of function appears, find “Get info” and click it. Data of the track then appears. In the album space, type “a”. Then click “OK” and an “a” album is created.

3. Find track 2 in similar manner and in the album space, type “a” as well. Click “OK” and this track goes into the “a” album created in 2 above.

4. Click “my music” at the top of iTunes bar next to “playlists” and you will see album “a” appearing in which there are your two tracks 1 and 2.

5. Go to the menu bar of iTunes and find “controls”. Click it open and turn on the “repeat” function and then select “all”.

6. Then play the two tracks in album “a” with the correct gain setting . Sit back and listen to the two tracks repeating one after another. See if you are able to spot the change in locations of female singer that I mentioned and let us know.

 

NOTE: Don’t go a shorter route by creating a playlist for the two tracks and play them from there. It is because the playlist CHANGES the PHASE of the tracks!

 

PS: the size of the singer's mouth should NOT be larger than a grape fruit. If it is the size of a water melon, then you need to do alter or change something in your audio system.

Edited by francisleung

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LOL, Yea I just did that tonight. I had ELO Alone in the Universe in the cue after Marios files. When the track changed I about had a coronary.

 

Yes, please, be very cautious with this as I would not want to give anybody a heart attack. Sorry Sal :)

 

 

Mario’s piano and tenor tracks are -20/-20 and the drum track -7/-7.

 

There is a 24dB distance between these drum tracks and all our other recordings. If you wanted to play these drum tracks at a realistic volume you would have to play them 24dB higher than the piano and tenor track. Obviously I do not think anybody should try this because it would probably be dangerous for your hearing and your system. That is way I was saying that those drums were really really loud.

 

So, if you are playing the drums at -7, then you are hearing the cymbals 11dB below their realistic volume. I think that might be the reason for you perceiving that the cymbals are lower than they should.

 

One thing you could do to see if this is what is actually happening is play the drum tracks at -7 and then play the tenor and piano at -31dB. That would be the relative realistic level between these two recordings. This might help you perceive what the real level of the cymbals was. It might also help realize how tremendously loud the drums were.

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Thanks Mario. I take your point.

To get the cymbals sounding at realistic level, I need to increase the gain significantly but then the drums to me will be uncomfortably loud. Yes, that may be well be the “natural” situation at your recording session.

In the Sheffield Lab drum track performed by drummer Ron Tutt, the cymbals and drums have closer RELATIVE levels. I believe Ron Tutt held back the kick on the drum during the recording which was direct to lacquer disc.

In drum solo recordings of other labels, I think either the drummers hold back or they apply equalisation during mastering.

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NOTE: Don’t go a shorter route by creating a playlist for the two tracks and play them from there. It is because the playlist CHANGES the PHASE of the tracks!

 

That makes no sense. Are you saying iTunes alters the audio somehow if playing from a playlist but not when playing an album?

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NOTE: Don’t go a shorter route by creating a playlist for the two tracks and play them from there. It is because the playlist CHANGES the PHASE of the tracks!

 

 

That makes no sense. Are you saying iTunes alters the audio somehow if playing from a playlist but not when playing an album?

 

Hi Francis. Are you referring to phase because you are speculating that is the reason, or because there is some specific information you know? If the latter, what would that information be?

 

Thanks.


One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, A+ -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> Ghent JSSG360 USB cable -> iFi micro-iDSD -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Yes, please, be very cautious with this as I would not want to give anybody a heart attack. Sorry Sal :)

I'll bill you for my nitro pills. LOL


"The gullibility of audiophiles is what astonishes me the most, even after all these years. How is it possible, how did it ever happen, that they trust fairy-tale purveyors and mystic gurus more than reliable sources of scientific information?"

Peter Aczel - The Audio Critic

no-mqa-sm.jpg

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Hi Francis. Are you referring to phase because you are speculating that is the reason, or because there is some specific information you know? If the latter, what would that information be?

 

It would be trivial to capture the digital output of both playback setups and compare them.

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Hi Jud and mansr,

I do not have insider or specific information about playlist changing the phase of tracks vis-a-vis album play mode.

I found that out a couple of years ago by listening. And over different versions of iTunes, the change persisted.

You may try a track or two of solo voice with which you are very familiar. Listen carefully and attentively if you aren't accustomed to picking up phase difference. In the album play mode you will hear the mouth "spitting" out words towards you whereas in the playlist mode, the same words are "sucked" in. To get a feel of it, you say the word "go". it is spitted out from the mouth. You say the same word by sucking in air into your throat. The same word is produced by both methods but in opposite phase.

Nowadays, phase change is recognised and you will find in high end pre-amps and DACs a phase change switch. I understand phase change is NOT measurable by instruments.

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Nowadays, phase change is recognised and you will find in high end pre-amps and DACs a phase change switch. I understand phase change is NOT measurable by instruments.

 

If it can be changed by a switch, it can obviously be measured. I'd capture the S/PDIF or Toslink output of a computer playing a file one way, then the other. If the outputs are identical, the software certainly didn't do anything differently. I don't have iTunes, or I'd do it myself.

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