Jump to content
IGNORED

Appropriate Perspective


Melvin
 Share

Recommended Posts

Srajan Ebaen shares some thoughts on a most interesting topic. Seems timely for me as I reassess not only my audio system, but how I listen and enjoy music:

 

KIH #33 - Hearing the forest for the trees | DAR__KO

 

He seems to be changing his discourse somewhat from the time I used to read 6loons in the mid 00's.

I wonder he's getting his inspiration from.

 

R

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found myself thinking about just this point the other day. I was listening to a lovely sounding, but obviously close-miked, female jazz vocalist with standup bass and trumpet. I followed that up with a very audience perspective recording of Respighi. Very different perspective. In some ways the close miked stuff was more impressive, but I found myself more immersed in the Respighi. I realize the two musical forms are pretty apples and oranges, so not a perfect comparison, but still...

 

As an aside, it's kind of weird that Ebaen makes the points he makes. His writing is very much a get mired in the details approach. I find him very hard to read.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree more with his comments and sentiments. In my early days as a "audiophile dealer" to my current days as a listener I always believed in that which he has espoused in his comments. Many times during my dealing years the customer wasn't happy until he could hear the proverbial "mouse fart" no matter how compromising it was to the overall impact of the music in tonality and balance.

 

There are systems that are going to reproduce more micro-detail than is natural, however, this is what so many of us define as "resolution", assuming "resolution" unnatural.

 

Perspective of location is another topic that always gets me. When there are those that claim it reproduces live, I wonder what that means to them? As Ebaen points out he played in a symphony, so does "live" mean from his perspective in the orchestra, from the perspective of first row, orchestra, mezzanine, etc? Also, what was the venue; good sound hall with no amplification, amplification?

 

I think he raises many issues that, while in my opinion there is no right or wrong answer to one's taste in audio or gear, explain people's dogmatic attraction to certain recordings and more importantly audio gear in general. This is why there are such ardent Wilson people, Magico people, etc. Hence I am always amazed at the absolute opinions of some in endorsing particular gear at the expense of others' choices when there are so many variables that enter the equation as Ebaen illustrates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've enjoyed his musings over the years and think perhaps he's mellowing a bit with age. A lot of folks don't care for his verbose and often obscure style of writing but he normally has some really good insight or at least an interesting perspective. Again, because of my current state of change, I found this piece fairly interesting and I quite agree with him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't agree more with his comments and sentiments. In my early days as a "audiophile dealer" to my current days as a listener I always believed in that which he has espoused in his comments. Many times during my dealing years the customer wasn't happy until he could hear the proverbial "mouse fart" no matter how compromising it was to the overall impact of the music in tonality and balance.

 

There are systems that are going to reproduce more micro-detail than is natural, however, this is what so many of us define as "resolution", assuming "resolution" unnatural.

 

Perspective of location is another topic that always gets me. When there are those that claim it reproduces live, I wonder what that means to them? As Ebaen points out he played in a symphony, so does "live" mean from his perspective in the orchestra, from the perspective of first row, orchestra, mezzanine, etc? Also, what was the venue; good sound hall with no amplification, amplification?

 

I think he raises many issues that, while in my opinion there is no right or wrong answer to one's taste in audio or gear, explain people's dogmatic attraction to certain recordings and more importantly audio gear in general. This is why there are such ardent Wilson people, Magico people, etc. Hence I am always amazed at the absolute opinions of some in endorsing particular gear at the expense of others' choices when there are so many variables that enter the equation as Ebaen illustrates.

 

In my opinion, there is no way a system or equipment can reproduce "more micro-detail than is natural" though it is possible that some frequency response aberrations may give that subjective impression (the top octave is responsible for "air", the lower treble for "definition", the high-midrange for "presence" or image "distance", the upperbass/lower mids for "warmth"/"fullness", the midbass for "boominess" and "speed", etc.).

A "transparent" equipment or system can only reproduce what's on the recording but it's become fashionable for speakers to have an exaggerated treble output.

 

I listen mostly to classical music which is supposed to be experience live with no amplification from the audience perspective.

This is how I think recordings should be made and how I like them: a documental registration of a live musical event.

Mic distance may depend on the characteristics of the musical piece: a string quartet performance usually takes place in a smaller venue than a Symphonic concert, with the listener probably sitting closer to the instruments, and the recording should take that into account.

But many engineer/producers are placing the mics too close, much closer than anyone would listen.

Close mic'ing has 3 shortcomings: exaggeration of detail, adulteration of timbres and disregard for the music hall acoustics.

As such it's totally inadequate for a "natural" representation of the live event.

The choice of mics (frequency response) and how they're setup will also influence tonal balance and imaging, and hence the naturalness of the recording.

 

R

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you do if you're at a concert where they put up big video screens so you can better see the musicians? Which one are you supposed to look at for best accuracy? Or is there a formula to use depending on how far away you are from the stage?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you do if you're at a concert where they put up big video screens so you can better see the musicians? Which one are you supposed to look at for best accuracy? Or is there a formula to use depending on how far away you are from the stage?

 

I've never been to a live (classical) concert with video projection but I know that sometimes there are orchestral and operatic entertainment gigs where they use PA and perhaps video projection; I avoid those like the plague.

 

I find the visual aspect of minor importance when I attend a live concert; it's part of phenomenological experience but I often find myself closing my eyes to better enjoy the music.

 

R

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

P.S.: in classical music, particularly that of the orchestral kind, the hall acoustics play and important role in supporting the low end. This is another reason against the use of close mic'ing. Despite this some audiophiles prefer their timpani and contrabassi sounding "tight", "dry" and "crisp". I've listened to an orchestra playing outdoors and the sound was an absolute misery...

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...