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Fas42’s Stereo ‘Magic’

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1 hour ago, gmgraves said:

So I approached Saks about it ...When I told him that his recordings, made with a forest of microphones, did not sound real by any stretch of the term. He answered that he wasn’t looking for real. His recordings sounded BETTER than real. I realized then that there was no changing the man’s mind and that there were a lot of people in the industry who shouldn’t be allowed near a recording setup.

 

Dunno when this occurred, George, but I expect that Harry Pearson would be turning over in his grave if he heard this story.


"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"- William Bruce Cameron

 

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7 hours ago, Confused said:

Hang on, there is a slight of hand here, to be expected from an audio magician I suppose. 🙂

 

The actual question @Allan F was responding to was clear in that it was a thought experiment and was referring to a system with "absolutely state of the art reproduction".

 

If it had "absolutely state of the art reproduction" then it would make the most of any recording that was tried on it, 😉. Which is why I said, "So-called highly resolving systems nearly always add ..." - I'm keen on hearing anecdotes about the infamous Living Voice ensemble, because to me it represents an actual real life version of a SOTA rig, when it's working in the 'zone' - and one I picked up is that the person doing the demo is happy to put absolutely anything on that someone brings along; because, he knows that the setup is not going to be embarrassed by what comes out of the speakers ...

 

7 hours ago, Confused said:

In your response above Frank, you are saying Allan is wrong, but then you are changing the question not to refer to a "state of the art system", but to a system that  adds "a good dollop of disturbing distortion".  I suspect most of us here would agree that removing a good dollop of disturbing distortion from a system will indeed improve the reproduction most if not all recordings.

 

That's the theory, but the reality is that the distortion is not eliminated in most cases - if it were so, then every SOTA system would sound the same, playing a particular recording. Unfortunately, "character" and "personality" are markers of distortion - I want absolutely zero of such contributed by the rig.

 

7 hours ago, Confused said:

 

So we end up with two slightly different scenarios, for the following two systems 

 

1. A system that has absolutely state of the art reproduction, AKA "a well sorted rig".  Because this system is well sorted, it does not add any distortions to the recording.

 

2. A so-called highly resolving systems that adds a good dollop of disturbing distortion,

 

Could both of the above systems above be improved / tweaked  to make recordings of a lesser quality more listenable without compromising the performance with top quality recordings?

 

I suspect we can all agree that system 2 could be improved for the benefit of all or most recordings.

 

With system 1, are we all agreed that the answer is indeed no?  It is after all a well sorted rig.  Maybe someone has a more nuanced response?

 

 

 

Overall, I agree. System 1 most likely could be improved by enhancing its ability to play at higher SPLs with absolute integrity - one of the very obvious shortfalls of many setups is that the SQ starts to disintegrate as more volume is called for; I have experienced enough situations that demonstrate that there are no limits here - if one is prepared to put in the effort, then one can create enough headroom for every possible listening situation.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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10 hours ago, Blackmorec said:

Based on my most recent experience I don’t believe it works quite like this. There are some recordings, quite a few actually that are spectacularly good, transporting the listener to an acoustic whole that has absolutely no relationship to the listening room. The recording comprises instruments and voices that each have their defined acoustic space and reverb that makes perfect sense both for the instruments and voices themselves and for the overall acoustic. The overall acoustic is fully immersive and seems to energise the entire recording venue. The sound is thrilling, totally captivating and has huge amounts of rhythm and/or emotion. The music fully takes over the listener’s consciousness.  I have found that when a system is fully dialled in, music that you may not have found so appealing previously, suddenly becomes incredibly involving and extremely appealing.  This may be say 20% of recordings.

 

Okay. ... This is what I'm on about - so there is absolutely nothing mystical about I'm talking about; many of you understand completely. But, what is disturbing, to some, is that I say, you can push that 20% figure - higher and higher. Again I need to say that I've steadily learned, over many years, that the recordings outside of that nominal 20% bandwidth can fall under the same spell - the only thing holding back the size of that percentage is the degree of refinement of the rig; "dialling in" can always be taken to a higher level.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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10 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

Okay. ... This is what I'm on about - so there is absolutely nothing mystical about I'm talking about; many of you understand completely. But, what is disturbing, to some, is that I say, you can push that 20% figure - higher and higher. Again I need to say that I've steadily learned, over many years, that the recordings outside of that nominal 20% bandwidth can fall under the same spell - the only thing holding back the size of that percentage is the degree of refinement of the rig; "dialling in" can always be taken to a higher level.

 

As an example of this, this was my killer track, 30 years ago,

 

 

This ticks every box in Blackmorec's list of "good stuff!" sensations while listening; on a "well sorted rig" - so, how does your rig go with this, 😜.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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15 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

But, what is disturbing, to some, is that I say, you can push that 20% figure - higher and higher. Again I need to say that I've steadily learned, over many years, that the recordings outside of that nominal 20% bandwidth can fall under the same spell - the only thing holding back the size of that percentage is the degree of refinement of the rig; "dialling in" can always be taken to a higher level.

 

 

No, that isn't what disturbs folks.

 

It's your contention that flawed recordings (Blackmorec's 5%) can be fixed by "debugging" the playback system.

 


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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2 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

No, that isn't what disturbs folks.

 

It's your contention that flawed recordings (Blackmorec's 5%) can be fixed by "debugging" the playback system.

 

 

Okay, this is what he said,

 

Quote

5% or maybe even less will be completely flawed, due entirely to the recording and mastering process. In this case, the system that reveals all the above will reveal something entirely different. Cymbals that lack sparkle, note structure and development, horns that lack that initial bite, piano that has no percussive element, note development and bloom, guitars and violins with no complexity or real beauty and worst of all, instruments that occupy exactly the same acoustic space and interfere with one another, leaving large parts of the soundstage unoccupied and silent, while cramming everything into the exact same acoustic space

 

Umm, these are the ones that are a true test of a system's integrity; "cymbals that lack sparkle" is the first thing I listen for, if they happen to be present - I use these recordings to 'measure' my progress ... my standard modus operandi. The satisfaction one experiences when a recording like this "blooms" is one of the real pleasures in this game 🙂.

 

IOW, there is no cut off point!!! There is no line drawn in the sand, which one can't pass over - perseverance, and time, years of it in my case, show that there is a true continuum in the quality of recordings, which one can always advance further along in the challenge of "bringing them to life".


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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3 hours ago, Allan F said:

 

This is complete and utter nonsense. The reason that these systems are able to resolve detail to a greater degree is because they are designed to minimize distortion. Of course, if there is distortion in the recording, they will more faithfully reproduce it. But the system is not the source of the distortion.

 

Consider a pane of glass, that you use to see what's beyond ... but it's dirty, so you clean it. And you see more, so you add lights to shine super brightly through the glass, to illuminate what's beyond - but, you have a problem ... it's now clear that the glass is not perfect, it still has tiny bits of dust and grime that you seem never to be able to get rid of, and tiny imperfections in the glass start to scream at you - your world now revolves around trying to get the glass immaculate - a hopeless task ...

 

I come along - and shift the super intense lights to the other side of the glass, so they just illuminate the scene beyond - and very clearly see what needs to be seen, 😉.

 

Might seem a poor analogy - but subjectively that's how it works - you want the tremendous clarity to be focused on what you're interested in, and then defects "in the way" fade from your consciousness.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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6 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

The more you "sell" your methods, the less appealing they become.

 

 

OK, my methods may seem irksome - but they work! So, the argument shouldn't be, "What he's doing is impossible!" - rather, they should be, "Okay, this is what's possible - now, what's the smartest way to get there, using what's currently available".


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

Unfortunately, you aren't convincing anyone that this is true.

 

Okay, I've just put up a clip - what's the presentation of this, meaning a CD quality version of the track, like on your system?


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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7 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

Okay, I've just put up a clip - what's the presentation of this, meaning a CD quality version of the track, like on your system?

 

I just listened to an actual CD quality version (not the low-res Youtube version you shared) and it sounds fine. Why do you ask?


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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24 minutes ago, Racerxnet said:

1. I'd ask you how it sounds on your system Frankie, but you don't have one.

 

Not the point - I don't have a system firing at the moment that would do it justice; but I know what it should sound like.

 

24 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

I just listened to an actual CD quality version (not the low-res Youtube version you shared) and it sounds fine. Why do you ask?

 

Does it tick all the boxes in the manner that Blackmorec described, in the quote from

 

 

?


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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14 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

Does it tick all the boxes in the manner that Blackmorec described, in the quote from

 

 

?

 

I have zero interest in music like this so doesn't tick any boxes at all for me. 


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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28 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

I have zero interest in music like this so doesn't tick any boxes at all for me. 

 

Irrespective of your interest in this type of music, musical instruments, and voices, are part of the performance - there's a drum kit, and vocals, in there - forgetting about everything else, do the qualities of those elements in the piece match up with Blackmorec's description of what's possible?


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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50 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

Irrespective of your interest in this type of music, musical instruments, and voices, are part of the performance - there's a drum kit, and vocals, in there - forgetting about everything else, do the qualities of those elements in the piece match up with Blackmorec's description of what's possible?

 

I'm sure it would be possible if I enjoyed this type of music.


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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Since jazz is your thing, this track may be more your cup of tea,

 

 

Again, go for the best version you can get hold of - this one I would use to tease out other system misbehaviour, as compared to the Status Quo track.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

Since jazz is your thing, this track may be more your cup of tea,

 

 

Again, go for the best version you can get hold of - this one I would use to tease out other system misbehaviour, as compared to the Status Quo track.

 

The CD version sounds good on my system.

 

I'm having a hard time understanding what your point is though.

 

 

 


Everything matters... when brewing coffee.

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49 minutes ago, kumakuma said:

 

The CD version sounds good on my system.

 

I'm having a hard time understanding what your point is though.

 

 

 

 

So, it fits into that 20% mentioned by Blackmorec - that is, when you listen to it you can say without a shadow of doubt that it is "spectacularly good, transporting the listener to an acoustic whole that has absolutely no relationship to the listening room. The recording comprises instruments and voices that each have their defined acoustic space and reverb that makes perfect sense both for the instruments and voices themselves and for the overall acoustic. The overall acoustic is fully immersive and seems to energise the entire recording venue. The sound is thrilling, totally captivating and has huge amounts of rhythm and/or emotion. The music fully takes over the listener’s consciousness" - at any volume?


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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7 hours ago, Allan F said:

 

Dunno when this occurred, George, but I expect that Harry Pearson would be turning over in his grave if he heard this story.

Positively or negatively spinning? This occurred in the early Seventies, when quadraphonic sound was hot. I can’t imagine HP liking over-produced, artificial sounding surround recordings that puts the listener in the woodwinds section of the performance that he or she is ostensibly listening to....


George

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6 hours ago, kumakuma said:

 

The more you "sell" your methods, the less appealing they become.

 

cncartoons_1300.thumb.jpg.70aa9318e55d3f83c39a2bcc185ba84a.jpg

 

 

And the more like pure, unadulterated bullpuckey they seem!


George

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On 3/18/2020 at 3:31 PM, fas42 said:

 

The goal is to have a system that doesn't make a recording sound like crap! Note the key inclusion of the word "make" in that sentence - the recording is OK, but the playback doesn't elicit all the positive aspects of the source material.

 

Unless you have spent decades listening to expensive, ambitious rigs make recordings you know well sound like a garbled mess, you probably can't appreciate what's going on - money doesn't solve the problems, but it can certainly blind one to what the true possibilities are.

 

How can any system make a crappy recording NOT sound like crap? And a crappy recording is never ‘OK’! And if you think they are, then we now know what your problem is: you don’t know the difference between good sound and bad. Thanks for that clarifying post!

 

 


George

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12 minutes ago, gmgraves said:

How can any system make a crappy recording NOT sound like crap? And a crappy recording is never ‘OK’! And if you think they are, then we now know what your problem is: you don’t know the difference between good sound and bad. Thanks for that clarifying post!

 

 

 

Do you have another method apart from listening to it for determining whether a recording is "crap"? And if the playback of some recording on some rig doesn't meet your approval - how do you know whether it's the recording, or the playback system? Are you able to ignore the recording engineer's decisions in the making of the track, and just assess the SQ, as a quite separate part of the exercise?


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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