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Article: A New Listening Room Part One


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8 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

This project is getting more and more frustrating for me. I assumed this would be more of a science than an art, but given the wide range of feedback about what's right, what's wrong, and what I "should" do, it seems like much of this is an art.

 

Room acoustics is more of an art than science. I have given up on room measurement long ago when the results did not sound correct to my ears.

 

Quote

As you can probably guess, his opinion differs from both of these.

 

Room acoustics for stereo music listening is different from HT. Listening to playback is different from studio acoustics.  Some specialize for one but not the other.

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16 hours ago, STC said:

 

Listening room meant to enjoy the music is not the same as the listening room where they master or record. Somehow, the distinction got blurred and some try to recreate the studio acoustics.  Maybe, i got confused with Chris’s intention. 

 

 

Completely agree. A domestic setting will often serve multiple purposes. There is a limit to how much acoustic treatments will be acceptable. Listening position in a domestic setting may necessitate sitting close to a wall even though the detrimental aspects of this position are very easily audible. Multi-million $ studio facilities have a much higher priority on sound quality versus a multi-use domestic setting. That said, the control room needs to contain lots of equipment - the mixing console in front of the mix engineer is often an unavoidable acoustic problem itself. 

 

I have never seen or heard of a mastering or mix engineer that would be comfortable working up against a wall. The bass is terrible and the soundstage collapses with the multitude of close proximity reflections off the wall next to the listener. I would not be comfortable recommending anything less than 6 feet from a wall for a listening position. In a domestic setting, I would suggest to just pull out a chair and sit in a better position when serious listening and put the chair away when not needed - a great way to have your cake and eat it!

 

 

Benchmark DAC2, Active speakers: ATC 150's, 100's, 20's, C6CA, C6 Subwoofer.

 

Headphones: Only for playing drums. I don't like sounds in my head. The best headphones suck. Nothing can replace good speakers played loudly. And nothing absolutely nothing is a substitute for live music!

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2 hours ago, STC said:

Poor OP. He will be more confused now. One member is suggesting not less than 6 feet and another member - quoting someone - tells the distance shouldn't be more than 3 feet. Which one is correct and why?

It is about time difference of direct sound and reflected sound. 6 feet traveling difference (also applies to sides) is the minimum  for our auditory system not to confuse direct with reflected so a 3 feet wall distance gives 6 feet back and forth but more if quite better!

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36 minutes ago, monteverdi said:

It is about time difference of direct sound and reflected sound. 6 feet traveling difference (also applies to sides) is the minimum  for our auditory system not to confuse direct with reflected so a 3 feet wall distance gives 6 feet back and forth but more if quite better!

 

If it is more than 6 feet than the reflected sound will arrive later than 6 ms. That is enough to perceive short pulse as two distinct sound and when you approach 10 feet or more you fall within the threshold of echo which from ranges 20 ms and 40ms for all complex music. 

 

 

 

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Chris,

 

Congratulations on your new dedicated listening room.  I'm really excited for you.

 

There has been several comments on treating your room.  It is truly science and I get very interested.

 

I am sure you will find the finish line.  I hope you will concede that there will be some compromises over all.  If not . . . you are going to forever figget and that's frustrating.  I stopped buying equipment years ago "after" I treated my room.

 

I believe, beyond doubt , bass trap management is as import as dealing with placement of speakers, listening seat, and reflection management.  This may sound oversimplified but .....managing timing and managing bass IS room treatment and the key to hearing deep into the artistry. 

 

Congratulations Again!!!!

 

 

My System TWO SPEAKERS AND A CHAIR

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Chris, I'm extremly jealous, congratulations.

One question, when you open those doors does your soundstage deepen?  ;)

"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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On 11/20/2018 at 7:37 PM, STC said:

Listening room meant to enjoy the music is not the same as the listening room where they master or record. Somehow, the distinction got blurred and some try to recreate the studio acoustics.  Maybe, i got confused with Chris’s intention. 

 

On 11/20/2018 at 8:08 PM, STC said:

Room acoustics is more of an art than science. I have given up on room measurement long ago when the results did not sound correct to my ears.

Not sure I can agree on the logic behind these two posts.

But once again we fall back to the ideal between designing a system for accuracy or tuning to  a personal preference.

IMHO I believe the journey should begin with a path that leads to the most accurate, transparent package the builder can accomplish A system most capable of reproducing that which the artist and producer intended.

After that tuning to a preference is a piece of cake.

 

"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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9 minutes ago, Sal1950 said:

 

Not sure I can agree on the logic behind these two posts.

But once again we fall back to the ideal between designing a system for accuracy or tuning to  a personal preference.

IMHO I believe the journey should begin with a path that leads to the most accurate, transparent package the builder can accomplish A system most capable of reproducing that which the artist and producer intended.

After that tuning to a preference is a piece of cake.

 

 

Accuracy is not important. What matters to the listeners is the how real is the sound as listened in a real space. 

 

Technically, a DSD recording of a guitar and sax ( spread by 60 degrees) will be accurate compared to 16/44.1 format. But....if you play the DSD in a single speaker and the 16/44.1 with two speakers then the 16/44.1 will be closer to realism. The reason why we prefer an inferior format?  

 

In making of recordings, we strive to xapture the direct sound and a reasonable amount of reverbs. Some prefer without any reverbs so that the can artificially add the reverbs later. In a good recording environment it always the natureal reverbs is prefered over the artificial one. 

 

To record the natural reverbs, the microphone is placed about 50% of the critical distance sometimes even lesser. The spot where the microphone is placed is not the usual spot where we consider as the best seat to listen to the performance. 

 

In any case, whether it is a live or in studio recording with dead room the 360 defrees ambience is eliminated largely to avoid making the recording muddy. In studio, they achieve this by elimination as much reverbs as possible.  

 

In listening room, we want those missing reverbs which will be added by your room reflection. Often, the simplest aim is to creat Live end and dead end. Live end is where the listener sits. 

 

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On 11/24/2018 at 11:34 PM, STC said:

Accuracy is not important. What matters to the listeners is the how real is the sound as listened in a real space. 

In who's opinion?

If it's your system then your opinion is all that matters.

But that has little to nothing to do with reproducing what the engineer heard and what he hoped you would be able to recreate.

YMMV

"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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54 minutes ago, Sal1950 said:

In who's opinion?

If it's your system then your opinion is all that matters.

But that has little to nothing to do with reproducing what the engineer heard and what he hoped you would be able to recreate.

YMMV

 

Accuracy of what? Positional accuracy? Or the timbre accuracy of the instruments? Or the accuracy of the dynamic range? A playback can never be the real event. Even if you employ a full 360 degree system to reproduce them, it will be a virtual reality of the  event but not the actual event. 

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On November 24, 2018 at 10:34 PM, STC said:

 

Accuracy is not important. What matters to the listeners is the how real is the sound as listened in a real space. 

 

 

 

In listening room, we want those missing reverbs which will be added by your room reflection. Often, the simplest aim is to creat Live end and dead end. Live end is where the listener sits. 

 

I will respectfully disagree...

 

I believe what should matter to the "listener" is how faithful the sound is to the original performance once it is played back in listeners space.

 

I'm thinking about your math ...you say you design your recordings with the thought of my room adding reverb you intentionally block.  Then I play back a recording that the sound engineers purposely and thoughtfully recorded the performance and the reverb (space) in that performance.  Then I add my room reverbs to this thoughtful recording. . . and I loose (accuracy) faithfulness.

 

 

My System TWO SPEAKERS AND A CHAIR

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32 minutes ago, HIFI said:

I'm thinking about your math ...you say you design your recordings with the thought of my room adding reverb you intentionally block.  Then I play back a recording that the sound engineers purposely and thoughtfully recorded the performance and the reverb (space) in that performance.  Then I add my room reverbs to this thoughtful recording. . . and I loose (accuracy) faithfulness.

 

The term “Accuracy” is confusing in this context. A piano can have a different sound when heard one foot away compared to hearing from a 30 feet distance. So microphones placed at the respective spot will have two different sound. Which one is the accurate sound?

 

What we consider as accurate is when the piano sound comes from the speakers is to sound recreating the realism as hearing the real piano. A large part of the realism that we perceive is not the real sound of the instruments but a mixture of the recording and your venue’s acoustics signature. Otherwise, every recording made as original as the real insturment should sound accurate in an anechoic chamber which we all know the sound is unnatural despite being 100% accurate reproduction of the instruments. 

 

I will stop here as I have deviated from the Op. 

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2 hours ago, STC said:

 

The term “Accuracy” is confusing in this context. A piano can have a different sound when heard one foot away compared to hearing from a 30 feet distance. So microphones placed at the respective spot will have two different sound. Which one is the accurate sound?

 

What we consider as accurate is when the piano sound comes from the speakers is to sound recreating the realism as hearing the real piano. A large part of the realism that we perceive is not the real sound of the instruments but a mixture of the recording and your venue’s acoustics signature. Otherwise, every recording made as original as the real insturment should sound accurate in an anechoic chamber which we all know the sound is unnatural despite being 100% accurate reproduction of the instruments. 

 

I will stop here as I have deviated from the Op. 

Actually this part of thread and your final response from you supports my original disagreement. It also very importantly supports OP.

 

If you recorded, with two microphones, one foot away or 30 foot away in your recording "space" and  intentionally remove your "space" in your recording then that is a exactly what my listening space should reproduce.  In you original theory you are expecting my listening space is going to recreate the reverb you propose will make it real.  That is 100 percent incorrect. 

 

No matter what you lay down as an original recording it is the job of a appropriately treated room to have very little influence and ONLY playback your original recording.  If I have a performance that was recorded in a church....I want to experience the entire performance including the recording space (church).  If I have an artist that put down his/her first recorded performance in their basement I want to experience the entire performance including the recorded space (basement). 

 

In short....I don't want you to sit in my chair and say something like "it sounds so great as if he/she is in my room singing to me". I want your brain to be so faked out that you say "it sounds as though I am in his/her basement experiencing their performance ". This can only be done by hearing deep into an original recorded performance and my room having very little influence. 

 

 

 

 

My System TWO SPEAKERS AND A CHAIR

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  • 5 months later...
On 5/17/2019 at 3:10 PM, The Computer Audiophile said:

To quote my post, "Most of the acoustics have arrived from Vicoustic!"

 

Diffusors on back order. 

What about bass traps?  Seems like a little amount of treatments to me

2 ch Setup:

Motorola Modem sb6141> Emo Systems EN-70HD > (5) eero > Synology 1813+ (DSM 6.2), 4TB Seagate NAS Drives, 4GB RAM & Zero Surge & APC XS BX1000G/backup to Synology DX513) > Emo Systems EN-60KDS  > Roon > Mola Mola Tambaqui > BSS BLU 50 > (2) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference

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13 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Don’t think they’ll be needed based on sound right now. 

 

 

Measure, measure, measure!

2 ch Setup:

Motorola Modem sb6141> Emo Systems EN-70HD > (5) eero > Synology 1813+ (DSM 6.2), 4TB Seagate NAS Drives, 4GB RAM & Zero Surge & APC XS BX1000G/backup to Synology DX513) > Emo Systems EN-60KDS  > Roon > Mola Mola Tambaqui > BSS BLU 50 > (2) Hypex NCore NC502MP > JBL M2 Master Reference

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