If you didn't know I was in charge of mixing the music all together and I had near 100 hours listening to the tracks... so I was most likely the most familiar with the content. This was probably evident to the attendees as I complained about not liking the music anymore.... But before I get to my notes I do need to give credit where it is due, I didn't do all the work, not even close. Adam helped me out greatly in gathering the suggestions from everyone and even sending me the tracks he had copies of. This helped me out greatly as I was very pressed for time in the months leading up to the event.
And of course I have to thank Andrew for once again somehow convincing his wife to vacate their house for a day and a half. (Thanks Jodi, hopefully we didn't leave too large a mess) Jim also I am grateful for, managing the money/food/drinks. Also everyone who lugged out equipment and put some skin in the game..... it was havoc on your nerves and might put you out money in the future.
For my review of the day I am going to progress in order of the proceedings. I'll make frequent reference to the track numbers as I list the notes I made on each one, so here it is for reference:
Track Start Time End Time Genre Artist Song
1 0:00:00 2:25:00 Classical Sherlock Holmes OST Discombobulate
2 2:27:00 5:23:00 Classical John Williams 40 Years of Film Music Close Encounters of the Third Kind. (intro)
3 5:25:00 8:32:00 Classical Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Main Theme
4 8:33:00 10:51:00 Classical The Island My Name is Lincoln
5 10:53:00 13:38:00 Soul Rebecca Pidgeon Spanish Harlem
6 13:40:00 16:42:00 Country Eagles Gone Country Hotel California
7 16:44:00 18:22:00 Folk John Denver Leaving on a Jet Plane
8 18:24:00 20:21:00 Folk Ramblin Jack Elliot Soul Of A Man
9 20:24:00 21:39:00 Folk Indie Dispatch Hey Hey
10 21:40:00 24:15:00 Folk Indie Edwarde Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes Home
11 24:16:00 26:55:00 Pop Madonna The Power of Good-Bye
12 26:57:00 29:40:00 Rock Fleetwood Mac Go Insane (Live 1997)
13 29:42:00 31:28:00 Rock Fleetwood Mac Tusk (Live 1997)
14 31:29:00 32:44:00 Rock The Cars Since You're Gone
15 32:46:00 35:39:00 Rock Nils Lofgren Keith dont go
16 35:40:00 37:33:00 Rock Alt Collective Soul December
17 37:34:00 38:47:00 Rock Alt Incubus Echo
18 38:49:00 40:04:00 Rock Alt Puscifer Dear Brother
19 40:06:00 43:04:00 Electronic Blake Reary Nowhere Near
20 43:06:00 44:39:00 Electronic Blake Reary Dance With Me (Blake Rearys Sky High Mix)
21 44:41:00 46:01:00 Classical Daft Punk Tron Legacy Overture
22 46:03:00 47:03:00 Electronic Lindsey Stirling Moon Trance
23 47:05:00 49:48:00 Symphonic Metal Within Temptation Somewhere
24 49:50:00 51:22:00 Rock Alt Tool Jambi
25 51:25:00 53:43:00 Rock Alt Tool Undertow
26 53:44:00 55:48:00 Rock Electronic Pendulum The Tempest
27 55:50:00 58:17:00 Classical Peer Gynt Suite from Hall of the Mountain King
28 58:19:00 60:17:00 Rock Industrial Trent Reznor Carbon Prevails
29 60:19:00 63:22:00 Rock Latin Gustavo Santaolalla The Last of Us
30 63:24:00 65:41:00 Rock Prog Dire Straits What It Is
31 65:43:00 69:15:00 Rock Prog Pink Floyd Time
32 69:18:00 71:16:00 Rock Prog Styx Renegade
33 71:18:00 72:20:00 Rock Soul Boz Scaggs Thanks to You
34 72:22:00 74:20:00 Metal Cello Apocalyptica One
35 74:22:00 75:16:00 Metal Doom Woods of Ypres Finality
36 75:18:00 76:12:00 Metal Heavy Disturbed Inside the Fire
37 76:14:00 77:22:00 Metal Prog Dream Theater Another Day
38 77:24:00 80:46:00 Metal Prog Dream Theater The Count of Tuscany
39 80:48:00 82:14:00 Metalcore Atreyu An Interlude
40 82:16:00 88:12:00 Trance Pop Oblivion OST Oblivion (feat. Susanne Sundfør)
The first setup took a few hours (3.5) to setup, but it was by far the largest and most complicated. Congrats to Chop for losing sleep building it the few nights before hand.
Starting out the first
track (Discombobulate) I wrote down that the high tones were getting drown out by the mid range frequencies. As I could come to find throughout my listen the frequency range needs some refinement, but I am getting ahead of myself.
(Lincoln) I had a note written down saying that the choir sounded quieter compared to the rest of the track. Even though this was the first listen through of the day I was sort of confident that this was true.
(harlem) I hate this track and refuse to comment further.
Skipping on down the track list I get to number nine
(Hey Hey) This is about where I would meander my way to the front couch and listen for a few songs. I wrong that the t-sh sound in the lyrics had lost some clarity that I knew was there. And to go along with that that the sibilance in the recording was almost missing. As I knew it was in the recording I was counting that as a negative, even though I can't stand sibilance normally. I also had written that the mic puffs from the singer were very significant and powerful.
is a favorite of mine (Home). I really like the females accent, but sadly I was disappointed that her voice was slightly lost in the large 11 piece band that plays along with her.
Skipping a track I wrote for number twelve
(Go Insane) that the high tones are ringing and that sweeps from low->mid->high->very high frequencies have this eq balance hot---low-->hot->low->high This was where I started to question if the dsp was tuned well enough for the day. I knew it was a last minute setup and my ears were starting to pickup on that. After this track I would leave the front and let others have my seat in anticipation for my absolute favorite speaker test by Blake.
(Nowhere Near) quickly came up and I ran to the front to listen intently for the ear rape to borrow Austin's term. I wrote that the high pitch ringing ear sting was missing its piercing quality. And that the later portions of the singers mid to high frequencies have a dip in volume. This was the dsp showing some issues.
Track twenty one
is an overly well recorded orchestra. If you listen intently you should hear breaths before the brass instruments notes, shuffling of papers, accidental bumping of music stands, and a couple sneaker squeaks followed by and obvious one. I wrote down that the breathing and page turns were missing. This is a sign that detail or fidelity of the recording is being lost.Twenty Two
(Moon Trance) has, in addition to the awesome violin work, excellent recording of rain and a lighter lighting up which are both subtle additions to the music. I noticed that the SEOSR made the rain almost sound harsh and not so soft pitter patter that it should be.
Skipping to Track twenty four
(Jambi) During the chorus each line of the lyrics is echoed via reverb in alternating channels. ("But I" left, "I would" right, "wish it" left, "all away" right, "if I" left, "thought I'd" right, "lose you" left, "just one day" right) I had a very hard time hearing these reverbs at all, let alone tell they were in alternating channels. I noted that the imaging wasn't too good. Right about now I would give up my spot in the front and let other people sit there.
I noted a very clear guitar, even from back in the room.
And on track thirty three
(Thanks to you) I wrote down that the base line was disappointingly quiet.Overall
: I thaugt the high frequencies were not as clear as the very high frequencies or even as clear as the mid range. Almost like there was a crossover that was badly setup and was mudding the spectrum. The imaging between left and right was lost when I knew it should be there. And that subtlety was almost completely lost and quick notes blended together on some tracks. I gave them a 77 on a 1-100 scale. And as this was sighted I had no doubt which were playing.A-Blind:
The first blend setup. I was ready. My ears were once again attuned after a large break between the first play through. For my 'what I was listening for on each track' see the SEOSR section.
starting out with number three
I noted that the horns into the bass drums were muddy sounding.
(Lincoln) the choir sounded well mixed with other instruments and that they are not drown out at all.
At the front of the room again track nine
had the air puff of breathing into the mice very pronounced. I noticed quite a few people comment to me that "was that in the recording, or are your mics feeding back. I laughed and said yes its in the recording.ten
(Home): female vocal is clear and not lost in the band; the piano sounded particularly clear, but I was getting slightly fatigued it seemed.twelve
(Go Insane): the ringing sounded good to me this time, and the extra bits of string at the top of the guitar hitting the neck from moving was easily audible. Bonus points for this speaker, as I hadn't ever heard that before.
: simply put I wrote, no issues. I was listening intently to the quick picking this time. And then I went back in the room to get some refreshments and chat.
) once again had me rush to the front to try and have my ears pierced straight through. Sadly I wrote that it didn't have that oh so nice quality I know is there, but that the high note did not waver in its accent to the top.
Blake's second track (twenty
) I noticed some great highs and the mid slap snare drum had some great presence to the song and was very clear and quick.
Tron (twenty one
): I could hear the breathing this time, but it wasn't overly pronounced like I know it to be when a speaker is super clean and clear.
Lindsey's Moon Trance (twenty two
) had the rain be very clear and the lighter effect was not overly powerful. A very nice playback of this track.twenty three
'Somewhere' (Adam's track) the female vocal high notes were ringing in my ears and was very fatiguing. This was something I had not heard before with this track.
Around about this time I noticed that when sitting in the front row I could tell the high notes were coming from above me and the mids front right in front, and the lows were chest level. (I like to think I have very good ears) I wrote at the top of my sheet that I thought there was definitely three drivers. But then I second guessed myself that I had never heard the line array and knew it angled towards the ceiling a bit. That this might be what I am hearing. I didnt write anything down after this as I decided it was enoughOverall
: I was fairly confident in the fact that it was the cats or the line array. I gave the speaker an 84
out of 100. Later on after hearing both B and C I decided this had to be the cats
as it didn't have the clarity that I knew the Noesis has. But something to keep in mind. I had never seen the Danley's I didn't know what model they were, didn't know what they looked like, didn't know any of their design principals.... lol; I was confident I could pick out the cats and the noesis as I had heard them before in Andrews room..... but I had no clue as what the danley's were going to sound like..... wish I knew what they looked like.B-Blind:
: Another semi-long break, but much quicker than before. Something that I did not mention before was that before the playlist was run Jonathan, Adam, and I would check the levels of both left and right channel independently and the subs as well. This is something we kept up with before each playback. So I know for a fact it was consistent.One
started out and I could right away hear, what I called a harpsichord, to be very pronounced. Things were sounding good.
From the front of the room nine
(Hey Hey) the sibilance was less pronounced, almost quieted. It was odd how much of it was missing.
) I found the trumpet to be fatiguing.twelve
(Go Insane): I wrote again that the strings hitting the guitar neck was very evident, as I was now listening for this.
Skipping on down to Echo (seventeen
: I noted a very clear clicking noise.
My favorite Blake track (nineteen
) I didn't write anything down.... what was I thinking, but for twenty
I noted that the high notes of the singer were not as piercing as they normally are.
Tron (twenty one
) I could hear every little breath and paper turn, as well as all the squeaks. I was impressed.twenty two
- the rain was very evident and for twenty three
the voices weren't fatiguing at all like the last speaker and well blended into the song.
Too bad that for Jambi (twenty four
) the echo throwing wasn't evident at all.
I didn't note much after that for these speakers other than for Count of Tuscany (thirty eight
) the voices were clear and the arps were as well.Overall
: This being only the second speaker I only had the first one to compare against and what memory I had of previous get togethers.I noted that they were very well consistent through the entire frequency spectrum and that there wasn't any crossover points evident from what I heard. I was grasping at straws here, but I wrote that its either that or that all the speakers are ported to the front aka noesis..... but that was unlikely as I didn't get the crisp crisp highs I expect of them. Again my complete lack of knowledge about the danleys worried me..... but something I came to realize half way through playback was that the sound overall sounded like it was coming from the ceiling. So I wrote down that these get a 95
rating from me and I am guessing they were the line arrays.C-Blind:
The third speaker was later in the day. I had narrowed it down to just the noesis and the danleys left. The danleys were worrying to me. About this time Austin was badgering me with the point source nonsense.... I didn't know what that was about. All I knew was that every 15 min or so I would hear 'point source' from him..... bloody annoying.
(Robin Hood): the triangle is clear even through the trumpet parts.
that stupid harlem track I even wrote down that the timber of the maraca is distinguishable.... how foolish of me to even comment on this track, i'm inviting in the pants soilers at even mentioning it.
for number seven
(Leaving on a Jet Plane) the highs were particularly distinct as were the rain stick and triangle.
Soul of a Man (eight
) has the whasper to his voice missing from the song. Yes I made that up and its a good descriptive word for his voice.
, again had the sibilance evident, but I noted it was fairly under control and was not displeasing to my ears. This might have to do with the length of the listening for the day though.
had the tinkling jingle be very distinct and wasn't lost in the large band. The voices were also clearly heard over the caucus noise.
Go Insane twelve
had the mid tone vocals be very clear sounding to me. At this point I retreated from the front like before.
Returning to the front in anticipation of having ear rape, Blake, nineteen
, did not disappoint me this time and I got that piercing high note clearly evident within the crash. I also noted that the high vocals were very clear to me.
The second Blake track (twenty
) I noted having a great harmony with the female singer. Even with the digital sounding processing to her voice.twenty one
Tron had every nuance evident. And Moon Trance (twenty two
) was very detailed with both the rain sounds and the lighter.
Somewhere (twenty three
): I noted a slight bump in volume in the mid/high vocals, but slightly less fatigue that previously.
Sadley, for Jambi (twenty four
) I couldn't hear any echo shifting between channels.Overall
: I really like the detailed nuances but did not like the imaging that seamed to be missing. The ringing high tones were achieved, but not quite as crisp as I want/know/need them to be. I gave these a rating of 90
. Later on I decided that these must be the Noesis
by a process of elimination as when I evaluated D they were not quite as clear as them.D-Blind:
The last speaker of the night. I had heard 'point source' so many times by now I was getting grouchy. I also was trying to appeal to Andrew and Adam that it wasn't fair to make me/us guess what speakers were which if we didn't know what our choices were. Giving us a bank of 5 or 6 speaker pairs (Cats/Yorks/Noesis/Arrays/Danleys/Single 8's) to pick for four spots isn't fair...... Luckily they announced that this would be the last pair of speakers and they were the most point source like yet..... screw them....
The night was getting long, I like many others did not have the greatest amount of sleep the night before. As such, my notes are sparse.
got mention from me this time for having some smooth slides and plucks remaining sharp, but still not being overpowering.
Leaving on a Jet Plane, seven
, the triangle had a different pitch each time it was struck. Very Very detailed, something I had not heard previously.
Soul of a Man was eight
h and the whasper to his voice was very distinct and not blurred together at all.
Skipping to ten
, Home had the whistling section able to discern individual whistles from band members. Although the female vocals later on were slightly lost in the mix.
Go Insane had a twang to the strings that was audible at certain points, very good show track twelve
Skipping right on down to good ole Blake nineteen
: the high note, I had written, was not as high as I remembered it to be. Though again this might have been my ears getting tired of listening to high volumes the entire day.
Dance With Me (twenty
) I did not find the female vocal as spectacular as before.
Moon Trance had audible rain and the lighter effect not being overly loud. (twenty two
Jambi get a large nod this time. twenty four
. I wrote down the the imaging of the echo after each line was supurb and I underlined it three times. Now thats saying something.Overall:
I really liked these and gave them a rating of 85
. I didn't find them as good as the C set of speakers for highs, but had extremely detailed notes and precision. The imaging was also fantastic. My rating might not have been well thaught out as I was really just tired of listening by this point. I decided that these had to be the danleys
as they didnt fit what I rememberd of the noesis. But really, I wasn't too sure. I didn't know what they looked like or their construction...... both C and D sounded clearly better than A and B, but I didn't know what to assign each. I eventually ended on these being the danleys and awarded C the leftover choice of noesis.The Big Reveal:
Boy was I happy that I got A and B correct. I was absolutely sure that they were them.... plus there might have been a side bet for 50$ with Jonathan that almost happened.....but we both didn't commit to.... I would have won.... shucks.... I don't think I was guessing with confidence on the last two sets, as I was very unsure of what those stinking danleys looked like. In the end I was 2 for 4. But I could have been 4 for 4 had I known the design of the Danleys, I think.... that lack of imaging would have gave it to me....
Great event, lets do it again.... now if only I can remember not to forget equipment at Andrew's place every time I go......