Acoustic treatment for my living room - Page 17 - AVS Forum
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

To wit, for my new theater my starting point is absolutely there. I just bought a JBL Synthesis SDEC-4500 processor/EQ and paired with two subs. I don't have a single bit of room acoustic material. It simply is not the priority to mess with that region until the low frequencies are taken care of. It is that important to the success of a room.
Everyone should make it a priority especially since it is so easy to investigate.

Amir...I am an open minded person, but I'd like to see graphs of this room...simple LF response and waterfall would be nice. Can you supply those?
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by terry j View Post

The types of things I have in mind that 'show' intent is that 'this instrument in this track which is coming towards me and then swooping off to the left' is only that instrument if you follow me. If it were somehow a psychoacoustic phenomenon brought about because of some FR anomaly (as an example of system induced effect) then it would always happen when those frequencies were excited. But no, that is not what you hear. The rest of the track stays stable with clearly defined depths and positions across the soundstage, yet floating upon it is this effect on this one instrument/melody line.

terry, I would take it a step further (firmly into personal opinion territory ) - IMO there is a reason why quadraphonic recordings, 5.1 audio, Q-sound etc etc didn't really take off. I don't think very many people want to listen to music with gimmicky effects swirling around. I also don't think many artists (except Alan Parsons perhaps, and the Flaming Lips occasionally) are interested in presenting their music in that fashion. So I would tend to believe that most spatial effects like that are, in fact, unintended. At any rate, for me its just not a priority to reproduce that with 100% faithfulness.


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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

You can use neutral sounding (flat response) headphone to get the feel of what the source sounds like when room interaction is not in play. Then work on the room by referencing it.

That won't work - the only recordings that are truly meant to be listened to with headphones are binaural recordings. If you build your room to reproduce the headphone experience you are moving further away from "accuracy" for nearly all recordings.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I explained that. A dedicates space needs furnishing. You can't take an empty box and expect it to sound right. But this is a fraction of what Keith does. He provides a comprehensive design that covers every aspect from making sure your room is fire proof to how to captivate the audience. Go to his web site and read what he does. He is not hired to tell you to put an acoustic product here or there.

But Amir - surely you would agree that your dedicated room (with prescribed acoustic treatments) sounds better than the average living room (with common household items "approximating" the same treatments), even if all the equipment was the same?
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

To wit, for my new theater my starting point is absolutely there. I just bought a JBL Synthesis SDEC-4500 processor/EQ and paired with two subs. I don't have a single bit of room acoustic material. It simply is not the priority to mess with that region until the low frequencies are taken care of. It is that important to the success of a room. Everyone should make it a priority especially since it is so easy to investigate.

As I recall, the JBL Synthesis SDEC-4500 processor/EQ costs in excess of $18,000, plus the cost of the subs, and of course the cost of the calibrator. So it is really only easy to investigate for someone with $25,000 or so to invest. Is that what you would suggest for the OP?
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:21 AM
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Dennis Erskine uses QSC processors for the same job - still pricey at around $3K-$5K I believe, but less than above
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

My opinion is that there is no "larger sound embedded in the music" for the majority of modern recordings - but that is only based on my own experiences.

It depends on the recording, but most pop music and most classical music I hear has at least some "large room" sounding reverb, and you can hear that clearly with headphones if your room isn't treated to absorb early reflections.

--Ethan

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Old 04-23-2012, 11:55 AM
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I'll give you the one example that best illustrates my thinking - the track 'kappa' from Mogwai's album Come On Die Young. Every time I listen to this it sounds to me like it was recorded in a giant warehouse - just a huge acoustical space.

Here is where it was actually recorded:

http://www.davefridmann.com/tarbox/B...g_Space.html#4

So for me, the whole notion of accuracy as it relates to reproducing the acoustical space of the recording is really just a mirage - looks good from a distance, up close not so much
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

That won't work - the only recordings that are truly meant to be listened to with headphones are binaural recordings. If you build your room to reproduce the headphone experience you are moving further away from "accuracy" for nearly all recordings.

It wasn't meant as literal reproduction of headphone experience. It certainly can work if you know what to listen to in sound characteristics.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:35 PM
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Interesting quote from Keith Yates' website about one of his home theater designs:

"Critical areas of the ceiling were also extensively treated to suppress first-order median-plane specular reflections from the front speakers for dramatically improved tonal and spatial focus."

I guess Floyd Toole would be apoplectic if he knew this is what Harman certified Master Calibrator KYDG is up to instead of simply relying on an overstuffed sofa.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

I'm wondering - are there software tools that can synthesize a virtual space during the mastering phase?

Here is an example of what can be accomplished:

http://www.music.mcgill.ca/thevirtua...scription.html

Altiverb 7 is one of the more popular convolution reverb plug-ins for mixing and mastering engineers. It uses acoustic samples from actual performance venues rather than synthetic reverb.

http://www.audioease.com/Pages/Altiverb/
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

So for me, the whole notion of accuracy as it relates to reproducing the acoustical space of the recording is really just a mirage - looks good from a distance, up close not so much

i think you've again confused the definition or intent of the word 'accuracy' within the context of this thread -- what is being discussed here with respect to the direct signal and the speaker-room interactions (minimizing the reproduction rooms masking on the direct signal - eg, hearing more of the room within the recording before your room has a chance to impose its sound on top).
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by localhost127 View Post

i think you've again confused the definition or intent of the word 'accuracy' within the context of this thread -- what is being discussed here with respect to the direct signal and the speaker-room interactions (minimizing the reproduction rooms masking on the direct signal - eg, hearing more of the room within the recording before your room has a chance to impose its sound on top).

If that is your definition of accuracy, then by all means take it to the logical conclusion - to be truly "accurate" would mean no sound imposed by your room whatsoever = anechoic room response.

Since we can assume this is not desirable, I submit the definition of accuracy must change. My definition of accuracy is "What the artist intended the recording to sound like to the listener".

The implications of that statement are complex, but I don't think it means that you should necessarily hear the "reality" of the recording, any more than a foley engineer wants you to hear he is really shaking a metal plate instead of conjuring thunder
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

My definition of accuracy is "What the artist intended the recording to sound like to the listener".

What the artist intended the recording to sound like to the listener is what the artist approved when the music was played back for him in the mastering studio. To replicate that, you would need to hear the music played back using the same or similar speakers in the same or similar acoustic space (which is probably not your average untreated living room).

Of course, you may prefer the sound of something other than what the artist intended the recording to sound like, in which case listening in an average untreated living room would be an option.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

If that is your definition of accuracy, then by all means take it to the logical conclusion - to be truly "accurate" would mean no sound imposed by your room whatsoever = anechoic room response.

the poorly guided assumptions continue -
you do not need an anechoic room to have an anechoic speaker-listener response.

are you characterizing blackbird C as a non-accurate room? do the room's reflections contribute destructively to intelligibility, localization, and imaging of the direct signal?

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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Since we can assume this is not desirable, I submit the definition of accuracy must change. My definition of accuracy is "What the artist intended the recording to sound like to the listener".


is the artist also the mixing and mastering engineer?

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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

The implications of that statement are complex, but I don't think it means that you should necessarily hear the "reality" of the recording, any more than a foley engineer wants you to hear he is really shaking a metal plate instead of conjuring thunder

if given the chance, would you rather have a smaller or larger room than your existing setup?
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophilesavant View Post

What the artist intended the recording to sound like to the listener is what he approved when the music was played back for him in the mastering studio. To replicate that, you would need to hear the music played back using the same or similar speakers in the same or similar acoustic space (which is probably not your average untreated living room).

I don't agree that how the music sounded in the mastering studio is definitively how the artist wants it to sound for the end listener, but even if that were true I agree with your second point - its unattainable anyways.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by localhost127 View Post

are you characterizing blackbird C as a non-accurate room? do the room's reflections contribute destructively to intelligibility, localization, and imaging of the direct signal?

Using your definition of accuracy ("minimizing the reproduction rooms masking on the direct signal") then I would have to conclude that that room is less accurate than an anechoic room, yes. Less pleasing to listen to music in? certainly not!

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is the artist also the mixing and mastering engineer?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no - but the artist is the final arbiter on how the recording should sound.

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if given the chance, would you rather have a smaller or larger room than your existing setup?

Larger - but not necessarily for acoustical reasons. I'd like a larger screen and more rows of seating
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

I don't agree that how the music sounded in the mastering studio is definitively how the artist wants it to sound for the end listener, but even if that were true I agree with your second point - its unattainable anyways.

it's about utilizing a neutral environment in order to make critical mixing decisions such that the source material translates well into a variety of acoustical environments and reproduction systems --- and NOT making mixing decisions based on how the room is modifying the response at the listening position (transfer function of room).

the most simplistic example - if LF is not addressed in the control room and there is a 20dB peak at 80hz, the engineer will compensate for this by cutting 80hz in the source. take the source material to another reproduction system, environment, room etc of which the 80hz anomaly is not present at the new room's listening position, and there will be a massive hole of 80hz content missing...

now think about making critical panning decisions during the mix phase with respect to having accurate localization and imaging ...
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Using your definition of accuracy ("minimizing the reproduction rooms masking on the direct signal") then I would have to conclude that that room is less accurate than an anechoic room, yes. Less pleasing to listen to music in? certainly not!

you ignored my commentary - do you acknowledge that you do not need an anechoic room to achieve an anechoic speaker-listener response?

and do you or do you not feel blackbird C is an accurate room to make such critical mixing decisions, even though it is not an "anechoic room"?
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

I don't agree that how the music sounded in the mastering studio is definitively how the artist wants it to sound for the end listener,

What are you basing this on, interview with number of artists, stats somewhere, your opinion...etc?
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but even if that were true I agree with your second point - its unattainable anyways.

Such a broad brush. Why? Did someone tell you that it's supposed to be 100% match?
High fidelity is judged on the degree of its faithfulness to the reference. Closer the better.
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Old 04-23-2012, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by localhost127 View Post

it's about utilizing a neutral environment in order to make critical mixing decisions such that the source material translates well into a variety of acoustical environments and reproduction systems --- and NOT making mixing decisions based on how the room is modifying the response at the listening position (transfer function of room).

the most simplistic example - if LF is not addressed in the control room and there is a 20dB peak at 80hz, the engineer will compensate for this by cutting 80hz in the source. take the source material to another reproduction system, environment, room etc of which the 80hz anomaly is not present at the new room's listening position, and there will be a massive hole of 80hz content missing...

now think about making critical panning decisions during the mix phase with respect to having accurate localization and imaging ...

Yes, and that speaks to why you would want to attain a certain kind of room response in order to make mixing decisions. IMO it says surprisingly little about how the artist wants the recording to sound to the listener. It also says little about whether or not the mixing room used by a particular recording actually attained those goals in the first place...
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by localhost127 View Post

you ignored my commentary - do you acknowledge that you do not need an anechoic room to achieve an anechoic speaker-listener response?

Can you define "anechoic speaker-listener response" for me, and whether or not that would imply accuracy?

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and do you or do you not feel blackbird C is an accurate room to make such critical mixing decisions, even though it is not an "anechoic room"?

Clearly mixing engineers do not feel it is an accurate room to make critical mixing decisions, because they have thrown heavy curtains over the diffusion Indeed, that sort of encapsulates my point above - what you might need to do a mixing job accurately is not necessarily how you might want to listen for enjoyment sake.

Similarly, someone who does a lot of Photoshop work might have different requirements for a display device (for example an exaggerated gamma curve) than someone who simply wants to view the results of that work.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

IMO it says surprisingly little about how the artist wants the recording to sound to the listener.

From your perspective, how (and where) does an artist make decisions about the way he wants the recording to sound to the listener?
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by audiophilesavant View Post

From your perspective, how (and where) does an artist make decisions about the way he wants the recording to sound to the listener?

Often they will take the recording home, or listen to it in the car, or on an iPod, or in the club - ie. listen to it the way most people would listen to it. It makes some intuitive sense - you want it to sound good to the wider audience, not just on high end systems.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Often they will take the recording home, or listen to it in the car, or on an iPod, or in the club - ie. listen to it the way most people would listen to it.

They will? How did you find this out?
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Can you define "anechoic speaker-listener response" for me, and whether or not that would imply accuracy?

do you know what an anechoic speaker-listener response is? because it should be pretty straight-forward from the terminology alone...what is there to describe?
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

terry, I would take it a step further (firmly into personal opinion territory ) - IMO there is a reason why quadraphonic recordings, 5.1 audio, Q-sound etc etc didn't really take off. I don't think very many people want to listen to music with gimmicky effects swirling around. I also don't think many artists (except Alan Parsons perhaps, and the Flaming Lips occasionally) are interested in presenting their music in that fashion. So I would tend to believe that most spatial effects like that are, in fact, unintended. At any rate, for me its just not a priority to reproduce that with 100% faithfulness.

Hey, maybe you're right about quad? I guess there woulda been lots of instances of 'let's really wow the audience wuth all sorts of weird ****' eh. Ulitmately unreal, displeasing and effects foir effects sake.

I can't quite remember what in your post made me respond, too lazy to check, but I am pretty sure I was NOT trying to make the point we should all listen to music 'with gimmicky effects'....so let's be clear on that.

But what I am saying is that a system that CAN reproduce things such as the above (and they are great when you find them, not good for the solo viola in the chamber orhcestra to come and circle your head but fanatastic when a synth line in a crazy mix does it) can ALSO reproduce any and all ambience in the recording, THAT is what sorts the men from the boys and something which I think you say later is very desirable ('big sound, ambience etc) and we all crave.

That sense of space is very present on most recordings in my experience.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by localhost127 View Post

so do you understand the fundamental behaviors of acoustical energy with respect to the modal and specular region?

Hmmm. I thought you asked me why I had labeled the graphs as such and I explained. Here it is again:

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Originally Posted by localhost127 View Post

it may also be beneficial to label the two regions (modal and specular), vs confusing labels like "room" and "speaker".

The graph came from Allan Devantier. You probably don't know him but he is one of the top researchers at Harman, working with Dr. Toole among other. You can see his name on the graph (see top right). Dr. Toole also has his version of it:



The labels accurately reflect the fact that if you take a speaker and put it in two different rooms, by far the most impact on its response is on the left-hand side. Dr. Toole shows these measurements in this book. As noted, the right hand can actually be controlled when the speaker is designed. So in that sense, we can factor out the room for the most part.

Since we know the graphs were by Allan Devantier and Dr. Toole, is your new question whether they know what a modal region is? Really?

Quote:


your original statement: "1. Sound behaves differently in your room depending on its frequency." --- then you refrain from actually detailing how the behavior differs??

I am not writing a book here but did explain. The above graphs were part of it as was the text that went with it. If it didn't suffice, I apologize. More to come in the detailed article.

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it's funny that you quote harman and still no schroeder documentation - you know, the guy who is somewhat responsible for a lot of this ...

Schroeder did not come up with the measurements above. Nor the fact that we can mostly predict the response of the speaker in room above transition frequency based on its anechoic measurements. That is the insight above. It leads to the answer of "why use a good speaker." And why focus on low frequencies.

I think the confusion continues to be that you think this is just a simple observation of what is a modal region and what is not. It is not at all. It is the next major step toward understanding what is going on between our speakers and rooms. This is another major distinction in how Dr. Toole talks about it in that he starts with the device that excites the room: the speaker. If you don't understand what that device does and how it accomplishes it, how can you ever understand room acoustics? It is not like the room makes sound by itself!

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Old 04-23-2012, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

They will? How did you find this out?

Some quick poking around:

http://news.qthemusic.com/2012/04/gu...sic_sound.html

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It's generally accepted that for an album to be a classic it has to sound good in a car. For example, Beck approved the final mixes for Odelay after listening to them while driving around Los Angeles

http://www.dmackinnon.com/2012/01/ti...tes-on-the-go/

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In my opinion, the car mixes are the most important as that where the majority of people tend to listen to their music

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/ar.../t-211218.html

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Singer/songwriter Krista Detor recently mentioned on her blog she checked the final mixes of her new album that way.:shake: I wonder what modern CDs would sound like if artists would take this thing a lot more seriously.

I can't speak for the artists mentioned, but it's not an uncommon tactic for rock/pop music to listen to the final mixes on a car stereo or equivalent (my band did this with our record before we sent it to the label; IIRC John Fogerty did this with his stuff) . It replicates the conditions under which a lot of people listen to music, and it's a good check for whether you've mixed the volume of something too low or high (for example, by your choice of where to place it in the stereo field which doesn't carry through to smaller speakers closer together) or, for example, have relied on your big expensive studio speakers to deliver some of your desired bass response and subsequently find that it disappears on smaller speakers.

(Yes this last is a thread criticizing the process! But the point is that its fairly common)
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:49 PM
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free bump, I have pretty much the same room minus the windows. I'm also building panels (9 done so far).

Where did you learn to build panels?
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Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Some quick poking around:

http://news.qthemusic.com/2012/04/gu...sic_sound.html
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It's generally accepted that for an album to be a classic it has to sound good in a car. For example, Beck approved the final mixes for Odelay after listening to them while driving around Los Angeles

http://www.dmackinnon.com/2012/01/ti...tes-on-the-go/
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In my opinion, the car mixes are the most important as that where the majority of people tend to listen to their music

http://www.stevehoffman.tv/forums/ar.../t-211218.html
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Singer/songwriter Krista Detor recently mentioned on her blog she checked the final mixes of her new album that way.:shake: I wonder what modern CDs would sound like if artists would take this thing a lot more seriously.

I can't speak for the artists mentioned, but it's not an uncommon tactic for rock/pop music to listen to the final mixes on a car stereo or equivalent (my band did this with our record before we sent it to the label; IIRC John Fogerty did this with his stuff) . It replicates the conditions under which a lot of people listen to music, and it's a good check for whether you've mixed the volume of something too low or high (for example, by your choice of where to place it in the stereo field which doesn't carry through to smaller speakers closer together) or, for example, have relied on your big expensive studio speakers to deliver some of your desired bass response and subsequently find that it disappears on smaller speakers.

(Yes this last is a thread criticizing the process!

So you assumed that "artists" mean Rock and Pop musicians only? No Jazz, classical ... the rest?
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But the point is that its fairly common)

Beck, D' MacKinnon, Krista Detor, a member of SH forum named "Cassiel", John Fogerty (if "Cassiel" can recall) and "Cassiel" says it's not uncommon. In your knowledge, what percentage would that account for in the grand scheme of the entire music album industry?
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