Can Recorded Music Ever Be Indistinguishable From Live? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Can Recorded Music Ever Be Indistinguishable From Live?
Yes, it's at least theoretically possible 58 65.17%
No, it's not possible under any circumstances 31 34.83%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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post #31 of 58 Old 04-22-2013, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by darenwh View Post

Another issue with the live performance is that people are social creatures and they play off of one another. At a live event the excitement of the other listeners, how the performers physically and emotionally present themselves, the extra noise of the crowd, the ambiance of the location, these all play together in impacting how you perceive the music. Even though the sound created may be perfect, you can never immitate the other things that make a live performance better than what you will hear at home.

In other words, can you duplicate the music? Yes. Can you duplicate the experience? No.

They sure do impact the experience, but those aspects of live performance are why I don't go to concerts anymore. As for it being "better" that what I hear at home, that really depends on the genre as well as the quality of the stereo system. 

 

With the exception of orchestras and concert halls (unamplified), I generally enjoy music through my own stereo as opposed to listening to someone else's PA system.


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post #32 of 58 Old 04-22-2013, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Burton View Post

Rock on Morbidcorpse, I like your taste in music smile.gif
Why thank you, sir. It's always nice to meet another metal head. Truth be told, I mostly listen to stuff that is much, much harder than the previously mentioned bands, but I didn't think any of the old fogies who post here would know who Guttural Secrete and Cattle Decapitation were wink.gif

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post #33 of 58 Old 04-22-2013, 09:42 AM
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Why thank you, sir. It's always nice to meet another metal head. Truth be told, I mostly listen to stuff that is much, much harder than the previously mentioned bands, but I didn't think any of the old fogies who post here would know who Guttural Secrete and Cattle Decapitation were wink.gif

There's been music like that since at least the mid-1970's. Are these guys vegetarians?


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post #34 of 58 Old 04-22-2013, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by morbidcorpse View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Burton View Post

Rock on Morbidcorpse, I like your taste in music smile.gif
Why thank you, sir. It's always nice to meet another metal head. Truth be told, I mostly listen to stuff that is much, much harder than the previously mentioned bands, but I didn't think any of the old fogies who post here would know who Guttural Secrete and Cattle Decapitation were wink.gif

Some of us old fogies may know who they are but do not care to listen to metal much any more....been there done that, grew up.

ps forgot the ubiquitous smiley face rolleyes.gif

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post #35 of 58 Old 04-22-2013, 12:51 PM
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Is it possible? Sure, under sufficiently controlled conditions.

But what has to be controlled goes far beyond the sound, because of all the non-aural cues that tell you what kind of space you're in, whether it's full of people, how close or far away you are from the stage, etc., etc. Eliminate every variable if you can, and then... yes, maybe.

Put a classical guitarist in an anechoic room and record a performance. Play it back on a high quality sound system and *maybe* you could be fooled into thinking the guitarist is in the room. If the room is big enough that you don't notice the lack of air movement and other sensory cues from the presence of another person, and if you're not intimately familiar with the sound of the particular guitar. Even then, played in a normal room, a guitar is not stationary; as the guitarist shifts position and the angle of the guitar changes in relation to the walls, there will be audible shifts that will be very difficult to record and reproduce convincingly (except perhaps with a surround recording made in a room similar timbre to the listening room).

Also, contrary to some of the above discussion, rock concerts are not usually simple amplification of a mix that would sound correct if listened to separately. There's a reason that sound-board recordings are so often vocal-heavy and drum-light -- everything on stage isn't the same volume, as we all know since we've all played in bands. Play the house mix through the venue sound system without the band playing, and the lack of sound coming from the band itself would be instantly noticeable except, perhaps from the farthest seats in the largest venues.

I made a lot of binaural recordings back in the 70s -- yes, even using a foam head -- and while they could be very convincing, there was never any danger of believing you were somewhere else. You had to listen via headphones, for one thing.

I could imagine playing that anechoically-recorded guitar through an excellent sound system placed properly on the stage of a small performance venue (where a live performance would not have to be mic'ed, say a 300-seat auditorium), and having it be convincing if your eyes were closed. You'd be far enough away that you wouldn't miss the physical presence of the guitarist; the playback would interact with the room's acoustics similarly to the actual guitar. If you were surrounded by other audience members, they would tend to even out and mask any aberrations or anomalies.

But the more complex the music and the performance, the more missing physical cues there would be.

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post #36 of 58 Old 04-22-2013, 10:55 PM
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the dynamics simply cannot be captured and reproduced.
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post #37 of 58 Old 04-23-2013, 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by speavler View Post

the dynamics simply cannot be captured and reproduced.

Of all the issues, capturing and reproducing the dynamic range of live music is the least challenging. The fact is that lip sync and pre-recorded instruments are used in concerts all the time and 99.99% of the time the audience has no clue.


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post #38 of 58 Old 04-23-2013, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by speavler View Post

the dynamics simply cannot be captured and reproduced.
Sure they can. But it's not a cakewalk. That's why so many people say it's impossible.

The place where most people fall down is by making compromises and using cheap and easy solutions. You can't do that if you're serious about faithful reproduction of the source. Most people aren't willing to buy enough amplification (and loudspeakers that can generate high SPLs) to stay linear throughout the occasional transient that might be 0.001% of the entire listening experience. Why have 10kW of power when it's not being used 99.999% of the time? Because that's what the goal requires, that's why.

I've been to rock concerts. I've engineered rock concerts. Obviously there's more to a gig than what meets the ear, so of course you can't replicate the whole visceral experience in the audio domain alone. Or with any non-immersive technology that's available to us today. Maybe some day. But you can make a recording of a piano recital that a listener could enjoy equally as well as attending the same event blindfolded and not having any personal contact while there. But even High End dealers aren't going to sell much of the equipment needed to make this a reality.

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post #39 of 58 Old 04-23-2013, 01:05 PM
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Attended a high school musical with a live orchestra in a pit a few nights ago.
My ears had forgotten just how good live orchestral music sounds.
I guess it is POSSIBLE somebody is capable of fooling our ears.
Maybe a guy with a guitar in a living room could be duplicated, but with something as sonically complicated as an orchestra, I tend to doubt it.
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post #40 of 58 Old 04-23-2013, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by migraine24-7 View Post

Funny thing about this subject is that some people are use to listening to cd, mp3 etc and when they see the artist live they don't like their sound. And vice versa. We all "hear" so differently from each other that one person could say the recording is spot on and another could say its off.

That is funny. We like what we know, even if what we know isn't so great.

To answer the question, I say yes. Given enough time, effort and money I believe it can be done. My caveat would be that the type of music and instruments must be carefully chosen, and the playback would have to happen in the room where the recording was made or one built to be acoustically identical.

Would it be worth the cost and effort -- heavens no. Not to this farm boy.

Another approach is to use listeners who were extremely hard of hearing. Then it would be easy.

So yes, the answer is yes.
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post #41 of 58 Old 04-23-2013, 03:30 PM
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There's been music like that since at least the mid-1970's. Are these guys vegetarians?
Cattle Decapitation are, yes. Their artwork and lyrics contain themes which place humans in the same situations and conditions to which animals are often subjected by man.

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post #42 of 58 Old 04-23-2013, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Some of us old fogies may know who they are but do not care to listen to metal much any more....been there done that, grew up.

ps forgot the ubiquitous smiley face rolleyes.gif
To suggest that those who like 'metal' are immature, or less, "grown up," while also having sub-standard tastes in the arts than those who don't, is rather close-minded and ignorant. But if that's the box you wish to live in, more power to you. More metal for me! smile.gif

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post #43 of 58 Old 04-23-2013, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post

Sure they can. But it's not a cakewalk. That's why so many people say it's impossible.

The place where most people fall down is by making compromises and using cheap and easy solutions. You can't do that if you're serious about faithful reproduction of the source. Most people aren't willing to buy enough amplification (and loudspeakers that can generate high SPLs) to stay linear throughout the occasional transient that might be 0.001% of the entire listening experience. Why have 10kW of power when it's not being used 99.999% of the time? Because that's what the goal requires, that's why.
The weakest link in the signal chain is the mic. Buy the highest end DACs, kW of amplification, and line arrays of the best speakers, and you still have the problem of garbage in, garbage out.

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post #44 of 58 Old 04-23-2013, 10:26 PM
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The weakest link in the signal chain is the mic. Buy the highest end DACs, kW of amplification, and line arrays of the best speakers, and you still have the problem of garbage in, garbage out.

Aaaaaaabsolutely!
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post #45 of 58 Old 04-24-2013, 06:01 AM
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Aaaaaaabsolutely!

Yeah I agree, the microphone followed by the guy or girl who does the mixing. Usually those are the weak points. Of course there's whole genres of music that don't require microphones, but that's another story.


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post #46 of 58 Old 04-24-2013, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Looneybomber View Post

The weakest link in the signal chain is the mic. Buy the highest end DACs, kW of amplification, and line arrays of the best speakers, and you still have the problem of garbage in, garbage out.
A couple of my best mentors said that all transducers are the weak points, and that's where the most money should be invested. After many years of experience, I agree with that. Microphones, instrument pickuips, phono cartridges, loudspeaker systems, the whole lot. I'll go one step farther and also include A/D and D/A converters.

If it's a high quality recording, we can be pretty much assured that the very finest microphones and miking techniques were used to make that recording. That leaves your loudspeakers as the next most likely weak link. If they can't resolve the entire bandwidth of human hearing, and the loudest sounds you're likely to hear (that includes transients), they are a broken link. It's a mighty rare home loudspeaker system that can truly handle the entire depth and breadth of sounds that they must be able to reproduce in order to be convincing. It's a fairly rare studio loudspeaker system that can...

Again, it can be done, but it's beyond the financial reach of most home listeners.

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post #47 of 58 Old 04-24-2013, 07:20 PM
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GIGO
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post #48 of 58 Old 04-25-2013, 09:17 AM
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Recordings generally don't try to create a facsimile of what the live concert sounded like. That is, recordings tend to present a much closer perspective of the musicians, like you're sitting 8 to 10 rows from the performers. It just sounds weird when listening to a recording in your home and the performers sound as far away from you as they usually are in-concert. Further, semi-dry concert halls always sound much drier on recordings to the point that sound is unpleasant. There are lots of venues that live in person sound perfectly fine, but then on recording they sound painfully dry. This is why chuches are often used as recording venues while they are often too reverberant for live performances.

And then of course there is this whole issue of stereo recording sound vs. multichannel.
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post #49 of 58 Old 04-27-2013, 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Of all the issues, capturing and reproducing the dynamic range of live music is the least challenging. The fact is that lip sync and pre-recorded instruments are used in concerts all the time and 99.99% of the time the audience has no clue.
sorry i don't make it to many britney spears concerts. will have to take your word on that. smile.gif
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post #50 of 58 Old 04-27-2013, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speavler View Post

Quote:
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Of all the issues, capturing and reproducing the dynamic range of live music is the least challenging. The fact is that lip sync and pre-recorded instruments are used in concerts all the time and 99.99% of the time the audience has no clue.
sorry i don't make it to many britney spears concerts. will have to take your word on that. smile.gif
Heard any good renditions of the Star Spangled Banner lately? http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/01/22/beyonce-lip-synched-star-spangled-banner-reports-say/
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post #51 of 58 Old 04-28-2013, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post

A couple of my best mentors said that all transducers are the weak points, and that's where the most money should be invested. .

An engineer from JBL told me the same thing. The reason why speakers all sound so different is because they are all introducing their form of distortion to the music.
If you want real, I think you need to get away from the old box with cones and domes and get some electrostatic speakers. I think stuff sound pretty damn realistic coming out of my acoustat 2+2's.
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post #52 of 58 Old 04-28-2013, 04:05 PM
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An engineer from JBL told me the same thing. The reason why speakers all sound so different is because they are all introducing their form of distortion to the music.
If you want real, I think you need to get away from the old box with cones and domes and get some electrostatic speakers. I think stuff sound pretty damn realistic coming out of my acoustat 2+2's.

Yup, electrostatics can make you believe in ghosts. Even Magnepans have the same effect.
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post #53 of 58 Old 04-29-2013, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by dclark View Post

An engineer from JBL told me the same thing. The reason why speakers all sound so different is because they are all introducing their form of distortion to the music.
If you want real, I think you need to get away from the old box with cones and domes and get some electrostatic speakers. I think stuff sound pretty damn realistic coming out of my acoustat 2+2's.

Yup, electrostatics can make you believe in ghosts. Even Magnepans have the same effect.

As long as you don't need bass. rolleyes.gif

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post #54 of 58 Old 04-29-2013, 12:43 PM
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As long as you don't need bass. rolleyes.gif

Well, right... I thought that went without saying in this crowd. smile.gif These are often paired with subs.

They also don't do high volume very well.
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post #55 of 58 Old 04-29-2013, 04:41 PM
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I do know one thing ,no piano live performance will ever match or surpass Glenn Gould's recorded Goldberg Variations rolleyes.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2YMSt3yfko
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post #56 of 58 Old 04-29-2013, 04:53 PM
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I do know one thing ,no piano live performance will ever match or surpass Glenn Gould's recorded Goldberg Variations rolleyes.gif

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2YMSt3yfko

That guy has some pretty odd looking technique and posture. But it's like Horowitz... if you can play like that you can play however you want! smile.gif
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post #57 of 58 Old 05-03-2013, 08:34 PM
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There's a more important question: can live ever sound live? Because a "live" performance today for most performers outside of soloists or small bands in a small club is not really a live performance. It generally goes through a mixing board with all kinds of digital enhancements and outboard gear, including compressors that wind up making live performances sound like recorded performances. And that's aside from bands who use sequencers and the like.

Even Broadway shows are generally mixed to sound like recordings.

So IMO, recorded music already sounds like much "live" music because live music doesn't sound live.

Now take today's average crappy group who uses auto-tuning or automatic double-tracking on vocals and the live performance sounds even more like a recording.

Go back to some 1950s recordings, especially jazz recordings. Many of those sound absolutely live. Go back to 1960s equipment, such as a good tube preamp, Dyna 70 power amps and AR-3a speakers and put an acoustic recording on it that was recorded well, like acoustic guitar or classical strings and you could not hear the difference between live and that audio. Yet, go do an esoteric audio show and even $30,000 speakers just simply don't sound very real to me. They tend to sound very thin and mid-ranges (with some exceptions).
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post #58 of 58 Old 05-04-2013, 04:22 PM
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I voted yes but have to clarify what I meant by that. I think that it is theoretically possible to capture the sound from a live performance and replay the recording to a listener with enough fidelity that the listener will judge that they are listening to a live performance.
However a minor point: you cannot perfectly reproduce that particular performance. The reason is that the theoretically perfect recording system will capture all the effects of the music being played including the audio signals of the music reflecting off of the environment. When the music is replayed it comes out of the playback apparatus exactly as recorded and reflects off of the listener's environment, therefore modifying the sound, however slightly. I think even if using headphones, interaction and resonances with your skull would change it. The only way you might be able to avoid this would be to have hypothetical environment, including the playback apparatus itself that is perfectly anechoic.
From a practical standpoint though given our limitations as humans, it could a perfect reproduction to our ears.
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