Originally Posted by Brad Horstkotte
That's the most common/traditional approach, and one that would best emulate the experience of listening to a band at a concert, etc. - but not the only/"right" way - I was very impressed by the experience of the "stage mixes" that AIX records offers (filecat13 was kind enough to hook several of us up for a tour/demo at Mark's studio last year):
I prefer that feeling of being "in" the music, vs. listening to a performance in front of me - sadly, not many artists are available with this kind of mix, and even fewer mainstream.
Just to be clear, I didn't mean to imply that the approach I was advocating was the only "right" way. Reproduction of music or movies is meant to please, and everyone should be free to choose what they find most enjoyable. I used to have a number of clients that were orchestra conductors and they were used to hearing the performance in a more near-field, immersive manner and they liked their home audio systems to do the same.
Most folks don't listen from the conductors podium, so a row M perspective tend to be the target perspective. There are a number of complex psycho-visual/acoustical variables that ultimately need to be taken into account. In the past, most music playback at home was without any visual input of the performers. This often caused a skewing of experiential desire for hyper focused presentation of the performing instruments to help overcome the fact that we can't "see" where they are. I used to take my customers to concerts and had them listen with their eyes closed. Most often they were very surprised at how difficult it was to localize any particular instrument in space, compared to when their eyes were open.
The "common/traditional" approach, as you call it, has been to attempt to recreate the original venue experience of a live event in one's home. But, one's experience of a live event varies dramatically depending a number of variables. Since we don't have all the cues of a live event at home, each of us finds a different way to make up for the missing inputs. Some prefer over focused images as their cure, others want a more "front row" perspective, and still others like to be in the middle of the event to experience "aliveness".
So, while each person is granted their personal approach to adding their favorite spice to their musical recipe, with the current formats available it is most effective to have a common goal for a listening perspective, or these conversations end up being circular, with a tug of war over how one person's view of what device or systemization is argued as better than another... when often it is more of an argument of desired perspective.
I think we can agree that if we are all attempting to arrive at a different actual audio presentation to meet what we personally need to satisfy our experiential needs, it is difficult to make progress with any efficiency or success. The ultimate limitation in reproduction is not a technology limitation, but one of lack of standards for a record/playback formulation. As builders of the playback systems, we really don't have any recording paradigm to leverage from. Every recording engineer has their pet methods to capture a musical event and it is amazing that we can have a satisfying playback of that random process at all.
If we have virtually an infinite number of recording techniques, and just as many differentiated desires for what we look for in our playback experience... well I'll let you fill in the blank, as to how that is a recipe for disaster, if not lack of progress.
That is one reason why I recommend that same old boring "common/traditional" approach of trying to be transported to the actual sounds present at the listening seat of a structured live event. If we work towards a focused goal at the playback definition (and eventually at the recording end) we have a fighting chance to achieve at least one dimension of success.
Stepping off the soap box now...
- JamesEdited by PureBASS - 2/15/13 at 12:49pm