At what point does bass become omni directional? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Kinda a loaded question but at what frequency does bass become omnidirectional. The reason I ask this is because I have seen more and more large speakers that are capable of going below 80hz with authority. Most have kept the sub crossover frequency the same but I have noticed some people are dropping their crossover down even more.

So yeah, at what point can the ears no longer tell where the bass is coming from?
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post #2 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 07:15 PM
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post #3 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 07:26 PM
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Omnidirectional is the wrong term. What you are after is the point at which human hearing sound localization ends. This average point is around 80Hz. Like all other things involving the senses it will be a little different for everyone. For some it will be higher, and others lower.

At the lower frequencies you mainly use phase and amplitude differences to determine localization. Your ears are a set distance apart, and as the wavelengths get larger/lower you will hit a point where your ears are too close together to register a difference anymore.
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post #4 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stgdz View Post


So yeah, at what point can the ears no longer tell where the bass is coming from?

The source becomes directionally locatable when the wavelength is short enough that it arrives at the eardrums at two points in time far enough apart that the brain can triangulate the source direction. That's roughly 100Hz for the average person. But subs often will have significant above bandwidth harmonic output, which will extend well into the directional frequencies. Lowering the crossover point helps minimize those harmonics, and the directional information they provide.
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post #5 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 08:21 PM
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It depends on your hearing and equipment, I set my subwoofer crossover at 60Hz because I can hear localization at 80Hz. Many receivers only go to 80Hz so you might be stuck, turning down the sub or moving it closer to your mains might help.

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post #6 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 08:29 PM
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From my thread on the issue as it applies to surround channels:

Quote:


Crossover below 60Hz: Surround is well localized. Low frequency (sub 60Hz) test tones cannot be localized on their own.

Crossover at 80Hz: Surround is well localized to me but my friend said he could occasionally pick out bass that had been moved to the fronts. I couldn't.

Crossover at 100Hz: Occasional shifts in bass can be detected, but its rare (at least to me).

Crossover at 120Hz: Some bass can now be recognized as being moved to the fronts. Surround effects start to become a little "thin".

Crossover at 150Hz: Definite shift in sound. Surround effects are noticeably suffering.


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post #7 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 09:26 PM
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The LFE channel has frequencies from 120hz down so providing the low pass on the sub is above that (which it should be) there will be some localization anyway so place the subs near the screen. This has nothing to do with what you cross the other speakers at.
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post #8 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 10:00 PM
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IT DOESN'T.

that humans can't localize low frequency is a myth.

it is simply that ROOMS cannot support low frequency WAVES.

in order for a WAVE to exist the ROOM must be several times larger than the wavelength.

what rooms have is merely oscillating pressure which does not have any *direction* and thus cannot be *localized*

in most rooms normal wave travel breaks down at around 50 hz.
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post #9 of 97 Old 08-09-2010, 10:23 PM
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It isn't a myth. Rooms not "supporting" low frequencies is a gross misunderstanding of acoustics that keep starting new myths. If you want to talk about nodes and anti-nodes then do so.

The OP said, "at what point can the ears no longer tell where the bass is coming from?" Below 80Hz is pretty much a big nada, even outdoors. In-doors room nodes can muddy things at higher levels.

There are indications that if the SPL is high enough other senses can augment the localization of low frequencies. No real conclusions as far as I know, as THD increases with SPL could be the cause.
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post #10 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 12:08 AM
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About at 200 hertz that omni-directional occurs. Using front firing subwoofers will be heard more, but down firing subwoofers will not heard where it is. Though the distance between the subwoofer and all the speakers have to be counted for or else localization will occur at any giving frequency when the distance is too far.
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post #11 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 04:53 AM
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post #12 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 06:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soho54 View Post

There are indications that if the SPL is high enough other senses can augment the localization of low frequencies. No real conclusions as far as I know, as THD increases with SPL could be the cause.

THD is the level of harmonics that shouldn't be there. THD percentage increases with volume, and as the level of harmonics increases so does directional information. DJs who push direct radiator subs hard can get THD of 20% and more, where not only are the subs easily locatable, they also operate as much as midbass radiators as they do as subs.
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post #13 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

THD is the level of harmonics that shouldn't be there.

Exactly, and as you turn up the volume(increase SPL) it get's worse, so what some are attributing to pure pressure acting on the body is not the SPL at all, but the HD.
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post #14 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 10:48 AM
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On a related subject.

I've got 4 subs that are basically in the 4 corners of the room. The back 2 aren't quite, but they are on the back wall. Anyway...I've found through a bunch of time spent tweaking that my smoothest, bass/midbass response is with the subs running up to a 200hz xover. This is both an average of 8 seating positions spread around the room and also my main listening spot. With my mains covering most of the 100-250hz area I get a lot of choppiness in the FR. I cannot localize the 80-200hz area because it basically comes from everywhere since the 4 subs all recieve the same signal. As long as you aren't overly close to one sub this holds true. In the back of the room I have a pair of tables for, poker, eating, projects, whatever and they are close to the back 2 subs. There you can easily tell that there is a lot of sound coming from those subs with such a high x over. However at that point the mains are some 25ft away and the subs are 4ft away so obviously the whole spectrum is blown out of proportion already.

Basically if you have 3 or 4 bass sources you can get away with a higher crossover point without localization problems, at least in your main listening area, if you set it up right. You might be losing any potential directional ques in the material that are supposed to be represented below your crossover, but IMHO the important directional ques are higher up in frequency or are at least accompanied by higher frequency content that will provide the tell anyway.

BTW no I don't crossover at 200hz. I use 100hz even though the response is worse. Reason being if I'm playing rock band or listening to music and I want to boost the bass up to club levels for fun it doesn't sound right at 200hz. Dumb I know, but hey it's my preference.
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post #15 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 11:36 AM
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that sounds right. you have good, um crazy great, subs though. the harmonics are often the problem with respect to localization. this is one reason geddes likes 4th order bandpass. it has an acoustic 2nd order lowpass, which helps bury the harmonics and the localization effects they provide.

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post #16 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 12:50 PM
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I found an Audio Engineering Society paper about the Detection of subwoofer depending on crossover frequency and spacial angle between subwoofer and main speaker. The study found that a crossover of ~120Hz seemed to be the highest you could go before localization with most of their test sounds. They tested 30 crossover frequencies between 55 and 227Hz. It is interesting to note that "the selected crossover frequency range was not wide enough for half of the listeners, as at some cases they did not detect the difference between reference and split signal even at the highest crossover frequency value."

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post #17 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 01:04 PM
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desert, i'll tear into that paper, but that is some great data. thanks for posting it.

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post #18 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricci View Post

On a related subject.

Basically if you have 3 or 4 bass sources you can get away with a higher crossover point without localization problems, at least in your main listening area, if you set it up right. You might be losing any potential directional ques in the material that are supposed to be represented below your crossover, but IMHO the important directional ques are higher up in frequency or are at least accompanied by higher frequency content that will provide the tell anyway.

BTW no I don't crossover at 200hz. I use 100hz even though the response is worse. Reason being if I'm playing rock band or listening to music and I want to boost the bass up to club levels for fun it doesn't sound right at 200hz. Dumb I know, but hey it's my preference.





I crossover to a single subwoofer location at about 45 Hz. There are a few reasons that I do that, but one of them is so I don't lose the directional cues for setero bass content. Some movies do have stereo bass content that sounds different when a mono subwoofer setup is used.
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post #19 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soho54 View Post

It isn't a myth. Rooms not "supporting" low frequencies is a gross misunderstanding of acoustics that keep starting new myths. If you want to talk about nodes and anti-nodes then do so.

Soho i already told you - you're just not capable of understanding me - i am too brilliant for you, sorry

PS: all those studies are BS. Scientists are too stupid to know how to conduct studies properly ( or they have been bought off, or both ). That's why all diseases are up by a factor of 10X is because people are following the recommendations of scientists who used studies to develop dietary guidelines etc.

People who use common sense to figure out what to eat end up being 10 times healther than those who follow the results of all the latest research - THAT is how utterly DUMB those scientists are. well, maybe not dumb but at least on the payroll of Monsanto or other poison manufacturers.

Point is unless you have designed the study yourself it is worthless, and even if you did - it is still worthless because *I* have not designed it. In any study there is a thousand factors involved out of which these ****ing idiots will look at 2 or 3 and out of a million possible conclusions will pull one out of their ass and claim that the data proves it when in fact they cherry picked which parameters to examine and which to neglect.

These are the same people who "proved" that hydrogenated fat was good for you because it wasn't saturated Then after you ****ing died from it they said, well, maybe not These are the same people who said you must eat a lot of processed carbs then you will be healthy - upon doing that all Americans are now Obese and Diabetic so now they're saying well, maybe not And now they're saying that cow farts cause global warming ... wait another 40 years see what they will say then.

Point is you have to be a ****** to trust scientists and their studies. They have ALWAYS been wrong in the past - why trust them now ?

NEWSFLASH: nobody has of yet PROVEN that 20hz cannot be localized. in all experiments either the people were able to localize the source ( blamed on harmonics or whatever ) or the experiment was conducted in a ROOM which would totally mess up the waves.

to PROVE that 20hz cannot be localized you need to go out into the desert, play 20hz with zero % THD and have a hundred people fail to localize it - such experiment is barely even possible to conduct, therefore for the next couple decades it will remain only a THEORY that bass cannot be localized without any REAL EVIDENCE to support it.

that is why it would be prudent to assume that bass CAN be localized at ANY frequency given an open space free from all reflections.
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post #20 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 11:28 PM
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"setero bass content"

such may be for huge rooms, theaters for example, but forgive me, the virtual sources created by modes will smear any stereo effect beyond recognition. what you are talking about is kind of like making all the walls out of mirrors, then shining a floodlamp at the listener from the left and right sides. the light will actually be hitting you from so many directions, that it will seem omnidirectional. the only exception that i can think of is if you have constrained layer boundaries that kill low frequency reflections. that would be the exceptional case though, not the main or principal case.

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post #21 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasyachkin View Post


NEWSFLASH: nobody has of yet PROVEN that 20hz cannot be localized. in all experiments either the people were able to localize the source ( blamed on harmonics or whatever ) or the experiment was conducted in a ROOM which would totally mess up the waves.



Do your own experiment.

I performed that experiment in my own room with large speakers. At 50 hz and below, no way to localize bass. At 60 Hz, barely localizable. 80 Hz is fairly easy to localize.

I used to haxe a study on this issue, but it is NLA!
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post #22 of 97 Old 08-10-2010, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"setero bass content"

such may be for huge rooms, theaters for example, but forgive me, the virtual sources created by modes will smear any stereo effect beyond recognition. what you are talking about is kind of like making all the walls out of mirrors, then shining a floodlamp at the listener from the left and right sides. the light will actually be hitting you from so many directions, that it will seem omnidirectional. the only exception that i can think of is if you have constrained layer boundaries that kill low frequency reflections. that would be the exceptional case though, not the main or principal case.



You are welcome to your own opinon on the matter.

I can easily notice the difference between a 50 Hz crossover and an 80 Hz crossover with the right content. Some but not most content has stereo bass.


Waterfall of one scene of a well known DVD with stereo bass. Left is left channel, and right is right channel.


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post #23 of 97 Old 08-11-2010, 12:03 AM
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Vasy, I think we are on the same page, I just didn't like the rooms not "supporting" low frequencies bit. I know, you know how it works, but you were a little too dry in that post and the sarcasm wasn't dripping onto the floor that time.

You are preaching to the choir this time. I never said you couldn't localize uber low frequency sound, only that the ears have a limit, and nothing else that broached other possible methods really found anything conclusive.

I have read over a half dozen AES papers, and they all suck. There were so many variables left hanging that they were pathetic. Head over to PubMed to learn some things with some meat behind them.

FWIW, I can localize a single sub not within a 1/4WL of the L speaker when crossed over at 60Hz when playing Yellow Submarine pretty easily inroom. It is what started my stereo bass kick for 2-channel stuff years ago. It is also why an L & R flat to 10Hz, plus and LFE sub(s) is my preferred multi-channel setup now. A big nice pressure wave is good with a normal setup, but a wave that moves from side to side with the action on screen is even better.
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post #24 of 97 Old 08-11-2010, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

such may be for huge rooms, theaters for example, but forgive me, the virtual sources created by modes will smear any stereo effect beyond recognition.

Actually, you don't need a big room.
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post #25 of 97 Old 08-11-2010, 01:50 AM
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post #26 of 97 Old 08-11-2010, 03:26 AM
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omg steve, that is one of the best posts that i have ever seen. lol.

"Soho i already told you - you're just not capable of understanding me - i am too brilliant for you, sorry"

the old vas is back!

"You are welcome to your own opinon on the matter."

"Actually, you don't need a big room."

so you guys are claiming that you can localize 60hz content in a small room?

even after the masking effect of the mains?

not sure what the claims are here.

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post #27 of 97 Old 08-11-2010, 03:45 AM
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jpc, are you running bipole mains/subs?

if i recall, you were. that might change things.

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post #28 of 97 Old 08-11-2010, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

so you guys are claiming that you can localize 60hz content in a small room?

even after the masking effect of the mains?

not sure what the claims are here.

Not sure how to make it more clear? It is a pretty easy test that anyone with two identical subs can try out.

"FWIW, I can localize a single sub not within a 1/4WL of the L speaker when crossed over at 60Hz when playing Yellow Submarine pretty easily inroom."

If you have never heard Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, the vocals are on the right track with the instruments on the left. Anyone I have ever played the track for was also able to either localize the sub when when using only the one on the right, or said they found something off when in that position, but couldn't explain why. They were not told what I was testing or which sub was playing at which time. If my wife notices something, there is something to it. It isn't pinpoint localization, you can't rattle off degrees and distance, but you can tell the instruments are on the Left, but there is part of the bass coming from the wrong side.

There are other tracks that will work as well, pretty much any rock from the 60s & early 70s, but this is the most extreme. 2-channel stuff just sounds better with stereo subs.

With multi-channel audio the need is not that great, but when it is there, it is there. My wife found a good demo with the Incredibles short Jack Jack Attack. When he does his Human Torch bit with a regular sub setup you get the usual generic bass noise/pressure filling the room, and the higher sounds of the flame follows from the right to left. With a stereo sub/full range L & R setup you do not get the room filling generic bass. You feel the flame hitting you from the right, and then cross over to the left.

I have been down this road several times in the past, and it never ends well. I don't plan on following it again. You get past most of the main arguments, it seems a consensus is being reached, and then it turns into "well, I was talking about true stereophonic/spatial bass, and not synthetic panned bass." "Fake stereo" doesn't count.
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post #29 of 97 Old 08-12-2010, 04:51 AM
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he writes about localization and other matters.

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post #30 of 97 Old 08-12-2010, 07:30 AM
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hey chu, nice to see you drop in.

interesting reading.

history is always full of irony and holman identifies a really good one. namely, that it was concern that theaters would not be able to produce the prodigious amounts of bass necessary for the battles in outer space in the movie star wars that gave rise to the development of thx. of course, there is no sound in outer space or any other vacuum. :-)

from what i've read, holman's book is as much a history book as a technical manual. i might just pick up a copy.

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