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I listen mainly to hip-hop, electronic, experimental, alternative, classic soul, and rock music.


Lemme say I love audio and I like it to sound good but it seems so subjective when I attempt to do research on the subject. I am not very knowledgeable as of yet on audio and I am definitely not an audiophile, but I do hold my audio to a high standard.


But with so many different layers and aspects to music and the playback of it, it's hard to decipher what sounds bad and what sounds good.


I've heard some people say it should sound like as if they are playing right in front of you, perfect audio reproduction, but how can this truly apply to all forms of music? Hip-hop in particular is grounded in sampling and reconstruction of musical pieces as a backdrop for vocals. How can spacious sound reproduction apply to electronic music when synths are the "instrument"?


I can understand if you're listening to a live album why wanting that perfect reproduction of the sound is important, but that can't possibly apply to every type of music.


And then there is the element of the playback of music. Some people swear by the fact that uncompressed files are superior and the only way to listen to music, yet from what I can tell, I can hear no discernible difference between an uncompressed audio file vs 256 Kbps AAC iTunes Plus file for example.


And then there is the whole element of getting high quality headphones. I have Harmon Kardon CLs which for me excellent because they seem to be very neutral sounding so I could go from listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon to Jay-Z's The Blueprint and enjoy the experience.


OH and then this whole DAC talk because in addition to having to play high quality files with high quality headphones you'll need a high quality DAC to convert that analog headphone signal to a digital signal otherwise it won't suffice for an audiophile!



And of course we can't forget the source material's mastering, it's gotta be well-mastered too otherwise no matter what you do it'll sound like crap!



My God audio is so abstract..
 

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It's so abstract folks write books about it. This is one that gets to the core of your question; "Science in the service of Art," to quote the author. .
http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduction-Acoustics-Psychoacoustics-Loudspeakers/dp/0240520092/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365804873&sr=8-1&keywords=toole%2C+floyd


Audio is a sensory experience. Train your senses and you may start to hear compression artifacts and DAC issues. Just be careful you don't ruin your listening experience...
http://seanolive.blogspot.com/2011/04/version-204-of-harman-how-to-listen-now.html


Then, look for web sites that demonstrate the issues in an ABX format.
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Main_Page
http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Listening_Tests


I've come to think of audio as subtle rather than abstract...


Have fun,

Frank
 

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All I can add is from the 70s rock group "The Who" they said "play it loud", I'd say "play it loud and clean", ie low distortion at loud levels.

Trivia question.

On which album did they state that?


Sent from my iPad2 64GB using Tapatalk
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex  /t/1467997/what-is-considered-good-audio#post_23198780


All I can add is from the 70s rock group "The Who" they said "play it loud", I'd say "play it loud and clean", ie low distortion at loud levels.

Trivia question.

On which album did they state that?


Sent from my iPad2 64GB using Tapatalk


Wow, good question.


Many records back in the day had been labeled on the record, or album cover "Play Loud", or something similiar. IIRC, it worked!


Now, as to your question, myself being a huge Who fan/Pete Townsend fan, ... I'd say Who's Next, and I'm thinking one release of Live at Leeds similar a similiar labeling.


Engineer Bill Szymczyk's stuff often had such notations. He was brought aboard for Face Dances , the first post Keith Moon's passing release. Due to the phenomenal success of The Eagles The Long Run,and success with a string of Eagles releases, engineer Szymczyk (Sim-zick) was brought on board to apply his hot touch with The Who. (Everyone enjoyed the process, except after they left the sessions, and upon hearing the final mixdown product, bassist Entwistle thought the sound of his instrument didn't represent him well, and seemed quite different than it sounded during the session playback.)


Apple records also has labeling like that in the center. Also, Rush's first self titled release, w/Working Man, had "For best results play at max volume" on the back of the album cover.


Also, while we're tripping down memory lane
, I remember Boston's debut (one of the finest debut rock releases of all time), had a brief story about the then unknown band of players. As the record played, reading the album cover it described the individuals, then occasionally reminding you to "listen to the music", "listen to that voice", or something like that ... very, very powerful stuff at the time.


I've been fortunate enough to see the Who on several occasions. Having mixed rock acts in venues as big as 24,000, and I've been involved in production of live events up to stadium size, however I've never experienced the amount of stage volume as what emanates from Townsend and the gang,...unbelievable in this day of in-ears, etc. The foldback, combined with his playback rig 2(3x10")cabs, on top of 2(2x12") extension cabs. If you ever get the chance, sitting close enough to hear his stage sound is lovely. He's been a working/touring pro for 50 years, the guy is competent. Too bad Entwistle enjoyed the blow and hookers more than the advice of his cardiac doctor, because his live work was hands down, better than any rock bassist in the world, .. imo. Enjoyed an evening of his solo band during a small club tour in the 90's, .. damn what a treat. Sat 15' in front of him and his massive rig that night, what a treat that was.


*

Sorry for the OT, but those that haven't had the pleasure, check the finest rock bassist ever here . The visual quality is rough, but one quickly gets an idea of his capability.

Also, another performance I quickly found is here . His solo begins just before the 5 minute mark. During the Who shows, he rarely performed solos. He was bad-ass. I mention it because discussing Rock and Roll with my kids friends is fascinating. They want to learn what's important ...historically, .. and they're trying. I'm happy to share ..
In turn, they turn me onto great contemporary releases I'd otherwise never encounter.



Thanks Mike, I hadn't thought about that stuff in a long, long time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Burleigh  /t/1467997/what-is-considered-good-audio#post_23196909


I listen mainly to hip-hop, electronic, experimental, alternative, classic soul, and rock music.


Lemme say I love audio and I like it to sound good but it seems so subjective when I attempt to do research on the subject. I am not very knowledgeable as of yet on audio and I am definitely not an audiophile, but I do hold my audio to a high standard.


But with so many different layers and aspects to music and the playback of it, it's hard to decipher what sounds bad and what sounds good.


I've heard some people say it should sound like as if they are playing right in front of you, perfect audio reproduction, but how can this truly apply to all forms of music? Hip-hop in particular is grounded in sampling and reconstruction of musical pieces as a backdrop for vocals. How can spacious sound reproduction apply to electronic music when synths are the "instrument"?


I can understand if you're listening to a live album why wanting that perfect reproduction of the sound is important, but that can't possibly apply to every type of music.


And then there is the element of the playback of music. Some people swear by the fact that uncompressed files are superior and the only way to listen to music, yet from what I can tell, I can hear no discernible difference between an uncompressed audio file vs 256 Kbps AAC iTunes Plus file for example.


And then there is the whole element of getting high quality headphones. I have Harmon Kardon CLs which for me excellent because they seem to be very neutral sounding so I could go from listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon to Jay-Z's The Blueprint and enjoy the experience.


OH and then this whole DAC talk because in addition to having to play high quality files with high quality headphones you'll need a high quality DAC to convert that analog headphone signal to a digital signal otherwise it won't suffice for an audiophile!



And of course we can't forget the source material's mastering, it's gotta be well-mastered too otherwise no matter what you do it'll sound like crap!



My God audio is so abstract..

I feel 100% identified by your words and would love to read what the experts have to say on this.
 

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Different music can and will sound different, you are right.

THAT is why when you are auditioning new equipment, you should always listen to acoustic music. Piano (NOT electric piano), and voice. A voice you are very very familiar with.

Your ears (brain) should know what a REAL piano sounds like, in a small room or a large room. So depending on the recording (say Tchaikovsky's Piano concerto No.1) you can assess if the equipment can reproduce it right. If it can, than theoretically all the other types of music you listen to should be being reproduced the way the artist intended.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH  /t/1467997/what-is-considered-good-audio#post_23203016


Wow, good question.


Many records back in the day had been labeled on the record, or album cover "Play Loud", or something similiar. IIRC, it worked!


Now, as to your question, myself being a huge Who fan/Pete Townsend fan, ... I'd say Who's Next, and I'm thinking one release of Live at Leeds similar a similiar labeling.


Engineer Bill Szymczyk's stuff often had such notations. He was brought aboard for Face Dances , the first post Keith Moon's passing release. Due to the phenomenal success of The Eagles The Long Run,and success with a string of Eagles releases, engineer Szymczyk (Sim-zick) was brought on board to apply his hot touch with The Who. (Everyone enjoyed the process, except after they left the sessions, and upon hearing the final mixdown product, bassist Entwistle thought the sound of his instrument didn't represent him well, and seemed quite different than it sounded during the session playback.)


Apple records also has labeling like that in the center. Also, Rush's first self titled release, w/Working Man, had "For best results play at max volume" on the back of the album cover.


Also, while we're tripping down memory lane
, I remember Boston's debut (one of the finest debut rock releases of all time), had a brief story about the then unknown band of players. As the record played, reading the album cover it described the individuals, then occasionally reminding you to "listen to the music", "listen to that voice", or something like that ... very, very powerful stuff at the time.


I've been fortunate enough to see the Who on several occasions. Having mixed rock acts in venues as big as 24,000, and I've been involved in production of live events up to stadium size, however I've never experienced the amount of stage volume as what emanates from Townsend and the gang,...unbelievable in this day of in-ears, etc. The foldback, combined with his playback rig 2(3x10")cabs, on top of 2(2x12") extension cabs. If you ever get the chance, sitting close enough to hear his stage sound is lovely. He's been a working/touring pro for 50 years, the guy is competent. Too bad Entwistle enjoyed the blow and hookers more than the advice of his cardiac doctor, because his live work was hands down, better than any rock bassist in the world, .. imo. Enjoyed an evening of his solo band during a small club tour in the 90's, .. damn what a treat. Sat 15' in front of him and his massive rig that night, what a treat that was.


*

Sorry for the OT, but those that haven't had the pleasure, check the finest rock bassist ever here . The visual quality is rough, but one quickly gets an idea of his capability.

Also, another performance I quickly found is here . His solo begins just before the 5 minute mark. During the Who shows, he rarely performed solos. He was bad-ass. I mention it because discussing Rock and Roll with my kids friends is fascinating. They want to learn what's important ...historically, .. and they're trying. I'm happy to share ..
In turn, they turn me onto great contemporary releases I'd otherwise never encounter.



Thanks Mike, I hadn't thought about that stuff in a long, long time.

Thank you, FOH, for your excellent post. I don't care how OT some may think it is; for me, it is very important history and insight. I'm a big Who fan myself and enjoy your remembrances.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex  /t/1467997/what-is-considered-good-audio#post_23198780


All I can add is from the 70s rock group "The Who" they said "play it loud", I'd say "play it loud and clean", ie low distortion at loud levels.

Trivia question.

On which album did they state that?


Sent from my iPad2 64GB using Tapatalk

The best live sound I ever experienced was seeing King Crimson at Toad's Place in New Haven, Connecticut back in 1982. That show was loud, but very clean, in a small venue. Tony Levin was no slouch when it comes to bass, and the awesome Chapman Stick.
 
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