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Old 11th April 2011, 02:00 AM   #1
JinMTVT is offline JinMTVT  Canada
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Default near field VS room interaction...the way it is supposed to be done

Just a quick thought i had recently ...reading posts and webpages

would like to have your opinions on this matter , so i can understand etc..

When a regular recording is done ( they use stereo omni micros? )
the sound that is recorded is what one would've hear where the micros are located right ?

why in the hell, do we then want our own room and contraption to modify or reverb this recorded information since it already contains spatial and temporal information while it was recorded ?

aren't we adding things that aren't supposed to be ?

why aren't headphones the "perfect" way to listen to music then ?
i've tried several binaural recordings, and some give pretty amazing results
but it lacks the "feel" or volume loudspeaker listening session
( or the headphone disposition on my head/ears just make it wrong )

i am under the assumption, then when playing back a recorded live event
( not too sure on how studio recorded things work in all that )
that was done with a single stereo mic ( aka orchestral ? ), the best way to listen to it would be direct loudspeaker sound with no additional modifications/reverbs and indirect reflections etc .. ?? ( near field )

please enlighten my path ... trying to understand what is the real goal here

( that brings questions on a few loudspeaker designs ...like omni directionals
etc.. )

also, please tell me how studio recorded music is intended to be played back ?
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Old 11th April 2011, 03:28 AM   #2
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Regular recordings don't have a regular. The need is standardization(s)and there's not much of it about.

Until then, the 'flat' thread is probably a decent guide. A lot of malarky in there, but it sounds like you can sift through it.

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Old 11th April 2011, 03:33 AM   #3
cuibono is offline cuibono  United States
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You've brought up a complicated topic, with a lot of facets.

First off, omni mic's are not used as much as cardioid or bi-directional (ribbon) mics. In fact, they are used much less often. The first thing to understand is that the brain does tons of processing on the sound it picks up at the ears. Tons. That is why, even with just a stereo pair of microphones, a recording doesn't come out sounding 'natural' - your brain is missing a bunch of information and cues that it would otherwise have in the 'live' situation. I bet there are almost no recordings done with just two mics. The absolute minimum seems to be four, and that is for very serious purists.

Basically, recording is an art, where there are tricks and lots of processing done to get the recording just to sound 'natural', say nothing of what it takes to be a 'commercial' product. It is a testament to the complexity of our sensory process. Binaural recordings are very interesting, but they too lack certain cues - particuarly, they can't trick the brain into believing the sound is originating outside the head.

About playback, there is no general answer. For instance, classical music is not made for radio play, and usually sounds really bad over a standard, crappy radio. Most pop music is made for radio play, and sounds really bad in a really nice stereo setup.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about things too much, and just do whatever you enjoy.
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Old 14th April 2011, 03:13 AM   #4
JinMTVT is offline JinMTVT  Canada
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"Personally, I wouldn't worry about things too much, and just do whatever you enjoy."
unfortunately not something that i accept

i will research a bit on cardioid and bi-direct mics to undestand, thanks to pointing that out


but i still wonder, if one is to record sound wave pressure
( because this is only what there is to it nah ? )
at a fixed point with a certain type of mic
this recording is supposed to hold all of the information
( again only soundwaves ) that this location sees during the recording
( assuming near perfect mic )

so then, knowing how the mic is recording, shoudln't we be able to then playback this recording with appropriate driver
but then, we can't place our ears at the exact same place as the new driver
so this is where it gets a bit mixed up for me

i seriously thought that near field listening , minimizing room interactions and other shiznits, would emulate the recording pretty well to our brain ??

if the drivers play the sound pressure wave accuratly, just as our ear woul've received if at the same location/time than the mic, and if new room and setup doesn't transform anything or add anything significantly, wouldn't we be getting the exact same pressure wave ?
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Old 14th April 2011, 03:45 AM   #5
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Believe you me, most recordings are radically manipulated post microphone--thankfully. There are actually good reasons for that--pleasurable listening is a goal. This is part of the reason why the unflat playback notion is off.

The goal of the home audio should be a reasonable facsimile of the mastering engineer's intent. Forget about the mic technique.
Read this as it should help and the attached links at the bottom:
audio blog: Tightening The Loudspeaker, Recording and Room Connection

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Old 14th April 2011, 04:54 AM   #6
dewardh is offline dewardh  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JinMTVT View Post
the sound that is recorded is what one would've hear where the micros are located right ?
Have you ever been at a recording session, either orchestra or "studio", and seen where "the micros are located" ? ? ? For the most part you wouldn't want to be there even if you could.

It is mostly possible, with much fussing and adjustment from the mixer to the loudspeakers themselves to get the overall tonal balances acceptably correct, but there is enough variation in production technique (and intent) that even there you will find no one "solution" that sounds right with all recordings.

Spatial cues are a whole other ball of wax . . . there is in actual fact no way to accurately encode the "spatial and temporal information" that you would hear in any normal listening position in a way such that it will be correctly reproduced by two loudspeakers in a room. The best that we can accomplish is a collection of aural "clues" that trick the mind into creating a (mostly) satisfactory illusion . . . and in doing that it turns out that reflections from the final listening environment can be, in some cases at least and probably in most, more of a help than a hinderance. Anechoic listening is no more satisfactory than it is practical . . .

One thing that almost everyone (who has worked in the field) agrees on, though, is that no matter what your "theory" and how much you think about it at the end of the day reality still trumps all our grand designs . . .
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Old 14th April 2011, 05:13 AM   #7
dewardh is offline dewardh  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
The goal of the home audio should be a reasonable facsimile of the mastering engineer's intent.
Any "mastering engineer" with that kind of an ego problem should be taken out and shot.

The goal of "live" recording should be to produce a reasonable facsimile of the original performance, and of a "studio" recording to produce a product that satisfies the artist's and producer's intent. In both cases there is, and will continue to be, argument about the extent to which the recording should be "tailored" to the typical consumer's reproduction environment (that being, ultimately, the producer's call). Live "classical" recordings are most commonly presumed to be intended for (relatively) high quality playback equipment . . . and there *is* an "original performance" that serves as a reference. Studio recordings have no "original performance" as reference, and are typically produced to "sounds good to the typical consumer" standards. For the most part these days that means lower "quality" than most "high end" listeners would want, or expect.
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Old 14th April 2011, 09:53 AM   #8
Rudolf is offline Rudolf  Germany
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JinMTVT,

you probably will be interested in these microfone demonstrations. They will show you, how even "just two mics" can lead to wildly different recording results.

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Old 14th April 2011, 01:34 PM   #9
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About headphones vs loudspeaker. Your whole body will feel the loudspeaker playing. It may not be something you notice, but the vibrations are there.

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Old 14th April 2011, 07:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JinMTVT View Post
if the drivers play the sound pressure wave accuratly, just as our ear woul've received if at the same location/time than the mic, and if new room and setup doesn't transform anything or add anything significantly, wouldn't we be getting the exact same pressure wave ?

The problem is that the wavefronts that create those sound pressures at the microphones are coming from all different directions. A pair of omni mics wouldn't care about arrival direction but human hearing (directional ears and time/phase difference sensing between the ears) will perceive the arrival differences.

Listening with headphones or with 2 speakers in a dead space gets you a pretty good binaural experience, except you can't subconsciously turn your head to figure out whats ahead and whats behind, so it isn't a perfect solution. The soundfield will typically collapse inside your head.

With conventional speakers you would need a good number of surrounding systems to fairly replicate a space. Alternativly you can mess with the room and speaker's directivity to try and simulate something near to the soundfield of a real performance space with only 2 channels, but that is made difficult because the dimensions are fairly disimilar.

Gee, I guess if it was easy we would have perfected it years ago.

David S.
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