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Live vs. Recorded - can you hear a difference?
Live vs. Recorded - can you hear a difference?
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Old 18th September 2017, 06:24 PM   #1
keyser is offline keyser  Netherlands
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Default Live vs. Recorded - can you hear a difference?

During the XFI Premium Hifi Show (in the Netherlands) my company Dutch & Dutch and the audiophile music label TRPTK will do a test that as far as I know has never been done this thoroughly before.

Click the image to open in full size.


We are going to do a comparative listening test, with music pre-recorded in an anechoic chamber and the same music played live in our demo room. We are going to listen to voice, a snare drum and cello.

High Fidelity basically is about reproducing a sound with the greatest level of fidelity. A direct comparison to live music perhaps is the hardest test imaginable for both the recording and playback system. I think it's very exciting!

When an instrument is played live in a space, you hear the instrument's sound plus a special sauce added to it, which is the interaction of the instrument with the acoustics of space. Thus, with our demo it is the aim to mimic that sound - the combination of a live instrument plus the sound of the room.

We can not do that with "normal" recordings, because those always include acoustics of the space in which the instrument was recorded. Should we use such a recording, you would get acoustics on top of acoustics. To record the sound of the instrument, we made recordings in the anechoic chamber of the Delft University of Technology.

The idea is that if we play this through an accurate playback system (Dutch & Dutch 8c), the sound in theory should match with live. Of course there are some caveats, the biggest of which probably is directivity.


What do you think? Can we 'fool' people and have them believe they are listening to live, while it's actually reproduction they're listening to?

Will it work better with one instrument than the other?

Short video of recording in the anechoic chamber
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Last edited by keyser; 19th September 2017 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 18th September 2017, 06:38 PM   #2
Nico Ras is offline Nico Ras  South Africa
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Your findings would be very interesting. I take it that you would define your typical listening room when actually comparing the sounds so that we can relate to it.
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Old 18th September 2017, 06:57 PM   #3
ra7 is offline ra7  United States
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Live vs. Recorded - can you hear a difference?
When you say "played live in our demo room" you mean played by musicians, correct? I think that has been done before, where musicians were playing in a room, and then they stop and act as if they are playing, but really it is the speakers, and the audience does not notice. It would cool to understand what happens in your demo.

You could also do another test, which is similar to one of Tom Danley's ideas. Once you have recorded the musician in the anechoic chamber, you can replay that recording through your speakers in the anechoic chamber and record the playback from your speakers. Then you can share these two recordings and ask people to identify which is which.

Please keep us posted on how it goes.
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Old 18th September 2017, 07:03 PM   #4
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ra7 View Post
You could also do another test, which is similar to one of Tom Danley's ideas. Once you have recorded the musician in the anechoic chamber, you can replay that recording through your speakers in the anechoic chamber and record the playback from your speakers. Then you can share these two recordings and ask people to identify which is which.
But only people familiar with the sound of real instruments live should take part otherwise it's a pointless exercise, and it would be better if it was done in a normal sounding room
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Old 18th September 2017, 07:05 PM   #5
freddi is offline freddi  United States
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Live vs. Recorded - can you hear a difference?
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Old 18th September 2017, 07:38 PM   #6
norman bates is offline norman bates  United States
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Dynamics, phase, directivity, acoustics.

Too many variables.
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Old 18th September 2017, 07:56 PM   #7
cbdb is offline cbdb  Canada
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Won't sound the same. Escpecially a cello. An instrument is a very directionally dependant source. Let's say it emits sound off the back that has very little high freqs. This sound will reflect off the walls and thicken up the lower freqs. At the listeners position. Your recording won't have these because the anechoic room has absorbed them all.
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Old 18th September 2017, 09:03 PM   #8
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyser View Post
To record the sound of the instrument, we have taken recordings in the anechoic chamber
of the Delft University of Technology. Can we 'fool' people and have them believe they are
listening to live, while it's actually reproduction they're listening to?
Acoustic Research did many such demonstrations in the 60s. The music was recorded out of doors,
instead of in an anechoic chamber. http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=32179
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Old 18th September 2017, 09:38 PM   #9
rdf is offline rdf  Canada
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Originally Posted by keyser View Post
What do you think?
HRTF might be a challenge. A centrally located single source like a cello will interact with a listener's head/ears differently than a spaced pair of speakers presenting a phantom mono image. The cello is also large enough to potentially present height information. A better starting point might be a point source like a flute, snare, triangle etc. played back through a single speaker before moving on to stereo.
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Old 18th September 2017, 10:14 PM   #10
graaf is offline graaf  Poland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbdb View Post
Won't sound the same. Escpecially a cello. An instrument is a very directionally dependant source. Let's say it emits sound off the back that has very little high freqs. This sound will reflect off the walls and thicken up the lower freqs. At the listeners position. Your recording won't have these because the anechoic room has absorbed them all.
^this

the proposed experiment is flawed
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