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What causes listening "fatigue"?
What causes listening "fatigue"?
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Old 19th August 2013, 03:42 PM   #1131
speaker dave is offline speaker dave  United States
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Originally Posted by gedlee View Post

I have seen Phil Collins live a half dozen times and have all his records. The recordings are always well done and except for the last concert they too were well done. But the last time I saw him the mix was simply inexcusable. I don't know what happened, he used to care about what his audience heard, but even he has gone to the dark side.
I have to think that the guys at the console are serious and dedicated and know what they want. They just want something really different than most of us HiFi fans want.

I went with my wife to Paul Simon, thinking it might be more mellow. Still too loud and this odd, thump you in the chest, midbass. I kept thinking "I'd rather be home listening to this on my stereo". Of course most of the audience is up and grooving to the music and would probably would feel cheated if it was played to only 105.

I've spent some time in big recording studios also and it is always a foreign experience. I stand in the back of the room with my fingers in my ears! One of the studio managers did once explain that they don't listen for enjoyment but to hear faults. High level may help that. I think over time they just get used to working at very high levels. It does seem far removed from the listener experience (at least in my house), so you would think their work product would be better if they were mixing at more moderate in levels.

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Old 19th August 2013, 04:15 PM   #1132
Greebster is offline Greebster  United States
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Originally Posted by speaker dave View Post
I've spent some time in big recording studios also and it is always a foreign experience. I stand in the back of the room with my fingers in my ears! One of the studio managers did once explain that they don't listen for enjoyment but to hear faults. High level may help that. I think over time they just get used to working at very high levels. It does seem far removed from the listener experience (at least in my house), so you would think their work product would be better if they were mixing at more moderate in levels.

David
While they mastered to high levels, that high energy intensity was probably masking the delicate nuances that we listen for.
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Old 19th August 2013, 04:22 PM   #1133
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Originally Posted by speaker dave View Post
I have to think that the guys at the console are serious and dedicated and know what they want.
David
Its been many decades since I was a house mixing engineer, but back then the really competent guy was few and far between. And listening to what they did completely correlated with what they seem to know about what they were doing. It wasn't that we wanted different things they just didn't know how to identify and correct the problems.

I don't know if things are still the same, but I have to think that they haven't changed that much.
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Old 19th August 2013, 04:34 PM   #1134
speaker dave is offline speaker dave  United States
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I've often felt that knowing what good sound is is the crucial starting point. Then some technical competency and diligence will eventually get you there.

This applies to any part of our industry (the hardware) or any of the creative content creators, or the people involved in playback or public performance, or radio or whatever. Without knowing what good sound is, you will never get there.

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Old 19th August 2013, 04:43 PM   #1135
Greebster is offline Greebster  United States
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Originally Posted by peteleoni View Post
I had a freind who did a major label record recently. Big names in the industry did production mix mastering. My freind was thrilled with the process until someone in that chain *deliberately* put what I would describe as a very fatiguing "old school slightly distorted compression" on it. My guess is there are people everywhere scratching their heads wondering why their speakers are fatiguing.
May I guess what song that is... Radioactive by Imagine Dragons?
How they utterly destroyed the song with that distortion shattering everything. They should have mixed it in before the vocal track was laid down at least.

Classic example of how badly they can get it WRONG
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Old 19th August 2013, 05:22 PM   #1136
redjr is online now redjr  United States
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What causes listening "fatigue"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by speaker dave View Post
I've often felt that knowing what good sound is is the crucial starting point. Then some technical competency and diligence will eventually get you there.

This applies to any part of our industry (the hardware) or any of the creative content creators, or the people involved in playback or public performance, or radio or whatever. Without knowing what good sound is, you will never get there.

David
Then by that definition, can we infer that sound can be quantitatively defined. Follows a scientific and mathematical formula that should be able to be replicated by engineer A and engineer B? I doubt anyone would agree. So, once a particular sound has been deemed 'good sound', no one could argue that it sounds bad. Correct? Unless of course, good sound is relative and thus sounds different to different folk? Operative word - different.

Back to the OP.... I think sound today is much more open, expansive, full of detail, rich mids and clear highs than was possible in, say, the 50s and 60s. At least with equipment I could afford at the time! We had no digital source back then, nor anything close to resembling the stereo separation, signal-to-noise ratio, or dynamic range specs that are enjoyed today by even the most modest receiver/amp setup. Fast forward 40 years and you have much better material for speaker building, affording designers much more latitude in what can be produced and the various types of material used for cones and tweeters. All of these factors - for good or bad - enhance the musicality of what we listen to, but often at the expense of some fatigue. And this coming from someone who still has a pair of HPM-100 in his vintage rig.
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Old 19th August 2013, 05:41 PM   #1137
speaker dave is offline speaker dave  United States
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Originally Posted by redjr View Post
Then by that definition, can we infer that sound can be quantitatively defined. Follows a scientific and mathematical formula that should be able to be replicated by engineer A and engineer B? I doubt anyone would agree. So, once a particular sound has been deemed 'good sound', no one could argue that it sounds bad. Correct? Unless of course, good sound is relative and thus sounds different to different folk? Operative word - different.
Yes, I know that tosses in subjectivity (and this from one who is always arguing on the side of objectivity). But I'm thinking in terms of the very broad range of reproduced sound quality we hear day in and day out. Much like going to a hotel HiFi show. You walk between 100 rooms in a day and maybe 5 of them strike you as a special experience: good recording of good music, played at the right level, good hardware, nice room acoutsics, etc. As opposed to the many that sound instantly colored, too loud, too soft, over processed, ruined by bad acoustics....

That recognition of audio right and wrong is crucial to improvement.

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Old 19th August 2013, 05:51 PM   #1138
CopperTop is offline CopperTop  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by redjr View Post
Back to the OP.... I think sound today is much more open, expansive, full of detail, rich mids and clear highs than was possible in, say, the 50s and 60s.... All of these factors - for good or bad - enhance the musicality of what we listen to, but often at the expense of some fatigue.
Is it the detail, rich mids and clear highs that cause the fatigue per se? Or just that they aren't done right? In an earlier post, it was Pano, I think, who said that he can listen all day to some big old speakers that really aren't hi fi, which agrees with what you are saying. I've got some similar old speakers somewhere.

But there are some (not many) DSP-based active multi-way speakers and they aim to get the balance clinically correct. Martin Colloms reviews a pair here:
http://www.hificritic.com/downloads/...ianDSP7200.pdf

His description is interesting I think:
Quote:
Overall it sounds essentially neutral, if marginally rich and comfortable, giving a slightly distant effect that caresses rather than assaults the ears, even when playing very loud....

...This speaker became quite compulsive, demanding track after track and hour after hour of listening, to see how it now ‘correctly’ interpreted recordings I thought I knew by heart.
... which suggests that he thinks it noteworthy to listen to speakers that caress the ears rather than assault them when playing loud. They sound rich and comfortable, and are addictive, demanding hour after hour of listening. Not what most people imagine for systems based on DSP that are 'clinically' correct.
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Old 19th August 2013, 06:49 PM   #1139
peteleoni is offline peteleoni  United States
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Natural sound doesn't like to sharp and "bumpy" ears do not like sharp "bumpy" Better restriction of bandwidth smoothly rolling off than full range washboard. Better still full range smooth and undistorted think nature.
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Old 19th August 2013, 07:24 PM   #1140
thoriated is offline thoriated  United States
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And the odd thing is that we had a hell of a lot less dynamic range available before digital. It is a symptom of "I want it all now.

*I* don't want sound compressed to 1 db. Likely a commentary on how degraded much modern audio actually is.
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