Systemic Development > Psycho-Acoustics

Da Room

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richidoo:
Da recording room matters just as much as our playback room.
Audiophiles assume recordings are perfect, but surprise! Recordings do not have perfect acoustics. The only acoustics an engineer is concerned about are those to improve isolation. They assume the natural acoustics of their room are somewhere between good enough and ego-perfect. "Nobody ever complained" is their proof.

We love hearing the recorded ambiance as long as it doesn't screw up the tone of the instruments. But it often does because engineers don't fully consider room acoustics in their mic placement or setting up the recording. Beneath every music performer is a hard floor, often concrete, which bounces their sound back up into the mic, delayed, and that floor bounce interferes constructively (bloom) or destructively (thin.) The reflection affects amplitude and phase of the direct sound and changes the tone of the instrument.

Play a Bach cello sonata (I'm playing Steven Isserlis Bach Sonata 6 right now.) Count the frequencies at which you hear bloom and blur and you know how many mic locations there are, in this case two. You can hear the blooming on higher notes from the close mic on the body or bridge of the cello to capture the wood, finger and string texture. Then you can hear blooming at much lower frequency from the stereo room mics placed high above the floor to capture room ambience. The bounce distance from source to floor to mic determines the frequency that will be distorted. Frequencies adjacent to the freq whose wavelength equals the floor bounce distance are affected too.

The way to cure this is to attenuate the floor reflection, even if only a very small absorber close under the mic, or a pad on the floor. but that is rarely done in recordings, even by excellent professional recordists.  Even in a soundproof booth with singer you will hear her voice fluff up when she sings low enough, because she's standing on carpet covered concrete.

I think people have mental programs running in their brains that filter out the flaws of recording, system and room acoustic, allowing us to focus on the content of the recording. Audiophiles dance with the devil by learning to disable those mental filters, and by opening our awareness to the sonic flaws, we then attempt a lifelong battle to defeat the enemy we created for ourselves. But once we unlearn how to ignore bad sound, we find that most recordings have flaws for which we can't blame our system or room, and we must face the reality that perfect sound is impossible. But we gain wisdom, and in the end after summiting Mount Audiophile, we relearn how to listen and enjoy music again, but without our filters.

dBe:
Back in the 90's when I designed Santa Fe Center Studios ( http://www.santafecenterstudios.com ) I designed it with too return as the primary focus.  By carefully selecting available materials at that time a great deal of control was possible and the rooms are essentially reflection-free.  Floors have to be floors, though - ya gotta be able to walk and set up gear.  The owner/main engineer, Doug Geist, is a tremendous talent and is one of the few people that I have known that takes floor bounce into consideration.  We told him early on that you can't "fix it in the mix".

dBe:

--- Quote from: dBe on January 02, 2018, 10:52:50 AM ---Back in the 90's when I designed Santa Fe Center Studios ( http://www.santafecenterstudios.com ) I designed it with too return as the primary focus.  By carefully selecting available materials at that time a great deal of control was possible and the rooms are essentially reflection-free.  Floors have to be floors, though - ya gotta be able to walk and set up gear.  The owner/main engineer, Doug Geist, is a tremendous talent and is one of the few people that I have known that takes floor bounce into consideration.  We told him early on that you can't "fix it in the mix".

--- End quote ---
LORD, how I hate my iPad.  That should have been "with the room" instead of 'too return'...

Sheesh.  I hate apple spel kerect!

Scottdazzle:
+1 about spel kerect. I can spell just fine, thank you. Just now, Apple changed spel kerect to special erect. Now, I do admit to feeling special while erect, but.....




--- Quote from: dBe on January 02, 2018, 01:42:54 PM ---
--- Quote from: dBe on January 02, 2018, 10:52:50 AM ---Back in the 90's when I designed Santa Fe Center Studios ( http://www.santafecenterstudios.com ) I designed it with too return as the primary focus.  By carefully selecting available materials at that time a great deal of control was possible and the rooms are essentially reflection-free.  Floors have to be floors, though - ya gotta be able to walk and set up gear.  The owner/main engineer, Doug Geist, is a tremendous talent and is one of the few people that I have known that takes floor bounce into consideration.  We told him early on that you can't "fix it in the mix".

--- End quote ---
LORD, how I hate my iPad.  That should have been "with the room" instead of 'too return'...

Sheesh.  I hate apple spel kerect!

--- End quote ---

Nick B:
+2 re Appel spell kerect. There is no hope for that and the same goes for Siri. Thanks for allowing me to vent... :roll:

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