Microphones used for audio recordings do not measure flat. They are not designed for testing/measuring, but for recording voices and instruments.
As a practical test to your observation, try listening to generated white noise and tell me if it sounds good. Or do you prefer pink or even red noise?
Thanks for your reply onhwy61
But I am not sure you are correct.
For example, I looked at the Telefunken U47, perhaps the greatest music recording mike ever designed and I find it is +-3dB from 20Hz to 20kHz. Pretty flat and flatter than nearly all loudspeakers and phone cartridges, certainly at 20Hz.
As to generated noise by the way, my point was should we listen to music sources flat in electrical terms or flat as our ears send it to our brains. I believe it must be the latter, as that's what we live with in real life and are adjusted to, for better or worse.
The U47 is not flat when compared to an Earthworks M30 which measures 3Hz to 30kHz plus/minus 1/3dB. The U47 was famous with vocalist for its very flattering proximity effect bass boost.
Over the course of history acoustic instruments have been designed to sound good to "flawed" human hearing. Until the development of electronic instruments, synthesizers, music reflected this historical development. Despite this, if you want, you can use a smiley face EQ
and think it sounds better.
I answered your question in the very same post, you just selected one part and apparently didn’t read it all. Measurements, meters, microphones, all those things measure pressure waves. You can look at a printout to see what a meter thinks of pressure waves. If you want to know what a human being thinks of pressure waves (ie, what we hear) then you look at the Fletcher-Munson equal loudness contours.
This is standard info, been around decades. Like I said, it is why they made the Loudness switch. We do not have any choice in the matter. It is just how we are.
What helps is to understand how we are. You can try and do that, or bang your head against the wall trying to make yourself some cyber ears or whatever. Personally, I would prioritize improving what's between the ears. But that’s just me.
If you want to know what a human being thinks of pressure waves (ie, what we hear) then you look at the Fletcher-Munson equal loudness contours.
Great post thanks....
It is the reason why the peculiarity of each specific pair of human ears being different, we must adapt and fine tuned the relation of our room to the speakers characteristic not in regard of the absolute meaning of the specs sheet but the way it is PERVEIVED by our OWN ears in our room...
Like any audio engineer take into account this "contour" to drive his mixing, in our own room knowing that our own ears will experiment timbre perception slightly differently because of the specific manner our own ears filter and group the sound waves amplitude , we must create a specific set of pressure zones in our room that will please our ears and will compensate for our speakers particular specs.......
We can also pay an acoustician to redesign our small room acoustically for our specific audio system... We can made it ourself at low cost...
Acoustic passive treatment and mechanical active control can play for the speakers/ ears the function of a compensating hearing aid , the room being now an activated device for a better S.Q.
In audio our untreated and uncontrolled room has more limitating effects than our own innate hearing limitations which we can compensate for....
For me it is VERY simple. If I don't like what I'm hearing I change it. I don't care what it originally sounded like. I don't play music to please the person who produced the music, it's quite the opposite for me.
If that means a smiley face or a frown or + 10db from 8khz up with an EQ, my system is there to please me and who ever is there with me.
There are no RULES in the stereo world. Just like there is NO cryin' in baseball, BUT two ears that work (ok), tone control and added bass (correction) sure works for me..
I'm actually having a balanced big valve EQ made and looking real hard at an Active valve (tube) crossover. No rules, RULE!!
For me it is VERY simple. If I don’t like what I’m hearing I change it. I don’t care what it originally sounded like. I don’t play music to please the person who produced the music, it’s quite the opposite for me.
I think the same....
Old mechanic with dirty hands are more than often right because they are accustomed to use and plays with laws more than just obey to them ...
As mahgister & oldhvymec say (or should I say sezez). You listen to your stereo to please yourself. It ain't a visit to the ear doctor.
two points to raise in reply to your op above, in the spirit of discussion...
1. achieving a flat, in phase response, at the prime listening position in a room/system setup is a laudable goal, if for no other reason than for the listener to judge/realize that some deviation from this ideal may make the music as presented seem more ’beautiful’ or ’real’ subjectively -- i have not tried to dabble in this pursuit myself, but at least regarding frequency response, this is what a lot of the room correction tech in modern gear attempts to enable
2. on a subjective basis, when it comes to voicing of hifi components (and most prominently speakers), there is some agreement that numerous successful but aging designers are releasing newer products that have greater/too much treble energy (as they personally are experiencing a reduction in their ability to hear higher and mid treble frequencies, but have yet to admit that, and still insist on personally voicing their gear) -- folks such as richard vandersteen, mike/jason at schiit, frank van alstine, and david belles have all been ’accused’ of this...
having owned Vandy 3a-sig, 5a and 7 mk2 spanning some 20 years, i can assure you RV’s speakers are super flat in room. BTW Earthworks mics, good as they are are NOT good enough for Vandy production quality control against the reference each speaker is produced…
Not sure a super flat in room response from 20hz-20khz is what most people like. Good DRC applied properly will give you a flat response over your speakers frequency range and your preferred listening curve.
I recent years I have developed a hearing "defect" becoming very sensitive to sibilance. I changed a beautiful pair of speakers because they were too bright yet most others I have tried sound too dull. Each person will hear sound differently to you, possibly very differently. I have thus listened to speakers people tell me are great, but they sound awful to me. In the end I found a brand ( I have two pairs in separate systems) that do not sound sibilant, to me they are great speakers, reviews vary but generally are good to very good for them, Audio Physic (Yara Classic 2, and Sitara 25). I visit a number of hifi stores who frequently tell me x will sound better, they never do, to me, they have too much sibilance. Your ears are your ears no-one can tell you what you will hear or what you will prefer.
Thanks to all who have posted.
I was remarking the U47 (as an example) is very flat compared to speakers and phono carts. So I don't need to know that other mikes are even flatter!! You just help make my point.
Miller, rude as usual, and you are off-point. I've got plenty between the ears thanks. I was not replying to your post, I was picking up a point from it. That's why it's in a new thread.
You are off-point.
Other posters demonstrate a strong preference for adjusting the the presentation to cope with human ear limitations at the ends of the audible range, they say to make the programme more to their personal liking.
This is interesting since the experience will be unlike listening to live music. So many audiophiles don't want 'the closest approach to the original sound' after all. Does this change everything? This issue is the reason for my OP.
The question you ask can be viewed from many levels. I would suggest the recording engineering level is where you should start your study to learn the answer to your question.
I have a couple of book shelves full of books on the subject of Psychoacoustics, many of the books are rare. Half these books are above the level of an audio engineering degree from a non ABET accredited school.
Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception and audiology. You can expect it to take 5 to 6 years to learn something about the subject spending 10's of thousands of dollars. Mostly what you will discover is there are more questions to be answered. Enjoy.
The adjustments are for speaker and room interaction. You're not going to get a "live music" listening experience at home unless you have a live performance Hall. What is being reproduced is the original sound of the recording not the event.
As a young person with healthy, maybe above average hearing acuity I would encounter older folks with declining acuity and thought that whatever their hearing filter was, they perceived live music through it and reproduced music through it too, so why would their judgement of what speaker was better at recreating that sound differ from mine? I neglected to consider their accumulated lifetime memory of how things sounded to them. I also didn’t realize hearing loss can be asymmetrical and can include the presence of high levels of masking noise, not just the roll off of higher frequencies. Unfortunately I now know these to be true!
I neglected to consider their accumulated lifetime memory of how things sounded to them.
This is a powerful realization. Yes, there are certain frequencies which are gone, even by mid forties. But listening is different than hearing because listening involves attention and interpretation. There's a reason that we attend to what older scientists, physicians, chefs, etc. say about their area of expertise — because they have developed intelligence and habits which yield good judgment.
The same applies to experienced listeners, regardless of their physical hearing loss, as long as it's not dramatic or if it bears upon the very aspect of sound which is under analysis at the moment.
I have a couple of book shelves full of books on the subject of Psychoacoustics, many of the books are rare. Half these books are above the level of an audio engineering degree from a non ABET accredited school. Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception and audiology. You can expect it to take 5 to 6 years to learn something about the subject spending 10’s of thousands of dollars. Mostly what you will discover is there are more questions to be answered. Enjoy.
Please would you recommend for me a few of the best there is from your own experience...Titles and writers...
I made my system S.Q. improved only after figure it out for myself some basic aspect of this field....It is very complex and is like medecine an art based on pure science ....
Thanks in advance,
My deepest respects
Seems to pursue what you subjectively favor is better than changing audio parameters then trying to convince yourself it’s a sonic improvement. Sometimes the head should get out of the way of the heart?
This is tough I'll just sell my system asap.
Hello clearthinker. Be sure you own ears are clean and there is no wax buildup in your ear canals. I have a good friend who never thaought about this and bought a kit for cleaning out ear canals at a local drug store (cheaper on Amazon, $30) and was amazed at what he could hear after getting the garbage out of his ear canals. Forgive me if this seems obvious. My pal had never considered this. Enjoy the music.
This is tough I’ll just sell my system asap.
A one-oar rowboat enters the lake.
Great question. I am hearing sibilance from all sources (home and car), but not on all recordings. It must be my ears, no? Sad.