I love music, any kind of music really. As a former recording/mixing engineer/producer for 8 years, and lifetime audio freak, I had the privilege to record, mix, and master a wide variety of music. In this introductory post, we will look at the most important quality of reproducing music called, "timbre". Over a series of posts, the goal is to calibrate your sound system to be the most accurate reproducer of music for your ultimate listening pleasure :-)
In Wikipedia’s definition of timbre,
Updated 05-09-2012 at 01:27 AM by mitchco
Part 1 is here. Thanks for your comments. Before we can measure the frequency response of your sound system at the listening position, we need to configure the speakers to the listening room. These set up steps are required in the quest to hear music the way it was intended to be reproduced – i.e. best effort timbre. This is the first part of a three part process. The three parts are setup, measure, and adjust. Then we iterate, sometimes a few times, sometimes more. It will cost you nothing but
Updated 05-09-2012 at 01:48 AM by mitchco
This is Part 4 of a series on a quest to hear music the way it was intended to be reproduced. In the last 3 posts, we have “voiced” and calibrated our speakers to an equilateral triangle, took some frequency response measurements, analyzed the results, and introduced digital room correction (DRC). Let’s look at the frequency response measurement results and DRC in more detail. Is DRC ready for prime time? I think this post will show conclusively, yes, DRC is ready for audiophiles to take full
Updated 05-09-2012 at 01:52 AM by mitchco
Now that we have a calibrated frequency response at the listening position, let’s look at the other part of the timbre (i.e. tone quality) equation which is the time domain. Sound in your listening room has 3 measurable dimensions: time, energy, and frequency. We have looked at frequency response, targeting the B&K house curve, and how it affects timbre. So how does the time domain in your listening room affect timbre?
As mentioned earlier, I had the privilege to work in many
Updated 05-09-2012 at 01:54 AM by mitchco
If you have followed this series on a quest for proper timbre, I have reached a conclusion. From wikipedia, in psychoacoustics, timbre is also called tone quality and tone color. No question, music source, electronics, interconnects, power, etc., all have impact on timbre. However, the biggest factor on reproducing proper timbre, by orders of magnitude, is the speaker to room interface which is limited by small room acoustics: http://www.gcmstudio.com/acoustics/acoustics.html
Updated 05-09-2012 at 01:57 AM by mitchco
Remember that feeling when you were at a concert or club and saw a band perform an awesome live show? The lights, sound, music, and crowd all moving as one. You could feel the music as much as you could hear it. It was loud, but not too loud, sounded clean, with good dynamics and punch. Good times. I wanted to design a high resolution (i.e. audiophile) sound system that reproduced that live sound experience in my listening room.
I want club and concert sound in my listening room
Updated 05-23-2012 at 10:08 AM by mitchco
Years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a decade as a live sound mixer and recording studio engineer in Western Canada. While most of my sound engineering experience was with rock bands, I had the opportunity to work with many talented musicians, recording/mixing many different types of music, from folk, country, jazz, choirs, and classical. I spent a quite a bit of time working with compressors and limiters, so I thought I would share some of my experiences with them, along with mixing and mastering.
Updated 05-09-2012 at 02:56 PM by mitchco
So the Peachtree DACiT arrived yesterday morning. After taking it in from the cold (couple of hours on the porch in bracing 28 degree Nebraska morning weather) and letting it get to room temperature I plugged the little guy in. Lights came on. Always a good sign. Plugged in the USB cable (nicely idiot proof!), selected the DAC from the system menu, called up iTunes and pushed play. Darned if tunes didn't come out. This is the kind of set up I like!!
First up was the Duncan &
I already own three products (A2, A5+, and S8) from Audioengine, so when a visit to their website revealed a new DAC for 169$, it was pretty much a click now and figure out what do with it later situation. Actually, I have a perfectly legit use for it since my office computer's headphone output is buzzy and harsh.
So how exactly is Audioengine delivering for such a low price? In the past, reviewers
Using the chart below, what subjective terms would you use to describe the tone quality (a.k.a. tone color or tone balance or timbre http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbre) of your sound system at the listening position?
This chart, used by permission from Bob Katz, Mastering Engineer extraordinaire, http://www.digido.com/ shows the subjective terms we use to describe excess
Updated 05-09-2012 at 03:50 AM by mitchco
Lots of discussion on the SQ of software music players on CA. I am a fan of correlating what I hear with what I measure and vice versa. In this post, I am proposing a way of measuring the difference between music players by expanding the “null test” I performed here http://www.computeraudiophile.com/bl...M4A-Experiment
Rather than performing a null test on audio file formats, the single unit under test will be the music player, so when one music player is
Updated 05-09-2012 at 02:33 AM by mitchco
Recommended reading first The reason is that I am not going to reiterate the baseline components and measurements of my test gear already covered in that post.
Here is a high level block diagram of my test setup:
On the left side is my HTPC with both JRiver MC 17 and JPLAY mini installed. The test FLAC file is the same Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Refugee at 24/96
Updated 06-15-2013 at 07:09 PM by mitchco
Updated with more info on Audio DiffMaker, plus ABX listening tests.
Lots of discussion around this article: 24/192 Music Downloads...and why they make no sense http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
I decided to run a science experiment using Audio DiffMaker to compare 16/44 to 24/192 format of the same master from Soundkeeper Recordings: http://soundkeeperrecordings.com/format.htm
I have used Audio DiffMaker before to compare FLAC vs WAV
Updated 05-09-2012 at 03:34 AM by mitchco
Just wanted to share various sources around on the net on the subject of acoustics and digital room equalization / correction (Digital Room-EQ ) that I have run into so far....
• I am sure I touched only a small percentage of what is around, so please feel free to comment & add as you see fit.
• I have not checked, read, verified or tested (let alone used) everything. Don’t shoot the messenger.
• I have no interest other than share info...
Updated 10-26-2012 at 04:49 PM by Lowlands
As an ex recording/mixing engineer/producer, http://www.thepikes.com/bio here are a few thoughts with respect to evaluating high resolution masters for sound quality.
Unfortunately, for most recordings, especially multi-track, there are many, many steps/paths from the mic to the final master we listen to. Most folks I think would be surprised to see the workflow. But that is another post.
The criteria I use to eval music sound quality is:
Updated 05-09-2012 at 03:56 AM by mitchco