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  #61  
Old 09-17-2011, 07:46 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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By the way, someone sent me a link to this video today, a demo of Cascade Ribbon mics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRyStdaFvYE

Beautiful sound. Is it the mics, the room, the rest of the gear, or the playing? ...
Doug, how many times have you sent me clips and asked which I preferred - and how many times have I said that your material and your playing and your instruments make everything sound so good that I couldn't choose <grin>.

You should start up a third career doing demos for gear pimps. Or would that be a fourth career?

Fran
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  #62  
Old 09-18-2011, 06:08 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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"When I first got my Brauners, I noticed that they seemed to be more sensitive to little noises across the room. With the Schoeps and Brauners both set to the same level for my guitar in front of them, flipping on a light switch across the room made the meters on the Brauner channel jump dramatically, while the Schoeps barely moved."

On or off-axis response is a partial way to understand the reason, but typically off-axis is NOT what you want. The easier and more useful explanation is that the patterns of the two mics differ. The cmc641 has a lot tighter pattern than your Brauner, I'm guessing.

There is a continuum of patterns that begins with the omni and moves through cardioid to figure of eight. Every mic fits somewhere on that continuum, but even two cardioid mics can be on slightly different places on the continuum. One may be a wide cardioid. One may be a tight cardioid.

In addition to that their response may differ both on-axis and off-axis. The cheaper mics tend to be "beamy" which is to say they have non-uniform frequency response peaks at various places and even within the on-axis pattern.

The edge of the pattern is another place where non-linearities may occur. Just as you get to the edge, going from on-axis to off-axis, you can hear nasty little artifacts in the cheaper mics. These are made worse when the mic is used in a slappy, live environment because, typically, there's more sound bouncing around and coming into the mic from off-axis angles.
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  #63  
Old 09-18-2011, 06:18 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Doug said: "On the other hand, you have to remember how most people listen to music these days. When we're recording, we're worrying about every little detail - trying to carve out a 0.001% improvement in sound. I know I am :-) And then people listen to the results on a ipod while they're at the gym, driving in the car with the windows down, or at a party with 20 people talking, if they listen at all!. Will they hear the difference between good gear and mediocre? I'd like to think so, but it's probably not going to happen."

Doug, yes, sadly, most people live in an mp3 world and/or have deafened themselves with earbuds. Once a person does open up to what something can sound like and actually can hear the difference, the world changes for that person. It's a singular experience. Friends and family simply can't hear the same way and think you're obsessive about things that don't exist. Rejoice in the fact that you do hear a difference, but be careful not to proselytize too much, or you'll just piss them off.

Also know that hearing those slight differences that others can't can be a real burden. I (and others with me in a studio) have heard professional mic cables make a difference in the sound of a mic. That's pretty hinky, but the three of us all came to the same comparative conclusions, so unless it was group hypnosis, the cables made a difference.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #64  
Old 09-18-2011, 09:35 AM
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On or off-axis response is a partial way to understand the reason, but typically off-axis is NOT what you want. The easier and more useful explanation is that the patterns of the two mics differ. The cmc641 has a lot tighter pattern than your Brauner, I'm guessing.
Good points, Ty. "off-axis" was oversimplifying. For sure, I had the Brauner's set to cardiod, while my schoeps were Mk41s, a tighter pattern. And in this particular scenario, the light switch I was picking up was to the sides of the mic, so the Schoeps should have had better rejection from that direction. I had also thought about the difference in frequency response within the pattern, tho in this case, we're talking about two pretty nice mics. Still, I imagine there are differences between the two.
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  #65  
Old 09-18-2011, 10:56 AM
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Also know that hearing those slight differences that others can't can be a real burden. I (and others with me in a studio) have heard professional mic cables make a difference in the sound of a mic.
I think some of this a matter of training and knowing what to listen for. I've never heard any difference in various cables (other than broken ones), but maybe I don't know what to listen for. Fran sent me a video camera comparison a while back, and on my first pass thru, I saw no difference in the two videos. Then the reviewer pointed out various parts of the picture and how each camera was responding differently, and suddenly it was so obvious I don't know how I could have missed it. But it was stuff around the edges of the main focus - I was watching the storyline, the people in the video, not how light was reflecting off walls, or emanating from a light bulb.

Even with audio, you have choices of where to put your attention. I'm working on a CD I'm trying to get released, and my wife came in a few days ago, shaking her head over one of the tunes. I say "what?". She says "you don't hear all those noises?". No, I hear no noises. Then she points them out - "Oh, you mean those really loud noises that are completely covering up the guitar?" :-) I was focused on things like did I play the right notes, how much reverb did I have, and completely missed this particular noise. My brain just bypassed it because it wasn't what I was listening for at the moment. It usually works the other way - I'm going, "do you hear how different these guitars sound?", and she'll say "Nope, they both sound like guitars"
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  #66  
Old 09-18-2011, 11:47 AM
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Give Steve's recent high end gear comparison a listen.
http://69.41.173.82/forums/showthread.php?t=228115
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  #67  
Old 09-18-2011, 04:29 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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...
Even with audio, you have choices of where to put your attention. I'm working on a CD I'm trying to get released, and my wife came in a few days ago, shaking her head over one of the tunes. I say "what?". She says "you don't hear all those noises?". No, I hear no noises. Then she points them out - "Oh, you mean those really loud noises that are completely covering up the guitar?" :-) I was focused on things like did I play the right notes, how much reverb did I have, and completely missed this particular noise. My brain just bypassed it because it wasn't what I was listening for at the moment. It usually works the other way - I'm going, "do you hear how different these guitars sound?", and she'll say "Nope, they both sound like guitars"
You've touched on one of the issues of simply "trusting my ears" in evaluating gear. Attention is a huge part of what we get through our senses. Sense memory is another huge part. The idea that we can hear something then hear a different something 15 minutes or an hour or a day later and make valid comparisons of subtle differences ignores the very real limits of human beings. Let's not get started on the impact of labels.

And the cherry on top is bias blindness, a facet of human consciousness that prevents us from recognizing our limits, even when they're pointed out to us.

The solution to these limitations is the double blind ABX which hides the labels, switches the samples instantly, and allows as many repetitions as necessary to focus concentration where ever it's needed. But with bias blindness in operation most of us don't see the need for ABX <grin>.

Fran
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  #68  
Old 09-18-2011, 05:10 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
You've touched on one of the issues of simply "trusting my ears" in evaluating gear. Attention is a huge part of what we get through our senses. Sense memory is another huge part. The idea that we can hear something then hear a different something 15 minutes or an hour or a day later and make valid comparisons of subtle differences ignores the very real limits of human beings. Let's not get started on the impact of labels.

And the cherry on top is bias blindness, a facet of human consciousness that prevents us from recognizing our limits, even when they're pointed out to us.

The solution to these limitations is the double blind ABX which hides the labels, switches the samples instantly, and allows as many repetitions as necessary to focus concentration where ever it's needed. But with bias blindness in operation most of us don't see the need for ABX <grin>.

Fran
The solution for me is invoke my audio processes (as biased or deficient as they may be), relish the ability to sense the emotional content of the music and enjoy my listening experiences.

Put more clinically, if I can't hear a difference it doesn't matter. If I can hear a difference it might matter, then again it might not.
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  #69  
Old 09-18-2011, 06:23 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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The solution for me is invoke my audio processes (as biased or deficient as they may be), relish the ability to sense the emotional content of the music and enjoy my listening experiences.

Put more clinically, if I can't hear a difference it doesn't matter. If I can hear a difference it might matter, then again it might not.
Steve, other folks have suggested that there is a conflict between ABX and the emotional impact of some piece of gear or other. But I'd suggest that they're two completely separate issues.

Of course, when one is in the midst of the creating, the emotional impact is all that counts. If it sounds good, if it moves us, if it conveys the emotion we want to convey, it _is_ good.

But what about when we're shopping for gear? Should we let our emotions rule that process? Certainly the folks selling us gear hope we will, that we'll fall in love with the specs, the endorsements, and the claims of connection to legendary glories of the past, and further that we'll always want another fix of gear magic when the current one wears off.

What if a careful round of double blind ABX tells you that you can't hear any difference between the new product and one you already own?

With what we know about human perception, we _know_ that listening without blinding is a recipe for self deception, that "shiny and new" has a very high probability of "sounding better" than the old dog even when there is no objective difference. Why relish that?

Fran
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:09 AM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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Of course, when one is in the midst of the creating, the emotional impact is all that counts. If it sounds good, if it moves us, if it conveys the emotion we want to convey, it _is_ good.

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Certainly the folks selling us gear hope we will, that we'll fall in love with the specs, the endorsements, and the claims of connection to legendary glories of the past

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran Guidry View Post
With what we know about human perception, we _know_ that listening without blinding is a recipe for self deception, that "shiny and new" has a very high probability of "sounding better" than the old dog even when there is no objective difference. Why relish that?



I absolutely, positively believe in your points here Fran. Good on you

Last edited by Joseph Hanna; 09-21-2011 at 07:55 AM. Reason: unworldly bad grammer
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  #71  
Old 09-19-2011, 10:17 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Steve, other folks have suggested that there is a conflict between ABX and the emotional impact of some piece of gear or other. But I'd suggest that they're two completely separate issues.

Of course, when one is in the midst of the creating, the emotional impact is all that counts. If it sounds good, if it moves us, if it conveys the emotion we want to convey, it _is_ good.

But what about when we're shopping for gear? Should we let our emotions rule that process? Certainly the folks selling us gear hope we will, that we'll fall in love with the specs, the endorsements, and the claims of connection to legendary glories of the past, and further that we'll always want another fix of gear magic when the current one wears off.

What if a careful round of double blind ABX tells you that you can't hear any difference between the new product and one you already own?

With what we know about human perception, we _know_ that listening without blinding is a recipe for self deception, that "shiny and new" has a very high probability of "sounding better" than the old dog even when there is no objective difference. Why relish that?

Fran
There are differences, large ones, between performing music, producing music and listening to music. There are technical and emotional aspects to each one.

When shopping for gear I will compare specs (which are somewhat helpful but can be inaccurate, incomplete or irrelevant), compare features, build quality, topology, etc. But the most important thing is to try the gear out myself. It is only then that I can make a decision about it. I realize there are marketing pressures but I'm fairly oblivious to them.

As to ABX testing, I've done my share. I find that there are problems with many of the tests. For example, am I familiar enough with the samples before the test? If I'm not, that usually results in less accurate choices. If I'm familiar with the material then my choices become much more accurate.

More importantly, though, the emotional aspect of music is something I quite enjoy and I have no desire to supplant it with any more intellectualism than I already have invested in it.
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  #72  
Old 09-19-2011, 11:45 PM
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Steve, question on your mixes. You said you used a slight doubler effect on one. I couldn't hear it, but the mix sounded nice. if you don't mind, what is it and how is it set?
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  #73  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:46 AM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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To me, recording samples of microphones are meaningless because I have no way of knowing which one most accurately represents the actual sound of the guitar unless the recordings are intended to only show how little or great the differences between the mics are rather than which is best (most accurate).
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  #74  
Old 09-21-2011, 07:57 AM
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To me, recording samples of microphones are meaningless because I have no way of knowing which one most accurately represents the actual sound of the guitar unless the recordings are intended to only show how little or great the differences between the mics are rather than which is best (most accurate).
Yes and no. No recording can exactly represent how the guitar sounds live, especially how it sounds to the player. Also what one may want (usually wants) is the most pleasing recorded sound regardless of exact accuracy - for example one may prefer a sound a little warmer than the guitar actually is (say perhaps by using a LD rather than a SD or perhaps a ribbon mike).
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  #75  
Old 09-21-2011, 08:10 AM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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Yes and no. No recording can exactly represent how the guitar sounds live, especially how it sounds to the player. Also what one may want (usually wants) is the most pleasing recorded sound regardless of exact accuracy - for example one may prefer a sound a little warmer than the guitar actually is (say perhaps by using a LD rather than a SD or perhaps a ribbon mike).
It goes without saying that no recording is fully accurate and there was nothing in my post to suggest otherwise. Whether one prefers a high fidelity recording or an embellished one is a matter of personal preference. Obviously, I am interested in high fidelity (unless it comes to reproducing my own voice in which case I would prefer a microphone capable of flattering my voice, if one exists, to an accurate one).
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