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Soundstage. Is it only a constuction?

Discussion in 'audio' started by herb, May 5, 2021.

  1. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    This is not possible with "real stereo" (2-mic / 2-channel) but it is possible with a stereo mix I think when phase manipulation is used.
     
  2. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    I tried a Dolby Atmos track from YouTube last week played via the stereo speakers on a Samsung phone and the sound did appear to come from around my head. Funnily enough when I tried the same track via KEF LS50 the effect was much less pronounced!
     
  3. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    I've never tried Atmos but if you are using crosstalk cancellation DSP then the speakers should be close to each other. Binaural recordings sound "spacious" with speakers but only really work with head- or ear-phones.
    Have you tried the knock-knock test with headphones (scroll down to "The Real Thing" on the link below)? I was home alone and nearly died of a heat attack...

    https://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_stereophonicsound.php
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  4. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Haha, yes that’s a bit disconcerting!

    I’ve got a binaural recording of a programmable piano playing the Goldberg Variations with a dummy sitting at the piano with binaural microphones in it’s ears. Sounds quite realistic on good headphones. There’s another one playing Art Tatem stuff.
     
  5. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    I remember those reading about those recordings but never listened to one.

    I have a couple from https://harmonicclassics.com
     
  6. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    There appears to be rather more to it than that, depending upon the chosen/available microphones:

    https://www.stereophile.com/content/stereo-image

    Some listeners, in any case, find that highly directional speakers are quite incapable of creating a convincing aural picture.
     
  7. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    What do you mean by some listeners and where did you read that?

    Highly directional speakers are able to reproduce/transduce the signal more accurately than wide-directivity speakers. The listening room distorts the sound, but it's an euphonic or pleasing distortion, at least to some people, because early side-wall reflections increase the sense of envelopment and distort the phantom images and soundstage making them wider.
     
  8. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    I think that the ability to reproduce a decent soundstage points to an ability to manage the phase relationships in the signal (ie, not screw them up too much). And the better this is managed, the more coherent the output in terms of timing, energy management, etc, and this is where the gains are perceived, IME.
     
    herb likes this.
  9. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    I agree with the above Sue except for “timing”.
    I have never been able to hear that. I don’t know what it’s about.
    All I know is that with two speakers I can get the illusion that the walls of my listening room aren’t there, which is impossible in mono.
    I am testing a really excellent Airplay B&O speaker right now. It is truly superb tonally but there’s almost no stereo effect and there is clearly something missing to my enjoying the music it makes.
    The sound, however good it is, just comes from the speaker.
     
  10. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Well, I can dream, can’t I?

    'Timing' in this sense means two things, I think. There's the obvious musical timing thing - are the musicians playing in time with each other. It can surprise me when I hear the difference in a system which resolves this better - all of a sudden they seem like better musicians. But the second thing is the way the musical notes are in time within themselves. Does the shape of the note's attack/decay feel right? Do the leading edge of the note (usually high frequency) and the lower frequency aspects of the note occur in the right temporal reference to themselves? With, say, a plucked double-bass, does the 'thwack' bit and the 'note/harmonics' happen realistically, or is the bass bit delayed, or smeared-out?
     
    Elephantears and Robn like this.
  11. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    That’s pretty much what I’m saying, it’s just that I’m also saying that these things when listened for aren’t enjoyable in themselves. I mean the idea of sitting and trying to listen to these factors in isolation is boring as hell.
     
    chartz likes this.
  12. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs “telling it like it isn’t...”

    I don’t know if soundstage is only a construction.

    I presumed that the folk making the record did it to make the listening experience more enjoyable. It is something that is constructed.
    How each person hears it will be slightly different, so my two penneth is that the answer is No.

    I recognise music reproduction that it is wide and/or deep and I prefer that presentation.
    If the soundstage is poor it can distract me a lot, it is what The Wife and I regard as ‘wrong.’ Plenty of time I have played The Wife something, and her response is the same as mine without prompting, ‘wrong.’
     
    herb likes this.
  13. herb

    herb music live

    When I was an absolute phase/polarity worrier with Quad ESLs or MA R852MDs the change in distance perception was very noticeable.

    The best soundstage I have heard was in the '70s listening to a live broadcast of Verdi's Requiem on FM radio, QUAD ESLs. The effect was that you were in the hall, but in reality it was a construction of the recording engineer, I have never had that feeling at a live concert. I heard a repeat a couple of months later and the ambience magic was much reduced, more like reality.
     
  14. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    Yes I agree. I can enjoy music in my car too.
    But it’s a welcome bonus.
     
    Nagraboy likes this.
  15. tuga

    tuga Legal Alien

    Dipoles are good at "creating" perceived depth because of their use of the front wall as reflector, with the reflected sound arriving with enough delay (Haas effect).
     
    herb and Nagraboy like this.

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