Everyone Hears Differently?

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James Tanner

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Everyone Hears Differently?
« on: 15 Jun 2019, 04:33 pm »
HI Folks,

Lets say 3 of us go to an non-amplified concert of the Boston Pops and then we go to each of the 3 individuals homes and listen to their sound system.

Would we agree which of the 3 systems sounded more like the real experience in the concert hall?

james



PierreB

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #1 on: 15 Jun 2019, 05:14 pm »
For me, no.


James Tanner

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #2 on: 15 Jun 2019, 06:01 pm »

SET Man

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #3 on: 15 Jun 2019, 06:25 pm »
Hey!

   Here's my $0.02USD on this. The answer is no. What you hear at the concert hall with your own ears is not the same as what the mics picked up. Although, the recording technology we have today is pretty amazing. But it can't pick up everything your ears hear at the concert hall, also the mics are not at the same spot as you were at the concert also.

   I've heard Anna Netrebko at the Met Opera, and when I put on her CD on my system, I know is her singing, I can hear the music, the hall and etc. But there's still something that's different about it.

   So, at home I'm hearing what the mic(s) heard at the concert hall. Still a well recorded one can still captors most of the fundamental sounds, and the emotional aspect of the performance enough to be reproduce at home. And with that I do enjoy Anna's voice on CD enough to reminded me of her singing live at the Lincoln Center but not 100% like being there though.

Buddy

PierreB

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #4 on: 15 Jun 2019, 07:56 pm »
Why not?

james

I think that each individual has a different musical hearing.  We do not necessarily hear the music in the same way as another so a consensus seems impossible to me.

Photon46

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #5 on: 15 Jun 2019, 08:07 pm »
Why not?
james

I think it's because everyone focuses on different aspects of the system's performance and sound reproduction. When our audio club visits different owner's homes and we listen to different systems, seems like everyone is focusing on different things. Some fixate on whether everything from middle C on down sounds real and powerful. Some fixate on sound staging and sense of air surrounding instruments and performers. For others, it's dynamics and sense of scale. Some want to hear the chest, throat, sinuses, and teeth of the singers reproduced with proper contribution to the overall vocal performance.  I could go on and on, but we know what I'm talking about. We all hear the same things, but our "hierarchies of audio reality" are different.

Freo-1

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #6 on: 15 Jun 2019, 10:00 pm »
Hey!

   Here's my $0.02USD on this. The answer is no. What you hear at the concert hall with your own ears is not the same as what the mics picked up. Although, the recording technology we have today is pretty amazing. But it can't pick up everything your ears hear at the concert hall, also the mics are not at the same spot as you were at the concert also.

   I've heard Anna Netrebko at the Met Opera, and when I put on her CD on my system, I know is her singing, I can hear the music, the hall and etc. But there's still something that's different about it.

   So, at home I'm hearing what the mic(s) heard at the concert hall. Still a well recorded one can still captors most of the fundamental sounds, and the emotional aspect of the performance enough to be reproduce at home. And with that I do enjoy Anna's voice on CD enough to reminded me of her singing live at the Lincoln Center but not 100% like being there though.

Buddy



Agree.  The mic'ed recording is always a different perspective than a given location in the hall.


No two systems in our home environment will sound the same.  Some folks have SET electronics with very sensitive speakers, while others may have monitors with one or more subwoofers.  Still others will have large floor standing speakers with large power amps.  Additionally, some of the modern SS amps have built DSP/SHARC logic used in creating the audio signal. 


Given all this, it's simply not possible to get the systems to sound like live.  However, with a large room, the right type of speakers and amps, it's possible to get close to the actual sound, but close is as good as one can get.

James Tanner

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #7 on: 15 Jun 2019, 11:17 pm »
Hi Folks,

I am not asking if it sounds the same as the concert hall. I am asking would the 3 of us agree that system 1 sounded more like the concert hall than system 2 or 3.

Photon ... would you as a listener not 'focus' or 'fixate' on the the same things in the concert hall?  For example from middle C on down or the scale or the dynamics as you suggest - how did that sound in the concert hall and how does it sound on the 3 systems. 

In other words I guess what I am saying is no matter what our 'preference' the comparison between the concert hall and the 3 systems would still have validity.

james



Saturn94

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #8 on: 15 Jun 2019, 11:49 pm »
I think it's because everyone focuses on different aspects of the system's performance and sound reproduction. When our audio club visits different owner's homes and we listen to different systems, seems like everyone is focusing on different things. Some fixate on whether everything from middle C on down sounds real and powerful. Some fixate on sound staging and sense of air surrounding instruments and performers. For others, it's dynamics and sense of scale. Some want to hear the chest, throat, sinuses, and teeth of the singers reproduced with proper contribution to the overall vocal performance.  I could go on and on, but we know what I'm talking about. We all hear the same things, but our "hierarchies of audio reality" are different.

This!  :thumb:

Saturn94

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #9 on: 15 Jun 2019, 11:57 pm »
Hi Folks,

I am not asking if it sounds the same as the concert hall. I am asking would the 3 of us agree that system 1 sounded more like the concert hall than system 2 or 3.

Photon ... would you as a listener not 'focus' or 'fixate' on the the same things in the concert hall?  For example from middle C on down or the scale or the dynamics as you suggest - how did that sound in the concert hall and how does it sound on the 3 systems. 

In other words I guess what I am saying is no matter what our 'preference' the comparison between the concert hall and the 3 systems would still have validity.

james

Understood. :)

I’m not sure one would focus on the same thing at a concert vs a home audio system.  And even if we did, a live concert is such a different experience, I would think that experience would influence what we hear/perceive. No?

I can easily see a situation where none of the 3 systems sounds more like the real thing even though they all sound different.

Photon46

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #10 on: 16 Jun 2019, 12:10 am »
Like Saturn94, I think the experience of being at a live performance is quite different from sitting at home listening and we react differently. The live theater is an immersive experience and we tend to shut off the part of our hypercritical nitpicking audio brains that is more prone to kick in at home. The live music venue is stimulating all of our senses, the home listening experience tends to focus more on hearing only because the rest of the environmental stimuli we're experiencing is familiar.

I will say when I close my eyes at a live acoustic musical concert, I am always amazed at how even the best systems I've ever heard sound quite different from a seat in a theater. The mix of direct vs. reflected/ambient sound is so different in a large theater vs. even the best acoustically treated smaller home room listening environment. Instrumental timbre, dynamics, etc. can be reproduced well with the best of today's equipment, but the way a live orchestra interacts with a theater sounds quite different from a miked recording of the same.

Mike in NC

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #11 on: 16 Jun 2019, 05:23 am »
I think in many cases, listeners would agree. However, in many cases, they would not. In the latter cases, I lean towards @Photon46's view of this. Different listeners notice different things, and their systems may each have their own areas of best accuracy. To pick something really simple, system A may reproduce the bass drum and tubas most accurately, while system B may reproduce violin most accurately, and C gives the best soundstage.

If listeners A, B, and C's priorities in audio align with the performance of their systems, each may consider her own system most accurate.

I will add that since a recording usually offers a markedly different dynamic picture, perspective, and tonal balance from a live event, one is comparing fundamentally different things. So, is an orange, a tangerine, or a sour apple closest to a lime?

Does that make sense?

Russell Dawkins

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #12 on: 16 Jun 2019, 07:20 am »
HI Folks,

Lets say 3 of us go to an non-amplified concert of the Boston Pops and then we go to each of the 3 individuals homes and listen to their sound system.

Would we agree which of the 3 systems sounded more like the real experience in the concert hall?

james

A good question I think, and one that seems somehow to be misunderstood by the majority of respondents, interestingly.

I would think that no matter how differently each of us perceive sound, and I have to presume we 'hear' differently, beyond the differences caused by the varying acoustics of individual pinnae and ear canals, we would still be inclined to choose the system that most accurately reproduced the sound of the actual concert, including the reproduction of the acoustic of the hall in which it was recorded.

If, through skillful design of listening acoustic and playback equipment, an identical soundfield was achieved I would think it likely that everyone would find this most like the real experience, auditory memory allowing, regardless of what they were perceiving in terms of frequency response, dynamics, distortion spacial realism, etc.

It's also worth mentioning that, as is often said, the room is a major player in the sonic experience and speakers that attempt to remove the influence of the room, such as most of the Gradients, the Dutch and Dutch 8C monitors and some line arrays are more likely to reproduce the sound of the orchestra and the hall, making the listening room less of a factor in the overall sound.

JLM

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #13 on: 16 Jun 2019, 10:15 am »
And then there is a the proud papa syndrome where we each (perhaps should) prefer our own system that we've assembled and become accustomed to.  Naturally a $10,000 system properly setup should objectively sound better than a $100 radio. 


R. Daneel

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #14 on: 16 Jun 2019, 11:33 am »
HI Folks,

Lets say 3 of us go to an non-amplified concert of the Boston Pops and then we go to each of the 3 individuals homes and listen to their sound system.

Would we agree which of the 3 systems sounded more like the real experience in the concert hall?

james

Most likely no, for two reasons:

1. at a live event (if it is something you enjoy), all senses are excited which inevitably means an emotional reaction to the music. All of us react differently to this.

2. and perhaps more importantly, human hearing is particularly difficult to assess because it is adaptive to different volume levels in different ways with different people. A live concert would certainly mean listening to music in a loud manner and we would perceive this volume differently. So, if our mutual experience at the actual event is different, there is no way our memory of it will somehow be the same after the event has ended.

Cheers!
Antun

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #15 on: 16 Jun 2019, 12:25 pm »
Absolutely no agreement.

1. Auditory memory is very brief.
2. Human hearing is always colored by past experiences (emotions, etc etc).
3. Does it matter? (As long as the musik moves me, what another person "hears" is not any of my concern).

RonN5

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #16 on: 16 Jun 2019, 01:26 pm »
"Would we agree which of the 3 systems sounded more like the real experience in the concert hall"?

I suspect the answer is no....why?  my experience has been that people's brains are attuned to different things...for example, I automatically focus in on pianos and trumpets...not sure why.  My brother is sensitive to bass.  A buddy of ours is all about volume.  Therefore, it is likely that we could hear all three systems....and I prefer system one because of how it does pianos....while you prefer system two because of how it present snare drums.

My point being that our overall opinion will be influenced by our preferences and how we hear them presented.

Freo-1

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #17 on: 16 Jun 2019, 01:43 pm »

Since you clarified the question, I'm going to say that "it's possible" that the group could agree on a single system.  Based on my experience, the system that provides the best overall low frequency response in the given environment will be the system judged to be the closest.  This is in reference to providing the deepest and most accurate low frequency response.  This is not the "enhanced mid-bass boom" some folks like, but rather, the bass that makes a stand up non electric (acoustic) bass sound accurate.  An accurate low frequency response seems to enhance the entire frequency spectrum. 


This of course assumes that the 3 speakers in question measure somewhat similar from 80 Hz on up, which many better quality speakers can achieve.

Photon46

Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #18 on: 16 Jun 2019, 02:31 pm »
I would think that no matter how differently each of us perceive sound, and I have to presume we 'hear' differently, beyond the differences caused by the varying acoustics of individual pinnae and ear canals, we would still be inclined to choose the system that most accurately reproduced the sound of the actual concert, including the reproduction of the acoustic of the hall in which it was recorded.

It's entirely possible such a consensus could be reached I suppose. It would be interesting to conduct this test with non-audiophile concert goers and audiophiles to see if there's any statistical difference in how people hear these differences.

AJinFLA

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Re: Everyone Hears Differently?
« Reply #19 on: 16 Jun 2019, 02:37 pm »
3 audiophiles agree on anything?
No.