ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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SteveTheShadow
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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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Here’s what recording engineer, audiophile and proprietor of Stranger Hi-Fi, Cameron Jenkins, has to say:

When it comes to modern popular music of the last half-century, there is a great lack of understanding of how records are made. Starting right back with The Beatles and The Beach Boys and the advent of multitrack recording, where it has been possible to overdub instruments, there is no ‘how it sounded in the studio’. It doesn’t exist. The rhythm track of drums, bass, and rhythm guitar might well have been cut life, with the singer in a booth providing a guide vocal, but then everything would be overdubbed individually, things replaced, things fixed, polished, effects added, many takes of lead vocal recorded and then compiled. It is the creation of the studio. Steely Dan didn’t rock up to a studio, all setup and play the tunes. It took months and months and months. I have spent days and days and days and weeks and weeks of my life compiling vocals, painstakingly replacing words, in some cases syllables – and that was before the advent of Pro Tools! Watching the young engineers editing these days is mesmerizing but then again, I could do it with a Studer tape machine, an auto locator, 2-inch tape, and a razor blade.

I know there are audiophile labels making music that tries to take you as near as possible to the performer, using a single stereo pair of mics, or a Neumann Dummy Head or whatever, with the cleanest possible signal path and so on, but it doesn’t float my boat, to be honest. It often seems like a technical exercise. Yes, those bagpipes sound just like you were standing next to them. If that’s your thing I’m all for it, but it’s not for me.

What we audiophiles need to strive for is a system that best conveys and communicates the artist’s intention in a way that as far as possible conjures up an emotional response, that makes you feel, that touches you. It is ALL about the music.


So how you achieve that last paragraph without using your ears, is beyond me. They talk fecking bollocks on that ASR site.
Full interview here: https://www.dagogo.com/stranger-times-i ... -fidelity/
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CN211276 (Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:03 pm) • karatestu (Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:15 pm) • Bencat57 (Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:23 pm) • nilsatisnisioptimum (Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:31 pm)
The pianist in today’s Play School, was William Blezard.

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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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savvypaul wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:22 pm
Neonknight wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:09 am
savvypaul wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:43 pm You couldn't make them up...the intelligent idiots.
This mindset doesn't make sense either, and really leaves me wondering. Ears fooling a person, so what the graph shows is the only reality? I can't remember a time when I heard a system that I liked, and whenever I revisited it I didn't like it. Whether its my system, a friends, or even one in an audio store. Heck I have wanted to like a component, but after listening to it I could not, apparently my ears were not working hard enough to fool me.

Once again, why does it have to be one or the other? I can see a measured frequency response done in room as a valuable tool on how to set up and or adjust a system. Its also interesting to see if you can understand what you are hearing, and give context to what is occurring. But its not what you want to base a final decision on without any listening.

I find it interesting that people cannot be introspective and consider using all tools available to them to make an informed decision. I had a previous system in my other home where I used a DEQX to bi-amp, provide time correction, and measure FR and adjust with a parametric eq. The process worked very well, and I could correlate what I heard to what I measured. I also found that I could hear the effect of the processor on the overall sound, and that I could achieve a more realistic tone with it removed, although I now understood how to furnish the room and use a few acoustic panels disguised as art to deal with the most noticeable aberrations. In the end the stereo was simpler, but I found the info I needed to make meaningful system set up choices.
I can see in-room measurements and DSP being useful for dealers. Much easier to tweak a few buttons than to tell the customer that the speakers should be in a different place and they need to move some furniture around. 90% of the time, the customer will be none the wiser...and I've nothing against it until those dealers aggressively spam forums to tell you that this way is best - it's not, it's a compromise.

When you did your own in-room measurements, did you get anything from those measurements that you hadn't already detected by ear?
There were successes and failures with this approach. It is not a matter of learning something you could not hear, but rather a correlation of what you are hearing and what the room and or system measures at. This addresses significant issues, but there are a whole level of nuances that you won't resolve this way either. It also made for a complicated system, and certain mantras that are espoused in audio such as "eliminating the pre amp and using a digital volume control in the processor" did not work at all for me.

One capability the system had was to tri amp, and measure the speaker in a way to calculate crossover points. I went to all the effort of wiring in a third amp, putting the speaker on a pedestal and getting it in the exact center of the room, then running test tones and letting the computer calculate. Set everything back up and used the new configuration. The sound? Awful, absolutely awful. So then I decided to put in the factory points and slopes in electronically and see what happens. Once again awful. Apparently crossover design is not a plug and chug operation, and it takes some real talent and knowledge that reading a manual and clicking icons does not provide. But people who do know how to measure, and what it means, well they obviously use those numbers to achieve their goal.

What I found is that I could bi-amp, and then parametrically put a 5 dB boost in starting at 5K and get a very good presentation. When I run the measurements with that setting I was far closer to a flatter curve then ever before. The designer voiced these speakers to present what he felt was a "British Sound", and I was not fond of that result. Seemed like what I did was a Band-Aid and I didn't like it, but it did work. What the system allowed me to do is identify a bass node at 100 Hz, and verify when I got it tamed. I was able to do that as a combination of electronic settings, and materials in the corners.

When we moved to the new house I wanted a bit less complicated system, and I wanted reference quality speakers. So I bought my JBL 4365 and I found they presented the nuance of music at a greater level, which also means it exposed the effects of another set of electronics in the signal path, namely the DEQX. I found the trade offs of not using the DEQX and working with light room treatments to be preferable to using it actively. However, I was able to measure the room and know what anomalies I had, and past experiences gave me a game plan on how to minimize their effects. So I still found value in its use, just not in day to day listening.
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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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SteveTheShadow wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 3:02 pm Here’s what recording engineer, audiophile and proprietor of Stranger Hi-Fi, Cameron Jenkins, has to say:

When it comes to modern popular music of the last half-century, there is a great lack of understanding of how records are made. Starting right back with The Beatles and The Beach Boys and the advent of multitrack recording, where it has been possible to overdub instruments, there is no ‘how it sounded in the studio’. It doesn’t exist. The rhythm track of drums, bass, and rhythm guitar might well have been cut life, with the singer in a booth providing a guide vocal, but then everything would be overdubbed individually, things replaced, things fixed, polished, effects added, many takes of lead vocal recorded and then compiled. It is the creation of the studio. Steely Dan didn’t rock up to a studio, all setup and play the tunes. It took months and months and months. I have spent days and days and days and weeks and weeks of my life compiling vocals, painstakingly replacing words, in some cases syllables – and that was before the advent of Pro Tools! Watching the young engineers editing these days is mesmerizing but then again, I could do it with a Studer tape machine, an auto locator, 2-inch tape, and a razor blade.

I know there are audiophile labels making music that tries to take you as near as possible to the performer, using a single stereo pair of mics, or a Neumann Dummy Head or whatever, with the cleanest possible signal path and so on, but it doesn’t float my boat, to be honest. It often seems like a technical exercise. Yes, those bagpipes sound just like you were standing next to them. If that’s your thing I’m all for it, but it’s not for me.

What we audiophiles need to strive for is a system that best conveys and communicates the artist’s intention in a way that as far as possible conjures up an emotional response, that makes you feel, that touches you. It is ALL about the music.


So how you achieve that last paragraph without using your ears, is beyond me. They talk fecking bollocks on that ASR site.
Full interview here: https://www.dagogo.com/stranger-times-i ... -fidelity/
An interesting article. Supports my belief that graphs and charts showing the frequency response of speakers are :Bllocks: because of the effect of the room. If there is an anonomly in the frequency response it can be detected by someone who trusts their ears. I am not one for room treatments with regard to play back. The speaker design should take a typical domestic room into account, althogh it might mean the curve on the graph is not flat.
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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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There is no typical room
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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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Vinyl-ant wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:27 pm There is no typical room
Least of all an anechoic chamber.
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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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Cameron Jenkins is another one of those Music Biz engineers that married his compression machine.

He is therefore my enemy and not my friend.

So much so that I can't take anything he says on sound reproduction seriously.

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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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Up to you Lindsay but compression is necessary and we have to build our systems to make the best of what the music biz dishes out, otherwise why bother?
I mean, the thing is, Hi-fi component designers and some reviewers like to talk about realism as their ultimate goal, but that’s not a thing for me. OK, so when playing the 0.1% of very high quality recordings on a super-linear, wide bandwidth, low distortion system, situated within a properly treated listening space, you might just about be fooled into thinking people are playing music in your room, but I don’t care about that. In the end, all I want is for things to sound good.
The pianist in today’s Play School, was William Blezard.

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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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SteveTheShadow wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:35 pm Up to you Lindsay but compression is necessary and we have to build our systems to make the best of what the music biz dishes out, otherwise why bother?
I mean, the thing is, Hi-fi component designers and some reviewers like to talk about realism as their ultimate goal, but that’s not a thing for me. OK, so when playing the 0.1% of very high quality recordings on a super-linear, wide bandwidth, low distortion system, situated within a properly treated listening space, you might just about be fooled into thinking people are playing music in your room, but I don’t care about that. In the end, all I want is for things to sound good.
I totally disagree that compression is necessary.

It's not necessary at all!

Certainly not on the recording.

Radio stations can always compress their broadcasts to make it suitable for car or factory listening.

Or consumers could be offered the choice of compressed or non compressed recordings. I know which I'd go for every time.

It's Music Biz marketing :Bllocks: to say that compression is necessary.

What sounds good to me is when it sounds like I've got human musicians playing real instruments in my room and when it sounds like I've got the actual singer there, singing their heart out.

I'd say that about 50% of my 20th century recordings give a pretty good recreation of the singer / band / orchestra / musicians being in my listening rooms.
That figure drops down to 1% of my 21st century recordings - due to the ubiquitous use of over-compression. By clowns such as Cameron Bloody Jenkins. :angry-steamingears:

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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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Sorry I bleed'n spoke. I'll go and listen to one of my 17,030, 256k AAC Apple Music tracks, then change into sackcloth and ashes.
There's no difference between the Apple Music tracks and the same tracks on CD. None that I can hear anyway.
I'm done with this audiophile bollocks to tell you the truth. Life's too short not to be enjoying the music. Not at my age anyhow.
If my system sounds as good on my compressed to buggery 60s Motown, Phil Spector, early Beatles, Who and Stones, as it does on my Patricia Barber, then I'm happy. It took me years to get my system, so it does that. That's what it's all about to me.
The pianist in today’s Play School, was William Blezard.

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Re: ASR and the rise of the intelligent idiots

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SteveTheShadow wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:22 pm I'm done with this audiophile bollocks to tell you the truth. Life's too short not to be enjoying the music.
I've been thinking that too The music is what it is. Let's just enjoy it for what it is. Dua Lipa and Imagine Dragons sound fine to me and they are Radio 1 favourites and only two or three years old.

I can't wait til I have finished my system (I have all the bits) so I can try and banish the ocd tendencies and put my feet up. All that is left to do then is wean myself off forums and just listen to music :grin:
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