1. This day in history: January 12, 2002. 9:49 AM, California time. The Steve Hoffman Music Forums officially launched with this thread. Thank you for 20 years of music, discussion, and great memories! Join our "Thank You!" thread, and we'll see you in the forum!
    Dismiss Notice

Best tracks to test soundstage

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LakeMountain, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Simoon

    Simoon Forum Resident

    Los Angeles

    I think we are talking past each other a bit.

    I don't think I implied that good soundstage EVERYWHERE in the room is not the preferred way to do it, only that it is possible to have an amazing soundstage only from a narrow sweet spot. That is one of the reasons I gave up 'stats years ago.

    We also agree with studios and studio engineers. I have a very good friend, that is the owner and engineer at a very respected recording studios in Orange County, Ca. He has also, as you mentioned, stated that studio engineers don't care about soundstage and imaging. Funny thing is, he has a quite high end 2 channel system in his home, in a room specifically designed for 2 channel audio, and the soundstage and imaging is really good. He kind of has a laugh whenever I am over at his house listening to his system, and I point out how good the soundstage is.

    But aren't we talking about 2 different things now? A bit of apples to oranges...

    Previously we were both talking about classical music, that has been recorded in an actual venue (not a recording studio) where using mic techniques, such as a Decca Tree, XY, Blumlein, out mics, etc, with the specific intent on capturing the ambient information. Wouldn't this imply, that there is ambient information on the recording, that will recreate some semblance of soundstage, even nearfield, or in an overly dead room?

    Here's one of many articles online (this one from DPA Microphones), discussing recording classical music. They specifically state that the engineers are checking the quality of the stereo image in the control room.

    Guidelines for miking a symphony orchestra with A-B set-up
    LakeMountain likes this.
  2. Anybody know who makes a Lifeness” Meter” for testing the accuracy of “Lifelike Sound” ?

    I need one that’s accurate in small to medium size rooms. It should also have a scale for
    “Dynamic Strangeness” and “Defective Perspective”. Thanks.
    izeek and Ted Torres Jr like this.
  3. Coypu

    Coypu Forum Resident

    Benny Hill: Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)
    addicted2 likes this.
  4. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    Nearfielding WITH a center reflector WILL create 3D in a control room.
    Nearfielding in an open field (or a dead anechoic setup with a completely dead front wall) will NOT create a soundfield.
    It may place the sound correctly in space and it may sound solid, not flat---but it will not have DEPTH.
    It will not be in 3D.

    The key is having something solid behind and in the middle to bounce the center image off.
    The key is having your speakers pulled out far enough into the room to get the depth info timing correct between their output and the bounce off the center reflector (wall---fireplace---open cabinet with flat insides, etc).
    The key is having a ROOM.
    The room creates the illusion you want of depth.

    My pal the engineer does his mastering with Audio Notes---(he has original Snells)---jammed flat against his wall.
    So he gets almost no depth out of it and it all sounds two dimensional.
    No soundfield.
    No depth thank you.
    He HATES depth.

    And YES you are RIGHT.
    The recording using the correct mic setup does have depth info on it.
    YOUR job is to reverse engineer the playback acoustic setting to mimic the acoustics of a good hall.
    A hall LIKE the one they used on the recording is the right setting.
    But ANY room tuned to sound like a great concert hall will "decode" the missing reflections to a great degree.

    So YES---you DO have info on some well recorded stuff.
    But you have to use the correct design of a room to get the most out of what the mics heard.

    With a dead front wall---and I mean DEAD---your depth is gone.
    And speakers need to be the right distance from that reflector to pop out an nice fat illusion for you.

    By the way---Stat panels in an open field will create ZERO depth.
    That demo with stats had a WALL in the middle of the panels.
    The wall took whatever sound (mostly rear reflections off stats) and created a nice soundstage with a narrow sweet spot.

    No wall.
    No soundfield!

    The best 3D imaging with DEPTH is created by an engineer working in a room with some kind of center reflector.
    That allows the engineer to shape the sound with a nod to the front/back effects.
    HIS front back and YOUR front back will probably differ as you have no idea how to duplicate the mix room acoustics.

    However it is NICE when an engineer gives even passing attention to depth.
  5. Slack

    Slack Forum Resident

    This album is exceptional for natural sort of imaging-not just depth but also height.
  6. Kristofferabild

    Kristofferabild Forum Resident

    Re. further investigation into how to get a soundstage with my Rega RX1 on the wall, I found out today that moving my listening couch more back into the room made a huge difference.
    Gi54 likes this.
  7. bever70

    bever70 It's all about The Soundstage

    Amen to that! People who have a Tv in between/center/behind their speakers should really experiment with front to back placement (and angle) instead of just slapping it on that front wall believing it should be as far back as possible.
    Doctor Fine likes this.
  8. Clonesteak

    Clonesteak Forum Resident

    Kalamazoo, MI
    I wish I could pull my speakers out from my TV in my movie viewing room but... there is no room to do so. I know if I did pull these out the imaging and depth would be there. I have a dedicated listening room with speakers pulled out into the room and it is magical.
  9. Danny Bezak

    Danny Bezak Active Member

    I could not stop listening to this album. Thanks for the suggestion. It is definitely ear candy! I had things I needed to do, but couldn't pull myself away once started.

    Good thread and love this forum.
    LakeMountain, Glmoneydawg and MGW like this.
  10. Danny Bezak

    Danny Bezak Active Member

    Come On In This House - Junior Wells

    The soundstage is literally amazing! And to top that off, recording quality and music are top notch.
    LakeMountain and Glmoneydawg like this.
  11. Glmoneydawg

    Glmoneydawg Forum Resident

    Ontario Canada
    If you keep your ears peeled, you will hear doors open/close and the air conditioning unit running/shutting off...and yep some great music :)
    LakeMountain likes this.
  12. Danny Bezak

    Danny Bezak Active Member

    I would like to add Mickey Hart. Most of his albums you can hear stuff all over the room and at times the sound appears outside the room!
    steviebee, SCM, Gi54 and 2 others like this.
  13. Wngnt90

    Wngnt90 Forum Resident

    Clapton - Unplugged.
  14. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Eagle, ID, USA
    I listened to this the other day and was amazed by the first track, the A/C was apparently running, my new SVS SB1000 Pro was moving some air (or at least let me know the HVAC was on in the venue). I have things set so in-room response is flat (OK a little boosted!) to 20Hz. I turned the sub level down 3dB to not be overwhelming.
    I tried to listen to the whole album but nodded off ... yes the sonics are amazing but it's not my cup of tea for the music. :hide:
    I do wonder why they didn't just wait until the HVAC shut off, but maybe it wasn't as obvious when they were recording. Is there a track where it turns on/off during the song?
  15. Just happen to listen to this on Saturday:

    Eric Bibb: “Spirt & The Blues” 1994

    Track: “In My Fathers House”

    All round fantastic recording.
    Gi54, GyroSE and Steve356 like this.
  16. One of my steady go to’s.
    Wngnt90 and Rick58 like this.
  17. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Forum Resident

    My go-to test tracks for soundstage imaging are:

    "Nothing But Flowers" Talking Heads
    "Badia" Weather Report
    "Punta Del Soul" Dave Grusin

    Nothing But Flowers in particular is rich with soundstage ear candy. The intro is sublime (see if you can hear the very subtle snare roll and follow it through the intro). The middle instrumental break is a veritable guitar orchestra. All very well recorded and expertly positioned in the mix.
  18. I agree with final point 2. I can’t imagine most music venues in my own home. It would be ridiculous. Also I can’t ever remember looking for a “sweet spot” or “soundstage” at a live concert or club venue.
  19. Ry Cooder: “Bop Till You Drop” R&B/SOUL 1979

    Track: “Trouble You Can’t Fool Me”

    Heck, the whole recording’s great!
    tiger roach and bever70 like this.
  20. Rodant Kapoor

    Rodant Kapoor Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
  21. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Eagle, ID, USA
    Interesting, that seems like a VERY early demo disc for CD. I wouldn't count on it being a great reference for soundstage, but it's possible. It's apparently available for <$3 so ...

    A 'sampler' came with my first CD player in 1984 ... regular CDs were $24.95 each or something, and kept in locked cases.
    Rodant Kapoor likes this.
  22. Rodant Kapoor

    Rodant Kapoor Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    If you're in the US, I can send it to you for postage :righton:
  23. Rick58

    Rick58 Forum Resident

    Eagle, ID, USA
    I don’t need it but what does it sound like to you?
  24. Rodant Kapoor

    Rodant Kapoor Forum Resident

    Milwaukee, WI
    I haven't tried listening to it yet, I just got it in a batch of CDs I bought here and thought of it when I saw your thread.
    Rick58 likes this.
  25. johnnyelectron

    johnnyelectron Active Member

    Sylvania, OH
    Percy Faith has an early 70's Columbia Quad LP with the song "Washington Square", great stereo (quad) Soundstage

Share This Page