Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dave Rat Blog - Perception and more

It was very cool to be able to get to do sound seminars in Prague, Bucharest, Sofia and today in Athens as well. Meeting sound humans in each city is super cool.

My latest ponder is back on to the deficiencies of the equipment we use to measure audio. It is so tempting to look at frequency response and believe it is an accurate picture of what we are hearing. Yes, I do very much rely on frequency response and tonal balance as a primary factor of the sound being presented. I also try my best to be aware of the fact that frequency response is just a small part of the bigger auditory picture.

Can any measurement gear tell you who manufactured the system you are listening to?

For example, what if I were to EQ an L-Acoustic K1, JBL Vertec and a D&B J rig to look exactly the same on my measurement system? Will they sound the same? What if I space two speakers 4 feet apart horizontally in cube shaped room and measured the sound.  Then I move the speakers to be vertically spaced in the same room, the same distances from the floor and ceiling as they were from the walls before. The same mic position as well. Acoustically the exact same sound would be created and measured, the exact same frequency response. Yet if we listened to the two scenarios would they sound the same? Would we be able to hear that the speakers are placed horizontally versus vertically? If we can not hear the difference then we can start placing our home Hi-Fi speakers vertically spaced and it would sound the same, Right?

So if the measurement system we rely on can not easily differentiate between drastically different speaker positions and systems types, something so easy for us to hear  as vertical versus horizontal speaker placement, what other valuable information is it denying us? Now move those same speakers very close together and compare the sound of horizontal versus vertical placements, can we still hear the difference? Is there comb-filtering?

The theory of line arrays relies somewhat on placing all the issues of speaker interaction vertically where our ears are less likely to hear them. No major manufacturer or any manufacturer that I know of makes a horizontal line array wherein overlapping coverage between adjoining boxes is utilized to increase coverage distance. Horizontal arrays are typically splayed at fixed angles that minimize overlap between boxes.

OK, some adventure pics. Say hey to the Bucharest Romania seminar crew.

And thank you Pipai and Rock Studios for lining it up and hosting.

New Cities

The authority of "Stop" strikes fear into all those attempting to go


Josh has a broken foot so has been playing while seated, soooo... we attached the tilt legs to the MicroWedges to get the right angle

Cool idea, standardized caster plates that attach to cases.

Looking up in the stadium


After show

Between Bucharest and Sofia

Laundry Day

Bulgaria Seminar

Thank you Andrey!

Athens Seminar

At Lizard Sound

And finally, Not a big fan of Apple so when their flaws come to light I like it.

Dave Rat

1 comment:

  1. The constant quest for knowledge and insight is the most admirable thing about you Mr Rat, and something I strive to emulate every day. If you've not heard of them before I urge you to check out the numerous TED talks as a source of much insight and many interesting concepts.

    This particular talk really resonated with me, and I think it adds something interesting to the measurement vs perception argument.