Adventures In Audio

Any studio you like, any listening room you like - For producers and audiophiles

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@lukerosebaro8229:  Have you checked out Slate VSX yet? I'm loving it. I like the very nice pair of matched headphones it comes with so they can be sure they provide a consistent experience to everyone.

@deputy3690:  You look like Paul McCartney

@AudioMasterclass replies to @deputy3690: Some would disagree

@KeatingJosh:  It probably takes longer but i personally think it works better to listen to as much music as you can on your headphones and speakers to learn what professional recordings sound like on them and then try to emulate the balancing and mastering in the material you like the sound of

@JeffWernerIthacaNY:  My portable bt headphone amp has a “3d” button that does something like this but there aren’t multiple settings and it doesn’t work as well as this demo did.

@billmulvihill8452:  I’m none of those three…
I play it on my Sonos system and it always sounds great!🤣
I don’t worry about room acoustics either, as I use TruePlay to analyze the room and its contents and then it maximizes the sound for me.

@Mikexception:  Couldn't it be achieved by block of reverb effects? As bedroom producer I use such effects which are incorporated in my Korg rejestrator and it allows to align all possible variables of reverb I can apply it already to source before registration or can add at end by copying . The difference is that thy are no pre-programmed for named spaces but ready to set by user up to his delight.

@RudeRecording:  Room acoustics are the major contributor to speaker sound in a room. Even well treated rooms have standing waves and frequency anomalies. Also the isolation of the channels are not absolute in a room, there is cross feed in the room. Crosstalk is a problem in vinyl reproduction too, most turntables may have only 25 dB of left to right isolation.
The downside of headphones is that they lack the ability to reproduce the bone conduction response that a good high quality set of speakers can produce which can make getting the low end of the mix right.
I listened to your examples with Sonar Works SoundID with individually calibrated Sennheiser HD 650 headphones. SoundID is available for anyone and works natively in Windows and Mac and can be used to calibrate speakers in a room. It also simulates many different speakers and environments. The one drawback is that it does not simulate room cross feed but I use Goodhertz CanOpener for that purpose in my DAW.
After adjustment, I've found that my mixes translate very well using only headphones as a reference. Then again, I started studio work when a "studio monitor" was defined as 45 Hz to 15 kHz ± 3 dB and acoustic treatment was done by architects, headphone response was horrible. When I started in the biz, I learned to adjust my mixes for the shortcomings of my speakers and room. Lots of time on alternate references.
To me, mixing on headphones taking the room anomalies out of the mix is a good thing. The only problem is sharing that great mix with the client but these daze I usually share the mix via cloud for their approval and they can listen on their favorite reference.

@Biffinnbridge:  Is this a spoof?

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Biffinnbridge: No, and there are several other softwares that do the same thing.

@mlopezcol:  Hi, Have you tried fidelizer app?

@ianl.9271:  I think Realphones emphasised too much of the highs. I used to mix with Senn HD250 and my mixes with those came out with my highs much too muted.
My car now has an Android head unit with 50 band eq and RTAed.

@OldDavo1950:  I remember when Auratones where the go to. I put a pair in my car.

@peters7949:  In the early 2000s Studer & the IRT developed the Studer BRS (Binaural Room Simulator) this took 7 inputs (5.1 mix + Talkback) and simulated a number of real studio and other environments, including a VW car.
It was extremely effective, one of the simulated rooms was one of BBC Maida Vale control rooms and colleagues at the time (I’m now retired) confirmed it was a very good simulation.
It had the added advantage that it tracked your head position (it used an optical system & the reflector on the headphone bar made you look a bit like a Telly Tubby), thus as your head moved the speaker images remained stationary, like real speakers do.
However the DSP processing available at the time could not cope if you moved your head to quickly, and resulted in a zipper like noise.
I have one, but sadly not the head tracking adapter.

@taidee:  Audio Phil 🤣

@peters7949:  The original NS10s were HiFi speakers and designed with speaker grills. But no one in a studio ever has speaker grills fitted, hence they were a little over bright. The supplied grill took the edge off the brightness.
That said, the discussions over the grade & number of sheets of tissue paper required, gave loads of entertainment in the mid 1980s.

@oldvalvemic:  Thanks for being the interesting bridge between the Hifi audiophiles and the working sound engineers by the way. I have a foot in both camps and enjoy the slightly disparaging tones you have of some audio nonsense concocted mainly by the hifi world to sell to well heeled mugs. Room sound conditioning being the main issue for me with hifi hype.

@oldvalvemic:  As another commenter commented Sonarworks Sound ID Reference has become the most important bit of frequency/phase rectification software in my life as a sound engineer. It’s actually changed my whole way of perception and mixing and i can now feel after listening to and mixing/mastering with it that i have truly levelled the monitoring playing field. The concept of mixing on headphones is tricky as the perceptions of levels are so different to speakers. Ive tried various head tracking and studio replication devices before on HPs but they always seem to distort things uncomfortably and i end up back on monitors that i trust.Using headphones therefore as purely a reference to where things are placed in the mix environment or basic setting up mixes late at night or travelling.
Id be really interested to know if producers are getting decent mixes with these types of systems.

@nitromcclean:  You took the time to take us through Realphones. Thank you for this, I really appreciate this. You asked us for a response. I now feel a bit obliged to respond.
I may not really be a bedroom producer, but I do feel connected to it. I have recorded a lot of music in my life at different locations and mixed it at home in an environment comparable to that of bedroom producers.
I could say that I think Realphones are complete nonsense. But I'm inclined to say that Realphones is just complete nonsense. I believe that (at least in theory) you can mix well in almost any environment with almost any speakers. Not every environment, if the acoustics are very pronounced, you will suffer a lot from this and if the speakers have serious shortcomings, you will also suffer from this. But in all other cases, only one thing is really important. Learn your speakers in the listening environment where they are located. Make it your favorite place to listen to music and listen to the music you like for at least an hour every day. Make sure this sound is in your system. When you mix, your challenge is to make the music you mix sound that way. It helps if you use different types of speakers and/or headphones. But only if you also listen to a lot of music through these speakers and/or headphones, so that you really know what they sound like. Only then can you judge your own mix. I listen to music with earphones on my smartphone, I listen to music in my own car and I listen to music in my living room played on the hi-fi speakers and the speakers in the TV. I know what all of this sounds like and it is useful for me to review my mix. I also have "hi-fi freaks" in my circle of acquaintances with exotic expensive speakers. That's where I listen to my mixes too.
And what is the most important thing that strikes me again and again? That my mix mainly sounds like the speakers it is played on sound like. When I hear something is wrong in my mix, I usually hear it on all speakers and headphones. I am becoming more and more confident that I can already judge whether a mix is good or not while mixing. Listening to other speakers and headphones is really just an extra check that gives me more confidence, but not an absolute necessity.
Where does Realphones fit into this story? Realphones imitates listening environments and speakers that you cannot listen to yourself. It is an imitation, which is always at least inferior to the original. Why would you want that? What do you need that for? Everyone has the opportunity to listen to their own mixes in different environments. Why would you use additional imitation environments? Then you should at least listen to your favorite music a lot in these imitation environments. That seems like a real waste of time to me. It is important to understand that a certain listening environment with certain speakers has no direct influence on the sound quality of your mix, only how you hear the mix during mixing. And that's something you really have to learn, listening to a mix. And you always have to do that, with all speakers and headphones.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @nitromcclean: Learning your speakers is a topic I have commented on in the past. I'll be impressed when someone makes a plugin for that.

@nitromcclean replies to @nitromcclean: I think it's very difficult for a plugin to learn your own speakers. My profession is training mechanics and specialists, and in recent years I have focused much more on the process of learning than the content. Learning is above all about doing a lot, under the right circumstances and with the right help. In my experience, very little "learning software" really adds value. Most of this "learning software" seems very interesting but adds little in practice. So I would also be very impressed if there was a plugin to learn your own speakers. It seems almost impossible to me that there would be a plugin that would eliminate the need to learn your own speakers.

Do you have a link to the video with your comment on learning your speakers?@@AudioMasterclass

@timh6510:  Please no one produce music to sound good on phone speakers. Anyone listening like that will be just as happy hearing a garbage truck dive by.

Full disclosure, I'm a HiFi guy.

@ericquasney8832:  Setting for crappy phone and YT
Bandwith ? 🙉

@ericquasney8832:  Almost like mastering studio at
Fingertip. Almost. 🙉

@Dug6666666:  You vocal delivery always puts me in mind of the original radio series of the Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy, that of the "ruler of the universe" (the guy in the shack with his cat) and his philosophical musings.
That's a good thing :) and your musings more grounded.

@timh6510 replies to @Dug6666666: I think that's Stephen Moore (the actor), and he also played the android part. I've thought the same thing.

@paulstubbs7678:  Grot boxes, I acquired a set of cubes a while ago, I couldn't believe how bad they were, only really suitable for use as a CB radio external speaker.
In my setup, my 'grot box' was a 50mm trannie speaker in a stupidly small plastic box, I didn't think anyone would, or could go lower - I never figured on phone speakers, as they are not any good for even dialogue.
Now you say you have listeners who use phone speakers..... go figure...

@Simbosan:  Great software, I have it on permanently

@petedenton9434:  Very interesting listening on the HHB Circle 3 nearfield monitors I use for my general YouTube consumption...

@emiel333:  Great 👍 video. I use Morphit from ToneBoosters for many years now. It’s a headphone correction and simulation tool. It corrects your cans and it can simulate a couple hundred brands and models from many other headphones. It can also provide a Harman corrective both hifi and studio targeting curve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t simulate a proper studio monitor setup like dSoniq realphones. It’s a headphone simulator. Nevertheless, it can be a handy tool to use. But I do prefer mixing and mastering on my studio monitors. Maybe I’ll try dSoniq’s Realphones out to see (hear) what’s it like! Btw, love the book you’ve written. It’s a hidden gem if you ask me!

@sr3d-microphones:  Maybe you would like to experiment with one of my dummy head mics for your audio room, so you could share what it sounds like if the listener were there?
They'd obviously need headphones for the best experience. It could add some extra content for your subscribers and randoms.
Would you like to try one out, Mr Masterclass?

@paullongtailpair3812:  Dear David, humans have a shortcomming using headphones. I propose a challange, invert the fase of one of the speakers ( channel ) of someones headphone and don't tell it. See how long it takes before the victum find it out and how he or she discover it or reacted to it.

@SomberShroud:  The SMYTH Realizer A16 is the only Amp I know of that simulates different rooms from headphones and it costs a small fortune to get. I assume its for people who want speaker setups but can't cause of small room/neighbor complaints like in japan.

@SamHocking replies to @SomberShroud: Yep, although a 'huge' component of binaural listening and externalisation is the matching of visual reality in front of you of the room and speakers. Remove that visual room from the audible room and binaural HRTF and the perception of even Smyth Realizer is lost.

@SomberShroud replies to @SomberShroud: @@SamHocking I think alot of that has to do with timbre which for someone like me who listens to mostly electronic music and cares more about detail, doesn't really matter. I get lost in my IEM's soundstage just cause the outside world sounds more quiet (and they are high end ones that don't sound stuck in your head), I don't have this issue as I just use my imagination to pretend I'm somewhere else, which is also a reason I listen to music in the first place. Also Video games with Dolby Digital Surround sound amazing on headphones with the Dolby Atmos app (for games that support it) and suffer less from this issue since you're supposed to be immersed in this other world.

@DigitalDiggo:  I prefer to get the correction right (headphone EQ) , then the angle and HRTF, then check the low frequencies are OK. Only then do I slowly add a bit of the Set C Far Field ambience until it hits my sweet spot, which is pretty conservative. A little ambience goes a long way.
I really like Realphones, used it since it came out. I love that the devs made a stable system-wide driver for the Windows version - it means literally everything I listen to on headphones via a computer passes thru Realphones. Unless I'm doing low latency recording, I select Realphones as the playback device from DAW software, which Realphones then passes to the ASIO drivers for my DAC. Very few "headphone EQ" apps offer a stable system driver which can talk to default system audio and ASIO. The next version of Realphones will feature idealized room modelling which (hopefully) can be used without the speaker modelling. After all, the most inaccurate part of the audio system is always the speakers - better to hear a "perfect" idealized pair of full range speakers in a "perfect" room when making critical editing decisions. I don't really want to hear the distortion of speakers like NS10s.
A tip for older listeners: Try using the "Hi" slider in the Tone section to add back a touch of the high frequencies you've lost due to age.

@marxman00:  Great stuff as usual !.. for my perception A flat listening environment (headphones) cannot sound "bad" anywhere else because the accoustics of speakers and listener in any environment are the subjective error , I despised the surround sound amps that have multi fx built in like "Cinema" "sport" and ........cathedral?...which demonstrated adding an environment on top of a recorded environment played in an accoustic environment was someplace noone needs to go ...
ATMOS .......discuss.. ( I cant wait !)

@paulstubbs7678 replies to @marxman00: I too can't say I'm impressed by those Fx's either, they are usually overdone, good for demo-ing to a friend or in a shop, fairly useless otherwise - if only there was a level control on the effects.
As for headphones being flat - I've never heard two pairs that sound the same, which only means they are all coloured, so I just use speakers, that is unless my wife in on the phone etc.

@Charlie-UK:  I have a pair of Yamaha HS8 speakers & pair of Yamaha HS8S subwoofers in my room, and very enjoyable they are too. There are some with Studio speakers in their living rooms...😀

@jeremystephens6607:  I had an FM transmitter in my studio connected to the stereo output of the main desk. It was easy to tune the radios in the band members cars and let them listen to the track. Of course they would all return to the studio complaining their part wasn't loud enough... But it saved a huge amount of time making endless CDs.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @jeremystephens6607: Fabulous.

@oldvalvemic replies to @jeremystephens6607: Im sure Ofcom would be horrified …careful as you go there

@jeremystephens6607 replies to @jeremystephens6607: @@oldvalvemic Ha ha I'm sure I will be able to take over the world with my few milliwatts!

@RocknRollkat replies to @jeremystephens6607: Decades ago we did the same with little A.M. transmitters.
Here in the U.S. of Aye we have a 10 kHz. H.P. cutoff to limit bandwidth.
That limited the useful signal to 5 kHz.
Try mixing with that in mind, and in MONO no less !
Bill P.

@ac81017:  I have my own fully acoustic treated listening room which i built myself with some help and ideas from a couple studio nerds that i know. took a lot of trial and error with various different kinds of treatments, but i'm more than happy with end result.

Good educational video as usual for us Audiophiles. 🙂👍

I've never understood why studio's use those small Yamaha monitors? They sound flat and lifeless compared to my old Tannoy FSM's, i sold the Yamaha's the following day.

@phinyx:  Excellent review as always! Oh...and the AI outro is the impending doom we all face 🙂

@bucurgabriel6319:  I use Sonarworks ..Sound ID Reference & also Dear Reality.....The best Tools !

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Thursday January 4, 2024

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David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

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