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Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

ghettosynth
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9798 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Thu Aug 17, 2017 6:28 pm Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Nowhk wrote:PLEASE: don't confuse this to my lacking of experience. The same happens with any track I'm listening (from Rolling Stones's Charlie Watts drumfill to Squarepusher badass electronic kicks).

I go than to KVR, asking "what the hell is happening?", placing as example the timbre, for its "changing" sound aspect (because I consider it the most recognizable).


You lack experience. Period. If you had more experience then you would understand that the differences that you imagine are there don't matter as much as you are trying to claim that they do. Certainly they should not lead to a crisis of musical identity.

Every speaker system in every different environment is different and will color sound, how many times do you have to be told that? Why is it so challenging for you to extend this to realize that there are almost zero absolute shared speaker listening experiences in the world? Everyone will hear something slightly different on their different systems given their different location with respect to the speakers. The only thing that provides something close to uniformity are headphones, assuming a common make/model, and even those are going to be impacted by human physiology.

Now, given that, why is it so challenging for you to realize that given these differences there absolutely are many shared perceptions? Two people at a concert in different places in the hall will hear something slightly different. Yet, people can still talk about how amazing a concert was.

After 12 pages of very few cues (feeling accused to be a total idiot which know nothing),


Everything that you have posted in this post has been covered. There is nothing new in your post nor anything interesting in your perspective. Your arrogance is somehow preventing your from absorbing the material that's already here.

is the perceived "sound" (build up by my own brain on different listening) really different or is it just a BIAS?


This is unknowable. You haven't defined enough parameters and even if you did, it wouldn't matter. You are, ironically, almost certainly biased by this very thought process. You are convinced that something matter here when it doesn't. That bias can impact what you hear. You are, in the most classic way possible, making mountains out of molehills.

If the answer is "yes, it is going to be perceived different (even if slightly) every time": what's the purpose of making "sound (thus, music, in the end)" if I won't never catch the same sound/perception (which wrap the message) every time? (notice: that's my old hypothesy of "putting just "bases" and hope in variances").


That's a non-sequitur. Stop writing and start reading, you have more to learn than might be possible in your lifetime if you continue to ignore valid advice from others as you've been doing in this thread. It's not your language that's getting in the way, it's your arrogance. You're simply wrong and the sooner you get to an acceptance of that, the sooner you'll be able to move forward.

Millions of records have been made by millions of producers that have made the artists and record companies billions of dollars, untold critical acclaim, and frankly, history. Records have managed to make history and all the while, who knew that speakers impacted the timbre on playback?

You know, given the ridiculousness of your claims, it seems to me that this has all the earmarks of a classic troll-post.

If the answer is "no, your brain build up the same sound/perception every time": can you give to me some books/abx test/articles/examples/whatever you want to proof that my different sound perception due to environments are just hallucinations?


We've already given you a lot of food for though, with references. You need to stop being lazy and do your homework. That said, nothing will give you the "proof" of your bias, that is, for all intents and purposes, impossible because it requires your brain, which is intrinsically biased, to draw the conclusion. To the extent that anything can be understood to mitigate bias, you've already been given that. Simply follow best mixing/mastering practices.

Know your speakers
Know and treat your space
Mix at low volumes
Use reference tracks
Allow your ears time to rest between sessions

You know, this is the main reason that you should use a mastering house if you are serious about releasing your music, it's one of the few times you will get someone unfamiliar with your music to pay attention to the details. In addition, they will be listening to it with different ears on a different system and in a different room.

I really can't be more clear than this now.
I cross the fingers...


You haven't said anything new. You don't seem to understand that it's your arrogance of belief combined with your ignorance that's getting in the way of your understanding. Nobody here can give you an answer until you gain the experience and education to understand the answers ALREADY GIVEN. Moreover, once you do, you will realize that this entire thread has been one empty and pointless assertion after another, and the question really didn't need to be asked in the way that you asked it in the first place.
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BertKoor
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10063 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:01 pm Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

I wouldn't call it arrogance if someone just can't grasp the message that's tried to being delivered. Imho it just means it has to be explained in yet another way, and againm and again, until it IS understood.
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ghettosynth
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9798 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:29 pm Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

BertKoor wrote:I wouldn't call it arrogance if someone just can't grasp the message that's tried to being delivered. Imho it just means it has to be explained in yet another way, and againm and again, until it IS understood.


The arrogance is in the assumption that he is correct in his conclusions and that the only problem is that people don't understand his POV. From the very beginning it hasn't been posed as a question, rather, an arrogant claim born of ignorance. Even the thread title was intentionally misleading.
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Nowhk
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703 posts since 2 Oct, 2013

Postby Nowhk; Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:58 am Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

slipstick wrote:But the PERCEIVED sound in your brain may or may not change depending many things including how different the actual sounds are and how carefully you are listening.

himalaya wrote:The "perceived sound" will be different across different playback systems. This is ok. This is how it is and how it should be (due to the design of different playback mediums).

This is a concern for me: if a song (i.e. basic definition of music) is sound organized in time, and this "perceived sound" change across medium, this imply that there isn't any fixed produced "song". Again, for ME and ME only; not reasoning about differences between what me and you perceive.

As I said before, if I listen the same song on Setup A and B, and I define for both the "organized sound" I perceive, I can't really say "I hear the same song" on different listening, because the perceived (organized) sound is changed on each listen.
So producer/artist have worked on which "organized sound" (i.e. song) exactly? (this I meant with "what's the purpose of...").

himalaya wrote:You have noticed that music played on Speakers A differs to Speakers B? That's ok. In context of how people perceive music on the emotional level, this difference is a non-difference and should not prevent you from making music.

I'm really not sure about this. Are you saying that differences on medium can't change things on emotional level?

ghettosynth wrote:The arrogance is in the assumption that he is correct in his conclusions and that the only problem is that people don't understand his POV. From the very beginning it hasn't been posed as a question, rather, an arrogant claim born of ignorance. Even the thread title was intentionally misleading.

Don't you have any child or puppy to take care instead of waste your time with an arrogant/ignorant/stupid/idiot like me?
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BertKoor
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10063 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:15 am Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Nowhk wrote:I'm really not sure about this. Are you saying that differences on medium can't change things on emotional level?
Yes! At least: should not. But the world is complex so in practice it happens anyway.

The medium should not distort the message too much. Otherwise it is not usable. Transparency of the medium is important. But there is no such thing as 100% transparency. We discussed this soooo many times already....

If you cannot distinguish the medium from the message, there are problems expected.
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whyterabbyt
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25107 posts since 3 Sep, 2001, from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Postby whyterabbyt; Sat Aug 19, 2017 3:47 am Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Nowhk wrote:If the answer is "yes, it is going to be perceived different (even if slightly) every time": what's the purpose of making "sound (thus, music, in the end)" if I won't never catch the same sound/perception (which wrap the message) every time? (notice: that's my old hypothesy of "putting just "bases" and hope in variances").


Clearly, if noone can ever 'catch the same sound/perception' then there is absolutely no purpose in making sound.
And since there's no human endeavour not subject to the same issues, everyone should stop doing everything.

I mean its not as if there's the tiniest chance that the audience not catching a 100% identical sound/perception is not the one single factor which determines whether there is a purpose to making sound in the first place.
Its not like we would make stuff for the art of it, or the joy of it, or anything like that, or that we or the audience dont actually care about that small variance in perception. That would be ludicrous.

I guess that's the end of the discussion. I'll be leaving KVR now, setting fire to my studio, and leaving society to become a hermit. I'd advise you to do the same. Thanks for your contribution to the revelation that all attempts at human communication are rendered void, utterly negated by slight deviations in the medium.
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slipstick
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123 posts since 2 Feb, 2017

Postby slipstick; Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:07 am Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Nowhk wrote:As I said before, if I listen the same song on Setup A and B, and I define for both the "organized sound" I perceive, I can't really say "I hear the same song" on different listening, because the perceived (organized) sound is changed on each listen.
So producer/artist have worked on which "organized sound" (i.e. song) exactly? (this I meant with "what's the purpose of...").

If you mean that you cannot guarantee that what you hear will be exactly the same as what the producer was hearing when s/he decided that the song was finished then you're right. And that will be true even if it's your song and you're listening to it later on a different system or even on the same system but with the environment changed e.g. a door open, more people in the room or you sitting in a different position. And even if by some coincidence you did hear exactly the same sound you still may not feel the same about it because that has to do with your state of mind at that instant and that too may be different.

All of that is completely obvious to most of us but we see it as simple reality and not as any sort of problem. If this is a real problem for you then I can assure you it will never get better. So for the sake of your sanity you should immediately give up making or listening to music. And it would be a good idea not to do anything else vaguely artistic either because e.g. you will never be able to see a painting in exactly the same light, position, state of mind that the artist had when s/he painted it.

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himalaya
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4355 posts since 23 Mar, 2006, from pendeLondonmonium

Postby himalaya; Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:25 am Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Nowhk wrote:This is a concern for me: if a song (i.e. basic definition of music) is sound organized in time, and this "perceived sound" change across medium, this imply that there isn't any fixed produced "song". Again, for ME and ME only; not reasoning about differences between what me and you perceive.


You are over thinking this. Over analysing it. This is what everyone here is trying to tell you.

Answering your quote above: you shouldn't be concerned in as much as you can not control how people will receive the song as played back across different audio systems.

We all agree that there is this difference across playback systems, different speakers, monitors, PA systems...the song will sound different across all of them....but this does not imply that there isn't a "fixed song", as you put it. THERE IS. If I hear my favourite tune on my expensive studio monitors it will still be the same song if I play it on cheap laptop speakers, and I will still react to it in the same way, emotionally or not. Or I may not react to it in the same way. It does not matter. We can not repeat experiences 100% anyway, and this relates to most of our life experiences, let alone music. But it doesn't matter.

However, from your quote I guess that you are trying to say that your hearing is so acute, so sensitive , above all of ours, that you hear such enormous difference between different speakers that it somehow changes the song so drastically that each time it's something else? Is this so? If it is, then our conversation has to stop now, since our perception is so vastly different and you are able to hear more then all of the people gathered here. And maybe you should write about the way you hear in a proper scientific study? I'm not being sarcastic. Maybe you can perceive more then the majority of the population. Who knows?


As I said before, if I listen the same song on Setup A and B, and I define for both the "organized sound" I perceive, I can't really say "I hear the same song" on different listening, because the perceived (organized) sound is changed on each listen.
So producer/artist have worked on which "organized sound" (i.e. song) exactly? (this I meant with "what's the purpose of...").


You are overanalysing this. Time and time again. Or, like I said above, your hearing is much more advanced then ours and you simply hear stuff that we don't. ?
The song will still be the same song on Setup A and Setup B. The way the song 'sounds' may differ due to the inherent frequency differences in each setup, but this doesn't change the song so that it no longer resembles the original.

Now, there is an example of a situation where your dilemma is actually real. That is, Setup A is a speaker placed above water, Setup B is placed underwater. Here, listening to the song on both setups will definitely bring vastly different results and the song will be so 'mangled' on the underwater speaker system that you will definitely hear something else.

himalaya wrote:You have noticed that music played on Speakers A differs to Speakers B? That's ok. In context of how people perceive music on the emotional level, this difference is a non-difference and should not prevent you from making music.
I'm really not sure about this. Are you saying that differences on medium can't change things on emotional level?


No, I'm saying that it does not matter. That's why you shouldn't worry about it. It's out of your control how we perceive the same song across different playback systems. Why can't you accept it and understand it?

What else do you propose?

Do we stop making music right now, all because each playback system introduces changes to the frequency spectrum of a song?

Do we purchase every speakers system there is and check our master mix to make sure that the frequency balance is EXACTLY the same across each system?

What is your solution to what we consider to be a non-issue?
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himalaya
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4355 posts since 23 Mar, 2006, from pendeLondonmonium

Postby himalaya; Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:32 am Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Nowhk,

So far you have focussed on the mechanics of audio systems, that is, the actual hardware, which is so crucial to your dilemma here. But have you considered the human aspect and how our emotional state affects the way we perceive music? Maybe this has been discussed in this thread, I don't know as I haven't read it, so apologies if I go over the same ground again.

If you stipulate that we should stop making music because audio playback systems change a song so much that it is impossible to reproduce it accurately each time, then what about our emotional states which cloud our perception even more than audio speakers? You know this right? What then? What do we do about it?
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BertKoor
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Postby BertKoor; Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:00 am Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

If you have never seen the following, it might be an eye opener. Most of us take it for granted, but if you have to troubleshoot a problem in communication you could hold it against the following model.

For any meaningful communication between a sender and a receiver through a medium, the message must be encoded by the sender and decoded by the receiver.

So: message from sender is encoded, travels over medium to receiver who decodes it. This model is valid and the basis for all communication, might even be applied on several levels. And things can (and will) go wrong at all points.

In normal communication from person to person the "encoding" is natural language. If my target audience is foreign but I use my eloquent 100.000-word vocabulary, then I should not be surprised the message is hard to understand for them. If my message uses obscure symbols or references to things I assume are known, the decoding gets harder.

Now music... Not that long ago a popular "encoding" was writing the notes down in staff so some else could play it. Not very precise but it works! Now we can record music, which is the most precise encoding available. Still the message may be distorted by the medium. But that is no problem as long as the receiver can still decode it.

Decoding: you have less influence, or even none at all. For instance I pay hardly any attention to lyrics but only to the music itself.

One pitfall is that the producer thinks a synth patch or guitar sound or kick sound is essential for his music piece. Truth is that for the listener this is not so relevant, not something that really changes what is perceived.
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cron
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2865 posts since 27 Dec, 2002, from North East England

Postby cron; Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:20 pm Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

himalaya wrote:Answering your quote above: you shouldn't be concerned in as much as you can not control how people will receive the song as played back across different audio systems.


It's amazing how many people try to control for imaginary situations their music will never be heard in.

For instance, there are so many plugins for and guides about collapsing your bass to mono and I'm like "why?" These people have absolutely no intention of cutting their tunes to vinyl and a touchingly optimistic belief that they might someday be played on a beautifully balanced mono club system. Suddenly creative strategies involving the stereo space below 400hz or whatever are off the table for absolutely no reason. Worse, every dive club I've played in has a stereo system and stereo bass on vinyl can be cut just fine anyway (with a slight sacrifice to the volume of the cut at worst).
ghettosynth
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Postby ghettosynth; Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:22 pm Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Nowhk wrote:This is a concern for me: if a song (i.e. basic definition of music) is sound organized in time, and this "perceived sound" change across medium, this imply that there isn't any fixed produced "song". Again, for ME and ME only; not reasoning about differences between what me and you perceive.


I call BS. If you were only interested in "you and only you", then you would just fix the medium. You are aware that this is largely what audiophiles do, right? People who believe that their hearing is so awesome that they can hear the sound of electrons bouncing off of a carpet, will consider anything less than their main system to be a compromise experience.

So, if it were just for you, you wouldn't A/B things because why would you when you could just fix your system and claim that your music is only intended to be played back in that context?
ghettosynth
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Postby ghettosynth; Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:43 pm Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

cron wrote:
himalaya wrote:Answering your quote above: you shouldn't be concerned in as much as you can not control how people will receive the song as played back across different audio systems.


It's amazing how many people try to control for imaginary situations their music will never be heard in.

For instance, there are so many plugins for and guides about collapsing your bass to mono and I'm like "why?" These people have absolutely no intention of cutting their tunes to vinyl and a touchingly optimistic belief that they might someday be played on a beautifully balanced mono club system. Suddenly creative strategies involving the stereo space below 400hz or whatever are off the table for absolutely no reason. Worse, every dive club I've played in has a stereo system and stereo bass on vinyl can be cut just fine anyway (with a slight sacrifice to the volume of the cut at worst).


Even playing on dive stereo systems, collapsing the bass to mono allows for equal power distribution between the speakers. This may be even more important in dive clubs where the systems are already at the edge of their capability. Bass is much less directional, of course, so it tends to be perceived as mono anyway unless you are doing something rather extreme.

BTW: I regularly play on dive systems with mono bass.

Not that I disagree with the general concern, per se, I'm just not coming up with specific examples ATM.

I do, however, generally monoize my bass and without any hardcore evidence other than listening to it with a quick and dirty quasi-blind A/B, I tend to prefer it that way.

That said, I would be interested in hearing anything that you think has an interesting stereo bass strategy that you believe makes stereo bass worth the effort. I'm expecting experimental stuff here. I can even set up pairs of subwoofers to try it out, hehe!
Last edited by ghettosynth on Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
dark water
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512 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Postby dark water; Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:08 pm Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Nowhk, with regards to talking about timbre, have a listen to this popular song on at least three different playback systems.
What do you learn?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
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BertKoor
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10063 posts since 8 Mar, 2005, from Utrecht, Holland

Postby BertKoor; Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:54 am Re: Why EQ a sound doesn't change timbre?

Someone mentionned the Rolling Stones... How come it doesn't matter Keith Richards plays a strat or a tele? It sounds different, right? Yes, but its not significant because this detail is not essential to the message.

What then is the message of the rolling stones? "GET NO sol sol, solati SATISFACTION" is the message and how Charlie Watts kick sounds is NOT part of that but merely noise.

The kick drum you produce, sounds somewhat different on other speakers. Insignificant, because it is not the message. "Aggressive distorted kick" is the message, and slight differences in noise spectrum do not play part in my ability to decode that message. So it is irrelevant, insignificant.
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