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Why do headphones have left and right?

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  • Why do headphones have left and right?

    Does it matter if you wear them "backwards"

    Do recording artists specifically make right and left sounds according to how our brains work?

    I can understand that the western brain kind of works "left to right", since that is the way we read, but if music is written to suit that, then what about all the Asian "right to left" listeners?
    Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...

  • #2
    Hai ClavYetAnotherz!!

    I don't understand your response, but I appreciate it anyway :-)
    Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...

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    • #3
      watch tv and you'll get it.

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      • #4
        Does it matter if you wear them "backwards"

        Let's say you watch a movie in headphones and there's a car passing by from left to right. Would it feel ok to you if the car sound moved from right to left?
        Just remember, that music is not the only kind of sound production.

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        • #5
          Let's say you watch a movie in headphones and there's a car passing by from left to right. Would it feel ok to you if the car sound moved from right to left?
          Just remember, that music is not the only kind of sound production.


          As per above point......

          But oh I see your point....so you're saying it's only left/right because sometimes there is video as well?
          Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...

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          • #6
            Does it matter if you wear them "backwards"

            Do recording artists specifically make right and left sounds according to how our brains work?

            I can understand that the western brain kind of works "left to right", since that is the way we read, but if music is written to suit that, then what about all the Asian "right to left" listeners?


            Hey buddy!

            How are you doing?



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            • #7
              If you need a KSP script, e-mail me! Depending on amount of work, the price can be arranged!

              Folio: Zero-G - Animato | Sonokinetic - Tigris & Euphrates - Desert Voice - Carousel - Toccata - Voices Of Israel - EMP - FE | Hollow Sun - HSDV Drum Synthesiser - Music Laboratory Machines Series - RMI Electrapiano

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              • #8
                Drum kits are an example within music that might help. It is common to pan them within the soundfield from a drummer's perspective (with modifications of course). But as long as they sit within the mix it really doesn't matter if they are panned with a drummer's, stage or whatever other perspective you want.

                Perhaps if you are listening to an audiobook you might find it strange if the reader's voice moves from right to left instead of the standard left to right.

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                • #9
                  Pianoteq has a "player's position" mike setup. Left and right matter on that one--otherwise the high notes are on the left and the bass on the right.

                  eek
                  Anything too stupid to be spoken is sung. Pierre de Beaumarchais

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                  • #10
                    Personally, I prefer to listen to music with the L/R orientation as intended by the producer/engineer/artist. There may not be a "right way" or a "wrong way" but I want to hear the music the way the artist(s) intended me to hear it.

                    Take the first Van Halen album for example - Eddie's guitar is panned pretty far to the left. Perhaps that's because when the band played live, that's where he stood. I don't know. But if I accidentally put my headphones on backwards and his guitar is on the right, it sounds weird.

                    This is an extreme example, but if the left and right are reversed somehow I usually notice it immediately when listening to any song I am familiar with.

                    This doesn't mean everyone has to care - you can put on your headphones anyway you please.
                    -------------------------------
                    Michael
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                    • #11
                      I understand with video, then the vision must relate to the audio, eg a car driving from left to right....but that was my point. With just music, there may be no reason to have a right/left distinction.







                      Symphonic music: first fiddles on the left.
                      TAAKADO= The Artist Also Known As Dutch Ovenz

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                      • #12
                        When you are working on music production, it would be very annoying to attempt to pan something left and hear it pan right on your headphones - or on regular monitors for that matter.

                        There is also the practical consideration that our heads are not symmetrical front-to-back, so headphones are designed ergonomically so that they will fit on the average person's head, but they only fit in one orientation - they will be uncomfortable if put on backwards. My MDR-7506s are like this. On the other hand, I have DT-990s which are symmetrical, so care must be taken with those to put them on with the right orientation.

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                        • #13
                          because the cable comes out of the left side phone so you can freely move your right arm around

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                          • #14
                            so you're saying it's only left/right because sometimes there is video as well?


                            Well, sure. People watch videos on their iPods.
                            But if you're going to have two tracks you have to set a standard for everyone to adhere to. Or else we couldn't say things like "what synth did Band X use on Song Y? It can be heard at 1:42, panned hard LEFT".

                            Also, there are stereo mic techniques. Even binaural ones, in the shape of a human head with two microphones where the ears should be, and they are meant to be listened to on headphones.
                            Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about.

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                            • #15
                              I use "port" and "starboard" on my system. Bloody landlubbers.
                              this sig no verb

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