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  • Is there such a thing?

    Is there such a thing as a ' natural sounding' speaker?... where Vocals and music sound clear and not 'eletronic' sounding.

    Dont know if this sounds silly...but maybe there is such a thing?

     


  • #2

    stunningbabe wrote:

    Is there such a thing as a ' natural sounding' speaker?... where Vocals and music sound clear and not 'eletronic' sounding.


    Dont know if this sounds silly...but maybe there is such a thing?


     




    Yes, and (you knew this was coming...) no.


    Strictly speaking, "natural" could be very loosely defined as "having the exact same audio signature as the original source".  If the source is not electronic (such as from an electric bass through a bass amplifier), then in my opinion it is absolutely impossible to exactly match the audio signature or the acoustics produced by the source. For example, take a cello. Some of its sound comes from the string vibration, some from the sound holes, some from the front, back and sides of the body. There's even a tiny amount from the vibration of the neck. All of these sources then of course reach your ears directly, from their slightly different locations, and by bouncing off everything else in the room, again from their slightly different locations on the cello.


    Now try to amplify this instrument. Use a mic? A pickup? Several mics? Several pickups? Several mics and pickups? Where do you locate them? On or near the instrument, far from it? Each of these choices will make the instrument sound slightly different. But always different than what your ears hear.


    Once you pick up the mechanically-produced sound and convert it into electrical energy, you amplify that energy through preamps, mixing amps, power amp, and finally to one or more speakers. Each step changes the original sound ever so slightly.


    No matter how "accurate" your speakers can be, and there are some *very* accurate speakers, they still emit the sound differently than the cello produced. The speakers aren't a cello. They can't exactly reproduce the sound so that it is *exactly* like a cello, or any other acoustic instrument. The speaker placement in the room is different, and the room itself is different. It's never exactly alike.


    Luckily, our brains are very forgiving. They like to be efficient at telling us what goes on around us, so they make things that sound very close to what we've heard in the past sound just like what we heard in the past. You attended a concert years ago and heard a cello solo. Years later you hear a recording of a cello solo. It's not exactly the same, but it sounds the same because your brain remembered a cello solo years ago, and tells you this is how it sounded.


    If you are a "discerning" listener, you tell your brain to override the "default" and to detect differences. But the more discerning you are, the more closely in time the original source must be to the latest source sound. Otherwise your brain goes back to how it remembers similar sounds. You may like certain aspects of a sound, something that pleases you. So your brain seeks them. This changes "natural", sometimes a lot, sometimes a little.


    So, as in nearly everything else about sound and music, "it depends".

    Write something...

    Comment


    • stunningbabe
      stunningbabe commented
      Editing a comment

      Damn...I hate you CraigV! you do have a way with words! LOL!

      I bet you are a lady killer too when you talk to the pretty babes? :woman:


    • dboomer
      dboomer commented
      Editing a comment

      To Craig's point (crap, I'm agreeing with him, sorry C) ... even it you had a perfect speaker it would sound different from room to room because of acoustics.  But don't forget ... your plain, unamplified voice also changes from room to room (think singing in the shower).  The way you hear your drummer (whose drums are changing too) also changes if you stand 2 more feet away or closer.  That's nature for you!

       

      So learn all you can but in the end don't worry about all the minutia.  Just go play some good music


  • #3

      Hello !!

          The most accurate speaker will be smaller speakers used for recording. They call them studio monitors.

      Maybe a 6"-8" powered studio monitor.

        Some mics have what is called coloration, they add a flavor to your voice. The best reasonably priced uncolored mic I know of is an AKG D5. Good mic for relatively uncolored vocals, there are others out there also.

       !2" PA speakers add less bass to vocals than  15" PA speakers.

      The higher the quality of power amp and speakers the more clarity of the sound.

           Crown K1 or K2 had the input section of  Crown studio reference amps. Very good amp.   JBL's best  speakers are hard to beat soundwise in my opinion.

     

    Comment


    • Craig Vecchione
      Craig Vecchione commented
      Editing a comment

      happwith12strin wrote:

        Hello !!


            The most accurate speaker will be smaller speakers used for recording. They call them studio monitors.


        Maybe a 6"-8" powered studio monitor.


          Some mics have what is called coloration, they add a flavor to your voice. The best reasonably priced uncolored mic I know of is an AKG D5. Good mic for relatively uncolored vocals, there are others out there also.


         !2" PA speakers add less bass to vocals than  15" PA speakers.


        The higher the quality of power amp and speakers the more clarity of the sound.


             Crown K1 or K2 had the input section of  Crown studio reference amps. Very good amp.   JBL's best  speakers are hard to beat soundwise in my opinion.


       




      I don't want to start another discussion (feel free to open another thread if my post isn't acceptable), but the generalization that larger speaker cones, such as 12" vs 15", "add less bass", is inaccurate. The frequency response of a speaker is a function of all factors in its design and construction, not just the cone. For a great example of small speakers reproducing low frequency, see Phil Jones Bass Neopower cabinets. Tiny drivers, clear, deep, accurate bass reproduction.


  • #4

    My $.02 -- As Craig says, there are no perfect speaker systems, and lots of compromises along the way. But still, some systems are more neutral-sounding than others. They impose less of a signature sound of their own. That's basically what I look for, when shopping speaker systems -- not so much a Holy Grail of accuracy for the input source, but a lack of anything nasty that sticks out like a sore thumb.

    For example, some cheap systems have a midrange lift, either to accentuate vocals or just make the system sound louder in a showroom, because our ears are very sensitive in the vocal frequency range. Other systems might be intentionally bass-heavy to appeal to the DJ crowd, or they might sound muffled in the upper "air" frequencies that are important for an acoustic band. 

    A speaker that plays back a good reference CD without any immediately noticeable problem areas, is getting into the zone of "good enough" for my personal PA use.

    A speaker system that is extremely transparent-sounding -- like the ones I use as monitors in my recording studio -- might actually give you more detail than you need. It could result in a worse mix, as you chase subtle details that don't matter to the audience. That doesn't mean you should buy a muddy-sounding speaker system, but it does put a cap on how much I want my PA speaker to sound like high-end studio monitors.

     

    Comment


    • stunningbabe
      stunningbabe commented
      Editing a comment

      Thx happy12 string and Resonator for your detailed input. Appreciate it!


    • Two of Seven
      Two of Seven commented
      Editing a comment

      Reson8tor wrote:................a speaker system that is extremelytransparent-sounding -- like the ones I use as monitors in my recording studio -- might actually give you more detail than you need. It could result in a worse mix, as you chase subtle details that don't matter to the audience. That doesn't mean you should buy a muddy-sounding speaker system, but it does put a cap on how much I want my PA speaker to sound like high-end studio monitors.

       


      This is exactly what I have found with my Fulcrum DX1565s.  They are so transparent and accurate - especially compared to all my old port chuffing, horn honking, ice pick in the forhead boxes - that I am having to relearn my mix.  A good problem to have really - but as far as "natural" sounding the DXs almost disapear.

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