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How Do You Listen To Music?

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starise    398

It can be difficult to mix a song that will sound good on all music systems. It might sound good on one system and not as good on another system. According to this link the most common way people listen to music is over computer speakers. Since the link is getting older things may have changed. If anything more people are using bluetooth devices. This might be a good reason to look at the effects of audio going over a bluetooth stream.

https://www.strategyanalytics.com/strategy-analytics/news/strategy-analytics-press-releases/strategy-analytics-press-release/2015/12/17/computer-speakers-now-most-popular-way-people-listen-to-music#.WN5c9G_yuUk

 

One thing the study doesn't indicate is the quality of the gear used. Head phones can be anything from a 5 dollar set of earbuds to a high end set of IEMs. The same can be said of computer speakers. If the track wasn't monitored with a good system, how will you know if it sounds good played back on one? 

 

I suspect that usually a "rule of thumb" approach is used to determine generalities such as, Laptops usually have cheap tinny speakers that have mostly midrange playback. Bass is almost non existent unless you can mix a little pop in the mids. Playing a tune on an iphone speaker is going to be mono and mid rangy, so the mix needs to sound solid in mono and stereo. This also applies to devices like Alexa that stream in mono. If all of your mix is panned the mono mix will suck big time. No matter what you do you'll loose a lot of the hard work you did on tracks played on these types of setups. We usually perceive reverb and space in general differently on headphones than we do on an open system.The tough thing for the engineer is to mix for everyone.

 

Computer speakers are hard to pin down on quality. Many people who buy a new computer had the speakers thrown in on the deal. Most never consider the quality. 

 

I'm just curious what you commonly listen to music on? Please give the type of device.

I'll start out with what I usually listen on.

At home casual- Alexa streaming Pandora

In the studio- JBL LSR305s Headphones- Audio Technica M50x

In the office- Boston Acoustics BA635 system earbuds- Yurbuds- Ironman

 

Another topic for future maybe- Why do some people prefer sharp crispy music and some like a more bass less highs sound? Hearing loss? :)

Edited by starise

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starise    398

giphy_zpsewnhsthb.gif

Edited by starise

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Rudi    587

 

popcorn.gif

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starise    398

You might be eating awhile :P I see we have another visitor.

 

giphy%202_zps47miyk6a.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rudi    587

I was enjoying the film.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ps

I'll answer this properly later

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starise    398

I tried to enjoy it, but I think the tumbleweed should be going from left to right. It's all backwards.:D

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Rudi    587

You've ruined it for me now

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Just1L    950

:)

large.tumbles.gif.81715d86f42b0e0a9f86b73239cc088b.gif

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starise    398

YESSSS!

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Rudi    587

popcorn.gif

 

thats better!

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Rudi    587

I sometimes use Skull Candy In-ear phones for music when using the laptop. This is for music here at SongStuff or other online stuff.

I also have some Shure & Sennheiser over-ear headphones in my sitting room. Both are a bit ‘clinical’; more like monitors really. These are used with the small Denon HiFi unit I have. (I got rid of the big stuff a few years back). I also have Denon Stereo speakers at the back of the room.

 

Most of the time I will use an ipod classic through the Denon, but… if I want to listen attentively, I’ll use CDs. Not because of sound quality, but because the ipod will sometimes ‘drop out’ (pause) during play. TBH, I should have gotten a smaller ipod. They seem more stable. So the CDs are not merely back-up; they are the only way I can be sure of hearing music correctly. I sometime use the radio on the Denon, but tuning it confuses me greatly, so it’s just permanently set to Radio 3 (that’s the BBC’s Classical staion).

 

I have a small media player in the kitchen also tuned to radio 3, but can accept the ipod as input. It’s neither loud nor great sound quality (bass is lacking). Anything more expensive would be a waste as the kitchen gets damp when cooking.

 

Lots of important listening goes on in the car. CDs mostly, though I do have an old ipod plugged in there as well, though that one is never updated.

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Steve    86

My main listening takes place in the car. I have a 6 CD changer and regularly change a few for variety!  I prefer to be alone when listening and I enjoy that as my main source of consumption. At home, I listen through a good pair of over ear Sennheiser headphones through the PC. When I trravel by train (quite a lot) I listen either through a small laptop, but more usually through a very small MP3 player with a pair of cheap over ear headphones. Although the sound is quite good! I don't have a Hi Fi any longer!  (I do but it doesn't work)

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TapperMike    378

My car stereo is broken.  If I have the proper time at work or in the car I'll listen via in ear bluetooth headphones for my phone.

As I live in a small apartment with thin walls I've simply adjusted to listening at low levels via my Yamaha THR-10c.  They are nearfieild speakers that are less than 4 ft away from my head. 

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Rob Ash    495

 

Skull Candy buds (priced extra fair at Wally World) on my laptop, which uses REAL technology (onboard and software) to process sound. Not the best, but not bad.

 

In the studio I have two sets of monitors. On stands, about 3 feet out on either side are Mackie MR-8 Mark 2's... and at about 8 feet out on either side are IKEY Audio 808 v2's. Both sets are powered. I can listen to sounds through all four, or through one set or the other. These run through a high power desktop. My sound card is a PreSonus AudioBox 2X2 interface.

 

We have a 2015 Ford Escape. It has a 6 speaker surround system with 6 CD changer. We never play CD's. We have Sirius Radio and listen to that almost exclusively. My wife will occasionally need a Michael Buble fix and will load in a half dozen of his CD's for a week or so. Stations we have on speed select on Sirius range from classical, blues, hard rock and metal (me), to pop, country and adult alternative (my wife) BBC World News, and a few others. The car's system is mid rangy... gets a bit "boomy" when you add bottom. It sounds good, but is touchy.

 

I listen to anything from SongStuff, other musicians, my own work... on my studio system. When I mix down and make Cd's, I run the songs on my laptop and in the car. Mixing for my car is hard.

 

Most of our casual listening is done in the car. Sirius is the shi-zit. Eleventy-nine stations, all perfect. Lots of stuff you simply can't find on regular radio, and once you find a station you dig, it's 24/7, all the same kind of stuff, around the clock. They have a  couple of classic radio stations... all stuff from the 30's, 40's and early 50's... not music so much (although that is available on several stations too!), but more old serials and story based shows. The Shadow. The Lone Ranger. The Untouchables. That kind of stuff.

 

I can't get enough.

 

 

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Mahesh    485

When it comes to my laptop, I have a basic set of speakers connected to it that amounts to an average listening experience at most. There's not much I can do about that for now. 

 

Otherwise, I use SoundMagic E10C as my primary earbuds. I recently bought the FiiO M3 which is a portable media player that supports lossless music playback (FLACs, WAVs) with an independent DAC chip on it for music processing. Definitely a better experience than listening to it on the phone. 

 

I prefer a flat sound curve when it comes to listening to music. Not too much bass or crisp. 

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starise    398

Wha??

I was going to ask for some popcorn. DId you have fresh melted butter on that Rudi? I'm drooling.

 

Thanks guys. I forgot to mention my car system is a Bose 6 or is it 8? speaker setup. I'm not sure Along those lines I usually listen to  SC uploads I sent out the night before on the way to work. That's when I discover all the bad mixing mistakes I made.

I'm attempting to get away from generalities and into specifics. I found this on my monitors and headphones. I'll see if i can find the specs on the other gear you guys posted, that is unless you already have it.

 

The slight dip in the 300-400 range on the ATH-M50x could be causing me to mix a little too much mid when mixing on headphones.

 

I'm not sure how accurate the test is on the LSR 305's. They seem to be hyped around 1.5K and all over the place below 600hz.

 

ATH-M50x

ath-m50-frequency_graph_zpstjkfzkxv.jpg

 

JBL LSR 305

 

JBL_LSR_305_Flater_zpsctfshyc5.jpg

 

 

Edited by starise
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starise    398

I wanted this to be an informative thread and also fun. I didn't want to get too overly clinical or scientific. Mainly I wanted to see just how lacking or good some listening systems really are so that I/we could adjust or compensate to get the experience the original artist and studio intended.

 

For those who don't know, in the charts above, a perfectly level line is ideal for listening.. All prosumer and consumer listening devices have some degree of inaccuracy and probably even some high end gear. My goal is to either adjust and compensate or at least be aware that when I'm listening to a song I might want to consider the effect headphones or speakers are having on my listening experience. The reason I asked for replies on what you were using was so that I/we could determine the specific areas of weakness in that medium. To do that we needed to know specifically what it was you are using and look at the specs.

 

If you listen in any open room on speakers, the room will also have some effect on your listening experience.Listening fatigue will  change what you perceive aurally. People who are getting older might loose some of the higher frequencies. The volumes you listen at affect frequency perceptions.Here's a pic of ARC 2 room correction. I sometimes use this to help negate the effect the room has on my mixing decisions. Here's a pic of ARC 2 in action. The orange line is the room before the correction. The white line is after the correction. ARC2 isn't perfect, but it gets you very close. There is still a bump below 300hz. Much better though. ARC 2 lets you select simulate different systems to hear the music through so you can tell how the mix will sound .

arc2%20-%20Copy_zpsvodemtrg.jpg

 

 

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TapperMike    378

A funny thing about this thread.  When I read the title I thought the concept was more like this thread .....

 

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starise    398

 

Hey Mike, Sorry for the confusion. So you though this might actually be an interesting thread :)

 

Since two others mentioned Skull candy ear buds. I wanted to look into those. I admit I didn't immediately get the likely meaning behind " Skull Candy" . Ok It's candy for the skull, I think I would have called it ear candy, but who knows? Maybe that name is taken.

 

What I most often find is frequency response of headphones. I can't find much of anything about Skull candy and frequency curves. And here's where they usually get you. They buyer thinks. wow, my headphones have a response from 30 hz to 25000 hz . They must be wonderful. I believe Skull Candy is pretty good from what I've read. Some makes tend to over boost the bass end. I'm not sure about these. And in reflection, I doubt most manufacturers are chomping at the bit to give you info that may show any weakness in their products.

 

I suspect that when monitor emulation came about, the people who wrote the programs had some basic rule of thumb. A cross section if you will, of different makes and models.Laptops generally sound this way, consumer headphones generally sound that way etc.

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Rob Ash    495

 

On 4/10/2017 at 8:55 AM, starise said:

They buyer thinks. wow, my headphones have a response from 30 hz to 25000 hz .

 

 

If you actually, in real life, have this range of frequency perception, at the level most audio tests are given at (something like -16dB to -32dB, I think) on a functional level, rejoice.

 

Most people don't. Even those with "healthy" hearing.

 

The limit of human hearing, and the statistical average of human hearing are utterly different things. Likewise, if you test 10,000 people who all achieve the age of majority at the same time, you will get close to 10,000 different results. Hearing seems to vary greatly from person to person. Not to mention the reality that  a person can go their whole lives and never be aware of any frequency above 9 or perhaps 10,000 and never miss what they can't hear. Unless they are a music theorist, that is.

 

Just sayin'...

 

 

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Rudi    587
7 hours ago, RobAsh15 said:

 

 

 

If you actually, in real life, have this range of frequency perception, at the level most audio tests are given at (something like -16dB to -32dB, I think) on a functional level, rejoice.

 

Most people don't. Even those with "healthy" hearing.

 

The limit of human hearing, and the statistical average of human hearing are utterly different things. Likewise, if you test 10,000 people who all achieve the age of majority at the same time, you will get close to 10,000 different results. Hearing seems to vary greatly from person to person. Not to mention the reality that  a person can go their whole lives and never be aware of any frequency above 9 or perhaps 10,000 and never miss what they can't hear. Unless they are a music theorist, that is.

 

Just sayin'...

 

 

 

 

That explains it! Damn! All these years & I thought my audience was hearing what I do.

 

In future I'll just play what people like.

Actually.... no. That would be boring.

Maybe I should give up?

 

No, *#@% the public. They'll just have to put up with it.

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Rob Ash    495
On 4/14/2017 at 2:33 AM, Rudi said:

No, *#@% the public. They'll just have to put up with it.

 

 

No cheating, Rudi-san. The key of "A" is still the key of "A" after all. You have to play what you know to be proper.

 

Now, if you achieve this, and your audience is then unable, or unwilling to acknowledge the utter brilliance of your performance?

 

Then is the time to say; "*#@% 'em!!!"

 

 

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Rudi    587
10 minutes ago, RobAsh15 said:

 

 

No cheating, Rudi-san. The key of "A" is still the key of "A" after all. You have to play what you know to be proper.

 

 

 

The key of A?

I would love to play in the key of A.

Those saxaphones only ever want to play in B flat.

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Steve    86
On 16/04/2017 at 7:16 AM, Rudi said:

 

The key of A?

I would love to play in the key of A.

Those saxaphones only ever want to play in B flat.

 

 

Bar stewards!

 

Robash. If 10,000 out of 10,000 people hear different things. Does it really matter what a musician produces?  Obviously, you can't please all of the people all of the time!

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Rob Ash    495
5 hours ago, Steve said:

Robash. If 10,000 out of 10,000 people hear different things. Does it really matter what a musician produces?  Obviously, you can't please all of the people all of the time!

 

 

Truer words were never spoken, my friend.

 

I dunno. How many people are citizens of, or even just live in the US, to offer one example. 300 million or so? How many do you have to have your music appeal to in order to achieve a successful outcome? Let's relate it to total number of downloads of a song you make, at $1.00 a download.

 

10,000 downloads...? (you make $10,000.00! Personally, I would make songs all day for ten grand each in income!)... that's exactly ONE in every THIRTY THOUSAND people, and that's JUST in the US. Plenty of room for only ONE in TEN THOUSAND (better odds by far) to like your song enough to pay a buck for it, and for you to still stand a significant statistical chance of success.

 

When you consider it in this light, Steve, it may actually be the case that far fewer than two people in ten thousand share the same experience when listening to a given song.

 

;)

 

 

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starise    398
16 hours ago, Steve said:

Robash. If 10,000 out of 10,000 people hear different things. Does it really matter what a musician produces?  Obviously, you can't please all of the people all of the time!

 

 I've been kicking this thought around too Steve. The manufacturers dish out some pretty bad stuff at lower price points. How many people buy those 5$ headphones at 5 Below? ( it's a chain here in the states). I dare say most parents are buying that for their kids and most college students are buying that because they are on a budget and the goal is to hear music in your ears..not much more thought goes into it. The manufacturers give us tone controls as a pacifier to make us feel like we have total control of the sound. Add to this the mp3 and what we have now is probably much worse than what we had 30 years ago. High quality can still be had, but at a price not many want to pay.

 

I compare it to my recent coffee roasting venture. I can go buy 1lb of no name coffee at the store for 4.00. For some people that's good enough. If you drink the really good stuff you'll know there is a huge difference. The cheap coffee was sourced from the lowest quality beans coming from the worst growing areas and the worst strains of coffee bushes.

I seek out green beans imported from the very best areas and the very best strains and hybrid plants, grown organically with no chemicals. I then roast it to the exact best flavor.

You simply won't get a better cup of coffee or espresso, especially if you buy it fresh roasted, grind the beans and make it right away. Yet how many coffee drinkers will go to a micro roaster and buy that coffee? As a percentage, very few will. The chain store price on average 4.99-7.99 for 1 lb. The micro roaster price on average 12.00-15.00 for 12 ounces or less. I don't see the venture being profitable long term unless I cater to a select group of buyer and advertise that I'm there. 

 

I see the music/audio industry as being very similar. The consumer has been conditioned to think of music as a thing they can get for cheap or free both in terms of the music and the gear used to play it. How can we add more value to music? The best we can do is make good music and mix it to sound the best it can sound on those cheap inexpensive consumer systems.

 

What the consumer thinks really doesn't change the heart of a true musician. They will still make music because they like to  make music. The rest of it could go to hell and they will be sitting somewhere with a guitar making music. So we have the problems, what are the answers? Someone had to work hard to make pretty much everything we enjoy possible, yet we seldom acknowledge it.

 

This is a good time for a plug for John and SS...if you can contribute please do so. It takes a lot of effort and time to keep a website alive. I can tell you as a website owner it isn't a cash cow, far from it.

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Rudi    587
3 hours ago, starise said:

I then roast it to the exact best flavor.

You simply won't get a better cup of coffee or espresso, especially if you buy it fresh roasted, grind the beans and make it right away. Yet how many coffee drinkers will go to a micro roaster and buy that coffee?

 

I sometimes grind the Kenco granules to a finer powder with the back of my spoon. I used to think this didnt make any difference, and I still do.

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starise    398

Rudy you're drinking mp3 quality coffee You might end up like this guy-:vuur1:

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Rudi    587

I know. You're shocked to discover that I'm so unsofistikated. 

 

I am making progress though. I have actual wine glasses now. I cant remember  the last time I necked straight from the bottle.

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starise    398
55 minutes ago, Rudi said:

I am making progress though. I have actual wine glasses now. I cant remember  the last time I necked straight from the bottle.

 

Drinking from the bottle  helps the environment. Drinking directly from the bottle saves dirtying and washing a glass. You save money because you don't need to buy a glass. Not washing glasses saves precious water going to the loo drain and saves time in the kitchen. Rudi drinking from the bottle was genius. The only reason we buy glasses is there are women around. That also covers everything else, walking erect, wearing clothes, bathing etc.

 

This has to be true. I read it on the internet. :violinplay1:

 

 

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