Do you adjust bass and treble?

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the What HiFi community: the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products.

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
1,182
634
12,070
MajorFubar said:
Some people visualise the recording process as a straight wire with gain between a couple of microphones and the cutting head. They envision that a perfect hifi would recreate that 'one version of the truth' which was the live performance perfectly in their living room. This fallacy is an unachievable goal, and is as much perpetuated by the hifi 'scene', eg hifi magazines and the marketing machines of the manufacturers, as it is by the punters' own naivety.

If only they had an inkling of an understanding about what really goes on between recording the individual instruments and hearing the final result mixed and mastered, then they would realise there's no such thing as one version of the truth. What they're actually aiming for is a blind target, because a perfect hifi (which doesn't exist) would not inherently reproduce the sound of the real instruments but instead could only ever precisely replicate the sound the mastering engineer created, which as Rumsfeld would say, is a known unknown.
+1

MajorFubar said:
Maybe some simple recordings of solo instruments, singer-songwriter with a guitar, or jazz quartets etc are as close as you will ever get to what these folks naively think happens. But even then, the producer and mastering engineer will still have tailored the sound to suit their tastes and the brief.
Even if producers and sound engineers didn't imprint on the sound much, a choice of a mic will often make a huge difference.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
2,099
387
20,070
I had tone controls on my old Arcam A65+. You could bypass them with the 'mode' button on but I preferred the tone controls. Perhaps it's 'boys with toys' but I liked fiddling with the knobs.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
insider9 said:
Even if producers and sound engineers didn't imprint on the sound much, a choice of a mic will often make a huge difference.
Correct. And before digital became a thing, even the sound of the mixing desk and the recording machines and tapes influenced the character of the sound. In fact studios often had a 'house sound' they were specifically known for, such as Motown.

There are a million variables.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
51
5
18,545
MajorFubar said:
insider9 said:
Even if producers and sound engineers didn't imprint on the sound much, a choice of a mic will often make a huge difference.
Correct. And before digital became a thing, even the sound of the mixing desk and the recording machines and tapes influenced the character of the sound. In fact studios often had a 'house sound' they were specifically known for, such as Motown.

There are a million variables.
Don’t you believe that the AtoD conversation method and equipment can have an effect?
 

Romulus

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2014
130
61
18,670
Last time I adjusted treble and bass controls was when I owned a NAD receiver; which sadly was stolen during clearing of my house. It was a lovely component, I just liked the look of it, dark with solid reliable ergonomics and that lovely radio band. In those days I would with friends listen religously every Friday to Tony Vance Rock Show. Days of the turntable (Dual then a Rega Planar1) and all those Rock albums. I still have my all my old LP's in my basement maybe its time to ressurect them but which turntable to get?
 

Native_bon

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2008
180
2
18,595
insider9 said:
MajorFubar said:
Some people visualise the recording process as a straight wire with gain between a couple of microphones and the cutting head. They envision that a perfect hifi would recreate that 'one version of the truth' which was the live performance perfectly in their living room. This fallacy is an unachievable goal, and is as much perpetuated by the hifi 'scene', eg hifi magazines and the marketing machines of the manufacturers, as it is by the punters' own naivety.

If only they had an inkling of an understanding about what really goes on between recording the individual instruments and hearing the final result mixed and mastered, then they would realise there's no such thing as one version of the truth. What they're actually aiming for is a blind target, because a perfect hifi (which doesn't exist) would not inherently reproduce the sound of the real instruments but instead could only ever precisely replicate the sound the mastering engineer created, which as Rumsfeld would say, is a known unknown.
+1

MajorFubar said:
Maybe some simple recordings of solo instruments, singer-songwriter with a guitar, or jazz quartets etc are as close as you will ever get to what these folks naively think happens. But even then, the producer and mastering engineer will still have tailored the sound to suit their tastes and the brief.
Even if producers and sound engineers didn't imprint on the sound much, a choice of a mic will often make a huge difference.
Mics are still the greatest weakness when it comes to capturing sound. With us humans with got our ears and brain to do the job, Mics are just straight in and out to recording platform. Mics degrade the sound the most, further up the line some may do even worst through the mixing and mastering process. Dont even get me started with active speakers gets closer to the original recording. *sad*
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
309
85
10,970
I haven’t come across 1 peace of music yet that I have needed to use any tone controls with my speakers as they give the right amount of bass weight without the need to crank up the bass .

I feel that instruments give of there own natural bass I would say that some singers with a deeper voice like Johnny cash comes across deep on my speakers but maybe someone with small stand mounted speakers maybe his voice wouldn’t be so deep so the bass control would be used to give him a bit more weight to his voice .

Instruments like drums sometimes need a little bit of bass input or a bass guitar but not on my speakers but I have done in the past with smaller speakers that do not give out much bass .

And going back to classical music some of it is recorded live and only edited in the recording studio I mean how meany of us have walked into a recording studio and understand what the full process and there methods are because I do not know as long as it all sounds good I am happy .
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
Infiniteloop said:
Don’t you believe that the AtoD conversation method and equipment can have an effect?
Yes but it's tiny compared to analogue gear. Studios bought certain desks like Neves and SSLs to get a particular sound they knew the desk delivered. There are even software emulations for some of them. You might choose a particular modern digital desk over another because it works well with certain ADCs and DACs and has sockets and ports for the particular outboard gear you want to use with it, or because has certain facilities and features, or because it interfaces well with your digital recording software (DAW). It's not nearly as much about the sound of the desk these days. Not in the way it was.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
3
0
Romulus said:
In those days I would with friends listen religously every Friday to Tony Vance Rock Show.
At the risk of destroying your youth and have you exclaiming that you've been living a lie for 30 odd years, his name was actually Tommy. But don't worry, I recently found out that Monster Munch are actually supposed to be monster footprints not little representations of the monsters themselves with ape-like arms. My whole childhood was a lie.
 

Romulus

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2014
130
61
18,670
D'Agostino amps I believe have treble and bass knobs, and in this elitist level I think it nice to have that option which hopefully contribute in a beneficial way to the sound.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
1,128
232
19,570
I want to add a bit more to this thread

like a non bright top that is pleasant to listen to for hours and a good bass not to much but certainly not the opposit.

If the balance isn't right i change my system,amp,speakers,cable, if i didn't like the sound it was never the turntabel or cd player.

I like to listen to how the artist,producers,mastering made the music (just hate those records effected by the loudness war like metallica, but often listen to metallica live recordings on youtube), i want to listen to how they wanted the music to sound.

Every artist has his own sound he or they prefer and that makes them unique, that makes them special and is a part of why we love an artist,group so much, just imagine if metallica's record the last 20-25 years had extremly good sound,it wouldn't be the same right (they might be those who makes the worst sounding records, EVERYTHING IS LOUD) when i do find a record (one i know or a new record) with very good sound i don't need to adjust it, it just sounds good.

I do use youtube alot, some recordings sound surprisingly good, sound from a high end system and the distance between the mic and speakers can make the sound really good, even when youtube is max medium mp3 quality.

The piano sounds really good, imho no need to as a listener to adjust my bass/treble.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b2XYZ-YQEM&t

https://youtu.be/EsZvxhp-sRE
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
245
0
0
gasolin said:
I like to listen to how the artist,producers,mastering made the music (just hate those records effected by the loudness war like metallica, but often listen to metallica live recordings on youtube), i want to listen to how they wanted the music to sound.
therein lies one of the audiophiles greatest fallacies...

the first problem is how do you know what the artists, producers and mastering engineers wanted it to sound like? In order to get anywhere near that sound as a starter you basically need a studio treated room with active monitors for a start. Plus other listening equipment....

Then there's the second problem. Most if not all studio engineers will test mixes and masters on various peices of equipment - the idea being that it sounds good and/or acceptable on a wide range of equipment from blutooth speakers and mini systems all the way up to the expensive studio monitors.

therefore you are trying to achieve something that's not there as it were. You're chasing something that doesn't really exist.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
cheeseboy said:
gasolin said:
I like to listen to how the artist,producers,mastering made the music (just hate those records effected by the loudness war like metallica, but often listen to metallica live recordings on youtube), i want to listen to how they wanted the music to sound.
therein lies one of the audiophiles greatest fallacies...

the first problem is how do you know what the artists, producers and mastering engineers wanted it to sound like? In order to get anywhere near that sound as a starter you basically need a studio treated room with active monitors for a start. Plus other listening equipment....

Then there's the second problem. Most if not all studio engineers will test mixes and masters on various peices of equipment - the idea being that it sounds good and/or acceptable on a wide range of equipment from blutooth speakers and mini systems all the way up to the expensive studio monitors.

therefore you are trying to achieve something that's not there as it were. You're chasing something that doesn't really exist.
The bigest fallacy in all of this is the idea that you can use any commercial recording to evaluate the accuracy of the playback system, the best that you can realistically expect is to discover the intentions of the artist/producer. They will construct a finished product that they think that you will like (and buy) and the rest is up to you.

If you really want to know what a playback system is capable of in terms of accuracy you need recordings that actually attempt to capture the actual musical performance, it needs to be something that you know how it should sound. A voice and an acoustic instrument or two are the obvious example, but at the other end of the scale I have heard recordings of a chamber orchestra simply miked and recorded straight to 2 track.

Comercial recordings of this type do exist, many historical jazz recordings were simply recorded, often straight to 2 track and on a decent system the sense of reality is palpable. A great example is Brubeck's Time Out, recorded (more or less) live in Columbias legendary 30th Street Studio.

A more modern recording that I used on occasion was Mark Levinsons recordings made in the Red Rose store in New York. Simple jazz and spoken word recordings, recorded straight to 2 track in DSD, available as a SACD/CD hybrid disk. I have heard that recording played in the room where it was actually recorded, it became invaluable (to me) as a reference for evaluating equipment, particularly speakers.

There are plenty of other recordings you can use but you need to seek them out, some are private recordings, some amateur, some actually available commercially, you need to read music and recording sites to find them.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
1,128
232
19,570
I like to hear how the recorded music sounds , the diffrence in sound quality makes the artist unique,different

I don't want to adjust the sound so everything sounds the same like everything is loud, some records are a little bass weak, but that's just how they want it to sound, if remastered with more bass it might not sound as good as the original recording.

If they make a new version of a classic care like the fiat 500 and vw beetle they might not make it as good as the original, even when the new cars are more fuel efficient and faster.
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
245
0
0
gasolin said:
..some records are a little bass weak, but that's just how they want it to sound..
again, you're still falling in to the logical fallacy - how do you know how they wanted it to sound?
 

Electro

Well-known member
Mar 30, 2011
43
3
18,545
cheeseboy said:
gasolin said:
..some records are a little bass weak, but that's just how they want it to sound..
again, you're still falling in to the logical fallacy - how do you know how they wanted it to sound?
It depends who 'they' are, it is logical to suppose the somebody wanted it to sound like it does or it wouldn't exist.

Unless of course the whole recording was a complete accident *smile* .
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
245
0
0
Electro said:
It depends who 'they' are, it is logical to suppose the somebody wanted it to sound like it does or it wouldn't exist.

Unless of course the whole recording was a complete accident *smile* .
but that's the point. It sounds like it does, but without listening to it on the exact same systems and in the exact same situations/places that those that mixed it, produced it, recorded it, mastered it, you are never going to know how they, whoever they are, wanted it to sound. Like I say, it's chasing something that you can never know.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts