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Test Music - Albums

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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Hi, I've been trying to set the bass on my system for some time now. Initially I have been using metering equipment and test tones to get a feel of what is going on. This is ok to a point. The problem is that life is about compromises. My room dynamics means I won't get a flat response, so I figured it is best to get the region where it is likely to have instruments. It is pointless having the best 20-30hz performance at the expense of 30-50hz, as the 20hz-30hz will seldom be triggered with stereo music.

I think the best way is to make the final small adjustments by tuning to actual music. This means I am tuning the part of the range which are active.

Could you recommend any good test albums. They must have these qualities

- Be very very well recorded.

- Have all the range stimulated....20-40 hz by organ or electronic instruments, 40 hz by kick drum, bass guitar, full range vocals and various treble effects

- Lots of clear small details, so I can see if parts are getting smothered.

- Have lots stereo effect of various kinds, as well as a good laying down of the musician's positions. This would help with main speaker positioning.

I don't care if I like the music, as the purpose is setting up, but I think I would be listening to it a lot, so man with bag on his head playing the spoons may prove hard work after a while.
 

Simon Lucas

New member
Jun 5, 2007
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I think 'Exodus' by Bob Marley & The Wailers covers all those bases. Particularly 'Turn Your Lights Down Low'.
 

Gerrardasnails

Well-known member
Sep 6, 2007
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Simon Lucas:I think 'Exodus' by Bob Marley & The Wailers covers all those bases. Particularly 'Turn Your Lights Down Low'.

Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour Of The Wilderbeast - might not cover all bases but many and it's a sublime recording.
 

John Duncan

Well-known member
Jan 8, 2008
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Gerrardasnails:Simon Lucas:I think 'Exodus' by Bob Marley & The Wailers covers all those bases. Particularly 'Turn Your Lights Down Low'.

Badly Drawn Boy - The Hour Of The Wilderbeast - might not cover all bases but many and it's a sublime recording.

And you can hear the valves on the Flugelhorn, or whatever that brass instrument is at the beginning.......
 

Tony_R

Well-known member
Oct 20, 2008
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TNTTNT:

I don't care if I like the music, as the purpose is setting up, but I think I would be listening to it a lot, so man with bag on his head playing the spoons may prove hard work after a while.

But surely you need to know the music well, to discern if you're hearing / missing any detail etc.?

You would surely be better offf using a well known (to yourself) album (or albums).....?

Also - for the record - I've known of many people who have optimised their listening room with the use of instrumentation, only to find that the music sounds dull and flat.

A super flat response doesn't make for a good listening experience IMHO..
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
The Bob Marley track and some of the suggestion might be a good start. I have most of the early Bob Marley albums on vinyl, and a couple of CD.

I take Tony's point of a neutral response. I can only dream about this anyway, because I have a room spike at 40hz the size of Everest. In fact, I am trying to use good musical test tracks to tune around this.

I am not sure why a flat response to test tones would instil a certain dullness, because I imagine that all this proves is that the speaker does exactly what you tell it to do. I suppose that you would hope that once you are confident the speakers are doing what they are told, the recording instructs them correctly and accurately.

All that said, Tony has actual practical experience of this, where I am just theorising and guessing.

I guess the Bob Marley track should have some good basslines. I haven't listened to them for about 12 years. It will take me back a bit.

Can anyone think of any tracks with fast intricate drums and bass guitar? I probably should have added this to the original list. I am actually really eager to get my Bob Marley out again.
 

Simon Lucas

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Jun 5, 2007
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TNTTNT:Can anyone think of any tracks with fast intricate drums and bass guitar?

Plenty of Red Hot Chili Peppers fits that bill.
 

bretty

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Jul 20, 2007
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I'll have a think about the intricate drums and quick bass.

For your original question, try Bjork's 'medulla'. Exquisitely recorded and mastered with many layers to each track. You can get it for a couple of quid off Amazon marketplace.

Just had a thought: Red hot chili peppers-'Blood sugar sex magic' has the drums you are after on the track 'breaking the girl' and Flea's probably one of the best bass players in the world, all the tracks on this album are good for bass.ÿ

It might not be your cup of tea, but the drummer for 'Tool' is amazing. Try the album 'Lateralus'ÿ
 

coolaboola

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Sep 19, 2008
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Just avoid californication by the chilli's .Leftfields leftism and some massive attack might help.Don't snigger but the best produced album in my opinion is Michael Jacksons Bad.Quincy Jones production is a masterclass.Liberian girl etc will work any system.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have Bad on vinyl as well, so would be good to revist. I just blew the dust off my Bob Marley LPs just now, thanks to Simon Lucas. Rebel Music was awesome. Lots of bass guitar, but I didn't pick up any really low stuff...it was a quick listen though.

On the subject of sniggering, I was raving about one of the new Take That albums, Beautiful World, to my mates. He riducled me for a while, then after 5 mins admitted he had it and thought it was brilliant. I call it closet Take Thatism.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Speaking from within the closet I would say they have changed a lot, physically and musically. This closet is starting to feel a bit empty.
 

coolaboola

New member
Sep 19, 2008
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Seriously,grab a copy of Exodus 30th year anniversary edition if you don't have already have it,slide that frequency metre reader thing under the couch, and kick back to natural mystic.If you were to have a cheeky spliff without inhaling in an american beauty type moment it wouldn't make you a bad person.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Dark Passion Play by Nightwish - comprises 4-piece metal band, symphony orchestra and large choir. You get a lot of double bass drum, and a very attacking style of bass guitar to test the sub. Add in powerful female vocals, choirs and the odd boy soprano and it's a fair test of a system afaik. I've been told the first song has around 300 individual tracks within it, and takes a good system to hear it all. I've not been able to verify this myself though.

As you go through the album the variety is immense - hard gothic metal, "power ballads", quite commercial metal, power irish/finnish folk and topped off with a great arrangement with a gospel choir.

Available on CD, DVD-A (5.1) and vinyl.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
RainMeister:

Dark Passion Play by Nightwish - comprises 4-piece metal band, symphony orchestra and large choir. You get a lot of double bass drum, and a very attacking style of bass guitar to test the sub. Add in powerful female vocals, choirs and the odd boy soprano and it's a fair test of a system afaik. I've been told the first song has around 300 individual tracks within it, and takes a good system to hear it all. I've not been able to verify this myself though.

As you go through the album the variety is immense - hard gothic metal, "power ballads", quite commercial metal, power irish/finnish folk and topped off with a great arrangement with a gospel choir.

Available on CD, DVD-A (5.1) and vinyl.

Oh boy!!!!!, that sounds like the workout I am after. It sounds like an interesting track just from the description. I haven't heard of them, but just them out on HMV. Their album art looks pretty cool. I'll never get a flat response, so I can tune to something like this.

Coolaboola, I have Exodus as a copy on Vinyl. I've had it about 20 years, and it says digitally remastered by Rob Fraboni and Barry Diament. I don't think it is the original 1977 version, but there is no date on it other than P1977. I agree with you, moons ago in my student days it was certainly an aid to a relaxed state.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Might be an idea to throw some classical into the mix; I'd suggest Yo Yo Ma's recording of Dvorak's Cello concerto and Hilary Hahn's recording of Mendelssohn's Violin concerto.

I'd also suggest some Mahler - if you can hear the all the layers of the music and the placement of the orchestra and voices in his later works, you've got it pretty right.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re test Albums try Santan's supernatural the track Maria has very low base and lots more.
nick
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I would like say a huge thank you for your suggestions. I'll keep an eye out to see if I can snap up some of these on the web at a decent price.

I would perhaps add a suggestion of my own. Elbow's Seldom Seen Kid has a lot of low imagery and sub bass rumble. Not a full work out, but a good start.

I have a very broken PC, so I got the meter out last night and did my own mental plots and curves. I found a huge room spike at 42hz, followed by an enormous trough at 65hz climbing back to 0db at 78hz. The spike at 42hz sent the needle off the meter. What ever was causing the suck out at 65hz was pretty severe, because even the sub hardly affected this, even at moderate gain.

I used the meter to tweak crossovers and gain, and think I have come close to nailing it. I just need to do some real life music testing. The Nightwish track is one I am keen to try. Classical isn't something I had thought of, so thank you. I heard Santana on a Cheech and Chong movies in the 90s of all places, so this may good speaker food.

Out of interest, does anyone know what typical instruments would be affected by a volume drop in the 65hz to 78hz range?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
not sure if this is what you're looking for, but it's interactive which is quite fun!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Ah Rainmeister, this is great!!! I tried on a few occasions to find out the spectrum, but did not come close to this.

It seems that without the sub, the main thing I am having sucked out on pop/rock is Kick Drum, Bass Guitar and Piano. Thankfully the vocals are out of, if not near, this region.

It made me chuckle, because I bet if you told some rock fans that the deepest bass come out of classical instruments rather than kick drums, you would get confused looks. I realised the Piano went down to 27hz, but never would have guessed the harp.

The chart also implied to me that if I blow out the 42hz area to correct deficiencies in the 60-70hz area, it might be better because the 60-70hz area would be active more often. This why test tones will only take you so far, but it is music testing which is the final arbiter.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Peter Gabriel 4 - superb recording, mile wide stereo, deep bass and a wide variety of instruments used on this album. The original if you can get it is good, but the remasters aren't too futzed around with.
 

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