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Vocals on some tracks... (soundstage question)

Jake12988

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Mar 25, 2012
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can anyone explain why vocals on some tracks are dead center, yet others swinging to left?

i find all supertramp tracks for example, are dead center. Yet I'll then listen to some dire straits for example, and the vocals just seem off center?

is this how they edited it to sound? Or perhaps the different pitch of the voice has something to do with it?
 

Pedro

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May 31, 2016
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Jake12988 said:
can anyone explain why vocals on some tracks are dead center, yet others swinging to left?

i find all supertramp tracks for example, are dead center. Yet I'll then listen to some dire straits for example, and the vocals just seem off center?

is this how they edited it to sound? Or perhaps the different pitch of the voice has something to do with it?
It's just how the tracks are mixed. Speaker placement can have an effect, for example if you have a speaker closer to a side wall than the other. Vinyl also has worse channel separation than digital.
 

Jake12988

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Mar 25, 2012
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Fair enough!

Speakers kept in in same position, so it must be the way it's mixed. I always assumed it was preferred to have vocals center...
 
Q

QuestForThe13thNote

Guest
That’s an interesting one but I think I agree with how it’s mixed.

Are you playing the tracks Jake off of tidal. Can you tell me the actual tracks and artist/album for these two, and the bits in time mins and secs, where you hear the vocal not centre. Ill then do it on my system and feedback results.

It could conceivably be things like speaker soundstage too, involvement of the room and furniture in acoustics, also possibly different length speaker wires ? Speaker spacing and toe in and where you are in the listening position quite obviously.
 

Al ears

Moderator
It is almost certainly going to be the way the track was recorded.

If they are obviously way off to the left then speaker setup will not have this much of an effect on the apparent placement, no matter what your speaker cable lengths happen to be. ;-)

I have several recordings where main vocalist is off to left and lead guitar is on the right with only the drums be straight centre.
 

Jake12988

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Mar 25, 2012
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I’m listening through cds or sonos connect via Spotify,

tomorrow I will post up the tracks and the times, be interesting to see if others can compare.

i am leaning towards the mix, but still, it will be interesting to see what you think quest
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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If you know the band, artist or ensemble, it may reflect how they perform. Some bands have their singer centre stage, but not all.

If it is a totally studio construct then it's an artistic decision chosen in the mix. Conversely, with an orchestra, some conductors place first and second violin to the left, others have firsts on the left and seconds on the right, so they can have a dialogue with each other.

With the info you've provided it's likely a mixing decision. In phasey recordings or with badly set up gear, it might seem as though the voice moves with frequency.
 

Jake12988

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Mar 25, 2012
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Ok so I've played 'school' by supertramp, vocals dead center, slightly behind the speakers as well, excellent depth.

telegraph road, dire straits, (one of the best songs ever written IMO) vocals seem a bit to the left. Be interesting to see what some of you think listening on your systems.

it never rains, dire straits, also seems slightly left.

Logical song, supertramp, dead center again. So perhaps just the way the dire straits songs were mixed.

I may may play about with speaker position later to see if that makes a difference...

This is all through Spotify via sonos sonos connect by the way.

just want to add 'set em up Joe' chris jones, can someone check that, vocals mildly to the right? Worth listening just for the awesome didgeridoo! (If it is a didgeridoo)
 

Pedro

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May 31, 2016
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Jake12988 said:
Ok so I've played 'school' by supertramp, vocals dead center, slightly behind the speakers as well, excellent depth.

telegraph road, dire straits, (one of the best songs ever written IMO) vocals seem a bit to the left. Be interesting to see what some of you think listening on your systems.

it never rains, dire straits, also seems slightly left.

Logical song, supertramp, dead center again. So perhaps just the way the dire straits songs were mixed.

I may may play about with speaker position later to see if that makes a difference...

This is all through Spotify via sonos sonos connect by the way.

just want to add 'set em up Joe' chris jones, can someone check that, vocals mildly to the right? Worth listening just for the awesome didgeridoo! (If it is a didgeridoo)
Above I suggested speaker placement because the lack of symmetry could create an unbalance (some reflected frequencies would arrive to your hears faster than others). Cable lenght is a non-issue, because the signal travels in the wires at near the speed of light.

If you get those dead centre vocals (and drums, etc), then I guess you don't have a speaker/sitting placement issue and it all boils down to those mixes. You can just pick up your headphones and compare :)
 

Jake12988

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Mar 25, 2012
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Yeah I knew speaker wire wasn't an issue, just interested how it sounds on others systems, but yeah, i guess it's just the mix!
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Jake12988 said:
Yeah I knew speaker wire wasn't an issue, just interested how it sounds on others systems, but yeah, i guess it's just the mix!
Speaker wire definitely is an issue for me, if I know the cables are of unequal length the soundstage always pulls off to one side.
 

Jake12988

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Mar 25, 2012
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I would have thought you'd need a lot of length for that to be an issue...

ironically for me the longer cable is the left channel, only by 1.5 meters, and it's the left channel I was hearing more vocals...
 

Al ears

Moderator
davedotco said:
Jake12988 said:
Yeah I knew speaker wire wasn't an issue, just interested how it sounds on others systems, but yeah, i guess it's just the mix!
Speaker wire definitely is an issue for me, if I know the cables are of unequal length the soundstage always pulls off to one side.
;-) Mind games matey... ;-)
 

Al ears

Moderator
Jake12988 said:
I would have thought you'd need a lot of length for that to be an issue...

ironically for me the longer cable is the left channel, only by 1.5 meters, and it's the left channel I was hearing more vocals...
Swap the cables. Any difference? I very much doubt it ;-)

As previously suggested if you can attach headphones this should answer your question about the mix.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Jake12988 said:
I would have thought you'd need a lot of length for that to be an issue...

ironically for me the longer cable is the left channel, only by 1.5 meters, and it's the left channel I was hearing more vocals...
I think it all depends on how precise the positioning is and how your speakers react with your room. Cables would not really make big differences unless there's something extreme happening.

The biggest offender apart from that would be an amp. In most cases they don't measure equal volume per channel. I can notice differences of as little as 0.3 dB between channels in image shifts. But my setup is more or less nearfield and measured to a cm with a tape. So if one channel on the new amp is louder I will know straight away.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Al ears said:
davedotco said:
Jake12988 said:
Yeah I knew speaker wire wasn't an issue, just interested how it sounds on others systems, but yeah, i guess it's just the mix!
Speaker wire definitely is an issue for me, if I know the cables are of unequal length the soundstage always pulls off to one side.
;-) Mind games matey... ;-)
Never suggested otherwise, hence my phrasing "if I know", if I don't know, everything is fine...*diablo*
 

Al ears

Moderator
davedotco said:
Al ears said:
davedotco said:
Jake12988 said:
Yeah I knew speaker wire wasn't an issue, just interested how it sounds on others systems, but yeah, i guess it's just the mix!
Speaker wire definitely is an issue for me, if I know the cables are of unequal length the soundstage always pulls off to one side.
;-) Mind games matey... ;-)
Never suggested otherwise, hence my phrasing "if I know", if I don't know, everything is fine...*diablo*
Get someone else to fit them, that way you will not know.. ;-)
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Al ears said:
davedotco said:
Al ears said:
davedotco said:
Jake12988 said:
Yeah I knew speaker wire wasn't an issue, just interested how it sounds on others systems, but yeah, i guess it's just the mix!
Speaker wire definitely is an issue for me, if I know the cables are of unequal length the soundstage always pulls off to one side.
;-) Mind games matey... ;-)
Never suggested otherwise, hence my phrasing "if I know", if I don't know, everything is fine...*diablo*
Get someone else to fit them, that way you will not know.. ;-)
I went through this as a dealer. Had the guys set up a system with a 3m plus a 7m cable and compare it to a 7m pair, no difference whatsoever. Set it up myself, so I 'knew' what I was listening to and the soundstage skewed off to one side.

Did it several times, quite repeatable.

Mind you when I ordered my long phono cables for my actives, I ordered a 3m pair, without thinking (I could manage with half that on one side). Old habits eh...
 

Al ears

Moderator
davedotco said:
Al ears said:
davedotco said:
Al ears said:
davedotco said:
Jake12988 said:
Yeah I knew speaker wire wasn't an issue, just interested how it sounds on others systems, but yeah, i guess it's just the mix!
Speaker wire definitely is an issue for me, if I know the cables are of unequal length the soundstage always pulls off to one side.
;-) Mind games matey... ;-)
Never suggested otherwise, hence my phrasing "if I know", if I don't know, everything is fine...*diablo*
Get someone else to fit them, that way you will not know.. ;-)
I went through this as a dealer. Had the guys set up a system with a 3m plus a 7m cable and compare it to a 7m pair, no difference whatsoever. Set it up myself, so I 'knew' what I was listening to and the soundstage skewed off to one side.

Did it several times, quite repeatable.

Mind you when I ordered my long phono cables for my actives, I ordered a 3m pair, without thinking (I could manage with half that on one side). Old habits eh...
I know what you mean. For some time my system had one 2m and one 3m speaker cable and there was always a niggle in the back of my head to. Somehow a balanced system appears to need exactly that...balance. This was later rectified on obtaining my Acoustic Zen Adagio speakers as he threw in the 2.5m pair of Acoustic Zen cables as well...... We have normality, I repeat we have normality! ... (Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.) ;-)
 

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