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Brass Distortion - WTF? Studio Monitors
Old 1st September 2011
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
And what I've just heard isn't any kind of intermodulation distortion - that's flat out "crapping out" distortion!! The F and D I referred to earlier on are intermodulation and transient acoustic distortions. This is something very different!
Its a little difficult to describe subjective differences....Brent, if you're still following, were you hearing the type of distortion, and in the same places, as the "what I hear.wav" file? Or are you referring to the intermodulation distortions that Narcoman points out on the F & D?
Old 1st September 2011
  #32
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there are those big distortions on the "swells" near the end that really show up. You getting those Brent?
Old 1st September 2011
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Well - of course I could be wrong - but I'm not convinced he's hearing the "spit spit fizz" of the recorded example you just posted! That's clearly most nasty!!

I'll do the same as you tomorrow - I'll record what my speakers are doing..... see if that brings any light to it.

It COULD be something to do with frequency based distortions running through amps that are running at peak - but man, that'd be a long shot!
Thanks A LOT Narcoman. I really do appreciate the help from you guys that have been doing this for longer than I. At this point, I really don't give a f* what's wrong, I just need to know for sure so I can move on and get this done. I've wasted almost 4 days with this, when I was looking forward to mixing some well-played music, even if its 20 christmas tunes and the weather is 105 still in texas...
Old 1st September 2011
  #34
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Absolutely - these kind of things are a real bugger...

Can you try each speaker one at a time? See if it happens in each speaker separately. Also pan each side left and right.
Old 1st September 2011
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Absolutely - these kind of things are a real bugger...

Can you try each speaker one at a time? See if it happens in each speaker separately. Also pan each side left and right.
If I pull down the right fader and listen to only the left side, this is the side that clearly has more of the distortion. If I pull down the left fader and listen to the right side, I only hear a bit of distortion on the aggressive trombone glissando. If I flip the pan-pots and the imaging of the mix, the same problems exist, just on opposite speakers, so it's not like one of the speakers is doing anything differently than the other.

If I pan the whole mix either L, C, or R, there is still distortion in all the same spots. The next step is to rig up my 2 IBP boxes and see what I can do, but one didn't seem to do anything earlier when I tried...
Old 1st September 2011
  #36
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
But did you see that Brent above clearly hears the distortion in the original file as well, and described it as a complex interharmonic distortion? If I were the only person that heard it, I'd think its my chain, but it seems that a few other people are able to hear it in the original file.

I'm not totally ruling out other problems in my chain, but this is the ONLY recording that sounds distorted at all. Every other recording sounds impeccable on the Animas when played with either the XR or Zed convertors. This brass quintet is distorted with both sets of convertors.
That's not interharmonic distortion. Maybe Brent is referring to the far more subtle natural overdrive from the horns apparent in the midrange. That's actually a pleasing element of the brass sound. The original recording is fine, but the "what I hear" sound file you posted reveals some pretty drastic clipping on the loudest notes.
Old 1st September 2011
  #37
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Okay, first a little personal history...

A good while back (pre-samples!) I'd occasionally work on a session where someone making a demo of some sports or news music, say, would try to simulate a brass section or even a big band using only one or two players and doing lots of overdubs. The inevitable result would be the exact same kind of intermodulation "hash" I'm hearing here.

But the same sort of thing done with a whole bunch of players all at once, for instance...

3 trumpets on 1 RCA 44
2 tenor bones on 1 RCA 44
1 bass bone on 1 RCA 44
3 French horns on 1 RCA 77 (behind 'em)

... going to just 4 tracks of analog tape would sound fine every time.

Same deal with strings. Maybe worse, actually. Fake a "section" by overdubbing one player over and over and you'll get all the parts, but you'll also get a whole bunch of godawful crap you won't hear when you isolate the individual tracks. But record the same music to one or two tracks with a dozen folks playing at once and it'll sound great.

Where I'm headed with all this, I guess, is that if I were in your shoes (or in your shoes five days ago) I'd probably set up the band in a semicircle around an XY or slightly spaced pair of ribbons and make them scoot their chairs around to get the balance right, while also recording spot mics that would only be intended for subtle repairs. Of course, to do that you need either (a) a great sounding space, or (b) a harmless space and expensive reverb, but the end result will be a nice, genuine stereo image that won't sound so ping-pongy, and with none of that "hash."
Old 1st September 2011
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by child of Gaia View Post
That's not interharmonic distortion. Maybe Brent is referring to the far more subtle natural overdrive from the horns apparent in the midrange. That's actually a pleasing element of the brass sound. The original recording is fine, but the "what I hear" sound file you posted reveals some pretty drastic clipping on the loudest notes.
Yep that second audio file is not interharmonic anything... It's just plain distortion.
Old 1st September 2011
  #39
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Brent,

I think you're right. I even switched amps, and the same distortion is audible. Considering that absolutely EVERY other recording from ANY genre sounds beautiful on these Animas, I just don't think it can be them. These are really amazing, revealing speakers, and in this case, I would have heard this "hash" had I tracked with the Animas at the time. I guess the good news is that the vast majority of people can't even hear it...
Old 1st September 2011
  #40
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Definitely something in the second sample. But I agree with Narco that it doesn't sound like harmonic distortion. At first I thought it was a flutter echo folding back into the sound. You mentioned it was a small room, but that doesn't even sound like that.

It really sound like some kind of level mismatch. I still don't think the actual track is distorted.

Perhaps take your drive to another studio and check it out.
Old 1st September 2011
  #41
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man
Brent,

I think you're right. I even switched amps, and the same distortion is audible. Considering that absolutely EVERY other recording from ANY genre sounds beautiful on these Animas, I just don't think it can be them. These are really amazing, revealing speakers, and in this case, I would have heard this "hash" had I tracked with the Animas at the time. I guess the good news is that the vast majority of people can't even hear it...
But it's not on the original recording. There is no "hash" on your mix, it is something in your chain causing it to clip. The difference between the two sound files you provided is so obvious. Trust me, you need to find the source of the distortion between your DAW and your speakers, because it was not captured on the recording and therefore will not go away. The actual mix sounds quite lovely.
Old 1st September 2011
  #42
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This is very peculiar because on his speakers over-man can only hear distortion on this particular mix and not in any other mix...

Leading him to believe the artefacts are not a symptom of his playback system or signal chain.

There is a huge difference between the original file posted (which actually sounds quite pleasing to me) and the second file - which sounds dreadful.

Check both the files on an alternative playback system with some alternative ears!
Old 1st September 2011
  #43
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
Brent,

I think you're right. I even switched amps, and the same distortion is audible. Considering that absolutely EVERY other recording from ANY genre sounds beautiful on these Animas, I just don't think it can be them. These are really amazing, revealing speakers, and in this case, I would have heard this "hash" had I tracked with the Animas at the time. I guess the good news is that the vast majority of people can't even hear it...
As I say - what you're getting on your monitors is huge distortion BUT it isn't replicated on my system from the source fies.

Have a listen through a completely different system yourself. It's something in the chain - it isn't ANYTHING to do with the musical or harmonic distortions. Your second example shows that!!
Old 1st September 2011
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noiseflaw View Post
This is very peculiar because on his speakers over-man can only hear distortion on this particular mix and not in any other mix...

Leading him to believe the artefacts are not a symptom of his playback system or signal chain.

!
Actually - I had a problem last year which only occurred on two pieces of music. It was actually a piece of solder rattling in one speaker ONLY at a certain frequency. It could be many esoteric things - the particular session is bust, a particular anomaly at one frequency in the speakers (doubtful as it moves), a digital phenomena at one frequency....
Old 2nd September 2011
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Actually - I had a problem last year which only occurred on two pieces of music. It was actually a piece of solder rattling in one speaker ONLY at a certain frequency. It could be many esoteric things - the particular session is bust, a particular anomaly at one frequency in the speakers (doubtful as it moves), a digital phenomena at one frequency....
Thankyou for posting that!
I was going to suggest exactly the same possibility - the frequency peaks of that particular mix were generating vibrations to create the distortion in his system...

I decided not to suggest it because the op might facepalm me and attempt a virtual strangulation!
Old 2nd September 2011
  #46
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yeah - I've seen/heard it caused by various reasons....
Old 2nd September 2011
  #47
run, megalodon
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Just to have another vote in here I hear nothing that really sounds wrong with the first file, but I do hear horrible, obvious distortion on the "what I hear" file. There is obviously something different between the two, so it seems to me that proves that there is something up with your monitoring system somewhere in the chain.

Brent, have you listened to both files? Is there not an obvious distortion on the "what I hear" file that is not in the original file? Maybe you are hearing something nasty or off in the original, but the distortion in the "what i hear" file is such an obvious difference it seems that it must be what the op is worried about.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #48
run, megalodon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Actually - I had a problem last year which only occurred on two pieces of music. It was actually a piece of solder rattling in one speaker ONLY at a certain frequency. It could be many esoteric things - the particular session is bust, a particular anomaly at one frequency in the speakers (doubtful as it moves), a digital phenomena at one frequency....
I had this problem with a pair of KRKs. There was a particular Absynth patch (some kind of super cello) that caused a very obvious mechanical rattling in one of my speakers. I was distressed but for some reason or other I couldn't replace it. But after a while it became obvious that no other material would cause it. I still have it, and I haven't heard it since that day a few years ago.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #49
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by run, megalodon View Post
Brent, have you listened to both files? Is there not an obvious distortion on the "what I hear" file that is not in the original file?
Sure I've listened to both files. And the problems with the second one are definitely more pronounced than the first.

But that just means that there are two issues rather than one.

The first issue, the intermodulation, is subtle enough that most of the contributors to this thread say they can't hear it. The second, the effed up playback situation, seems to be obvious to everyone.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #50
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Thanks for all of the help guys. At this point, I just have to throw my hands in the air and say F* it, because there just isn't an easy way to really scientifically isolate and test each piece in my playback chain. The best I can think of is to have other Anima owners listen to the same file, because if the speaker is somehow revealing something that other speakers aren't, then other Anima users should hear it just like me, right? Except there would be different pieces in that user's chain too... This whole discussion really emphasizes the subjective nature of this enterprise.

I keep coming back to the idea that EVERYTHING else sounds incredible on the Animas, which seems to support the idea that the speakers are fine, but then other users post that they've had 1 particular mix or even patch that sets their speakers off in a strange way...

And anyway, if no one can hear the harsh distortion except for me, then who cares, right? (Except that when people come to my studio I just lost a demo reel piece ) This is what other people keep saying to me, and we've heard it before: if no one else can hear the difference, then who cares? It's not like someone is going to starve, and in the grand sense, it really doesn't matter at all. But that's no kind of attitude when you're striving for excellence, regardless of what the lowest common denominator can hear or appreciate... Good times!!!
Old 16th March 2012
  #51
Gear Head
 

Over-Man,

Just stumbled on this thread. Don't know if you ever got your issue resolved, but thought I'd let you know that I have the same monitors as you and there is definitely not distortion on my system (having referenced both files you've posted).
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