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Possible New Stereo Set Up

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Possible New Stereo Set Up

Postby Jim Reid » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:20 pm

Am super impressed by hearing the sample sets into headphones.
Have not used phones with HW for two or three years now.
But a week or so ago, using an inexpensive phone amp connected
to a pair of my 24 I/O output ports, fired up my K701s. Wow!

The Willis. V. 1, sounds fantastic!!

Now a question, then my idea for your comments, please.

Have noticed many HW system photos show only a pair
of studio monitor speakers on stands just aft the console,
or even sitting atop the console at the left and right ends;
some users mentioning a sub-woofer on the floor nearby also.
Does this configuration provide as amazing a "near field
stereo image as do the headphones?

If so, I will pile up three Behringer 2031As on the rear of my
old Allen console wired for plain-jane stereo, audio inputs to each
2031A in parallel for each side. This will consume three pair of my
24 I/O stereo output ports. All of my other speaker cabinets, of
varying sorts and age ('73 to '78 vintage) will be used as bass routed
channels fed only rank audio up to MIDI note 36 (to just below 60 Hz C,
bottom note of the 8' pipe rank). Such a configuration,
though not including a real sub-woofer, will include 11 15" radiating
speaker cones in phase and in parallel; such ought to equal or better
bass radiation into my fair sized room as any sub-woofer sitting in one place
could accomplish. These 11 enclosures are all along the length of one
approximate 30' wall of our living room space.

The mix-down audio channels for the two rear speakers and the headphone
amp will remain as is.

What do you experts think of this idea?
Jim Reid
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Re: Possible New Stereo Set Up

Postby toplayer2 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:59 pm

Jim,

One reason why headphones sound good is that they eliminate one of the biggest sources of coloration... the listening room. Multiple reflections create comb filtering effects that would make even a perfectly flat speaker have a very ragged frequency response. Near field placement of monitors mitigates the effect of the room in part because the listener is close to the monitors and the relative amplitude of the direct sound from the monitors is greater than when the listener is farther back. Also, near field placement usually means positioning the monitors well away from room boundaries which helps decouple the monitors' output from room modes.

If you study a typical professional recording studio control room, you will notice the near field monitor placement and a significant amount of room treatment such as diffusers and absorbers (e.g., Aurelex).

I have noticed over the years that artificial reverb (whether algorithmic, convolved, wet sampled, or whatever) can sound fake if it is fighting with the listening room's natural reverberation. A very dead sounding listening room (with lots of sound absorption) seems best for convincing reverb effects. This is again one of the advantages of headphones.

Another factor than can help or hurt reproduced sound is the shape of the room. The worst shape is a cube. Best results are possible when there are no parallel surfaces (not easy to do in a domestic room). Another problem is mechanical resonances from loose walls, floors, etc.

All things being equal, it is still beneficial to have more audio channels, especially for dry sampled organs, but IMHO for wet sampled organs as well. BUT... quality trumps quantity. I could live with a single pair of Mackie HR824s if I absolutely had to.

I cannot help but be amused at the number of VPO users who spend fortunes on consoles, MIDI equipment, computers, expensive sample libraries, but have done very little in terms of high quality speakers and room treatment.

Here are a few articles pertaining to acoustical room treatments:

http://www.engadget.com/2006/04/04/how-to-theater-or-studio-acoustic-treatments/
http://www.acousticaltreatment.net/
http://www.keithyates.com/halcyonarticle.htm

Joe Hardy
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Re: Possible New Stereo Set Up

Postby engrssc » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:15 pm

Should anyone be interested in constructing some acoustic panels (help to control standing waves, etc) very easy to do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Lc0BjFHoA8

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: Possible New Stereo Set Up

Postby Jim Reid » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:47 pm

Joe, evidently for my experiment then, I should use only a single
stereo pair of B2031A's on the back of my console.

Will give this experiment a try, first saving my present multi-audio
channel system data and settings file to backup, just in case
I decide to revert.
Jim Reid
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Re: Possible New Stereo Set Up

Postby toplayer2 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:23 am

Jim Reid wrote:Joe, evidently for my experiment then, I should use only a single
stereo pair of B2031A's on the back of my console.

Will give this experiment a try, first saving my present multi-audio
channel system data and settings file to backup, just in case
I decide to revert.

Jim,

You certainly could try this just to test the effect of near field placement. The results will be better when using sample sets with a natural stereo spread. [BTW, the Paramount was specifically engineered to sound reasonably good with headphones or just a single pair of speakers in a near field arrangement.]

You could also vertically stack four to six B2031s per side to get the benefit of air mixing ranks.

This diagram I did a couple of years ago my be useful:

http://sites.google.com/site/vtheatreorgan/Home/files/RecommendedTenChannelAudioSystem.pdf

*For C/C# routing of mono ranks, the two speakers should be relatively close to avoid ping-pong effects. For example, a VTPO rank in the Main Chamber could share the left A and C monitor.

Joe
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Re: Possible New Stereo Set Up

Postby Jim Reid » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:56 pm

Joe,

Have now gotten the trial console top set-up together.
The sound is totally different from the former multi-speaker
array sound. Also different from the plain K701 hwadphone
experience.

Near-field is in stereo, and the bass notes ( all 16' rank
notes below MIDI note 48) are sent to my several 15" cone
cabinets. This provides excellent bass, very much better
than the AKG headphone bass, even as good as that is.
Woofer bass just seems to present a more powerful sound
in the very low tones.

I will stay with this system for now. Have used only wet or
fairly wet sample sets so far. Am retaining my former
convolution configuration over on the HW VST system
for the present. Will probably retain that until HW 4
with the native convolver comes along.
Jim Reid
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