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 What is a Soundstage?

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Michael Green
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PostSubject: What is a Soundstage?   Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:41 am

Hi Tuneland

This hobby has many different parts and pieces. In some ways it's a hobby of many hobbies all put together and the hobbyist choses his or hers home. If you were to ask me what this hobby boils down to in a word I would say without any hesitation "soundstage".

This thread is here to created a TuneLand home for gathering post and articles on the topic of painting music's picture.

Here is an archive to peek at

http://www.michaelgreenaudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=289

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PostSubject: Re: What is a Soundstage?   Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:16 pm

The typical audiophile soundstage has several problems that tells us it's distorted but first lets take a look at the difference between the typical and a soundstage set free.



If you followed the link you will read Matt talk about how the space fills with this reverb sound. A recording presence can be huge and even hard to measure the space cause when sitting in it, it almost feels like it goes on forever in some recordings.

Don't think that the instruments are fuzzy either because they are even more focused than a small soundstage. I do want to say though that on the way to a tuned soundstage you may find times when the stage seems like a cloud, but don't let that stop you from opening things up because when you get to that open state images are very real and defined, maybe I should say "real sounding" cause when in tune you lose some of your perspective of lines as the shapes take on a 3D type of feel.

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PostSubject: Re: What is a Soundstage?   Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:17 pm

Soundstages and recordings.

So lets say your one of those that has always listened to the audiophile size soundstage and your thinking this is real and anything bigger than this is not.

Just because the industry of listening is thinking small, you don't have to limit yourself. Fact is the typical stage that your hearing at shows and in the stores and the ones the reviewers are talking about are probably a lot smaller than real.

How do you know?

Lets take a look at your system's stage. Most of your recordings use cymbals in popular music so lets put on a recording and start listening. Hear how big your cymbals are in your soundstage? Hear how they crash and splash, how you can hear the stick hitting then the size of the cymbal then the air and ringing around it, then the splash across the stage? What I lost you back at crash? If your cymbals are not doing all I just said chances are your only hearing a very small part of your soundstage.

Here's a cymbal miked



Yes, there's maybe some close micing



but when you pull back and take a look there are mics picking up the space.



And every space sounds different from the next, but you notice that this space is anything but small and the miking anything but in this tiny spot in your soundstage.



The engineer in the control room may want to take a cymbal and splash it from one side of the room to the next and often do to paint a picture of coloration and if your system is damped you will never hear this. Most recordings are far bigger than you think. Their even a lot bigger than an engineer with a closed in recording system thinks. In my studio in Nashville we would record something in one room and play it back in the listening room to judge how the real space worked. We would also take recordings from other studios and play them back in the MGA listening rooms. This was a fair judge for us to start monitoring the actual sizes of recordings and the play back space people have not only in the control rooms, but also the mastering and home listeners rooms. Once we found the actual size parameters we were able to play any recording and see (once tuned) how big their soundstages were.

This is an eye opener and it also told us that the audiophile soundstage was far smaller and compressed over what is actually on the recordings. Recording after recording I and others unlocked the size code and found tons more music in the stored recordings. This confirmed what we were finding back in the 80's as to why after we tuned the spaces always opened up and sounded much bigger than the stock High End Audio products.

We explored all types of micing and recording and every time found that the real size product (recording) could and should be produced in order to see what is all in the recording. Most playback systems do not even come close to producing the real size.

Here's another interesting fact that we found. When you shrink the soundstage you are not tighting things up but are actually deleting part of the recorded signal. We called this squeezing the harmonics and could make this happen from many different ways of blocking or dampening the audio signal along the audio pathway.

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