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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:20 pm 
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Good catch Lonman... I posted the wrong link.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:52 pm 
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Paradigm Karaoke wrote:
so i understand what you are trying to say Bastiat...
customer "A" is going to hear speaker 2 just fine and customer "B" and the pool players are going to hear speaker 1 just fine and get all the information from both speakers?

What customer "A" and customer "B" hears depends on numerous factors, but I think it's safe to assume in most situations Customer "A" will not hear the same exact sound that Customer "B" will hear and vice versa. Having said that, everything has a trade-off. If you run a mono system not only do you lose the stereo imaging, you also get a misrepresentation of the mix from the sound source. On some songs it might be marginal and even for all intents and purposes non-existent, while on other songs it will be significant. The main trade-off to running a stereo mix is mainly cost. In terms of audio/sound, the trade-offs really depend on the listening environment. When setting up a sound system whether it be mono or stereo, one of the first things you do is establish a single listening point. A good rule of thumb in establishing that point is approximately 2/3 the distance from the front row of the audience to the back row of the audience. There are other opinions on this of course but the variations aren't worth the mention.

In any event, one you've established that targeted listener's position or the "sweet spot", the listener at that position will hear the stereo image perfectly, while others to either side, front and rear will hear it a little differently, so in that sense you could consider that a trade-off. However that can be said of any listening environment including listening to your home stereo in your living room. The person sitting on the side of you will not hear the same exact thing as you. If you've ever been to a concert which I'm sure you have, if you've moved around the facility you'll have noticed a difference in sound and in some cases a profound difference in sound and the majority of these venues are reinforced in mono. Just remember that everything is a trade-off, it just depends on which trade-offs you are willing to accept, but the bottom line here is that the overall SPLs of any given environment is not a function of format.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:15 pm 
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The Lone Ranger wrote:
Years ago I thought all hosts went with two speakers, and some used a monitor as well. Then I saw a lady/host using one speaker in a smaller size venue. She was getting great sound from her one quality speaker, and I asked her how she got by with only one? She told me she ran it mono. Since that day I had run mono with two speakers, and now that I have only the one Bose tower speaker, I of course run that mono as well. All I get is positive feedback about the sound, so if it ain't broke why fix it?

Getting full coverage in a given listening environment requires only as many speakers as dictated by the space itself to include the room dimensions and surface materials. Other variables include ambient room noise and sound absorption (i.e. draperies, humans, etc.). If all of those things can be adequately addressed with one speaker to fulfill the SPL requirements of that space, then you don't need two speakers. However, if you want to more accurately represent the mix of stereo sound recordings you need to either have a stereo system or use a mono mix of the song if available. As to how to define great sound is of course subjective and strictly a matter of opinion. I would never suggest that anyone who is satisfied with the sound they're getting from their mono system, that they have to run in stereo, or change their speakers or amplifiers or any of that. What I can say unequivocally however is that you will get an even better sound if you run stereo than if you run mono.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:32 pm 
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mrmarog wrote:
There is not a single DJ (not KJ) that I know of that runs stereo. Dj's have been doing sound a lot longer than KJ's and I bet they run mono for a very good reason..... and that is ....everyone hears the same sound no matter where they stand.
Whether or not a DJ or KJ runs stereo or mono is of no consequence. If I'm looking to design a sound system for any particular venue I can assure you that I'm not going to look for DJs or KJs in the Yellow Pages to design the system. Hearing the same sound no matter where they stand defeats the entire point of a stereo mix. Maybe you think these DJs have a better idea as to how a mix should sound as opposed to someone like Quincy Jones who actually mixed it.

If a DJ who has the financial ability to run his system in stereo and run the system in mono, then I'd say he/she is doing it out of convenience. Either that or he/she is lazy, tone deaf or clueless, but anyone who gives up stereo imaging so that both sides can hear the exact same thing doesn't know a db from a donut.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:59 pm 
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MtnKaraoke wrote:
What would be your advice for a user who goes from using stereo and 2 mains, one receives left channel, one the right channel to a single line/column array? If you combine or sum the stereo signal, what audio information is lost? Specifically what is lost if your stereo track is eq'd with separation that prevents the phase cancellation?

My advice would be not to do it. :lol: Obviously I'm not a big fan of single column arrays, but if you must, try to determine which songs in your library were either mixed in mono (if any) or if there's a MPX version of the song which would have been mixed down to mono. As far as what info is lost when summing stereo tracks into mono largely depends on the mix itself, and the skill level of the engineer, etc. Assuming that the engineer who mixed down your song knew what he was doing (and believe me I've heard some things that were so poorly engineered that the customer should have asked for their money back), he/she will slightly pan an instrument that's competing with another instrument. It could be two acoustic guitars or a guitar and some other instrument, or a trumpet and a saxophone, etc. Even just a slight pan can make all the difference in the world as to how well a track or multiple tracks "sit" in a mix. Here again, it really depends on the song the instrumentation, the arrangement and a host of other variables that can make the summing of a stereo channel into mono, a minor nuisance to a major bummer. There are many ways in which phase cancellations can occur. A fairly common one is when an engineer copies a guitar track to another track then delays one of the tracks ever so slightly, usually 10ms to 20ms or so to "fatten" the guitar. The end result is a more open sound, etc., but if you sum these two tracks into mono, there will points in the track that are 180 degrees out of phase with each other and cancel each other out ever place that occurs. You can't really EQ a track to separate it so that it won't phase when combined. You would use EQ however to separate the tracks in a mono mix, but seeing it's already being mixed in mono, phase cancellation is a non-issue.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:04 pm 
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Bastiat wrote:
mrmarog wrote:
There is not a single DJ (not KJ) that I know of that runs stereo. Dj's have been doing sound a lot longer than KJ's and I bet they run mono for a very good reason..... and that is ....everyone hears the same sound no matter where they stand.
Whether or not a DJ or KJ runs stereo or mono is of no consequence. If I'm looking to design a sound system for any particular venue I can assure you that I'm not going to look for DJs or KJs in the Yellow Pages to design the system. Hearing the same sound no matter where they stand defeats the entire point of a stereo mix. Maybe you think these DJs have a better idea as to how a mix should sound as opposed to someone like Quincy Jones who actually mixed it.

If a DJ who has the financial ability to run his system in stereo and run the system in mono, then I'd say he/she is doing it out of convenience. Either that or he/she is lazy, tone deaf or clueless, but anyone who gives up stereo imaging so that both sides can hear the exact same thing doesn't know a db from a donut.

Let's get something straight! Most of us KJ's play in a bar or restaurant/club. The noise floor is very loud and the music needs to be above it. I don't care where the speakers are placed no one hears the stereo effect.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:31 pm 
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mrmarog wrote:
Let's get something straight! Most of us KJ's play in a bar or restaurant/club. The noise floor is very loud and the music needs to be above it. I don't care where the speakers are placed no one hears the stereo effect.

You might want to read some of the other posts. Nobody really gives a hoot about "stereo effects". I do want to hear ALL of the instruments balanced in the mix the way they were intended to be heard. I don't want to hear the 2nd guitar louder than the 1st guitar when the engineer/producer intended for it to be the other way around. I don't know how much clearer I can make the point. The first time I ever ran into the problem was at a KIAA convention where we went out after the meeting to a karaoke show. The KJ played one of our songs and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It sounded like SHYTE!!! To make matters worse this track had a detuned synth in the mix and without the stereo image made the whole track sound out of tune. Quite frankly it was so bad that I was ashamed to even admit it was my track. As far as playing in noisy bars and clubs, I did it for many years with packed dance floors and all. I know exactly what it's like to play in a noisy bar.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:33 pm 
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We are so damn lucky to have such a knowledgeable self proclaimed expert on this forum to educate the 10's of thousands of DJs and KJs and all the years of experience they represent and to tell them they are doing it wrong and basically calling them idiots for running their music the way they do. Thank you Bastiat

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:34 pm 
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All room environments are different. As far as room acoustics are concerned the single most important aspect is the room dimension itself, followed by the room surface materials. These factors in and of themselves will determine the quality and/or limitations of your system. Understanding a couple of things here will go a long way in helping you to determine speaker placement. There is no "perfect" speaker position but nevertheless even small adjustments in speaker positioning can have an enormous affect on the sound emanating from the speakers.

There will be some rooms that just will not sound good no matter what you do. In cases such as that you can only work with what you've got so you'll need to be even more detailed in your analysis and a bit more judicious in determining a DLA (designated listening area). There's a tendency for some at attempting to cover every square inch of a listening environment (L shaped rooms being a good example) but that approach pleases no one. It's far better to map out a DLA and focus your sound reinforcement equipment at that DLA and either reinforce the undesignated area with additional speakers or just write it off.

I'm not going to go into great detail here, you can read that for yourself once I finish my free ebook on this subject, but in the meantime I've included a link to Westlake Audio's website that briefly addresses some common problems. It only briefly deals with room acoustics but in general is an excellent article on speaker placement, and somewhat of a basic primer on phase cancellations due to room dimensions and early reflections. The article assumes the users are interested in maintaining stereo imaging and uses a stage scenario with musicians in its explanations, but the same principals apply for karaoke.

http://www.westlakeaudio.com/Speakers/M ... in_th.html


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:13 pm 
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RLC wrote:
We are so damn lucky to have such a knowledgeable self proclaimed expert on this forum to educate the 10's of thousands of DJs and KJs and all the years of experience they represent and to tell them they are doing it wrong and basically calling them idiots for running their music the way they do. Thank you Bastiat

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:30 am 
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Bastiat wrote:
RLC wrote:
We are so damn lucky to have such a knowledgeable self proclaimed expert on this forum to educate the 10's of thousands of DJs and KJs and all the years of experience they represent and to tell them they are doing it wrong and basically calling them idiots for running their music the way they do. Thank you Bastiat

You got me!

Well that's good, admittance/acceptance is the first step!

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Last edited by RLC on Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:24 am 
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I understand the desire to maintain the purity of the recording engineer's intention for the mix, yet I propose that the recording engineer's intention for that mix was not for a handful of people listening in a crowded bar.

On my home system, in a quiet room, I always begin by respecting the recording engineer's personal preference for how I should listen, and then I set my hands on the controls to make it sound the way I want to hear it.

It's much the same way that I choose the types of lighting I use to display artwork on my walls. The original artist might not approve, yet it satisfies my eye.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:17 pm 
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Bastiat wrote:
Nobody really gives a hoot about "stereo effects". I do want to hear ALL of the instruments balanced in the mix the way they were intended to be heard.

then i don't understand why you want to mensure that half of the audience does not hear all the instruments balanced in the mix by putting some of the instruments the producer intended you to hear further away and out of ear shot.

Bastiat wrote:
I don't want to hear the 2nd guitar louder than the 1st guitar when the engineer/producer intended for it to be the other way around.

Gtr1 panned slightly left, gtr 2 panned slightly right.
any audience left of center hears Gtr2 louder than Gtr 1 in a stereo mix in a live situation.
in my example above, table B and the entire pool playing area hear Gtr 2 louder.

this is why i don't understand this method of thinking.

if i had a stage and the seats were lined up in front, yes, i could see it, but karaoke rarely has that type of setup.
mostly we set up where we can and if there is a stage to work from, it is generally a poor corner stage.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:59 pm 
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While I'm in complete agreement that this doesn't make a hoot of a difference given the intended audience - after all it is "just Karaoke" - I shall jump into the fray, just for clarification purposes only.

This is really the responsibility of the "mix down" Engineer, and has to do with the phase relationship between the left and right channels. In theory, signals 180 degrees out of phase will completely cancel each other. For example, if you have stereo passive speakers, and wire one backwards, you have a system that is now "out of phase", and, depending on where you stand, you now have a system that, to use a scientific term, sounds like crap.

It works exactly the same way when recording in stereo using two or more microphones, only instead of having a microphone wired backwards out of phase, the distances between the multiple microphones and the source (singer, guitar, whatever) are so different that the time arrivals are vastly different, again causing huge phase differences between the two channels. Mixing them together then causes cancellation. Compare a true mono Beatles recording to an artificial stereo Beatles recording (played back in mono) and even those with tin ears should hear the difference.

Again, this is really the responsibility of the recording people who can actually electronically shift the phase to correct it, but they do have to check it (many don't). It is all here -
http://www.resoundsound.com/mono-compatibility/


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:14 pm 
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I have noticed that you do lose some sounds when playing stereo tracks in mono. So, keep things in stereo and if you're worried about everyone hearing the same thing... Put the two speakers right next to each other. Now, you won't have the stereo separation but you won't be losing any sounds and the audience will hear all the music now wherever they're sitting.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:50 pm 
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mrmarog wrote:
Let's get something straight! Most of us KJ's play in a bar or restaurant/club. The noise floor is very loud and the music needs to be above it. I don't care where the speakers are placed no one hears the stereo effect.

And I would agree...

But here's another way to look at it:

If the original sound engineer mixes the tracks to sound the best that they can, they must be somehow thinking that every karaoke track is going to be played in a silent concert hall with perfect acoustics.....

This is not live music or an audiophile atmosphere, it's usually a noisy as hell sports bar with people constantly talking, laughing loudly and moving about. The audio levels as well as the acoustics are somewhat "fluid" and constantly changing.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:50 pm 
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Okay .... Uncle!!! I give up. At this point I'm just beating a dead horse, and really regret having started this post. I should have known better and have learned my lesson a long time ago. About 20 years ago on the Jolt Forum when someone asked me a question as to why the volume on some songs are so much different than volumes on others, I'll bet I spent a good hour or so trying to explain in plain English and layman's terms, and all that got me was an earful of insults and name calling.

Having said that I'll make one final attempt. Take it for what it's worth, but to set the record straight, I never stated that setting up your system in mono is wrong. That's a mis-characterization of what I said, which in a nutshell is that you will get a better sound out of your system if you have a system capable of being set up to play stereo programs, but if not, use a mono mix wherever possible if you're set up to run in mono. I also stated that sending stereo program material into a mono mix will corrupt that mix. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. To what degree that corruption occurs depends on the degree of stereo imaging of the track.

So without further ado, I'll respond to earthling's and Paradigm's post in this reply. As for what a recording engineer's intentions are for any given mix doesn't play into it they way you seem to think it does. Recordings made for karaoke are usually a bit different in that because of budget limitations, the recording engineer is usually the tracking engineer, the mixdown engineer, the mastering engineer and the producer all wrapped in one. But for the sake of understanding how a recording is usually made for airplay, let's assume we have a big budget and we have 4 different people supporting each of those roles. Before a single note gets recorded the producer is responsible for overseeing the arrangement, and picking the instrumentation for the recording. At the tracking stage the producer decides things like whether or not the acoustic guitar in the song will be a steel string or nylon string guitar, etc. Then when it's time to record the vocal they'll usually do a microphone "shoot out". Of course 9 out of 10 times they'll end up using the Neumann U47 anyway, but heck they have to spend the artist's money somehow.

At the mixdown stage the producer works even closer with the mixdown engineer. At this stage of the game is where a good producer earns his keep (remember George Martin's work with the Beatles). At this stage of the process the mixdown engineer and producer are listening to the mix over a set of reference monitors (for example I use a pair of Yamaha NS10Ms), and sometimes even 2 or 3 different sets of reference monitors. At one time a standard procedure was to always run the mix through a pair of Auratones (lovingly referred to as Awfultones cause they sound like shyte) because back in the day before automobiles had hifi stereo systems, they used to have a pretty crappy speaker so the mixes had to sound good on those speakers as well.

The point of this is that the goal for the engineer/producer is to create a mix that is "musical". Playing it over a PA in a small venue doesn't come into play one way or another. It isn't even an afterthought. As far as "respecting" the engineers personal preference. I don't know of any engineer who would think in those terms. It isn't about them, it's about the music and delivering the best possible listening experience they can to the listener that will represent what the music would sound like if you were there at a live performance.

As far as my saying that half of the audience does not hear all the instruments balanced in the mix, that was actually your contention. I think you misread the post. I didn't say "half" of the audience wouldn't hear the proper balance, I said that when you sum a stereo mix into mono, NONE of the audience would hear the proper balance no matter what side of the room they are on. As far as Gtr 1 vs Gtr 2, what you don't seem to comprehend is the fact that when you sum the stereo mix into mono BOTH table A and table B will hear the same mix, but NEITHER table will hear the mix correctly. One guitar will be louder than the other, whether it's Gtr 1 or Gtr 2 depends on a number of variables but nevertheless NEITHER side is going to hear the proper balance of the guitars.

I do understand real world environments associated with bars and restaurants. I've played in some very strange situations in my day. Everything from a solo gig, setting up and playing INSIDE the bar with the bartender (The Golden Bowl in Quincy, MA), to the lower deck of the SS Shamanchi, the New Bedford to Martha's Vineyard ferry (literally a tin can), to much larger venues in and around the Boston area with some of my 12 piece horn bands. I can say that without a doubt I could and would run stereo in all of those situations, and if I were to play prerecorded music such as a KJ or DJ does, there's no doubt in my mind that I would be running it in stereo. I understand that not everyone has the patience or the skills to set up a sound system, in which case running mono certainly eliminates one variable, and that's okay too. It's better to run mono and give up a little sound if it gets the job done, than to stress over the extra variable in a stereo mix.

Irrespective as to how I set up my systems, the bottom line for me has ALWAYS been with one specific goal in mind, and that goal was for the customers to have a good time. I learned that the hard way, by having put together bands with top notch players, all Berklee grads, but the bands flopped because in the end we were so focused on our musicianship that we forgot that most of the people in the audience weren't musicians and wouldn't know the difference between a garage band rocker and a true virtuoso. The customers were there to have fun and a good time, and not to marvel at the skills of the musicians playing for them. Mind you that didn't always mean the same thing for every venue. Some venues I played drew the type of crowd that did have an appreciation for good music and musicianship, but those venues were the exception. Most venues wanted to hear songs that they could dance to and could get them fired up. So I'll reiterate my point by saying that whether you run your system in stereo or mono, isn't the most important factor for your gig. Showing your customers a good time is, but I suspect that all of you already know that. However if you can run your system in stereo you will get a better sound in the process.

All I can do in these posts is attempt to describe in words, that which is better described by listening. So I have a suggestion or maybe it's more like a challenge. I'm sure many of you are familiar with a program called Audacity. It's a pretty cool program when you consider the price is free. As a full DAW workstation it is a bit lacking, but more than adequate for anything I think you might need as a KJ. However there is a very good program that works well on PC and Mac (not sure about Linux) called Reaper. Reaper is not free but you can evaluate it for 60 days for free and then if you decide to continue using it after the 60 days the cost is $60. It is on the honor system so even if you don't cough up the 60 bucks for the program you can continue using the program with no restrictions or crippling of the app, but the program is such a great piece of software that you'd really have to be a sleaze to not cough up the dough if you're still gonna use it.

Anyway, there's a 4 track song that you can download from their website called "All Through The Night" (don't worry it's an old public domain hymn). There's a vocal track, 2 guitar tracks (1 track is the neck of the guitar while the other is the body of the guitar), and the final track is a bouzouki which is a Greek instrument that sounds guitarlike, or actually a mandolin that's been pitched lower. The song is used as a tutorial for learning how to use Reaper. It isn't a great high end production tune but it's perfect for learning the basics of Reaper and perfect for understanding how stereo imaging can be used to separate similar sounding instruments in the mix. You will notice that when all of the tracks are played in mono, it is very difficult to distinguish all but the vocal track from another. When the tracks are panned they become distinct in the mix and you can tell one instrument from another. You'll be astounded by the results, and will definitely understand why it isn't just "stereo effects" that is at stake here, but the actual placement and separation of instruments in the mix.

Whew! That was surely long winded, but seeing it's my last, I thought I'd try my best to get the point across.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:19 am 
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I have always run my system in stereo with the speakers slightly angled in. You most definitely can hear the stereo effect from anywhere in the room and I have always gotten compliments on my sound. I will continue to run in stereo. The only exception being when I run a single line array system, which would of course be summed to mono.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:35 am 
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Until I used my Bose mixer and my JBL Eon One speaker, I have always run my system in stereo and in fact the music going into the Bose was still in stereo and it was only coming from the mixer as mono. When I get my new system, I still will be running in stereo.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Bastiat, there's still hope for us, don't give up on us yet.

Bastiat wrote:
I think you misread the post. I didn't say "half" of the audience wouldn't hear the proper balance, I said that when you sum a stereo mix into mono, NONE of the audience would hear the proper balance no matter what side of the room they are on.


Everything you have proposed here makes perfect sense, and is worthwhile knowledge for anyone with functioning ears and an appreciation for music. Having spent my career life as an engineer in electronics and radio frequency propagation, I truly enjoy reading the lessons you've provided in sound wave propagation.

My comment was not meant to denigrate your efforts to provide us with solid information. I merely meant to point out the casual nature of most karaoke venues (bars, Pubs, taverns) in an abridged form as time was short for me at that moment. For the effort you have expended on us in good faith, you deserved a more complete and thoughtful response.

I agree with you that anything recorded in a stereo mix will absolutely sound best when played back in stereo that's the undeniable science of it. Providing a great sound experience is one of the things that helps to set anyone apart from the majority of karaoke events held in this country, and the knowledge of how sound waves propagate is imperative to accomplishing that goal when in a venue where it will be appreciated.

The point I so poorly tried to convey is that our libraries are packed with tracks bearing a wide variety of quality from early MIDI compositions, vocal elimination, multi-plex, and top quality studio recreations. Our audiences and singers at these types of venues these days are composed largely of people who are binge drinking their way through the night, trying to find someone to go home with, begging for songs to be played from YouTube, constantly running outside for a smoke, and paying little attention to anyone other than themselves. For them, quality is not always as important as having the song they want to sing, therefore many will subject the audience to the crumbiest of MIDI versions without a second thought if it's the only version available. Sometimes it seems the ones who have the most appreciation for the sound are the water drinkers that most bars would rather do without.

Having built many cable tv systems with beautifully perfect waveform displays on a spectrum analyzer at the headend, I would often cringe at the disregard for the integrity of the signal I so carefully provided once the installers, service techs, and consumers would put their practices to work at the final destination. I eventually came to realize that the majority of the end users couldn't see the imperfections that I could and didn't care when I pointed them out as long as they could still consume the product in the manner they were used to. From them, I received no appreciation for making their experience a better one, because they were blind to the improvement.
On the other hand, I did have the less common encounters with those for whom quality truly mattered, could see the difference, and appreciated my efforts. Having the ability to provide that for them when the opportunity presented itself made my exercise in acquiring the knowledge worthwhile.

I think that much of the push-back you are getting in this thread is analogous to my TV story. We're taking the attentiveness of the audience into consideration as a defense to poor practices that work in those circumstances. Those poor practices however, can certainly be quite detrimental if we don't have the knowledge to apply good practices for a more discerning audience (wedding, corporate event, private party).

I'm looking forward to the release of your book on sound reinforcement. I will certainly be among your first customers.
Have you begun your podcast yet?

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