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What would be a the first song you would play

on first use of a new stereo?

     
10:33 am on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I just heard this question on the Radio, I can't think of one, I can think of albums, so I thought I would ask the masses!

What would your first choice of a song be to try out your shiny new stereo; and the neighbours are out..

I ended up with: Iron Maiden - Run to the hills..

Cheers,
MRb
8:31 pm on Jan 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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can we make the question easier and say how many things i would play through the night? man...tough question
9:42 pm on Jan 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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>>can we make the question easier and say how many things I would play through the night? man...tough question

Well the question on the radio on Friday was: The song you would use to test a new stereo out; with the neighbours out...

But the idea of a whole album would take some deliberation!

Comically I just played a CD in my new car stereo; and I could only find my Radiohead "pablo honey" so I played 'creep', and remembered this thread :) Though not quite the same scenario.

Cheers,
MRb
11:48 pm on Jan 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Pablo Honey is a good album, where "OK Computer" is great.

Floyd has a strong claim, though I would go with (descending)
Comfortably Numb
Time
The whole album, "Wish you were here"

Mind you, if we're allowing albums, I would have a hard time excluding
Nevermind (toss up with Unplugged)
Dookie
Metallica (AKA, The Black Album)
Automatic For the People

However, for a single piece of work, specifically as a test, I think you need something with range. I second The 1812 Overture.
1:45 am on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The 1812 Overture


I bought a pair of JBL 4311B studio monitors and a Sansui au719 integrated amp when I was a kid. Played this to watch the woofers jump out of the cabinets.

I paid about $1,000 for that setup back around 1978. I sold the speakers on ebay for about what I paid for them - 20 years later.
12:33 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Tom Sawyer, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" off S&M.... how about "Run Like Hell" off of Pulse.


Having said that I'd take one of my all time favorites from Zep, the live version of "Bring it on Home" off the album How the West was Won.
12:40 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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What's a stereo?
2:12 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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2:24 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Snap - The power...
2:28 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Whole Lotta Love.
Led Zeppelin
2:35 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Led Zeppelin
Kashmir

In speaking to the teenagers around here, it appears many are listening to old school music. They know who Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are. Kids! :)
3:29 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Wagner, Flight of the Valkyries. full blast. Or Stravinsky's Firebird... something like that

or maybe I'd toss in something from New Order, or Bauhaus
4:52 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Wagner, Flight of the Valkyries

Just a word of caution- if you did that anywhere near Caltech, you'd be thrown in the shower (with your clothes on).

However, there ARE 2 exceptions to the rule:
1) 7:00 A.M. during finals week.
2) In the proper order if the Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen is played in its entirety.
9:16 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

Ha ha, some nice suggestions here;

>>Pablo Honey is a good album, where "OK Computer" is great.

Excellent point, I hope they tour again soon.

Though someone asked me today if Neil Diamond was allowed, when I enquired to which song; the reply was - "Sweet Caroline of course" 40 year old engineer who should know better! (Though I have been known to sing along to that - gah, now you chaps 'n' lasses know <headslap>)

Cheers,
MRb
2:55 am on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Little Feat - Dixie chicken
5:10 am on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Humble Pie - I Don't Need No Doctor
8:56 am on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Bohemian Rahpsody - great test of stereo (when each sings aaah! from a different position).
Pictures at an Exhibition - just because I like it and would notice if it (especially the first few bars) sounds wrong.
11:34 am on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Whole Lotta Love
12:13 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I just heard this question on the Radio


Radio, what's that?

I listen to Sirius/XM, streaming media broadcast over 3G, or MP3s, but RADIO?

Anyway, back to the question, which the answer is all too obvious:
"Video killed the Radio star"

Which wouldn't be played on my "stereo" as those are obsolete.

It might be played over my Home Theater Sound System, but never again will it be on a "stereo" in this house.
3:15 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Obviously it would be 'we built this city' by starship.

The true test of any home sound system being that if you can still clearly hear each note of that timeless tune at the apex of a naked lap of the neighbourhood you are setting on fire, it's a keeper.
4:24 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It might be played over my Home Theater Sound System, but never again will it be on a "stereo" in this house.

Given that I only have two ears, why do I need more than two speakers?

A fully 2-D sound (there is not really any such thing as 3-D sound) can be achieved with two speakers. In a movie theatre where listeners are positioned over a wide area, there may be a case for more than two speakers, but at home, I don't think so.

Kaled.
6:21 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

>>Radio, what's that?

incrediBILL: Something that keeps me entertained at work that doesn't need a software update or different drivers for it to work depending what flavour OS you use!

I use a radio to check for RF interference when testing electronic circuits to make sure they don't affect anything...

RADIO station was: planet rock (not sure if it's in the US or not?!) - I thoroughly recommend it! (Ok so it's a DAB radio!)

Nice choice graeme_p ;-p

Cheers,
MRb
12:58 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'll go along with Jinxed and "Whole Lotta Love" by Zeppelin. Should be a good gage of speaker placement for the stereo effect. Loud of course:)
3:37 pm on Jan 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This is why I love Foo - it makes me feel so young :)
12:37 pm on Jan 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

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A fully 2-D sound (there is not really any such thing as 3-D sound) can be achieved with two speakers. In a movie theatre where listeners are positioned over a wide area, there may be a case for more than two speakers, but at home, I don't think so.


Certainly wouldn't make much difference for stereo recording but video recorded in 5.1 it would. Same thing for games, I'll never forget hooking up the 5.1 on my new system back in 03 that came with Morrowind, I was "walking" around in game and in this booming voice someone says "Can help you" over my left shoulder... swore it was someone standing in doorway. Actually scared the crap out of me.
1:14 pm on Jan 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Dolby have made a fortune convincing people that their clever systems sound better, but so far as I am aware, they have never come up with anything that actually does. You may like Dolby recorded stuff but...

1) You cannot improve on perfection, i.e. a perfect reproduction of the original - you may prefer a little extra base, etc. but such things can never be generalised.
2) You only have two ears - there is simply no getting around that. In order to appreciate the "depth" offered by three or more speakers, you need to turn your head. In a shoot-em-up game this might be a reasonable thing to do but, be honest, do you really want to be turning your head continuously while listening to music or watching a film?

My system is twenty five years old, the speakers are a bit too bright and it has various other deficiencies, but I have never heard a home theatre system that can get anywhere near it for simple, pleasurable listening. Quadrophonic recording was invented decades ago, Dolby simply warmed over the idea and stuck a patent on it.

Faithfully reproduced stereo sound will always knock spots off sound that has been digitally twisted for more speakers, however, I accept that the argument is less clear cut when gaming, especially considering sound effects may be largely synthetic so the concept of "faithful reproduction" is rather fuzzy.

Kaled.
1:53 pm on Jan 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You only have two ears

Each one differentiates between sound from in front, behind, above and below.

Good music sounds good in mono, but we do actually have 360 degree perception.

This fact used to be exploited rather well at Pink Floyd concerts.

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2:26 pm on Jan 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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2) You only have two ears - there is simply no getting around that. In order to appreciate the "depth" offered by three or more speakers, you need to turn your head. In a shoot-em-up game this might be a reasonable thing to do but, be honest, do you really want to be turning your head continuously while listening to music or watching a film?


Huh? You can't tell the difference between a sound in front of or behind you? There's no turning your head, if you're plying a 3-D shooter and its designed to play 5.1 and you have 5.1 system properly positioned and something is approaching from behind and to the left of you you will hear it coming from that direction. It's actually a little creepy if you have not experienced it before because your instincts tell you to look over your shoulder. :P
6:28 pm on Jan 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Testing the limitation of human hearing that I described used to be a standard experiment when I was at school.

Typically, with stereo recordings, you simply have a volume shift achieved at the mixing desk. If, however, you add a time delay, you can achieve the full 2-D effect. For instance, if you want a violin to properly sound as though it is located on the left, it must be phased so that it is played earlier on the left channel than the right. I seem to recall that Madonna recorded an album like this twenty or so years ago.

Your ears consist of two tiny microphones called ear drums. You may think you can tell the difference between sounds above and below, front and rear, etc. but this information is just a guess based on the brain's experience, at least until you turn your head anyway. For instance...

If you think you can hear a sound to your right but you can see there is nothing there you will automatically guess the sound is coming from behind you, based on experience, furthermore, you may automatically turn your head to confirm this guess.

There is no point arguing - that's how human hearing works. If you don't believe me, have a friend blindfold you and perform the experiment - it's simple enough so I'm sure no one here needs me to explain it in detail.

Kaled.
4:27 pm on Jan 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Far too many to choose from but would probably be Fire and Rain from Vdelli or their Voodo Chile, Leslie West's Baby Please Don't Go, some J B Hutto, Tommy Castro, Nina Simone, Rolling Stones' Exile On Main St, AC/DC, Solomon Burke, Joe Bonamassa plus definitely Koko Taylor and Ana Popovich and to chill with...Anggun.
4:01 am on Jan 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Your ears consist of two tiny microphones called ear drums

This analogy crucially omits the shape of the ear itself.

Human ears provide plenty of directional data for the brain to process. The pinna has a filtering effect, the ear canal is not horizontal, and both combine to identify location.

Most people have no difficulty placing sound sources as behind, above or below without moving their heads. In a controlled environment directional perception is very good, though in the real world sound bouncing off reflective surfaces can confuse matters.

You can't attend Pink Floyd shows any more (they were using an azimuth coordinator as early as 1969) but you might try the opening scene of Apocalypse Now in a cinema equipped with "surround sound" and listen to that helicopter.

Apparently the barn owl has the best audio location abilities of any two-eared animal, allowing the bird to hunt successfully in total darkness.

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