How close do we want to be to the music ?


In using headphones I have a perspective that speakers may not have.

How close do we want to be when we listen to our msuic . I do not mean near field or physically close to the speakers .

I mean close up presintation as a perspective . In playing my various stuff it occurs to me just what I am I seeking as an ultimate sound field. As I make adjustments to attain what I am perceiving is better it becomes clear it’s a moving target at best. Finding new sounds not heard before is cool but getting too close makes the music loose its appeal. If I am so close to the track I can now hear the Mixing being done as the recoding is going on. Is this what is supposed to be intended for us to hear. Or am I getting to close to be still pulled in to enjoying the music ?


This is an interesting question, Al. My first reaction was to say (as I’ve kind of expressed in the past) “I’d like to hear things the way I hear them when I listen to live music”, which is to say I don’t really like an electron microscope like recording where everybody gets their own microphone. But I think the real question is what is it we’re trying to do? If we can extract all of the information available on a recording and present it without alteration, isn’t that what we should try to do? So if a recording was mic’d and produced in a way that let’s me hear the 6th violinist’s arm hairs rub against the inside of his shirtsleeve, that’s what I get. If a recording is made with a Row H sense of space and information, should I be trying to get anything more than that?


This is an audio conundrum of sorts. We do not know what the true intention is , we were not there. But we want to be during our playback don’t we ? So when is enough too much. If this as video it would be simple. We all have seen true hi def that just takes us out the movie it’s just too much. Ypu can see the actors actually acting but it still does not seem like a movie anymore. It’s just too much. But glare it back a little amd ots a movie agin meaning lower the definition. For me audio is the same it can be me too much.

Juat a thought …



We’re at the mercy of the recording when we have systems as good as probably all of us here have. I use recordings I made of bands I was in during the late eighties made by me in my then garage apartment as a reference. For a while now my system has shown me mostly an accurate representation of the recordings.

I like recordings where I’m the listener, hearing clearly, but not as if I were creating the music or right there in the midst of it all. So I don’t like to have recordings made too closely miked or produced as if you were surrounded by the sound. I want to be sitting in the audience, or on the couch while the performer(s) is/are on the other side of the living room (how I sometimes experience studio recordings, and experiences I’ve had in real life). So not too close for my tastes.