Stereo Imaging Recordings? What are you're References?

Mar 8, 2015
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#1
For me its always Kind of Blues especially Flamenco Sketches.
But I'd like a few more (digital preferably but not exclusively) so I can Give Miles a rest...
 
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sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
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#2
Are you wanting this as music you can simply enjoy or are you wanting a recording to use for speaker setup? For the latter I recommend the isotek ultimate system setup disc.
 
Mar 8, 2015
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#3
I guess demo disks first followed by great imaging. I think that most demo disk Imaging tracks are culled from existing recordings. I'm thiking of some that have excellent imaging characteristics side to side AND front to back, like Flamenco Sketches.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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#4
here is a quick 2 to consider.

Roger Waters; Amused To Death, not sure this is really 'imaging' per,se since it's phase manipulation. but it is a system sound-staging test recording.

cut 2, "What God Wants", Lp--original pressing........if your system is really dialed in you will 'clearly' hear stuff behind you on each side. it's on the better digital transfers too. i bought the recent re-issue Lp but have not played it so can't say whether it's as good as the original. the music is an acquired taste. not ever going to be in heavy rotation.

the Weavers, 'Reunion', Classic Records 45rpm box set; "Guantanamera", 7 real people singing. you can 'see' heads turn, tiny little inflections and body movements. feel the space. spooky. 'you are there'. every cut is like that. but this one is amazing and sets the bar very high.
 
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Catcher10

Active Member
Dec 28, 2018
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#5
I have a few I use to check for spot on adjustment, especially azimuth and channel balance. Peter Gabriel's 45RPM Us album Fourteen Black Paintings, Blood Of Eden. These tracks should envelope your listening area with deep wide waves of sound. I sit about 3.5m from my speakers and my bones vibrate (not due to high dB) my head turns side to side to "see" the instruments.
Steven Wilson side 1 of Insurgentes, again sounds should emanate from behind the speakers and surround your chair...
 

XCop5089

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2015
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Winchester, UK
#6
For me its always Kind of Blues especially Flamenco Sketches.
But I'd like a few more (digital preferably but not exclusively) so I can Give Miles a rest...
Try "Chris Botti in Boston" and his take on 'Flamenco Sketches!'

The soundstage is awesome!

A wonderful live recording and the whole album is worth a listen, with contributions by Sting, YoYo Ma, The Boston Pops Orchestra and a host of others!
 

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XCop5089

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2015
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Winchester, UK
#7
I have a particular fondness for well-recorded 'Live' albums!

Give a listen to these for excellent music and stereo imaging content:-

"The Road to You" - Pat Metheny Band (stand out tracks - 'Letter from Home' and 'Solo from More Travels.'

"It Happened One Night" - Holly Cole

"Natalie Merchant Live in Concert"

"Working Without a Net" - Janis Ian Live

Also, check out:-

"Dance to the Drums Again" (Track 10) - Cassandra Wilson

"Touch (Deluxe Edition)" - Yello (Track 17 - Oh Yeah 2009).

"The You and the Now" - Jorane
 

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#8
here is a quick 2 to consider.

Roger Waters; Amused To Death, not sure this is really 'imaging' per,se since it's phase manipulation. but it is a system sound-staging test recording.

cut 2, "What God Wants", Lp--original pressing........if your system is really dialed in you will 'clearly' hear stuff behind you on each side. it's on the better digital transfers too. i bought the recent re-issue Lp but have not played it so can't say whether it's as good as the original. the music is an acquired taste. not ever going to be in heavy rotation.

the Weavers, 'Reunion', Classic Records 45rpm box set; "Guantanamera", 7 real people singing. you can 'see' heads turn, tiny little inflections and body movements. feel the space. spooky. 'you are there'. every cut is like that. but this one is amazing and sets the bar very high.
As much fun as Q sound may be on Roger Waters or Sting or some other record is just gimmickry. It may be interesting and fun but it is far from realistic.
There are so many excellent recordings to show instruments and voices placed in an acoustic space to choose but IMO this is not one of them.

QSound is essentially a filtering algorithm. It manipulates timing, amplitude and frequency response to produce a binaural image. Systems like QSound rely on the fact that a sound arriving from one side of the listener will reach one ear before the other and that when it reaches the furthest ear, it is lower in amplitude and spectrally altered due to obstruction by the head. However, the ideal algorithm was arrived at empirically, with parameters adjusted according to the outcomes of many listening tests.[2]
3D positional processing like QSound, the multi-channel QSystem professional processor used in the production of pop music and film audio, is distinct from stereo expansion like QSound QXpander or SRS(R) Sound Retrieval System. Positional 3D audio processing is a producer-side technology. It is applied to individual instruments or sound effects, and is therefore only usable at the mixing phase of music and soundtrack production, or under realtime control of game audio mixing software. Stereo expansion (processing of recorded channels and background ambience) is primarily a playback process that can be arbitrarily applied to stereo content in the end-user environment using analog integrated circuits or digital signal processing (DSP) routines.
 

sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
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#9
Although Q-sound is contrived it will still show the difference in setup. If the speakers are not setup well or there are strong reflections then the imaging will not sound like it is to your far left/right (90+ degrees) or even coming from behind you.

I do like the Roger Waters CD for it's music (Q-sound or not).
 

DSkip

Industry Expert
Aug 26, 2013
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Arlington, TX
www.audiothesis.com
#10
For something more modern and easily trackable - Chocolate Chip Trip by Tool

You can easily track width. The first minute or so of the song showcases depth with noises that dance around the soundstage. At about 1:35 into the song, a bass line starts in the front right of the room and, if your system is in sync, it will do a complete 720* loop around the listening position. What I like about this song is that the test of a system's sonic ability gets tougher and tougher as you get deeper into the song.

The majority of systems I have heard carry the loop around the room until it is parallel to the listener on the left side. Then, the drums will collapse back to the front stage at the left speaker, carry over to the right speaker, and then jump back out parallel to the right of the listener. Many systems failed utterly to produce any kind of projection into the room.

GREAT systems recreate the full loop. This is one of the main tracks I use to introduce people to the Rosso Fiorentino brand. Even the $4500 Elba can recreate this loop and I have VERY rarely heard it recreated appropriately from other brands. Right now my reference DAC has been sold so I'm using a lesser built-in DAC and I still get a loop, but right now it does not extend past the listener. It passes about 2-3' in front of the listener instead of several feet behind them.

This drum loop is far better than anything else I've heard because you can literally track it in space as it moves all around the room. Most songs I know throw sounds here or there but never anything you can track from front to back and left to right quite like this.


If you stick around that long, you get a pretty awesome drum solo that can test the dynamics and bass control of the system. It really is just a spectacular demo/test track.
 

sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
193
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#11
Thanks for the chocolate chip tip skip.
 
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