HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Film and TV sound recording - a skill under pressure

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  • Film and TV sound recording - a skill under pressure

    We are aware of how the importance of high quality* 'sound' has generally diminished in broadcasting. The situation has now degenerated to the point that those actually recording (capturing) the sound are angry and deeply frustrated. They lay the blame on directors and producers who - with few exceptions - treat sound as a commodity subservient to vision and graphics.

    This has all come to a head in this Open Letter to the industry, the sentiments widely supported by sound recordists.

    * = expensive, inconvenient to record, perhaps visually intrusive on the picture, needs time and skill .....
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    Film soundtrracks

    This evening I watched two films on the Freeview "Movies for men" channel;
    "Commandoes Strike at Dawn" 1942, and,
    "Battle For The Skies" 2013.

    The former had what to me was a surprisingly good sound track, so much so that I started to question our real progress with sound recording in 73 years. The speech was realistic, thin when in the open, and the high frequencies were all present, notably the on mic. sibilants from a little girl. But all of the speech was 'on axis', and none was 'boxy'. The main fault was the slightly unnatural quality of the sibilants, but the mic. used must have been very different from those used now, and the amplifiers certainly of poorer specification.

    The latter film exhibited widely differing on/off axis qualities of speech from two people in any one frame, and in the open it often sounded as though in a wardrobe.
    Artisitically little attention was paid also to the facts of much greater attention to articulation in the period of the war than at present, and there were also, and this happens often, manners of speech used which were not of the period, but of today.

    I am left wondering if a golden age of tech development came and went, and which stretched from the origins of audio which I think were the use of war technology turned to a better use, and which then faded away in the seventies.
    Of course digital recording does stand out as a breakthrough.