HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts


"This Harbeth User Group (HUG) is the Manufacturer's own managed forum dedicated to natural sound, realisable by controlling the confounding variables between tthe microphone and the listeners' ears.

For example, the design of and interaction between the hifi amplifier and its speaker load can and potentially will alter the sound balance of what you hear. To reproduce the sounds captured by the recording microphones, as Harbeth speakers are designed to do, you would naturally select system components (sources, electronics, cables and so on) that do not color the sound before it reaches the speakers.

Identifying components for their system neutrality should, logically, start with the interpretation and analysis of their technical, objective performance, as any and every deviation from a measurably flat frequency response at any point along the serial chain from microphone to ear is very likely to cause the total system to have an audible sonic personality. That includes the contribution of the listening room itself.

HUG specialises in making complex technical matters simple to understand, aiding the identification of audio components likely to maintain a faithful relationship between the recorded sound and the sound you hear. With our heritage of natural sound, HUG cannot be really be expected to guide in the selection, approval, endorsement or even discussion of equipment that is intend to introduce a significantly personalised sound to the audio signal chain. For that you should do your own research and above all, make the effort to visit an Authorised Dealer and listen to your music at your loudness on your loudspeakers through the various electronics offered there. There is no on-line substitute for that time investment in a dealer's showroom.

If you desire to intentionally tune your system sound to your personal taste, please consider carefully how much you should rely upon the subjective opinions of strangers. Their hearing acuity and taste will be different to yours, as will be their motives and budget, their listening distance, listening loudness and listening room treatment, not necessarily leading to appropriate equipment selection and listening satisfaction for you.

Alternatively, if faithfully reproducing the sound intended by the composer, score, conductor and musicians over your speakers is your audio dream, then understanding something of the issues likely to fulfill that objective is what this forum has been helping with since 2006. Welcome!"

Jan. 2018
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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.