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Thread: Music YOU use to tune/evaluate

  1. #1
    Senior Member pionkej's Avatar
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    Music YOU use to tune/evaluate

    Sure there are tons of threads on "Audiophile" recordings but I was hoping to start something more along the lines of the songs YOU listen to and what YOU use in that song to evaluate and what YOU evaluate...kind of like the liner notes with the albums Audionutz used to make for people (if somebody wants to share those too, that's cool, I don't own any).

    The first one I have is Ingrid Michaelson's "You and I".

    It is a pretty basic track which I like. It starts with just a ukulele playing and her singing which will show if you have some high harmonic distortion or cone breakup in your midrange area (that is how I found mine). The second verse has male vocals as well, but the second chorus has many singers and I found that the bass vocalist does "pull" my stage a bit lower than the rest. Finally the "chorus" chorus is repeated but with stomps and claps and it will show if your lower frequencies are too boomy (basically if the stomps sound like booms, your a bit boomy).

    I have more songs I like to use, but don't have time to post them now. Hopefully we can get some good songs compiled with some good notes for what to listen for.
    Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.

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    Three to start:

    Natalie Merchant, "Seven Years" (Tigerlily, MoFi version) - great drum sound that really projects when everything's lined up. Also good to test for upper midrange dynamics and cone breakup.

    Wilco, "How to Fight Loneliness" (Summerteeth) - very good for picking up on door resonances and lower midrange dynamics

    Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, "Sinister Minister" (Live Art): good for testing general spectral balance, and "punch"

  3. #3
    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    It always changes. Natalie Merchant Tigerlillyis always a definite (I have the MFSL version, too, Jay ).
    Huey Lewis & The News as well as Norah Jones' The Fall.
    I actually do use the Chesky disc: Grandma's Hands and the dynamic test track (can't recall title) are actually pretty good. I love the tonality of 'Grandma's Hands'... truthfully.


    Lately, Phil Collins' No Jacket Required and John Mellencamp's Uh-Huh have been catching a lot of play time.
    George Michael's Faith albums is fucking awesome. I have been listening to that on heavy rotation in my office.
    I'm looking forward to being to listen to those in the car.

    All of this music has really revived my desire to do new things with my own car. I've really be loving music lately. Just absolutely loving it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pionkej's Avatar
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    A classic song I like is Bombtrack by RATM. It is great because it is fairly dynamic and if you turn up the track loud enough to hear the bass at the beginning you should know if your system has any hiss and how well your speakers keep there composure when the music really kicks in. Plus I love listening to the stuff Tom Morello can do with a guitar on a good system (all music for that, Audioslave stuff as well).

    A newer song I like is Avenged Sevenfold "Nightmare". It has pretty good continuous kick drums that will definitely bring out rattles if you have them, and since it seems to mastered with a fairly heavy bottom end it will show how well your sub/midbass/midrange transition is...plus it is just a fun song that has an old school Megadeth vibe to it.

    Dire Straits "Money for Nothin" has been fun for me as well. I love the guitar intro and it helped me see that my tweeters where a bit bright from reflections (I run Morel Piccolo's so the speakers themselves definately are not bright). I used this track for seeing if a dash mat would be helpful. I started with towels on the dash and then during the guitar intro I pulled them off, huge difference. I did the same test with my brother without telling him what I was doing, his reaction was something like, "oh my god, put the towels back up there". Dash mat is now on order.
    Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.

  5. #5
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head, and not repeating some already mentioned:

    "How Does a Duck Know" by Crash Test Dummies
    "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap (the layered harmonics show weaknesses in the midrange, IME)
    "March of the Pigs" and "The Four of Us Are Dying" (amongst others) by Nine Inch Nails
    "Somewhere, Somebody" by Jennifer Warnes
    "Everybody be Yo'self" by Keb' Mo'
    "Samson" and "Fidelity" by Regina Spektor
    "Y-Control", "Cheated Hearts", "Heads will Roll", and the acoustic version of "Hysteric" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    "Cath" by Death Cab for Cutie
    "All in One" by Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar
    "The Mummer's Dance" by Loreena McKennitt
    "Sailing to Philadelphia" by Mark Knopfler and James Taylor
    "The Healing Game" by Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

    The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. - W.L.Bragg



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    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    Yes, definately RATM's self titled album. Pick any one of them.
    x2 on Dire Straits. 'Ride Across the River' is a great song. Very dynamic.

  7. #7
    Big Daddy Chad's Avatar
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    Some are albums, some are songs

    Cowboy Junkies, best of, close vocals, big range, often in an open room
    Use Me off the focal disc, always has too much low end, but it lets me know if holes are being punched
    Kid Rock, Amen Dynamics, starts soft, gets wicked loud, snare pops, kick hammers
    RATM, self titled Bass is bass, kick is kick, it's mixed right
    Marylin Manson Antichrist Superstar, for the same reason as RATM
    Marylin Manson Golden Age of Grotesque, to see how, a big mix of it it keeps it's shit together at high volume.
    Some of the unmastered 2 mic recordings I have done.
    o'fortuna, Carl Orff
    RATM Clear the lane

    And that's the tip of the iceberg

  8. #8
    Tester Extraordinaire ErinH's Avatar
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    Manson Antichrist..... good call. I forget about that from time to time.

    Steve Winwood's "back in the high life" and "finer things". Just some cool tunes to me.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pionkej's Avatar
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    Do you guys know if they did anything to the Manson tracks before releasing them on his "greatest hits" album (I think it is called Lest We Forget)? If not I will have to take a listen, I haven't put that one on yet since I got my system running.

    Following O'Fortuna, I really like "Why So Serious" from the Dark Knight soundtrack. It is pretty fun if you aren't a huge fan of true classical music and there is a passage that will give your subs a real workout (and let you know how badly things pull to the rear and where your rattles are).
    Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.

  10. #10
    gyroscopes and infrared FoxForce's Avatar
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    My car sounds bloody awful since it's glory days, but I still like to jam.

    There are a lot of duds on the Focal Demo disks, but a couple real gems are...

    "Boxenkiller" - Cyrill Lutzelschwab & Martin Hess
    "The Blues Is Here To Stay" - Tab Benoit

    Random shtuff...

    "Leaders" - Katatonia (quite loudness)
    "I Know You (Part III)" - Morphine (got sax?)
    "One Day As A Lion" - One Day As A Lion (some of the best drums I've ever heard on a recording)
    "The Eraser" - Thom Yourke (the club mix by Sasha is money)

    And then some good ole fashioned pink noise or a 3k sine for days on end is always good for the exSqQuz.

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