Loud music=Better???

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by iplaybass, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    Why does music sound better when it is loud? I was playing my bass at a fairly low level, and it sounds tons better when I turn it up to be moderately loud. Same with my stereo. Why is this?

    (Dude, its louder. Nuf said.)

    Seriously, this has been bugging me. Anybody have any scientific explanation?
  2. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    There are three explanation I feel make sense.

    One is that when your bass is turned down low, you cant hear it as well. When you turn it up you hear more of the sound that makes it up. All the overtones become easier to hear, and they add texture to the sound and make it sound better.

    Another is that when you turn down low, your sound comes through nice and clear. That is often what we try to get, but sometimes the sound can be too clear. I like to hear a little bit of distortion in my basses tone. It add warmth. Why do you think many bassist prefer tube preamps? Its the way the tube distorts that we like, even if we only have a little bit of that distortion there.

    Third possibility is just plain and simple that we like to rock out! Consider this:

    You are at a club/concert listening to music. Will you be more moved to dance/jump around if the music is low, or if you can feel the music (ie: BASS:D).

    I like to crank mu music to a level where I can hear all the slightest parts, feel the beat, and even have my speakers crap out a little.

  3. Simple.. the room you are in absorbs some tone / volume... the more volume you pump, the more sound you have left after the absorbsion..

  4. Dave Castelo

    Dave Castelo

    Apr 19, 2000
    why do you think people spend lots of $$$$ on amp wattage (and thereby more volume)?
  5. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    I love loud music too.


    I said, I love loud music too!



    "Yeah, beavers are kind of cute."

    :D :D :D

    Loud music is cool, but by listening to loud music at softer volumes, you can sometimes hear all sorts of cool things that you don't hear when it's loud. Sometimes, it's like listening to a completely different song! Knowwaddamean?
  6. Ian Hall

    Ian Hall

    May 31, 2002
    Another thing, some amps sound just plain better when driven a little hard(well, that's the theory at least) Look at Marshall's powerbrake on their website for an example of this.

    Another problem is people who don't understand how the gain stages work. You probably won't have good luck with tone from having the Master cranked and using the pre-gain to adjust the volume.
  7. submelodic


    Feb 7, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Louder music sounds better because the ear’s frequency response gets more even throughout the audible range as the volume increases, i.e., all frequencies seem more equal. At lower volumes we are more sensitive to a narrower range of frequencies.
  8. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Loud music doesn't necessarily sound better. Only louder.
  9. Which perfume is rated at 500 watts per channel?

    Estee Lauder.

    Which son of the King perfume urges women to compare their tummies?

    Prince Matchabelli.

    I know these jokes are frightening, but, if you want a real scare, go into this site; Swiss Army actually has a perfume! :eek:


    Mike J.

    I would not lie to you.
  10. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    Actually, the opposite is true. It is called the Fletcher Munsun curve. The louder sound is, the more curved the frequency response becomes to the human ear. So, when volume rises, our brains percieve an enhancement in the bass and treble, kind of like a natural midrange scoop, which gets deeper the louder the volume is. This is why we like it loud.
  11. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Then why do I boost my mids?


  12. submelodic


    Feb 7, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, I was attempting to say that. We're more sensitive to midrange frequencies, therefore at lower levels, the bass and treble aren't as apparent. As the level increases, so does our perception of bass and treble.
  13. There's a point when loud is too loud. I was playing at a show with multiple bands, and this band came on.

    They were a professional band in their twenties, and should thereby be really good and better than the high school bands. (supposedly)

    The guitarists each had half stacks and the bassist had an 8x10 and an original Ampeg SVT. That would normally be fine, even considering the venue consisted of the main room in a small church (the room was quite small though)

    The problem was that they completely abused their setups.

    They were way too loud. It hurt being anywhere near them. All you could hear from the bassist was mud. I could tell there was definitely a lot of guitar, but I couldn't tell what they were playing. It was just noise. The singer (one of the guitar players) was drowned out, and was screaming at the top of her lungs.

    I left the room. I couldn't tell if they were good or not; just that they didn't know how to use their volume knobs.
  14. iplaybass

    iplaybass Guest

    Feb 13, 2000
    Germantown, TN
    Yes!! That's the best explanation I've heard. I love my music with the bass and treble boosted, and that explains why having the music louder would sound better to my ears. Thanks!
  15. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    loud music is better cause it's fun to make suck a load niose with so little effort, gives a feeling of power. with one little flick of a finger, you can make things shake! :)
  16. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Loud music is good because it creates a more intense sonic field. You are vibrating right along with your string, speakers, and the air in your room. For an audience, loud music can create a field that generates/enables communion. A group of people vibrating at the same frequency is a beautiful thing -- I think it may be the purpose of human life. I love to feel the thump of a good kick drum in my chest or a low B in my gut. Yes, I wear ear plugs.
  17. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I know that every time I play So What, I bring da noize!
  18. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Ed, I hope the rest of the class is listening to what you have to say.

    I might also add that playing with intensity (and I don't mean jumping around like an idiot when you play) will make low volume playing jump out.

    Effects are also another tool of the sub-par player to hide the fact that they don't got the chop.
  19. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I agree when it comes to guitar. I think a lot of guitarist that are popular, actually have very poor techiniuqe. (Nothing against guitar or guitar players, but I think it's a fact that holds true)

    But I think that effects don't really cover up bad playing for bass. I think if you are a bad bassist and you use an effect, it's just going to make you sound more foolish.

    Also, one thing I never understood is bands that PRACTICE at deafening volumes. I mean, what's the point? Just turn your gain knob up until you get a good solid tone, and practice.