1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.


Discussion in 'Recording' started by Roly, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. Roly

    Roly Guest

    Hi folks
    Many reviews, opinions, etc about amps, preamps, and converters refer to imaging, depth of field, and soundstage.
    Is crosstalk what those people are talking about? Is there a laymans answer to why it is dificult and perhaps impossible to achieve 0% crosstalk? Is 0% a bad thing?I have never seen a manufacturer state 0% crosstalk. Then again, I don't get out much.
  2. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    No, they're talking about "crosstalk".

    Imaging, depth of field, soundstage are imaging [how the image sits in the audio, are you getting a 'clear' picture of the sound]; depth of field [how well you get a sense of the 3rd dimension from the audio], and soundstage, how well you can place the audio within the context of left/right (or surround) space (i.e. the difference between a dual log and true sine/cosine pan pot)] are entirely different events.

    Crosstalk is when you're running a signal into channel one of a unit and you get a tad of it in channel 2. This is especially prevelant in the cheap assed garbage masquerading as 'consoles' [your Ghosts, Allen & Heath's etc.] It is a quantifiable, measurable specification where the other 3 you mentined are kind of subjective adjectives that are best used in advertising fodder or for describing A/D-D/A converters.

    It is indeed possible to achieve 0% cross talk... but it costs money to do that, so in the great debate of price v. performance, that specification is often thrown under the bus by some of your lesser manufactuerers... in other words, there is a reason why GML 9500 runs over $10,000... :roll:
  3. Roly

    Roly Guest

    Thanks for your reply.
    My question was poorly worded. What I meant to ask about is whether it is just crosstalk that kills the imaging or are there other factors?
    thanks Roly
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    There are so many factors that can kill the imaging. Cross talk is not high on that list. Things such as panning, reverb, equalization, how the recording was done (all in one room playing at the same time versus iso booths and headphones) how the mix was done etc. etc.

    Crosstalk in consoles is usually measured at 1 kHz and is given in numbers that are in the negative area. So many dB down. As you go higher in frequency most times the cross talk increased this is why most manufactures do it at 1 kHz, some times you see it at 1 kHz and 10 kHz but this is usually for really good equipment. Crosstalk is also level dependent. You would get more crosstalk if you ran a mic level signal next to a line level signal. The line level signal would "bleed" into the mic level signal. Modern consoles go to great lengths to eliminate cross talk in their design. Some even use shielded wires for the channel to channel connections but this adds to the price of the console. Some manufactures, like Mackie and Behringer use circuit cards for their channel to channel busing to save money and this if not done correctly can have a negative effect on cross talk.

    I would be more concerned about the panning and reverb and not too much about channel to channel cross talk when worrying about imaging.

    Hope this helps.
  5. krash

    krash Guest

    So... soundstage, depth, imaging, etc. all have to do with two things (neither of which hinges specifically on crosstalk):

    1. Recording process - if you have a recording made without a recording technique which will yield an accurate, natural, etc., soundstage, or that is mixed, processed, etc., in such a way as to retain quality of the soundstage and stereo image, then you will never get decent imaging on playback. GIGO

    2. Playback process - this is where most of this talk about soundstage, imaging, etc. all pops up. It has mostly do to with phase accuracy in the midrange and upper midrange, as well as transient response and other things, and goes all the way from the media transfer mechanism (CD player pickup/transport, tape head, etc..) to the room acoustics and listening position and includes everything in between.

    Presuming we're talking about #1, I'd tend to think that a piece of (stereo) gear which touts soundstage, image etc. probably is boasting subjectives which could be traced to specifications in terms of phase accuracy, dyhamic response, transient response, etc. in the midrange and upper midrange just like any piece of playback gear. You won't find a lot of bragging going on with EQ's in this area since any EQ, when in use, is going to introduce phase error. It's probably more of a claim plausible from amplifier makers, particularly mic preamplifiers, mixers (which include many amplifier stages), power amps, etc.

    However, I should stress, this only becomes an issue if you're making a recording which could possibly posess a lifelike soundstage anyway. For most pop/rock recordings, it's sort of a moot point. Close-miking drum kit, for example, is a great way to kill a stereo image. Heavy use of EQ and compression is another good way. Artificial reverb is a very good way.

    Crosstalk only becomes important when everything else is sorted out and then the potential maximum width of the soundstage is affected by the crosstalk figure.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Hiya Fletcher...nice to see ya back here from time to time....Cheap-assed consoles might include Mackie and Ber-------er and some of those other 'motherboard' designs, but the crosstalk 'prevelant in my Ghost is nill.Certainly not zero nor anywhere near the quality of the GML but a much better figure than some of the truly cheapassed consoles aforementioned.... :shock:

    And though I understand that you get to hear and play with the finest of the fine on a regular basis,there is a certain Qua available to the homerec'r in the Soundcraft/A&H/Yomama...etc.As an aside, I've personally worked on some relatively expensive desks that were guilty of crosstalk to a loud degree....most of the time these were monitoring issues and very seldom got into the mix as such...

    Again, welcome in and I personally look forward to your wit and humour and expertise in dealing with these type of Q&A's.......
  7. Roly

    Roly Guest

    Hi folks
    Thanks for your intrest in my question.

Share This Page