What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Discuss the music that you love to hear.

Moderators: Kent, Joe., luketeaford

Post Reply
User avatar
paloverde412
Common Wiggler
Posts: 133
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:04 pm
Location: Hamilton, ON, Canada
Contact:

What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by paloverde412 »

That’s the whole question.

Post links, if possible?
Last edited by paloverde412 on Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tewksbury. Paths. The new full-length album of works for piano and electronic instruments, on Geertruida Records. Out now on streaming, vinyl, and cassette.
User avatar
Peake
I'm in ur DIY. Filling cases with Buchla
Posts: 8911
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:00 pm
Location: Loss Angeles

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Peake »

Autechre's "Chiastic Slide". Noise music most quickly reveals imbalances, if you're looking to confirm spectral response. "Tewe" and "Nuane" are great. Can you hear each 'instrument' individually and can you hear the background reverbs/ambience. If the speakers and/or room have bass bumps especially in the midbass "Tewe" will help reveal them.

Of course a good orchestral recording such as RCA Red Seal vinyl to confirm the familiar sounds correct. An SACD of "Gaucho" definitely helps. youtube links won't help as they're low fidelity.
Last edited by Peake on Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
This place is exactly what I thought it to be.
Liquidcolor
Metalbox
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:18 pm
Location: Fenton
Contact:

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Liquidcolor »

Donald Fagen’s “I.G.Y” or “New Frontier.”
User avatar
Kattefjaes
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1918
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:47 am
Location: UK

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Kattefjaes »

I have a recording of Holst's Planets which I often go back to (cond. Adrian Boult), and a really lovely recording of Bruckner's 5th (cond. Gunther Wand) which is eerily good for spotting problems with upper mids when the brass in the last movement masks the strings.

I also like to resort to tracks that I know should sound a certain way, "Comfortably Numb" being stereotypical, or "Rocket Brothers" by Kashmir. It's fun to run up "The Bell" from Tubular Bells 2 to hear layering building up. "Angel" by Massive Attack is always quite a nice workout- to get the edge in the bass of the intro without sounding shouty. It's quite nice to listen for the mechanical subtlety of the piano labouring away in tracks from the album "Knives Don't Have Your Back" by Emily Haines too. It's an absolutely stunning album which has deceptive amounts of detail down in the recording as a bonus. Oh, I also like to bang through some Venetian Snares or Igorrr just to see how well everything holds up. Igorrr's stuff is far-better produced than it has any right to be, honestly.

Basic tests are more putting a bunch of sines through, noise in and out of phase etc., just to see if everything is hooked up correctly, nothing is rattling or on the fritz etc., which you can do with software, a modular etc., but I have an old test CD that I keep around as FLACs just because it saves hassle.
Illwiggle
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:56 pm
Location: SF, CA

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Illwiggle »

Thriller
User avatar
timothyd4y
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:22 pm
Location: Philadelphia, Pa USA
Contact:

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by timothyd4y »

Civil Wars Poison and Wine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNlxKH9Jtmc
Rudimental Dark Clouds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSubA7PWJmU
Zaki Hussain / Jan Gabarek Making Music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQRvrkSj5rA

Everything but the Girl and Massive Attack used to be favorites too.

Stream them from Tidal and get the feels.
Music maker and sound editor. Let's do something!

LinkTree
Modular Grid
User avatar
mritenburg
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2685
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:17 pm
Location: Bolton

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by mritenburg »

Liquidcolor wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 6:31 pm Donald Fagen’s “I.G.Y” or “New Frontier.”
That's funny, F.M. is one of my calibration/reference tracks.
User avatar
metamorphmuses
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:02 am
Location: Oakland, California
Contact:

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by metamorphmuses »

Ryoji Ikeda
for example...



Alva Noto
for example...


Isolrubin BK, from the album Crash Injury Trauma
in particular track #3


And of course also
Peake wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 5:56 pm Autechre

Caveat: Naturally, I am referring to the original 16 bit, 44.1 kHz resolution (or higher) version of these releases, not the streaming examples I have linked to.
User avatar
Peake
I'm in ur DIY. Filling cases with Buchla
Posts: 8911
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:00 pm
Location: Loss Angeles

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Peake »

mritenburg wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:33 pm
Liquidcolor wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 6:31 pm Donald Fagen’s “I.G.Y” or “New Frontier.”
That's funny, F.M. is one of my calibration/reference tracks.
Freaking fantastic song and recording.
This place is exactly what I thought it to be.
Liquidcolor
Metalbox
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:18 pm
Location: Fenton
Contact:

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Liquidcolor »

mritenburg wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:33 pm That's funny, F.M. is one of my calibration/reference tracks.
Fagen’s “Morph the Cat” is great as well, it’s got a heavier, extended low end compared to his other solo releases. “H-Gang” is a go to.
User avatar
BlinkyLights
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1940
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:16 am

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by BlinkyLights »

Without being cheeky, several of *my* favorite songs...

It doesn't matter what they are, it matters if *you* know them well; what works for me may not work for you.

I play songs/tracks where I know every note, every section, every bend of the solo, every drum hit, all of it.

Then I'm comparing it to my memory of the zillion other times I've heard those pieces on many other systems.
User avatar
metamorphmuses
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2540
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:02 am
Location: Oakland, California
Contact:

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by metamorphmuses »

I just thought of some more:

Florian Hecker


Ø (Mika Vainio)


Ueno Masaaki


Lustmord


Merzbow
https://bludhoney.com/track/spiral-blast
User avatar
flo
Space Jack
Posts: 5063
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:37 am
Location: Zurich

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by flo »

Fun thread, I've just upgraded my monitor speakers recently and had a lot of joy with these:

Steely Dan - Aja (the album)
Roxy Music - Avalon
Azymuth - Azimüth

For electronic music, anything Basic Channel, Luke Vibert, I:Cube, Morgan Geist / Metro Area...

Surely there's tons more I cannot think of right now.

Cheers :beer:
User avatar
Yes Powder
Powder that makes you say "Yes"
Posts: 2433
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 2:23 am
Location: Albany, New York
Contact:

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Yes Powder »

My go-tos are Hyperballad by Björk, and Yellow Calx by Aphex Twin.
Hyperballad has a nice range of sounds starting off sparse in the beginning and gradually building density.
Yellow Calx has a lot of quick and resonant bursts of noise, that I feel help highlight any problem areas in a speaker's frequency response, and I've heard it enough times on enough different setups that I feel should know exactly how it sounds.
Everyone wants to be analog until it's time to do some analog shit.
User avatar
pricklyrobot
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 816
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:09 am
Location: Austin, Tex-ass

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by pricklyrobot »

I always put on Black Sabbath s/t 1st LP whenever I set up my stereo in a new spot.

Though I'm not enough of an audiophile to do much tweaking/calibration beyond: 'Are both speakers making noise? Do I need to turn the Bass knob up a quarter turn?' ;)
Dilibob
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 332
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:52 pm

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Dilibob »

"kind of blue", there is a lot of empty space in that album. I especially listen to the acoustic bass lines, to make sure they are coming through clean.
User avatar
nikmettez
Common Wiggler
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:27 am
Location: Belgium

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by nikmettez »

Beck - Paper tiger
Nils Frahm - Sunson
Chris Jones - No sanctuary here
Billie Eilish - You should see me in a crown
...
User avatar
Carl A
Common Wiggler
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2022 2:16 pm

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Carl A »

Raga Darbari - Ustaad Vilyat Khan
Foreshadowed - Eno/Budd
Master of Puppets - Metallica
Rock Box - Run DMC
We Die Young - Alice in Chains
Sssh Peaceful - Miles
Raag Bhimpilasi - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee
Papa New Guinea - FSOL
Ethnicolour - JMJ
Walnut - Moby
Love without sound - White Noise
Shmoney Dance - Elephant Man
Klemperer - Beethoven 9th
Soul Fire - Lee Perry
Tales of the future - Vangelis/Roussos
Kick drum - Felix
Mantronix - Cold getting dumb
Blood Vibes - Masters at work
Panacea - Tron RMX
User avatar
cretaceousear
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2946
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 10:01 am
Location: Suburbia, London

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by cretaceousear »

Peter Gabriel - So
Philip Glass - Glassworks
but mostly I just plug them in and see (hear) how it is
False banana offers hope for warming world
James_S
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1051
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:56 am

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by James_S »

NIN - Closer. If that kick/ opening bass sounds good, we're onto a winner.
User avatar
Chopper
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1231
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:17 am
Location: London

Re: What songs/albums do you use to test your monitors/headphones?

Post by Chopper »

Future sound of London. The LIFEFORMS album. That intro can tell you everything you need to know.
Post Reply

Return to “Artist Discussion”