Re: Peter Huebner

Subject: Re: Peter Huebner
From: Jean-Marc Pelletier (
Date: Wed Apr 20 2005 - 03:29:18 EDT

Somehow I think it's hilarious that we're spending so much time writing
about this composer on this list.

That being said, I couldn't resist trying out Dominique's little
experiment. I first listened to Zen Symphony #1 in the best listening
conditions I had: our recording studio's control room. The room is
relatively neutral acoustically and I played the mp3 from Pro Tools
through a 192 interface to a pair of Genelec 1038 monitors. I think
that's a slightly better setup than you're likely to find in your
average listener's living room. For comparison, I also played it through
near-field Genelec 2029 monitors. The experience was not nearly as bad
as I was expecting. I listened for about 2 and a half minutes before
getting fed up, switching monitors halfway. The spectral ballance was
very good and the stereo image was excellent indeed. There was good
contrast between more distant, murkier elements and crisp and close
ones. The music isn't to my taste but the sound is good, no doubt.

I then listened to Zen Symphony #2 from Quicktime Player, through an
Edirol FA101 interface to a pair of small Sony SMS 1P monitors, in a
dead-ish room at fairly low volume so as not to disturb my office
neighbours. I got fed up after about 30 seconds. Sure, I could still
hear some of the effects that were more or less appealing in the first
listening test but they had lost their interest. Mostly, I would say,
this is due to low and highs not coming out nearly as well on the small

So, my verdict: no, the music doesn't work as well in poorer listening
environments. I listened longer in the control room, but I will listen
to *anything* longer in that room.


> It seems that I did a lousy job in explaining the context of my first
> question to the list about Huebner. I will try again:
> I have a calibrated room+speakers situation, which means that I enjoy
> a rather flat monitoring. In this room, the Huebner mp3 creates a
> curiously "empty minded", but still very effective fascination,
> although I personally hate everything about the music, the guy, the
> sites, the pretentious prose and the whole cultist scene. But if this
> was a "standard" new age production, I estimate that I would have
> listened for about 30 seconds and then push the space bar once and
> for all. Instead I found myself listening - on and off - to maybe a
> total of 10 minutes. Let's say that this creates, in my case, a
> "sound-vs-musical-interest" ratio of 20:1.
> Now, if whatever Huebner does in his studios can only develop its
> full manipulative power in a "flat" listening situation like mine,
> it's one thing, but if it "works" about everywhere, I feel that this
> is something that EA composers have to know about, only for the
> technical aspect of it. This is part of our job... So my idea is to
> take advantage of the wide variety of monitoring situations available
> among composers to find out what is happening here, and to ask
> everyone who wishes to participate to listen to this example:
> 0641%20Zen%20Symphonies/06412%20Zen%20Symphony%20Nr%202.htm
> ...and just post back to the list how many more minutes than
> normally, if any, you have listened to it for pure "audio" reasons:
> 2:1, 3:1, 10:1, etc.
> We can do guessing about his production "tricks" later on, if the
> results show a good proportion of very high ratios... but we should
> certainly not summarily dismiss Huebner's very specific audio
> production competences just because he is an arrogant guru. I happen
> to own the Miroslav Vitous collection, along with a good selection
> of stereo wideners, software and hardware, and it is quite evident to
> me that Huebner's "technique" involves a little more than that.
> Best
> - -
> Dominique Bassal

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