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Definitions - What Does \"WARM\" Mean ?

What Does \"WARM\" Mean ?

  • Bassy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lacking Highs and/or High-Mids

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • More Low Mids

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lacking Highs and/or \"Air\"

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • \"Less Than Hot\" = Just \"lightly\" distorted

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Not \"Too Loud\"

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

Dan Duskin

Established Member
Keep it coming guys!!

We have a lot of confusion among engineers, musicians, clients, etc, etc, etc...

I'm hoping this might help a lot of us understand what the 'average' meaning of \"WARM\" is. I have clients and co-engineers using the word \"warm\" all the time, however they usually mean something different to what I think the word means. The above list is a list of everything I can remember my clients and co-engineers have described as the meaning of \"WARM\" in their own words. I hope that the common vote will help us find a \"common\" standard of the definition.

Thanks Guys! Keep those votes coming!!!

COMMUNICATION IS KEY WHEN WORKING WITH OTHERS!
 

Fundy

Established Member
I've seen references to Warm/Hot in relation to limiting/amplification especially where triode vacuum tubes is. The temperature relating to how much saturation is being applied and how hard the tubes are working. However I don't really know enough about it personally.
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
I guess I'm they only one who voted: Lacking Highs and/or High-Mids
for now...

To me, traditionally when people describe something as feeling/sounding \"WARM\", they are in fact referring to COMFORT or WARMTH. With the lack of the \"offending\" frequencies (1-7khz), you gain the effect of comfort or coziness. IMHO.
 

Doc Jones

Member
imdrecordings said:
I guess I'm they only one who voted: Lacking Highs and/or High-Mids
for now...

To me, traditionally when people describe something as feeling/sounding "WARM", they are in fact referring to COMFORT or WARMTH. With the lack of the "offending" frequencies (1-7khz), you gain the effect of comfort or coziness. IMHO.
nope, you're not the only one to think along those lines. To me warm = smooth (which is completely open to interpretation in and of itself ;) But I think for me, this would infer a gentle shaping of the highs without over emphasizing the lows.
 

Cabbage

Active Member
To me \"warm\" is when you have strong harmonics to the fundamental, which would normally mean you get more low mids.

Petter
 

trondned

Member
Interresting poll!

Sorry, I haven't voted, because to me, I think it's more complex than the alternatives stated.

To me, the oposite of wearm, would be brittle. To be brittle means much/harsh high-end, so in that case, \"more low mids/lacking highs\" would be a adequate description. Still, this is looking at it from an eq-perspective only. Transients and distortion is also an important factor to me. Ever had a drum overhead mic distort in the mic membrane? This often occurs in the very high frequency range (16-20K), and sometimes can be hard to spot until you start bus-compressing and eq-ing. Overcompressing followed by high end eq compensation - that's brittle.

To me, warm includes tube or tape-distortion (subtle) AND a nice and subtle high-end roll-off. The high-end roll-off (or low-mid boost) thing, I'm sure most people agree on. But to me, the tube/tape-distortion is best described as a \"soft-knee limiter\". It's compression is so fast, it rolls off hard transients faster than any compressor or limiter could.

When clients have asked me for a warmer sound, I have often swept the eq trough the HF spectrum, and often I will find some narrow peaks up there. Pulling these frequencies back with a narrow Q, often satisfies the client, and doesn't roll off the HF too much.

Just my thoughts, though. Describing music/sound with words is not easy.
 

BTLG

Established Member
warm (wôrm) adj.,- marketing term created circa mid to late 1990's to sell more analog voodoo boxes. Popularized in late 90's to early 00's during the impending spread of digital recording in the home.
 

Dan Duskin

Established Member
BTLG said:
warm (wôrm) adj.,- marketing term created circa mid to late 1990's to sell more analog voodoo boxes. Popularized in late 90's to early 00's during the impending spread of digital recording in the home.
Ohh... how some will miss the cozy warm control room full of racks of hot and power hungry analog gear in the middle of winter...

11001100 <brrr! shiver> 01010101 <chatter chatter> 00110011 <lips blue and ears red>
 

brian

Active Member
I know it has become a marketing term but it still makes sense in my head: I just associate it with a lack of highs/high-mids or fuller low-mids, which is the same thing. Sometimes I associate the term with material that has noticeable but pleasing harmonic distortion but there are better ways to describe that other than \"warm\".
 

Dan Duskin

Established Member
To me the meaning always seemed simple... Since hot means the signal is too loud and probably distorted, warm must mean it's loud but not quite clipping... i.e., low levels of distortion (not \"distorted\"). But, that was just how I understood it. Later on, I realized most other people relate the word warm to having more lows/low-mids... how incredibly NOT obvious!
 

BTLG

Established Member
\"Warm\" seems to be a term only used and popularized in reference to an old medium when a new one begins to take it's place. (i.e. vinyl vs. cassette vs. CD vs. mp3's)

I guess warm must mean 'familiar' then. Or maybe \"old\" or \"vintage\".

It obviously has no firm definition seeing as how noone can really quantify it and put a firm meaning it. My warm could be your 'digital coldness'. That said, I feel the term should be dropped altogether in reference to audio.

But that's just me I suppose.

Matt
 

imdrecordings

Venerated Member
Dan Duskin said:
To me the meaning always seemed simple... Since hot means the signal is too loud and probably distorted, warm must mean it's loud but not quite clipping... i.e., low levels of distortion (not "distorted"). But, that was just how I understood it. Later on, I realized most other people relate the word warm to having more lows/low-mids... how incredibly NOT obvious!
HA! Funny...

That's like me Dan. kind of

All through my early twenties and late teens, everyone complained about how "Stand-Offish" I was. I couldn't, for the life of me, understand what they meant. I was a nice, well mannered kid.

To me "Stand-Offish" was referring to someone who likes a Stand Off or a fight! It always really got under my skin!
Turned out to be the opposite of course. As in one who stands away from the crowd. And yeah I guess that was or is me. What a stupid phrase!
 
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