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10MX comparison files vs. Pure2 only and 10M/Pure2
Old 5th January 2016
  #1
10MX comparison files vs. Pure2 only and 10M/Pure2

Here are some files. There are 3 loopback copies, 3 masters and the original mix.

They were printed three ways. Pure2 only. 10M clocking Pure2. 10MX clocking Pure2. I'll hold off listing which is which for the blinders for a bit.

Download Link

The artist is Tori Lund, produced by Blake English.

The copies were simply a short pair of XLR cables out and back into the Pure2, which is connected to a Mac Pro via AES16e card in a Thunderbolt expansion chassis. The DAW is Logic X, with software monitoring turned off, set to a maximum buffer. In retrospect, I may do more prints with Pure2 connected via USB, but these files were all printed the same manner, only change was connecting the 10M and 10MX to the Pure2, calibrating the Pure2 to each after they warmed up.

The masters came out of the Pure2 to a Summit DCL-200 (only 1db of threshold), then into BAE 10DC compressors (not engaging compressor, I like the transformers), then to a Sontec 432D mastering EQ, back into the Pure2. Then out AES to a hardware Waves L2 and AES back into Pure2.

Analog cables were all solid core copper Alpha wire with silver Switchcraft connectors, as used in the Mastering Lab for years by Doug Sax.

(A few clicks are in the mix itself and not due to clocking/converting, at least not in the mastering room where the copies and masters were printed.)

Last edited by Clybourne; 5th January 2016 at 07:02 PM..
Old 5th January 2016
  #2
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Decompress's Avatar
 

dan - Pure2
sam - 10M
van - 10MX
Old 5th January 2016
  #3
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redgrovesound's Avatar
In addition to posting your subjective impressions on which file is which, would highly encourage anyone who is willing to take the time, to compare pairs of the files using free ABX software like Lacinato:

ABX audio testing tool

It's a great way to verify your perception of the differences, and helps squash a lot of debate about expectation bias / etc...

It's actually kind of fun, and is cool to see folks post their results.

Often the results can be very intriguing both in terms of what people can't actually percieve and what they can.
Old 5th January 2016
  #4
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Stimmt's Avatar
 

There is little difference for a lot of cash.
Old 5th January 2016
  #5
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ghostwriter's Avatar
After a quick listen to the copies only, as I have no time.

I preferred Dan quite a bit more than the others.

Last edited by ghostwriter; 5th January 2016 at 09:43 PM..
Old 5th January 2016
  #6
I'll post my previous response in this thread as well....

Dan Pure 2
Van 10m
Sam 10mx

Last edited by nick8801; 6th January 2016 at 02:53 AM..
Old 5th January 2016
  #7
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bigbone's Avatar
 

I don't know which one is which…..

In older that i like the best…….


Dan
Sam
Van
Old 5th January 2016
  #8
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I am not sure why there are 3 master files, are they 3 separate masters?

On my initial listen I preferred sam of the copies
Old 6th January 2016
  #9
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I preferred the "Sam" file. Mids are nice and forward. Revs are clear and you can hear a better separation. Either way, all 3 are very good recordings. What was the track recorded with? I'd love to know if it were the new Orions!
Old 6th January 2016
  #10
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Personally I like

Van the most
Sam 2nd
Dan 3rd

So based on that I'd guess
Van=10MX
Sam=10M
Dan=Pure2

I like Van the most because it sounds almost analog to me. A polished, finished product that has the most "glued together" quality. Everything beautifully has it's own space and dimension in the soundscape and nothing bugs me anywhere on the spectrum. I also feel the Van track allows you to hear the vocal mic in a really musical way; the vocals sound so tight and pleasing. And it sounds polished without being glossy. I also feel the brushes on the snare are so much more dramatic and the transients on the brushes are faster, smoother, more detailed and accurate. Again, Van sounds more analog to me.

Sam is pleasing and sounds more mid forward and I love mids but they just aren't as polished as the Van track. There seems to be less separation between the instruments. The edges are blurred just a bit.

The vocals bug me a bit on the Dan track. They sound muddy and distorted compared to the other's IMO. Not nearly as glorious as the Van or Sam tracks.
Old 6th January 2016
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
I am not sure why there are 3 master files, are they 3 separate masters?

On my initial listen I preferred sam of the copies
The masters are done with 1) Pure2 only 2) 10M clocking Pure2 3) 10MX clocking Pure2 (not in that order, of course).

The same corresponds to the names of the copies, so I'm curious if you also like the sam of the masters best?

I got cleared to post a great edm track today, which I'll try to do tonight. I'm going to use the same anonymous names, so people can zero in on their favorites with various material.

Thanks,
Marcel
Old 6th January 2016
  #12
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Thanks for posting!

I couldnt listen too long. Something just didn't beg me to listen. Maybe 2 measures each?

But then, Sam showed up and by far was the most enjoyable, I didn't want to stop listening! The others I didn't experience that. The more I listened to Sam, the clearer it sounded, and the more likeable to me... I know it changed the original wav. Less s***** transient "bite", that is gone. What's left is clear, deep, pure tone. Like switching to quarter pounder single coil pickups on guitar... THICK.

The original wav file sounded like pretty much everything I record digitally that I go insane trying to fix, but I just have to eventually give up on. I know clients perceive this, but can't explain what it is they want. I want it too... Less harshness yet still defined.

The one before Sam... Pretty good too, much better than the original wav, tight and polished,.. Nice but its no Sam.

Last one sounded close to the original wav.

Those are my first impressions. So if I'm totally wrong, well I'll chalk it up to the iPhone speaker I'm listening through.

I'll listen again after a while
Old 6th January 2016
  #13
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I highly recommend trying ABCX testing with these files via the application linked above. Adding in the third file makes that testing quite a bit more interesting.

Cheers,
Brock
Old 6th January 2016
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
The masters are done with 1) Pure2 only 2) 10M clocking Pure2 3) 10MX clocking Pure2 (not in that order, of course).

The same corresponds to the names of the copies, so I'm curious if you also like the sam of the masters best?

I got cleared to post a great edm track today, which I'll try to do tonight. I'm going to use the same anonymous names, so people can zero in on their favorites with various material.

Thanks,
Marcel
I misunderstood the original setup, will listen to master files as well.
Old 6th January 2016
  #15
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TurboJets's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by redgrovesound View Post
In addition to posting your subjective impressions on which file is which, would highly encourage anyone who is willing to take the time, to compare pairs of the files using free ABX software like Lacinato:

ABX audio testing tool

It's a great way to verify your perception of the differences, and helps squash a lot of debate about expectation bias / etc...

It's actually kind of fun, and is cool to see folks post their results.

Often the results can be very intriguing both in terms of what people can't actually percieve and what they can.
And so what are your thoughts after ABX'ing the posted files?
Old 6th January 2016
  #16
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bigbaby987's Avatar
Clyburn... I'd still like to know if the track was recorded with Antelope converters. I'm thinking of moving there from The Symphony.
Old 6th January 2016
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbaby987 View Post
Clyburn... I'd still like to know if the track was recorded with Antelope converters. I'm thinking of moving there from The Symphony.
This track is from a mastering customer of mine with no affiliate with Antelope. He recorded this as a commercial studio (not his own) using Digi192's, which I like as converters, btw.

The copies and mastering is the only thing I used Antelope conversion on.
Old 6th January 2016
  #18
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redgrovesound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
And so what are your thoughts after ABX'ing the posted files?
Ok.... so sat down to do some ABXing. I should preface by saying I'm an extremely outspoken skeptic of the how perceivable the differences in external clocking are. So I have an inherent bias I have to fight to "not hear a difference".

That said, based on the results of the prior thread, and not wanting to look like a deaf jerk, I really wanted to dig in and see if I can pick up on the nuance a few folks seem to so readily perceive.

I started with doing an ABX against the "Final Mix" and the "dan copy". (I don't really see value in ABXing the "masters" because they're looping through a bunch of additional equipment, and we're really talking about the effect of clocking here). I have no idea if "dan" is just the converters, or includes the 10M or 10MX clock.

I really dug in, and tried to focus on some of the "upper mids" "between the notes" business people were raging about. Just when I thought maybe I heard a difference I realized I was listening to the opposite file. I couldn't do it.

Then I noticed something. I had the ABX in a tight loop listening to a short vocal phrase, and there was something about the timing that was different between the 2 files. They seemed to start in slightly different places, as if there was a slight offset on one. As soon as I queued in on that, hit 20 out of 20.

Now I could have been a real turd and tried to claim glory for my supersonic hearing, but the truth is, the timing difference was the giveaway. I couldn't hear a damned bit of difference between these 2.

Going to try van and sam next to see if one of those yield some difference I can reliably pick out sonically.
Attached Thumbnails
10MX comparison files vs. Pure2 only and 10M/Pure2-abx.jpg  
Old 6th January 2016
  #19
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Thanks. Really appreciate the response. I don't want to side track the thread. Is there any way to speak to you personally or via pm about the new Orion Studio? It seems like something I may be looking for.
Old 6th January 2016
  #20
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I compared both van and sam copies to the original "final mix" in ABX, and could not pick out any reliable difference between them. I really want to. I don't think I'm deaf, but I am *straining* to hear any difference I can reliably pick out between the original and any of the copy loopbacks. If it's there for you more power to you, and congrats on your superhuman hearing.

I spent a lot of time listening back and forth in a "non-blind" AB in an effort to try to "learn" the differences between the sound of the files. And in each instance I had convinced myself "Oh, version X sounds a bit darker on the vocal sibilance", or "oh yeah, I can pick out just a touch more ambiance on the brush part in file y". Then I went to "prove it" by ABXing, and it the truth was revealed.... it was in my head.

Again... YMMV. But I'd challenge anyone to put their ears to a real test to see if you can "really" distinguish, or if it's just one of the games we all allow ourselves to play with our ears.

As demonstrated in my previous post, there *are* timing differences between the files that can be revealed in tight loops in ABX software. I'd just encourage anyone who does test to "be honest" with yourself and everyone here in your results, based on sonics and not some gimic. There's no shame or glory in being "wrong" or "right". There's just what's real / significant, and what's not. I'd also encourage people to take other's test results at face value if they post them. There *are* differences between the files. They don't null (though they are *extremely* small). If someone can truly hear that, and is willing to prove it out by testing, my hat is off. Calling each other liars and cheaters isn't going to yield any meaningful results.

Many thanks to Marcel for taking the time to put these together, and enduring a lot of candid discussion about the products he's representing. Whether the difference is significant or not, not a lot of manufacturers are willing to "put their money where their mouth is" so to speak, and I do respect Marcel and Antelope for going out on a limb and doing it.

Last edited by redgrovesound; 6th January 2016 at 06:40 AM..
Old 6th January 2016
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redgrovesound View Post
Ok.... so sat down to do some ABXing. I should preface by saying I'm an extremely outspoken skeptic of the how perceivable the differences in external clocking are. So I have an inherent bias I have to fight to "not hear a difference".

That said, based on the results of the prior thread, and not wanting to look like a deaf jerk, I really wanted to dig in and see if I can pick up on the nuance a few folks seem to so readily perceive.

I started with doing an ABX against the "Final Mix" and the "dan copy". (I don't really see value in ABXing the "masters" because they're looping through a bunch of additional equipment, and we're really talking about the effect of clocking here). I have no idea if "dan" is just the converters, or includes the 10M or 10MX clock.

I really dug in, and tried to focus on some of the "upper mids" "between the notes" business people were raging about. Just when I thought maybe I heard a difference I realized I was listening to the opposite file. I couldn't do it.

Then I noticed something. I had the ABX in a tight loop listening to a short vocal phrase, and there was something about the timing that was different between the 2 files. They seemed to start in slightly different places, as if there was a slight offset on one. As soon as I queued in on that, hit 20 out of 20.

Now I could have been a real turd and tried to claim glory for my supersonic hearing, but the truth is, the timing difference was the giveaway. I couldn't hear a damned bit of difference between these 2.

Going to try van and sam next to see if one of those yield some difference I can reliably pick out sonically.
Glad you got a chance to listen. I think its really interesting how you picked up on a timing difference between the two files on the vocal. I didn't pick up on that all.
Old 6th January 2016
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
Glad you got a chance to listen. I think its really interesting how you picked up on a timing difference between the two files on the vocal. I didn't pick up on that all.
I was trying to find *anything* I could to distinguish, lol. I don't want to be a "deaf guy", but I couldn't do it based on the sound if my life depended on it. It's just not there for me. Just narrow down the start and end of the loop so it's a couple of seconds. The files aren't perfectly time aligned, so the difference in the timing of the loop points makes it obvious which file you're listening to. You can see the loop points I was using in my screenshot above.
Old 6th January 2016
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
Glad you got a chance to listen. I think its really interesting how you picked up on a timing difference between the two files on the vocal. I didn't pick up on that all.
The only thing that is different timing wise is the ending of the files, and it's only a hairline, because I had to do a fade out and couldn't post the whole track. The start times of the 2 files is identical.
Old 6th January 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
The only thing that is different timing wise is the ending of the files, and it's only a hairline, because I had to do a fade out and couldn't post the whole track. The start times of the 2 files is identical.
I'll take a closer look tomorrow to see what contributed, but if you set up loops as I showed in my screen shot, they don't start and stop in the exact same spot. It's small, like a 32nd note worth of difference, but it was enough for me to pick them out no problem.

If there's one place my ears are well trained it's in timing. I spent 5 seasons competing in world class DCI & WGI snare lines, and playing clean with 5-7 other guys (and running laps when you don't) burns some of that in.

I could hear one as a slightly longer pause before the downbeat (I think it was whichever was in the B slot)
Old 6th January 2016
  #25
I have to download these files again, for some reason I only got some 192kb thumbnails and they all sound the same
@ redgrove , here's a ditty on the monitors https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-m...onitoring.html

Now I still have to find something that will AB on my studio PC as I'm done with Lacinato.

But as we don't know what is what yet, I still considder this test to be "blind"
Old 6th January 2016
  #26
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Callison's Avatar
Had a quick listen at the end of a 12 hour day yesterday. Van was the one I wanted to listen to most! Seemed the most real and 3rd to me! I'll check it out at the start of my day tomorrow.
Old 6th January 2016
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clybourne View Post
The only thing that is different timing wise is the ending of the files, and it's only a hairline, because I had to do a fade out and couldn't post the whole track. The start times of the 2 files is identical.
Hey Marcel, took a closer look. Looks like all of the "copies" are slightly offset from the "final mix". It's probably just the round trip latency coming out of the computer and back. That was ultimately what I queued in on when I hit 20/20 between the "final mix" and the "dan copy".

If you wanted to eliminate that, would just need to slide forward the "final mix" file and align a transient to the copy files, then bounce in it's new position to create a "final mix" file that matches the offset of the copies.
Attached Thumbnails
10MX comparison files vs. Pure2 only and 10M/Pure2-misalignment.jpg  
Old 6th January 2016
  #28
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Yesterday I chose Dan, but didn't post the reasons as to why.

I preferred Dan, as it had the most clarity, especially in the vocal. It is the version I would most want to be making mix decisions on. The other 2 versions seemed to be adding very subtle frequencies or shifting, which (for me) got in the way of hearing each instrument as clearly, when they occupied the same frequency space.

I'm going to climb out on a limb and guess that Dan is the Pure2 only file.

Last edited by ghostwriter; 6th January 2016 at 05:09 PM..
Old 6th January 2016
  #29
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No offense Red... but what does that have to do with anything? Just because they don't start at the same exact point doesn't mean anything. If you were dissecting the file for nuances that made the files look nothing like each other, I could understand. These files are clearly not in line, but that's just lining them up. How does a file just un-align itself once it's done as long as it wasn't tampered with? Clearly, with a small edit, you can see that these two files are the same. I'm not going to go through the hassle of doing it and making a screenshot of it because you can just eyeball it and tell. We're talking sound "quality", not timing. I'm sorry, but I just don't get where you're going. Please take no offense, I just don't.
Old 6th January 2016
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbaby987 View Post
No offense Red... but what does that have to do with anything? Just because they don't start at the same exact point doesn't mean anything. If you were dissecting the file for nuances that made the files look nothing like each other, I could understand. These files are clearly not in line, but that's just lining them up. How does a file just un-align itself once it's done as long as it wasn't tampered with? Clearly, with a small edit, you can see that these two files are the same. I'm not going to go through the hassle of doing it and making a screenshot of it because you can just eyeball it and tell. We're talking sound "quality", not timing. I'm sorry, but I just don't get where you're going. Please take no offense, I just don't.
I don't know if you read my above posts. I was just pointing out why I was able to so easily pick the difference using blind ABX. As explained above, the offset creates an obvious difference in the loop points.

If you're not doing blind ABX, it doesn't matter. Though I'd encourage you to try it.
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