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Pono = Full Employment for Mastering Engineers? Digital Converters
Old 13th March 2014
  #61
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Shawn Hatfield's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jetam View Post
96 isn't just good enough, it's more than good enough.
Many converters have higher distortion and noise in the audible range when used at 192 than when used at lower sampling rates.

It's almost like shooting a film with an IR camera.
This article does a good job of helping understand the pointlessness of 192kHz - 24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed
Old 13th March 2014
  #62
Gear Maniac
 

Dan Lavry was making that case back in 2004. Here's one of his articles from back then (PDF file link):

http://web.archive.org/web/200606141...ing_Theory.pdf
Old 13th March 2014
  #63
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Franco's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Wow. I finally watched the video on their Kickstarter page and...laters, it's a wrap. With those artists supporting it (and probably talking about it in interviews, shows, Letterman, etc.) no wonder this thing is blowing up!

All it's going to take is a few bands to want to be like some of these dudes that appear in that video, so I would think recording studios will be getting asked for 192k recordings. Sweetwater is gonna LOVE this!

You can throw articles upon articles their way to try to make them understand that it's hype, but they'll have nothing on some of the things I heard on that video. My favorite one:


"It's not just something for the Hifi buffs to hear the top of the hi-hat...it's the VIBE, maaaan!"
- Don Was

(yes, this is all total speculation and not behind the scenes knowledge of anything related to Pono. If you have an issue with this - call your therapist).
Old 13th March 2014
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
Wow. I finally watched the video on their Kickstarter page and...laters, it's a wrap. With those artists supporting it (and probably talking about it in interviews, shows, Letterman, etc.) no wonder this thing is blowing up!

All it's going to take is a few bands to want to be like some of these dudes that appear in that video, so I would think recording studios will be getting asked for 192k recordings. Sweetwater is gonna LOVE this!

You can throw articles upon articles their way to try to make them understand that it's hype, but they'll have nothing on some of the things I heard on that video. My favorite one:


"It's not just something for the Hifi buffs to hear the top of the hi-hat...it's the VIBE, maaaan!"
- Don Was

(yes, this is all total speculation and not behind the scenes knowledge of anything related to Pono. If you have an issue with this - call your therapist).


I'm already looking at the 192 setting on my UA 2192 like, "Hey, I didn't even notice you there."
Old 13th March 2014
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Franco View Post
Wow. I finally watched the video on their Kickstarter page and...laters, it's a wrap. With those artists supporting it (and probably talking about it in interviews, shows, Letterman, etc.) no wonder this thing is blowing up!
This is a PR Campaign plain and simple. Amazing how many artists have never heard "music like that before". So they never listened to their own masters? Amazing.

But, one sticking point for me is that there is no guarantee that Project owners will ever deliver on campaigns. Even if the target has been met! In fact, several have literally grabbed the money and made off like the wind. Nothing prevents PR firms using the service to create some "online buzz". If this works, expect more of the same.

“All dealings are solely between Users. Kickstarter is under no obligation to become involved in disputes between any Users, or between Users and any third party. This includes, but is not limited to, delivery of goods and services, and any other terms, conditions, warranties, or representations associated with campaigns on the Site. Kickstarter does not oversee the performance or punctuality of projects.”

Nothing prevents Neil Young's PR firm or Neil Young himself "investing" in himself and inflating numbers for good publicity and never actually delivering on a product.

EDIT: "$2.2m of Kickstarter pledges in a couple of days sounds impressive, but that’s from just under 7,000 backers – a small audience for a new digital music store."

Initially they have claimed to be offering a revolutionary new audio format, now it's just plain old FLAC and they make it clear it's not a new audio format. First they claimed that all music will be "hi-res" 24/192k but now they concede that even 16/44.1k will be offered. Is the player even in prototype form or will they later concede that it's just a online digital store and you should just use a Samsung Galaxy S5 which offers 24/192k? So far they haven't delivered on one claim beyond the name.

It may be wise to adopt a wait and see approach.
Old 13th March 2014
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
This is a PR Campaign plain and simple. Amazing how many artists have never heard "music like that before". So they never listened to their own masters? Amazing.

But, one sticking point for me is that there is no guarantee that Project owners will deliver on campaigns. Even if the target has been met! Nothing prevents PR firms using the service to create some "online buzz". If this works, expect more of the same.

“All dealings are solely between Users. Kickstarter is under no obligation to become involved in disputes between any Users, or between Users and any third party. This includes, but is not limited to, delivery of goods and services, and any other terms, conditions, warranties, or representations associated with campaigns on the Site. Kickstarter does not oversee the performance or punctuality of projects.”

Nothing prevents Neil Young's PR firm or Neil Young himself "investing" in himself and inflating numbers for good publicity and never actually delivering on a product.

Initially they have claimed to be offering a revolutionary new audio format, now it's just plain old FLAC and they make it clear it's not a new audio format. First they claimed that all music will be "hi-res" 24/192k but now they concede that even 16/44.1k will be offered. Is the player even in prototype form or will they later concede that it's just a online digital store and you should just use a Samsung Galaxy S5 which offers 24/192k? So far they haven't delivered on one claim beyond the name.

It may be wise to adopt a wait and see approach.
If the masses start listening to 24/192k on their Samsungs and Pono is driven immediately out of business, no one on Earth would be happier than Neil Young. He just said so today.
Old 13th March 2014
  #67
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I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herc View Post

Nice idea - park it next to minidisk and 8track cartridge.
Haha, how true is that, make a little gap on the shelf between those quadraphonic LPs and SACDs and slide the Pono straight in there.
Old 13th March 2014
  #68
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Hermetech Mastering's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
And I wasn't speaking personally before about the X3 - I have heard of it and considered buying it at that attractive price. I'm sure it's a cool thing. But the 8gb capacity is too small for me - Pono is 64gb.
You can buy a relatively inexpensive MicroSD card for the Fiio X3, taking its capacity up to 72GB! And firmware updates may allow 128GB MicroSD cards, taking it up to 136GB.

Old 13th March 2014
  #69
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I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foldedpath View Post
Newer generations aren't interested in anything that isn't compatible with social media, and this is the antithesis of that. Since there isn't any way to transfer files off the Pono (AFAIK?), that makes it just a dongle for DRM'd music. Even if the files could be moved, they're too big to store and transmit conveniently.

In the approaching era of Google Glass and "wearable computing," the ability to move data around is much more important to younger generations than buying what is essentially a more portable SACD player with locked content.

It won't be popular with indie recording studios and home recording hobbyists either. I don't look forward to having a potential client ask me to record their project in 192/24, because that's ridiculous overkill (IMO) and just limits my available DSP options. My tracking converters could handle it, but there's no reason for me to edit and mix in that format, for the sake of having a "Pono certified" product.

It's all smoke and mirrors, just a way for the labels to churn their catalogs one last time. I'm all for an accepted standard for higher-res audio, but I don't think this is how we'll get there. We'll get there, at least here in the USA, when our Internet infrastructure is improved to South Korea-level speeds, and the kids walking around with their wearable computers can move big data around more easily. If you don't get why that's important, then you don't understand what the younger generations want from their music.
Well said sir, this is a niche product which will have very little effect on the mainstream. Again people seem to be getting hung up on sample and bitrates, whereas what's needed is a solution to the loudness problem. For 99.8% of the listeners, anything more than highest bitrate mp3 and aac is unnecessary and inconvenient.
Old 13th March 2014
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
whereas what's needed is a solution to the loudness problem.

Hence my suggestions for flat-transfers(no additional dynamics-processing) to hi-res!

Amazon, iTunes, etc, can offer them for Pono owners, and lossy formats for the masses.



**This statement in no way promotes or dismisses Neil Young, his artistic works, his concept for the Pono, or the Pono device itself**
Old 13th March 2014
  #71
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I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
Hence my suggestions for flat-transfers(no additional dynamics-processing) to hi-res!

Amazon, iTunes, etc, can offer them for Pono owners, and lossy formats for the masses.
What i meant was, a solution to having all music play back to consumers at the same apparent average volume, which would then penalise and discourage the over use of limiting and distortion in mastering AND mixing.

I don't understand what you mean by "flat transfer". You mean the music wouldn't be mastered? Is that wise?
Old 13th March 2014
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
What i meant was, a solution to having all music play back to consumers at the same apparent average volume, which would then penalise and discourage the over use of limiting and distortion in mastering AND mixing.

I don't understand what you mean by "flat transfer". You mean the music wouldn't be mastered? Is that wise?

Not beyond what was done for release in 1973(for example), or, on the original CD release.

Remasters that undo some of the loudness damage might be acceptable.
Old 13th March 2014
  #73
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I.R.Baboon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
Not beyond what was done for release in 1973(for example), or, on the original CD release.

Remasters that undo some of the loudness damage might be acceptable.
ah, so you're talking about re-issues.
Old 13th March 2014
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
ah, so you're talking about re-issues.
Master tape flat to high-res? The ultimate reissue!
Old 13th March 2014
  #75
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I.R.Baboon's Avatar
But labels could have been doing this for years, if there was a market for it, it has nothing to do with a Pono. They haven't been doing it, and i'm wondering why not?
Old 13th March 2014
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
But labels could have been doing this for years, if there was a market for it, it has nothing to do with a Pono. They haven't been doing it, and i'm wondering why not?

Well, aside from Pono, they have been reissuing albums, with and without remastering. How many different Dark Side Of The Moon issues of both CD and vinyl are out there?

My "Thriller" CD is an early-1990s reissue, but has not been remastered, based on listening to it and DAWing it.


Remastering is *largely* and I do emphasize that term - largely - a marketing scheme by labels to sell more back-catalog. Put "Remastered" or "Digitally Remastered" on the packaging, change the color slightly(perhaps a golden or silver border), and the average consumer will be drawn to it like moths to a streetlight.

They expect to hear something different, and labels use that psychology to great advantage. It is "uneducating" of the consumer, unlearning bad habits, that will change demand for such product.
Old 13th March 2014
  #77
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I.R.Baboon's Avatar
That's all very well, but i repeat the question, if there was a considerable market for hi-res, direct-transfer re-issues (or hi-res, dynamic new music), why haven't the labels been doing it on a large scale for years?

Sure, there's a tiny niche market for it (mostly driven by marketing rather than real, sound quality considerations), but that's not what interests the bean-counters at the big labels. So my point is, great, let's applaud this new media player, but let's try not to get too over-exited and pretend it's anything more than that (a niche product for old farts like you and me).
Old 13th March 2014
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
That's all very well, but i repeat the question, if there was a considerable market for hi-res, direct-transfer re-issues (or hi-res, dynamic new music), why haven't the labels been doing it on a large scale for years?

Sure, there's a tiny niche market for it (mostly driven by marketing rather than real, sound quality considerations), but that's not what interests the bean-counters at the big labels. So my point is, great, let's applaud this new media player, but let's try not to get too over-exited and pretend it's anything more than that (a niche product for old farts like you and me).

Lack of consumer demand. But it doesn't have to be high-res, or even lossless, to sound good. It's just that consumers have been sold a digitally-squashed lemon and don't even realize it. Education is key.
Old 13th March 2014
  #79
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
Lack of consumer demand. But it doesn't have to be high-res, or even lossless, to sound good. It's just that consumers have been sold a digitally-squashed lemon and don't even realize it. Education is key.
Okay. What's your proposal, specifically? Oh, BTW, this "education" needs to take place on an iPod/MP3 player, since that's what most people are listening on these days. Gotta take your message to the masses you know.

Ready... Set....Go!
Old 13th March 2014
  #80
Gear Head
 

So I saw the Kickstarter video, and 2 things struck me:

1) It would have been infinitely more convincing to me if random people off the street were giving the same testimonials, unpaid. If the people who make up, say, the folks on Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" bits could hear that much of a difference, and want to buy it, I'd be more inclined to see Pono as being viable.

2) As Shawn's article link states above, 192 is pointless, and here it's kind of a scam. It's not the 192 kHz that's making everyone moist with pleasure over the sound -- it's the better quality components inside. When you spend the money and use the better/best quality converters, filters, circuitry, etc., THAT'S what has the biggest impact on the sound. 96/24 is more than enough. Spend the money on better quality components and you'll see sound quality improve greatly.
Old 13th March 2014
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer View Post
Okay. What's your proposal, specifically? Oh, BTW, this "education" needs to take place on an iPod/MP3 player, since that's what most people are listening on these days. Gotta take your message to the masses you know.

Ready... Set....Go!

A word-of-mouth grass-roots effort.

Online demos of squashed-vs-original tracks.

Living room listening demos.


It won't come from a single source. It's a collective of people wh know better.
Old 13th March 2014
  #82
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I.R.Baboon's Avatar
I just watched the Kickstarter video.

Frankly rather painful and cringe-worthy, i hardly know where to begin.

Obviously there was some trickery involved, just watch the vid at 8:17, we all know the difference simply ain't that big.
Old 13th March 2014
  #83
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
A word-of-mouth grass-roots effort.

Online demos of squashed-vs-original tracks.

Living room listening demos.


It won't come from a single source. It's a collective of people wh know better.
Yeah? Not in my living room. I don't want all you people in my house.

I wish you good luck and abi gezunt. You'll need it.
Old 13th March 2014
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioRestorer View Post
Yeah? Not in my living room. I don't want all you people in my house.

I wish you good luck and abi gezunt. You'll need it.

The target audience are end-listeners, consumers of music - not engineers.
Old 13th March 2014
  #85
Quote:
Originally Posted by I.R.Baboon View Post
But labels could have been doing this for years, if there was a market for it, it has nothing to do with a Pono. They haven't been doing it, and i'm wondering why not?
Modern and up to date labels sell 24bit wavs or FLACs since a while. The Ninja Tune/Warp network in particular, just check Bleep.com (those who know buy here, not just because of the extra format option).

The biggest record label worldwide, "Bandcamp" offers his-res FLAC shopping since years.

However, demand is low and DJ oriented (which makes sense since they definitely "process" the material).


All this is only news for 60+ rockers who lived on trees (or had their heads stick into apple's ass) over the last 2 decades. The electronic music scene is obviously 1 or 2 decades ahead. Today, consumers are not a stupid as they where 30 years ago and don't like scams at all.



Beside that, the name is really stupid. I'm thinking about Google's inevitable auto-correction. lol
Old 13th March 2014
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
You can buy a relatively inexpensive MicroSD card for the Fiio X3, taking its capacity up to 72GB! And firmware updates may allow 128GB MicroSD cards, taking it up to 136GB.

For an extra $100, you can double that capacity (Pono accepts microSD cards too.) I have about 3 TB worth of Flacs, not to mention all the stuff I'll buy on Pono, so I need all the portable space I can get. Plus you get the better components in Pono, and you support the emergence of a new hi-res market.
Old 13th March 2014
  #87
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
Modern and up to date labels sell 24bit wavs or FLACs since a while. The Ninja Tune/Warp network in particular, just check Bleep.com (those who know buy here, not just because of the extra format option).

The biggest record label worldwide, "Bandcamp" offers his-res FLAC shopping since years.

However, demand is low and DJ oriented (which makes sense since they definitely "process" the material).


All this is only news for 60+ rockers who lived on trees (or had their heads stick into apple's ass) over the last 2 decades. The electronic music scene is obviously 1 or 2 decades ahead. Today, consumers are not a stupid as they where 30 years ago and don't like scams at all.



Beside that, the name is really stupid. I'm thinking about Google's inevitable auto-correction. lol
I really like some Ninja Tune/Warp artists like Amon Tobin, but generally speaking, electronic music is not really part of the record industry. Almost no one buys it. It's more for DJs to spin for people to dance and take drugs to. Sales of electronic music are about equal to sales of polka music or comedy albums. Rock and roll is by far the biggest genre of music sales.
Old 13th March 2014
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
I really like some Ninja Tune/Warp artists like Amon Tobin, but generally speaking, electronic music is not really part of the record industry. Almost no one buys it. It's more for DJs to spin for people to dance and take drugs to. Sales of electronic music are about equal to sales of polka music or comedy albums. Rock and roll is by far the biggest genre of music sales.
Country and Rap aren't far behind.
Old 13th March 2014
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
Country and Rap aren't far behind.
They're actually very far behind. Strictly-defined Rock records sell more than double Country and 4 times as much as Rap. Once you include Alternative and Metal with Rock, it sells 4 times as much as Country and 8 times as much as Rap. And a lot of Country these days is basically Southern Rock, so Rock more or less sells more than every other genre combined.

Old 13th March 2014
  #90
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Hermetech Mastering's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
you get the better components in Pono
Says who? Citation please!

The Fiio X3 specifications are clear for anyone to see, unlike Ponyo's:

FiiO
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