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Pono = Full Employment for Mastering Engineers? Digital Converters
Old 17th March 2014
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babaluma View Post
I wonder if Neil Young would accept the challenge of an A/B/X test on his own player between an "HD" file and a 320 kbps MP3 version. Probably not, but I keep imagining it.
Go to the Pono Kickstarter page and you can watch a video of Neil giving this test to many of the biggest acts in music and watch them make the Pono face.
Old 17th March 2014
  #122
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Those Pono kickstarter videos are such wonderful testaments to human nature. It pretty much nails the reason we have an ever growing audiophile market.. and I don't mean that in a positive way.

I'll stick with science and double blind tests thank you.
Old 17th March 2014
  #123
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Those Pono kickstarter videos are such wonderful testaments to humans who make great art. It pretty much nails the reason we have a huge economy where people can make a living making sounds.. and I mean that in a positive way.

I'll stick with passion over scientific theory thank you.
Old 17th March 2014
  #124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Those Pono kickstarter videos are such wonderful testaments to humans who make great art. It pretty much nails the reason we have a huge economy where people can make a living making sounds.. and I mean that in a positive way.

I'll stick with passion over scientific theory thank you.
You made my day!
Old 17th March 2014
  #125
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The Pono needs to catch up before it's even launched.

I've had my A & K portable for a while and plays PCM AND DSD. Has a larger HD and is a smaller format.
Old 17th March 2014
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
I'll stick with passion over scientific theory thank you.
I will stick with my hearing and science to back it up.. Theory is just that..


Its great to have passion in what we do, its very human and part of our souls.. But don't let the dopamine rush or hope cloud judgment and get in the way of the truth..

If they sell "HD" copies of smashed records with flat brick walled dynamics for 25$. It will prove what the real business model is.. If they start making or selling music that was designed from the ground up for the format they have a true revolution in the making that can deliver natural sounding audio.. But still not much will be gained from the large resolutions.. these are facts.. Do we need ultrasonics to enjoy music? Will the same customers of this handheld unit go home then claim a dynamic and frequency restricted vinyl record sounds just as good or better than hd digital?

This has nothing to do with the quality of the pono player/hardware, witch is very welcomed and needed at best buy..

I don't want to hear 25$ "HD" copies of records that are mastered for a loud cd..


time will tell.. regardless this is an mainstream first step attempt.. Witch is very good news..
Old 17th March 2014
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umulamahri View Post
this is an mainstream first step attempt.. Witch is very good news..
So were SACD, DVD-A, and Pure Blu-ray. And now, we've already got HDtracks, etc.

But hey, they weren't Toblerone-shaped!
Old 17th March 2014
  #128
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True... I personally think the cd format in not the problem if we want better audio quality..
Old 19th March 2014
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umulamahri View Post
True... I personally think the cd format in not the problem if we want better audio quality..

Educating both musicians and the music-buying public on what a good record is supposed to sound like is the challenge.

So don't be The Stranger; good sound can be a Thriller, even on the Dark Side of the Moon, with our Brothers in Arms for good company. No Rumours about it!
Old 19th March 2014
  #130
Old 19th March 2014
  #131
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I think they're talking about the production side - not the consumer export side, where 16/44 is more than adequate. Of course you want to track, mix, and master in 24/96 or higher if you can. Down-verting to 16/44 will still yield a higher qualith sonic product than 16/44 to 16/44.
Old 19th March 2014
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_K_Man View Post
Brothers in Arms
Sounded like arse the last time I listened, all digital patina. Will go back and have another listen, it's been a while...
Old 19th March 2014
  #133
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Yes, excellent article, I tend to agree with these guys, real mastering engineers, w great ears.

And Kudos to Neil Young for raising public awareness of HD audio.

I don't do much listening outside of the studio, but I may buy a Pono player just to support the cause.

Best, JT
Old 1st April 2014
  #134
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Mastering

Okay, so I think we've spoken long enough about the Pono file formats and hardware.

Let's get back to the mastering question.

What I think truly matters regarding this devices success will be in the mastering of the songs. This has been touched on but I cannot find a straight answer on the net yet as to how/if the songs will be remastered.

If they are - and they are remastered properly with loads of headroom and with the largest possible dynamic range for each mix, I think Pono will be a big success. This will be because it will be the only music company that has successfully prevented stupid mastering practices through some universal regulation.

Of course the competition of iTunes could be fierce (mastered for iTunes means they have many high res/ dynamic files at their disposal). However, their mastering guidelines (in my opinion) are still not strict enough and still show signs of too much mastering compression etc.

If a song mastered for Pono means disregarding 'loudness' all together -
kids, audiophilles, musicians and drunks will ALL hear a SIGNIFICANT difference in the quality on that merit alone! They'd be crazy not to do this, and they should advertise it.

Please let me know if anyone has any actual info regarding this.
Old 1st April 2014
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex.lestrange View Post
...I cannot find a straight answer on the net yet as to how/if the songs will be remastered. ...
That's because in the case of a great many recent hits, the dynamics have mostly been lost during the recording and mixing process. Some of the most notable examples of crushed CDs including RHCP have actually been flat transfers. If you compress absolutely everything exactly as people seem to endlessly thump their chests about on GS, no dynamics is exactly what you'll wind up with.

Nothing kills dynamics like MIDI, virtual instruments, overdubbing an instrument at a time and even recording with headphones.
Old 1st April 2014
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
That's because in the case of a great many recent hits, the dynamics have mostly been lost during the recording and mixing process. Some of the most notable examples of crushed CDs including RHCP have actually been flat transfers. If you compress absolutely everything exactly as people seem to endlessly thump their chests about on GS, no dynamics is exactly what you'll wind up with.

Nothing kills dynamics like MIDI, virtual instruments, overdubbing an instrument at a time and even recording with headphones.
Thanks for the reply. I completely agree that the problem doesn't just lie with mastering techniques! We could start a new thread re. these other issues (probably already is some).

However my point is that if Pono could find a way to breathe more dynamics into its releases - which I think for the most part could be done through good remastering or perhaps even remixing (to a viable point), they could present the consumer with a noticeably different sounding product. This would really make it stand out and perhaps make it a great success.
Old 1st April 2014
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
Nothing kills dynamics like MIDI, virtual instruments, overdubbing an instrument at a time and even recording with headphones.

Great point, But can you elaborate a little more on this if you don't mind.. Mainly the head phone comment.. I understand what you are saying, but would like to hear more of your perspective / experience on this..


The use of headphones is very popular among the growing young talented DIY home recording movement.. I think its becoming a growing unseen issue with the new generation..


Off topic to some degree, but not.. Because its part of the big picture..
Old 1st April 2014
  #138
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Verified Member
After I left Motown I got involved in doing live radio music broadcasts with just a pair of U67s and a pair of RCA 44BXs. No eq, RCA mono console, no limiters, no headphones. It turns out that when people are playing to an acoustical balance, they manage the dynamics superbly just to hear each other and none of that stuff is needed. The biggest reason we need to compress vocals is head motion. Moving the mike back so the inverse square law doesn't kill you works wonders! Intonation is also rarely a problem.

After I moved to Nashville and knowing we had been pioneers using headphones in the mid 1960s, I asked some of the older '50s players. To a man they said "it all went to hell when the headphones and isolation were introduced!" That was some real food for thought so I started recording stuff that way provided the musicians weren't chicken. I'll never forget the grin that came across Reggie Young's face when he asked me where to set up his guitar amp and I suggested "over there by the drums."

A '50s live production approach combined with modern technology is an utterly incredible combination.
Old 1st April 2014
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex.lestrange View Post
However my point is that if Pono could find a way to breathe more dynamics into its releases
Loudness normalization seems to be one of the ways (in a long term).

Art
Old 1st April 2014
  #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post

And Kudos to Neil Young for raising public awareness of HD audio.
Kudos to Sony and Philips who did it 30 years ago already.


/Peter
Old 1st April 2014
  #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umulamahri View Post
True... I personally think the cd format in not the problem if we want better audio quality..
It's not. The majority of productions and playback rigs are not even close to utilizing the capacity of redbook.

Scary that so few understand that though.


/Peter
Old 1st April 2014
  #142
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JustMastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex.lestrange View Post
Okay, so I think we've spoken long enough about the Pono file formats and hardware.
I must admit I haven't read the whole thread but I just have to say, Pono needs to start from scratch on the box itself. I'm really excited about the idea of distributing more lossless audio, and providing a portable device that I'm guessing has a superior sounding DAC (setting sample rates aside, for now, I mean). I'm not interested in carrying a 1/4 pound (to be accurate, 4.5oz), music-playing toblerone bar in my pocket though (ouch!) - no matter how good it sounds. Maybe Pono had to design it that way to get everything to *fit* into the box, but still, it's hard to compete with devices that are smaller, flatter, and lighter. Baring that in mind, I hope that they can find a way to rework the device's form factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex.lestrange View Post
They'd be crazy not to do this, and they should advertise it.
That's an interesting idea. Hypothetically, if Pono mandated that practice (i.e. the MFiT guidelines for reasonable average levels, and peaks low enough to prevent clipping during AAC conversion), and actually managed to somehow enforce it, then in my view, Pono will have effectively done the heavy-lifting for Apple (and everyone else in the industry trying to reduce loudness, for that matter). Anyone "mastering for Pono" will also be mastering for iTunes. I think Apple would win the device war though, because of its large user base, because of iTunes, and because, frankly, they know how to appeal to people's "buying emotions". Pono is one product, Apple is a "family", and every apple device is connected (it's fantastic, really!). With Pono, I'd have to carry the device everywhere I go. With Apple, my library follows me from device to device, wherever I go.

Another potential hurdle for Pono in my view, is that I'm fairly certain that that Apple will go lossless someday. Pono's *temporary* advantage is in how good their hardware may sound compared to an iPhone/iPod, because if an iPhone can't handle 24/192 yet (I don't know if it can or can't, I haven't tried), I'm sure a future iteration of it will (maybe sooner than we think - who knows!). And Apple will keep working on refining the sound of the DAC in their devices, etc. ... So in a few years, what does that leave for Pono? For the buying public, it will all boil down to the look and form factor of the device itself, and how much they feel they want it when they see it.

Rob
Old 1st April 2014
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustMastering View Post
I'm fairly certain that that Apple will go lossless someday.
I think that ship has already sailed. It would expose how inferior everything they've already sold sounds.
Old 1st April 2014
  #144
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Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
I think that ship has already sailed. It would expose how inferior everything they've already sold sounds.
LOL, no, I disagree. I believe AAC is a temporary solution to an old problem. MFiT is not soley about the AAC format. We'll just have to see what Apple's next move is .

Cheers!
Rob
Old 2nd April 2014
  #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
Kudos to Sony and Philips who did it 30 years ago already.
/Peter
And mega-kudos to those who upgraded it to 24-bit 96kHz in the late 90s!

Like many other real MEs I ~do~ hear a quality difference in 24-96 audio over standard 16-44.1.

I understand that the Nyquist sampling theorem covers it, but 24-96 just sounds bigger to my ear.

Call it the difference in theory and practical application, or even better convertor performance.

Best, JT
Old 2nd April 2014
  #146
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Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
We've been listening to compromised digital for too long, let's not continue to make that mistake.
The "compromise" of digital formats such as 44.1/16 in terms of importance to sound quality is like a single grain of sand in the Sahara Desert. Calling that a mistake is exaggerating the issue far beyond the importance it deserves.

There are SO many bigger fish to fry in the quest for better music/audio, yet people get hung up on formats and converters and master clocks and all of the stuff that makes a small difference, distracting themselves from the things that truly matter.

bikeshedding (noun): Futile investment of time and energy in marginal technical issues.
Old 2nd April 2014
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtSta View Post
Loudness normalization seems to be one of the ways (in a long term).

Art
Sigh... This^ again!

For the umpteenth time I've said this in various threads around Gearslutz, loudness normalization is simply an automated volume control!
It automatically makes all songs in a playlist - whether crushed DR6 or wide open DR14, the same apparent volume during playback. That's all.

It does not perform ANY dynamics processing(compression, limiting, etc).

Moderators: please sticky this.

Last edited by The_K_Man; 2nd April 2014 at 09:50 PM.. Reason: mobile inserting superfluous spaces
Old 2nd April 2014
  #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Go to the Pono Kickstarter page and you can watch a video of Neil giving this test to many of the biggest acts in music and watch them make the Pono face.
What test did he give?

I watched most of the video and did not find one single detail about the "test". The only thing you could learn from taht video is that A) Neil and gang obviously are friends with the rest of the top notch musicians in US and B) They put a good sounding system in a car and played nicely produced music.

Of course people liked it. But it does not tell a single iota about Pono or music files and audibility of increased sample rate and word length.

Good marketing though (with all famous faces), of course a lot of people will jump on the bandwagon and put money in the pockets of the record companies who are insanely happy about selling their catalogue again. Musicians obviosly are equally happy and hardware manufacturer as well.

Viva la capitalism and consumerism!!

p.s. But when will we see evidence of what they (who want our money) claim is true?


/Peter
Old 2nd April 2014
  #149
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He played them 24/192 off the Pono back to back with iTunes files (I don't know if this was explicitly stated in the video - maybe he considers it bad form to badmouth Apple by name.)

And I think Pono is an example of socialism, not capitalism (a good thing IMO.) 16/44 and iTunes were created by corporations to gives us "good enough" quality according to them, and portable enough to make them lots of money.

Pono was created by a music legend and funded by like-minded members of the public and was created to give us a higher quality that the market for is probably small.
Old 2nd April 2014
  #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Pono was created by a music legend and funded by like-minded members of the public and was created to give us a higher quality that the market for is probably small.
Where there's mystery, there's margin (profit).
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