The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Have the higher sampling rate and bit depths cured the digital monster? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 21st August 2014
  #301
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
And just how many music consumers have you met that ever HEARD of either format?....
nonsense - everybody heard of it back when it came out. It flopped, it disappeared, and now maybe "kids today" don't know or care if that's what you mean.
Quote:
But let me say again, how can you claim that DVD-A and SACD failed because of sound quality when public awareness and exposure to them was almost nonexistent?
when these formats came out they were pushed and pushed hard. Special re-releases were made just for the new format! Hello? A special "section" was opened up in every record store. Every. The "rest" of the exposure to them was supposed to come from Virality. From early adopters getting the player, and blowing their friends away. Just like all the other huge leaps in sound quality in the past.

But it didn't happen, because the friends were not REALLY "blown away". Maybe they heard an improvement, but it did not stick. They did not wake up a week later and say "man, I have GOT to get one of those players". Maybe it does "sound better" - but obviously not enough better to change people's listening habits. = Flop.

You can blame 'marketing', but it really is as simple as Diminishing Returns. If the difference between 44.1 and 96k was even remotely like the advocates say: "night and day", "curing the Digital Monster", or my personal favorite, "coming up for air" , something that sounds twice as good should have caught on big time.

I know a number of early adopters who have abandoned their high-res players altogether! Think about it. They not only were 'exposed' to the marketing, they had one in their house.
Quote:
Aside from Meyer-Moran, who is claiming the difference with DSD from a native or analog master is small?
Meyer-Moran tested the difference between hearing a 24/96 stream and then inserting a 16/44.1 "bottleneck" into the stream to see if listeners could tell when that occurred. They could not. But why? Couldn't they just instantly notice when the music got "thin" and "brittle" at 44.1? When it suddenly went from sounding wonderful to sounding "monstrous"?? Apparently not.

There is one other study cited here in this thread that reached positive conclusion. In that study, some listeners DID score statistically significant success in identifying the difference. However when interviewed afterward, they all said it was difficult and they were often unsure of their choices!

To me, it is obvious that those comments in the interview tell a bigger story than the mere fact of statistical success in the trial. If THAT study holds up, it shows that from a "science" point of view, human beings can tell a difference in delivery format if they try real hard. Hooray! But obviously the difference is not quite that slam-dunk.

Quote:
And as far as CD vs MP3 to CD vs 24/96, I would say if your MP3 (or MP4) is above 256kb the difference between 24/96 is greater.
The 'higher' you go on the resolution scale, the more subtle each level of improvements until you rapidly approach negligibility. Why aren't you guys all rushing to go to 192, after all? Since you apparently don't believe in Diminishing Returns, it should sound TWICE as good as 96k!
Old 21st August 2014
  #302
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hodgson View Post
Take one of those great sounding DVD-A or Super Audio CD mixes and put it on a CD, and it will sound just as great.
They already have. Most SACD hybrids had a 16/44 layer that was converted directly from the same DSD stream. You can also hear modern recordings on HD Tracks that are exactly the same master as the CD version.

I believe the new Pink Floyd, and not so new Police, Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones remasters were from DSD masters.

The CDs/CD layers sound different. They sound 16 bit, with some benefit from a DSD transfer.
Old 21st August 2014
  #303
Lives for gear
 
Ephi82's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hodgson View Post
In what way?

What is psychological about wanting?
Do I really need to answer that?

Yes, but evidence indicates that this has NOTHING to do with realities of the format, and EVERYTHING to do with the production.

I'm not arguing that the recordings aren't great, I'm saying that indications are that this has nothing to do with technical advantages of the format, neither the wider bandwidth nor the lower quantization noise, but is simply down to the perceived demographic of the customers and the effect this has on production decisions.

Take one of those great sounding DVD-A or Super Audio CD mixes and put it on a CD, and it will sound just as great.

Did I say otherwise? Once again though, the advantage (having six channels) has nothing to do with the other difference (more bits per channel), which is the "Hi Res" part

DVDA allows for multiple channels AND it also allows for "Hi Res", they are two seperate things, you appear to be collating them in order to not let go of your belief that "Hi Res" has some audio advantage in itself.

This thread is about sample rates and word lengths, not number of channels.

You could also argue that an advantage of DVDA is capacity, so you can have several hours of red book quality audio on it instead of just 70 minutes. This would be correct, and would have nothing to do with "Hi Res".
Jon,

To be clear, I remain a supporter and consumer of the available hi res formats because they deliver higher quality sound of certain records than available on their redbook cd's counterparts. They also offer multi channel mixes which are not available on cd's.

I am not blindly preferring them because of sampling rates and bit depth.

You do correctly point out that the direction of our discourse is way off topic from the OP's question about sample rates curing the digital monster.

OP, I apologize!
Old 21st August 2014
  #304
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
The 'higher' you go on the resolution scale, the more subtle each level of improvements until you rapidly approach negligibility. Why aren't you guys all rushing to go to 192, after all? Since you apparently don't believe in Diminishing Returns, it should sound TWICE as good as 96k!
I think the opposite is true, we don't hear a huge difference by doubling the sample rate because in terms of 3D realism PCM recordings are so far away from DSD and analog that these improvements don't add up to a lot. I hear 192 as about 1/4 of the sound quality (in this particular dimension of sound) from DSD. I hear 96k as about half that, 1/8. Is the difference between 1/16th, 1/8th and 1/4 going to sound that huge?
Old 21st August 2014
  #305
Lives for gear
 
bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
I think the opposite is true, we don't hear a huge difference by doubling the sample rate because in terms of 3D realism PCM recordings are so far away from DSD and analog that these improvements don't add up to a lot. I hear 192 as about 1/4 of the sound quality (in this particular dimension of sound) from DSD. I hear 96k as about half that, 1/8. Is the difference between 1/16th, 1/8th and 1/4 going to sound that huge?
You honestly believe that, in terms of "3D realism" (whatever that may mean to you), CD quality is 1/16th that of DSD and analog? When you play your favorite CD and then put on your favorite DSD, you hear a 16x improvement? Frankly, that's miraculous. My favorite CDs sound amazing -- I can't even imagine how they could possibly sound twice as good . . . but 16 times as good!

What strange bedfellows DSD and analog make.
Old 21st August 2014
  #306
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
You honestly believe that, in terms of "3D realism" (whatever that may mean to you), CD quality is 1/16th that of DSD and analog? When you play your favorite CD and then put on your favorite DSD, you hear a 16x improvement? Frankly, that's miraculous. My favorite CDs sound amazing -- I can't even imagine how they could possibly sound twice as good . . . but 16 times as good!

What strange bedfellows DSD and analog make.
Within the realm of 3D realism and relaxed presentation, that's how I would qualify what I hear. In terms of dynamic resolution and basic frequency content, it's not that much better esp at 2.8mhz. However, I'm getting the sense that accurate temporal resolution is actually more important.

At any rate, I'm not sure where belief factors in, my ears certainly don't have beliefs, they take in sensory information. I hear something quite clearly, and I'm giving an approximate description of that. For what it's worth. DADs impulse resonse graphs show something similar. The bottom left of page 2: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...tT0n8z_uCWRx6w
Old 22nd August 2014
  #307
Lives for gear
 
bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
At any rate, I'm not sure where belief factors in, my ears certainly don't have beliefs, they take in sensory information. I hear something quite clearly, and I'm giving an approximate description of that. For what it's worth. DADs impulse resonse graphs show something similar. The bottom left of page 2: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...tT0n8z_uCWRx6w
Your brain, however, does have beliefs. Sensory data without interpretation is meaningless; why do you find it so difficult to believe that our brains can lie to us?

P.S. that image of the impulse responses is deceptive, at best. What do you think the ear's IR looks like?
Old 22nd August 2014
  #308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hodgson View Post
Indications are that when it comes to a delivery format, the difference is not the capabilities of hi res AT ALL, rather it is perceived expectations of the people who are viewed as the buyers of high res.

Quote:
4 A NOTE ON HIGH-RESOLUTION RECORDINGS
Though our tests failed to substantiate the claimed advantages of high-resolution encoding for two-channel audio, one trend became obvious very quickly and held up throughout our testing: virtually all of the SACD and DVD-A recordings sounded better than most CDs— sometimes much better. Had we not“degraded”the sound to CD quality and blind-tested for audible differences, we would have been tempted to ascribe this sonic superiority to the recording processes used to make them.
Plausible reasons for the remarkable sound quality of these recordings emerged in discussions with some of the engineers currently working on such projects. This portion of the business is a niche market in which the end users are preselected, both for their aural acuity and for their willingness to buy expensive equipment, set it up correctly, and listen carefully in a low-noise environment.
Partly because these recordings have not captured a large portion of the consumer market for music, engineers and producers are being given the freedom to produce recordings that sound as good as they can make them, without having to compress or equalize the signal to suit lesser systems and casual listening conditions. These recordings seem to have been made with great care and manifest affection, by engineers trying to please themselves and their peers. They sound like it, label after label. High-resolution audio discs do not have the overwhelming majority of the program material crammed into the top 20(or even 10) dB of the available dynamic range, as so many CDs today do.
Our test results indicate that all of these recordings could be released on conventional CDs with no audible difference. They would not, however, find such a reliable conduit to the homes of those with the systems and listening habits to appreciate them. The secret, for two-channel recordings at least, seems to lie not in the high-bit recording but in the high-bit market.
From http://www.drewdaniels.com/audible.pdf
Observations well worth considering from many angles.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #309
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
I'd imagine they are pretty fast. This study gets me thinking: Musical brains smash audio algorithm limits - life - 06 February 2013 - New Scientist
Old 22nd August 2014
  #310
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
I'd imagine they are pretty fast. This study gets me thinking: Musical brains smash audio algorithm limits - life - 06 February 2013 - New Scientist
A rather odd article, I don't see why anyone would think our brains used a fourier transform in the first place, that is for converting from the time domain to the frequency domain. But since we already know that the hairs in the ear are frequency sensitive we know that we're not starting with a simple time domain signal.. fourier transforms don't apply, or they certainly aren't the whole story.

As for the graphed impulse response of DSD, it's very misleading, a couple of signals look very good when graphed out with DSD, most would look downright awful (because of the HUGE amount of noise in higher frequencies in DSD).

Neither matters, because of how our ears work.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #311
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hodgson View Post
As for the graphed impulse response of DSD, it's very misleading, a couple of signals look very good when graphed out with DSD, most would look downright awful (because of the HUGE amount of noise in higher frequencies in DSD).
And if high ultrasonic noise (not an issue with 128 and 256fs DSD) is an acceptable tradeoff for perfect impulse response?
Old 22nd August 2014
  #312
Lives for gear
 
IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Observations well worth considering from many angles.
It's an interesting discussion. The thing here is that I've not heard the particular quality of sound from SACD on any PCM recording of any kind (well save for DSD mastered, which retains some of that sound). If the sound quality of these releases came from production, why hasn't anyone done on any other recordings? I'd use an SACD button on all my mixes if they made it.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #313
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
And if high ultrasonic noise (not an issue with 128 and 256fs DSD) is an acceptable tradeoff for perfect impulse response?
It's NOT a perfect impulse response, it just looks good to the untrained eye.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #314
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
It's an interesting discussion. The thing here is that I've not heard the particular quality of sound from SACD on any PCM recording of any kind (well save for DSD mastered, which retains some of that sound). If the sound quality of these releases came from production, why hasn't anyone done on any other recordings? I'd use an SACD button on all my mixes if they made it.
I guess they need you as a participant in some of those ABX tests.
Old 22nd August 2014
  #315
Lives for gear
 
Nystagmus's Avatar
I'd say yes, the higher bit depths tamed and cured the "digital monster" and for the paranoid and aggressive, the higher sampling rates too. Unfortunately, right around the same time that digital technology was peaking, it's downfalls were also created... MPEG, ATRAC, and lossy compression algorithms I really feel degrade the audio experience. And also I find that the move away from home stereo systems to lame portable media players highly degrades the typical audio playback experience. And even within headphones, I find that the build quality of modern headphones is worse than it was in the past back in the 90s.

But we don't have the technical headaches of DAT or ADAT anymore and yet we have all the positive effects of them. So that's very good. And you really can't go wrong with a 64-bit floating point engine, unlimited undo, and 32-bit floating point renders to WAV.

I guess the downside is the delivery format being a huge compromise and even online streaming and audio file hosting sites still not being up to high fidelity audio.
SoundCloud was wise to host FLAC and WAV. I used to put up 48 kHz 24-bit FLACs up there. Hopefully other more user-friendly sites will catch up to that.

I am really fully fed up with MP3 and how it trashes the stereo field and the extremes of bass and treble. MP4 is tolerable, but it's still the same problems, just a bit less.

Interestingly, I find that CD's themselves are a lossy format because I have never met anybody other than myself who doesn't scratch them all up to hell or get them covered with fingerprints and peanut butter marks. And sometimes the scratches are so bad that even EAC can't recover them. But if it's just WAV or FLAC or WAVpack files on a CD-ROM, the computer seems to be able to read them a heckuva lot easier and without CD's primitive RedBook "error-correction" follies. But when it's all said and done, I'd rather be using a hard drive or flash disc or SD card. So that's pretty much what I use.

And if you RockBox your portable media player, it can play 48 kHz 32-bit float lossless WAVpacks in addition to FLAC and WAV and everything else. And you can play Tetris too.

So yeah, pretty much digital's been cured, but humanity has fallen into the zombie apocalypse.
Old 23rd August 2014
  #316
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nystagmus View Post
Interestingly, I find that CD's themselves are a lossy format because I have never met anybody other than myself who doesn't scratch them all up to hell or get them covered with fingerprints and peanut butter marks. And sometimes the scratches are so bad that even EAC can't recover them. But it it's just WAV or FLAC or WAVpack files on a CD-ROM, the computer seems to be able to read them a heckuva lot easier and without CD's primitive RedBook "error-correction" follies.
That's because the Yellow Book standard (for data CDs) has an extra layer of Reed Solomon error correction on top of the red book standard, that corrects the errors that were beyond the capabilities of the two levels of RS ECC in the red book layer.

I would say it's not really a case of "follies", the red book ECC works exactly as it is designed to (it has to, otherwise the Yellow Book level would fail), but the decision made when Red Book was devised was that a few interpolated errors were a reasonable tradeoff for greater audio capacity (the more ECC you put on there, the less space left for the actual audio).
Old 25th August 2014
  #317
Lives for gear
 
Nystagmus's Avatar
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Hodgson View Post
That's because the Yellow Book standard (for data CDs) has an extra layer of Reed Solomon error correction on top of the red book standard, that corrects the errors that were beyond the capabilities of the two levels of RS ECC in the red book layer.

I would say it's not really a case of "follies", the red book ECC works exactly as it is designed to (it has to, otherwise the Yellow Book level would fail), but the decision made when Red Book was devised was that a few interpolated errors were a reasonable tradeoff for greater audio capacity (the more ECC you put on there, the less space left for the actual audio).
Thanks for explaining that in greater detail than I had formerly known. I did do some reading years ago about the CD format including the Reed Soloman stuff and the creator of EAC (Exact Audio Copy) used to do some extremely involved public error correction tests and writings about them and invited other people to reproduce the tests. I read that stuff too.

I still feel that it's "follies" hehehehe because the 1980s and 1990s was a long time ago now and the CD physical format never progressed into anything more stable than what it already was. The most advanced thing I ever saw ever come out of CDDA was Minnetonka Audio's Surround Sound CD's that were compatible with SPDIF hardare that could decode Surround Sound audio. That was pretty cool.

But CDDA coulda done stuff like take the increase in capacity from 650 MB to 700 MB and do exactly what you alluded to and use the extra space for an improved error correction scheme or maybe allow for 24-bit audio or something like that.

Also, the MiniDisc invention was a great innovation in terms of it's physical shell, which operated similarly to a floppy diskette shell. The playback/recording surface was entirely protected when not in use so it was almost 100% idiot-proof. I remember a friend of mine used some early magneto-optical storage drives in the 90s and those had a chassis like that too, but just slightly bigger than CD size.

I feel that if they had innovated the physical issues of compact discs and DVD's and now Blu-Rays then there wouldn't be so much trouble with like I said, peanut butter smudges and scratches and nonsense like that from idiots who just don't care enough to do something the right way. I swear some discs look like they were handed off to a demolition crew.

Also, I feel that 16-bit audio is somewhat inferior at least in the album format when individual track volumes sometimes get dropped by almost 6 dB (50% amplitude) just to "fit into the album". It's stuff like that which also has me disable ReplayGain and other BS like that which iTunes does. The more you drop down 16-bit audio, the more it starts to sound like 12-bit or even 8-bit, unlike 24-bit and above.

At least with higher resolution audio formats we can have proper safety headroom and avoid amplitude quantization error too. And now that the album format has finally nearly died, each track can be the best it can be without getting dropped into the decimation zone.

I will miss album art a lot, but not as much as you might think. A lot of album jackets had a lot of BS filler photos which were meaningless to the album, or tune lyrics printed with unreadable fonts. And some of those wierd cardboard jewelcases really never fit into any CD shelving system the right way and would start getting flakey and deformed and torn anyhow.

I really don't understand why more artists/labels didn't opt to release albums on custom-shaped flash drives like those cute action figure flash drives they sell at OfficeMax or whatnot. But then again, that'd have to mean they were smart enough to release as FLAC and to bring the rest of the market and public up to date. And that's never gonna happen.

Anyways, good conversation.
Old 25th August 2014
  #318
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nystagmus View Post
...I really don't understand why more artists/labels didn't opt to release albums on custom-shaped flash drives like those cute action figure flash drives they sell at OfficeMax or whatnot...
This is more about artists than labels. Too many act like lemmings following what others do into the world of smashed dynamics and mediocre graphics rather than really being creative about engaging fans.
Old 25th August 2014
  #319
Lives for gear
 
Nystagmus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
This is more about artists than labels. Too many act like lemmings following what others do into the world of smashed dynamics and mediocre graphics rather than really being creative about engaging fans.
Thanks. makes sense.
Old 26th August 2014
  #320
Gear Head
 

Found this rather amusing. The 16-bit v/s 8-bit Blind Listening Test The page also have a link that points to the differencies. Take the test first.
Old 26th August 2014
  #321
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mange586 View Post
Found this rather amusing. The 16-bit v/s 8-bit Blind Listening Test The page also have a link that points to the differencies. Take the test first.
LOL
Old 27th August 2014
  #322
Are we going down from Meyer Moran, Oohashi, and......Moan zone again?
Old 27th August 2014
  #323
Lives for gear
DSD I find interesting, because it muddies the waters even more, as we have folks maintaining it is a huge improvement of 96k, then you have someone like John Siau from Benchmark (who's converters are very highly regarded) saying that DSD is not any better that 96k - but that 96k does have benefits over 44.1 ...



Benchmark’s John Siau Responds | Real HD-Audio

Quote:
Where does Benchmark stand on DSD vs. PCM, and why?

1. Benchmark recognizes that DSD (64x and higher) has significant advantages over 44.1/16 PCM.

2. Benchmark recognizes that high-resolution PCM (96/24and higher) has significant advantages over 44.1/16 PCM.

3. Benchmark’s measurements and calculations show that the performance of 64x DSD is almost identical to the performance of 20-bit 96 kHz PCM (the in-band SNR of 64x DSD is about 120 dB). 64x DSD does not have any time-domain, frequency domain, or linearity advantage over 96 kHz PCM. DSD marketing materials have been very misleading.
Old 27th August 2014
  #324
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I've heard a Benchmark converter sound better than any DSD I've compared it to. I've also heard DSD sound better than many common converters. I think we're really talking about the individual implementations of power supplies, clocking, filters and line stages as opposed to digital format.

It has always amazed me how little attention gets paid to analog line stages which really can make a big difference. I suspect all of the hype about "digital is perfect" leads people to become skeptical when they hear differences that they have been told shouldn't exist.
Old 27th August 2014
  #325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I've heard a Benchmark converter sound better than any DSD I've compared it to. I've also heard DSD sound better than many common converters. I think we're really talking about the individual implementations of power supplies, clocking, filters and line stages as opposed to digital format.

It has always amazed me how little attention gets paid to analog line stages which really can make a big difference. I suspect all of the hype about "digital is perfect" leads people to become skeptical when they hear differences that they have been told shouldn't exist.
Some excellent points.

Math is perfect. (In at least one sense.)

But real world implementations of practical mathematical applications generally cannot be, of course.

Those who do understand digital audio should nonetheless not let themselves fall into the trap of describing the real world as though it were the theoretical -- there is little above the quantum level that can be described accurately in absolutist terms. But sometimes they may say things 'in shorthand' that may be misinterpreted as suggesting such real world perfection. The distinctions and qualifications necessary to make their statements literally true may well be in their statements -- but those unaccustomed to dealing with precise factual communications may come away with a mistaken impression of what is actually being said.

And, then, of course, some folks (on either 'side' of any debate around here) just get it wrong. It's a complicated field that has traditionally taken years to master.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump