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Have the higher sampling rate and bit depths cured the digital monster? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 12th August 2014
  #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
Why I'm living in a universe where there is serious debate over the merits of the CD format 44/16 that was decided on as the standard consumer digital listening format of course. I argue with vinyl advocates that it does not sound as good as CD. However my preference has always been with reel to reel tape. Personally I've never advocated vinyl over anything. But I have passed along the enthusiasm others have for it.

CD sales are not an indication of a superior sound. The industry made the decision to abandon vinyl and set about doing it. It was clearly a marketing decision that paid well for the industry when they re released vinyl onto CD. They got to sell collections twice. I put zero stock in the concept of sales. Reel to reel sounded better than anything and the inferior cassette replaced it. MP3 and other compressed formats outsell CD today. Is it because it sounds better? If we're in my universe it does not. It's intellectually dishonest to say otherwise.
CD when it came out was just the easiest most affordable way to get consistent high quality. I think if you had a great 2 track reel to reel, cd is not going to compete at least to audiophiles. The problem is reel to reel is not a practical distribution format, never could have been. As far as mp3 goes, most people just don't care about audio quality, and now that mp3 is virtually the same as CD quality, it's tough to complain about it.


The key is to use 96/24 during tracking throughout the mixing process then CD or mp3 is a pretty damn good medium after mixdown.
Old 12th August 2014
  #152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
Why I'm living in a universe where there is serious debate over the merits of the CD format 44/16 that was decided on as the standard consumer digital listening format of course. I argue with vinyl advocates that it does not sound as good as CD. However my preference has always been with reel to reel tape. Personally I've never advocated vinyl over anything. But I have passed along the enthusiasm others have for it.

CD sales are not an indication of a superior sound. The industry made the decision to abandon vinyl and set about doing it. It was clearly a marketing decision that paid well for the industry when they re released vinyl onto CD. They got to sell collections twice. I put zero stock in the concept of sales. Reel to reel sounded better than anything and the inferior cassette replaced it. MP3 and other compressed formats outsell CD today. Is it because it sounds better? If we're in my universe it does not. It's intellectually dishonest to say otherwise.
Is there debate? Is there a range of preferences?

Absolutely. And everyone certainly has a right to their own preference.


But you are avoiding my point.

You keep making patently outrageous statements like "I can't recall a single instance in the 80's of anyone saying it sounded equal to or simply different to vinyl and or tape" and "I never encountered anyone who championed it [CD audio] because it was satisfying to the ears."

Unless you've been living atop the proverbial mountain top and cut off from humanity for decades -- and your presence in this forum suggests otherwise -- such statements defy credulity.
Old 12th August 2014
  #153
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
Not really, the mathematical aspects of digital audio are all based on integration. "Information theory" is more just broader term for the modern implementations. That is more a Shannon/Nyquist term. The actually nuts and bolts of digital audio is all Newton and Leibniz and to a smaller degree Gauss.
Integration is just a tool; information theory is the rigorous analysis of information transmission and storage -- in other words, the foundation of digital audio.
Old 12th August 2014
  #154
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I lived through the vinyl to cd transition. I always thought CDs sounded better and still do, except when they are poorly remastered to maximize volume--which sadly is almost all the time. So now you have two people who thought CDs sounded better
Old 12th August 2014
  #155
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Lance Lawson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You're still confusing the differences between production at 16bit and 24bit (which no-one is advocating) and delivery format, and also comparing early CD transfers (older conversion, in many cases poor transfer techniques - it was in it's infancy of course at that point) with the format itself.

You have to work out what you're actually talking about, and compare like with like. Until that point it's impossible to discuss anything meaningful.

I'm not quite sure what the bumble bee analogy is trying to say, but a bumble bee doesn't defy physics - gravity and air resistance etc still effect it. If there's something that says that it shouldn't be able to fly according to what we know, then that just says we don't understand something quite yet. Because a bumble bee doesn't exist in some weird physics-defying bubble, it's just a quirk of nature. Pretty sure that's nothing to do with CD or 16bit/44.1 delivery formats!
The Bumble Bee is a way of saying that the math of something does not always work out to reality. Bumble Bees fly so the math against them flying is wrong. 44/16 is mathematically more than what is needed to "fool" the ear into thinking that the reassembled wave is the same as a genuine wave that's never been reduced to numbers and then returned to a reconstituted waveform. If it was the debates would have never started. The math is wrong. I know the math is wrong when I experience the sound of higher sampling/bit rates. Yes in the early days there were lots of missteps with mastering and recording so when you buy a CD it's a crap shoot in some ways. But it isn't a crap shoot when you can in the comfort of your own studio make a recording at 44/16 then make a recording at 96/24. It is then possible to A/B without the crapshoot. This is what has sold me on 96/24. I proved it to myself without the question marks of who how and where it was mastered. It doesn't get any more direct than than that.

At the end of the day myself and many others consider 44/16 as close but no cigar. It almost delivers the goods. I record at 96/24 and the deficiencies of 44/16 go away it's as simple as that. I own a couple of hundred CD's. If I had the choice of replacing my collection with 96/24 I could be persuaded.

Going back to the OP I elude to the higher sampling rates as the maturing/realizing of digital music.
Old 12th August 2014
  #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
OTOH, I still marvel at what I consider the brilliance of Stravinsky's still kind of shocking Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring).
For posterity's sake, I find nothing cheap about Le Sacre -- I consider it one of the greatest compositions of all time.
Old 12th August 2014
  #157
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
The Bumble Bee is a way of saying that the math of something does not always work out to reality. Bumble Bees fly so the math against them flying is wrong. 44/16 is mathematically more than what is needed to "fool" the ear into thinking that the reassembled wave is the same as a genuine wave that's never been reduced to numbers and then returned to a reconstituted waveform. If it was the debates would have never started. The math is wrong. I know the math is wrong when I experience the sound of higher sampling/bit rates.

At the end of the day myself and many others consider 44/16 as close but no cigar. It almost delivers the goods. I record at 96/24 and the deficiencies of 44/16 go away it's as simple as that. I own a couple of hundred CD's. If I had the choice of replacing my collection with 96/24 I could be persuaded.

Going back to the OP I elude to the higher sampling rates as the maturing/realizing of digital music.
LISTEN UP: There is NO math that says bumble bees can't fly. YOU are the only one here claiming that's true, as far as I can tell. And, as pointed out, it's NOT true. READ THIS: snopes.com: Bumblebees Can't Fly


My gosh, man, get a grip.


Also, you mean allude not elude.

I'm done with this nonsense.
Old 12th August 2014
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
Not really, the mathematical aspects of digital audio are all based on integration. "Information theory" is more just broader term for the modern implementations. That is more a Shannon/Nyquist term. The actually nuts and bolts of digital audio is all Newton and Leibniz and to a smaller degree Gauss.
Why stop there? Surely it all began with Euclid and Pythagoras?

pretty much every single historian of technology would say that Nyquist and Shannon were working in/on information theory.
Old 12th August 2014
  #159
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sleepingbag's Avatar
k good thread
Old 12th August 2014
  #160
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The bumblebee thing is so ridiculous, like the bumblebee defies physics because it has optimism and pep. The bumblebee doesn't defy physics; there is no math predicting it can't fly. The physics of bumblebee flight are quite well understood. That whole bumblebee thing is just nonsense made up by the hucksters of inspirational literature
Old 12th August 2014
  #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I've long felt about the canons in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture much as I felt about KISS.

OTOH, I still marvel at what I consider the brilliance of Stravinsky's still kind of shocking Sacre du Printemps (Rite of Spring).

I mean, I'll admit I'm not the most sophisticated music lover in the concert hall -- I've mostly eschewed finding out about the composer's lives (OK, I watched Amadeus ) or reading historical analyses of the progression of 'serious' music through the centuries. I had an abreaction to the traditional music establishment when I was young and I determined I wasn't going to let them spoil music for me. Turning my back on the formal music world was the only way I could learn to play and maybe even keep enjoying music. For me, I need the immediate connection. Sure, when killing time I might read the program notes but they're usually more the bio detail stuff and when they stretch they get pretty silly -- 'the composer's angst in the cold and hungry winter of 1844 can be felt in his choice of the double flatted...'
All good music should be appreciated, from Charlie Parker to Varese, from Jimi to Scriabin, from Hank Williams to Bach, from Trane to Webern, from James Brown to Astor Piazolla, from Ornette to Milton Nascimento, on and on...good music is good music.

That said, (in a gross generalization, but apt in most cases) most classical music appreciation is a celebration of dead music, seriously over played, boring, staid repertoire. It's pathetic IMHO, as there is an incredible post WW1 repertoire that is barely touched by the concert playlist. I don't understand it, in that visual arts has managed to embrace progression of its art form, you'd think there would be more of an embrace of the avant garde in music...
Old 12th August 2014
  #162
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
For posterity's sake, I find nothing cheap about Le Sacre -- I consider it one of the greatest compositions of all time.
And a great sequence in the original Fantasia. heh
Old 12th August 2014
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
The music is only going to sound as good as its playback system, playback system is a bottleneck so to speak.
With CD's still being the standard resolution, and youtube/streaming sounding even worse, I think were still light years away from anything higher than 44.1/16. Its funny how video resolutions grown so much over the years, more difficult to implement with audio.
Old 12th August 2014
  #164
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So what's the logic behind the claim, made earlier, that notes (and reverb tails) decay faster at 44.1/24? Is there any?
Old 12th August 2014
  #165
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
The Bumble Bee is a way of saying that the math of something does not always work out to reality. Bumble Bees fly so the math against them flying is wrong.
It is a myth that bumble bees cannot fly "according to the math", so you'll need to look for some other example of math failing reality.

Quote:
44/16 is mathematically more than what is needed to "fool" the ear into thinking that the reassembled wave is the same as a genuine wave that's never been reduced to numbers and then returned to a reconstituted waveform.
It seems you have a few misconceptions about how digital audio works. For one, the signal is not "reassembled" (as if 96k signals have more "pieces" than 44.1k signals). For another, the ear is not "fooled" in any way; CD audio does not use perceptual coding -- what goes in is what comes out. The only difference between a signal sampled at 96 kHz and the same signal sampled at 44.1 kHz is bandwidth.
Old 12th August 2014
  #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
And a great sequence in the original Fantasia. heh
So I've heard! I've actually avoided seeing the movie for fear that the visuals would taint the music for me, in the sense that I'd inevitably and perpetually associate one of Stravinsky's motifs with a dancing broom or something.
Old 12th August 2014
  #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
For posterity's sake, I find nothing cheap about Le Sacre -- I consider it one of the greatest compositions of all time.
The national gallery in DC had a fantastic exhibit last year on the ballet Russe and the circle of artists Sergei Diaghalev assembled there. Dancers, choreographers, costumers, set designers, composers: Picasso designed costumes for him! And they weren't even the best costumes. Just jaw dropping. Stravinsky was surrounded by brilliance.One of the most impressive example of collaborative creativity I've ever seen.
Old 12th August 2014
  #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Integration is just a tool; information theory is the rigorous analysis of information transmission and storage -- in other words, the foundation of digital audio.
The foundation is the slice and dice and of continuous functions into matrices.

Information theory is just the high level storage aspects and the fidelity "requirements" of the audio.

It's an important distinction.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
It seems you have a few misconceptions about how digital audio works. For one, the signal is not "reassembled"
Again the importance of understanding the fundamentals of the the integral, which in fact is the a "reassembly" of sorts
Old 12th August 2014
  #169
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
All good music should be appreciated, from Charlie Parker to Varese, from Jimi to Scriabin, from Hank Williams to Bach, from Trane to Webern, from James Brown to Astor Piazolla, from Ornette to Milton Nascimento, on and on...good music is good music.

That said, (in a gross generalization, but apt in most cases) most classical music appreciation is a celebration of dead music, seriously over played, boring, staid repertoire. It's pathetic IMHO, as there is an incredible post WW1 repertoire that is barely touched by the concert playlist. I don't understand it, in that visual arts has managed to embrace progression of its art form, you'd think there would be more of an embrace of the avant garde in music...
I would certainly have liked more 20th century music in my local symphony's repertoire -- or even greater exposure to lesser known works from earlier periods.

But I also get it that even if it's the 'serious' concert hall, you still have to please the audience -- and if you don't, concert after concert, your pretty little house of cards will tumble down and then who WILL be able to play that music -- or any of the more modern music that also requires a full orchestra of highly trained musicians?


I'll admit to being a bit tired of some of those overexposed chestnuts -- but when I find myself listening to some overfamiliar crowd-pleaser and on the verge of some sort of cynical or blase reaction, I try to remember that the number of times I'm going to see the spectacle of all these people all focused and engaged in executing a concerted musical experience is limited. Sure, I've seen over 160 concerts, but I won't be seeing 160 more or a 100 more or...

So, like making love with a beautiful woman (or whatever, I'm being personal here), I try to focus on the immediate, the unique, the ephemeral, the now.

That said, I'm skipping the next 1812 Overture... heh
Old 12th August 2014
  #170
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
So what's the logic behind the claim, made earlier, that notes (and reverb tails) decay faster at 44.1/24? Is there any?
There is none, because it's nonsense.
Old 12th August 2014
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
It is a myth that bumble bees cannot fly "according to the math", so you'll need to look for some other example of math failing reality.



It seems you have a few misconceptions about how digital audio works. For one, the signal is not "reassembled" (as if 96k signals have more "pieces" than 44.1k signals). For another, the ear is not "fooled" in any way; CD audio does not use perceptual coding -- what goes in is what comes out. The only difference between a signal sampled at 96 kHz and the same signal sampled at 44.1 kHz is bandwidth.
But.... The Stair stepping! The stairstepping.

Vertigo Stairs Stock Footage - Video: 36957480
Old 12th August 2014
  #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
The foundation is the slice and dice and of continuous functions into matrices.

Information theory is just the high level storage aspects and the fidelity "requirements" of the audio.

It's an important distinction.
Huh? Information theory is entirely the low-level aspects, the generalized abstractions that apply to all systems and all signals.

(What do matrices have to do with any of this?)
Old 12th August 2014
  #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
Why stop there? Surely it all began with Euclid and Pythagoras?

pretty much every single historian of technology would say that Nyquist and Shannon were working in/on information theory.
well not really because it's all about dividing up a continuous function for discrete storage in a flat memory model like within a PC. Information theory is just finding the optimal way to do this, without sacrifice the over all integrity of the audio in the process. Sure it requires more fundamental aspects of arithmetic but at the core, digital audio is still all about finding the limit of a function at a given point and then storing the information optimally for later retrieval.

But definitely get your point, you can keep going down through all mathematical laws and it never ends till you get to addition or real numbers and ints or whatever
Old 12th August 2014
  #174
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
So I've heard! I've actually avoided seeing the movie for fear that the visuals would taint the music for me, in the sense that I'd inevitably and perpetually associate one of Stravinsky's motifs with a dancing broom or something.
The brooms were (French, turn-of-the-20th century composer, Paul) Dukas. heh


But yeah, you might have the right idea.

Still, it was that movie that pushed my interest in classical music as a little kid.*

And, you know, it's hard to avoid classical themes if you watch a lot of movies. You know, "Oh, I recognize that! It's the love theme from... "


* There was a dark day when I discovered my dad's classical collection was breakable -- being on 78's. Happily, when I was 14 we moved near a library with records for check-out and my listening career broadened considerably. I also bought a number and would ask for them for birthdays, etc, which always impressed my grandparents and relatives.
Old 12th August 2014
  #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Huh? Information theory is entirely the low-level aspects, the generalized abstractions that apply to all systems and all signals.
"Information theory" is not all all low level. Low level are aspects that deal with the actual analog audio and digitizing it, that is all math that has been around for a few hundred years or more. Information theory is only 60 years old or so.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post

(What do matrices have to do with any of this?)
arrays, vectors an their transforms...on and on........ this is how computers or digital systems in general manipulate and store data, it's all matrices at the end of the day. For instance You can't do a Fourier transform efficiently without matrices. You can't store and retrieve audio efficiently without an array of some type.
Old 12th August 2014
  #176
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
well not really because it's all about dividing up a continuous function for discrete storage in a flat memory model like within a PC. Information theory is just finding the optimal way to do this, without sacrifice the over all integrity of the audio in the process.
Again, information theory is foundational because it abstracts the signal, its transmission, and the storage medium from any particular implementation. It applies to arbitrary signals and systems, whether it is music being digitized or temperature readings being hand-written in a log book.

Quote:
Sure it requires more fundamental aspects of arithmetic but at the core, digital audio is still all about finding the limit of a function at a given point and then storing the information optimally for later retrieval.
How exactly is digital audio "all about finding the limit of a function at a given point"?
Old 12th August 2014
  #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
"Information theory" is not all all low level. Low level are aspects that deal with the actual analog audio and digitizing it, that is all math that has been around for a few hundred years or more. Information theory is only 60 years old or so.
I completely disagree. One cannot digitize an actual audio signal with math, no matter how old the math is. We need physical circuits to sample physical signals, but how do we build such things? We require guiding principles that enable us to design our circuits such that they meet performance specifications. These principles come from information theory.

The math is just a tool.

Quote:
arrays, vectors an their transforms...on and on........ this is how computers or digital systems in general manipulate and store data, it's all matrices at the end of the day. For instance You can't do a Fourier transform efficiently without matrices. You can't store and retrieve audio efficiently without an array of some type.
Why are you bringing up implementation details? In any case, arrays, vectors, matrices -- these are conceptual containers, a convenient way for humans to think about data. At the hardware level, the computer doesn't have the foggiest notion of what an array is. As for Fourier Transforms, the (mathematical) FFT algorithms that I've seen don't use (mathematical) matrices. Of course any software implementation will use arrays.
Old 12th August 2014
  #178
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IanBSC's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
And here again we have the usual mystical nonsense response.

Saying we can't hear above 20khz is not "presumptuous ignorance." It's been verified by 100 years of testing. You can play signals above 20khz all day long and people can't hear them. Dogs can, bats can. This is empirically verifiable. If you prefer to believe that you hear 30khz with your pineal gland or something, fine, believe that, believe in Baal, believe in trickle down economics or people riding on dinosaurs or whatever other fairy story you like.

But if you want to argue that humans sense above 20khz then it's incumbent on you to offer some proof, and the proof should be more than "I spent 5000 on this preamp and it sounds good because it reproduces high frequency which I can hear because magic ears." Maybe you can convincingly demonstrate that people hear 30,000 hz with their eyeballs. I'd be delighted to see the proof. I have a study done in I thin Japan that claimed this. But if it's true then it has to be easily reproduceable.

The thing with high sample rates is not that they reproduce higher frequencies (which we can't hear), it is that they accommodate more gradual antialiasing filters that have a noticeable impact on sound quality. If they could build a 44/48k sample rate converter that didn't distort impulse response and create pre and post-ringing it would sound just as good.

So in a sense, the ability to record higher frequencies should equal better sound quality, just because of the filter bandwidth, even though the frequencies probably don't matter.

I actually had a hifi DAC that had no digital reconstruction filter and despite the the dark sound of the analog rolloff and slight harshness of the alias distortion it sounded really good. All sample rates through that were basically the same sound quality. DSD also has no filters, and thus sounds really good despite being 1 bit.


I think Merging and DCS had some papers about this.
Old 12th August 2014
  #179
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PorchBass's Avatar
24 bit recording makes the difference to my ears. When DAWs started to implement the floating point 32 bit mix engines a whole lot of mix headroom appeared - thats when I first got a computer. 44kHz/24bit sounds great to me and any difference in the infra and ultra sonics at 96kHz I think needs a good converter and replay chain to justify the extra CPU and Disk effort.
I would love to see cheap multichannel DSD ADCs come onto market - DSD seems a very 'pure' concept with no imaginary 'staircase' waveforms.
Love the machine!
Old 12th August 2014
  #180
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PorchBass's Avatar
Ian BSC is right on the money - all filters affect phase etc. DSD is very exciting.
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