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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 5th May 2014
  #4651
Gear Head
 
bandpass's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I think that's basically right.
There's nothing much left to say until people start hearing Pono in person.
Pono demo in L.A. this coming Wednesday.

Though this recent quote from John Hamm is interesting: “30% more engineering is going into it before it’s released in July or August.”

(I guess this is release to manufacture, delivery still October.)
Old 5th May 2014
  #4652
Here for the gear
 

I'm really sorry, but why don't let a chance to DSD ?
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-p...-reloaded.html

I'm not the only one to believe that DSD is the future: Mr Rupert Neve himself said it at 2013 Paris's conference:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGt0KXW_T1Y (from 56:00)

Musically
Pat
Old 5th May 2014
  #4653
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot View Post
This is exactly right. It's not about debate or discussion or possibilities or science or even . . . music. It's just about being able to stick it to someone so they can say to themselves "gee I really stuck it to that guy." The issue doesn't even matter, although it does seem that any kind of discussion about audio quality brings them out in force.
So the fact of really sticking it to the guy, or even the fact of wanting to, invalidates the arguments used? No: it doesn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The blind acceptance that musicians are basically corrupt is amazing. Well it would be if I hadn't seen it so many times on Gearslutz before.
Anyway, isn't the cut 70/30? Presumably 70 to Pono.
Hmmm... I know quite a few musicians, although in a very different and specific field (South Indian Classical music). Some of them may be more or less commercial than others, but I have never even suspected them of being corrupt, in any way! No, of course musicians are not basically corrupt.

But what am I to make of that bull**** video and the people who made it, some of whom, as I said before, were major influences on my life half a century ago.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4654
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioTouch View Post
I'm really sorry, but why don't let a chance to DSD ?
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/new-p...-reloaded.html

I'm not the only one to believe that DSD is the future: Mr Rupert Neve himself said it at 2013 Paris's conference:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGt0KXW_T1Y (from 56:00)

Musically
Pat
DSD fan here. I actually question how much PCM can be improved, as I believe there are issues inherent to this system, regardless of the numbers used to implement it. I suspect it has to do with multi-bit processing. But I'm no scientist, so what do I know?
Old 5th May 2014
  #4655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post

But what am I to make of that bull**** video and the people who made it, some of whom, as I said before, were major influences on my life half a century ago.
Because as I said, it isn't defacto 'bull****' to listen to a music player, think to yourself it's the best music player you've heard, and as such agree to go on film endorsing it.
Whether they thought it was the best music player they'd heard because it really is, or they were subject to 'expectation bias' is a separate debate to the one about greed, corruption and self aggrandisement.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4656
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
20 years ago I could not find an ADC or a microphone that had a wider dynamic range than the auditory system.

There were some few FM recorders that might come kind of close.

I'm sure we will understand even more in 20 years, but we now have the tools to at least proceed with an analysis that isn't limited by the tools.

On the other hand, this mythical "missing now" is just another appeal to the fallacy of ignorance. The fact that we do not know everything does not mean that we can not know something, and in fact, we do know the absolute sensitivity of the ear, for instance, and as such, finding something "missing" would seem to violate (literally, not figuratively) the understanding of physics and mathematics that would seem very well supported indeed.

Note: The ear can hear very close to the actual atmospheric noise due to brownian motion at the eardrum. If you think you're missing something below that, you're making a very interesting claim in physics and thermodynamics. Note also that microphones can detect this particular noise, so that does set a limit on the necessary sensitivity.

So it's not so hard as you imagine to say that "we have the tools" now. Really.

JJ, I'm not buying your conclusion that testing has advanced so much since the mid 90's. But I appreciate your experience and your obvious know how about the science behind this stuff. What I most liked about your presentation is that you continued to point out how many variables there are that can get in the way of what one would expect to find for results.

I think you should stress even more about how the implementation of any system will easily trump the actually abilities of that system to perform. This is why music from the 70's sounds so good, not because the systems they were using were so much better/worse than what we have available today, but because of the abilities and the choices that those using the equipment made.

And also, of course, at how much the actual song and performance can trump all of this.

Just by chance I justed stumbled on this live version of an old Peter Frampton classic. I don't know what this encoding is, but it has dreadful audio, and video. And yet so compelling it is hard to stop listening.

Peter Frampton Baby, I Love Your Way Baby, I Love Your Way Music Video | MetroLyrics
Old 5th May 2014
  #4657
Lives for gear
 

I posted the video of the McGurk efffect as a quick demonstration of how the perception of sound can be drastically varied while keeping the audio exactly the same, I'd never realised how much of an influence non-auditory information could have on auditory perception until I saw that.


Chris
Old 5th May 2014
  #4658
Lives for gear
 

Old 5th May 2014
  #4659
Talking purely about sound, I think as many of today's records sound as good as records from the 70's.
There are equal numbers of excellent musicians and record producers from both eras.
We're always learning how to make better sounding records, and there are both more sophisticated and more accessible tools.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4660
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
DSD fan here. I actually question how much PCM can be improved, as I believe there are issues inherent to this system, regardless of the numbers used to implement it. I suspect it has to do with multi-bit processing. But I'm no scientist, so what do I know?
Hi Sounds Great,
The principle behind DSD is the use of pulse-width modulation or pulse-density modulation where average is proportional to the original signal (analog); by oposition to discretisation use in digitalization of PCM formats: same lenght (bits) on all levels...

Although the discretisation/quantification works very well with numerous process (electrical, temp, radio...etc), this is more complex for Sound/Music; the human hearing is very sensible at details/artifacts and all people don't have the same perception...
DSD principle seems t0 have all required qualities for sound reproduction: impulse response, dynamic, harmonics...etc

SACD (with optical and first generation D/A problems) has led DSD in its fall; but the principle is still relevant even becomes 'fashionable' with the return of the high-resolution...

Musically
Pat
AudioFEEL - "FEEL the Music"
Old 5th May 2014
  #4661
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
DSD fan here. I actually question how much PCM can be improved, as I believe there are issues inherent to this system, regardless of the numbers used to implement it. I suspect it has to do with multi-bit processing. But I'm no scientist, so what do I know?
you're right pcm cannot be improved much, so it continues to suck in so many different ways, each according to the various designers failed attempts at 'improvement'
Old 5th May 2014
  #4662
Here for the gear
 

I forgot one other important point: for have equivalent quality with PCM (DxD) than with DSD, data quantities are disproportionate (1GB for 10mn) while for DSD (even more with DST lossless compression) it is 4 time lesser...
Imagine the power of Processor/DSP/soft/memory needed behind... just for playing Music!
I am an authentic Music lover but too is too!?!

There's also an ecological problem behind...
for Pono, I'm sorry but 300-400$ for a player 'made in china' without innovations, I don't understand!
What will think the future generations?

Musically
Old 5th May 2014
  #4663
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
But what am I to make of that bull**** video and the people who made it, some of whom, as I said before, were major influences on my life half a century ago.
Do what I do, be sad at where western capitalism combined with the internet has taken us, the point where you have to be ridiculously overblown or you'll just be swamped in the noise of culture and ignored. Amazon's 'long tail' concept is no way to start a business. It doesn't matter HOW good you or your product is anymore, there is no way to get to the market though the noise without meeting or beating the level of lies and bull**** out there. That's what a market IS: it is the noise in which we try to be heard, and Pono is not setting the level of hype and lies. They're just keeping up.

That is something of a side-note from the technical business of this thread, but if you're trying to justify or condemn Pono's crazy marketing, it must be understood. I think they're doing pretty well. Rather than marketing substantive lies, they are reserving the bull**** factor for a metaphor, an infographic. The actual product isn't unrealistic in any way, it's not difficult to invent a fancy 24/96 or 192K player with decent analog stages and power supplies these days if you choose to. That is not groundbreaking, just evolutionary, and 'not groundbreaking' won't raise even a ripple in popular culture.

And if they fail, nothing changes, and that would be bad.

I'm all for changing the culture in which we live: I live in the USA and it's been getting more ridiculous and untenable since the Eighties, to the point where I'd have no faith in Pono's chances were they NOT doing what they're doing. I don't want them to be faithful little cobblers toiling in obscurity and making 500 awesome players so I can have one. I want them to shake things up on a mass-market level, induce changes about what's expected and change the mass-market unthinking opinion from,

music is pretty convenient, back in the day people even thought it was important, possibly because they didn't have 'Angry Birds' then

to

music is super important and we haven't been able to connect with it properly for years!

I honestly do believe that the latter is the case. Yes, we can get surprisingly close with CD quality audio when it's DONE RIGHT (how often has that been true?) but the specific artifacts of digital degradation, whether it be quantization, aliasing or lossy compression or ALL of the above, attack the 'meaningfulness' of sound as sound, flattening it and making it sort of 'pod people' audio, stripped of emotional context as conveyed through subtle sonic cues. The big frequency/dynamic stuff remains, but expressiveness is compromised.

There is no technical reason this can't be reversed, it is solely and entirely the result of lots of sonic degradation we completely understand today and can easily avoid. It's not that people resent the idea of devoting the same bandwidth to a new song as they would to a new video: with broadband, they can barely tell the difference in filesize. They've just forgotten why they should care, or have never been exposed to the equivalent of something like 24/48K without also getting the host of added colorations and noise from say vinyl records.

'385K is flying on angel wings' is a pretty cheap and inconsequential line of bull**** if it brings us mass market high resolution audio and people to seek out and listen to that audio. It can mean whatever you want it to mean, and be used for whatever you want it to be used. I'm looking forward to hearing what some of the DnB producers do with high resolution. It's a natural fit as DJs already look for lossless stuff to perform with, knowing that mp3-based DJs sound pretty bad at club volume levels.

I suggest you guys learn to gracefully accept the 'angel wings' bull****. People know it's bull****, but markets won't talk about things unless they're hype and bull****. You're expecting civilized behavior and honesty from a mass phenomenon.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4664
mixmixmix
Guest
So you want a revolution?

Do you need a beat for your verse?

Neil Young used to sing about harvest -

Now everybody's suffering from hearing loss.

Take my soul, my Gearslutz membership,

But give me Pono at 192 KHz
Old 5th May 2014
  #4665
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The blind acceptance that musicians are basically corrupt is amazing. Well it would be if I hadn't seen it so many times on Gearslutz before.
Anyway, isn't the cut 70/30? Presumably 70 to Pono.
I don't think musicians are any more or less corrupt than anybody else. I DO think pono is yet another chance for the record industry to re-monetize the back catalogue. You could buy Neil young 45s, and the same songs on an LP, then buy them on 8 track for your car, and then on cassette, and then on CD, and then on deluxe cd compilations. Lets not forget greatest hits collections and re masters. If you love Neil young, you've probably bought the same songs in multiple formats. That's just gravy for Neil and for the record companies.

But it's been at least a decade since the last new format, the deluxe multi cd collection. Pono presents a chance to sell the same wine in a new bottle.

Neil Young may actually believe the nonsense he says about pono. He may be a very decent guy and a moral human being. But he's got bills and expensive tastes and probably a retinue of people who depend on a revenue stream. Kick starter funds it, and Neil sells a couple hundred thousand copies of Harvest. And he gets to tell himself he's performing some kind of humanitarian mission for greater audio.

Really easy to like pono in those kind of circumstances. "Corrupt" is not the right word.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4666
Gear Maniac
 
Gbar's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
Really easy to like pono in those kind of circumstances. "Corrupt" is not the right word.

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
--Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked
Old 5th May 2014
  #4667
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
If people would like to play with moving average filters and use Audio Units on anything, I made another freebie. I pulled out the whole barrel of tricks, like accumulating the effect of filter taps and noise shaping the reduction to 32 bit floating point for the output buss, and it tacks on the remainder of the setting as a fractional tap so you can fade between integer values when used as a lowpass, but set to integer values it's a straight-up moving average you can check out for tone quality.

Average.dmg (Mac Audio Unit, free to download and use)
(I'm not going to make a new product release thread for this freebie as it would be redundant if it's posted here)

I do think these things sound good, tone-wise, for all that their response is compromised. Do we have examples of moving average filtering commonly available in DAWs, or is it generally the digital-EQ cookbook designs for all filter behaviors? Here's one for AU anyway, I think it's going to sound better than a normal brickwall digital filter. This is apparently what Pono is going to use, set to '2' for 96K or '4' for 192K.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4668
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
I don't think musicians are any more or less corrupt than anybody else. I DO think pono is yet another chance for the record industry to re-monetize the back catalogue.
On an extremely minor scale perhaps.

Obviously this is not going to become a dominant cultural thing. It's going to be one small niche at best.

Everybody needs to effing relax.

- c
Old 5th May 2014
  #4669
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
On an extremely minor scale perhaps.

Obviously this is not going to become a dominant cultural thing. It's going to be one small niche at best.

Everybody needs to effing relax.

- c
I'm very relaxed. thinking is relaxing.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4670
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PB+J View Post
Really easy to like pono in those kind of circumstances. "Corrupt" is not the right word.
Humans are complex individuals. I agree completely about your scenario, it's quite plausible.

It's like the "sell out" claims of musicians. It isn't a simple black/white thing on my end.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4671
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
music is super important and we haven't been able to connect with it properly for years!

I honestly do believe that the latter is the case. Yes, we can get surprisingly close with CD quality audio when it's DONE RIGHT (how often has that been true?) but the specific artifacts of digital degradation, whether it be quantization, aliasing or lossy compression or ALL of the above, attack the 'meaningfulness' of sound as sound, flattening it and making it sort of 'pod people' audio, stripped of emotional context as conveyed through subtle sonic cues. The big frequency/dynamic stuff remains, but expressiveness is compromised.
I won't accept the angel wings BS any more than I accept $5k interconnects. BS needs to be called out as BS.

As far as connecting with music, how are you going to put the genie back in the bottle? People didn't listen to full albums (and really listen) because audio quality was great. They did so because it was considered an entertainment opportunity, and one of a lot fewer entertainment opportunities. How do you get people to go backwards when there are SO MANY MORE options? Answer... I don't think you can.

The world has changed.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4672
I don't think audio quality has much if anything to do with people connecting to music. People have been connecting with music via AM radio since music was first broadcast.

It's competing entertainment products plain and simple. Video games, pretty much the entire history of television on demand, social media, the internet! None of this was around during the time of recorded musics peak.

EDIT: Napster and Youtube are definitely part of the decline in revenue but without them music would still be in the place it is when trying to compete with other entertainment. They might have even helped since at least people are listening to music and going to shows.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4673
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
I don't think audio quality has much if anything to do with people connecting to music. People have been connecting with music via AM radio since music was first broadcast.
That is really too general. Steely Dan's 'Aja' would not have been such a big hit without the fidelity involved at a time when home audio systems (for average people) had jumped in leaps and bounds.

But it's true, at the same time there were still plenty of people getting most of their music from AM radio, or something like this:

Old 5th May 2014
  #4674
Gear Guru
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
I don't think audio quality has much if anything to do with people connecting to music. People have been connecting with music via AM radio since music was first broadcast.

.
Depends on how you measure 'quality'. The sensory quality of a medium most definitely has a part in it, or people wouldn't love and connect with the technically faulty sound of vinyl so much. And to my mind mp3's have the lousiest sensory score going. Like music behind a wall in some way. And yes, all the frequencies are still there, so that obviously isn't the measurement at play here.......

Having said that, mp3's won't STOP people connecting with a good tune. But that again is a silly reason to then based on that say, it must be 'good enough'. IMHO
Old 5th May 2014
  #4675
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
That is really too general. Steely Dan's 'Aja' would not have been such a big hit without the fidelity involved at a time when home audio systems (for average people) had jumped in leaps and bounds.
..but if the music sucked it wouldn't have mattered...



And also back then there weren't the immense competing entertainment technologies either.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4676
Motown legend
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
...EDIT: Napster and Youtube are definitely part of the decline in revenue but without them music would still be in the place it is when trying to compete with other entertainment. They might have even helped since at least people are listening to music and going to shows.
I hate to break it to you but Napster cost most of the current generation of young musicians any opportunity for a career in music unless they happened to be rich. Music has always needed to compete with other entertainment. Today the talent pool in a position to compete is much much smaller than it was prior to the onset of music looting.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4677
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
..but if the music sucked it wouldn't have mattered...


No argument there!


Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post

And also back then there weren't the immense competing entertainment technologies either.
Absolutely, which was why people invested so much more time and money into their audio playback systems, and actually listened to whole albums at one sitting.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4678
Lives for gear
 
nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
I hate to break it to you but Napster cost most of the current generation of young musicians any opportunity for a career in music unless they happened to be rich. Music has always needed to compete with other entertainment. Today the talent pool in a position to compete is much much smaller than it was prior to the onset of music looting.
I find it hard to understand how there are people who still believe the entertainment opportunities of the internet in general haven't completely disrupted ALL areas of the entertainment industry. We can argue how bad Napster/bittorrent have been, but it cannot be argued that the existence of broadband internet and the entertainment options there (including youtube, netflix, etc) have had a HUGE financial and cultural impact on music as an entertainment industry.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4679
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Absolutely, which was why people invested so much more time and money into their audio playback systems, and actually listened to whole albums at one sitting.
I don't know about you, but I think most of the music reproduction systems SUCKED back then unless you spent a boatload of money. Today even a $150 iPod dock sounds WAY better than those expensive boomboxies or tabletop stereos.

So at least there is some progress there.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4680
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
I don't know about you, but most of the music reproduction systems SUCKED back then unless you spent a boatload of money. Today even a $150 iPod dock sounds WAY better than those expensive boomboxies or tabletop stereos.
A boatload is relative, I guess, but almost everyone I knew saved their money and bought decent systems and speakers. It was like once you got a car, the next thing big purchase was going to be your stereo system. And after that you were spending any extra money you could save on that new record put out by your favorite group.
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