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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 5th May 2014
  #4681
Gear Addict
 

This doesn't apply to audible differences between 192k, 96k, and 44.1k per se, but there was a paper from 2010 AES that showed differences audible in blind test, depending on the methods used by mastering studios to create their 44.1 masters. If a mastering studio masters an album at 88.2k (or 96 or 192), and then creates the 44.1 masters for CD, etc. by sample rate converting from the 88.2k master (in this case the SRC used in the test was Pyramix SRC ca. 2010), it's entirely possible that the 88.2k and the 44.1 downsample can be differentiated in a blind test.

How common this is in mastering is a question (the paper says it's common practice). But some mastering studios might master for each sampling rate independently. The audibility of other sampling rate converters doing the same thing is also a question. Maybe they all sound the same, maybe not. They don't measure the same.

But this is what's sold to the public. The HDTracks buyer would receive 88.2k (or 96 or 192) files, unconverted. The CD buyer would receive 44.1 converted from the higher rate master, and the difference may or may not be audible in blind test. I would think in the Pono file comparison they're using these commercially available sources (commercial CD and HDTracks type hi-res files), so given that, they just might be able to tell the difference in blind test, because the CDs might be downsamples. Not saying all downsamples done with every different SRC can be differentiated, but that's a big question.

The other interesting thing about the test was the fact that one orchestral piece could be differentiated 88.2k vs 44.1k (recordings, not downsample). But they couldn't differentiate 4 other musical pieces. I just wish there were more blind test results like this available.

44.1 vs 88.2 ABX report at AES - Hydrogenaudio Forums

sample rate discrimination

Last edited by walter88; 5th May 2014 at 08:15 PM.. Reason: added (the paper says it's common practice)
Old 5th May 2014
  #4682
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.
It had a massive impact for sure. The question though is would people have continued to fork over the money they did on music in place of other entertainment? It all kinda happened at once relatively speaking, napster, itunes, Internet, streaming, netflix, etc.. so I am not sure that can be answered.

Music has always had to compete with other entertainment but nothing remotely close to today.

If I am reading right about the talent pool, I disagree. There are plenty of great musicians writing and recording great music, it's just not the novelty it used to be. Plus folks are able to find music they like without radio stations being the only avenue, so it's much harder to promote artists into stardom.

Also I think we need to consider the economy in general. It's been a downhill slide for the middle class since the early 80s.

Personally I don't listen to commercial radio and I buy all my music, which is mostly from friend recommendations or browsing iTunes "people who bought also bought" feature.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4683
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I tend to find new music with the Spotify, "Related artists" feature.

Chris
Old 5th May 2014
  #4684
Lives for gear
 

Old 5th May 2014
  #4685
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
It is FROM THE VIDEO

and in the video Neil Young himself narrates this analogy

96k HE SAYS is "still underwater" and 192 you are "finally coming up for air". The Pono people are unambiguous on this point. 96k is still "compromising" audio quality and not until you get to 192 are you even breathing air.

there are frequent mentions of the underwater listening analogy throughout the video and throughout the Pono promotional material. To miss this point, or pretend this does not mean what they obviously intend it to mean is to be "closed minded" - only in favor of Pono's tactics. IMO, the tactics are unacceptable unless they can PROVE these differences are audible. Because other people studies have show they are NOT audible.

the testimonials too, seem to be framing their responses in much the same manner. Going from 192 "all the way back down" to CD is like "whoa!" Not back down to mp3, mind you, back down to CD. etc etc. .. I strongly suspect many of them were 'coached' on Pono's metaphor of the relative efficacy of each sample rate doubling.
My first protools class was with an engineer teacher back in the late 90's, who explained that Neil Young had "golden ears". Young was at a local studio and he could hear the difference between the latest protools system and analog, and young stated that analog sounded better! Nobody else in the studio could hear that back then, (they were using UA convertors IIRC???). They (engineers) all thought digital was better, pure and simple.

My teacher then went on to explain that "NO PRO ENGINEERS USE TAPE MACHINES ANYMORE, AND HAVEN'T FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS".

Me being a total newb, I just believed it.
All you needed was an 02R and PT and you could make platinum records!

It took me years to learn how wrong my teacher was.
ALL my favorite recordings from 90s-mid 2000's turned out to be recorded on 2" tape???...mixed OTB???

and I learned the hard way how Neil Young really does have great instinct for tone.

BTW, Great guitarists eventually become insane tone junkies, and they eventually develop their ear so much that they can notice tiny differences in sound. Like pick material and density, or brand of strings, or wood type, the type of finish on the guitar, the sound of the neck,... it gets crazy! They are EXPERTS in Midrange sound.

anyway, my point is...
...that he has a point, in that trying to capture that analog sound and play it back and have it sound as true to source as possible, 192khz gets the closest... but is still a neutered version of the real thing, and sounds much like the difference between a plugin and the real thing. You likely wouldn't be able to know this at all if you monitor through any type of AD/DA conversion.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4686
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
JJ, I'm not buying your conclusion that testing has advanced so much since the mid 90's.
Well, you have your opinion, I have mine. I can support mine. You seem to think science is a consumer behavior where you buy it.

Enjoy your fallacy of ignorance.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4687
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioTouch View Post
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...

Let's be clear. DSD is a noise-shaped version of PCM.

Some people have invented a variety of new names for it that are not necessarily wrong, but that are quite unnecessary.

As to your correspondents' comment that "multibit" has some issues, your correspondent needs to realize that were his or her beliefs true, many things in the modern world would not work.

That kind of mythology is part of the reason that audio does not move ahead.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4688
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
I don't think audio quality has much if anything to do with people connecting to music.
And this is really the truth, too. "Musical details" are far above the resolution ability of most any delivery system. Musical details are not subtle in the sense that they are well above auditory thresholds. Any subtlety is in the performance, not in the ability of the ear to detect it. (Of course, cognitive focusing in some individuals may never lead to their noticing it.)
Old 5th May 2014
  #4689
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Timothy Lawler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
...Napster cost most of the current generation of young musicians any opportunity for a career in music...
From what I observed at the time ('99 or so) Napster's effect was a pivotal one, and from what I've observed since, it was the start of a trend.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4690
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
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
Good enough is totally subjective and dependent on each person and their playback system.

Fidelity is separate from connecting with music as far as I can tell. Personally I can enjoy a song on an AM radio, mp3s or AAC in my car or a hi res file in my studio.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4691
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 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:

It was a bit general and people did seen to jump on improvements in fidelity back then when the improvements were undeniable.

Unless it's unlistenable though I don't think fidelity really matters in regards to connecting to music.

In other words, people are not going to start connecting better with and listening to more music just because of something like Pono.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4692
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Timothy Lawler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner:
I don't think audio quality has much if anything to do with people connecting to music.
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
And this is really the truth, too. "Musical details" are far above the resolution ability of most any delivery system. Musical details are not subtle in the sense that they are well above auditory thresholds. Any subtlety is in the performance, not in the ability of the ear to detect it...
Any musician would have to love reading that.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4693
j_j
Lives for gear
<snip - continuation>

If you object to filters, then perhaps you are more interested in baseband PCM? What's your problem with the filters? (Btw, yes, in some implementations the filters are lame, that does not indict the entire technology.)

DSD is simply noise-shaped PCM. That's it. That's all it is. Live with it.

You can go read the deck I cited at PowerPoint Presentations from recent (or not so recent) meetings. on conversion technologies if you like. You'll find an acknowledged expert (me) saying just what I just said here.

Or are you just here to stir up nonsense and make crazy allegations about PCM?
Old 5th May 2014
  #4694
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
Good enough is totally subjective and dependent on each person and their playback system.

Fidelity is separate from connecting with music as far as I can tell. Personally I can enjoy a song on an AM radio, mp3s or AAC in my car or a hi res file in my studio.
So can I. But I won't enjoy them equally.

My point was more that there is a thing that isn't to do with technical correctness that has an influence on how people connect with the recorded music, which makes listening off tape, vinyl or digital feel different. FEEL different.

If this thing makes digital feel different in a good way I will like it. A lot.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4695
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Timothy Lawler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
...there is a thing that isn't to do with technical correctness that has an influence on how people connect with the recorded music, which makes listening off tape, vinyl or digital feel different. FEEL different.

If this thing makes digital feel different in a good way I will like it.
Well said. Poetic, actually.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4696
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
It had a massive impact for sure. The question though is would people have continued to fork over the money they did on music in place of other entertainment?.
They would if innovative new music from people their own age were more compelling. The only place one can learn to create compelling and innovative music is on stage in front of an audience. The evaporation of angel investment caused by looting has shrunk the number of people in a financial position to innovate.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4697
Lives for gear
 

the only way a higher fidelity format is going to take off with the masses is if it is interchangeable across many devices and systems and is basically free. Being paid for music downloads is gonzo. Way too much supply hardly any demand.

if it cant go on a smartphone and flashdrive and cost next to nothing, it will have zero chance beyond a tiny niche of crazed audiophiles who most likely never made good music anyways and only listen for technical reasons so they can sit around like some hipsters talking 5000khz and a million bit jargon while sipping absynth or whatever it is they sip on.

i mean, if i can't just think about playing a song, on my smartphone, and have it wirelessly stream to whatever stereo system i want it on, for free or near free, then what good is it?

i mean, if i can't have my personal robot hit the dance floor with me, my living room, as i blare some badass mp3 on some HQ cheap stereo system while wearing google glasses sending emails and posting ranting messages while surfing redtube for the latest pov porn which by then will be every celebrity and musician anyways, then what they hell good is it?

and this guy wants me to spend $500 on an already outdated toblerone bar and $20 for some album made 40 years ago that i already have on every device necessary?? crazy horse indeed...
Old 5th May 2014
  #4698
Quote:
Originally Posted by 21doors View Post
My first protools class was with an engineer teacher back in the late 90's, who explained that Neil Young had "golden ears". Young was at a local studio and he could hear the difference between the latest protools system and analog, and young stated that analog sounded better! Nobody else in the studio could hear that back then, (they were using UA convertors IIRC???). They (engineers) all thought digital was better, pure and simple.

My teacher then went on to explain that "NO PRO ENGINEERS USE TAPE MACHINES ANYMORE, AND HAVEN'T FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS".

Me being a total newb, I just believed it.
All you needed was an 02R and PT and you could make platinum records!

It took me years to learn how wrong my teacher was.
ALL my favorite recordings from 90s-mid 2000's turned out to be recorded on 2" tape???...mixed OTB???

and I learned the hard way how Neil Young really does have great instinct for tone.

BTW, Great guitarists eventually become insane tone junkies, and they eventually develop their ear so much that they can notice tiny differences in sound. Like pick material and density, or brand of strings, or wood type, the type of finish on the guitar, the sound of the neck,... it gets crazy! They are EXPERTS in Midrange sound.

anyway, my point is...
...that he has a point, in that trying to capture that analog sound and play it back and have it sound as true to source as possible, 192khz gets the closest... but is still a neutered version of the real thing, and sounds much like the difference between a plugin and the real thing. You likely wouldn't be able to know this at all if you monitor through any type of AD/DA conversion.
Well that settles it. Thread over.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4699
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.
Quote:
They would if innovative new music from people their own age were more compelling. The only place one can learn to create compelling and innovative music is on stage in front of an audience. The evaporation of angel investment caused by looting has shrunk the number of people in a financial position to innovate.
So freaking agree.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4700
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
So can I. But I won't enjoy them equally.

My point was more that there is a thing that isn't to do with technical correctness that has an influence on how people connect with the recorded music, which makes listening off tape, vinyl or digital feel different. FEEL different.

If this thing makes digital feel different in a good way I will like it. A lot.
My brain seems to adjust to whatever I am listening too and I feel it just fine, unless it's a broken system or something. Some of my fondest music listening memories are driving around in my buddies Geo Metro jamming 90s grundge music from the stock cassette deck.

I will check out Pono if someone I know buys one but I highly doubt it's fidelity will be reason to drop itunes and their match service. Does Pono even allow for cloud streaming? Currently with itunes match I have my entire music library accessible on mulitple devices at what I consider a fine fidelity. Can I hear subtle differences between itunes and a CD in the studio, yes but does it really matter to my enjoyment, not at all. Getting the itch to hear something and being able to instantly bring it up to listen to makes me feel awesome!

Now tracking and mixing is a totally different deal, I will tweak and tweak for hours if needed to get something sounding just right but that's when we are creating and not just appreciating.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4701
Let's get this straight, music is STILL HUGELY IMPORTANT.
All the big mega-corps (Apple, Google, Samsung) are fighting over music streaming. Two of the winter shows my local commercial station are heavily promoting and which will determine their prime time ratings this year are X Factor and The Voice. My local General Motors car company tells you about Pandora connectivity in their tv ad for their biggest selling car. They don't tell you anything about the engine or the safety features.
People have just stopped buying music because they can stream it cheaply from Spotify, or free from YouTube, or copy it from friends or download it free from the Internet.
I agree there is little development money around, but there is still innovative music being made.
The music scene is just hugely splintered now.
In the 70's you liked rock, soul, country or jazz (I'm over simplifying). And when a big name artist released an album, it was an event and many people bought it. Now, people won't buy music that doesn't fit into their favourite sub-division of a genre. And there are thousands of genre sub-divisions.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4702
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
My brain seems to adjust to whatever I am listening too and I feel it just fine, unless it's a broken system or something. Some of my fondest music listening memories are driving around in my buddies Geo Metro jamming 90s grundge music from the stock cassette deck.
You are still not getting my point, or you wouldn't have used cassette as an example of low quality. In my reality music on a cassette has something an mp3 will never have. Something good.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4703
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

All music is sold to small niches. Audiophiles are music fans willing to pay for the best quality they can get. People who don't pay are not worth wasting time on.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
They would if innovative new music from people their own age were more compelling. The only place one can learn to create compelling and innovative music is on stage in front of an audience. The evaporation of angel investment caused by looting has shrunk the number of people in a financial position to innovate.
I agree but I think there are other factors with the current generation of music listeners, the lack of expendable income and more forms of entertainment that didn't exist even 10 years ago for example.

Look at things like guitar hero too, I don't know the numbers of kids who played that instead of learning an actual instrument but I bet it's quite a few. That must have translated into kids who lack some music appreciation. Add in the cutting of vital music and art programs in public school.

It really has been the perfect **** storm for the music industry but here we are. Personally I don't think Pono is going to do anything to help the situation. Not saying you're claiming that just to clarify.

The angel investment is an interesting thing. I have thought as a society we really need to consider some sort of way to encourage more art all the way around and the means to let artists be artists that is something outside of just the private sector. But in this economy I don't see any sort of social investment in art happening any time soon.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4705
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
You are still not getting my point, or you wouldn't have used cassette as an example of low quality. In my reality music on a cassette has something an mp3 will never have. Something good.
Oh it was low quality and I much prefer listening to 90s grundge music in my Jetta via the aux jack from my iphone today. I disagree cassette has anything good in it beyond some fond memories. No way at all I would want to listen to anything on a cassette today.

My point was the crappy metro stereo and horrible fidelity of cassette didn't get in the way of "feeling" the music and creating memories.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4706
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonwagner View Post
I agree but I think there are other factors with the current generation of music listeners, the lack of expendable income and more forms of entertainment that didn't exist even 10 years ago for example.
Completely agree, and it cannot be emphasized enough.

Quote:
It really has been the perfect **** storm for the music industry but here we are. Personally I don't think Pono is going to do anything to help the situation.
I agree there too.

Quote:
The angel investment is an interesting thing. I have thought as a society we really need to consider some sort of way to encourage more art all the way around and the means to let artists be artists that is something outside of just the private sector. But in this economy I don't see any sort of social investment in art happening any time soon.
This has always made me sad... and it's only getting worse. I wouldn't recommend anyone get into music as a career as a young person. Even years ago you were OK if you were making mainstream music OR you were aggressive and willing to chase grants. The grants have really decreased a lot, and even the mainstream people aren't making money anymore.

I wish we (the royal we... people in general) would support the arts more, but it seems with the corporatization of pretty much everything that is GONE unless you are using music as either a loss leader or as content for some new startup technology.

It's not just music, it's the visual arts as well. When kickstarter is all we've got.. we don't have anything. Maybe you might argue that kickstarter is the NEW artist support model... maybe that's true, but I think it's worse.

I might sound cynical, but I'm one that looks at change as a mixed bag. There are lots of positives. But I don't know how we "save" the arts.

(EDIT... I know there isn't much Pono content in this post, sorry if it's gone OT a bit. I don't think Pono will save the arts, that's for sure).
Old 5th May 2014
  #4707
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
Well, you have your opinion, I have mine. I can support mine. You seem to think science is a consumer behavior where you buy it.

Enjoy your fallacy of ignorance.
Well you haven't really done that, except to state that it is so.

And you really have a rude air about you, your credentials don't make that ok.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4708
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
Let's be clear. DSD is a noise-shaped version of PCM.
Ok, so how does that one bit PCM sound?
Old 5th May 2014
  #4709
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
All music is sold to small niches. Audiophiles are music fans willing to pay for the best quality they can get. People who don't pay are not worth wasting time on.
People are paying for music, but they are paying very little to access it from Spotify and many of the newer streaming services (Apple radio, Google Play etc).
Music is huge business to the most successful corporations in America.
Those non-music based corps have jumped over the music industry while the music industry was asleep at the wheel.
Claims the difficult live scene has decimated music, or that music doesn't matter to most people any more are as wide of the mark as claims 96khz is like listening to music underwater.
If there was little interest and not much money in supplying music, no share holder focussed corp would get so heavily involved in music delivery.
Old 5th May 2014
  #4710
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
You'll find an acknowledged expert (me) saying just what I just said here.
Well that sure is reassuring.
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