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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 14th May 2014
  #4921
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Portable recorder? What format would it be recording on?
I don't care...I'm just interested in seeing the amplitude waveforms. 24/96 if you have it, tracked at -20 to -10 dBFS. :-) I can almost guarantee the PONO track will look like this:

and the CD or MP3 version will look something like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by walter88 View Post
Having said that, I hope this doesn't become a trend (CD smashed, 96k "hi-res" not smashed), because I think it's backwards thinking BS. Treating the CD like a BS radio format or something, when it's capable of reproducing as perfectly as 96k, as shown in all blind testing to this point, when the two sampling rates are done right. Somebody's going to have to have the courage to take that less smashed mastering treatment for "hi-res" and put it on the CD. And see that it sells just as many records as the smashed would.
Agreed. I would not put it past the record companies to pull a fast one like this though. Especially considering "HD Audio" releases are a premium at the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
I know jack about the Pyramix, but if it has +-.5dB ripple in the passband, that can be audible by itself and is also likely to cause pre-echo that is audible.

I said this before, but some malicious person came roaring in to distract from actual discussion, as usual.
Yep. In the Bob Katz Mastering book they say the exact same thing. I believe they conducted a listening test in the 90s and the passband ripple, even if it was slight, caused an audible difference. They purposely made a SRC with passband ripple because one that had zero ripple was inaudible vs. the higher sample rate.
Attached Thumbnails
Launch of Pono-notsmashed.jpg   Launch of Pono-smashed.jpg  
Old 14th May 2014
  #4922
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Right,

Between coming up with every excuse in the world to explain why it might sound better, without ever accepting the possibility that it might sound better,

And the nastiness being exhibited by some of the resident experts on the subject,

And the fact that pretty much NOBODY here has even heard the damn thing,
I think I've had enough.

Carry on gentlemen.
Old 14th May 2014
  #4923
mixmixmix
Guest
Sound great, I hear you. The "nastyness" is definitely there. No ABX test needed. I would call it the lack of good manners, an inability to keep discussion civilized without resorting to personal attacks.

To the remaining posters -

Could you please make sure that your posts will not result in other participants leaving the thread anymore.
Old 14th May 2014
  #4924
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Right,

Between coming up with every excuse in the world to explain why it might sound better, without ever accepting the possibility that it might sound better,

And the nastiness being exhibited by some of the resident experts on the subject,

And the fact that pretty much NOBODY here has even heard the damn thing,
I think I've had enough.

Carry on gentlemen.
Sounds Great, I'm sorry. I was serious in my question, but now I see I didn't really read your sentence correctly. You said you could hear the distortion "more clearly on the vinyl than on the CD", so you COULD hear the distortion somewhat on the CD (my mistake), and it was definitely part of the original recording. Honestly I'd like to hear what you're talking about, if you'd be willing to give a track and time..
Old 14th May 2014
  #4925
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
And the nastiness being exhibited by some of the resident experts on the subject,
I'm kind of curious. Are you referring to me, or to the people who want to put false position at my feet, so to speak?
Old 14th May 2014
  #4926
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
While he is making generalizations that do not match my experience, I have seen some very badly constructed DSP in my life, including but not limited to:
Too short word length in the calculation (no single precision float does not always suffice, damnit)
Poor dithering (including none or wrong)
Fixed point processing that just can't possibly work
Failure to properly control aliasing in nonlinear operations
Gross examples of poor gain structure
There's more, too.
I feel it's a gray area most of the time: even a mere single precision floating point buss is enough to retain the build-up of resolution problems (THAT is pretty much what I meant about over-processing, every little math operation gives you a bit of dirt along with the result and with enough precision this dirt builds up w.r.t extremely heavy processing). And single precision float IS the buss most of us are stuck with, though it's certainly enough for simpler purposes.

No dithering is extremely common, especially if you're not going to 16 bit where it's expected. You have to dither to 24 bit as well. 'wrong' is a whole other debate, says the 'boutique dither maven'

Not sure what fixed point processing you mean. Could this be an NDA area? I'm reminded of older versions of certain DAWs that started out using a fixed point buss, and if you moved a fader, things just disintegrated. I knew totally untechnical people who heard problems with that.

Failure to control aliasing is a plague. All us software guys are stuck with it, and if we do crazy upsampling to deal with its effects all we get is the damage done by typically not very good SRC. And the more refined the SRC, the more heavy the overprocessing typically has to be. I've had to resort to weird attempts to 'diffract' the aliasing and make it act less like aliasing, which I'm not really satisfied with. I've had situations where the original, totally aliasing plugin got preferred even though I'd suppressed the aliasing by 6 db or more, probably due to the simplicity of the original design. It's a mess, and a limiting factor. It would be great if we could do digital mixes with just very simple summing and tone shaping, but in this day and age that's a very hard sell.

When we talk about digital audio having 'no sound of its own and the lack of analog colorations', one key point being disregarded is ripple. I think it's very suggestive that the 'wonderful Pono filter' does a slow and sloppy leaky roll-off, because when you do a clean and perfect roll-off you get ripple simply by the removal of the high frequencies: the filter concept ITSELF makes, for instance, square-wave tops wiggly. That is the shape of brick-walling the highs. When you consider that any phenomena way up there is going to be interpreted by the ear as 'super duper close' because it's mega-highs that cannot transmit far through free air, it makes you wonder about the wisdom of trying to pull off a super-sharp brickwall filter in a playback format, ever.
Old 14th May 2014
  #4927
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
I'm kind of curious. Are you referring to me, or to the people who want to put false position at my feet, so to speak?
I really am done with this whole Pono discussion, honest.

But as long as you ask, I'll just say that it is interesting that you brought up feet, I'll let you decide if the shoe fits.
Old 14th May 2014
  #4928
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
But as long as you ask, I'll just say that it is interesting that you brought up feet, I'll let you decide if the shoe fits.
So, you can't handle being told you're wrong, and when you are, you immediately cry "bully" and accuse others of misbehavior.

Right. I understand this, it's common among people who can't bring forth actual evidence for their claim.
Old 14th May 2014
  #4929
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Right,

Between coming up with every excuse in the world to explain why it might sound better, without ever accepting the possibility that it might sound better,

And the nastiness being exhibited by some of the resident experts on the subject,

And the fact that pretty much NOBODY here has even heard the damn thing,
I think I've had enough.

Carry on gentlemen.
The people behind PONO are knocking the CD format...which is a perfectly fine format. Watching that Kickstarter video with all the famous musicians and record producers/company CEOs, it's like they are FINALLY admitting that the loudness wars was a mistake. Some of them may be too ignorant to even know WHY the music from PONO sounds better than CD or MP3.
Old 14th May 2014
  #4930
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

To be fair, a huge percentage of CD reissues were train wrecks no matter how good a CD could potentially be.

I've been very embarrassed by what came out on CD of many tracks I worked on during the '60s-'80s. The vinyl, especially from the initial run, sounded much better. One of the reasons I know this is that a friend sent me some CD-Rs made from some of the original vinyl pressings.
Old 14th May 2014
  #4931
Lives for gear
 
nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmixmix View Post
Could you please make sure that your posts will not result in other participants leaving the thread anymore.
People will come and go. I'm not going refrain from saying something reasonable just because it might not make someone else feel warm and fuzzy.

He already came back, interestingly enough.

There have been a few posters who aren't very open minded to the possibility that they are wrong, and those people will ultimately have a hard time learning from others.

For the record, there has been some incredible information shared by some very knowledgable people. I can see through things that might offend my sensitivity if there is meat there.
Old 14th May 2014
  #4932
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
To be fair, a huge percentage of CD reissues were train wrecks no matter how good a CD could potentially be.

I've been very embarrassed by what came out on CD of many tracks I worked on during the '60s-'80s. The vinyl, especially from the initial run, sounded much better. One of the reasons I know this is that a friend sent me some CD-Rs made from some of the original vinyl pressings.
No doubt. It's a shame a lot of commercial re-masters weren't very masterfully done. Someone needs to track down MFSL's (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) custom Studer A80, get ahold of the original master tapes and stick output cables into the highest quality 2-track converter out there (I hear LavryGold AD122-96MkIII, Burl B2 Bomber ADC or Prism Sound Dream AD-2 are very nice). I'll do it...I need some work, LOL!

Release two versions...one that is direct from the tape machine and no changes have been applied. Then another, where high quality noise reduction is applied and the loudest peak goes to about -1.0 dBFS. No other modifications.
Old 15th May 2014
  #4933
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
To be fair, a huge percentage of CD reissues were train wrecks no matter how good a CD could potentially be.
No high frequencies left on tape, compressed to (bleep), filtered to take out noise, remixed because some junior tape operator knew better than Roger Waters, ...

If you're sensing a pet peeve in there somewhere, yeah.
Old 15th May 2014
  #4934
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
One of the reasons I know this is that a friend sent me some CD-Rs made from some of the original vinyl pressings.

I can find a couple of examples where my personal LP copy would have provided a better master, and my LP's have been played a bit, oh yeah.
Old 15th May 2014
  #4935
Lives for gear
 
nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

This is a good read, and it's tangentially related.
Old 15th May 2014
  #4936
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
What is? It looks like the thread is breaking down under the strain.
Old 15th May 2014
  #4937
Gear Addict
 

Found this old blog post from 2011:
Listening to the 'Harvest' Studio Master with Neil Young - Music
Was this before any Pono prototypes?
Old 16th May 2014
  #4938
j_j
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj View Post
What is? It looks like the thread is breaking down under the strain.
The point being, if decent masters are used, Pono could have an entirely artificial advantage. Note "could", please.
Old 16th May 2014
  #4939
Old 16th May 2014
  #4940
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
The point being, if decent masters are used, Pono could have an entirely artificial advantage. Note "could", please.
"Flat masters" is what John Hamm says in CarmenC's video. That's what they expect to get from the record labels, the 192k flat archives mostly. And he said they're not interested in mastering, so supposedly wouldn't even tweak. If that's how it turns out, what they'll be selling won't be directly comparable to anything really. Certainly not for comparison of sampling rates.

Last edited by walter88; 16th May 2014 at 11:53 AM.. Reason: added C
Old 16th May 2014
  #4941
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
The point being, if decent masters are used, Pono could have an entirely artificial advantage. Note "could", please.
Does it matter whether the advantage is 'artificial' or not? Surely the point of the the 'Pono ecosystem' is that people have a better listening experience.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4942
Lives for gear
 

But what is the "flat master"? Is it the 2-track that goes to the mastering engineer, or the one that comes back? Even if individual tracks are OK, some "mastering" is usually necessary to make the tracks into a more cohesive whole. How often does the mastering engineer produce both crushed and uncrushed versions? Remember that Pono will get whatever has been signed off by the artists and labels. So while I hope that we'll get "uncrushed" versions, I'm not holding my breath. Offering uncrushed versions will certainly be a strong selling point for "us", and offer Pono a differentiation from the competition, but I have my doubts that it will be compelling for the "mass" market. Pono need to make it fashionable and desirable.

My other worry is what versions we'll get of classic albums. Nirvana's "Nevermind" is a good example. No-one complained that it wasn't loud enough when it was first released, but the recent remasters are much more compressed. Both versions were presumably "approved", but the remaster is the only one being offered. Which one will Pono sell?
Old 17th May 2014
  #4943
Lives for gear
 

@^@^$%$% Double post bug... and the "delete" function doesn't work.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4944
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Hills View Post
My other worry is what versions we'll get of classic albums. Nirvana's "Nevermind" is a good example. No-one complained that it wasn't loud enough when it was first released, but the recent remasters are much more compressed. Both versions were presumably "approved", but the remaster is the only one being offered. Which one will Pono sell?
Marketing answer? "The first one, that you can't get anywhere else". They'd be idiots not to make it sound obviously different, and the work of 'differing' it has been done by the newer CD remastering wrecking it to fit in with the state of commercial audio.

May or may not be really 'flat transfers' but they would be absolute fools not to run with that marketing angle and claim they are selling you the 'real' music for the first time ever. This holds for something like Nirvana, too. Of course, which Nirvana? Butch Vig's? Or Steve Albini's? Do you remix Nevermind to take away the fancy mixing tricks and make it sound like they just put up mics and hit record?

But that aside, 'original mix transferred flat' is clearly the marketing answer. Much like they'd be getting the original quirky mixes of 'Anthem Of The Sun' and 'Aoxomoxoa' from the Dead, and selling those. They're the ones you can't go buy on a CD from the regular music industry. THOSE ones.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4945
Gear Head
 

Quote:
the original quirky mixes of 'Anthem Of The Sun' and 'Aoxomoxoa' from the Dead
I'd buy those! In a boxed set, complete with signed copies of the correspondence between the Dead and the studio execs about the time they spent just turning knobs to see what happened

But seriously, "studio master" has become a meaningless label for the consumers to lap up ...and lap it up they will.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4946
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by j_j View Post
The point being, if decent masters are used, Pono could have an entirely artificial advantage. Note "could", please.
Indeed.

And that would be great, because Pono would have become the reason for people to unpack said better masters to be enjoyed. And it would also be the reason for people to feed the Pono system masters to compete with them for new releases.......all great stuff. Can't but pull things upwards.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4947
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

There are issues other than sound quality. Can 192x24 be turned into AAC or MP3 relatively undamaged using "free" software?

It might be a lot less convenient for looting.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4948
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
There are issues other than sound quality. Can 192x24 be turned into AAC or MP3 relatively undamaged using "free" software?

It might be a lot less convenient for looting.
Great.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4949
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
Laughable guessing in this thread by compulsive posters who MUST have the last word. I've never seen anything like it.
Old 17th May 2014
  #4950
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post
There are issues other than sound quality. Can 192x24 be turned into AAC or MP3 relatively undamaged using "free" software?
It might be a lot less convenient for looting.
Nope, in several ways. It's trivially easy to convert into whatever mp3 you want, there is nothing inconvenient about that process compared to any other source audio (hell, if you were doing resampling to get around DRM you could do no better or easier than to patch a cable between a Pono and your 1/8" input jack), but the idea of it being 'relatively undamaged' is laughable.

There is no way to get music more trivial or distributable than by mp3s and the internet. I've seen a reference on another forum to a music-searching webpage that seems to hook onto youtube or something. I did a quick search for 'crush all boxes', my little prog project. At the TOP of the list above all the Zappa bootlegs was my tunes, with download links in various mp3 formats conveniently provided.

One of the tracks has 89 views TOTAL. The other has 67. They have existed for less than a month and a half. Yet there they were, right at the top of the list (Chrome wouldn't play 'em but that's another story). I do believe that, with the right web browser, anyone could grab a crappy 128K dub off there and pretend they were listening to the music in ring-tone-o-vision.

Because if you don't care, it doesn't matter if it's 128K, does it?

But if people get into Pono, maybe there's a chance for listeners to treat this sort of thing as guide posts by which they can hunt down the musicians they want to engage with more seriously. Reach out and say, sell me your 192K/24 fancy version. I can tell there's something there I want more of. Gimme the good stuff.

I doubt that's going to be happening for me, but maybe defining a quality level and a new market by 'fanciness' will give listeners a boot in the butt to engage with musicians on a level of exchanging money for noise again. I think the wacky Toblerone thing helps. It's a funky awkward device that gives you 'impossibly more awesome sound and puts the musicians right there with you'. If they're right there with you like people in your presence, maybe you'll start thinking of them as people and not filenames stripped of metadata. It's easy to think of mp3s as bare filenames because they FEEL like there isn't much there but audio shorthand.

But it has to stem from people's reaction to other people communicating in the form of music, and I'm not sure what comes first, the chicken or the egg.
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