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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 14th March 2014
  #481
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
OF COURSE, if one turns the volume up to abnormally high levels and focuses on reverb and fade tails, it is relatively trivial to differentiate.

And, of course, it always makes sense to capture and produce at 24.

I would, in many ways, be very comfortable with a move to 20 or even 24 bit delivery formats. (That said, any such move would just about HAVE to be accompanied by widespread adoption of Replay Gain or similar level-matching indexing system. It's already pretty scary going from well-mastered classic recordings to contemporary pop -- I always try to remember to turn the volume WAY down when going from the golden age recordings I normally listen to to contemporary rock/pop but I still get some very rude transitions.)

But for properly mastered conventional material at normal listening levels, I believe most folks will find it impossible to differentiate with statistical significance in true double blind testing.
Therein lies the issue..
There is no such thing as a normal listening volume.
Neil Young has said he likes his music LOUD.
He dislikes MP3 because when he turns them up, the sound hurts his ears.
At a higher bit rate, it doesn't hurt him.
I have found that to be true in my own experience.

IMHO, There is no such thing as properly mastered conventional material.
Sound is subjective.
We all must admit to ourselves that THERE IS NO LOUDNESS WAR!
Today's mastering methods are a creative choice by either the artists, mastering engineer, the label, or a combo of the three.
We've long passed the point where you make your song stand out by mastering it louder.
I don't like that sound myself, but this is what the new generation obviously thinks sounds good.
Why should young people listen to us if we don't have a better way?
The only way to change things is to create a better experience and set the example.
I believe this is what Neil Young is trying to do.
I wish him great success in this endeavor.
Old 14th March 2014
  #482
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
That summarizes your position nicely.
No, it's called sarcasm..
Actually, it summarizes yours.
Old 14th March 2014
  #483
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
That doesn't make any sense really.
I'm suggesting the great minds of the world didn't follow the rules.
Old 14th March 2014
  #484
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
We all must admit to ourselves that THERE IS NO LOUDNESS WAR!
You obviously don't work in TV!
Old 14th March 2014
  #485
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
In the video, Sting specifically said he listened to PONO.
We don't know the bit rate of the MP3s. Are the MP3s being played back by Pono or iTunes (as iTunes is mentioned)? If it is iTunes, what are the settings? (The default settings affect the sound). What is playing the "CD"? Is there any sound enhancement being performed by the Pono player? Etc. Etc.

And as someone else pointed out, are they actually listening to the same versions of the tracks (excluding the Pono and encoding aspects)? Are they even listening to the same tracks?

If you have any experience with how videos, TV shows or films are made you would know that it is very easy to pull quotes out of context.

So I repeat: We do not know what they are listening to. But feel free to believe any and all marketing videos you see if that works for you...

Alistair
Old 14th March 2014
  #486
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
Therein lies the issue..
There is no such thing as a normal listening volume.
Neil Young has said he likes his music LOUD.
He dislikes MP3 because when he turns them up, the sound hurts his ears.
At a higher bit rate, it doesn't hurt him.
I have found that to be true in my own experience.

IMHO, There is no such thing as properly mastered conventional material.
Sound is subjective.
We all must admit to ourselves that THERE IS NO LOUDNESS WAR!
Today's mastering methods are a creative choice by either the artists, mastering engineer, the label, or a combo of the three.
We've long passed the point where you make your song stand out by mastering it louder.
I don't like that sound myself, but this is what the new generation obviously thinks sounds good.
Why should young people listen to us if we don't have a better way?
The only way to change things is to create a better experience and set the example.
I believe this is what Neil Young is trying to do.
I wish him great success in this endeavor.
I'm not at all sure what you're trying to say there.


All I know is that not much of it makes any much sense to me.
Old 14th March 2014
  #487
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
You obviously don't work in TV!
You pulled one sentence out of context... Bravo.

Are you saying mastering can get even louder that it has?
I just got Beck's new record, and some songs averaged at -4.5dB RMS.
I think he thinks that sounds good.
Old 14th March 2014
  #488
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
We don't know the bit rate of the MP3s. Are the MP3s being played back by Pono or iTunes (as iTunes is mentioned)? If it is iTunes, what are the settings? (The default settings affect the sound). What is playing the "CD"? Is there any sound enhancement being performed by the Pono player? Etc. Etc.

And as someone else pointed out, are they actually listening to the same versions of the tracks (excluding the Pono and encoding aspects). Are they even listening to the same tracks?

If you have any experience with how videos, TV shows or films are made you would know that it is very easy to pull quotes out of context.

So I repeat: We do not know what they are listening to. But feel free to believe any and all marketing videos you see if that works for you...

Alistair
Correct. We don't know the bit rate of the mp3s.
So what.
Flea said PONO made CD's sound like ****.
We know the bit rate of that, right?
Old 14th March 2014
  #489
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
I'm suggesting the great minds of the world didn't follow the rules.
You have to KNOW the rules to break them intelligently.

Or to descend to the level of tinkering a dreadful contemporary cliche: You have to know what the box is and how it works before you can think outside it.

A lot of folks here flatter themselves that they are 'smarter' than science.

But they don't even appear to understand what science is or how it works.
Old 14th March 2014
  #490
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'm not at all sure what you're trying to say there.


All I know is that not much of it makes any much sense to me.
You said at a normal listening level, with properly mastered material, that few could hear the difference in audio quality.
I responded.
Does that clear it up for you?
Old 14th March 2014
  #491
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
You have to KNOW the rules to break them intelligently.

Or to descend to the level of tinkering a dreadful contemporary cliche: You have to know what the box is and how it works before you can think outside it.

A lot of folks here flatter themselves that they are 'smarter' than science.

But they don't even appear to understand what science is or how it works.
How generous of you to descend to the level of tinkering a dreadful contemporary cliche...

Do you believe Stevie Wonder's gift for hearing and yours are the same?
What does science have to say about that?
Old 14th March 2014
  #492
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
Correct. We don't know the bit rate of the mp3s.
So what.
Flea said PONO made CD's sound like ****.
We know the bit rate of that, right?
Yes but is the "CD" being played by the same device? We don't know that. And maybe all that means is that the converters in the Pono player are not optimized for 44.1 Khz playback.

It is clear you are a convert to Pono, good for you, I need more than a marketing video to be convinced of anything.

Alistair
Old 14th March 2014
  #493
Lives for gear
 

Why is this thread still going ?

Can't it be resolved that it's really about the -principle- of making maximum possible sonic fidelity available for the masses ?

Consider it a sort of inevitable backlash against all of the 128kbps mp3's devoured since internet time began.
Old 14th March 2014
  #494
Let's introduce a few points:
1/ CD and mp3 quality was based on the available technology/logistics of the time (although some people disagreed with that standard).
2/ Some people (listeners/musicians/producers) think CD/mp3 quality is good enough for the enjoyment of music - some people think higher-quality would provide a better experience of music.
3/ Technological capability/logistics has advanced since CD's/mp3's were introduced.
4/ Most products need to be advertised/hyped to raise awareness about their existence and promote sales and that doesn't necessarily have a bearing on their value.

Based on the points above I have a question: if current music formats/equipment are based on out-dated technology is it not reasonable to make advances and make available higher-quality products to those who think/believe/know that this will make a difference to their enjoyment and appreciation of music (given that those who do not discern any appreciable improvement can choose not to purchase/use that technology)?

I won't be offended if anyone disagrees with the premise- I'm just putting the question out there for discussion.
Old 14th March 2014
  #495
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Yes but is the "CD" being played by the same device? We don't know that. And maybe all that means is that the converters in the Pono player are not optimized for 44.1 Khz playback.

It is clear you are a convert to Pono, good for you, I need more than a marketing video to be convinced of anything.

Alistair
I can't be a convert to PONO, I haven't heard it yet.
I did order one and am looking forward to hearing it.
When some of the artists in that video say that they just heard some of
the best audio they've ever heard in their lives, that's something
I'm going to look into.

PS... I have a Korg MR2 handheld DSD recorder that plays DSD as well as most PCM rates up to 24/192 that I use in my car and I really enjoy the sound.
I'm not sure PONO will be that different, but 128gb of storage vs. 32gb on the Korg sounds good to me already.
Old 14th March 2014
  #496
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Let's introduce a few points:
1/ CD and mp3 quality was based on the available technology/logistics of the time (although some people disagreed with that standard).
2/ Some people (listeners/musicians/producers) think CD/mp3 quality is good enough for the enjoyment of music - some people think higher-quality would provide a better experience of music.
3/ Technological capability/logistics has advanced since CD's/mp3's were introduced.
4/ Most products need to be advertised/hyped to raise awareness about their existence and promote sales and that doesn't necessarily have a bearing on their value.

Based on the points above I have a question: if current music formats/equipment are based on out-dated technology is it not reasonable to make advances and make available higher-quality products to those who think/believe/know that this will make a difference to their enjoyment and appreciation of music (given that those who do not discern any appreciable improvement can choose not to purchase/use that technology)?

I won't be offended if anyone disagrees with the premise- I'm just putting the question out there for discussion.
Agree 100%.
Old 14th March 2014
  #497
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camus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eldon2975 View Post
Can't it be resolved that it's really about the -principle- of making maximum possible sonic fidelity available for the masses ?
Another one, get him!!

Old 14th March 2014
  #498
Gear Addict
 
czoli's Avatar
 

I agree with theblue1 that going from 24bit 96KHz to 24bit 192Hz has little, no benefit or may be detrimental as this links states.
http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html

As pointed out on Steven Slate's VMS thread going to 96KHz at 32bit has benefits for accuracy of plugins during mixdown. 32 bit is better. A bigger sonic issue is how to get record label owners to give up profits to stop the loudness war. It will still have to get mastered at 192KHz. How many mastering engineers will want to convert up? All I can see them saying to clients is "I require the 44KHz or 96KHz 24bit files, I'll charge you this much $$$$ to get it up to 192KHz."

Last edited by czoli; 14th March 2014 at 10:40 PM.. Reason: Added detrimental benefit
Old 14th March 2014
  #499
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
You pulled one sentence out of context... Bravo.

Are you saying mastering can get even louder that it has?
I just got Beck's new record, and some songs averaged at -4.5dB RMS.
I think he thinks that sounds good.
Beck also seems to like the sound of mp3s:

Beck's <i>Morning Phase</i>: Is the 24/96 Download Worth It? | AudioStream
Old 14th March 2014
  #500
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
Many people here are ragging on a product they have never heard, and isn't even in production yet.
And many people here are wildly enthusiastic about a product they haven't even heard! Where were these people when audio of the exact same resolution had been offered via other formats for fourteen years?

24/192 is not new. DVD-A and SACD have been around for over a decade. I ask you again: do you own a DVD-A player? What can Pono possibly add to 24/192? Are the converters in this box BETTER than the converters down at the studio? I doubt it. For that matter was the original recording session even tracked at 24/192?

It is simply not physically possible that Pono offers anything beyond the studio DAW (or a DVD-A) except its convenient size. So how can we take these claims of "best sound they ever heard" without some healthy skepticism?

I am not ragging on a product that plays back 192/24. Good for them. I am ragging on the unsupportable claims made for this product and on the disingenuous marketing being employed in the video. And and I am ragging on the starry-eyed naivete of my audio peers. And on the hypocrisy of people who themselves never took advantage of hi-res formats before suddenly turning to jelly because a bunch of rock stars said nice things about it.

Quote:
Some people want to take the word of some very successful artists that the product (that the artists actually DID hear), is a giant leap forward in audio quality.
yes, we know, "the best sound they ever heard"

Answer this question: did these artists never sit in the control room and listen to the playback of their masters? Or does Pono somehow magically make the music sound BETTER than the original studio recording? If so, how do you, as a professional recording engineer think it does that?

Answer this question: why not feature some famous engineers giving testimonials?

Quote:
Isn't it amazing how two people can look at a video and see something completely different depending on their perception and beliefs?
yes, isn't it?
Old 14th March 2014
  #501
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by eldon2975 View Post
Why is this thread still going ?

Can't it be resolved that it's really about the -principle- of making maximum possible sonic fidelity available for the masses ?
Well, that would be it, if it wasn't for looking clever in a thread, too.
Old 14th March 2014
  #502
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Arksun's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Micah Tolentino View Post
I'm not being sarcastic, but really? You really can't hear the difference between 24bit version to the 16bit output file?

I record at 48/24, but when I dither it out to 44.1/16 even my wife who is a graphic designer can hear a clear difference.
But going from 48/24 to 44/16, thats both a bit depth change AND a sample rate change. What happens when you listen to 48/24 vs well dithered 48/16 at a normal volume level?.
How are you monitoring, is it a direct feed from the audio interface to the monitors where you have to significantly turn down the digital volume in the audio interfaces mixer thus losing more bits to the output of the DA before it hits the monitors?
Old 14th March 2014
  #503
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O.F.F. View Post
I saw that article.
I hope artists and labels get called out if they don't label their sources properly.
The mastering is so loud that, regardless of the source he used, is all sounds crushed.
I thought the music was very good.
But it sounded to me like all capital letters would sound.
Not much movement, if that makes sense.
It's the loudest album I've measured in my studio so far..with some songs measuring around -4.3dB RMS.
I do wonder who makes those decisions.. artist, label, engineer?
It probably different for every artist...
Old 14th March 2014
  #504
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
That is why we need to resort to double blind tests. Then suddenly the differences tend to vanish...
Nope.

Have you ever done one? I have.

- c
Old 14th March 2014
  #505
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Silver Sonya's Avatar
 

People who superciliously tout "science" are usually going on "I read somewhere..." as opposed to real-world empirical science.

- c
Old 14th March 2014
  #506
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
People who superciliously tout "science" are usually going on "I read somewhere..." as opposed to real-world empirical science.

- c
Old 14th March 2014
  #507
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
And many people here are wildly enthusiastic about a product they haven't even heard! Where were these people when audio of the exact same resolution had been offered via other formats for fourteen years?

24/192 is not new. DVD-A and SACD have been around for over a decade. I ask you again: do you own a DVD-A player? What can Pono possibly add to 24/192? Are the converters in this box BETTER than the converters down at the studio? I doubt it. For that matter was the original recording session even tracked at 24/192?

It is simply not physically possible that Pono offers anything beyond the studio DAW (or a DVD-A) except its convenient size. So how can we take these claims of "best sound they ever heard" without some healthy skepticism?

I am not ragging on a product that plays back 192/24. Good for them. I am ragging on the unsupportable claims made for this product and on the disingenuous marketing being employed in the video. And and I am ragging on the starry-eyed naivete of my audio peers. And on the hypocrisy of people who themselves never took advantage of hi-res formats before suddenly turning to jelly because a bunch of rock stars said nice things about it.



yes, we know, "the best sound they ever heard"

Answer this question: did these artists never sit in the control room and listen to the playback of their masters? Or does Pono somehow magically make the music sound BETTER than the original studio recording? If so, how do you, as a professional recording engineer think it does that?

Answer this question: why not feature some famous engineers giving testimonials?



yes, isn't it?
1. Neil Young has been releasing high res audio for years. His Chronicals set is on Blu Ray audio, for Christ sakes..
They asked Neil Young what was new about PONO yesterday and he said "nothing".
2. I didn't know you asked me the first time, but, YES, I own a DVDA player, an SACD player, a OPPO 103 combo player, a Portable DSD Deck (Korg MR2), a Korg MR2000blk, and a Tascam DA-3000.
I started buying high res when stuff like Harvest and Billion Dollar Babies were released on DVDA and SACD.

The DAC in the PONO is the ESS Sabre used in the Mytek DSD DAC.
As I've stated before, I have Harvest in 24/192 that I ripped from DVDA, and it's one of the best recordings I've ever heard. The sound of songs like "There's A World" and "A Man Needs A Maid" are FANTASTIC!
3. I suggest that all of those artists have heard their own masters and were blown away by the sound of PONO.
That's right.
Did you watch the video?
How can you ask "Why not feature some famous engineers giving testimonials?"
How old are you?
Bruce Botnick is in the video!
The Doors!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Botnick
Google it, dude...
Old 14th March 2014
  #508
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC
I'm suggesting the great minds of the world didn't follow the rules.
You have to KNOW the rules to break them intelligently.

Or to descend to the level of tinkering a dreadful contemporary cliche: You have to know what the box is and how it works before you can think outside it.

A lot of folks here flatter themselves that they are 'smarter' than science.

But they don't even appear to understand what science is or how it works.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
How generous of you to descend to the level of tinkering a dreadful contemporary cliche...

Do you believe Stevie Wonder's gift for hearing and yours are the same?
What does science have to say about that?
Do you know what a non sequitur is?


Never mind.

Look, I don't think there's any point in you and I continuing any sort of discussion.
Old 14th March 2014
  #509
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Sonya View Post
People who superciliously tout "science" are usually going on "I read somewhere..." as opposed to real-world empirical science.

- c
I'm not being sarcastic here...
I dream of using "superciliously" in a sentence!!!
Bravo!
Old 14th March 2014
  #510
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Do you know what a non sequitur is?


Never mind.

Look, I don't think there's any point in you and I continuing any sort of discussion.

And, while, in another context, that derriere that represents you here might look quite becoming, here, as the face of some dude, it looks like ass.

Ahh...
The personal attack... Well done.
If my posts are hard for you to follow, just don't bother.
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