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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 17th March 2014
  #901
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latestflavor's Avatar
 

pono: because SACD was sooo damn successful. (drops mic on floor and walks away...)
Old 17th March 2014
  #902
.

This whole thread cracks me up.

All of the sudden Neil Young is some grand master sonic genius.

To begin with, Neil Young is basically a tone deaf weasel.

And now, after blasting his ears off touring for almost a century squawking and screeching his way around the world with his perpetually out of tune guitar and voice - if friggin' Neil Young can tell the difference between a broken car horn wrapped in a wool blanket and a dead frog falling into a toilet bowl, I'll eat my own ****.

Can you say ridiculous...I know you could!

.
Old 17th March 2014
  #903
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I have no idea what it's going to sound like.

Although, if everyone gets a Pono, I know my mixes will sound awesome.
Of course, Pono will only magnify any mistakes made during recording and mixing. So step up your game, people! heh

Cheers,
Eddie
Old 17th March 2014
  #904
Lives for gear
Quote:
Mix talks to four mastering engineers--Gavin Lurssen, Michael Romanowski, Joe Palmacc



Four mastering engineers--Gavin Lurssen, Michael Romanowski, Joe Palmaccio and Andrew Mendelson--discuss music, mentoring and hi-res formats, in the March 2014 issue of Mix
Old 17th March 2014
  #905
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Dare I add my 2c?
When I first read about an idea to make people care about music again I first thought it was a way of repackaging, to include musician credits, lyrics, info about the recording etc.
That's what we cared about when we were young. I spent hours pouring over the musician credits. Following favourite musicians or producers from project to project.
I spent hours pouring over the studio or gear shots on the sleeve.
As to audio quality, I can see it both ways.
If you look at the camera scene, there is a tremendous emphasis on picture quality. There's a whole band of 'pixel peepers' who constantly trade up to the newer and 'better' camera all the time. The older experienced reviewers have been saying for ages that the sensor quality we reached a couple of years ago is basically as good as you need (effectively the camera equivalent of 24bit, 44.1khz). Then again, camera sales are in a nose dive and it's clear the majority of the public are happy with smart phone cameras, as they are probably happy with smart phone music.
I don't think it's that easy to find HQ audio to buy on the net. I buy WAVs from a couple of retail sites. I agree, I don't need 192khz, and I think the Pono store prices are completely unrealistic….. completely. We're struggling to persuade people to pay - period.
Finally, I do think there is a need for an easy to use home player.
I've gotten used to my iTunes collection, and my playlists. i don't really want to play CDs or vinyl at home. But a player I could travel with, that I could also plumb into my home hi-fi would be very attractive to me.
.

Well frikkin' said.

.
Old 17th March 2014
  #906
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
.

This whole thread cracks me up.

All of the sudden Neil Young is some grand master sonic genius.

To begin with, Neil Young is basically a tone deaf weasel.

And now, after blasting his ears off touring for almost a century squawking and screeching his way around the world with his perpetually out of tune guitar and voice - if friggin' Neil Young can tell the difference between a broken car horn wrapped in a wool blanket and a dead frog falling into a toilet bowl, I'll eat my own ****.

Can you say ridiculous...I know you could!

.
Old 17th March 2014
  #907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie TX View Post
Of course, Pono will only magnify any mistakes made during recording and mixing. So step up your game, people! heh

Cheers,
Eddie
.

heh


Regarding the article above, I actually went to Berklee with Gavin Lurssen.

And he's still pissed at me, but I won't say why...


.
Old 17th March 2014
  #908
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Thank you - that covers it
what do you think is most likely?
Old 17th March 2014
  #909
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Dude - can you not just summarise and post a link to these long internet articles instead of simply cutting and pasting them in their entirety? It kind of forces people to scroll unnecessarily and makes you look like a bot with nothing original to say, which I'm sure isn't the case. Referencing does brings something to the table but there's no need to clutter up the debate by quoting vast tracts of text.
Old 17th March 2014
  #910
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
what do you think is most likely?
They really can hear a difference.
Old 17th March 2014
  #911
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Dude - can you not just summarise and post a link to these long internet articles instead of simply cutting and pasting them in their entirety? It kind of forces people to scroll unnecessarily and makes you look like a bot with nothing original to say, which isn't the case in your earlier posts. Referencing do brings something to the table but there's no need to clutter up the debate by quoting vast tracts of text.
I post the text because links sometimes go away, then context is lost.
So, no comments on the article, just that it makes you scroll too much?
The point was that the top mastering engineers do NOT think that 16/44.1 is high res.
They laughed at the notion.
I'll post what I like.
You skip what you like.
Original enough for you?
Old 17th March 2014
  #912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
They really can hear a difference.
There is a monitor man trick on tour.
You're playing and can't hear yourself. You gesticulate wildly at the monitor guy. He leans across and twiddles a knob, pushes up a fader below the knob, and suddenly you can hear yourself. You give him a quick thumbs up, but the guy enjoys a little chuckle because he just adjusted a couple of things on a channel he isn't using.
The mind plays tricks.
I never trust myself.
Some musician or engineer you admire hands you two music players, one an iPod, the other a new product he's working on, and you think most people will say they prefer the iPod?
Old 17th March 2014
  #913
mixmixmix
Guest
Whatever it is, at $400 it is very overpriced. I guess Neil Young thinks he is new Steve Jobs. When he says " This is 21st century music listening experience" on the promo video, he chuckles as if he knew what a load of BS it is. Please watch it for yourself here

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...iscovers-music

at 11:30

Last edited by mixmixmix; 17th March 2014 at 07:25 AM.. Reason: thought
Old 17th March 2014
  #914
Lives for gear
Pics of the PONO store...
Attached Thumbnails
Launch of Pono-image_474.jpg   Launch of Pono-image_1534.jpg  
Old 17th March 2014
  #915
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I don't think the pricing is a good idea at all. Maybe I'll be proven completely wrong.
Old 17th March 2014
  #916
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camus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
.

This whole thread cracks me up.

All of the sudden Neil Young is some grand master sonic genius.

To begin with, Neil Young is basically a tone deaf weasel.

And now, after blasting his ears off touring for almost a century squawking and screeching his way around the world with his perpetually out of tune guitar and voice - if friggin' Neil Young can tell the difference between a broken car horn wrapped in a wool blanket and a dead frog falling into a toilet bowl, I'll eat my own ****.

Can you say ridiculous...I know you could!

.
More ridiculous than someone who writes songs about Gearslutz taking the piss out of the fella who wrote "After The Goldrush" and "Tonight's The Night"? I don't think so.
Old 17th March 2014
  #917
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
They really can hear a difference.
Like Chrisso said. I remember adjusting an outboard EQ until I thought I nailed the vocal sound. Then noticed it was in bypass.

Happens all the time. Read up on confirmation bias then tell me you believe them.
Old 17th March 2014
  #918
Lives for gear
If I understand it correctly, Pono will be a music download service, not a streaming service like Spotify or Qobuz. That means you cannot browse albums/skip tracks and so on and just listen in high def, the experience becomes somewhat of a hassle. I think today users take streaming for granted, they want a hit the play button kind of experience.
Old 17th March 2014
  #919
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
Like Chrisso said. I remember adjusting an outboard EQ until I thought I nailed the vocal sound. Then noticed it was in bypass.

Happens all the time. Read up on confirmation bias then tell me you believe them.
I'm actually composing my response to Chrisso now and it covers that very issue; the point I'd make to you is that just because confirmation bias exists as a phenomenon it doesn't mean that is the case here e.g. the Pono player is a new, improved design so that could be a factor...as could the quality of the audio...also there is too much we don't know about the test to leap to a conclusion as you suggest e.g. how many people took the test; did anyone not discern a difference; did some not favour Pono - in short a lot of speculation.

You outlined the possibilities earlier; you asked me which I thought was most likely and I gave you my honest impression based on the information available.
Old 17th March 2014
  #920
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
There is a monitor man trick on tour.
You're playing and can't hear yourself. You gesticulate wildly at the monitor guy. He leans across and twiddles a knob, pushes up a fader below the knob, and suddenly you can hear yourself. You give him a quick thumbs up, but the guy enjoys a little chuckle because he just adjusted a couple of things on a channel he isn't using.
The old 'producer fader' trick...
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
...The mind plays tricks.
I never trust myself....
TBH I used to fool myself by adjusting an EQ or comp (ITB) and it would be on the wrong channel or bypassed but recently I do notice if it's not having an effect...maybe I've learnt to develop conscious competence* regarding that; I do work in a very quiet, relaxed environment with few distractions so that might help too. In general I totally agree with your point. I studied neuroscience (& other sciences/anthropology) at uni so I'm very aware of the foibles of the human condition; how we construct our versions of reality is food-for-thought.
I've worked in bars too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
...Some musician or engineer you admire hands you two music players, one an iPod, the other a new product he's working on, and you think most people will say they prefer the iPod?
I was unsure how they ran that test...I did look around but couldn't find a reference. The Pono player itself does appear to have good specs so it's possible that could be a factor....as well as audio quality.
The Tape-Op article on A/B testing was interesting in that the author posits that long-term A/B testing may be more accurate:
The Problem with A-B'ing and Why Neil Young is Right about Sound Quality. | Tape Op - the Creative Music Recording Magazine
Maybe we'd have a better impression once many Pono units are sold, used and further comparisons are drawn.

My interest in Pono is in being able to publish from the mix with less compromise during conversion; I'm not a digital consumer/listener...I only buy old vinyl or occasionally CD's to support a project. The Tape-Op article makes sense to me as I'm very familiar with my set-up and conversion to a lower quality does indeed lose some subtle features such as: resolution; reverb tails; soundstage; dynamics; etc....the same details that the Pono listeners specifically commented on.

I'd like to know a lot more about the tests before I draw a conclusion but, to me, it appeared that they did genuinely prefer the HQ sound via the Pono and they were able to articulate that with specific references to features of the music.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_competence
Old 17th March 2014
  #921
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OliverV's Avatar
 

Some thoughts on Pono

I am not about to piss on high quality audio. I love high quality audio. I think mp3s suck, although they suck a lot less than they did 10 years ago. I generally work at 32/48k, sometimes at 96k (work at, though, not deliver at) - but what is all this about 192khz releases and listening through your eyes? Of course, ultrasonic sound (it's called ultrasonic for a reason btw) is just vibrations in air, so it's not surprising that it's possible to measure its influence at high amplitude on a gelatinous substance such as an eyeball. Doesn't mean you can 'hear' it, though. I've tested my hearing recently and I can't perceive anything beyond around 16khz, and I'm 25 years younger and have been to a lot fewer loud gigs than Neil Young.

Seriously though, even IF there is something in it, in order to experience the full 'benefit' of a 192khz sample rate, the recording and listening chain must be capable of capturing and playing back audio at 96khz. What monitors can actually do that? Even fairly high end pieces such as ATC SCM25s are down 6dB at 22khz, and it's all downhill from there. Let alone the microphones that captured the audio in the first place - eg. an SM58 is rated as 50hz-15khz...am I missing something here? Do the tape masters of Sting and David Crosby's back catalogue really contain this wonderful transformative 'inaudible but somehow perceptible' information that no-one's ever experienced before?

Surely the absolute benchmark for audio reproduction is how the final mix sounds to the artist / mixer / producer / mastering engineer (this may of course in reality be on a pair of hifi speakers in the corner of an untreated bedroom, or a pair of beats audio cans and a laptop, or a field recording on a dictaphone - all forms of music are equally 'valid', but let's for argument's sake focus on the subjective 'highest quality' scenario, eg. a superlatively written, performed, recorded and mixed piece of music listened to in the sweet spot of a world class mastering room or studio control room).

So what are some of the main factors getting in the way of the 'end-user' listener experiencing that same level of audio quality?

I would contend that -

acoustic imperfections of the listening environment, for example:

a) background noise interference, which can take many varied forms
b) untreated listening rooms causing uneven frequency / waterfall response due to standing waves, flutter echo, sympathetic resonance etc.
c) poor speaker / listener placement eg speaker boundary interference, asymmetry, room mode reinforcement, desk reflections, off-axis phase skewing etc.
d) lower than optimal quality of any elements of the monitoring system eg limited frequency response, cabinet resonance, edge diffraction, poor crossover / sub integration, DAC jitter, filter design, poor quality cables, hyped speakers / headphones, etc.,


and

excessive dynamic range reduction / clipping / equalisation in mastering in order to (over)compensate for less-than-perfect listening environments and/or especially to compete in the 'loudness war', leading to harshness, audible compression artifacts, listener fatigue etc.

- generally have a much more significant detrimental influence on the listening experience than properly dithered bit depth reduction and downsampling (if there is a higher resolution master available) to 16/44.1, and that most rooms (and cars!) suffer from these imperfections to some degree, and that most of these problems need to be addressed to some extent before you can hear the subtle difference of a resolution beyond what's already achievable on a CD. NB: what's 'achievable' is rarely what gets released.

So I think that the Pono player is not the magic bullet it is being sold as. It cannot possibly magically undo all those things which diminish the listening experience.

And I have to say, my hype alarm definitely went off a few times in that video too. Mind you, I'd be pretty excited if I had an extensive catalogue of tracks that was about to be purchased all over again, at a decent price, especially after all the industry doom and gloom of recent years.

Stating that all sample rates lower than 192khz are metaphorically 'underwater' is just bizarre, arbitrary and misleading. Why not 384khz? And as for flogging limited edition players with someone's signature carved on them...

Having said all that (and I've said quite a lot...), I have my fingers crossed for this project. I think a move to somewhat increased file formats, eg 24/48 wav or FLAC might be worthwhile. Streaming bandwidth and data storage is only going to get faster, bigger and cheaper, and although a lot of listeners may struggle to tell the difference from well-mastered 16/44 in a blind test, those that have addressed a lot of the bottlenecks mentioned above might. And if they need to improve their listening environment in order to appreciate the higher resolution, and they actually do so, well, then that might create a kind of positive feedback loop.

I hope this campaign gives us more dynamic, less fatiguing and harsh remasters and new releases. I hope it adds strength to the loudness war backlash. I hope it encourages an increased awareness of audio quality and appreciation of the cultural and financial value of music. And so despite all the problems I have with it, if the good outweighs the bad, and if real improvements outweigh imaginary ones, I hope it's a success.
Old 17th March 2014
  #922
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
Didn't you earlier suggest that linear 16/44 is all you need, right? So, sell that. Right now, you can't buy that without mail ordering a CD....is my point. Not get on board with Pono. It's gonna be a huge fail, IMO. It's been done before. But...correct me if I'm wrong that you DO want to be able to buy linear downloads, right? Is there somewhere you can do that now?
Bandcamp for one. There are many others.

Alistair
Old 17th March 2014
  #924
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann View Post
Didn't you earlier suggest that linear 16/44 is all you need, right? So, sell that. Right now, you can't buy that without mail ordering a CD....is my point.
And that's a great point. CD quality would be a step up from MP3 and we don't need a special player to play it.

And the other issue is the price. I don't see a reason to charge more for higher quality files. Are they discounted now because they're ruining them?
Old 17th March 2014
  #925
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverV View Post
I am not about to piss on high quality audio.

snip

I hope it's a success.
Great post.
Old 17th March 2014
  #926
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
I post the text because links sometimes go away, then context is lost.
So, no comments on the article, just that it makes you scroll too much?
The point was that the top mastering engineers do NOT think that 16/44.1 is high res.
They laughed at the notion.
I'll post what I like.
You skip what you like.
Original enough for you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
Dude - can you not just summarise and post a link to these long internet articles instead of simply cutting and pasting them in their entirety? It kind of forces people to scroll unnecessarily and makes you look like a bot with nothing original to say, which I'm sure isn't the case. Referencing does brings something to the table but there's no need to clutter up the debate by quoting vast tracts of text.
We have a 'link sharer' tool that should be used for this exact scenario. The icon for using it is attached to this post so you can find it in the future. I'm with James - let's err on the side of summary and linking rather than content appropriation. Thanks! It's an interesting article.

I have amended the original post and used the link sharer tool to show you how it will appear.

Cheers gents.
Attached Images
Launch of Pono-screen-shot-2014-03-17-11.42.13.png 
Old 17th March 2014
  #927
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverV View Post
Stating that all sample rates lower than 192khz are metaphorically 'underwater' is just bizarre, arbitrary and misleading. Why not 384khz?
They are keeping that for the Pono II.

Alistair
Old 17th March 2014
  #928
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MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
And the other issue is the price. I don't see a reason to charge more for higher quality files. Are they discounted now because they're ruining them?
Good point.


As I stated earlier....someone with much bigger stakes than us needs to incorporate this into their program. We need Samsung to adopt this as part of their weaponry against the iPhone.
Old 17th March 2014
  #929
Quote:
Originally Posted by OliverV View Post
.... limited edition players with someone's signature carved on them...
I must tell you now-- I thought this was a joke, a sick joke even, because it sounds like some hysterically funny thing you'd make up and giggle over... evidently life has a way of catching up with even the sickest of jokes.

But on calm reflection-- if it's true, which still seems barely conceivable-- isn't this barking up the wrong tree altogether?

Wouldn't it be ever so much more pandering for them to stamp the customer's own name emblazoned on the side? You think I'm kidding? You think I'm kidding?
Old 17th March 2014
  #930
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O.F.F.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Wouldn't it be ever so much more pandering for them to stamp the customer's own name emblazoned on the side? You think I'm kidding? You think I'm kidding?
But that would be just copying Apple since your own name engraved on your ipod has been a no cost option for many years now as long as you order it online from the Apple Store.
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