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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 19th March 2014
  #1141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natpub View Post
Not my point, but funny anyway! My point was only that in this thread there are the numerous obligatory references to double blind tests, as if this lends some scientific credence to their argument.

I merely cited hearing differences as important reasons why such testing is sorely limited. Saying 'X' sample/bit rate is "enough" is largely subjective, as the question is always "enough for whom?"

While there may be finite limits to what high rates can achieve, within that range it's up to each person to determine how much detail is enough for them.

If 16/44.1 were enough for everyone, we would't bother recording at higher rates at all. I guess there are some who do just that, but I am not one of them. I believe 24/96 is both desirable and sufficient. I always fancied myself a Massenburg devotee, but in this case, I guess I'm in the Lavry camp
I was only half joking.

That's why I suggested the ability for the consumer to decide what they want to download yet they own the ability to change their mind. Let them see what they hear on each song and figure out their preference.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
Gavin Lurssen | Credits | AllMusic
Obviously clueless.....
I don't see what one thing has to do with the other. I have over a half dozen platinum records and I can't hear the difference between 16 bit and 24 bit.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave.R View Post
Priced accordingly?

does it cost more to produce 24 bit 96k files?
No. That's my point. If it's the standard, it should be 99¢ or $1.29.

Not $25.00 for the album.

Which brings up another point. Didn't all the pirates complain that they didn't want to be forced to buy a full album if they only liked one song?

Yeah. So let's bring that stuff back.

It's just a money grab by hitting a market where people will pay.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
But you accept that 192 is the "gold standard", then you can at least make a case for saying 'you haven't really HEARD the original analog masters yet'.
1982. Technical experts and record reviewers from Gramophone, the influential English record review magazine, attended briefings and demonstrations of the work in progress on the new laser-based digital technology which promised to democratise high-fidelity sound reproduction, and came back excited by what they had heard. At one demonstration they listened to a blind side-by-side playback of music from the studio master tape on one system and from a domestic player with compact disc on the other: they could not pick the difference.

Master tape (2014):
Frequency Pass Band 20 Hz – 20 kHz
3rd Harmonic Distortion: 0.032 % (1Khz)
Signal to Noise ratio (Bias Noise) -68 dB
Linear Dynamic Range 78 dB
Print-Through Characteristic -60 dB (1 kHz tone, preceding wrap, 24 hours)

CDP-101 (1982):
Frequency response : 5Hz...20Khz (± 0,5dB)
THD : 0,004% (1Khz)
S/N ratio : 90dB
Old 19th March 2014
  #1145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I don't see what one thing has to do with the other. I have over a half dozen platinum records and I can't hear the difference between 16 bit and 24 bit.
the person i was talking to suggested that a Grammy winning Mastering engineer embarrassed himself with his opinion.
I call bull****.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
No. That's my point. If it's the standard, it should be 99¢ or $1.29.

Not $25.00 for the album.
ok. i thought you were agreeing those exorbitant prices

Quote:
Which brings up another point. Didn't all the pirates complain that they didn't want to be forced to buy a full album if they only liked one song?

Yeah. So let's bring that stuff back.

It's just a money grab by hitting a market where people will pay.
i agree with the pirates. imo, very few albums are worth owning in total, whatever the era or genre

back in the day i hated having to pick up that needle and place it down carefully. ipods are cool

i think bands/artists should put out one or two songs every few months. albums are passe, give it up!
Old 19th March 2014
  #1147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave.R View Post

i think bands/artists should put out one or two songs every few months. albums are passe, give it up!
I think that's what is happening. And new music has become throwaway as a result.
Back in the day you waited up to two years for your favourite artist's new album. When it was released it was an event, and you listened to it a few thousand times over the next 12 months.
This is the kind of interest the Pono mob need to recapture.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I think that's what is happening. And new music has become throwaway as a result.
Back in the day you waited up to two years for your favourite artist's new album. When it was released it was an event, and you listened to it a few thousand times over the next 12 months.
This is the kind of interest the Pono mob need to recapture.
To remedy the notion that music has become disposable, the Pony team are going to have to revise their cost structure... Because, first I have to be able to afford to purchase it before I casually toss it away with disregard. A bit of a contradiction I know!

Many of today's albums are not worth the price of admission - so I am quite happy with the pick 'n mix retail model.

To get back to where we were in the 70's is a big ask for many more reasons than just cost and options. Consumers today have far more choice for competing products: new media, computer games, apps, tech toys like smart phones, etc etc. The great vinyl LP was king back then, primarily because it was the only show in town...
Old 19th March 2014
  #1149
Yeah, but it's music that is selling all those gadgets.
That's why Apple, Google and now Samsung are all heavily into music.
The turf war for ears is being played out thru streaming services. Spotify, iTunes Radio and Samsung are all competing to be the dominant service, meanwhile the people who actually make the music aren't making any of the money and have no say.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1150
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
...
Back in the day you waited up to two years for your favourite artist's new album. When it was released it was an event....
This is all true, but looking back... it strikes me as a peculiar and pretty warped way to run a youth culture. We would all have been FAR better off and more emotionally grounded... or say, less emotionally wrapped up in manic and imaginary knots... to just follow local bands and find in them what we were looking for, messages of uplift and beats to dance to.

Come to think of it, this whole concept that now I can hear pristine versions of the songs that wrenched me to and fro something like FORTY YEARS ago, heebie jeebie, might be time for me to get a life, me thinks!
Old 19th March 2014
  #1151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Yeah, but it's music that is selling all those gadgets.
That's why Apple, Google and now Samsung are all heavily into music.
The turf war for ears is being played out thru streaming services. Spotify, iTunes Radio and Samsung are all competing to be the dominant service, meanwhile the people who actually make the music aren't making any of the money and have no say.
THAT is the actual problem, isn't it. The fact that streaming is legal with the amounts it pays artists is criminal.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1152
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bandpass View Post
1982. Technical experts and record reviewers from Gramophone, the influential English record review magazine, attended briefings and demonstrations of the work in progress on the new laser-based digital technology which promised to democratise high-fidelity sound reproduction, and came back excited by what they had heard. At one demonstration they listened to a blind side-by-side playback of music from the studio master tape on one system and from a domestic player with compact disc on the other: they could not pick the difference.
To be fair, you have to give this some context.

In 1982, we were not loving vinyl or cassette as a format. As much as hipsters like to think that. We hated it. Just like how we hated the noise of analog tape. Who would have thought we would miss that?

So in that context. Yes. There's no difference between the master and the digital copy. It's close enough.

But since then, we've learned to listen a bit more intently. Back when I was working in an all analog studio, we all heard the difference between the DAT and the 1/2". We focused more.

It's now become a game of microns where guys claim they can hear the difference between 192kHz and 96kHz. And maybe they can. But it's like playing with ant poop compared to what engineers dealt with before digital recording.

Have you ever re-comped vocals on a project over the course of a year or two with the final vocal having a mix between first and twelve generations? Where did the high end go?
Old 19th March 2014
  #1153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
the person i was talking to suggested that a Grammy winning Mastering engineer embarrassed himself with his opinion.
I call bull****.
IMHO, much of what that mastering engineer said sounds like fairy dust to me. But I have a different focus. When you work on two tracks most of your career, you have a tighter scope.

I'm cutting down trees and he's widdling wood.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1154
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I think that's what is happening. And new music has become throwaway as a result.
Back in the day you waited up to two years for your favourite artist's new album. When it was released it was an event, and you listened to it a few thousand times over the next 12 months.
This is the kind of interest the Pono mob need to recapture.
You don't get back to "album culture" by forcing consumers to buy records. You make compelling records that create fans that want to hear more from that artist.

While I love the most recent Bruno Mars record, it's just a collection of hit songs. Nothing ties it together as a body of work.

But when someone like Ray LaMontagne puts out a record, people want the whole thing. But you don't force the consumer's hand as free is still an option.

And what they've realized is that a "turntable hit" doesn't move full records so you might as well get some single sales.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czoli View Post
If you want to know why Fabrice who works for Steve Slate and other plugin manufacturers think 32 bit is far superior to 24 bit check out my posts and their answers on that thread. It's about zero anti-aliasing effects during math manipulation. They are the ones who push the 32 bit idea. It's about dynamic range with all the possible dynamic range values per sample not about sample rate.
Don't confuse host/plugin processing (floating point) with delivery formats (fixed point). While it's true that DSP is improved with 32-bit float (or bigger) word lengths -- less round-off error, especially for recursive algorithms -- this has nothing to do with capture or final mix down, where word length only determines the noise floor. A 32-bit float delivery format would simply be a waste of space.

Also note that aliasing is a frequency domain artifact and has nothing to do with word length.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
the person i was talking to suggested that a Grammy winning Mastering engineer embarrassed himself with his opinion.
I call bull****.
A Grammy winner with a dumb opinion? Impossible!!

(Now you've embarrassed yourself.)
Old 19th March 2014
  #1157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I think that's what is happening. And new music has become throwaway as a result.
Back in the day you waited up to two years for your favourite artist's new album. When it was released it was an event, and you listened to it a few thousand times over the next 12 months.
This is the kind of interest the Pono mob need to recapture.
Never gonna happen.
We were kids back then but todays kids reserve that kind of attention/excitement for video games.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Don't confuse host/plugin processing (floating point) with delivery formats (fixed point). While it's true that DSP is improved with 32-bit float (or bigger) word lengths -- less round-off error, especially for recursive algorithms -- this has nothing to do with capture or final mix down, where word length only determines the noise floor. A 32-bit float delivery format would simply be a waste of space.

Also note that aliasing is a frequency domain artifact and has nothing to do with word length.
I argue 24/192KHz is a massive waste of space too with potential ultrasonic artifacts that could make it sound even worse with DSP manipulation. I know I'll take flack for this but I fully agree on delivery format. I've read articles on delivery format. 24 bit/44.1KHz and even 16 bit/44.1KHz is more than adequate for delivery. If the mastering wasn't done to compete in the loudness wars (which probably isn't going to happen anytime soon), going higher in bit depth than 24 bit may have a tiny bit of logical sense.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Maybe iTunes can offer a hearing test where the results tell you what version you should buy?
I've been thinking about this and I think it's an excellent concept to develop, but with a twist - the download gets cheaper if you are actually able to tell the difference!

So, first you click on the album you wish to purchase.

Then you take an ABX test between mp3 and 16/44.1k

If you can reliably tell the difference you progress to the next level

If you can't, your mp3 download starts automatically and you pay $7.99

Next you take an ABX test between 16/44.1k and 24/96k

If you can reliably tell the difference you progress to the next level

If you can't, your 16/44.1k download starts automatically and you pay $6.99

Next you take an ABX test between 24/96k and 24/192k...

Etc etc
Old 19th March 2014
  #1160
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by O.F.F. View Post
Never gonna happen.
We were kids back then but todays kids reserve that kind of attention/excitement for video games.
Depends on the kid ... my son is into video games, but my daughter would regard the release of a new Katy Perry album as an Event with a capital "E," on par with how many GS'ers react to the latest Steven Slate release.

If popular artists were to give up the album format and put out songs in dribs and drabs, it would tend to dilute the excitement, wouldn't it? Just wouldn't be as fun.

If Pono and the labels are smart, they'll do pricing along these lines, REGARDLESS OF FORMAT / RESOLUTION:

Singles (not all album tracks available as singles): $0.99
Albums: $9.99 (CDs were always overpriced, which helped motivate piracy)

If they do the pricing and marketing right, Pono may very well not only succeed, but give the whole music industry the shot in the arm it so desperately needs.

Those are some big ifs, though.

Cheers,
Eddie
Old 19th March 2014
  #1161
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Decompress View Post
Respectfully, no I'm not, you're just missing the point.

The gist of Dowdell's comment is that current recorded sample rate/upsampling practice is not sufficient to provide enough information in the time domain for certain plugins to accurately reflect the behavior of certain hardware.
Unfortunately he does indeed seem to be saying that. If so, he is making the classic mistake of confusing the encoding mechanism for the signal itself. He isn't the only developer to do that.

The genius of Nyquist (and later Shannon) is to understand that you can encode a band limited time-continuous signal within a finite discreet time encoding mechanism. The crucial thing to understand is that the time-continuous signal itself is preserved and can be reconstructed (and the "resolution" of that signal is only "limited" by the noise floor). It also means that with the right approach that signal can be manipulated in the digital domain. Unfortunately in many cases, due to computing resource limitation or simple lack of understanding, the encoding mechanism is treated as the signal itself and processing is applied to the samples as though they were the actual signal. That is why we have issues like Inter Sample Peaks and differing RMS measurement methods that give 3 dB of difference in the results.

One way of getting closer to processing the signal itself rather than the encoding mechanism is by huge oversampling - That is what Dowdell is referring to with his 2 Mhz number - but it is not the only way. Even when oversampling is the chosen method, it should be applied to the processing steps that need it, not the entire signal path.

Quote:
Amel's point was about a particular flaw in PCM format behavior and how to fix it. His comments don't suggest he thinks it's a theoretical problem, and that opinion apparently extends to his choice of recording format. His solution for the digital realm is, again, a higher recorded sample rate.
The way I read it was that he was talking about the filters. If he thinks there is a phase or timing accuracy issue with digital audio at 44.1Khz itself then he really doesn't understand how digital audio works.

The timing accuracy of 44.1Khz 24 bit digital audio is about 0.215 pico seconds. That is about 232438657 smaller than a full cycle of a 20Khz sine wave. Of course this is implementation dependent but I think that it is clear to anyone that with that kind of timing resolution there will be no 45 degree shift at 20 Khz.

Quote:
This Pono thread has devolved into repetitious statements from people claiming that higher recorded sampling rates don't matter: I provided commentary from two very accomplished engineers who say that it does, and why. Given the genius of their companies' respective products, I'd say their opinions carry a little bit of weight.
You are using the argument by authority which is never a valid argument. If you don't understand the technicalities then just leave it at that. And anyway, one of those companies is fully in the analogue domain (and has an interest in promoting analogue). The other... well... Maybe he truly doesn't understand the distinction between the signal and the encoding mechanism. I don't know.

Alistair
Old 19th March 2014
  #1162
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by czoli View Post
If you want to know why Fabrice who works for Steve Slate and other plugin manufacturers think 32 bit is far superior to 24 bit check out my posts and their answers on that thread. It's about zero anti-aliasing effects during math manipulation. They are the ones who push the 32 bit idea. It's about dynamic range with all the possible dynamic range values per sample not about sample rate. The sample rate must be at least 44.1KHz to fully capture up to 22KHz (google definition of Nyquist Rate) Why would anyone need to capture anything outside the human hearing range anyways? We only sample at 88.2KHz or 96KHz since we aren't at 32bit. As another poster mentioned 60KHz is more than adequate at 24 bits. But for plugin manufacturers and almost all computer CPUs which are 64 bit now, 32 bits may be quicker to manipulate than 24 bit since it is 1/2 of a full 64 bit CPU register.
Aliasing has nothing to do with bit depth. Also, many plugins process at double precision (64 bit) but converting from 24 bit to 32 or 64 bit float is cheap computing wise. Anyway, this is all about processing, not delivery formats.

Alistair
Old 19th March 2014
  #1163
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
the person i was talking to suggested that a Grammy winning Mastering engineer embarrassed himself with his opinion.
He did. He wrote complete non-sense about digital audio and audio perception.

Quote:
I call bull****.
That is because you do not understand the subject.

Alistair
Old 19th March 2014
  #1164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie TX View Post
Depends on the kid ... my son is into video games, but my daughter would regard the release of a new Katy Perry album as an Event with a capital "E," on par with how many GS'ers react to the latest Steven Slate release.

Cheers,
Eddie
Did she rush out and buy the album with her pocket money?

That's what we did but the vast majority who did that were boys.
The girls in my school back then were well into their music/stars but largely they did not buy records, they bought the clothes, posters, make up, magazines, concert tickets etc but not really the albums. They got those taped by their brothers or a boy in school who fancied them.

Might sound a wee bit sexist but that is how it was and in my experience still is.
There are plenty of teenage girls in my (family) circle and they are really into music but none of them has anything like a record/cd collection or anything like that. Most don't even have a stereo, they tend to watch music tv on cable.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I think that's what is happening. And new music has become throwaway as a result.
Back in the day you waited up to two years for your favourite artist's new album. When it was released it was an event, and you listened to it a few thousand times over the next 12 months.
This is the kind of interest the Pono mob need to recapture.
well this happens all the time today too. have you not seen any event-level anticipation/excitement for releases by, i dunno, radiohead, beyonce, my bloody valentine, daft punk, kanye, etc. lately? i definitely have. you might not care about any of these artists but i assure you there are still plenty of music fans out there who do experience music in the exact way you're talking about.

the artists are different, yeah... not a lot of people getting hyped up about new neil young or tom petty releases in my world, true
Old 19th March 2014
  #1166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarmenC View Post
the person i was talking to suggested that a Grammy winning Mastering engineer embarrassed himself with his opinion.
I call bull****.
It seems to me that if somebody won a Grammy for engineering, it would be MORE embarrassing for him to be incorrect on a technical matter than not. In any case I think Kenny's point is that it is quite possible to make great aesthetic decisions even when you misunderstand the technology you are using.

It is only 'bull****' if you can support the statement on its merits. The statement of a technical or scientific fact must be able to stand on its own. The 'authority' of the individual proposing that statement is irrelevant. The invention of Science began when people stopped citing Aristotle on "horse's teeth" and went out into the courtyard and counted how many teeth the horses tied up there had --- COUNTED them.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1167
Not all swans are white: Falsifiability - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I think it's a bit premature to draw strong conclusions: after all, none of us have actually heard Pono yet.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1168
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
In any case I think Kenny's point is that it is quite possible to make great aesthetic decisions even when you misunderstand the technology you are using.
I do it everyday.

I'm doing it right now. How are you reading what I wrote? heh
Old 19th March 2014
  #1169
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I think it's a bit premature to draw strong conclusions: after all, none of us have actually heard Pono yet.
Right. And if this thing sounds amazing (as promised) it will not be due to the higher resolution recordings. Because we (as engineers) already know that difference. So, the pono itself would have done that.

But yet…

They're not saying that.

So either they don't know why it sounds so good, or it doesn't sound as good as promised.
Old 19th March 2014
  #1170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I think it's a bit premature to draw strong conclusions: after all, none of us have actually heard Pono yet.
Yes, but many of us have heard hi-res digital mixes/masters played through good equipment. That's all Pono is.

From the Audiostream interview with Neil Young:

Q: So what's the new thing with Pono?
A: There's nothing, there's nothing new. There is no new thing.


In reading further comments from Mr. Young and others, it's clear to me that their intentions are certainly good. Neil wants to obtain the best masters possible (the main reason for the good sound, I suspect) and allow music fans to hear them in all their glory. He even says Pono may pay for remastering jobs itself and sell those exclusively for a limited time before sharing them with other vendors. He wants real transparency regarding the provenance and actual resolution of all the content. In short, he appears to be doing whatever he can to make Pono the go-to source for those who want good-sounding music.

Now, about the pricing ...

Cheers,
Eddie
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