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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 21st March 2014
  #1381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
That is just someone denying the science because it goes against his beliefs. That is audio creationism.

Alistair
Yes, it's the inversion of

"I wouldnt have believed it if I hadnt heard it with my own ears"

to

"I wouldnt have heard it if I hadnt believed it"

Those sneering at anyone mentioning "science" (as if science is a false comfort) need to understand that science is a method, not a belief system.

For playback, science predicts there shouldnt be much (if any) audible difference between sample rates.

Similarly, for playback, there shouldnt be much (if any) difference between 16 bit and 24 bit.

Properly structured tests have derived empirical evidence which supports the science.

For those who disagree, the onus is on them, not those who agree with the science.

Science WORKS! None of the tools we use everyday would exist without the scientific method.

You cant cherry pick at will which parts of science you accept or reject. You can disagree of course, but the onus is on YOU to prove the science is wrong.

This is the reason for the phrase "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof"

If you can prove your opinion is correct, congrats - you may change the current scientific understanding of whatever issue you are tackling.

That's one of the key foundations of science: when someone provides convincing evidence that existing science is incorrect, scientists change their minds.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1382
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Two quotes from Richard Feynman:

“Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves”

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”
Old 21st March 2014
  #1383
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post
Two quotes from Richard Feynman:

“Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves”

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”
One of those is in my .sig.

Alistair
Old 21st March 2014
  #1384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auralart View Post
150mb/s can get pricy. At least in the Pasadena, CA area where I live. I pay $70 a month for 25mb/s.
Interweb is expensive in the US!

I pay about the same as you but for that I get 60mb/s, cable HDTV, two set top boxes (one a TiVo) and telephone with free national calls.
Next month I'll get an internet speed increase.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auralart View Post
150mb/s can get pricy. At least in the Pasadena, CA area where I live. I pay $70 a month for 25mb/s.
Ouch. That gets you 150 Mbit/s (unlimited data usage) plus free use of WiFi spots through all major cities plus cable HDTV plus phone services (and a few other services like an HD recorder, online viewing of TV shows etc etc) in these parts. Actually I just checked, the first 6 months you only pay 30 a month (on a 1 year contract) so it comes out to less and you get a choice of some free extras like a Samsung Tablet...

Anyway, people were downloading whole albums even when internet connections were much much slower so I have absolutely no faith in the idea that bigger files will have any significant impact on piracy. Not least because some people will rip the files and convert them to smaller sizes and offer them for download...

Alistair
Old 21st March 2014
  #1386
I'm paying about $80 a month for phone line and 100 gig a month allowable, but the top speed I can get is 1.5mbps.
4G mobile is available and much faster, but I don't think there is a contract that offers more than 20 or 30 gigs a month.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I'm paying about $80 a month for phone line and 100 gig a month allowable, but the top speed I can get is 1.5mbps.
4G mobile is available and much faster, but I don't think there is a contract that offers more than 20 or 30 gigs a month.
You still got download limits?

That hurts!

PS: Forgot to mention the included Spotify Premium subscription.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1388
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuthinupmysleeve View Post
... I assume yer joking?
You assume correctly.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1389
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I will apply my flame ******ent paint but I have always liked this video since there are so many examples to show his point. I have tried to wade through all 47 pages to this point to see if this has been posted before but I didn't see it or missed it. If it has been introduced to the conversation already, my apologies.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post


I will apply my flame ******ent paint but I have always liked this video since there are so many examples to show his point. I have tried to wade through all 47 pages to this point to see if this has been posted before but I didn't see it or missed it. If it has been introduced to the conversation already, my apologies.
Love this guy.

He's like the Neil Degrasse Tyson of digital audio.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1392
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Quote:
How about a summation?
Old 21st March 2014
  #1393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auralart View Post
higher resolution audio files = large file sizes = not as convenient to illegally download.
Which explains the unpopularity of FLAC and movie downloads.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1394
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post

Those sneering at anyone mentioning "science" (as if science is a false comfort) need to understand that science is a method, not a belief system.

For playback, science predicts there shouldnt be much (if any) audible difference between sample rates.

...

Properly structured tests have derived empirical evidence which supports the science.

For those who disagree, the onus is on them, not those who agree with the science.

Science WORKS! None of the tools we use everyday would exist without the scientific method.

You cant cherry pick at will which parts of science you accept or reject. You can disagree of course, but the onus is on YOU to prove the science is wrong.

...

That's one of the key foundations of science: when someone provides convincing evidence that existing science is incorrect, scientists change their minds.
I'm not sitting here trying to prove one way or another that I can or cannot hear the difference, but "hearing" a difference between 44.1/16 and 192/24 is hardly scientific. In fact that test in itself is purely subjective to the listener, and there is no objective way to test if someone's subjective hearing is "effective" or "scientific". The tests that humans hear at 20hz-20khz is also somewhat superficial and relatively un-scientific. Many people can hear above and below that range but don't know what it is they are hearing, also just because a scientist spins a dial and asks you to raise your hand when you "can't hear a sound" doesn't make the test scientific due to the subjective nature of the senses.

Have you ever been in a mixing session where you hear something that completely bothers you, but another artist in the room doesn't even hear it? Is it scientifically proven that it doesn't exist because a few a/b/x tests show time and time again that the artist simply doesn't hear it?

Also, if one were to do these tests one should honestly commit to a full fledged composition. One acoustic guitar may not yield as much of an audible difference in the two files as, lets say, an extremely dense track stacked upon each other, right? Take preamps, for instance, sometimes the benefit of a great preamp is only realized with more than one track, stacked upon each other.

For the sake of this thread I will try to create a test and record my upcoming project at 192, down-sample to 44.1, and try to A/B/X them here on gearslutz. While I agree in principal with CarmenC that up-sampling from the 44.1 to 192 seems counter-intuitive for the test, I will in the interest of gearsluttery try to post all three. The piece will be arranged with a baby grand piano, a violin and a cello.

Question. When comparing analog to digital (IE vinyl to cd) I often hear "harsh" artifacts from transient sources such as tamborine and other instruments (particular Pet Sounds that I was listening to this morning). If one presumptively can't hear a difference between 192 and 44.1 then what would account for this harshness? Is it possible that 192 does more than up the highest frequency range being recorded? Is it possible that its just an oversimplification, and the 192 digital-analog curve is more nuanced and accurate to the original curve than the 44.1 curve at common frequencies? Forget frequencies above and below the 20hz-20khz range (that are supposedly inaudible), is there a scientific difference between 192 and 44.1 in the audible spectrum? If so, then it doesn't matter whether someone "hears" it or not, a music purist should always aim to capture the sound accurately. If not, then how do we get better digital recordings? It sounds like digital will "never" accurately capture the source as well as analog.

Last edited by orenradio; 21st March 2014 at 04:58 PM.. Reason: cleaned up quote
Old 21st March 2014
  #1395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
Have you ever been in a mixing session where you hear something that completely bothers you, but another artist in the room doesn't even hear it? Is it scientifically proven that it doesn't exist because a few a/b/x tests show time and time again that the artist simply doesn't hear it?
I usually attribute that to the unkown condition of the transducers (ears) on said musos head. Some of us have spent way to much time in front of raging 100 watter Marshalls set on stun...others, not so much. Even the way in which an ear is bent foward or backward, size, etc. changes response curves.

I look forward to this test you propose. I would find it fascinating to see what we hear form the masses.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1396
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
I'm not sitting here trying to prove one way or another that I can or cannot hear the difference, but "hearing" a difference between 44.1/16 and 192/24 is hardly scientific. In fact that test in itself is purely subjective to the listener, and there is no objective way to test if someone's subjective hearing is "effective" or "scientific". The tests that humans hear at 20hz-20khz is also somewhat superficial and relatively un-scientific. Many people can hear above and below that range but don't know what it is they are hearing, also just because a scientist spins a dial and asks you to raise your hand when you "can't hear a sound" doesn't make the test scientific due to the subjective nature of the senses.
Well… There's two different things at play here. First, if scientists prove that there's simply nothing more to hear between 16 bit or 24 bit than it's not subjective. If the device is simply not outputting any "more accurate information" at different bit depths or even sample rates, then you're not hearing it.

But let's put that aside for a moment because the discussion isn't really about there being a difference. A difference means nothing unless it's significant. Let's get back to that.

I'm seeing many people on this thread trying to argue that an ABX test doesn't prove everything. And maybe it doesn't. But we're talking about making buying decisions or adding unnecessary processes to our workflow.

So I ask, what other aspects of life would you treat the same way? If you were buying a shirt, a pair of pants or even some shoes and after trying on both choices couldn't reliably tell the difference, would you pay 2-3X the price for it?

What about a car? After test driving a few different models if you couldn't reliably pick out a preference because they were so close, would you buy the more expensive one? Or the one that required the most gas?

To me, I'm not a scientist (although I am mildly interested in the science of this discussion.) So proving whether it's different or not means very little beyond a fun discussion. What matters to me is whether I actually hear it. Consistently. And repeatedly. Otherwise it falls into the area of superstition.

Years ago I produced a record that was mixed by one of the bigger name mixers. For whatever reason, he printed the mix to half inch and then to digital and also printed a direct to digital copy. The band, the manager and even the mixer preferred the straight to digital version. I preferred the analog one by a mile. Could it have been confirmation bias? Sure. I didn't do a proper test. I knew which one was which each time. But I clearly heard a difference. Was it night and day? No way. Nothing close to the Pono testimonials. It was just glued together a bit more. Not as clear or separate as the digital. But I wouldn't have heard this in my car or with cheap ear buds. No way. But this is on a different planet from discussing 192k vs 44.1kHz or 24 bit vs 16 bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
Also, if one were to do these tests one should honestly commit to a full fledged composition. One acoustic guitar may not yield as much of an audible difference in the two files as, lets say, an extremely dense track stacked upon each other, right? Take preamps, for instance, sometimes the benefit of a great preamp is only realized with more than one track, stacked upon each other.
That's why a finished mix works best. Preferably a sparse and a dense track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
For the sake of this thread I will try to create a test and record my upcoming project at 192, down-sample to 44.1, and try to A/B/X them here on gearslutz. While I agree in principal with CarmenC that up-sampling from the 44.1 to 192 seems counter-intuitive for the test, I will in the interest of gearsluttery try to post all three. The piece will be arranged with a baby grand piano, a violin and a cello.
Looking forward to it. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
Question. When comparing analog to digital (IE vinyl to cd) I often hear "harsh" artifacts from transient sources such as tamborine and other instruments (particular Pet Sounds that I was listening to this morning). If one presumptively can't hear a difference between 192 and 44.1 then what would account for this harshness?
You're comparing vinyl to CD. You didn't mention which one sounded harsh but the vinyl is probably a completely different master. EQ'ed and compressed differently. I don't see how you can draw conclusions about high res digital using your example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
Is it possible that 192 does more than up the highest frequency range being recorded? Is it possible that its just an oversimplification, and the 192 digital-analog curve is more nuanced and accurate to the original curve than the 44.1 curve at common frequencies? Forget frequencies above and below the 20hz-20khz range (that are supposedly inaudible), is there a scientific difference between 192 and 44.1 in the audible spectrum? If so, then it doesn't matter whether someone "hears" it or not, a music purist should always aim to capture the sound accurately. If not, then how do we get better digital recordings? It sounds like digital will "never" accurately capture the source as well as analog.
According to science (and the above videos) it should have nothing to do with "accuracy".

And if we're going to concern ourselves with things we can't hear, shouldn't we have scopes in our studios in addition to speakers? And why stop at 192kHz? We should record at the highest freq with the most amount of bits as possible. Regardless of what the people who built this stuff say.

Thanks
Old 21st March 2014
  #1397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post
That's one of the key foundations of science: when someone provides convincing evidence that existing science is incorrect, scientists change their minds.
unless it is economic science. then they keep teaching the neoclassical model even though the scientific theories underpinning it have been debunked.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post

You're comparing vinyl to CD. You didn't mention which one sounded harsh but the vinyl is probably a completely different master. EQ'ed and compressed differently. I don't see how you can draw conclusions about high res digital using your example.
if there's one thing this thread has made me realize, is that the mastering process is a huge problem in today's digital music, not quality or format. what gives?

and if thats the case, and Pono music offers better "masters", then technically their 44.1 would sound better than any previously released 44.1 wouldn't it?

Does anyone enjoy the new Beatles remastered collection? Does anyone have an opinion on whether or not the original masters were better/worse? Would you buy a remastered version of one of your favorite records in 44.1 on Pono if the master itself was more carefully crafted and "sounded" better than present day 44.1 releases? Pono really might be on to something here, regardless of sample rates and science.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1399
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
if there's one thing this thread has made me realize, is that the mastering process is a huge problem in today's digital music, not quality or format. what gives?
At first, they would make everything brighter. Then they would make everything louder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
and if thats the case, and Pono music offers better "masters", then technically their 44.1 would sound better than any previously released 44.1 wouldn't it?
Yes. But I haven't seen any mention of re-mastering to retain the original dynamics yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
Would you buy a remastered version of one of your favorite records in 44.1 on Pono if the master itself was more carefully crafted and "sounded" better than present day 44.1 releases? Pono really might be on to something here, regardless of sample rates and science.
Sign me up for a "real" improved master.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1400
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
If you were buying a shirt, a pair of pants or even some shoes and after trying on both choices couldn't reliably tell the difference, would you pay 2-3X the price for it?
stick a trendy label on it, and people do pay more. marketing and sales is all about playing with biases. the customers' expectation bias after hype of the advertising, etc. i am constantly surprised what people will pay for mediocrity or less, especially when it comes endorsed by a "star".

recording at high res...i hear the point. play back...i'm not so sure, but am not discounting what further research might discover. we might discover that our current ability with digital music is just a stepping stone to something far profounder. or not...
Old 21st March 2014
  #1401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post


I will apply my flame ******ent paint but I have always liked this video since there are so many examples to show his point. I have tried to wade through all 47 pages to this point to see if this has been posted before but I didn't see it or missed it. If it has been introduced to the conversation already, my apologies.
End of discussion.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1402
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
stick a trendy label on it, and people do pay more. marketing and sales is all about playing with biases. the customers' expectation bias after hype of the advertising, etc. i am constantly surprised what people will pay for mediocrity or less, especially when it comes endorsed by a "star".
Aha. I knew that would come up.

You could take it to ways. First, that high resolution is just marketing B.S.

or…

Putting a fancy sticker on a pair of shoes, a hat or even headphones does give it more value. It's vanity but it still does have real value to the person buying it.

So, in my example I was talking about all things being equal. Like if you found two pairs of Nike sneakers and you couldn't tell the difference except for the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul brown View Post
recording at high res...i hear the point. play back...i'm not so sure, but am not discounting what further research might discover. we might discover that our current ability with digital music is just a stepping stone to something far profounder. or not...
Absolutely. We haven't come close to reproducing sound perfectly. Not even close.

But that doesn't mean you increase a variable that is inaudible.

It's like trying to make your faster by using a higher quality paint.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1403
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyder boy View Post
End of discussion.
You'd think.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auralart View Post
higher resolution audio files = large file sizes = not as convenient to illegally download.
the legal downloads are also less convenient
people still do them and pay more for the perceived value.
surely the thieves will be willing to wait a little longer for the same perceived value

the torrents are already full of HD audio content and Pono does not even exist yet. I think the deterrence of file size on piracy is going to be negligible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skira
Which explains the unpopularity of FLAC and movie downloads.
Yes and the download time for mere audio even at 192k has pretty much topped out, it's way less than a Blu-Ray movie. The hot new thing with service providers is all these 'premium' 'ultra' 'turbo' deals with faster and faster speeds and while they are not cheap, people are signing up for them in droves.

Burglar tools are cheaper than jewelry, I guess....
Old 21st March 2014
  #1405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Aha. I knew that would come up.

You could take it to ways. First, that high resolution is just marketing B.S.

or…

Putting a fancy sticker on a pair of shoes, a hat or even headphones does give it more value. It's vanity but it still does have real value to the person buying it.

So, in my example I was talking about all things being equal. Like if you found two pairs of Nike sneakers and you couldn't tell the difference except for the price.



Absolutely. We haven't come close to reproducing sound perfectly. Not even close.

But that doesn't mean you increase a variable that is inaudible.

It's like trying to make your faster by using a higher quality paint.
There's an old marketing story (yes, I was once a marketing director for a small electronics manufacturer, so I know about BS from the inside out) about a boutique owner going away on a buying trip to Europe who left hurried instructions on some sale prices. The owner told the temporary manager to mark a bunch of slow-moving something-or-others down by half, along with a lot of other instructions. When the owner came back, she found the shelf with the sale-whatevers empty. The temporary manager said she was surprised they sold. The boss said something like, 'Well, we may have lost money by marking those down by half, but at least we finally sold them all.' The temporary manager looked confused and embarrassed. 'I thought you said to mark them up by double!'

It's probably apocryphal -- but it is the kind of story marketing types love to tell.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Putting a fancy sticker on a pair of shoes, a hat or even headphones does give it more value. It's vanity but it still does have real value to the person buying it.
we could call 192/24 a "fancy" label. fancier than 44.1/16. i'm with you in general, Kenny. i want a more profound musical experience. my experience with listening to high resolution recordings has not made me a convert as yet. maybe i hear more micro-dynamics. probably it is bias! as long as back catalogues get re-released with all the associated hyperbole, i am not convinced. i will say that if something has been recorded originally at higher than cd quality, i would like to hear it in its original form. the need to compress music for the convenience of being able to fit files on a hdd is past.
Old 21st March 2014
  #1407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post


I will apply my flame ******ent paint but I have always liked this video since there are so many examples to show his point. I have tried to wade through all 47 pages to this point to see if this has been posted before but I didn't see it or missed it. If it has been introduced to the conversation already, my apologies.
Due to clear substantial undeniable scientific video evidence, I declare myself free to not:
1) Buy a Toblerone shaped product that will force me to buy new pants more often since I put my IPhone in my front pocket.
2) Force my kids to loose hearing due to possible laced ultrasonic content added during the mastering process.
3) Spend $15 extra per album.
4) Waste money on anything I can’t really hear.
5) Torture myself thinking about missing out on the next big thing.
6) And most important, to not buy my kids new pants more often
Old 21st March 2014
  #1408
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
the legal downloads are also less convenient
people still do them and pay more for the perceived value.
surely the thieves will be willing to wait a little longer for the same perceived value

the torrents are already full of HD audio content and Pono does not even exist yet. I think the deterrence of file size on piracy is going to be negligible.



Yes and the download time for mere audio even at 192k has pretty much topped out, it's way less than a Blu-Ray movie. The hot new thing with service providers is all these 'premium' 'ultra' 'turbo' deals with faster and faster speeds and while they are not cheap, people are signing up for them in droves.

Burglar tools are cheaper than jewelry, I guess....
I was delighted to move to all 320 kbps subscription stream service a few years ago. But in an era when many people are streaming fat-b/w HD movies, I don't see any reason why we couldn't move to streaming FLAC audio. Yet many services haven't even stepped up to provide all-320. (For instance, Spotify Premium US, which was originally supposed to be all-320 but quickly retrenched to lower fi, backing off to a promise of 'as high as' 320.)
Old 21st March 2014
  #1409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crash View Post
Thanks - very informative. Great watch!
Old 21st March 2014
  #1410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orenradio View Post
The tests that humans hear at 20hz-20khz is also somewhat superficial and relatively un-scientific. Many people can hear above and below that range but don't know what it is they are hearing, also just because a scientist spins a dial and asks you to raise your hand when you "can't hear a sound" doesn't make the test scientific due to the subjective nature of the senses.
What are you talking about? Science is not the result, it's the process -- a painstakingly careful and detailed way of doing things designed to avoid corrupting the data with external factors (such as human bias). Hundreds of years of trial and error have lead to established "best practices" in the various fields. If an experiment follows these best practices, we call it scientific. It has nothing to do with subjectivity or objectivity; it is simply about the process.

Many scientific studies on the limits of human hearing have been undertaken. All of them found the nominal frequency range to be 20 Hz to 20 kHz. This is a statistical result because human physiological variance is normally distributed. The great majority of us have less frequency range (i.e., most adults cannot hear past 18 kHz). Probably there are a few 3-sigma toddlers stumbling around right now that can hear 22 kHz. Maybe every 100 years or so a baby is born that would respond to 25 kHz, if anyone bothered to test it (though within a few years it'd be back to normal). It's just physiological variance, much like a small minority of people are born with extra color resolution, or grow to be over 7 feet tall. But the vast majority of us are of average height and color vision, and all of us old enough to buy music cannot hear above 20 kHz.

And before Ooashi and the like are brought up, no scientifically accepted study has ever shown ultrasonic perception.

Quote:
Have you ever been in a mixing session where you hear something that completely bothers you, but another artist in the room doesn't even hear it? Is it scientifically proven that it doesn't exist because a few a/b/x tests show time and time again that the artist simply doesn't hear it?
If one person sees bigfoot, is it "scientifically proven" that bigfoot exists? You're not describing anything that has to do with science. As for ABX, a well-designed test can provide good scientific data. The key is knowing how to design it; for sample/population studies, this is not as easy as it looks. For a personal "can I hear the difference?" test, ABX is the way to go.

Quote:
Question. When comparing analog to digital (IE vinyl to cd) I often hear "harsh" artifacts from transient sources such as tamborine and other instruments (particular Pet Sounds that I was listening to this morning). If one presumptively can't hear a difference between 192 and 44.1 then what would account for this harshness?
Harshness can be the result of many problems; I usually associate it with intermodulation distortion. What does this have to do with sampling rates?

Quote:
Is it possible that 192 does more than up the highest frequency range being recorded? Is it possible that its just an oversimplification, and the 192 digital-analog curve is more nuanced and accurate to the original curve than the 44.1 curve at common frequencies?
No, this is impossible. The only difference between 192 and 44.1 is bandwidth. You can prove this to yourself by recording a 20 kHz sine wave at 192, copy and downsample to 44.1, then flipping polarity on one and nulling. There is no "extra stuff" between the 192 kHz samples and the 44.1 kHz samples. If you don't believe this 100%, then you don't understand digital audio.
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