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Launch of Pono Studio Headphones
Old 30th March 2014
  #1981
I had to leave this debate a week ago and its still about sampling and frequency! could you get any more boring and less musical! dont buy a pono and leave them to it!
Old 30th March 2014
  #1982
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andypick68 View Post
I had to leave this debate a week ago and its still about sampling and frequency! could you get any more boring and less musical! dont buy a pono and leave them to it!
And what is Pono about? :-)

As far as i understand Pono is something that is marketed with a "need" for higher than redbook sample rate and wordlength as arguments.. It does not feel vary strange to me that the discussion mostly ends up being about.. sample rate and wordlength.


/Peter
Old 31st March 2014
  #1983
But them and you and everyone involved is totally ignoring the critical new issue: sample length and word rate!

I mean-- imagine what Tom Petty has to say about it!!!
Old 31st March 2014
  #1984
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
Agreed. And look on the bright side: at least you found the weak spot in your chain. I wonder how many other people are hearing "night and day" differences between 44.1 and higher rates simply because their converters suck at 44.1.

But you were right: you were definitely hearing something!
Well turns out when I transitioned to Windows7 from XP on the laptop I do my DAW work on, had to make some settings in the device manager or the DAC would receive multiple clocks and... (what - not sure) transmit the sound file with multiple clocks on it? Not sure, anyhow Michal at Mytek was kind enough to take time to sort this out with me and it turns out it was operator error (aka my fault). You need to set the session sample rate not only for recording but for playback or Audacity kicks the DAC off of the clock source of the ADC.

Really wish I could be doing all this in Linux.

Got to see Mytek's new multichannel DSD studio though. Beyond 192kHz. Why are they doing this if there is not difference? Must be the sound.
Old 31st March 2014
  #1985
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Has anyone tried this?

Soundkeeper Recordings Format Comparison
Old 31st March 2014
  #1986
j_j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggo View Post
On a vastly oversimplified level, the human auditory system has a bit in common with an AD converter, except the biological method requires many different structures to derive the combined, coherent signal which we perceive. During this journey the auditory structures supply information chunks which are sometimes temporally discrete (being derived from change in action potentials) and are even synthesized at some points (during binaural fusion for example).
In other words, don't be so sure that a "continuous fluid column" means the incoming information is continuous like a sine wave. We perceive it as continuous, but that's different to your implied assertion regarding "continuous fluid". The inner ear is very similar to a spectrum analyzer via arrays of mechanical receptors (hairs) which detect frequencies. In this regard, we do indeed "do an FFT" in the sense of doing a pass of more or less discrete spectrum analysis channels which are combined in various ways downstream. Each hair is a different band.
From this Yamaha document: "the cochlea is one of the most amazing organs in the human body, as it basically constitutes a very sensitive 3,500-band frequency analyser with digital outputs - more or less equivalent to a high resolution FFT analyzer"

It's all about you, eh?

Even after disregarding the fact that perfect sine tones do not occur in nature, hearing a difference using a sine wave as the source is not an indicator of much at all, given the many variables applicable to your "test".

It is a meaningless distraction to use a half-baked home-brewed test to dispute countless prior tests which were made adhering to the scientific method.
Wow, yes and no.

The comment of 3500 bands is ridiculous. There are about that many inner hair cells, give or take (although I have seen larger numbers expressed as well), and each can define a filter centered on its location on the cochlea.

HOWEVER, the filter bandwidths overlap extensively. It's more like 40-ish bands if you look edge to edge (depends on how you define the bandwidth). So the Yamaha statement is kind of right and kind of wrong to start with.

The cochlea is definitively a frequency analyzer, high frequencies detected at the entrance, low at the far end of the heliocotrema.

Now, what do sine waves have to do with this? Only a way to examine the actual responses of the filters, nothing more, but when we hear "difference using sine wave" being denigrated, what we are seeing is a failure to understand basic mathematics, since, yes, you can construct anything you can actually create in the air out of a set of sine waves with the right frequency and phase. I know that sounds odd, but it's provably true.

Yes, even an impulse is nothing but a sum of a set of sine waves.

Now the "sum" is a hint where one could go wrong, because that sum requires linear summation, however, that is happening in the air, which is linear or decently so, up to 80dB or 90dB SPL, and not bad up to 120dB SPL. (but just not linear at all when you get to something like 140dB SPL)

Still, since we are talking audio, not weapons designed to permanently deafen someone, the whole idea of sine waves making up a signal is quite valid.

So knocking something because it uses sine waves is not an appropriate complaint.
Old 31st March 2014
  #1987
j_j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post
The point I was responding to had to do with why we'd hear a difference between a high frequency sine wave vs square wave, that the missing (to our hearing range) harmonic might have another effect rather than having to be perceived.
Well, except that when level is set properly, you don't generally hear a difference between a sine and a square wave with the same fundamental if the square wave is well constructed and over 7kHz for most people, or maybe 10kHz for youngsters.

There is a very easy way for that test to go wrong. If the sine wave is not perfectly symmetric (and no non-digital one I've used has been!!!!!) then you get a fair amount of second harmonic as well as third harmonic, and with that 7 or 8kHz square wave (that's not quite a square wave) and yes, you can hear the 14 or 16kHz part of the sound. This does not surprise me at all, and hopefully doesn't surprise anyone else.

This kind of test is tough to do. Many instruments fail you in surprisingly unexpected ways.
Old 31st March 2014
  #1988
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
Too bad no more download comparisons :-(
Old 31st March 2014
  #1989
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Regarding the Soundkeeper test files for comparisons..

Be aware of the fact that an audible difference between one of their 16/44 and either 24/96 or 24/192 does not necessairly teach you anything about the formats as such, even if they are all made from the same master. Your playback chain may perform differently with different files.

If you hear a difference, "uprez" the lower rez file and compare again. If you still hear a difference, make a "downrez>uprez" version of the 24/96 or 24/192 file and compare again (SoX, iZotope, Audacity). If you are still able to hear a difference it's starting to get interesting.

For obvious reasons, in the end you also need to make a proper blind test.

/Peter
Old 31st March 2014
  #1990
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiop View Post
Regarding the Soundkeeper test files for comparisons..

Be aware of the fact that an audible difference between one of their 16/44 and either 24/96 or 24/192 does not necessairly teach you anything about the formats as such, even if they are all made from the same master. Your playback chain may perform differently with different files.

If you hear a difference, "uprez" the lower rez file and compare again. If you still hear a difference, make a "downrez>uprez" version of the 24/96 or 24/192 file and compare again (SoX, iZotope, Audacity). If you are still able to hear a difference it's starting to get interesting.

For obvious reasons, in the end you also need to make a proper blind test.

/Peter
I agree. In addition to their versions, I would create each piece of music like this:

1. 16/44 original • 16/44 created from 24/96 • 16/44 created from 24/192
2. 24/96 original • 24/96 created from 16/44 • 24/96 created from 24/192
3. 24/192 original • 24/192 created from 16/44 • 24/192 created from 24/96

Would it be safe to use a program like Reaper to play back all of the files with the project rate set to 192kHz? It does support importing and playing back different sample rates without conversion. Or does the convertor need to be set for the proper sample rate to do this test properly?
Old 31st March 2014
  #1991
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I thought this was appropriate.

http://www.visualtargeting.com/diamondshreddies.html
Old 31st March 2014
  #1992
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I thought this was appropriate.

VisualTargeting
Wow, that is incredible.
Old 31st March 2014
  #1993
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post

Got to see Mytek's new multichannel DSD studio though. Beyond 192kHz. Why are they doing this if there is not difference? Must be the sound.
Ya, because it couldn't possibly be because of the money.

I don't honestly know, I've never done a/b/x with DSD, but I'm curious to do so!!
Old 31st March 2014
  #1995
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post

Got to see Mytek's new multichannel DSD studio though. Beyond 192kHz. Why are they doing this if there is not difference? Must be the sound.
I'm not going to argue whether most or any of us can or can't hear the difference, but we certainly CAN NOT use the "why would they make it if it doesn't work" to describe a product for sale.
Old 31st March 2014
  #1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I thought this was appropriate.

VisualTargeting
That's brilliant!
Old 31st March 2014
  #1997
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I agree. In addition to their versions, I would create each piece of music like this:

1. 16/44 original • 16/44 created from 24/96 • 16/44 created from 24/192
2. 24/96 original • 24/96 created from 16/44 • 24/96 created from 24/192
3. 24/192 original • 24/192 created from 16/44 • 24/192 created from 24/96

Would it be safe to use a program like Reaper to play back all of the files with the project rate set to 192kHz? It does support importing and playing back different sample rates without conversion. Or does the convertor need to be set for the proper sample rate to do this test properly?
Hi Kenny,

If the purpose is to determine if one can hear any differences between different resolutions created from the same mastering, I would not agree at all. In fact, the Format Comparison page very specifically mentions being sure one's system is not altering the word length or sample rate.

The samples we offer represent what our customers purchase. Putting any one of the files through additional processes is no longer comparing our files. Doing so would be like comparing different wines by first pouring some other drink into each one. Or comparing paint colors by first mixing in some other color.

Performing any process whatsoever would be to test something other than the inherent differences in these files. It might be a good way to go for folks who have already concluded there are no differences and need to "prove" this. But it isn't anything remotely like a fair comparison. That can only occur by listening to them exactly as they are, through a playback system that plays them exactly as they are, with no additional processing.

Best regards,
Barry
www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
www.soundkeeperrecordings.wordpress.com
www.barrydiamentaudio.com
Old 31st March 2014
  #1998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdiament View Post

The samples we offer represent what our customers purchase. Putting any one of the files through additional processes is no longer comparing our files.
But it's not like any of these files haven't already been converted. Right?

They weren't recorded or mixed at different sample rates were they?

So the lower quality versions already went through some conversion.

And if you're suspicion is warranted, it shouldn't be an issue as all of your original files would still be present in the comparison.

And degradation would simply give those files a disadvantage.

But if the original 24/192 sounds best, it should jump out as best. Right?

The only purpose of having those other versions is if for some reason your convertor sounds better at different resolutions.
Old 31st March 2014
  #1999
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For me, I would probably start out with just the original files.

See if I hear any differences.

If I do hear a difference and can pick out reliably which one I'm hearing, I then would try to upsample the lower quality versions to make sure that my convertor doesn't just sound better at that sample freq.
Old 31st March 2014
  #2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdiament View Post
Hi Kenny,

If the purpose is to determine if one can hear any differences between different resolutions created from the same mastering, I would not agree at all. In fact, the Format Comparison page very specifically mentions being sure one's system is not altering the word length or sample rate.
How do you know if what you hear is a difference in "resolution" in your files or a difference between hardware and software implementation in the playback apparatus?

Quote:
The samples we offer represent what our customers purchase. Putting any one of the files through additional processes is no longer comparing our files. Doing so would be like comparing different wines by first pouring some other drink into each one. Or comparing paint colors by first mixing in some other color.
I assume that the three versions you offer are derived from the same 24/192 master?

How come you can downrez to 16/44.1 and a curious consumer or other person can not?

Quote:
Performing any process whatsoever would be to test something other than the inherent differences in these files. It might be a good way to go for folks who have already concluded there are no differences and need to "prove" this. But it isn't anything remotely like a fair comparison. That can only occur by listening to them exactly as they are, through a playback system that plays them exactly as they are, with no additional processing.
So you have concluded that a state of the art non real time sample rate converter and truncation with appropriate dither always and by definition add more coloration than the artefacts you may run into in all the gazillion implementaitons of the hardware and software combinations in playback devices?

Then how do you produce your own 16/44.1 files?

By down converting to say 16/44.1 and then bring it back up to 24/96 or 24/192 you can be sure that the playback does not interfer with the test. This is the prefered way of investigating if the lower nosie floor and higher bandwith is audible or not.

If my suggested method above gives no audible difference, and your method of using two different files such as 16/44.1 vs 24/192 does, what conclusion do you draw from that?

If "my" method gives an audible difference it can be from inherent losses in going down in "resolution" and/or from artefacts (such as aliasing) in the SRC.

If there is no audible difference then obviously any artefacts and losses or colorations are below the threshold of audibility and as such not a problem.


/Peter
Old 31st March 2014
  #2001
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
I'm not going to argue whether most or any of us can or can't hear the difference, but we certainly CAN NOT use the "why would they make it if it doesn't work" to describe a product for sale.
Well that's interesting - this is why as long as a microphone measures 20hz-20khz and has the same dynamic range and noise levels as an expensive Telefunken, there would be ABSOLUTELY no reason to purchase a more expensive microphone because there is no way to prove it sounds any different. We only hear the difference. So why else would they make more expensive microphones?
Old 31st March 2014
  #2002
mixmixmix
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Memo to Neil Young - Please remember to advertise Pono to dolphins.
Old 31st March 2014
  #2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post
Well that's interesting - this is why as long as a microphone measures 20hz-20khz and has the same dynamic range and noise levels as an expensive Telefunken, there would be ABSOLUTELY no reason to purchase a more expensive microphone because there is no way to prove it sounds any different. We only hear the difference. So why else would they make more expensive microphones?
Hi!

Electronical devices basically log voltage vs time.

Electroacoustical transducers such as mic's have to track voltage vs time as well but also collect energy in an other domain from a gazillion angles and convert it to an electrical signal.

You do know that sound (as in acoustical waves) exists in more than one single defined axis right?


/Peter
Old 31st March 2014
  #2004
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nuthinupmysleeve's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post
Well that's interesting - this is why as long as a microphone measures 20hz-20khz and has the same dynamic range and noise levels as an expensive Telefunken, there would be ABSOLUTELY no reason to purchase a more expensive microphone because there is no way to prove it sounds any different. We only hear the difference. So why else would they make more expensive microphones?
Again... I've done a/b/x testing of microphones. In many situations I can reliably tell a difference. Thus.. it's not expectation bias.

It's pretty simple, really. If it can be proven by testing, it's real.
Old 31st March 2014
  #2005
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkorten View Post
Well that's interesting - this is why as long as a microphone measures 20hz-20khz and has the same dynamic range and noise levels as an expensive Telefunken, there would be ABSOLUTELY no reason to purchase a more expensive microphone because there is no way to prove it sounds any different. We only hear the difference. So why else would they make more expensive microphones?
They make more expensive microphones because people buy expensive microphones.

For me, that's a tough analogy because I do hear a difference in microphones so I think it's valid.

But just because a product is made and people buy it, is not scientific proof that it is better.

Have you watched the video I posted about bottled water?

People pay more for things when they "perceive" it to have more value. Not just because it does.
Old 31st March 2014
  #2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post
...People pay more for things when they "perceive" it to have more value. Not just because it does.
That doesn't mean that everything is of equal value regardless of price though.
Old 31st March 2014
  #2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
That doesn't mean that everything is of equal value regardless of price though.
Of course not.

How did we get so off topic?

I almost always argue in FAVOR of high quality devices. I love gear. And I hear differences in almost all of it.

This is just an area that I've never been convinced and we can't use this idea that people will buy something as proof that it's better.

Especially when many of my peers are still producing records at 44.1kHz.

And almost none of them are using 192kHz.

Does that prove my point? No. Listening, using your equipment and your ears should be the deciding factor.

Not my opinion and certainly not the opinion of someone with something to sell you.
Old 31st March 2014
  #2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Gioia View Post

Have you watched the video I posted about bottled water?

People pay more for things when they "perceive" it to have more value. Not just because it does.
I'm so over the bottled water analogy in all these creative industry debates.
FWIW, bottled water can be better, when your only alternative is tap water from an unknown source, or when you are in a city, very thirsty and don't want to go into a cafe or restaurant - bottled water is just convenient.
And ya know it's ok to perceive something is better.
I record with expensive, boutique drums. If I recorded with off the shelf, mid-priced drums the final record would be no different really, and i already know the listener doesn't care.
I merely feel better and possibly more inspired playing the boutique instrument.
Of course I don't need 24 karat gold snare strainers, like I don't need 192khz, but each person draws their own line in the sand.
Old 31st March 2014
  #2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I'm so over the bottled water analogy in all these creative industry debates.
FWIW, bottled water can be better, when your only alternative is tap water from an unknown source, or when you are in a city, very thirsty and don't want to go into a cafe or restaurant - bottled water is just convenient.
And ya know it's ok to perceive something is better.
I record with expensive, boutique drums. If I recorded with off the shelf, mid-priced drums the final record would be no different really, and i already know the listener doesn't care.
I merely feel better and possibly more inspired playing the boutique instrument.
Of course I don't need 24 karat gold snare strainers, like I don't need 192khz, but each person draws their own line in the sand.
But how does this relate to this conversation?

I also go out of my way to get the best of everything if I can and I might be fooled.

My production partner had a $3500 Martin acoustic guitar and I told him to leave it home because the $300 Takmine sounded just as good (and in some ways better) for the pop music we were using it for. Plus, I didn't want the thing to break.

But sometimes these things are about touch and feel. Like an expensive suit, or a sports car or whatever. It might not be better but it feels better using it and therefore you might make better records with it.

But does this apply to sampling frequency as well?

Should we call off the science discussion for this and just all "feel" that it's better when it can be mathematically proven otherwise?
Old 31st March 2014
  #2010
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
That doesn't mean that everything is of equal value regardless of price though.
of course not, but the original diversion down this particular rabbit-hole was prompted by this statement:

Quote:
Why are they doing this if there is not difference?
which is basically making the opposite assumption. Either assumption assumes too much. You have to determine value independently which is something the "testers" seem to want to do. If you just say "bah humbug" and don't test it out, you might miss something good, but only blind consumerism would say "they must have their reasons" and leave it at that.
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