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Sounding Off: Is New Gear Better? (Ethan's article on SOS) Condenser Microphones
Old 19th November 2009
  #121
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius.media View Post
When you speak of fidelity, you speak of what sounds pleasing to you.
No! Your and other people's failure to understand this is the main problem. As the line from the movie says, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Fidelity is faithfulness to the source. If the source sucks then the result sucks too, but at least the output is faithful to the source.

Fidelity defined

--Ethan
Old 19th November 2009
  #122
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
No! Your and other people's failure to understand this is the main problem. As the line from the movie says, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Fidelity is faithfulness to the source. If the source sucks then the result sucks too, but at least the output is faithful to the source.

Fidelity defined

--Ethan
Yes, and fidelity is what typically sounds pleasing to you. It is not what typically sounds pleasing to many others.

In these discussions, it seems you believe your statements of preference for fidelity are fair game, but any other opinions to the contrary are "objectionable".
Old 19th November 2009
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Your puny FFT won't show a difference between a Millennia and a GML!
Wow Dan, you still don't understand that all audible differences can be easily measured.

Quote:
Why does the new one sound worse? Why make that choice, and why is it almost universal across the manufacturers?
This is an interesting question. My guess is that manufacturers make new stuff brighter sounding, to sound more impressive at a noisy Guitar Center store or on the floor of a trade show with headphones. Or maybe all the design engineers have ears as old as mine and think adding more and more treble is needed. I don't have the answer to why AKG would change a proven successful model. Maybe most people they polled prefer the brighter sound? Who knows? But that's unrelated to what I discuss here.

Quote:
It is widely accepted that 24 Bits are indistinguishable from 20 or so, and both sound better than 16. The artifacts in question are tiny, way below 80dB. Furthermore science would have us believe that if both are properly implemented they will be indentical. They are not.
I really wish you'd prove this with some clips rather than just keep repeating it as fact. "Widely believed" says nothing. Plus, a lot of things are "widely believed" that are easy to prove wrong.

Quote:
Do you not see the fallacy in assuming that these tests have it completely covered, when even a rudimentary sonic test gives a consistently opposite result?
My FFT screen caps proved my point very well! You said the differences are too small for "science" to measure, and I showed that is clearly wrong. The difference in response is huge, and shows very clearly. So then you changed the subject to Millennia versus GML. Dan, if they sound different, the differences are trivial to measure. Why is that so difficult to understand?

--Ethan
Old 19th November 2009
  #124
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Wow Dan, you still don't understand that all audible differences can be easily measured.
If you know what to measure, have the time, money, and know how to do it, and understand the intricacies of how to interpret the results. Easy. Yup.
Old 19th November 2009
  #125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
That is simply wrong Dan. An Audio Precision 2700 Analyzer can tell you exactly what's different in each of those recorders, and by how much. Given a suitable test setup, this analyzer can also tell you exactly what's different between your microphone samples.
--Ethan
I use Audio Precision here. It's a great kit. It does not tell you if you will like what you measure. That is subjective. Several times I've measure audio pieces with very similar specs but they still sound different. It will not tell you what something will sound like. If it did, deaf engineers would be producing fantastic audio designs. Run a mic body into it and change the coupling caps from ceramic to film and the measurements remain the same but the sonics don't. AP has limitations.
Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his own limitations".

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 19th November 2009
  #126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Wow Dan, you still don't understand that all audible differences can be easily measured.
Why is that so difficult to understand?
--Ethan
Because it is not true. Many times I have asked AP to do something and they tell me it can't be done. We are not at that stage where every sonic nuance can be plotted and shown. Someday maybe, but not today. Even AP knows that.
Why is that so difficult to understand?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 19th November 2009
  #127
Lives for gear
 

i dint bother to read the whole thread. but i read the article. i think there is some truth in it. but on the whole i totally dissagree.
i still didnt find a preamp that beats a well maintained v72 for example. no vocals mic that comes close to a nice u47. the sound from 30-40 years ago is surpassed by a DAW???!!!
sorry but give me a break....im not big one the whole OTB via ITB stuff (i do ITB myself) but i had the pleasure to mix on big neve consoles. and a semi-professional soundcard will beat that? dear ethan winter - have you ever been to proper recording studio in those 30-40 years? im sorry but the article is a bit absurd.
Old 19th November 2009
  #128
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11 View Post
I get why people buy hardware...

I get why people buy room treatment...

I don't get plugins...

People spend ****loads on plugins (I've been suckered myself...)

I think those are the biggest scam going these days...they all sound the same and they become worthless almost instantly...

Ethan, you say what?
Plugins do not all sound the same. So many different ways to implement algorithms. You could never say the stock Cubase reverb sounds as good as IK and Waves or that Waves SSL sounds the same (quality) as some freeware comp plugins out there.

There is a huge difference in plugin quality. I'm not saying there are no good freeware plugins since there are. Many freeware plugs are great and people use them daily but in general plugin quality varies greatly.
Old 19th November 2009
  #129
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
We are not at that stage where every sonic nuance can be plotted and shown.
Jim, I extend the same challenge to you that I suggested to DanDan. Please upload a pair of clips that sound different, but that I won't be able to measure a difference. They don't have to be MP3 files. Ten-second Wave files are not that large, and that should be long enough to prove your point.

FOLKS, PLEASE NOTE:

I'll be away on vacation without Internet access (on purpose!) until next Wednesday, so I may be able to reply only once or twice more today in this thread. Keep it clean please! heh

--Ethan
Old 19th November 2009
  #130
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
FOLKS, PLEASE NOTE:

I'll be away on vacation without Internet access (on purpose!)

--Ethan

Old 19th November 2009
  #131
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ddageek's Avatar
 

I have been talking to some highly respected recordists and gear designers over the last couple of days about Ethan's article!
General consensus, DUH In the area where a realistic reproduction of a performance is the goal, Yes throughout time we have evolved forward!
However most people really are not after that ( I have done enough mike shoot outs with singers alone to know most have an Idea of how they want to sound rather than how they really sound!
Also most point out that measurement has continued to evolve so to state that you can at any point in time trust measurement alone is absurd ! That would mean we are at the apex of understanding what our ears can do and their ears tell them we are no where even close!
Old 19th November 2009
  #132
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fossaree's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I'll be away on vacation without Internet access (on purpose!) until next Wednesday, so I may be able to reply only once or twice more today in this thread. Keep it clean please! heh

--Ethan
Going to Bahamas , right ?
;-)

Enjoy your vacations !
Old 19th November 2009
  #133
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Hey,

Here's what I posted about this very article on another forum. Meant with respct Ethan - hopefully you take it the right way!!

"""
Ethans one of the good guys - but he occasionally strays into the absurd {some ramblings about a $50 soundcard being as effective a system as a $5000 system - which has been shown many many times not to be true!!}.... or often into areas that he's not quite so well equipped {digital sampling theory}..... But most of what he says is bona fida and comes from a good degree of experience

His argument for a modern cheap interface possessing more "fidelity" than a high end analogue system also misses one very very important point.... We don't measure the "SUBJECTIVE" fidelity of equipment - we comment on "what it sounds like". In that respect there is no modern budget soundcard which has the subjective fidelity - or mojo as it really is - of either more expensive designs or top end tape machines.

Further to say a digital EQ has no noise and no distortion is also not true. There is an inherent distortion at every single calculation - any re-quantization produces a distortion. A very quiet one but it's still there.

there are , as Ethan rightly points out, incredible advantages in the modern digital studio . There is also a huge array of equipment available to the home musician that allows {at least} technical signal quality to be of a more robust nature than it was in high end studios yeas ago. The thing the Ethan misses {and many have said this to him time and time again} is that the "sound quality" is a subjective thing too. You cannot replace great rooms or gear that has a pleasing effect.

In times gone by many records were indeed made on old tube desks or early high headroom transistor consoles. Ethan is also right that they were forever searching for a cleaner sound - the thing is, the records we all grew accustomed to and loved in those particular times are NOT clean and NOT technical marvels of sonic storage. They're not even accurate portrayals of what the sound was in the room! They are great jobs using the occasionally compromised equipment at hand - and some of the particular distortions made it onto the records we know and love. You just cant get the Led Zep II sound on a Prism system into PT HD. We found much to our distress that in the search for ever cleaner and more exact sound we'd forgot what "rock n roll" was actually about. It NEEDS that dirt - and yes you can get a version of that dirt {neither better or worse} on a DAW.

It is all down to a sense of aesthetic and it's something Ethan misses time and time again. Altec console into 8 track 3M produces something very different to RADAR. Not better - not worse. But different. That difference is part of the production value any recording maker must choose between.... IF you want a record to sound a particular way - the 70s way - then , as well as knowing how things were performed and mic'ed up at the time you're also going to have to use older equipment.

I have a studio here with a great deal of equipment;

Some very old - plates, tape machines, valve preamps

some middle aged - guitars, amps, console, pre amps again

and some bang up to date - DAWs , more preamps etc etc

Our company spends a great deal of its time in all areas of media music - from Video game to film - and producing commercial music. Right now we're running a very large two year project involving recreating mixes of times gone by from original multi tracks.... most of them on one or two inch tape. I tried for nearly three days to re-mix "Jackons - I want you back" in "the box". I even tried on our vintage 70's Neve console. Just couldnt get "that" sound. I contacted a colleague who mixed many of these old records and he told me it would have been done on an Altec console - a particular unobtainable one at that , but that I might get some luck with a few other old systems. I hired one.

The track virtually mixed itself.

So yes - the engineering skills of the day, the rooms, the skill - yes Ethan is right, they were part of that sound. But so was the equipment. He undersells what particular kinds of equipment can bring to the table because he has a stand point of making a particular kind of recording. Those of us who have made heavy rock records will tell you that some parts of the "old process" just cannot be bettered. The sound of rock drums IS the sound of decent tape - noise and all!!

In conclusion - yes.... much of what is missing from home recordings is technique etc, but many of the people Ethan has argued with in the past are not home recordists... they are individuals of much higher, professional experience. Modern recording systems are truly a marvel, in that much Ethan is spot on. Measurements of old against new systems also show huge leaps in technical improvement - improvements made available at low cost to the home recordist. All of that is laudable and great - but to make comments like "modern digital plugin EQs are better than any analogue hardware" just smacks of inexperience. I've both here. At last calculation something like $1.6million worth. I have superb digital {plugisn and hardware} and superb analogue - they are different ... but one thing is absolutely certain, the plugins are great - but they cannot do what analogue EQs do. The converse is also true.

Ethan - stop "measuring noise" and start listening to what the equipment does. I'm a fellow science mumbler - mathematician in fact. I'm committed to what DAWs and digital systems bring to the table. I know the advantages and shortcomings of our IT based recording systems and that's why I have some analogue outboard and a console. Neither is better although one is cheaper!!
Old 19th November 2009
  #134
Gear Guru
Listen

Ethan, I suggest that you listen to those files. If your premise on the four horsemen of fidelity is true, then can I ask you to Eq the two existing files. Make them sound the same and to appear visibly the same on FFT? I will post the preamp files which will sound different and I look forward to seeing if you can visualise that. I would be even more interested to see you make a V78 sound like a Millennia using Eq Distortion and whatever devilish tools of torture you have at your lair.

I only bring up the 24Bit thing again because the link you provided compares 24/96 to 16/44. Doh! When the issues of Sample Rate and Word length are examined separately, the conclusions are as solid as the flat earth. I have no wish and there should be no need to back this up. We can all do our own research if desired.

However I have presented some tests and will present some more to refute your myth- busting falsehood. I do this firstly because I have done these tests. Not many get the opportunity to assemble these nuggets, so I am sharing. Secondly I wish to wave that flag at the manufacturers and anyone else silly enough to thing we have the science of sound thing done. The science of sound is merely a kitten.

The topic I am working on here, is and was, Older is better, please stop trying to change it or nuance it out of focus.

Enjoy your holiday, build up your strength, you will need it when you come back :-)
DD
Old 19th November 2009
  #135
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
{some ramblings about a $50 soundcard being as effective a system as a $5000 system - which has been shown many many times not to be true!!}
Uh, shown to whose satisfaction? And using what exactly as evidence? The last time I posted clips recorded through a $25 SoundBlaster and an Apogee 8000 simultaneously, half the people who thought one sounded better preferred the SB card. A lot of people thought the two clips sounded basically the same.

Quote:
there is no modern budget soundcard which has the subjective fidelity - or mojo as it really is - of either more expensive designs or top end tape machines.
That really isn't true. Unless you think the finest and most expensive A/D/A converters also fall short of analog recorders.

Quote:
Further to say a digital EQ has no noise and no distortion is also not true. There is an inherent distortion at every single calculation - any re-quantization produces a distortion. A very quiet one but it's still there.
You are correct. I'm a practical kind of guy, so to me artifacts and noise 135 dB or whatever below the music might as well be non-existent.

Quote:
The thing the Ethan misses {and many have said this to him time and time again} is that the "sound quality" is a subjective thing too. You cannot replace great rooms or gear that has a pleasing effect.
Believe me, I do not miss that. I understand some people like a bit of distortion on their tracks and mixes. Or aggressive compression which has a similar sound. Hell, I like that effect sometimes too. I've already stated that several times in this thread, so it's not me who "misses {and many have said this to him time and time again}." I even linked to my earlier SOS op-ed article where I talk about the value of slight distortion for added color:

Gaining an Edge - with Subtle Distortion

Quote:
Ethan is also right that they were forever searching for a cleaner sound
That was my main point in the article. It's trivial to dirty-up a clean recording, but nearly impossible to remove tape grunge (IMD mostly) and hiss after the fact.

Quote:
the thing is, the records we all grew accustomed to and loved in those particular times are NOT clean and NOT technical marvels of sonic storage.
I'm 61 years old, so I grew up with music of the 60s and 70s and still like that stuff. I'm often surprised at how good some of those recordings sound when playing a more recent CD made from the original master tapes. They are much cleaner and clearer than what I recall hearing on vinyl. So even though I grew up hearing grungy sound on LPs, I prefer a cleaner sound. Related, last year a friend gave me The Who Sellout on CD, which we both used to love, and I was shocked at how distorted it sounds. I don't like the distortion, and feel it detracts from my fond memory of that album.

Quote:
It is all down to a sense of aesthetic and it's something Ethan misses time and time again.
Again, I don't miss anything. I just disagree that clean = bad. Sometimes I feel like I'm in Backwards World the way some people argue against high fidelity sound quality. That's why I mentioned Al Schmitt, T Bone Burnett and Alison Krause, and John Williams. Are they also misguided like me?

Quote:
many of the people Ethan has argued with in the past are not home recordists... they are individuals of much higher, professional experience.
You bring up an excellent point. It's very hard to know who's at the other end of a keyboard when they don't use a real name, and the About Me screen doesn't even link to a lame MySpace page. I take DanDan seriously because I know the quality of his work and it's excellent. Others who for whatever reason want to be anonymous yet have their opinion taken seriously have zero cred with me. Folks, if you're a pro, show a link to your website with a list of your credits or at least some high-bit-rate MP3 clips.

Quote:
to make comments like "modern digital plugin EQs are better than any analogue hardware" just smacks of inexperience.
I've had both too, and I prefer digital for the reasons I stated in my article. Are you suggesting that good EQs should add distortion? I do agree that most reverb plug-ins fall far short of a real plate or real live room. That's the last frontier for plug-ins IMO. But they'll get there eventually as computers become more powerful.

I guess for me, the bottom line is that slight distortion - what you call "mojo" - is not difficult to achieve, and should not costs thousands of dollars. There's too much magic in pro audio, and too many otherwise knowledgeable people believe "science" doesn't know how to measure what they're certain they can hear. In many cases a proper blind test will show they're not even hearing what they think they hear. Not always, but often. I'll be very interested to see if Jim Williams is able to show us some files that sound different but "measure" the same.

Gotta run guys, see you next week for more fun & games. heh

--Ethan
Old 19th November 2009
  #136
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

I've had both too, and I prefer digital for the reasons I stated in my article. Are you suggesting that good EQs should add distortion?
a question that sums up most of your responses i guess....

I am suggesting that "stop measuring and start listening". And yes - some EQS SHOULD add a measure of distortion.

digital EQS - try boosting 10dB in the 10k region and see what happens!! What? You don't do that ever? Well then you've never made a record !! YOU CANNOT ABUSE DIGITAL EQ - equipment abuse is a mainstay of creative music production and has been since you were very very young !!

I'm a digital advocate - but not at the expense of throwing away far nicer solutions when available. You're taking a black and white standpoint in an issue where nothing could be further from the truth. You are not some "stand alone I was right all along" chap are ya? There is no digital EQ capable AT ALL of doing what a Massive Passive does. Can get close on small changes - but one of the fun things to do with that kit is abuse it !!
Old 19th November 2009
  #137
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
If your premise on the four horsemen of fidelity is true, then can I ask you to Eq the two existing files. Make them sound the same and to appear visibly the same on FFT?
It's probably do-able with something like HarBal, but I don't have that and I'm not willing to spend the time to do it manually. I know I'm on totally solid ground with my "big four" parameters. So I'll put it back on you: What more do you believe there is? Please be very specific!

Quote:
I only bring up the 24Bit thing again because the link you provided compares 24/96 to 16/44. Doh! When the issues of Sample Rate and Word length are examined separately, the conclusions are as solid as the flat earth.
Logically that makes no sense. If reducing both the bit depth and sample rate cannot be heard, then why do you think changing only one could be audible?

Quote:
Enjoy your holiday, build up your strength, you will need it when you come back :-)
Okay!

--Ethan
Old 19th November 2009
  #138
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
No! Your and other people's failure to understand this is the main problem. As the line from the movie says, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Fidelity is faithfulness to the source. If the source sucks then the result sucks too, but at least the output is faithful to the source.

Fidelity defined

--Ethan
in those terms - no system has anything approaching fidelity . It's a waste of time trying to adhere to it since no speaker can accurately portray anything like a realistic sound scape. the music business has never been built of such realms - and the main issue I have with your article is that it preaches some level of "rightness" against the very thing that creates, for example, rock n roll. Fidelity is low on the recording list in those terms. Mojo isnt!!
Old 19th November 2009
  #139
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post


I'm 61 years old, so I grew up with music of the 60s and 70s and still like that stuff. I'm often surprised at how good some of those recordings sound when playing a more recent CD made from the original master tapes. They are much cleaner and clearer than what I recall hearing on vinyl. So even though I grew up hearing grungy sound on LPs, I prefer a cleaner sound. Related, last year a friend gave me The Who Sellout on CD, which we both used to love, and I was shocked at how distorted it sounds. I don't like the distortion, and feel it detracts from my fond memory of that album.
Age not relevant - I'm 41 if it helps !!

Most recordings from those eras - under your criteria of "fidelity" dont stand up. they are nothing like the source - they are distorted everywhere - but they SOUND aces. So do many modern recordings. The point being -

you use what you need to get the results required and, unless it's some aim of changing NOTHING - eg SRC or accurate capture - then abuse the equipment as much as your artistic integrity tells you. I've made a LOT of records Ethan, and Ive mixed a LOT of media music, movies, games and TV. Sometimes ITB digital works, sometimes OTB digital. Sometimes tape is right. Sometimes not.

THAT is what is fundamentally wrong about the article - it comes across as some truth that we all should be striving for when, in reality it's only a truth for a small portion of what recording is about - and you should have made that part of it clear from the outset.

As you may know - I record soundtrack orchestra for much of my time; reproducing the sound in the room is not the game. Supporting the image under the vision of the film director is.... compositionally and sonically. If that means pushing strings to tape at a lowly 7 IPS then so be it. Fidelity only comes into the picture when you wish to change things no more - ie its the realm of the technical and NOT the artistic.
Old 19th November 2009
  #140
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Logically that makes no sense. If reducing both the bit depth and sample rate cannot be heard, then why do you think changing only one could be audible?
So logically then, would it be fair to compare "apples and oranges" to "tomatoes and grapefruits"?

Old 19th November 2009
  #141
Gear Guru
Remember the Topic!

Let's not forget the topic under discussion here. It is not colour, fidelity, mojo, bits, rates, THD etc. etc.
Ethan's premise is that the broad notion that older audio gear is better is not true, but in fact the opposite is the case.
He shows no sign of listening to the evidence presented. He can't handle the truth!
DD
Old 19th November 2009
  #142
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanDan View Post
Let's not forget the topic under discussion here. It is not colour, fidelity, mojo, bits, rates, THD etc. etc.
Ethan's premise is that the broad notion that older audio gear is better is not true, but in fact the opposite is the case.
He shows no sign of listening to the evidence presented. He can't handle the truth!
DD
Tom Cruise? is that you ?heh
Old 19th November 2009
  #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
Plugins do not all sound the same. So many different ways to implement algorithms. You could never say the stock Cubase reverb sounds as good as IK and Waves or that Waves SSL sounds the same (quality) as some freeware comp plugins out there.

There is a huge difference in plugin quality. I'm not saying there are no good freeware plugins since there are. Many freeware plugs are great and people use them daily but in general plugin quality varies greatly.
People say this all the time...seems to me why so many are "addicted to plugins"...plugin slutz...

and some companies are laughing all the way to the bank with overpriced "new" comps and EQ's with fancy GUIs...

but I don't think they really sound different...

in a mix, I don't believe anyone would ever know if someone was using cheap plugins or stock plugins from whatever DAW they use, or expensive Waves or UADs or whatever...the overall sound would essentially be the same...

there's a little shootout going around now on youtube comparing UAD plugs with Antress...doesn't really prove they're exactly the same, but it sure doesn't prove the UAD are worth way more...and the Antress are free and they don't come on an expensive dongle that will undoubtedly become obsolete...
Old 20th November 2009
  #144
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Totally agree with everything narcoman said.

I started with a DAW. I love digital. But the first time I worked with a nice analog EQ/compressor, it was an epiphany. Kind of like narcoman's Jacksons Altec console moment (on a much smaller scale) - a instant recognition of "Oh! So that's how they get that sound!" and a kind of beating myself up after for wasting so much time trying to get it other ways that, in retrospect, had no realistic chance of delivering.

Because as simple and easy as some individuals pretend it is to re-produce subtleties like aesthetically pleasing distortions, phase shifts, and pumping ITB, it is anything but.

I agree ITB offers a massively helpful arsenal of tools that cannot be replicated easily OTB. But the opposite is still very true as well.

You cannot record a snare with a measurement mic, a cleanish preamp, slap a couple plugins on ITB and get the sound of a SM57 through API to a Distressor/1176 slamming tape. It's pure fantasy at this point. You might get something good, but it won't be the same.

The most popular drum sample libraries, for example, are generally recorded the way they are for a reason, and people buy them en masse for a reason as well.

Fidelity is not it.

In many cases, the gear truly is the sound you are after. In my experience, fidelity almost never is.
Old 20th November 2009
  #145
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I'm generally in agreement with Ethan.

Too many people have the idea that the next bit of expensive kit will take their recordings to the next level. They are mostly quite mistaken,... mostly .

Equipment made these days performs far, far better than gear made 10, 15 , 30, 40, years ago. Whether it sounds as good to you is ENTIRELY a subjective argument.

And, yes I do think if you believe you can hear a difference that isn't measurable then you are deluded.
Old 20th November 2009
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB View Post
Equipment made these days performs far, far better than gear made 10, 15 , 30, 40, years ago. Whether it sounds as good to you is ENTIRELY a subjective argument.
That depends entirely on your subjective definition of performance, doesn't it?

If you want the sound of an 1176, an actual 1176 will perform flawlessly in providing it.

Semantics, yes, but so is this whole discussion.
Old 20th November 2009
  #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius.media View Post
That depends entirely on your subjective definition of performance, doesn't it?

If you want the sound of an 1176, an actual 1176 will perform flawlessly in providing it.

Semantics, yes, but so is this whole discussion.
Bollocks. Performance is not subjective and entirely measurable.

"1 in = 1 out"
Old 20th November 2009
  #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkRB View Post
Bollocks. Performance is not subjective and entirely measurable.

"1 in = 1 out"
Nope, that would be fidelity, which is apparently Ethan's favorite word in the dictionary. Performance is entirely measurable (at least theoretically), but it is still subjective.
Old 20th November 2009
  #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobius.media View Post
Nope, that would be fidelity, which is apparently Ethan's favorite word in the dictionary. Performance is entirely measurable (at least theoretically), but it is still subjective.
Fidelity by definition means "Truth"

The ability of a piece of gear to "truthfully" pass a signal indicates it's "performance".
Old 20th November 2009
  #150
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If we suppose science can measure every difference that we sonically hear, it still will not explain why something sounds "better". All it can tell you is what is different. For example the old mic sounds better but has less high end frequency response. It is incorrect to equate a lack of high end to better more pleasing sound. In general the converse is usually true.

The point I think a lot of people are trying to make is our ears should be the ultimate guide. Audio gear is a lot like art/music in general, analysis will only get you so far, there is not a direct correlation between measurement/analysis and "mojo". In that case we should all strive to achieve our own personal aesthetic instead of concluding that our aesthetic is necessarily better than someone elses. Fidelity by its definition then can be measured and compared, but it is erroneous to equate fidelity with better sound/improvement. Electrically speaking yes it is an improvement, but audibly speaking it is neither better or worse, just aesthetically different.

Btw, bean counting in high end products really annoys me. I understand products are built to a price point but when it's like a $1 in something that costs $700, cmon already.
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