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Ethan Winer on... Condenser Microphones
Old 11th September 2008
  #331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I hear only a very small difference, but I'll be interested to know if others feel the sound quality is really as different as you guys seem to think. Anyone else? Here's those two (only) links again:

Guitar into SoundBlaster
Guitar into Apogee

--Ethan
I just listened to them for the first time in the studio (without reading the file names). Yes, I hear quite a difference. IMO If you stacked instruments using the SoundBlaster you would hear the mud building up. The clarity using the Apogee in your examples is superior, and that's just one track.

And yes, you could rename these A and B (or A and S if you want to make it easy) and I could pick out which was which.

I just went and listened to the other instrument examples; the triangle tracks really display the difference in the high end quite dramatically.
Old 11th September 2008
  #332
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Converter Challenge:

I would love to see Ethan post a challenge with Apogee, M-audio and Soundblaster converters and see if the naysayers can consistently pick out the differences. If they can I'll become a believer.

It's too easy to say something sounds better when you already know what's supposed to sound better.
Old 11th September 2008
  #333
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
Anyway, you won't hear much of a difference through a Delta 66.
I can't really agree with that because I've done tests like these at other studios with newer more expensive gear. And when Grekim and I did the tests he also listened through the headphone jack of his Apogee. Grekim and I plan to do another test eventually at his place. He has a ton of very high end gear, and we'll compare more converters including whatever POS sound card is built into the motherboard of his computer. We'll also use much more expensive mic pres. Of course we'll post the files for the public.

Quote:
Professional sound quality cannot be had with a SoundBlaster.
Again I have to disagree. I tested that once with another engineer friend, Ed Dzubak, who has three Emmy awards (not that having Emmys prove anything) and the only sound card that was not transparent was a $500 CardD Plus. For that test I extracted a very good sounding Wave file from a CD, and also recorded the same CD through the analog inputs of three sound cards. Full report here:

Sound Card Quality Report

Now, just because Ed and I thought the SoundBlaster sounded like the extracted Wave file doesn't mean you'll agree. Especially if you go in knowing which file is which. heh

I also disagree with the notion that recording 32 tracks through a cheap sound card changes things, because the degradation does not add coherently as I explained earlier.

Again, I am not saying that for all types of material a cheap sound card is always identical to expensive A/D/A converters! But people can definitely get pro results with a SoundBlaster if that's all they can afford.

--Ethan
Old 11th September 2008
  #334
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude View Post
Used in Clintonian amounts, this distortion is very low, on par of that of a well designed ferrous based transformer, creating a euphonious effect. Used in Snooptonian amounts, however, this distortion can increase to Big Muffian levels
LOL, that's a keeper!
Old 11th September 2008
  #335
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualsamana View Post
I would love to see Ethan post a challenge with Apogee, M-audio and Soundblaster converters and see if the naysayers can consistently pick out the differences.
As I mentioned above, that is coming eventually. It's all down to when my friend Grekim can find time to do it. Even if people can tell the difference, and I believe some will be able to on things like triangles and bells, it will be interesting to see if they can tell which is which. I didn't hide which A/D was used in my last tests, but perhaps I will next time and let people try to tell.

--Ethan
Old 11th September 2008
  #336
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See, even when people say they can hear a difference it's still not good enough for the nay-sayers so people like Ethan will never be satisfied.

I took the time to download the files, listen to the samples on 2 different types of speakers as well as headphones, noted the differences I heard in relatively descript terms and still you quibble.

What a waste of time.

On top of which, the nay-sayers are listening mostly through crappy converters so the major differences are masked anyway. My Black Lion converters blow your Delta 66 converters out of the water so it's going to be difficult (if not impossible) for you to hear a difference anyway. If you listened back on high-end converters then the differences might be more noticeable to you.

Then you admit that, yes, people may hear a difference - but since it wasn't a blind test it didn't really qualify.

What a crock. What a crock.

Did I say "what a crock?"

What a crock.

Ethan, you're a talented individual with a passion for what you do and your advice on room treatment is always a great resource, but man, your continuance down this path of reluctance to give credence to the observations of other's on this topic will surely detract from your own credibility amongst your peers. But then, I'm sure you're used to that by now.
Old 11th September 2008
  #337
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In a real world studio situation you don't just record a file, you will process it in the box, send it through the converters again to process it out the box and so on. That's when the degradation will get painfully obvious. For me it was really a show stopper, I went through several low to midrange converters (which is anything below the Aurora IMO, due to the use of cheap JRC opamps) and did a lot of modifications - which improved them quite a bit - but in the end I had to shell out the money for the Aurora16. Which, in turn, is easily beaten by better converters like the Sparrow.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I can't really agree with that because I've done tests like these at other studios with newer more expensive gear. And when Grekim and I did the tests he also listened through the headphone jack of his Apogee. Grekim and I plan to do another test eventually at his place. He has a ton of very high end gear, and we'll compare more converters including whatever POS sound card is built into the motherboard of his computer. We'll also use much more expensive mic pres. Of course we'll post the files for the public.



Again I have to disagree. I tested that once with another engineer friend, Ed Dzubak, who has three Emmy awards (not that having Emmys prove anything) and the only sound card that was not transparent was a $500 CardD Plus. For that test I extracted a very good sounding Wave file from a CD, and also recorded the same CD through the analog inputs of three sound cards. Full report here:

Sound Card Quality Report

Now, just because Ed and I thought the SoundBlaster sounded like the extracted Wave file doesn't mean you'll agree. Especially if you go in knowing which file is which. heh

I also disagree with the notion that recording 32 tracks through a cheap sound card changes things, because the degradation does not add coherently as I explained earlier.

Again, I am not saying that for all types of material a cheap sound card is always identical to expensive A/D/A converters! But people can definitely get pro results with a SoundBlaster if that's all they can afford.

--Ethan
Old 11th September 2008
  #338
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRoberts View Post
I fear this is a failure in our broader educational institutions as half the world is expecting the new super-collider started up today in Europe to create some world ending event like a black hole...

Good night Chet.... no mas.

JR
The world DID end. This is all a dream. Carry on...
Old 11th September 2008
  #339
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It's doomsday everyday in some part of the multiverse...
Old 11th September 2008
  #340
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[quote=Ethan Winer;3482377]As I mentioned above, that is coming eventually. It's all down to when my friend Grekim can find time to do it. Even if people can tell the difference, and I believe some will be able to on things like triangles and bells, it will be interesting to see if they can tell which is which. I didn't hide which A/D was used in my last tests, but perhaps I will next time and let people try to tell.

--Ethan[/quote

Looking forward to it. Can't wait to see if people can name the better converter and if better means the apogee over the delta and the soundblaster.
Old 11th September 2008
  #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infopimpster View Post
The world DID end. This is all a dream. Carry on...
They have just tested in one direction so far, no coalition yet.

Edit:

Ok, I´m going to add AFAIK heh
Old 12th September 2008
  #342
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
What a waste of time.
it's very obvious that the files are not sounding the same.
and comparing "Apogee vs. SoundBlaster" seems pretty strange
considering this place is called "gearslutz" and ethan uses names like
"Bob Katz" or "Charles Dye" in his advertising. would be interesting to hear
what they think about soundblaster cards ... heh

you are right, total waste of time - but what the hell, it's funny to read ...

so:
i think i will pick up one of those vintage soundblaster cards from the late 90's.
they are the best ...

dfegad
Old 12th September 2008
  #343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duvalle View Post
so:
i think i will pick up one of those vintage soundblaster cards from the late 90's.
they are the best ...

dfegad
Funny that you say that, because I'll wager that the convertors in a late '90's soundblaster card are better than the convertors in the 3M deck on which Donald Fagan recorded the Grammy™ award winning album "The Nightfly". ESPECIALLY before Roger Nichols proofread the code on the 3M....
Old 12th September 2008
  #344


What a bunch of prissy magpies....

If all you have is a Soundblaster and a modest pre-amp, I'd still tell you to spend your limited budget on mics and making the room sound better for your particular needs. "Good enough" is a slippery slope and EQ can cover a multitude of sins.



-tINY

Old 12th September 2008
  #345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude View Post
Funny that you say that, because I'll wager that the convertors in a late '90's soundblaster card are better than the convertors in the 3M deck on which Donald Fagan recorded the Grammy™ award winning album "The Nightfly". ESPECIALLY before Roger Nichols proofread the code on the 3M....
you are right that is an outstanding recording!!!!


but did you take a look at the production team?
that's why it sounded so good even when using 80's digital gear:

Production

* Producer: Gary Katz
* Engineers: Daniel Lazerus, Roger Nichols, Elliot Scheiner
* Assistant engineers: Robin Lane, Mike Morongell, Cheryl Smith, Wayne Yurgelun
* Mixing: Elliot Scheiner
* Mastering: Bob Ludwig
* Digital editing assistant: Mike Morongell, Wayne Yurgelun
* Project assistant: Ginger Dettman, Steve Pokorny, Steve Woolard
* Tracking: Elliot Scheiner
* Authoring: David Dieckmann, George Lydecker
* Sequencing: Roger Nichols
* Overdub engineer: Daniel Lazerus
* Horn arrangements: Donald Fagen, Rob Mounsey
* Arranger: Donald Fagen
* Design: Greg Allen
* Art direction: Greg Allen, George Delmerico
* Liner notes: Donald Fagen
* Editorial supervision: Cory Frye
* Photography: James Hamilton
* Screen design: Andrew Thomas

check:
The Nightfly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

wonder how unbelievable good it would sound,
if they all would do the same recording using todays best digital gear!!!

heh
Old 12th September 2008
  #346
TYY
Gear Addict
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Evidence and examples please!

--Ethan
This entire thread?

Where there's smoke, there's fire...

And I must echo the sentiment that if you are making judgments based on what your are hearing coming out of a delta66, then you'd better re-evaluated your whole world. That is one noisy sucker in my experience.
Old 12th September 2008
  #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualsamana View Post
Converter Challenge:

I would love to see Ethan post a challenge with Apogee, M-audio and Soundblaster converters and see if the naysayers can consistently pick out the differences. If they can I'll become a believer.

It's too easy to say something sounds better when you already know what's supposed to sound better.
Like I said; you could rename them anything you like and I could tell you which was which. I didn't look at the file name when opening so that I wouldn't know. This is why those of us who can hear the difference get so frustrated.

FYI: I will be happy to participate in this future test, just don't call me "Lucky" when/if I get them right.

Cheers,
Bad Boy
Old 12th September 2008
  #348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude View Post
Ethan, I'm sorry to say this but I think that you are under attack from people who replied YES to this thread: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...ng-yes-no.html

And as we all know, smoke is not good for equipment, organic or otherwise. Smoke clings to the synapses, forming a film which in turn introduces a form of jitter, which I think at this point we can all agree is a form of distortion. Used in Clintonian amounts, this distortion is very low, on par of that of a well designed ferrous based transformer, creating a euphonious effect. Used in Snooptonian amounts, however, this distortion can increase to Big Muffian levels (Although many are divided on this last point, falling into the Tube Screamian, Ratonian, Zoomist, et al. factions. ) thus inducing nescient behavior. If this distortion is allowed to climb to extreme levels, sagaciousness will be effectively masked.
Best reply ever!!!
Old 12th September 2008
  #349
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Did you listen to the guitar samples? If not, do that now through your own playback system and let me know if you think the difference between the $25 SoundBlaster and the $6,000 Apogee are really as large as others say. I'm not saying they're identical, but to me the difference is small. In other words, it seems this would not be the limiting factor in a typical project studio.

--Ethan
What $6000 Apogee converter was this?

I'm confused..... I wasn't aware that Apogee made a $6000 converter.
Old 12th September 2008
  #350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
What $6000 Apogee converter was this?

I'm confused..... I wasn't aware that Apogee made a $6000 converter.
Oh sure, you want to go and cloud this thread with facts eh?
Old 12th September 2008
  #351
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If we are in agreement that there are small differences and only debating about how significant those differences are, these seem hard to resolve without blinding and statistical analysis. I can't say that I'm all that comfortable with the math behind statistical significance.

If this is turning into yet another convertor thread, maybe get some convertor guys to help us reveal their competitor's shortcomings, and design an experiment we can all accept the results from.

JR
Old 12th September 2008
  #352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
What $6000 Apogee converter was this?

I'm confused..... I wasn't aware that Apogee made a $6000 converter.
I am not for sure, but I believe he may be talking about a combination of A/D and D/A (since the soundblaster does both in one).

So the AD-16x and the DA-16x would add up to 6k+.
Old 12th September 2008
  #353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badboymusic View Post
Oh sure, you want to go and cloud this thread with facts eh?
heh

Here's some more popcorn...
Old 12th September 2008
  #354
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You guys are gonna get fat if you keep eating that ****
Old 12th September 2008
  #355
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The test was done with an AD8000, which was a $6000 when it was on the market a decade or so ago...

Quote:
I would love to see Ethan post a challenge with Apogee, M-audio and Soundblaster converters and see if the naysayers can consistently pick out the differences. If they can I'll become a believer.

It's too easy to say something sounds better when you already know what's supposed to sound better.
That's why the best way to do it is in a blind test. And really, if you want to really figure out which is the most accurate (and therefore, by most definitions, better) converter the only valid way to do it is to be albe to compare directly to the analog source...which means actually being there when the test happens, not listening to files off of the web.
Old 12th September 2008
  #356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Here's some more popcorn...
Thanks!
Old 12th September 2008
  #357
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A blind test over the internet with just the recorded files won't arrive at any meaningfull conclusion. Because a lot of the people participating will listen through "bad" converters themselves and pick whatever sounds brighter on their system. That's what happened in the 'Fireface vs. Rosetta'-Thread. To hear the real impact of converters you'd have to do an entire production through them.
Old 12th September 2008
  #358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
To hear the real impact of converters you'd have to do an entire production through them.

nonono that's not "scientific" enough


where's the popcorn?
Old 12th September 2008
  #359
Moderator
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studjo View Post
nonono that's not "scientific" enough


where's the popcorn?
We already ate it all... We've moved on to heavy drinking... heh
Old 12th September 2008
  #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcCirDude View Post
Ethan, I'm sorry to say this but I think that you are under attack from people who replied YES to this thread: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...ng-yes-no.html

And as we all know, smoke is not good for equipment, organic or otherwise. Smoke clings to the synapses, forming a film which in turn introduces a form of jitter, which I think at this point we can all agree is a form of distortion. Used in Clintonian amounts, this distortion is very low, on par of that of a well designed ferrous based transformer, creating a euphonious effect. Used in Snooptonian amounts, however, this distortion can increase to Big Muffian levels (Although many are divided on this last point, falling into the Tube Screamian, Ratonian, Zoomist, et al. factions. ) thus inducing nescient behavior. If this distortion is allowed to climb to extreme levels, sagaciousness will be effectively masked.
brilliant
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