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Ethan Winer on... Condenser Microphones
Old 12th September 2008
  #391
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickynicknick View Post
You act like because you can present a chart that whatever someone is hearing is invalid.
This reminds me of what happened with the guys in England who created crop circles. They eventually went on TV and showed how they made them with large flat boards late at night. But the expose just made the crop circle believers angry - and they continued to believe they were made by aliens anyway!

If it can be proven that what some people thought they heard was not what they really did hear, how is that insulting? I've been saying for years that hearing is not absolute but fragile, and now I've proven it.

Do you think it's better to continue believing the wrong thing anyway?

I'm not here to call anyone a liar, but to point out facts and biases. If this were reversed and I was proven wrong, I'd be grateful for the information.

--Ethan
Old 12th September 2008
  #392
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I would like to point out if you reread my post that I commented on all the files including the triangle, I downloaded from the original batch of files. Sorry Ethan, I didn't know we were playing a game.

This is more childish than the smiley face throwing up popcorn I was working on.
Old 12th September 2008
  #393
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer:
"this is the only way to make my point about expectation bias and sighted comparisons."

For ****s and giggles below is a link from the AVS forum regarding a blind test on $30K Opus MM2 audiocables versus monster cables (the behringer of the cable world). It is interesting to note that the subject of the test is a well respected AVS reviewer who was certain he could hear the differences between the two cables cables during sighted listenings. He was proven wrong during the blind test.

Most interesting however is how, even this well constructed test, didn't change the minds of most of the subjectivists on the forum. Many are still convinced that cables make night and day difference. And that their thousand dollar cables are worth every penny.

Observations of a controlled Cable Test - AVS Forum

In terms of converters, technology has gotten to the point where professional quality can be had for very little money. It's gotten to the point where even the most discerning of ears can't tell the difference when presented with a blind audio sample. I think this disturbs individuals who use their gear as something that distinguishes them from the masses. I have a feeling that even as technology keeps improving there will always be manufacturers who sell more expensive and "more accurate" converters much like there will always be manufacturers selling more expensive cable. People can and probably will fool themselves into thinking that they hear a dramatic difference. What this thread illustrates to me is not so much how some low-end gear can give you the same professional results as high-end gear but that we can fool ourselves into thinking we can hear differences that aren't there.
Old 12th September 2008
  #394
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There is no "great" lesson that Ethan is teaching. His goal is clear...disagree with anyone with an opinion of how something sounds. It's easy to cut someone down Ethan...all your posts that I have read do this...this is not contsructive at all...If it was 1 or 2 posts trying to tell people that what you hear can sometimes be misleading..then fine...but it is all his posts...over and over and over he tells us we're all wrong in observation and we must prove ourselves scientifically or we have no place having an opinion...again this is dismissive and boring...most of us don't have the time(or will) to scientifically prove Ethan wrong....it doesn't mean Ethan is right at all. It just means we don't want to engage with someone who needs to be right always....and it's nice to see the OP pointing out Ethan's ridiculous assertions. I don't care at this point what Ethan's intentions are. WE GET IT!!...SOMETIMES WHAT YOU HEAR IS MISLEADING a good bit of advice...now can you talk about something else please?

Nick
Old 12th September 2008
  #395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I can prove what I did only to people who downloaded the files both before and after. It's clear to me that you got caught in the middle.

--Ethan
So then my assertions were correct then.
Old 12th September 2008
  #396
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Hit the nail on the head
Old 12th September 2008
  #397
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Jamzone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by badboymusic View Post
Hit the nail on the head
KO!
Old 12th September 2008
  #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
Ethan, obviously we don't really know each other, but you can gain a bit of insight about a person from discussions on a board such as this. Sadly, I have lost a bunch of the respect I once had for you and your audio knowledge base.

I recently left a job with a boss on a power trip similar to yours. He was really a very nice guy, and quite knowledgeable, but he was an "educator". Apparently some people think it is their mission in life to gain vast amounts of "knowledge" about a subject, only to then feel the need to pass on this knowledge to everyone else. Such a great deed to society I guess. A "calling" so to speak. Anyway, he was losing employees right and left, many with the complaint that he wouldn't listen to what they had to say. He would respond with what a great listener he was, and that he always listened to everyone's viewpoint. But then would explain whe was right and they were wrong.

What it is, is tunnel vision. No, you don't mean to belittle. No you don't mean to be condescending. And I am sure that your goal is in fact "education and consumerism". But the truth may have far more to do with ego than you care to admit.
I think the only way to set everyone's ego aside on this issue is to for someone to post unnamed audio samples and then see if people can pick out the 'better' converters. Ethan could spell out the methods beforehand and privately reveal the results to a neutral third party prior to the challenge so no one can call shenanigans.

Of course the number of samples posted would have to be more than two to rule out luck.
Old 13th September 2008
  #399
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ssaudio's Avatar
 

Do you really think that would quell the egos and arrogance displayed here - never mind educate the wilfully ignorant
Old 13th September 2008
  #400
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virtualsamana's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssaudio View Post
Do you really think that would quell the egos and arrogance displayed here - never mind educate the wilfully ignorant
Good point. I don't think it would quell any egos or change the minds of the willfully ignorant (this is Gearslutz after all ). I think it would be educational none the less. Between all the mudslinging (what else is new) I actually think this thread contains some very useful info.
Old 13th September 2008
  #401
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ssaudio's Avatar
 

agreed
Old 13th September 2008
  #402
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CaptainHook's Avatar
 

Haven't had a chance to post in a bit and already there's so much to catch up on.
Still a few days before i'll have time but i thought i'd quickly ask Ethan another
question..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
If someone has mid-range gear and their recordings suck, the problem is not their midrange gear. Buying a new mic pre or A/D/A converter is not going to make an appreciable change. I am not opposed to good gear! At some point midrange gear can be the weak link. But not for most of us. Learning how to mix better will surely help, and so will treating their room. The damage done by even low-budget gear is miniscule compared to the damage done by an untreated room.
If we can't trust our ears in listening to different convertors, we
can't trust our ears to apply eq, compression, etc. Or choose a mic
or the best placement.

How is anyone able to get better at mixing then?

I understand what you're saying here about talent making a difference.
I said the same thing earlier. But all things being equal, if the same
talented engineer uses low-budget gear, or high quality, are you saying
there wouldn't be any difference in the end result?

Sorry, haven't had time to listen to your files.
Old 13th September 2008
  #403
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Originally Posted by CaptainHook:

"I understand what you're saying here about talent making a difference.
I said the same thing earlier. But all things being equal, if the same
talented engineer uses low-budget gear, or high quality, are you saying
there wouldn't be any difference in the end result?"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think Ethan made clear that, all things being equal, if a talented engineer uses low to mid range mic pres and converters versus high end pres and converters that the difference would be subtle at best and very possibly undetectable i.e. if you did a blind test you wouldn't be able to pick out the which mix was done with the top of the line gear and which was done with the cheaper gear.
Old 13th September 2008
  #404
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Glenn Kuras's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

Before I posted the links to the two guitar files, I renamed them so the one named Apogee is really the SoundBlaster, and vice versa. I'm truly sorry for the trickery, but I saw no other way to make the point about the importance of placebo effect and expectation bias. We all understand these effects, but for some reason everyone thinks they apply only to other people.

I just renamed the files to be correct, but I may rename them again without notice the next few days. If more people post their impressions here, without knowing which they're hearing, I'll explain how to tell which file is which by their sizes.





--Ethan
I can't believe I would be the first one to post a picture like this!!!!!!!!!



Ethan your a bad bad bad man!! lol lol
Old 13th September 2008
  #405
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Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualsamana View Post
Most interesting however is how, even this well constructed test, didn't change the minds of most of the subjectivists on the forum. Many are still convinced that cables make night and day difference. And that their thousand dollar cables are worth every penny.
Guess it's hard to do sucha quick turnaround for some people. Prestige. That said of course in some situations there can be audible differences between cables but AFAIK this can always be explained by LCR and/or things like EMI/RFI with "lesser" equipment.


Quote:
In terms of converters, technology has gotten to the point where professional quality can be had for very little money. It's gotten to the point where even the most discerning of ears can't tell the difference when presented with a blind audio sample.
I doubt that's the case. Few converters (if any) are totally transparent. That said I agree that good performance can be had for peanuts these days. If you are in the chase for the ultimate total transparency you may have to search and shell out big. I thought the Aurora was transparent form reviews and measurements but the unit can be heard in a loop at both 44.1kS/s and 192kS/s.


/Peter
Old 13th September 2008
  #406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickynicknick View Post
I think Ethan's posts are ridiculous for the most part. He seems to be trying to prove to everyone that their choices are unimportant and that their ears are tricking them. No piece of gear is transparent period. I'm glad the OP posted some of his ridiculous statements. What's the big deal? Learning to trust/distrust your ears is important. Everyone is at different stages. Why does Ethan get a free pass to ridicule everyone that disagrees with him?
(I did fattening that sentence up)

I'd say there is transparent audiogear though most stuff out there do indeed color the signal audibly in a good set up and with healthy ears.

Gear I know that has passed blind tests where most other equipment fails are cables (doh!) some line level amps and one or a few power amps.




/Peter
Old 13th September 2008
  #407
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CaptainHook's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualsamana View Post
I think Ethan made clear that, all things being equal, if a talented engineer uses low to mid range mic pres and converters versus high end pres and converters that the difference would be subtle at best and very possibly undetectable
So... even just with 'high-end' you're saying the difference between a neve
pre/eq and an SSL would be subtle at best?
Cause i hear a definite difference in character.

I go back to what i said earlier:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHook View Post
A talented artist can create art from the cheapest of tools.
Quality gear makes it easier and faster and (so) often the result
subjectively or not surpasses the work done with cheaper tools.
Not always. But more than not.
Old 13th September 2008
  #408
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perversity's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
I can prove what I did only to people who downloaded the files both before and after. It's clear to me that you got caught in the middle. My intent was never to pull a trick, but it was obvious this is the only way to make my point about expectation bias and sighted comparisons. Nick's post above highlights the problem perfectly. He considers my tone belittling simply because I disagree with him.


--Ethan
WHy, when I called you on this originally, did you call me a bold face liar?
Old 13th September 2008
  #409
LPK
Gear Maniac
 

Ethan, I have to say I'm very glad to see I'm not alone in this world!

I'm a forum-addict (like you probably too), and it's always sad to see how people are not able to have an own opinion. It's also sad to see, when they blow up threads like this one, because they take things out of context, argue against statements, which were never made, and totally ignore the valid points you might give em.
Then those threads end up having far too many sites, which contain far too less information.

Anyways, it's always refreshing to meet the few guys like you, who actually seriously try to find out the truth by going the scientific route opposing to the very unreliable route of personal perception, which is always -and for every human- already strongly influenced by what you already know (or think to know).

Thank you!
Old 13th September 2008
  #410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPK View Post
Ethan, I have to say I'm very glad to see I'm not alone in this world!

I'm a forum-addict (like you probably too), and it's always sad to see how people are not able to have an own opinion. It's also sad to see, when they blow up threads like this one, because they take things out of context, argue against statements, which were never made, and totally ignore the valid points you might give em.
Then those threads end up having far too many sites, which contain far too less information.

Anyways, it's always refreshing to meet the few guys like you, who actually seriously try to find out the truth by going the scientific route opposing to the very unreliable route of personal perception, which is always -and for every human- already strongly influenced by what you already know (or think to know).

Thank you!
Then are you saying that gear such as guitars, pianos, violins ect ect should be evaluated by say "frequency response" or any other type of SPECS ???
Not trying to be a jerk but my point should be very clear, MOST musical related gear is ALL about the END users liking or not liking the item...
This includes: mics, mic pres, compressors ect ect...
Ethan seems to have a fixation on "Frequency response" even a good MIX to him is based on "frequency balance" never heard anyone say anything close to that before..
Not bashing Ethan just making a point, and MY opinion matters to ME...
Old 13th September 2008
  #411
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ethan.
a question.
re low end n hi end convertors.
have you ever passed tones thru each and looked at the waveform on a precision scope ?

just an interested gear sceptic with a physics degree..lol..
god bless.
Old 13th September 2008
  #412
LPK
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Then are you saying that gear such as guitars, pianos, violins ect ect should be evaluated by say "frequency response" or any other type of SPECS ???
Errrr.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by LPK View Post
..., argue against statements, which were never made, ...
It's really amazing.
Old 13th September 2008
  #413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPK View Post
Errrr.....


It's really amazing.
It was a QUESTION....
Old 13th September 2008
  #414
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Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
I can prove what I did only to people who downloaded the files both before and after. It's clear to me that you got caught in the middle. My intent was never to pull a trick, but it was obvious this is the only way to make my point about expectation bias and sighted comparisons. Nick's post above highlights the problem perfectly. He considers my tone belittling simply because I disagree with him.


Posted by Perversity
WHy, when I called you on this originally, did you call me a bold face liar?



I too am confused about this; at this point we had downloaded the original files before Ethan renamed a couple to post.
Old 13th September 2008
  #415
LPK
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
It was a QUESTION....
Yes it was.
But the "Then" in the beginning makes it look like you're assuming, that was my opinion.

However ... as an ex-trumpet player my answer is a clear "no".

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Ethan seems to have a fixation on "Frequency response" even a good MIX to him is based on "frequency balance" never heard anyone say anything close to that before..
That's pretty much the basic idea of mixing. It's all about the balance. Balance of panorama, balance of room, balance of frequencies and balance of dynamics.
Old 13th September 2008
  #416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPK View Post
Yes it was.
But the "Then" in the beginning makes it look like you're assuming, that was my opinion.

However ... as an ex-trumpet player my answer is a clear "no".

That's pretty much the basic idea of mixing. It's all about the balance. Balance of panorama, balance of room, balance of frequencies and balance of dynamics.
I could have worded my question better...
Old 13th September 2008
  #417
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Then are you saying that gear such as guitars, pianos, violins ect ect should be evaluated by say "frequency response" or any other type of SPECS ???
Hell no! heh

Musical instruments are supposed to have resonances and pleasing colorations. This is what makes a Stradivarius violin sound better than a $200 violin from Sam Ash. Good violins and cellos etc have many high-Q resonances at various frequencies. Where those resonances fall establishes the tone of the instrument. Same for acoustic guitars and drums and most other instruments. And same for capturing good room tone. If a recording space sounds good it is often due to its character.

But gear (usually) aims to be transparent because it needs to capture and convey the coloration of the source instruments without adding its own coloration. So while instrument tone is always subjective, gear transparency is an easy target and very well defined.

--Ethan
Old 13th September 2008
  #418
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by virtualsamana View Post
Most interesting however is how, even this well constructed test, didn't change the minds of most of the subjectivists on the forum. Many are still convinced that cables make night and day difference. And that their thousand dollar cables are worth every penny.
Yes, and we see this here too. After several of us proved that Sounds Great was totally wrong about proximity effect, not only did he not acknowledge his error, he continues to throw insults and use straw man logic against me. Same for TurboJets who picked the wrong guitar files but still argues his case anyway. This is the arrogance at its worst, yet Sounds Great says my problem is due to ego. Unbelievable.

There's nothing wrong with having an opinion, but it needs to be informed opinion!

--Ethan
Old 13th September 2008
  #419
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Wait a minute, you're mixing things up here, I never said anything about the proximity effect, that was someone else. I also didn't use straw man arguments as far as I remember.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Yes, and we see this here too. After several of us proved that living sounds was totally wrong about proximity effect, not only did he not acknowledge his error, he continues to throw insults and use straw man logic against me. Same for TurboJets who picked the wrong guitar files but still argues his case anyway. This is the arrogance at its worst, yet living sounds says my problem is due to ego. Unbelievable.

There's nothing wrong with having an opinion, but it needs to be informed opinion!

--Ethan
Old 13th September 2008
  #420
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post

The exact same thing happens when people are certain they heard an Apogee sound better than an SB Live or whatever other cheap sound card. This is why the meter readers read meters.

--Ethan
yeah there's no difference between converters. I've recorded many great records with the Soundblaster live. I heard a Weiss ADC2 converter the other day. I couldn't tell the difference between that and the sound blaster. then again I had ear plugs in and there was a 747 going overhead but I couldn't tell a difference. The soundblaster sounded fine.

Ethan you can't be taken seriously you are kinda like Chuckles the clown of GS
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