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Ethan Winer on... Condenser Microphones
Old 10th September 2008
  #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonCarlston View Post
and yet there you sit, devouring bag after bag of popcorn in front of the monitor waiting for the next round of multiquotes

come on admit it...you love this. the lock thread button is right there , press it. you cannot. you are powerless.

THERE HAS TO BE A WINER... i mean a winner. sorry.




Old 10th September 2008
  #212
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holy crap this thread is entertaining!
i should be in bed right now

forgive me if i'm reaching back to an earlier point that this discussion has, for the most part, left behind but: when people use descriptive words like "musical", "agressive", "warm" and "fat" etc., i usually take that to mean harmonic distortion, and/or frequency response that is pleasing to that particular listener's ear. therefore, these words are not meaningless to me. of course, you can't use such words to describe a specific frequency response, or a specific amount of distortion(which i'm sure is what ethan meant when he said those words were meaningless).

oh, and i have an honest, non-agressive question for Ethan, or anyone who knows(which i'm sure is pretty basic stuff that i don't know yet) :
can distortion occur only at certain frequencies and not others? or am i way off, and that's not even how audio works?
Old 10th September 2008
  #213
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Oh how entertaining it is to read Ethan's quotes and then watch as people bark back having totally misinterpreted what he's actually saying!

Ethan, I feel sorry for you man.
Old 10th September 2008
  #214
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mxeryus's Avatar
 

What is this all about ?

An elephant still has the biggest d**k.

I just don't get the out of context quotes, but hey, I respect other opinions. Keep this forum useful and entertaing.
Old 10th September 2008
  #215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MR5D View Post
Oh how entertaining it is to read Ethan's quotes and then watch as people bark back having totally misinterpreted what he's actually saying!

Ethan, I feel sorry for you man.
+1, except for the 'entertaining' part. I've seen this happen before on online messageboards. When people disagree on something, it's almost if they go out of their way to misinterpret the posts of the opposing side. This tendency seems to increase in proportion to the perceived threat of being proven wrong in an argument.

I've probably been guilty of it myself.

-Ben B
Old 10th September 2008
  #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malaclypse View Post
.

oh, and i have an honest, non-agressive question for Ethan, or anyone who knows(which i'm sure is pretty basic stuff that i don't know yet) :
can distortion occur only at certain frequencies and not others? or am i way off, and that's not even how audio works?
Yes, there are a number of different mechanisms that can cause nonlinearity preferentially at higher frequencies or lower.

A slew or speed related nonlinearity will be worse at high slew rates which are a product of high frequency and amplitude. There is also a common falling open loop gain with frequency in negative feedback circuits that contributes to higher distortion at higher frequency.

Alternately a nonlinearity caused by say a component heating and changing some characteristic because of that heat, will be worse at low frequency. An example of this is fuses in series with a loudspeaker. At higher frequency the effect is insignificant due to fuse thermal time-constant.

There are also amplitude related mechanisms, the most obvious is clipping, but there are voltage coefficients in things like capacitors that can express as distortion below clipping. Edit: in addition to distortion made worse at high amplitude, mechanisms like crossover distortion or class B distortion in amplifiers is (relatively) worse at low amplitude, since the error is roughly constant but a smaller part of a larger waveform [/edit]

THD+N is a kitchen sink measurement that measures all nonlinearity (plus noise). The test stimulus matters. A simple sinewave is arguably not music, but music is made from sinewaves so properly executed you can learn a great deal about how a circuit behaves from testing with them.

JR

Last edited by JohnRoberts; 10th September 2008 at 05:50 PM.. Reason: additional comment
Old 10th September 2008
  #217
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skybluerental's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
This is the perfect answer. As I wrote above, warm and fuzzy terms mean nothing except to the person saying them. But the purpose of forums like Gearslutz is to spread information and knowledge. And that requires using words that mean the same thing to everyone.



Maybe fine for you, but not fine for me, or for the thousands of audio engineers who want to truly understand their craft! Taken to the extreme, that attitude is the same as suggesting people should drop out of school early, and vote for their president based on random throws of a dart. Or in the context of audio, turning knobs randomly hoping to get something good by chance. There's a word for that attitude: anti-intellectualism. heh

--Ethan
saying you need to understand the science of sound to have great ears and skills to manipulate it is just not correct IMHO.
thats like saying jimi hendrix wasnt a great guitar player because he didnt know how to build one or how a pickup functions scientifically.
rubbish.

you can look at lines on a page representing sound until you are blue in the face and that still doesnt mean that those lines are accurately accounting for everything that the human ear is able to perceive.
all of your assertions are based on the assumption that science is able to measure sound in the same way our ears perceive it and i just dont believe that is true.

GREAT artists do not rely on science when evaluating art.
they rely on their soul.
Old 10th September 2008
  #218
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben B View Post
+1, except for the 'entertaining' part. I've seen this happen before on online messageboards. When people disagree on something, it's almost if they go out of their way to misinterpret the posts of the opposing side. This tendency seems to increase in proportion to the perceived threat of being proven wrong in an argument.

I've probably been guilty of it myself.

-Ben B
Ben I'm not addressing you directly but addressing your comment because it's so appropriate.

I'm not so sure it's a matter of misinterpretation, but rather the innate result of people who don't think scientifically arguing a point with people who do think scientifically. It's like the "women are from venus/men are from mars" concept (sorry), where the 2 sides just simply cannot communicate certain concepts beyond a certain point. One camp only understands description in terms of creative verbiage where the other camp only understands description in terms of measurement and the 2 camps just simply cannot communicate effectively beyond a certain point and will therefore never agree on certain topics of discussion. [Period]

In short, people are just built different and that will never change.

For instance, when an engineer finds a box that really captures "dimension", how do you possibly describe that with a spectral analysis? How does a 1D printout or 2D screen display convey a recorded sound someone's hearing that has 3 Dimensional qualities? I've never seen it done, nor have I ever seen it successfully resolved in a forum like this. 1 side screams "Prove it" and the other side screams "I don't have to - I can Hear it". So the 2 camps go around and around to no end while Tony eats popcorn.

To further drive my point quickly, I barely squeaked through Algebra II Trig in school (long time ago) and it's because I couldn't care less about numbers and that applies doubly so to equations. So when people start talking about measurements and "prove this" and "measure that" and "the only true test is this" my reaction is "you do it buddy because I couldn't care less about that stuff. And I can seriously guess that I will never change my attitude about that.
Old 10th September 2008
  #219
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I've already offered that stereo playback is insufficient to fully describe a 3 dimensional sound space. Human audition, and post processing with our meat computer tends to fill in missing gaps and under good conditions perceive a "space" that is hopefully close to the desired effect. There are also decades of research into related psycho-acoustic phenomenon. This is not as clearly objective as bench test measurements, but not magical or unknown.


JR
Old 10th September 2008
  #220
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Just checking in. Carry on guys, you're all doing great.

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #221
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Oh yeah, almost missed this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
Anyway, Ethan, have you listened to my files yet? The download should have finished now... :-)
Yes, they sound the same to me. Anyone else hear the same thing, or hear something different?

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #222
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What listening equipment do you use?
Old 10th September 2008
  #223
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
What listening equipment do you use?
Transparent. heh

Seriously, you wrote earlier:

Quote:
the acoustic has a lot more high end sparkle
To me "a lot more high end sparkle" means I should hear a difference even on computer speakers. But I heard nothing at all on my big-ass bi-amped JBL 4430s, and I A/B'd each section several times always playing from exactly the same place in the file.

Anyone else hear, or not hear, a meaningful difference?

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #224
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor999 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainHook View Post
Where did i say that? Stop mis-quoting me please and read what i wrote.
He is not just responding to you.... I think your case is weakened by those who did not understand the context.

I think Ethan is a brilliant guy.... and this discussion is very disappointing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs View Post
WHAT?!?!?
Errrr... whatever dude.
I've got about three dozen stompboxes and a half-dozen amps here and they all sound wildly different. The Big Muff is not a RAT, is not a SansAmp, is not a Fuzz Face, is not a JTM45 running flat out with the channels jumped which is also not a Boogie...
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
All distortion is not created equal.
Regardless, will you provide proof and data to support this claim?
Quote:
All you have to do is go to a Gtr Center and see the endless amount of effect pedals...
Even the SAME ones with different players= different SOUNDS...
This post, and those it quotes, sums up the problem well. Some people are discussing the issues, but others just argue for the sake of arguing. Earlier today I saw CaptainHook throw more stones at me over at the Womb. He had nothing of substance, just insults. These guys should work for the RNC.

In the next day or two I may gather up and list all the nay-sayers who never responded to direct questions. For example, TurboJets insisted jitter was a problem with his previous converters, but then ducked the direct question from living sounds asking how he knows the problem was jitter.

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #225
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TurboJets's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
This post, and those it quotes, sums up the problem well. Some people are discussing the issues, but others just argue for the sake of arguing. Earlier today I saw CaptainHook throw more stones at me over at the Womb. He had nothing of substance, just insults. These guys should work for the RNC.

In the next day or two I may gather up and list all the nay-sayers who never responded to direct questions. For example, TurboJets insisted jitter was a problem with his previous converters, but then ducked the direct question from living sounds asking how he knows the problem was jitter.

--Ethan
No I didn't duck his question at all, I answered that question. Here was my answer: "The exact same "effect" existed during all recordings I ever made with any card or interface from the cheapest creative labs card to their most expensive; and from the cheapest m-audio card to their most expensive (1814FW). The "effect" no longer exists after upgrading the converters."

***indicating that all the cards I've used in the "low end" category with "low end" converters always offered up the same Jitter issues. Once I stepped up to the next level converters the jitter effect disappeared***

It may be the case you don't accept my answer as being scientific enough to Qualify (in your mind) as a Valid answer, Ethan. Is that the case?
Old 10th September 2008
  #226
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studjo's Avatar
 

Ethan did you listen in THIS room? YouTube - How to Set Up and Treat a Listening Room
Old 10th September 2008
  #227
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Quote:
***indicating that all the cards I've used in the "low end" category with "low end" converters always offered up the same Jitter issues. Once I stepped up to the next level converters the jitter effect disappeared***
I think what he was asking is why you believe that the what you've perceived as the "jitter effect" really is jitter, and not just the sonic characteristics of the cheaper converters in general.
Old 10th September 2008
  #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
I think what he was asking is why you believe that the what you've perceived as the "jitter effect" really is jitter, and not just the sonic characteristics of the cheaper converters in general.
Because it sounds like every description of jitter I've ever read in technical papers and audio articles. And when I described the effect I was hearing to other engineers that are far more trained than me (college degrees in recording engineering, etc.), they've all said the same thing. It's not like I didn't research it and just decided one day to call it "jitter".
Old 10th September 2008
  #229
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
No I didn't duck his question at all, I answered that question. Here was my answer: "The exact same "effect" existed during all recordings I ever made with any card or interface from the cheapest creative labs card to their most expensive; and from the cheapest m-audio card to their most expensive (1814FW). The "effect" no longer exists after upgrading the converters."

***indicating that all the cards I've used in the "low end" category with "low end" converters always offered up the same Jitter issues. Once I stepped up to the next level converters the jitter effect disappeared***

It may be the case you don't accept my answer as being scientific enough to Qualify (in your mind) as a Valid answer, Ethan. Is that the case?
I won't argue that you were not hearing jitter, but what did that jitter sound like?

Uncertainty in a digital clock running 20+X the sample rate, is not remotely like an audio frequency wow and flutter. More like a random noise that is modulated by the signal. This is measurable in simple tone THD+N test as part of the N. Jitter is in fact caused by electronic noise on switching thresholds in the clock generation and distribution, so that is what I would expect it to sound like?

I would consider the possibility that the artifact(s) you were hearing did indeed go away, but perhaps they weren't Jitter. Different CODECs use different internal approaches and can have different strengths and weaknesses.

A scientific test for jitter would use the same convertors and change only the clocking. Jitter is a real phenomenon but arguably modest in effect.

JR
Old 10th September 2008
  #230
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contempo's Avatar
 

ethan,

how much longer until you have your lawyer send these 'naysayers' threatening cease & desist letters? that does seem to be your sop... you throw rocks, you can sure expect them to be thrown back.

~td

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
This post, and those it quotes, sums up the problem well. Some people are discussing the issues, but others just argue for the sake of arguing. Earlier today I saw CaptainHook throw more stones at me over at the Womb. He had nothing of substance, just insults. These guys should work for the RNC.

In the next day or two I may gather up and list all the nay-sayers who never responded to direct questions. For example, TurboJets insisted jitter was a problem with his previous converters, but then ducked the direct question from living sounds asking how he knows the problem was jitter.

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contempo View Post
ethan,

how much longer until you have your lawyer send these 'naysayers' threatening cease & desist letters? that does seem to be your sop... you throw rocks, you can sure expect them to be thrown back.

~td
Dude...come on. Low blow. Ethan can take care of himself, so if you want to wade into the fray feel free, but keep it above the belt.

Frank
Old 10th September 2008
  #232
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My experience with a lot of different converters ist that you cannot really hear the effects of using a better converter in this kind of test if the converter you are auditioning through is not at least as good as the best one tested. Think of it like you were trying to judge the quality of two different high-resolution cameras on a low-resolution screen. You can only appreciate the difference on that screen if you magnify the image. That's what happens when the converted audio is processed and mixed. Thus a better converter will yield a better end result even on an ipod.

On my listening systems (Lynx Aurora, Adam or Mixcube monitoring) the differences are very obvious, and I've had them confirmed by blind tests with fine-tuned ears as well as by people lacking any audio experience.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Transparent. heh

To me "a lot more high end sparkle" means I should hear a difference even on computer speakers. But I heard nothing at all on my big-ass bi-amped JBL 4430s, and I A/B'd each section several times always playing from exactly the same place in the file.

Anyone else hear, or not hear, a meaningful difference?

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #233
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imloggedin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I don't think anybody ever said that, or even implied it.
Sure they did, everyone does. Go look at the high end forum and mention the word MXL. Ive read several posts where guys are all WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THE HIGH END MENTIONING XXXXX. Many people take that view on audio equipment, so its completely relative to the discussion. Read the thread.

Quote:
Sounding "good" is not something you can put your finger on. Depends on the source, the song, and many other factors. Oh, and the listener.
Soudning good is relative and IS something every individual can put their finger on OR ELSE THEIR WOULD BE NO GOOD.

Quote:
You just agreed with everyone questioning Ethan's remarks.
I know that. Whats your point?

Quote:
No argument here, or from anyone else that I can recall.
This WHOLE friggin thread is an argument against that. Measurement, testing, BS. Whining about which is better. Use your god given ears, end of discussion.

My post was pointed at no individual, your just trying to start an argument with me or something. Quit being a d0uche.
Old 10th September 2008
  #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRoberts View Post
I won't argue that you were not hearing jitter, but what did that jitter sound like?

Uncertainty in a digital clock running 20+X the sample rate, is not remotely like an audio frequency wow and flutter. More like a random noise that is modulated by the signal. This is measurable in simple tone THD+N test as part of the N. Jitter is in fact caused by electronic noise on switching thresholds in the clock generation and distribution, so that is what I would expect it to sound like?

I would consider the possibility that the artifact(s) you were hearing did indeed go away, but perhaps they weren't Jitter. Different CODECs use different internal approaches and can have different strengths and weaknesses.

A scientific test for jitter would use the same convertors and change only the clocking. Jitter is a real phenomenon but arguably modest in effect.

JR
To me it sounds like a grainy frequency modulation with almost a phase thing happening behind it.

Used to drive me crazy on sustain sections of acoustic guitar tracks or when I was listening to the fade of a singing bowl or some other quiet program-source I had recorded.
Old 10th September 2008
  #235
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 View Post
Dude...come on. Low blow. Ethan can take care of himself, so if you want to wade into the fray feel free, but keep it above the belt.
Thanks Frank. Yes, this is exactly the problem. Some people get totally pissed off at folks like me who promote a scientific approach. They can't elucidate why they're pissed off! They just know they're pissed off. Thus you see posts like that with only insults and no substance.

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #236
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
To me it sounds like a grainy frequency modulation with almost a phase thing happening behind it.
What does FM have to do with this? How have you created grainy FM that you're using as a basis for knowing what grainy FM sounds like? WTF does grainy mean anyway? Further, jitter FM occurs in the GigaHertz range!

And what does "phase thing" sound like? I often see this when people diss an EQ because they say they can hear its phase shift. But phase shift in the usual amounts you'd get from an EQ is not audible. What they're really hearing is comb filtering brought out by the EQ. Comb filtering is the basis of "phaser" effects, and people wrongly think that's the sound of phase shift. But what they're hearing is the skewed frequency response, not phase shift. So yet again, understanding how audio really works is the key to identifying what you're hearing.

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #237
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by studjo View Post
Ethan did you listen in THIS room? YouTube - How to Set Up and Treat a Listening Room
Yes, that's my living room home theater setup, but I listened to the two "tape" files in my home studio, shown in the WMV video excerpt from my Tele-Vision DVD:

Studio Tour Excerpt

BTW, the YouTube version of my videos are very low-res. There's a much clearer version on the RealTraps Videos page.

--Ethan
Old 10th September 2008
  #238
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virtualsamana's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Thanks Frank. Yes, this is exactly the problem. Some people get totally pissed off at folks like me who promote a scientific approach. They can't elucidate why they're pissed off! They just know they're pissed off. Thus you see posts like that with only insults and no substance.

--Ethan
I think people get threatened when the scientific approach threatens their belief system. In the case of gear, people can spend thousands of dollars chasing the dragon for better sound. Try telling an audiophile that his seven thousand dollars cables are no better than the ones you can buy at Wallmart. I guarantee he will not let his beliefs go so easily. He may believe so much in the magic of that cable that it becomes dogma to him. Often he will rationalize his purchase by 'hearing' a difference in audio quality. Never mind that it can't be duplicated in double blind tests. In those instances the believer may argue the tests are flawed or that science isn't sufficient to explain things he hears like depth, vibe, danceability.

Some Audio Engineers blast Audiophiles without realizing that they themselves may also believe in the 'magic' of certain gear. When science is used to question the validity of their claims, people get defensive. Understandably so, when you question the dogma of a believer you question their ability to discern a difference objectively, you question their purchasing decisions which could be in the tens of thousands of dollars, and thus they feel personally attacked.

People should learn the difference between Science and perception. Science doesn't have an ego. Ethan is not attacking what you are hearing, he is simply arguing his points from a scientific point of view. If that threatens you, you should examine why.
Old 10th September 2008
  #239
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studjo's Avatar
 

hey guys look - I'm all up for scientific and stuff but did you guys listen how that voice sounds on that cam mic????????

If that would be my room I wouldn't promote myself as an acoustic expert.


Jo
Old 10th September 2008
  #240
Gear Head
 

Since this IS an Ethan Winer thread...

By day I'm a school string teacher, and one of my students sent me this you tube clip:

YouTube - Amazing Video of a Song Composed Entirely of 37 Cello Parts

and I just made the connection :-) Fun stuff. My students love it!

A quick comment on the original post (Disclaimer: I haven't read EVERY post yet), and maybe to Ethan... I think when comparing gear frequency response is only one dimension... transient response can be just as significant in describing the charechteristics of a piece of gear.

Also.. is it possible that frequency response can vary at different SPL's on a mic?

Finally, it seems that the statements need to be presented in context for any real discussion to occur....
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