Audio myths : a good read

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by fokof, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
  2. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    The whole vinyl vs. CD argument is a dead horse at this point. I have enough of a background in signal processing to understand the technical potential of the CD format. And yet none of it matters if engineers waste away the dynamic range during mastering with compression to make everything sound louder (and therefore "better") over crappy speakers. It's a complete waste of 16 bit resolution.

    I have many audiophile friends who have flocked back to vinyl; some of them just because it's trendy, but several because they appreciate high-quality mastering. Not all vinyl albums are mastered well, but I was surprised when a friend demonstrated how many of them are substantially different from the CD releases. It's all about the content, after all: not about technical superiority of the medium.
    Geri O, megafiddle and StayLow like this.
  3. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Just record your Vinyl to "CD" or digital. It will retain 100% of the fidelity and you can play it back again and again without any physical degradation.
  4. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    Where I would say this affects musicians is mostly in our heads--but we can be funny that way--even if nobody else hears it, if we hear it and it helps us play better--then all the science in the world & all the tests go out the window.
    fokof likes this.
  5. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Mostly in the pocket-books when paying for needless things that marketing hype brings about :)
  6. Troph


    Apr 14, 2011
    Kirkland, WA
    Agreed, if someone is willing to go to this trouble, they'd likely be happy with the results.

    However, I should point out that I personally don't have a vinyl collection; I've resigned myself to compromise with over-compressed, sub-standard mixes in return for convenience of one-button CD ripping. :)
  7. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    I listen to my library in Random , whenever it gets to an older album and the level drops , I'm thinking that they probably used the same Master as the Vinyl.

    It's sad to hear all those recordings who don't have any dynamics.

    No more melodies , no more harmony , no more Dynamics...... :rollno:

    ( Yeah I know , I'm an old fart)
    bluesdogblues likes this.
  8. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    It's not every recording in every genre of music. i.e. Classical music is super benefiting from this digital age.

    And the music biz in general is a lot bigger today so something must be going right.
  9. bluesdogblues


    Nov 13, 2007
    hopefully, the 'trend' now is coming back to dynamic, leaving the many before trend of loudness. But, I'm affraid if it's only 'trend' instead of 'attitude'. I hope not.
  10. Tom Bomb

    Tom Bomb Hypocognitive

    Apr 23, 2014
    I'm loving this. Hats off to the OP! Viva la Buster

    I just know this is gonna help. At the moment though, I'm still having trouble getting past Confirmation Bias.

    Dechamps writes,

    "When humans are doing the comparison… a number of psychological biases come into play.… [T]he most relevant one is probably confirmation bias. It is not specific to audio (far from it) but in this context it basically means people hear what they want to hear." [Emphasis added]​

    Nice problem to have …:wacky:… But, coming to terms with this 'myside' bias, and all it entails, is gonna be a serious analytical plus. Things will change, and for the better. That's my guess. Master this concept, it seems to me, and one's ability to shape sound could improve out-o'-sight. Good sounds - sounds good. Shaping everything should become easier, because it helps to facilitate 'seeing' everything more clearly. Reading on. :thumbsup:

    [edit] having still having trouble :wacky: [and so it goes :)]
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  11. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Bring Back Edit/Delete

    Nov 30, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    People love to invoke Nyquist. Too bad it's so commonly misapplied to digital sampling of music (and in many other engineering endeavors). When you have double the sample rate of your source material you can represent it perfectly when the sampling period and source material are perfectly in phase. Since every new note has its own time domain, this will never be true.

    Nyquist is 100% correct, but not applicable to the discussion of 44.1khz versus the audible range of human hearing.
  12. Agree Seamonkey
  13. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Moot points.

    Unless you're using at bare minimum the more expensive Monster cables and a power cable to your amp costing at least $500, again at the *minimum*, you might as well be wearing foamy earplugs for all the dynamic range and fidelity you're missing out on.

    Reminds me of bassists obsessing over "tone woods" and string composition, pickup swapping and all that, then not even using bass-specific instrument cables between bass and amp, or directional cables so the signal flows unimpeded in the desired direction. Of course here too we're almost invariably missing premium power cables for the amp and effects (if any).

    Then you wonder why you can't be heard out front. Whaaa whaaa it's all the soundman's fault! :rollno:
    fokof and Fat Steve like this.
  14. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    This is why phase accurate systems oversample. You need 3-4X minimum sampling of the highest frequency of interest to be able to get usable phase information. Most studio converters are 88.1/96k or 176.2/192k samples/sec so they satisfy this. It's also why little 6" splash cymbals often sound like gated noise at 44.1k playback even without poor mastering. :D The downconversion to 44.1k loses progressively more of the phase information starting at around 14-15 kHz to the top of the audio band. While it's not as easy to hear in music as with test signals, it can be heard as a difference compared to the original analog or high sample rate master. You probably can't hear it at all if the music has been sliced, diced, and three hole punched into mp3 or other lossy format. :(

    Digital processing of analog TV signals started out at 3x oversampling and moved to 4x pretty quickly, to reduce phase noise (jitter). You could see it in the color, and our eyes are much more forgiving of error than our ears.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I would suggest people read or take a look at
    Videos/Digital Show and Tell

    Topics cover both audio and digital and how all this actually works.

    I am not a golden ear, so I can't hear subtle differences that others claim to hear, but the differences also don't seem to show up in the actual measurements either. Measuring equipment is capable of going way beyond human hearing with music or test signals. Same for sight, cameras can pick up infrared or ultraviolet we can't see but no need to add these to the video recordings.

    The marketing hype has gone crazy with higher and higher numbers being pushed well beyond anything that is useful.
  16. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

    Well played sir. This is bound to get some bites.
    devnulljp and David Jayne like this.
  17. +1. Pure gold.
  18. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    The measurable difference is in the price. If it costs more, or has extra features, it's obviously superior whether you can measure it or not via inferior hearing or arbitrary use of scopes and such. It behooves the tin-eared to "fake it 'til you make it" and eventually you'll perhaps be golden-eared too.

    A great first step to developing golden hearing is to stop wasting time reading or conducting studies and break out your credit card. As I said the proof is in the pricing, that's all the empirical evidence you really need. You get what you pay for, and if you actually pay for it then you've got a better chance of hearing the difference.

    Double-blind studies are double-plus bad. Quite the opposite, simply open your eyes in order to hear the difference!

    It's amazing that people can be so gullible as to not hear a difference when you can clearly see a difference. The evidence is self-evident. :banghead:
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
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  19. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Perhaps you forgot the brain is also involved in human signal processing. :D
  20. StayLow is on a roll today. :: Applause ::
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