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ARSCLIST  February 2013

ARSCLIST February 2013

Subject:

Re: Audibility of 44/16 ?

From:

John Haley <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 10 Feb 2013 10:44:17 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (124 lines)

Hi, Tom.  I have enjoyed reading your posts and look forward to your
presentation at ARSC-New York on Feb. 21 (I expect to be there).  Re the
post below, I'd be interested to know what jitter-correcting DAC's you
like.

Thanks,
John Haley

On Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 6:52 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Hi Steve:
>
> To this day, things that measure the same sound differently to different
> trained ears. This is why TRAINED EARS are essential to the ART of audio
> engineering, just as clear understanding of those measurements, how they
> were derived, why they matter and why they don't catch every difference in
> two sounds are essential to the CRAFT of audio engineering. Meter-jockeys
> and knob-turners never do good audio, but I've known plenty of people
> without engineering degrees and who can't understand the typical AES
> Journal article who can make great recordings and mixes, because they have
> good ears and good taste.
>
> Then there are measureable problems that go unfixed until people complain
> about hearing the obvious problem (and at first get ridiculed for it). The
> latest example of this is jitter from USB (computer) sources into DACs. It
> took one or two generations of DACs for equipment makers to admit that the
> bits coming down the USB were full of jitter. Then many DACs started adding
> re-clocking and jitter-rejection and all of a sudden what came out of the
> computer sounded as good as what came out of a well-designed disc player
> (or better). To this day, some USB outboard DAW interfaces don't address
> this issue.
>
> The longer I work in digital audio, the more I think that (properly
> managed) bits are bits, but there are all kinds of problems that happen
> often between bits and moving air. It's the same on the other end, it's not
> so easy to turn moving air into electrical current into bits. So the "bits
> is bits" statement is dumb, it doesn't matter if you can copy the same bits
> all over the place, put them on various playback media, stream them over
> the interwebs, etc. What matters is, did the bits capture what was in front
> of the mic and, when the bits get played back, do the sound like what was
> in front of the mic? In between (when bits is bits) is the easy part!
>
> BTW, anyone who thinks ANY analog recording chain was "transparent" or
> output equalled input has tin ears or is in denial. All sorts of things
> happen with disk recording and even with the best tape recorders, and both
> media are far from "silent" or "transparent." Eye-opening at ARSC Rochester
> was Nick Bergh's demonstration of how good the audio was going to a Victor
> cutterhead in the 1930s. Find me a pressed 78 or even most laquers or metal
> parts from that era that have that kind of fidelity. In later times (70s
> and 80s), I heard enough pre-tape and post-tape monitoring in professional
> studios to know how much tape changes the sound. To my ears, digital is
> much less sound-changing but you have to be very careful that you capture
> everything on the front end and then play it all back on the back end. The
> fact that DAC and ADC design and technologies continue to evolve proves my
> point.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Smolian" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 11:55 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?
>
>
>
>  I recall being present at a couple such presentations to the National AES
>> by Lipschitz, etc.
>>
>> There may have been tests and papers by others on this general topic, but
>> my recollection of Lipschitz' work boiled down to, paraphrased, "If you ear
>> tells you one thing and the meters another, believe the latter."  The
>> overall concept was known as "bits is bits."  His work was not held in high
>> regard by some.
>>
>> In L's  defense, at the time there were few devices available to the
>> engineering public that could measure digital phenomena in sufficient
>> detail to quantify what was going on with sufficient accuracy to allow
>> results specific enough to be meaningful.
>>
>> In those days, my seat companion at such events was a acoustical
>> psychologist (not the right term) to whom I would describe what I was
>> hearing and which he would then relate to known phenomena in his academic
>> world.  L's tests were clearly based on an a priori conclusion to us both.
>>
>> More interesting was a shootout of a bunch of data compression
>> algorhythms from maybe 10 parties. Even on conference speakers the losses
>> in each were almost all clearly audible.  There was only one- I think
>> Philips in an early iteration- that had a minor but passable loss.  Again,
>> he didn't need me to tell him what was what.  In part, the different flawed
>> approaches were a reflection of what was patentable.  Late 1970s?   I can't
>> recall his name at the moment either.  I think he died in the 1990s.
>>
>> Steve Smolian
>>
>> -----Original Message----- From: Goran Finnberg
>> Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 3:28 AM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Audibility of 44/16 ?
>>
>> And now for some fun reading:
>>
>>
>> http://www.bostonaudiosociety.**org/bas_speaker/abx_testing2.**htm<http://www.bostonaudiosociety.org/bas_speaker/abx_testing2.htm>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Best regards,
>>
>> Goran Finnberg
>> The Mastering Room AB
>> Goteborg
>> Sweden
>>
>> E-mail: [log in to unmask]
>>
>> Learn from the mistakes of others, you can never live long enough to
>> make them all yourself.    -   John Luther
>>
>> (\__/)
>> (='.'=)
>> (")_(") Smurfen:RIP
>>
>

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