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Author Topic: Thought I was better than I was.  (Read 2735 times)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 09:09:23 pm »

The problem is that we are so surrounded by bad audio everywhere you go, many many people (including "audio professionals") think THAT is what it is SUPPOSED to sound like."

When they hear clean, uncompressed audio, they think it is weird sounding or something is wrong.

For example, how many people listen to audio clips on their computer speakers?

Those are FAR from accurate, but we do it anyway.

It is an odd world we live in, where certain parts of the system are pushed to the bests quality, yet others are basically garbage.

You are only as good as your weakest link.

I can tell you that listening to wideband clean phone conversations is very fatiguing compared to listening to a standard PCM T1 channel.

There was a push for wide band HD voice and the vendors (us included) all rushed to include these new CODEC's in our phones and switches.  Nobody ever had the balls to stand up in a meeting and say they sounded like ass. 

Now today all phones default back to a standard g.711 CODEC for default due to high end user complaint.  I was using a softphone today with only g.722 with a binaural Sennheiser headset and it was very fatiguing compared to my reference Polycom that I spend 10 hours a day on.

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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2017, 10:10:55 pm »

The most aware listeners I've encountered are women who have played an acoustic instrument at some point in their lives.  Especially if they've been in symphonic bands or orchestras.  They usually can't technically describe what they hear, but I usually get comments like "it sounds more 'real'".  They seem to focus on the overall sound.  Men have a tendency to pick the sound apart and focus on some aspect or other.
This is an important point about human audition but perhaps too much of a veer... The human brain post-processes massive raw data down to something the cognitive function can digest. Musicians can be better at picking out some specific errors.

I recall trying to lay down some tracks with a picky bass player (last century) who couldn't tolerate the single digit MSec timing errors in the midi drum track we had to work with.

But I repeat, human audition is high resolution, low precision.... But different humans can have different learned strengths based on their different life experience..

JR
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2017, 01:35:11 am »

Some years ago one of the trade rags had an oped piece that posited that people prefer the lower quality of the compressed mp3s because of the distortion that they introduced. And that the high res audiophile quality digital music was sometimes too harsh for people and that the mp3 compression algorithms "warmed up" the sound of modern digital music.

Can anyone provide a link to any actual scientifically produced double-blind study on sample rate comparisons?
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2017, 06:29:53 am »

Some years ago one of the trade rags had an oped piece that posited that people prefer the lower quality of the compressed mp3s because of the distortion that they introduced. And that the high res audiophile quality digital music was sometimes too harsh for people and that the mp3 compression algorithms "warmed up" the sound of modern digital music.

Can anyone provide a link to any actual scientifically produced double-blind study on sample rate comparisons?

For any that are AES members, look for papers in the AES library by Dr. Sean Olive.  There are quite a few double blind tests looking at preferences of loudspeakers and headphones based upon measurable accuracy.  There are some on comparisons of format but, as far as I recall, only comparing various compression algorithms to CD quality.


Lee
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2017, 10:21:03 am »

Some years ago one of the trade rags had an oped piece that posited that people prefer the lower quality of the compressed mp3s because of the distortion that they introduced. And that the high res audiophile quality digital music was sometimes too harsh for people and that the mp3 compression algorithms "warmed up" the sound of modern digital music.

Can anyone provide a link to any actual scientifically produced double-blind study on sample rate comparisons?
Heres one about SACD (a high end frufro format.. ) https://www.mixonline.com/recording/emperors-new-sampling-rate-365968

There was an earlier double blind test about 48k vs 96k but that link appears to be broken.

My recollection is that all studies performed with statistical rigor and controls returned diminishingly small perceived differences.

My observations about musicians was all anecdotal and single blind (in a NAMM show booth last century) or not blind at all (while recording).

JR
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Lyle Williams

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2017, 03:17:33 pm »

Iíve been making my living in this industry since early 90ís and thought ...

Some of your hearing will have gone by that age.  (If there was a difference to be heard at the top end.)
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2017, 04:03:33 pm »

Some of your hearing will have gone by that age.  (If there was a difference to be heard at the top end.)
Nice.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2017, 05:42:47 pm »

Some of your hearing will have gone by that age.  (If there was a difference to be heard at the top end.)
Not all differences are nestled in that region between 12 and 18k.  Folks like Dave Gunness and Peter Morris have been improving the clarity of speaker systems by focusing (pun intended) on phase coherence.  Someone up-thread mentioned stereo depth.  There are many elements that contribute to realism other than upper octave response.  IME non-audio people are fairly tolerant of minor FR deviations unless you bounce them around against a reference (my stereo sales days with the speaker selector switch).  And most folks can't hear harmonic distortion below 1%.
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Jack Arnott

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2017, 05:03:57 pm »

learned strengths..

JR

I think this is key. There are no golden ears that can hear frequencies others don't. One can learn a lot, or be taught a lot about listening.
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Jack Arnott

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Re: Thought I was better than I was.
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2017, 05:06:26 pm »

I would imagine it's the top end where the nuances might be revealed.

I would quibble with this. I have a Johnny Legend album on both CD and SACD, and my wife has it on mp3.
It has very strong bass tracks, and to me, the bass sounds more solid on the higher res versions.
It can be argued that the SACD has different mastering, but how do you explain the difference between mp3 and CD?
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