Listening to The Beatles in mono

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aj113
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Re: Listening to The Beatles in mono

Post by aj113 » Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:26 pm

msnickybee wrote:
aj113 wrote:320kbps mp3s are CD quality (assuming they are generated from a 16 bit/44.1kHz wav).
You spotted earlier that I said I was a "Hifi geek" and then decided to say that craziness eh?...oh you tease! lol ;-)
So nearly fell for it!!!
If you can consistently tell the difference between 320kbps mp3s and 16/44.1 wavs you are the first person have ever come across who can.

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msnickybee
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Re: Listening to The Beatles in mono

Post by msnickybee » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:30 am

Well, I have to admit to being biased. So you'll have to humour me on that.
[rant=on]
I simply don't believe in mp3, never did. My CD collection has been wav, alac, and now flac for a long time.
And this is just because I *can*. Why take the "risk" with mp3 (even 320) that it might be degraded in some way?
Sadly, too many folks have 50" TV's, obsess over Bluray and 4k, yet will happily listen to music on an iPod in a "dock", which seems bonkers to me! But, of course, it's all compressed to some extent. But, at least the video codecs H265 etc are being developed, whereas mp3 is....ancient.
So, for me, it doesn't even come down to "can I tell the difference", I'm just going to store and listen to the source of what is distributed to me.
[rant=off]
:D
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Mark Bliss
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Re: Listening to The Beatles in mono

Post by Mark Bliss » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:18 am

:lol: Oohmyy......

[rant generally always on, I'm an old fart, who cares? 8) ]
Nicky,
I think much of the "internet debate" on these things tends to ignore all reasonable separation of real perception and technical theory. Even the rare person who has the technical understanding of the math often ignores the real world listener, playback equipment and environment. And further blurring between theory and opinion. I readily admit that while I know SOME theory, I tend to abide by what is nothing more than my opinion. Sue me.

Exactly as you describe, I have shunned the MP3 as a matter of principle. While I readily admit that I very likely cant hear the difference between a 320 MP3 and 44.1/16 CD.
But here's one of those separations I mentioned: I am talking specifically about my music collection and maintaining the quality level it was marketed in. Music I create is another story. It would be silly to think any of it is refined enough where the difference would matter. But I stick to a minimum of 44.1/16 anyway. Going back to my matter of principles.

The technical facts are that the slim difference in dynamic range is insignificant and well outside of anything that matters to anyone but the theoretical mathematicians.
The other commonly mentioned difference is the Apx. 3K of frequency range shaved off of the high end, pulling that limit from outside the Fletcher-Munchen range of the commonly accepted range of human hearing to slightly inside. So in theory some people can hear up there. I again concede my old ears cant, but then there's the theories that this also affects resonant frequencies that occur even lower in the frequency spectrum.
I don't know, cant say, cannot hear it in A/B tests personally, and to be honest, don't see a lot of reason to be concerned with it. If its there its very subtle.
Who cares. My collection remains unmolested. My option. People listen on far worse formats than MP3 320. Their option.

Going back to the hi-res or hi-def file thing, there are further complications.
But some theory (as I understand it, its not my field) before opinion:
You cannot "add" further resolution to the original recording. Period. IE: one can reduce definition by downscaling, but upscaling adds nothing back.

So if a recording was done by modern standards at 96/24 (or higher) for example, and kept at that resolution throughout the process and delivered in a final format of 96/24, you may have a real hi-def listening source.
And the opinion I already stated before is that it is likely some people can hear the difference between that 96/24 file and the same file mixed down to 44.1/16, or MP3. (If that is the only variable)
It is not going to be obvious, or even noticeable to most people, in real world listening environments.

And here's where it gets sticky.
Evidence is that the large majority of the hi-def files being marketed are actually CD 44.1/16 files up-scaled to 96/24........
So I must assume that the difference listeners are claiming to hear are often nothing more than an amount of "re-mastering" as opposed to hi-def, or simply the placebo effect.

That doesn't mean that it wouldn't be useful to upgrade the standards going forward, on new recordings where the files are of a standard to warrant it, but......
The painful reality is that old material, recorded on tape has some limitations that cannot be up-scaled.
Tape has a dynamic range capacity of somewhere around 70 dB. That capacity is diminished in further generations of tape, by about 3 dB per generation. Most efforts to re-master are using masters several generations down from the original multi-track tape.
You can use modern technology to re-master, clean up and get more modern sounding results. You can not however, come even close to taking advantage of the capacity of 96/24.
[fire away] :roll:
Stay in tune, Mark

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AHornsby
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Re: Listening to The Beatles in mono

Post by AHornsby » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:21 am

To draw an analogy in this part of the thread, the human eyes have about 6 million receptors and so, are limited to a 6 million pixel resolution.

In SUPPORT of your argument MSNICKY -- a 12 mega-pixel camera should be overkill in today's world. The 12MP cameras are out there though because business is business... or is it?

In the near future soundscape, compression schemes will make full use of every bit of data there is and so if there is no data available... you can't just make an x # of bits from zero bits.

FLAC or other, perhaps mega proprietary scheme, will soon be coming to layered media and the mp3 and CD as we know it today, will be history.

Why? Because sound is absorbable, as is colour. And it's just a matter of frequency.

-h

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Re: Listening to The Beatles in mono

Post by aj113 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:29 pm

msnickybee wrote:Well, I have to admit to being biased. So you'll have to humour me on that.
[rant=on]
I simply don't believe in mp3, never did.
Fair enough, but this admitted blind faith in the face of clear evidence to the contrary is a little removed from "...then decided to say that craziness". I mean, it's a bit rich frankly.

You seem to be very keen to advance your recording, mixing and mastering skills. You will struggle while you refuse to accept the basics of digital recording on the basis of nothing other than baseless pre-conceived beliefs.
Why take the "risk" with mp3 (even 320) that it might be degraded in some way?
Again, a baseless belief. It's much better to have principles and practices that are based on reality than misconceptions. A 320kbps has as much chance of being 'degraded' as a wav. They are both digital files and as such, they are subject to exactly the same risks.

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Mark Bliss
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Re: Listening to The Beatles in mono

Post by Mark Bliss » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:00 pm

Power trip: Japanese audiophiles go to extremes to get pure energy

TOKYO — Takeo Morita wanted absolutely the best fidelity possible from his audio system, so he bought a utility pole.

The 82-year-old lawyer already had a $60,000 American-made amplifier, 1960s German loudspeakers that once belonged to a theater, Japanese audio cables threaded with gold and silver, and other pricey equipment.

Normal electricity just wouldn’t do anymore. To tap into what Morita calls “pure” power, he paid $10,000 to plant a 40-foot-tall concrete pole in his front yard. On it perches his own personal transformer — that thing shaped like a cylindrical metal garbage can — which feeds power more directly from the grid.

“Electricity is like blood. If it is tainted, the whole body will get sick,” says Morita. “No matter how expensive the audio equipment is, it will be no good if the blood is bad.”

Demonstrating his power’s purity, he mounts a turntable with a vinyl record of Queen’s “I’m in Love With My Car,” settles into his sofa and beams. Pre-pole, he says, the vocals didn’t sound as lively as this.

“Now, it feels like Queen is in this room, just for me.”

Audiophiles everywhere are an obsessive breed, but few exhibit such perfectionism as Japanese stereo fanatics. They not only spend fortunes on amps and speakers but also insist an exclusive power supply is a crucial upgrade.

A private line, they say, eliminates electrical interference that comes from sharing a public pole with neighbors whose gadgets can create “noise” that make subtle notes inaudible and the overall sound flatter.

Once one has a personal tower of power, “the music melts into the air of the room,” says Sumio Shimamoto, president of Izumi Denki Corp., which installed Morita’s pole and has erected about 40 more across Japan over the past decade.

“Japanese audiophiles pursue it with a great deal of diligence,” says Joe Cohen, president of Lotus Group, a California-based distributor of high-end audio equipment. “They adopt the cause and sacrifice everything for it.”

There’s a debate among audio enthusiasts about whether personal poles make any meaningful difference. Audiophiles, though, “live in a kind of no-compromises world,” says Mark Bocko, director of the audio and music engineering program at the University of Rochester.

“Electromagnetic interference from appliances being used by neighbors could propagate through a shared transformer and have an audible effect. That’s not an unreasonable thing.”
Stay in tune, Mark

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msnickybee
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Re: Listening to The Beatles in mono

Post by msnickybee » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:54 am

aj113 wrote:
msnickybee wrote:Well, I have to admit to being biased. So you'll have to humour me on that. I simply don't believe in mp3, never did.
Fair enough, but this admitted blind faith in the face of clear evidence to the contrary is a little removed from "...then decided to say that craziness". I mean, it's a bit rich frankly.
OK, fair enough, you got me, I was a bit inconsistent in my answers. But, you have to excuse my joking around kind of personality! You seemed a bit confrontational, so excuse me if I misinterpreted!
Well, I was talking about The Beatles and stereo vs mono, and somehow we ended up talking about CD/mp3/HiRes....
Well, for me, it's not "blind faith", it's "lossy" compression. End of. The internet is full of debates on this, and I did say that I didn't want to get into it here, as it would just descend into flames. IMHO we would never be able to agree on this subject, especially when HiRes is thrown in.
aj113 wrote:You seem to be very keen to advance your recording, mixing and mastering skills
No more than any of us? what we're here for I guess.
aj113 wrote:You will struggle while you refuse to accept the basics of digital recording on the basis of nothing other than baseless pre-conceived beliefs.
I think I got the basics tbh. But we're all still learning I guess.
aj113 wrote:
msnickybee wrote:Why take the "risk" with mp3 (even 320) that it might be degraded in some way?
Again, a baseless belief. It's much better to have principles and practices that are based on reality than misconceptions. A 320kbps has as much chance of being 'degraded' as a wav. They are both digital files and as such, they are subject to exactly the same risks.
Ok, I agree that "degraded" was a poor choice of word. But, it's "lossy" compression. And the debate around "but you can't hear it! it's CD quality!" will continue to rage without us really. Neil Young gets angrier about it than the rest of us.... ;-)
Nicky
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My latest EP Bittersweet is now available on Spotify
or check out my YouTube channel

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