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24/192 Music Downloads...and why they make no sense


Tenstrum

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I've never really understood the quest for perfect recorded fidelity and playback. I'm old enough to remember when AM radio ruled the broadcast of rock n roll. Guess what? The sound fidelity of AM radio was for sh-t. That didn't stop anyone from loving the music and it sold a lot of records. Live concerts? Sure sound quality is nice, but tell that to the two thousand other people in the room screaming their heads off during all that sonic purity. Listening at home? OK, I'll give you that in this environment its nice to have high quality reproduction, but let's face it: most people can't tell the difference between "good enough" sound reproduction and high quality, and they don't want to pay for a difference they can't hear. There's a reason mp3 files rule music now: they are cheap and easy to buy and are good enough sonically for 99% of the market.
"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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But the 1% who do want to pay for the difference can then look smugly down on the other 99% and that, my friend, is worth every penny.

 

My status as a bass player already allows me to look smugly down on the other 99%. :cool:

"Everyone wants to change the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves." Leo Tolstoy
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Interesting. But I stand by doing my recording in 24 bit. I can record at a lower dB level to ensure the meter never peaks, then normalize the signal.

Things are just the way they are, and they're only going to get worse.

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The available technology really pushes both sides. Many people are listening to music via headphones almost exclusively which can make higher quality more noticeable and the memory size recordings may occupy.

 

 

I want the highest possible quality so I can hear the tape hiss of the original recordings, just being able to hear the studio door opening in the middle of a song isn't enough.

If you think my playing is bad, you should hear me sing!
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I want to be able to hear an ant fart a block away from the studio. I want to be able to hear what movie they're watching on the plane flying over the recording session. I want to decide who lives and who dies!

 

Ok. That last one is probably asking a bit much but...

Push the button Frank.
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the part i want to highlight the most is the section on people with "golden ears." we do listener training at my place of employ because we have found that listeners, both trained and untrained alike, tend to prefer the same sound reproduction qualities, but that the trained listeners identify it faster and more reliably. so we train and test employees in critical listening, and use them for subjective sound quality evaluations. (we use computers for the objective measurements.)
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Interesting. But I stand by doing my recording in 24 bit. I can record at a lower dB level to ensure the meter never peaks, then normalize the signal.

I believe the guy actually stated that there was a lot of benefit in recording/mixing at 24 bits, but just not any when it comes to the final product.

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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...Feeling dizzy

 

...Girlfriend says eyes are glossed over after listening to this section:

Sample 1: 1kHz tone at 0 dB (16 bit / 48kHz WAV)

Sample 2: 1kHz tone at -105 dB (16 bit / 48kHz WAV)

 

...feel a need to clean, dust, do dishes and laundry

 

...WAIT!! It's a tric...

 

{Assimilation is complete - and the subject is under control}

 

 

Jim

Confirmed RoscoeHead

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For anyone who wishes to delve deeper into this topic (all you newbs and folks who never dared venture into Massenburg's forum when it was here)...

 

https://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/441389/George_Watch_this_96k#Post441389

 

An epic thread, so epic I recently dug it out of the pit down there in the archives and stickied it to the top of the forum, well worth reading (including the associated links that are still up and available).

 

You don't need an engineering degree to understand the discussion, but it doesn't hurt. ;)

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Instead of a 24-bit/192kHz format, the last engineer I worked with suggested I use a 2-bit/30hz recording format. He said it vastly improved my sound. :smug:

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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You don't need an engineering degree to understand the discussion, but it doesn't hurt. ;)

I might say it's necessary? I was lost on the first page. (But then, my degree is in communications, so that's not worth too much). :D

 

The original article was very enlightening. Seems like some of these companies use "science" (not Robb's Real Science) as their marketing and hope the general public is duly impressed without looking into it further.

 

I'm researching studio monitors right now and have wondered at the different ranges (ex: JBL with 5" woofer goes down to 43Hz, while a highly recommended Sonodyne 6.5" only goes down to 60Hz). It made more sense after reading this article that most of us can't really hear down that far, especially not to the 20hz limit.

 

For those of you I've just put to sleep, sweet dreams.

"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
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I'm researching studio monitors right now and have wondered at the different ranges (ex: JBL with 5" woofer goes down to 43Hz, while a highly recommended Sonodyne 6.5" only goes down to 60Hz). It made more sense after reading this article that most of us can't really hear down that far, especially not to the 20hz limit.

 

I did a tone test on a pair of monitors a few years back. I could reliably hear tones up to 20-20.5K at high volumes (or, at least, I was aware of them), but the only thing I "heard" at 20-25Hz was the noise the cones made as they flapped around trying to reproduce the notes.

 

Now, as to your speaker dilemma, remember that the frequency ranges they advertise are not the functional limits of the speakers, but rather the +/-3dB range - as in one cannot distinctly perceive a difference in volume between tones within the range advertised. Doesn't mean they can't hit those lows or highs, just means the way they're tuned causes a dropoff that exceeds that industry standard deviance for published frequency range specs.

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Well, folks, this science is over my head.

 

Could we talk a little more in layman's terms?

 

I have been importing my cds into iTunes and then putting them on my iPhone. iTunes is converting the music into mp3 files.

 

It's nice having all the music on the phone so I can then plug it into my car stereo and not have to carry around a big pile of cds, but to me it sounds like some of the life has gone out of the music after it is converted.

 

This must have something to do with whatever the mp3 format does when it makes the file sizes smaller. What exactly is taken out when this happens?

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Well, folks, this science is over my head.

 

Could we talk a little more in layman's terms?

 

I have been importing my cds into iTunes and then putting them on my iPhone. iTunes is converting the music into mp3 files.

 

It's nice having all the music on the phone so I can then plug it into my car stereo and not have to carry around a big pile of cds, but to me it sounds like some of the life has gone out of the music after it is converted.

 

This must have something to do with whatever the mp3 format does when it makes the file sizes smaller. What exactly is taken out when this happens?

 

It's primarily a matter reducing the dynamic range and reducing the frequency range in order to save space. MP3s of classical music are all but unlistenable to my ears for this reason.

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(not Robb's Real Science)

 

get it right. it's real science. ;)

 

 

It's nice having all the music on the phone so I can then plug it into my car stereo and not have to carry around a big pile of cds, but to me it sounds like some of the life has gone out of the music after it is converted.

 

This must have something to do with whatever the mp3 format does when it makes the file sizes smaller. What exactly is taken out when this happens?

 

it probably has to do with the encoder settings in itunes. (although, truth be told, i have stopped using itunes for any ripping or encoding from CDs. i find their encoder to be severely lacking.) i generally use 256kbps stereo VBR encoding (highest quality). you can improve quality by going up to 320kbps and disabling VBR (variable bit rate). i have not found these settings to be poor quality, and they are an excellent compromise between audio quality and file size.

 

It's primarily a matter reducing the dynamic range and reducing the frequency range in order to save space. MP3s of classical music are all but unlistenable to my ears for this reason.

 

i bought my dad an old dbx unit to reduce the dynamic range of classical music so he could listen to it while doing anything other than listening intently. but that's not exactly the same thing at all. in fact it's quite different.

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Now, as to your speaker dilemma, remember that the frequency ranges they advertise are not the functional limits of the speakers, but rather the +/-3dB range - as in one cannot distinctly perceive a difference in volume between tones within the range advertised. Doesn't mean they can't hit those lows or highs, just means the way they're tuned causes a dropoff that exceeds that industry standard deviance for published frequency range specs.

Thanks for the explaination. I want to know more, but will drag this discussion to another forum so the moderators don't crack down on me. ;)

"Of all the world's bassists, I'm one of them!" - Lug
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the answer's pretty easy. there are -10dB specs to communicate the extreme limits of reproduction. the ±3dB can be abused, e.g. generally flat response with several +4-5dB peaks can sound very honky or boxy (depending upon where the peaks are), but the ±3dB specs seem very reasonable.

You talk funny.

Queen of the Quarter Note

"Think like a drummer, not like a singer, and play much less." -- Michele C.

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