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126  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 03:16:46 PM
Given the information provided, it was a theoretical question.

That's not a criticism, but merely an explanation of the type of answers you got.
No problem!  It's all useful for me.
127  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 03:14:29 PM
Another good site with information:
http://shure.custhelp.com...-headphone-specifications

The headphones come with this specification for rating, normally given in db/mW.  From that site, the db is indeed referring to SPL (sound pressure).  That's good.  Now we know that for my given headphone rating (96 db/mW), to get 96 db loudness, I need 1 mW.  The voltage for that is 0.78V.

But I want to be able to go hurtful loud sometimes, just so I know my equipment can handle it.  Most people say that 120db is way too loud to listen to for extended periods of time (or even short periods!).  Perfect!

The Headmp says it can do up to +35db in gain.  OK, that means:
96+35=131 db max

Well, that should do it!  So I'm going to get the headamp.

Now, let's do an experiment to see if I'm right or not.  This is it:
The knob can do max 35 gain.  So 0-100% is 1-35 db.
If I want comfy listening volume, like 100 db, where would the knob be?
(100-96)/35 = 11%, so almost a quarter turn of the knob.

Let's say I want 115 db:
(115-96)/35 = 54%, so the knob should maybe be about half turned.

Let's say I want to blow my ears out, 120db:
(120-96)/35 = 69%, so the knob is just about three-quarters turned.

We'll see!
128  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 02:56:30 PM
i appreciate the theoretical discussion here, but I still think the question is simply "What do I need to get the headphone louder?" And I think that's a more simple answer than all the audiophile websites and discussions are making it seem.

I'm liking what this site is saying:
http://www.sengpielaudio....om/calculator-db-volt.htm
Quote
Note: Power gain (power amplification) is not common in audio engineering.
Even power amplifiers for loudspeakers don't amplify the power.
They amplify the audio voltage that moves the voice coil.

This means the ratios (db) are not for power, but for voltage.  So why do I care?  Well, when I'm doing ohm's law, I'm asking a seemingly paradoxical question "Do I need more power?  or more voltage?"  Well, the correct answer is both.  But the right way to think about it from the headphone's perspective is voltage.  The headphone needs more voltage.  So I need an amp that increases voltage (even though it will also increase power).  More importantly, I'd like to know what kind of voltage it is outputting!
129  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 11:35:58 AM
Wouldn't the SPL be a function of the frequency weighting and the transducer as well?

For example, my vintage Acoustic 18" folded horn bass enclosure has a sticker with a warning that it can produce ear damaging levels at even relatively low volume settings. That's because the folded horn increases efficiency by almost behaving like a focusing lens.

When tested with a sound level meter it showed the ability to produce dangerous sound levels with as little as 100 watts pushing it. Since the average stage bass head packs  200 watts and up, it's something you need to be aware of if you're using one.
I think that's precisely the problem I'm having.  As far as I know, there's no formulaic connection between sound levels and electrical circuitry (ohms, volts, current).   With a sound level meter, yes, you can measure the SPL or whatever it is that indicates loudness.

I'm pretty sure the problem is that the supposedly knowledgeable people do not clearly understand it themselves, especially the electrical engineering aspect of it, which is hard to understand anyway.  There's just no obvious, formulaic connection between the electrical circuitry elements and the loudness.  They are using rules of thumbs and using impedance values, but ultimately there's no direct connection.

I think the answer is simply:
I just need an amp with more juice.  The headphones have high impedance, they need more volts (since everyone is talking about voltage).
power = (voltage)^2/R
My R is larger than normal.  For the same amount of power driving low impedance phones, I need more voltage.  It's that simple to me.
for the headamp I want to buy, the max gain is 35.  I think that means if I input 1V, it will output 35V.
Unfortunately, the headamp has odd specs.  It shows specs for "Z" values, which indicate impedance, then gives the rating as watts, lol.
like this...
"Output Z: 10W"
lol, ok.

"How many apples you got in that bag there?"
"I got 30 oranges!"

and that's just one problem in this whole thing.
130  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 09:55:12 AM
I'm not really sure what your question is.

dB is just measuring atmospheric pressure difference (caused by sound) from a reference atmospheric pressure (silence).

There are different scales though.

The absolute difference is what you should use if you are measuring energy.

However, human hearing is limited, so there are A, B, and C scales (there are others as well). They all measure dB as it relates to human hearing, which is what you should use when you are interested in "hearing" the sound.

The absolute SPL is what you want to know when you want to know which song pumps out more bass and shakes the room more.

So, in short, dB is just a differential ratio, and in this context, it's about atmospheric pressure changes.

Does that sort of make sense?
Thanks  Cool
The issue is this:
Supposedly, there's are calculations you can do to figure out which headphones will work with which headphone amps.  And it's all about volume, really, that's all there is to it.  Either it gets loud enough just right, or not loud enough, or too loud.
There are rules of thumb that are being used for this.  It works, for the most part.
But if you start wondering "Well, what if I don't use the rule of thumb and just do the full calculation?"
That's where you find all these electrical calculations, ohm's law.  However, then the db comes in.  And it's db, as in SPL (sound pressure).  And nowhere along the way does anyone do any calculation relating SPL to any electrical value like ohm, current, voltage.  So I have no idea how the SPL (which is loudness in a sense) to the circuitry.  So how can anyone figure anything out?
131  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: File collection manager on: December 10, 2014, 09:34:45 AM
Hey...Data crow is pretty nice!
132  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server on: December 10, 2014, 09:17:52 AM
4wd, I've never used btsync for such large folders!  Good to know that's probably not a good idea.  I'd probably use syncovery for something like that.

I got that ravpower unit, and had a few minutes to play with it last night.  Couldn't do anything with it yet, so we'll see.  There was a weird moment...I plugged in a tiny usb drive into it, and left it on my lap while reading the manual.  The usb drive is made of aluminum.  In a few minutes, it got crazy hot!  So hot, i couldn't even touch for hardly a second even.  That was crazy.  I unplugged it.  Hopefully, nothing is burnt on the ravpower.  I seem to remember something being wrong with that drive.

What I'm looking forward to is trying the Samba capabilities of that thing.
133  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 09, 2014, 07:19:47 PM
The big difference with analog is that distortion increasingly creeps in with increased loudness. So the name of the game was to saturate (we're talking tape here) your audio track with the levels just at the threshold where clipping began to occur. That got the music as far above the noise floor as possible without too much perceived distortion. With digital, we're talking digital distortion - which is fixed. So with digital, you want to be as far above the fixed distortion floor as possible because - if you lower the level - the perceived distortion in the track actually seems to increase. Louder in this case better hides the distortion. Softer becomes more distorted sounding. That's a bizarre effect that doesn't occur in nature - so our ears and brain go nuts trying to deal with it. Apparently on some subconscious level we know what we're hearing is just plain wrong when it comes to digital sound.

Or so it was explained to me.
oh yes!  I believe you have explained this before here and I've clipped it!   thumbs up
oy...it reminds me of this seindfeld scene:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yecNfSLnxp8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yecNfSLnxp8</a>
"eating onions, spotting dimes!" lol
134  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 09, 2014, 05:59:30 PM
Everyone's like yea yea, and gave me the formulas backing it up along with the specs of the headphones and amp, etc.  So I was convinced.  I got it...it's ok, but it "feels" not loud enough because everything is cranked to the max.

LOL I've got a factory but very high-end sound system in my truck that subjected me to much the same experience. Understand I'm guessing a bit here, but... The newer music seems to be designed for equipment that has no baseline "white noise". Everything is digitally clear an sticks to frequencies that remain "comfortable" even when played at earth shattering db ranges. However, when one of my old school favorite songs came on, I found some parts of the guitar solo physically painful because it wasn't "designed" to be played that way over that kind of "new fangled" equipment.
True.  I've had these raging debates also!
The  best conclusion I've heard, especially regarding the issue of the "loudness wars" is that things were just mastered differently before the digital age.  And that, compared to everything else I've heard, makes a whole lot of sense to me.  And I've listened to a few lectures from the master masterers, and they've pretty much said the same thing: that things are just mastered to be loud now, and before it was a different philosophy.  There's the usual curmudgeon like attitudes there also, but for the most part it sounds like things are being mastered for ipods now, whereas before they were mastered for living room players, or hifi stuff.

Eventually, I'm going to go after the whole tube vs solid state thing, too.  I'm both looking and NOT looking forward to that one.
135  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 09, 2014, 05:37:21 PM
It gets crazy because the human ear doesn't perceive loudness in a linear or strictly physical manner. Check out this article if you want to really start pulling your hair out. As one EE from MIT who was the most knowledgeable sound engineer and circuit designer I ever met told me: It's not just science, It's psychologytellme
Here's the problem I'm having, and why I'm going through this.  I have a pair of 600 ohm headphones.  They're very good headphones, but the high impedance makes them difficult to drive in this ipod age of unamplified playback devices.  Apparently, a long time ago, high impedance was used with professional hifi equipment.

But I still want to use the headphones.  So instead of buying new lower impedance headphones, I said let me make use of it by just getting an amp.  So I got one as an experiment, and I even asked around to make sure it could drive those headphones.  Everyone's like yea yea, and gave me the formulas backing it up along with the specs of the headphones and amp, etc.  So I was convinced.  I got it...it's ok, but it "feels" not loud enough because everything is cranked to the max.  So while I hear it fine, I'm uncomfortable with maxing all the knobs out, including the volumes in my software and audio drivers.  I'd like to have some top room remaining, like 25% or so minimum. 

So I'm now left wondering which amp I need.  I'm 90% convinced that this thing, the Aphex Headamp 4, is the way to go.  I'll test it out later this week.  The reason why is because in it's marketing video, it says this:
[attachthumb=1]

If you really want to follow the technical discussion, you can do so here:
http://www.hydrogenaud.io...ndex.php?showtopic=107678

But I'm reserving this thread for my more intimate, less polite venting.
136  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 09, 2014, 04:05:02 PM
OK, I just admitted something really embarrassing in another forum, thought I'd share it here.
As a music nut, musician, engineer (electrical at that), all around nerdo geek...I don't understand decibels as it relates to loudness.  More so than that, I don't get it in relation to amplifier circuitry and the formulas used.

This all started when I began researching types of headphone amps to get for my home studio.  This is really embarrassing to admit...I've written books on electrical engineering.

All the circuitry (obviously) uses volts, amps, currents.  Fine, I am comfy with that.  But then, somehow these numbers are magically turned into decibels!  How the f?  Now, decibels is not a unit I enjoy using.  First of all, for loudness, the unit it uses is called SPL, which is a measure of sound pressure.  But decibel in itself is dimensionless; it's a ratio of one unit over another number of the same unit (i.e. they cancel out).  So a inputted values for decibels can be volts, ohms, watts, spl, mattresses, bicycles, whatevers.

On top of all that, I have to sort through all the audiophile pseudo-science, snake oil nonsense.

Am I crazy?

Here's a fun chart:
[attach=1]
from here:
http://www.sengpielaudio....m/calculator-loudness.htm

I don't know what is going on there, but it looks helpful if I did!
137  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Spoilers Are Fun !! on: December 09, 2014, 12:18:03 PM
Reload that machine with Windows 7 64-bit home premium or professional, and use either Chrome or Firefox.

Without even changing the hardware, you'll experience computing like never before.

Though it probably would be worth considering a new build. Something in the Haswell family from Intel with 8-16GB of ram and 64-bit Windows 7. Windows 8 is not recommended for desktops unless you are building for a kid who is used to smarphones, and Windows (9) 10 is probably going to be a disaster.
Other than strange interface differences (tiles, settings in weird places), what are the advantages of Windows 7 vs 8?
138  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server on: December 05, 2014, 03:55:04 PM
It can also be made to directly transfer files or sync with any other Transporter drive anywhere in the world.
That certainly is the key feature for me.  I just bought this one, I should have it by tomorrow:
http://www.ravpower.com/r...b-6000mah-power-bank.html
[attachthumb=1]

I got it specifically because someone has a blog who is a nutz as I am about this sort of thing, and he praised this company in particular for having the ability of Samba built in (something like that) which allows a windows machine to access it directly, without any stupid software or apps.
http://reviewlagoon.com/r...i-diskpower-bank-rp-wd01/
Quote
Access Layer 3: Samba

Look, this is all fine and well.  You aren’t hampered by some goofy app that won’t stream MKVs or WMA files; the native app works fantastic with whatever you’re rocking for media playback.  But what about REAL file access?  Like REAL file sharing?  Samba technology allows you to access network shares with your mobile device.  MOST wireless drives do NOT support Samba – which is why you’re trapped in their crappy app.
Samba allows you to use any Samba-compatible application to access the files as if the folder was on your device.  For power users like me?  This is REQUIRED.
Thanks to Samba, you can use almost any file manager on Android.  Most good music and video players support Samba streaming.  This means the sky is the limit.
If you have a compatible device, you can use CIFS to mount the WiDrive to the local file system – making it just as good as OTG.
139  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Old City on: December 05, 2014, 03:15:19 PM
@SB -  wouldn't something like Old City be great with something like an Oculus Rift headset? Too bad OC's probably well beyond the budget and/or capabilities of most indy game shops. Some of the best work seems to be coming from that quarter.
hmmm...well, yea!!  Damn, I still have to try the oculus.  I've been avoiding due to fear of the amount of ideas/projects it will inspire in my brain.
140  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Old City on: December 05, 2014, 12:54:25 PM
Whoa...I gotta say, I'm intrigued!
141  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: December 04, 2014, 04:44:33 PM
Love that picture, 40.  Linda, Bonnie, and this girl Maria...3 great vocalists in one pic.  I had a whole phase of Linda, then Bonnie, so i guess I'm up for the third!
142  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: December 04, 2014, 02:44:45 PM
Not sure if I'm making sense...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who sometimes feels that way when it comes to discussing something related to music. Grin Thmbsup

Funny how what's so clear in the head falls apart when you try to put it into words when it comes to music. A hundred things really need to be said simultaneously. And there's very little that doesn't need to be qualified and re-qualified. And half the time, the exact opposite is equally true.

That's what you get for "dancing about architecture" I guess. Wink Cool

FWIW my guitarist GF tends to start quietly singing this song any time I start getting too analytical or esoteric. (Think she's trying to tell me something?  huh)
Great version!  Who is Maria Muldaur??
143  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server on: December 04, 2014, 12:10:50 PM
Hmm...check out this thing from Sony...looks just right, a wireless portable storage device!
http://www.sony-asia.com/product/wg-c20
[attachthumb=1]
144  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Raspberry Pi project: wireless file server on: December 03, 2014, 05:17:33 PM
How much file space are we talking about?

Simple solution if you don't mind an open WiFi:
  • A rooted Android Smartphone with OTG capability, (@superboyac: considering the number of posts you've made in the last couple of years, you must have a box full of spare phones tongue )
  • OTG cable, (powered if you want to run a portable HDD instead of flash drive).
  • A flash drive for file storage.
  • This app.

Flash drive and OTG cable not even required if you use a 32GB microSD card and it's enough.

If you went and got a TP-LINK MR3020 for what you wanted here, install PirateBox on it.

Self-contained, self-powered web-based file sharing.
Grin well, not quite...I do my research on the cheap.  If I see someone with a phone I haven't played with, I might take it for a while and not return it until I'm satisfied with my study.  Most people are not terribly thrilled with it...I get a lot of "Don't break it" comments, which is funny, because I can't even remember the last time I've ever broken something.  Ah, people.

The ultimate goal in all these efforts is to replace my portable thumbdrive with something that can do the same without needing to plug it into stuff.  So let's say I'm out and about, transferring files here and there from the thumbdrive, well...now when I get home, i need to stick that thing in my home computer to copy everything over.  It would be easier if I could have a wifi direct enabled server that runs on batteries, and I just keep it in my bag.  Whenever it's in range of any device, it just syncs using standard syncing software, and I never have to remove it from my bag or whatever.  Except to charge occasionally. That's my goal.
145  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Mischief 2.0: very promising drawing software ($25 !!) on: December 03, 2014, 04:13:45 PM
Looks interesting. Now if I can just remember what I did with my Wacom pad, I might give it a spin - assuming it works with a 5-year old drawing tablet

Oops! Scratch that. I just remembered, I already gave it away. embarassed
you gave it away?!  You are a very generous individual!  Grin

I'm going to try using this program as my general notepad...i.e. replace onenote.  I've already been doing so with photoshop canvases, but that's a little overkill.
146  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A stoned guy renamed some of his favorite items while high... on: December 03, 2014, 03:36:16 PM
do that when I'm being sober and over-analytical!!

I'm glad you play better than you over analyze.  I enjoyed the Stride clip you posted.   Thmbsup
Thanks!
147  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: December 03, 2014, 12:19:31 PM
During their stay I got to talk with them a bit. I complimented them on their music. Ray Sawyer immediately jumped in and said a big factor in their success was that the band had never been afraid to work with and perform music written by outside songwriters like Shel Silverstein. He said a lot of groups make the mistake of insisting on doing everything by themselves. I found that really interesting, and surprisingly humble.
There's a lesson here somewhere...

Fun group!
148  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Do we have any musical people on DC? on: December 03, 2014, 10:24:50 AM
^It does seem weird he'd do that considering music is such an interactive and improvisational art form. The give and take between the various band elements (bass/percussion/instrumental/vocal) is what it's all about. Or at least it is to me.

I'm guessing it may have been for reasons of economy. Or possibly to provide a framework for him to perform in. Lifestyle choices are starting to catch up to a lot of the Old Guard. And short-term memory is one of the first things to go. Maybe he's in that camp?

Saw the same thing happen with Van Morrison some years back. We went to see him in a club. About 50 people showed up. He did two songs, took a 20 minute break, and came back on stage drunk off his ass. We all left about 40 minutes later when he stopped the show and started in on a long drunkard's expletive-peppered rant about the music industry.

A few of of us felt so bad for him that we went back the next night. Turned out we were the only three in the entire place. (Word gets around fast.) This time Morrison came out a half hour late - and was already completely smashed when he did. The club owner comp'ed our drinks, gave us our ticket charge back, and we left.

Very sad. Sad
Why do you care if Van is drunk, wouldn't he sing the same regardless??  (I kid, I kid)

Very interesting stories about Van and Winter.  Wasn't Edgar always in the technology stuff (I'm thinking Frankenstein, love that song)?

I've been listening to the old guard complain about the music industry recently, the latest one from Vince Gill.  But I just can't seem to understand what exactly their complaint is about?  I'm not trying to argue with them, I just can't see what it is exactly that is bothering them.  I feel it has to do with the fact that you can ONLY make money if you play what they consider "sell out" type music.  Is that what it is?  Then there's guys like Neil Young who seem to be hocking audiophile snake oil, I don't get it.
149  DonationCoder.com Software / ProcessTamer / Re: New (3/31/05) preview pictures of new ProcessTamer GUI on: December 03, 2014, 10:05:05 AM
Maybe this thread should be flagged as "CLOSED"? Or is it not yet in fact a closed issue?
ah...no big deal.  It was a fun resurrection.
150  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Mischief 2.0: very promising drawing software ($25 !!) on: December 03, 2014, 09:51:12 AM
https://www.madewithmischief.com/mischief

There's this new player in the art software category.  I just installed it, it is really amazing.  It's fast, as in drawing the strokes on a tablet with a stylus is much more responsive with this program vs. photoshop, clip studio (which is what I currently use).  And it has this "infinite zoom" feature, which is essentially vector graphics for a program like photoshop.  So it combines features of Illustrator, photoshop into one program, which is what the clip studio tries to do a little also.  What makes mischief stand out is the touch-friendly interface...very simple layout (you don't have to hide/unhide the sidebars all the time, or get those artdocks), and it supports multi-touch gestures.

I really like the idea of zooming in and out and not getting any pixelation.  Also, a unique feature...the brush size doesn't get smaller/larger as you zoom out or in.  it stays the same size.  Why is that cool?  Let's say I drew a tiny tiny circle...now I can zoom way into the circle and draw yet another tiny circle inside it without changing the brush size and the thicknesses are relative to the zoom.
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