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Author Topic: Once again, magically expensive items are only different in your mind  (Read 4649 times)
Edvard
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« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2014, 09:24:55 PM »

Guy tried to reason with Friend that 'live' was the standard; all hi-fi system's one purpose is to re-create the 'live' experience as closely as possible.

I think it all depends on the music. But I'm definitely more the "music lover" than audiophile type. (With thanks to JH for that brilliant earlier clarification about what separates the two.)

In my world, if it's a recording of a live performance, then as close to "live" as possible should be the goal.

But a studio album is a fixed work of art. Like a painting. For those recordings, whatever was closest to the artist's intent should be the goal. Especially when you consider some very valid musical works can't be effectively done live - or in the case of Zappa's Black Page - can't reliably be done at all.

Agreed.  But I think the guy's point was that how can you complain about sibilance and tone when the genuine, unadulterated item is right there.  It's like practically admitting that audiophiles don't want the "purest, cleanest tone imaginable", but the one most shaped and colored to their own pleasing. 

I'll be the first to admit that I color my music according to how I feel that day; sometimes I want flat and clean, other times I want full bass, flat treble to about ~8-12 KHz then let it drop (shelving FTW), then a slight bump around 3,000 Hz so I can hear the guitar strings 'twang' just a touch harder.  My hearing loss is going backwards in my old age; I can't stand a lot of treble (can still hear a CRT 'whine' when it fires up), and I like a full bass (but not 'boomy' or overwhelming; I'm not a fan of *ahem* 'urban' music).
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xtabber
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« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2014, 02:10:33 PM »

But most of us save audio files in digital format. Some use FLAC, I prefer wav as do all of the engineers I work with. There is a reason programs like ExactAudioCopy use wav as the default copying format.
For working with digital audio, you definitely want to work with wav. For long term storage of anything except original recording masters, I consider flac the better choice.

flac is a lossless compression format that allows you to use musical contents without decompressing the entire file. Unlike MP3., AAC, etc., the source material is not changed, but if you work with it directly, there can be artifacts introduced by the interaction of codecs and sound processing software. However, if your conversion software does its job correctly, you should be able to convert a flac file back to wav format and the results should bit compare to the original.

If I were doing sound engineering today, I'd probably keep multiple copies of original masters in the original (wav) format simply to avoid any potential problems, but I would compress at least one archival copy using software with some kind of parity recovery to guard against corruption. flac does not have any recovery capability, but for anything that is not going to be used as a master for further processing, it works just fine and saves a lot of storage.

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xtabber
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« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2014, 03:15:13 PM »

If an audiophile truly wants "as it was intended in the studio" sound, all they need to do is cruise eBay for some Yamaha NS-10s which were the most common studio near-field monitors for years.  That is, the speakers the engineers and producers listened to when doing recording, mixing and mastering.
That's not really true.  Yamaha NS-10 speakers have a harsh sound that tends to exaggerate sound defects.  That makes them useful for monitoring certain types of recordings because you're more likely to spot problems before committing them to the can.  But it's not necessarily what you want to listen to at home, particularly if you like classical and acoustic music.  They are also reasonably portable.

Bowers & Wilkins 800 series speakers have been the monitors of choice for many major recording studios (e.g., Abbey Road) for decades, because of their unmatched faithfulness and transparency.  Unfortunately, a matched pair of 802 studio monitors will cost you at least $25,000 and is not really suitable for a living room not capable of fitting a symphony orchestra, nor an amp rated at less than 400 w/channel.
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Curt
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« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2014, 04:14:44 PM »

If an audiophile truly wants "as it was intended in the studio" sound, all they need to do is cruise eBay for some Yamaha NS-10s which were the most common studio near-field monitors for years.  That is, the speakers the engineers and producers listened to when doing recording, mixing and mastering.
That's not really true.  Yamaha NS-10 speakers have a harsh sound that tends to exaggerate sound defects.  That makes them useful for monitoring certain types of recordings because you're more likely to spot problems before committing them to the can. 

I agree with xtabber on this.
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Joe Hone
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« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2014, 05:23:07 PM »

I prefer wav because it is uncompressed. I also keep multiple copies of everything in portable hard drives and everything is uncompressed. Daily backups are made and copies are saved in the studio, in my office offsite and at home. And because this is DonationCoder, my backup program of choice is bvckup.  smiley It does incremental backup but each audio filed is opened with a new name and is thus a unique file so bvckup doesn't touch the most recent saved file in the folder.

As far as the Yamaha speakers, they might be what was used in many studios but you can have the most current, most accurate studio monitors in your home audio system but you still aren't hearing what was recorded as it was heard in the studio because it has been processed to make it blend with everything else. If it wasn't processed like that it wouldn't be as pleasing to your ears. You can hear this in church/community/school performances that are recorded using just one or two mics which makes it difficult to give the different instruments/vocals individual space for playback.

As for ideal audio playback, stuff sounds good at all price ranges if the components compliment each other. For that you just have to go listen before you buy. A single do-it-all stereo can't sound as good as separate components due to shielding, power supply, etc. but you don't have to spend a lot of money to have great sound. I have a CD player here from the 90s hooked up to an amp and speakers so I can listen out of the control room for reference, it sounds great and I don't see any reason to upgrade to a higher end player.
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« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2014, 07:01:50 PM »

As far as the Yamaha speakers, they might be what was used in many studios but you can have the most current, most accurate studio monitors in your home audio system but you still aren't hearing what was recorded as it was heard in the studio because it has been processed to make it blend with everything else. If it wasn't processed like that it wouldn't be as pleasing to your ears. You can hear this in church/community/school performances that are recorded using just one or two mics which makes it difficult to give the different instruments/vocals individual space for playback.
It's rare, probably near impossible, for great recordings to be just the reflection of a great performance. Studio recordings are a collaboration between the artists, producer, and engineer. Take Cream's first 2 albums for example. On Fresh Cream it's obvious you're listening to one of the great bands of all time. Add in Felix Pappalardi and Tom Dowd as collaborators and Disreali Gears becomes one of the all time great recordings.
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« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2014, 07:51:37 PM »

"existing audio formats are unable to adequately present a full range of tones"

The human ear isn't capable of discriminating between (or actually hearing) many of them either. Wink

That's a bit misleading. It has to do with the curves on which sound is measured. When the curves explicitly exclude sound energy, that information is lost, and then of course you get a skewed result.

I went over some of why that is here:

http://www.donationcoder....30209.msg337135#msg337135

To better understand, you only need to look into how SPL is measured and the history of the SPL meters and the different curves used for them. While this article is horribly deficient, here's a start:

https://en.wikipedia.org/...meter#Frequency_weighting

That mentions some of the different types. There are more than mentioned there. e.g. G.

But none of that has to do with price of equipment - it only has to do with selectively ignoring acoustic energy.
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