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Thread: IMO Logic sounds better than PT

  1. #41
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    I'm a research scientist by profession. I try to to rule anything out _a priori_, but I also don't believe everything I read.

    My question for John is: have any of these tests been done under double blind conditions? If so, can we see the data? If there have been no double blind tests, then it all could be due to one's imagination and the "power of suggestion."

    Don Newmeyer
    Good judgment comes from experience;
    experience comes from poor judgment.

  2. #42
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    OOPS, that should have read, "I try NOT to rule anything out _a priori_."

    Don
    Good judgment comes from experience;
    experience comes from poor judgment.

  3. #43
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    Just wanted to remind everyone that John has a listening environment appropiate to his profession as a mastering engineer. It's a specifically designed room and monitoring system where one is going to hear especially well any subtleties as we have been discussing. In other threads (here and on the Mastering Webboard) it has been pointed out that many differences unnoticable in a typical monitoring situation become clarified in this type of environment. Just wanted to get that on the currently viewed page, please continue the debate!
    Chris R. Gibson AKA Loopy C
    www.micworks.com
    Ken Tamplin Mastering

  4. #44
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    BTW, that particular Roger Nichols anecdote was one of the big bursts in my digital balloon, my i-life has never been the same. I used to only use the internet for ordering books and cd's. Now I wind up needing to shave between posts!
    Chris R. Gibson AKA Loopy C
    www.micworks.com
    Ken Tamplin Mastering

  5. #45
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    > Dr.Grace - have any of these tests been done under double blind conditions? If so, can we see the data?

    My listening tests are not intended for scientific research. I share this information as a personal donation of my time and expertise to support my friends in the recording industry. I absolutely do not have time to give you documentation and “white papers” that would satisfy your requirements. People use my services because my extensive music and engineering background gives them top-of-the-line sonic results. I already stated that if you want data, seek elsewhere. Based on the experience I’ve shared and the posts of others, you can choose your own course of action.

    In a different forum, an engineer stated that he made 25 copies of a file and couldn’t hear any difference.... on his NS10’s. Folks, you can’t hear anything on NS10’s (I do not know of one high-end mastering engineer who uses them) - they are low-resolution (and who knows what kind of cable he used). Until you sit in front of a high-end audiophile monitor system, you can’t “imagine” what the difference is. You must experience it.

    >it all could be due to one's imagination and the "power of suggestion."

    The blind tests that I’ve done have been at times when I had a client or other engineers who were willing to make inquisitive tests with me in order to discern - not suggest preferences. No one was looking for science - we were looking for sound.

    By insinuating that I’m spreading the “power of suggestion” is like a slam to my personal integrity. If that’s the way people are going to look the posts on this board, then what’s the point of it all? If we don’t give each other some level of “benefit of the doubt,”, then anything said here is just typing - unless one is motivated to find their own truth.

    If (instead of actual experience) people simply tally up the yays and the nays and makes their decision, then that’s how they choose to limit their decision-making methods - and that may be perfectly acceptable in many cases. I’ve bought certain gear based on what I read - over a period of time. Once it made sense that “this is the one,” then I bought whatever that piece was.

    So don’t buy what I say or what anyone else says - observe it and see what makes the most sense to you. If you need data, go for it. If you have a feeling response, go for it. If you are spontaneous - or if you analyze meticulously, go for it. Life is a miracle and limitless possibility lies in the gray scale - black and white nets only two options.

    This site sets a tone of discovery for those who want to know more about the sonic colors of different gear and different formats. If someone adds a new color to the palate (like different power chords sound different), isn’t that good for all of us? A new color isn't a door-shutter - it invites us to stay away from tunnel-vision. Maybe 3D Audio will put out a power chord shoot out CD.... could be pricey, but what the heck...

    On my Digital Myth page, I acknowledge viewpoints other than mine and I invite people to explore more via numerous links that give a variety of findings. For me, finding greater possibility and making known the unknown is what works. You decide what works for you.

    Best wishes,
    John Vestman

  6. #46
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    John says:

    Roger Nichols had a nightmare situation with the last Steely Dan album. Here he tells how the exact same numbers gave different sound, and how he solved the jitter: http://rogernichols.com/EQ/EQ_2000_02.html
    I heard this story directly from Roger and I also read this when Roger originally published it.

    A couple of things to note:

    1) Roger dug in and found out what the problem was - there is no mystery here. There was faulty equipment, it was identified, and the problem was solved. I see no similarity between this story and your anecdotes.

    From Roger's article:

    I played the DAT tape and the CD ref through the same Apogee PSX-100 converter. They sounded exactly the same. That meant that something had to be wrong with the LBR (Laser Beam Recorder) that was used to cut the glass master, or something in the plating or pressing process had to be causing the sound to change.
    2) CD Audio and Computer data are not the same thing at all. The information on a CD Audio disk is not computer data and must be extacted into computer format in order to be processed on a computer. The extraction process is brute force and not subject to timing. Whereas CD Audio playback is subject to jitter, computer audio data has no such issue at all until it is DAC'd and by then the disk I/O is long out of the picture. In fact this is also pointed out in the article if you read it carefully:

    From Roger's article:

    I suspected a falsehood, and decided to check for myself. I read all of the audio data from my CD ref (the good sounding CD) into my computer. I also read the audio in from the test pressing. I ran a program that compares every sample of one audio file with every sample of another audio file, and produces a third audio file containing the difference between the two files. The computer said, "The file you have created contains only zeros." This told me that the audio data was exactly the same on both CDs.
    There is no jitter issue in the computer - once the data is extracted, it appears to be the same because it is. The mechanism for audio playback on a DAW is not at all like the mechanism used for CD Audio players. If you think the audio is streaming continuously at the same rate from you hard drives, you can...well...don't believe me, call Princeton, I guess.

    John says:

    But there’s NOT “nothing but numbers”. Digital audio is numbers that are made and played back to a CLOCK. If the smoothness of data transfer alters the TIMING of the numbers, even if they are the same numbers, it will sound different. My thought is that the CD ROM drive is more jittery than the hard drives.
    Wait a sec here - are you saying you are comparing CD Audio to data being played back off of your hard drive and can hear differences? Comparing apples to oranges - no surprise that you'd find a difference.

    Maybe you need on of those $10,000 CD players Roger is talking about - I suspect a better CD player would make more difference than better power cables.

    I'm also kinda ticked, maybe, at companies like GML that will sell a $5000 pre-amp and include "el-cheapo" Belden power cables with it. I would have thought it in George's nature to be more particular than that - perhaps not. Perhaps it is a cost cutting issue - God knows it would be a shame if these things became too pricey. I'll make sure and ask him when I get a chance.

    John says:

    By insinuating that I’m spreading the “power of suggestion” is like a slam to my personal integrity. If that’s the way people are going to look the posts on this board, then what’s the point of it all? If we don’t give each other some level of “benefit of the doubt,”, then anything said here is just typing - unless one is motivated to find their own truth.
    That explanation is as good as the next at this point. In all fairness to Dr. Grace, he's just looking for the "why" as am I.

    If that’s the way people are going to look the posts on this board, then what’s the point of it all?
    Because we have seen plenty of cases where imagination has been the explanation - Lynn's DAW test certainly indicates this. A lot of things people claimed to have heard easily, just were not evidenced to be true based on this test.

    We have also seen cases where mistakes have led to false conclusions. You need to be more thick skinned. If you want to publish astonishing conclusions with no real supporting evidence, then you have to expect to be challenged.

    I'm sorry, but now days we just cannot believe everything we read. You slam your own integrity by leaving it up to everyone else to sort out the how, why, or if any of what you say is really true or even under what conditions is can be reproduced reliably.

    Until there is some reasonable testing and explanation for what is going on, you may as well be reciting a spell, doing a "rain" dance, wearing a copper braclet, spreading tarot cards, or consulting with a psychic or the dead. And I'll point out that as silly as any of this may sound, people also spend plenty of good money for those things as well - probably a lot larger businesses than audiophile power cables. It does not make them any more believable.

    Up unto the point that the music passes into your mind and stirs the soul, I believe science has it figured out. After that point, there is plenty enough magestic magic to satisfy me.

    [ June 05, 2003: Message edited by: stevepow ]
    Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital
    www.bullmoondigital.com

  7. #47
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    Hey Steve, had a question for you about the DAWSUM CD. I felt that the implications that a problem with the summing bus ALONE were answered but I still am out on the question of what happens in normal usage (automation, plug-in, multiple sends and aux busses, etc). Do you feel that to your ears the various DAWS do not have "signature" sounds when carrying a big load of tracks and the associated processing, thus the claim of some (or sum) that they can hear a PT mix. OT here but I keep running into you (actually your posts) the last couple of days and wanted to get your take on this subject. Feel free to redirect this somewhere else, I didn't recall your stance on things going into the shootout and am curious. Obviously I am still audibly bothered by something, I just don't blame the summing anymore. Though I am having good luck with distributing a coconut scent through the control room, seems to "mellow" the mids.
    Chris R. Gibson AKA Loopy C
    www.micworks.com
    Ken Tamplin Mastering

  8. #48
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    John,

    I never meant to question your integrity, nor your skill as an engineer. I merely was pointing out that everyone is subject to subconscious influences. That's why double blind experiments were invented. It's not from a lack of trust, but rather an acknowledgment of our human limitations.

    You're of course free to conclude anything you want from your own listening. That's true for any of us. It's only when one person wants to convince others of his conclusions that data and evidence come into play.

    Sorry if my brusque tone was offensive.

    Don
    Good judgment comes from experience;
    experience comes from poor judgment.

  9. #49
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    Well, never the subtle guy myself, I would offer that deciding music sounds better playing back from a computer on foam vs a computer on the floor is a classic case of psychology at work, not physics.

    I mean, how back to back could the A/B really be done? Listen for a couple of minutes, remember what you think that sounds like, move the computer, listen a little bit more and reach a conclusion? Something like that?

    I remain highly skeptical, since I've previously hyped myself into differences that disappeared in the harsh light of no kidding, double blind, somebody else is switching, back to back, precisely gain matched reality.

    It does make for interesting conversation. But the complete lack of description of methods and controls in the comparisons John cites, and the dismissal of such controls as "white papers" and "science" that is not really about "music" is exactly the enviroment in which what we want to hear is what we do hear. At least it is at my place.


    Regards,
    Brian T

  10. #50
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    Originally posted by Chris R Gibson:
    <STRONG>I felt that the implications that a problem with the summing bus ALONE were answered but I still am out on the question of what happens in normal usage (automation, plug-in, multiple sends and aux busses, etc). Do you feel that to your ears the various DAWS do not have "signature" sounds when carrying a big load of tracks and the associated processing, thus the claim of some (or sum) that they can hear a PT mix.</STRONG>
    Going in to this thing, I really imagined that all the digital mixers including the DAWs would produce nearly identical mixes. That was largely true but there were a few that completely surprised me. Paris was the most interesting. I think it may have mostly been just slightly louder - but it always sounded cool.

    I also thought the analog mixes, if calbirated carefully, would produce mixes very close to the digital mixes. I think they were for the most part.

    I'm not sure anyone can really hear a PT mix, per se. I guess that question sort of gets us back to the original topic at hand Maybe it is becomming the generic way to identify a digital mix - like people using "kleenex" to refer to any brand of facial tissue. Or maybe there are enough math differences in the inserts, busses, ect to accumulate to a signature sound. From some of the math lessons we have gotton from Nika nd Fredo, I'm not thinking that is likely.

    I think plug-ins are a likely suspect of creating an undesirable sound. I feel the mixes I do that require less plug-ins usually sound better.

    I have had a hard time being satisfied by any plug-in EQ. Some sound pretty good lately (Sony, the new UAD Cambridge demo, Waves LinEQ come to mind). And reverbs - ugh - I think almost any box will sound better than most. Maybe the TC PC Classic is OK.

    Maybe if the GML plugs ran on my platform, I'd be happier

    I'd guess that if I did the same mix using a cross platform plug-in suite like Waves with ProTools TDM/LE, Nuendo, etc., that I'd get nearly identical mixes out of them. I'd expect the plug-ins to be the cause of any signature sound. Maybe not, maybe any body's medium weight EQ will sound about the same as any other. That would be interesing to try.

    There may be a tendency today to get the tracks without enough care, planning to fix them with plug-ins while mixing. And it is compelling - there are some amazing and fun tools available. It would be nice not to have to commit to EQ or Dynamics while tracking. It is working better for me to commit.

    OK, then , good to be slightly back on topic for a sec...

    I'll have to try the coconuts, too. But I gotta wash the car first - it has been running a litle rough lately.

    [ June 05, 2003: Message edited by: stevepow ]
    Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital
    www.bullmoondigital.com

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