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Amarra - anyone using it? - Page 4

post #46 of 691
How does Amarra perfect Bit Perfect, see the Perfect in Bit-Perfect?

That's what I want to know and agree with everthing emmodad said. Amarra looks right now to me just some gimmick to take advantage of audiophiles who will pay anything to get a "percieved" difference when it's not even there. Or some change in EQ/DSP/Dithering, then it's not bit-perfect and no longer of interest to me.

Show the data, show the proof, don't just write gibberish that has no meaning. My customers heard a difference is not proof, that's just worthless B.S. I can say I hear a difference between .wav file and a CD. Who cares. Unless it was a proven DBT testing if you can't provide the technical proof and data.
post #47 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckers View Post
The engine manipulates the music file with less steps than iTunes or other consumer software, and the work it does is done with much more complex algorithms.
Now we are getting somewhere about why Amarra sounds different, because music programs that are employing "complex algorithms" for playback are doing something more than just routing the data from the hard drive to the sound device (or grossly exaggerating the complexity of what they are doing).

Let's see if we can get a simple yes/no answer: are the bits of data that Amarra reads off of the hard drive the same as the ones that it sends to the audio driver?

If the answer is yes, then this program is employing some buffering that any first-year computer science student could write.

if the answer is no, this program is using DSP algorithms to manipulate the sound. My experience with DSP effects is that they sound great at first, but get pretty old after awhile (they are kind of like candy for the ear, in this respect).
post #48 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrith View Post
if the answer is no, this program is using DSP algorithms to manipulate the sound. My experience with DSP effects is that they sound great at first, but get pretty old after awhile (they are kind of like candy for the ear, in this respect).
I think we're

just like ppl who max. the sharpness of their flat screen, use V eq on their home stereo, this $1500 audio wrapper simply sounds "better"...and it's a heck of a deal, if you got the spare cash that is

xxHighEnd is supposedly the best sounding player on PC, did you try it? prepare to giggle
post #49 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by krmathis View Post
You never used a Mac, and then obviously not Amarra either. STILL you claim that it would "NOT BE ANY BETTER than foobar2000 AT ALL". What do you base this on since you have never compared them?
Would like to know!
dude, use your brain, what he said are very basic function of a music player, that's it, any decent player will do everything he says.
post #50 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
You can all poke fun at it, but when you hear it at RMAF in October, you will be amazed like those of use that already have it. It has the same effect as a $1500 reclocker. The amazing thing is that the reclocker makes it even better.

It is by far the best digital audio I have heard. I dont sell it either.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Steve,

Snow leopard comes in September. It might throw a new set of surprises, pleasant or otherwise. :-))
post #51 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckers View Post
Bojamijams, Amarra is not released for PC because the technology has been developed on the Mac OS platform for over ten years. The technology does not translate directly to the PC platform.
...
You might want to update your marketing material. Core Audio was first publicly released 2000 along with OSX Kodiak. Unless of course your company had access to pre-Kodiak code, which I doubt.
post #52 of 691
Tongson, Sonic Studio has been producing Pro products for the Mac before Core Audio was introduced.
post #53 of 691
Scrith, as stated earlier, Amarra is not adding any additional DSP, EQ or other filters to the signal.

Emmodad, I encourage you to contact Sonic Studio to ask your questions there, as I am not qualified to discuss. Jonathan Reichbach (CEO and lead developer) responded and asked that these questions be addressed to them directly. You can always reach them at sonicstudio.com or email support@ the above url.

If you feel like sharing your findings, post them so we can all benefit.
post #54 of 691
Truly interesting. I am curious if it is better than certain Linux players though which are free.
post #55 of 691
Well, I went and checked out the website for myself.

Sure enough, here are the four main selling points:

• Advanced mathematical algorithms
• Automatic hardware sample rate adjustment
• Advanced software based Sonic Equalization
• Integrated Gain Structure and TPDF Dither processing

Smells like DSP to me. If that's what you're into, there are a plethora of DSP-related plug-ins (resamplers, equalizers, gain and dither plug-ins, and so forth) for you to play with in Foobar2000 or WinAmp.

Amarra looks to me to be a convenient all-in-one-package (in a box with a fancy bow, no doubt) for someone who doesn't want to do all the fiddling and adjusting themselves. Those claiming this is the best thing they've ever heard obviously aren't very inclined to doing this sort of thing on their own, but at least with Amarra they can finally have a setup that meets their expectations for what computer audio should sound like.
post #56 of 691
Hi Scrith, to comment on your points:

"Advanced mathematical algorithms" -- yes, any player using the theoretical 'bit perfect' playback uses mathematical algorithms.

"Automatic hardware sample rate adjustment" Amarra communicates and changes the sample rate of the system through the Audio/Midi Settings. So if you are playing a 24/96 file, Amarra will change the sample rate of the system for you. This has nothing to do with DSP.

"Advanced software based Sonic Equalization" -- Yes, There is a very high quality Sonic EQ available to tailor your sound. This is OFF by default, and you have the choice to engage it.

"Integrated Gain Structure" Sonic has a very high quality volume control that sounds great, and employs dithering etc. to work. This volume control is the same used for mixing in their professional mastering software. If volume is set to zero (100%), it is not in the bit path and does not add DSP. The volume is set this way by default.

"TPDF Dither processing" is an option in the preferences panel to help users of DACs that accept only higher sample rates. This is set to OFF by default, so does not add DSP unless you choose to invoke it.

Again Amarra does not use DSP or EQ to the bit path when played in it's default installed mode to change or 'improve' the sound. You can of course engage the volume control add EQ etc. and that will engage DSP. Any software player will do this.

I totally agree with you that I would not like to listen long term to any software that has some kind of EQ or house sound built in. It's my experience that with long term listening comes boredom. It robs music of it's natural tonal qualities and homogenizes the sound. The pursuit of purist audio is to pass music through the system with as little a sonic footprint from the hardware and software as possible. That's what I have tried to achieve in my systems now for over 25 years, and it's also one of Sonic Studio's main priorities.
post #57 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerbie View Post
Would it be accurate to say that what Amarra implements is a proprietary real-time engine for servicing audio streams?
Hey Cerbie,

Sort of…Amarra uses Sonic Studio's SSE, which is a virtual machine for both record and playback. The ancestor of the current SSE was originally developed in the early 1980's. For more info, visit:

Company :: About Sonic Studio

Quote:
Originally Posted by cerbie View Post
FYI, since I imagine many folks won't know what that implies…
I won't discuss implications but, I can tell you that the SSE was designed to replace CoreAudio and is optimized for as little processing as possible, unless the end user elects to use it, and to optimize real-time operation.
post #58 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrith View Post
are the bits of data that Amarra reads off of the hard drive the same as the ones that it sends to the audio driver?
Hey Scrith,

It's designed to minimally process the data read from disk. That said, one generally cannot or should not simply read the data from disk and send it to the I/O. There is usually transcoding, like floats to fixed conversion and redithering, before the data can be passed to the output interface.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrith View Post
If the answer is yes, then this program is employing some buffering that any first-year computer science student could write.
Humm...
post #59 of 691
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioengr View Post
I'm afraid it is. I have multiple customers using it now and they all report the same. My reference was PC and Foobar before getting a Mac Mini and Amarra. Now Amarra is superior to ANY PC scenerio I have tried.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Oh well, if a few people report hearing a difference (especially after spending their own money on an expensive product of mysterious utility), then it must be better. Case closed.
post #60 of 691
The improvement that Amarra provides to iTunes is not small. It is even more apparent with hi-rez material.

All one has to do is listen to the Demo and make your own conclusions.
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