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Testing audiophile claims and myths - Page 124

post #1846 of 3107

I still think burning cds on a laptop on battery power sounds better than doing the same thing on mains power. Am I foolish on this?

post #1847 of 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

just to steer this thread a little askew- does anyone hear a difference between FLAC and WAV? I used to think I heard a difference between AIFF and WAV. Audiophiles are funny beings. But I guess faith is a powerful force.
This had been beat to death in another thread.

But no.
post #1848 of 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

I still think burning cds on a laptop on battery power sounds better than doing the same thing on mains power. Am I foolish on this?
Better in what way?
post #1849 of 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

I still think burning cds on a laptop on battery power sounds better than doing the same thing on mains power. Am I foolish on this?

Yes. Yes you are.

post #1850 of 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post


Better in what way?

I think cds burned on mains power sound warmer/muddier

post #1851 of 3107

Tbh, that sounds pretty ridiculous. Burn the same CD on battery and on mains power and compare them bit for bit. They should be identical. If not, something's broken on your laptop.

post #1852 of 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Tbh, that sounds pretty ridiculous. Burn the same CD on battery and on mains power and compare them bit for bit. They should be identical. If not, something's broken on your laptop.

Well, I've posted in the right thread then. Yeah, people also give this solution to counter the opinion that different DAWs sound different to each other. It's called the "null test" if I'm not mistaken. It makes sense, although I'm convinced I hear a difference.

 

This has been done to death elswhere, but I'm convinced I hear sound quality differences in playback between different DAWs and Android music player apps. The null test is based on the premise that identically sized renders of sound files will sound the same. Many many people think that apps like Neutron play sound "better" than apps like Poweramp, or the stock music players that come with Android devices. Why should this be also not the case for different DAWs? Remember, I'm talking playback differences and not rendering.

post #1853 of 3107

Factors that can affect computer or portable device playback - 

 

1. Decompression algorythms (especially from mp3 - there is less processing that happens from uncompressed files and less variability, but compressed files rely on advance processing before the audio stream starts). Most companies use the same ones, but not all. 

2. Ability to prioritize resources within the device to prevent interference and data stream lags

3. Built in pre-amp/eq settings. Some have none, some let you disable, some you have no control over - also with workstations, the hardware component driving the audio can have an effect if the impedances or power requirements don't mesh up. 

 

Most of these are a non-issue, or demonstrably inaudible. But they *can* be a factor. 

 

There are a few instances where battery power could potentially be quieter than mains power. But it would more likely take the form of background noise, than any "warmer/colder" and is usually due to mixing power signals with input audio signals as in a USB powered DAC/AMP (which can run quieter when on an internal battery, than powered from the usb). I don't see any reason it would affect CD playback or burning, unless, as has been said, there is something wrong with your machine. 

 

The null test is more than just a file size check. It's bit by bit, digital data. If all the 1s and 0s are in the same place, they will sound identical. That's the way digital works. It's also why any USB cables that is not entirely out of spec (broken) cannot affect sound. 

post #1854 of 3107

Yeah in a null test you add A and inverted B and check if the difference is silence. A + -B = 0

 

Please don't take the following as an offense. Being convinced of something doesn't make it true. Some people are convinced they've been abducted by aliens. I believe you when you say you hear a difference. Maybe the discs are not identical for whatever weird reason, but it's more likely that there's bias at play.

 

I cannot speak for android apps, but DAWs should play let's say WAV files identically through something like ASIO. There could be some processing going on in these apps or even outside the DAW if you use DirectSound (-> resampling if samplingrate doesn't match).

post #1855 of 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Yeah in a null test you add A and inverted B and check if the difference is silence. A + -B = 0

 

Please don't take the following as an offense. Being convinced of something doesn't make it true. Some people are convinced they've been abducted by aliens. I believe you when you say you hear a difference. Maybe the discs are not identical for whatever weird reason, but it's more likely that there's bias at play.

 

I cannot speak for android apps, but DAWs should play let's say WAV files identically through something like ASIO. There could be some processing going on in these apps or even outside the DAW if you use DirectSound (-> resampling if samplingrate doesn't match).

I hear what you say, and of-course you're right. But only if you haven't been abducted by aliens. I'm Catholic too, that should tell you something. normal_smile%20.gif

post #1856 of 3107

Yes, all these facts make sense, and yet there are many people (including professional music producers) who maintain they hear a difference between DAWs. The point was made before that a "placebo affect" could also work for the better. If people think they hear a difference (and in effect do), then this would affect the quality of the music they produce. Some members of this forum (and audiophiles in general) spend crazy  money on stuff that they derive more pleasure from simply because they believe it to be so. You or I might not hear this difference, but it make s adifference to them.

post #1857 of 3107

I understand what you are saying, we just should be clear about the difference between experiencing a difference (subjective), and their actually being one (objective). If there is no objective data to support an audible difference, and a mountain of evidence suggesting that, in fact, there shouldn't be one - then one's experience not withstanding, we shouldn't be making recommendations based solely on that experience. Especially given the very good evidence we have regarding how the brain processes data, and what factors can bias it (often tremendously). 

 

That is to say, personal experiences, while valuable, do not trump objective evidence - especially overwhelming evidence. They may, however, inform the search for actual evidence that later might. In the meantime, it is what it is, one person's subjective opinion, and nothing more. An experienced placebo does not mean it is anything more than placebo - and it's predictive/modeling value for others is virtually nil (e.g. since we don't know the specific biasing factors, and there is no objective data to suggest a difference - there is no reason to think any two people would experience that placebo the same way, unless they are influenced by review/expectation/marketing similarly - quite murky waters). 


Edited by liamstrain - 2/8/13 at 11:04am
post #1858 of 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcfac73 View Post

Yes, all these facts make sense, and yet there are many people (including professional music producers) who maintain they hear a difference between DAWs. The point was made before that a "placebo affect" could also work for the better. If people think they hear a difference (and in effect do), then this would affect the quality of the music they produce. 

 

 

If a producer thinks that performing an action will make the sound better, but it doesn't, then, yes, there will be an effect: production quality will be reduced. Which is pretty much what has happened over the past several decades.

 

I think a big problem here is that you have failed to understand a large category of subjective changes, those where thanks to placebo effect people "hear" an improvement when they KNOW the change has been made, but hear no change - or a loss in sq - in blind testing.

 

Some members of this forum (and audiophiles in general) spend crazy  money on stuff that they derive more pleasure from simply because they believe it to be so. You or I might not hear this difference, but it make s adifference to them.

 

Again, you have to differentiate between changes that can pass blind testing and those that can't. As for the ones that can't, this is the SOUND SCIENCE forum. 

post #1859 of 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

 

 

If a producer thinks that performing an action will make the sound better, but it doesn't, then, yes, there will be an effect: production quality will be reduced. Which is pretty much what has happened over the past several decades.

 

I think a big problem here is that you have failed to understand a large category of subjective changes, those where thanks to placebo effect people "hear" an improvement when they KNOW the change has been made, but hear no change - or a loss in sq - in blind testing.

 

Again, you have to differentiate between changes that can pass blind testing and those that can't. As for the ones that can't, this is the SOUND SCIENCE forum. 

At the end of the day, listening to music is an experience that is not the same for everyone. What others experience, for whatever reasons, may not be the same as that for you or I. Re: the example of DAWs- if I perceive different audio quality in a different DAW, and this leads to a clearer mixdown. Would I be wrong in switching? Ableton has been consistantly singled out as having poorer audio quality. I've read in some production magazines that artists have switched to Logic to produce, and use Ableton to sketch out ideas because of this perceived difference in sound. At the end of the day- if this results in better mixdowns for them, who are we to say that they don't hear (perceive) a difference which affects their recorded output in a tangible way?

post #1860 of 3107

Religious discussion is forbidden in this forum but it's pretty much the same with people spending crazy amounts of money on stuff that doesn't really do anything but makes them feel the sound improves.

 

Nobody lives in a vacuum. Every belief, decision, etc. has an affect on others even if it's just a simple post in an online forum. If you're rational you will say yes if I ask you: do you care if what you believe is true? Or do you not care whether something you believe is true as long as it makes you feel good?

This question might sound ridiculous if we're talking about audio but it applies to anything really.

 

Even professionals are ignorant in some respect...  for example some prefer to do analog summing instead of doing it in their DAW. They have to be ignorant about the extra D/A and A/D conversion and added noise, distortion, crosstalk etc. to justify their purchase. Their brain tells them: this has to sound better considering the price. As a result it does.


Edited by xnor - 2/8/13 at 11:53am
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