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Mac OS X Music Players - alternatives to iTunes - Page 117

post #1741 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by littletree76 View Post

I have forgotten to mention that I purchased Fidelia because I wanted standard AU/VST plugin to create warm tube sound as all my audio gears have neutral sound signatures. Only Fidelia and Pure Music accept standard formats (AU/VST) audio plugins (pick your audio preference here: http://www.macosxaudio.com), hopefully Audirvana Plus will follow suit. After listening to warm tube sound for a while, I realised that it does not suit all music genres (good for vocal but bad for instrumental), thus my preference right now is still neutral and transparent signature. Pure Music requires iTunes to work as plugin and there is no standalone version.

 

Thus if you want high fidelity without additional audio processing, go for Audirvana Plus and if you need tweaking in sound profile with AU/VST plugins, go for Fidelia (advanced mode). Audirvana Plus, Fidelia and Pure Music are the three alternative media players that have impressed me most but Pure Music need iTunes to work though it has the most features among these media players.

 

Hi,

Could you possibly elaborate a bit on the plugin you use for "a warm tube sound" ? I use Fidelia ... and dabble a little with the plugins -- but I do not understand ... are you using something you found elsewhere ? (the plugin)

 

Thanks beerchug.gif

post #1742 of 2583
I picked up Audivarna Plus the other day and have been extremely impressed with the sound. I had no clue that 320k mp3's on a MBP could sound this good! A huge step up from stock iTunes.
post #1743 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnypaddock View Post

I picked up Audivarna Plus the other day and have been extremely impressed with the sound. I had no clue that 320k mp3's on a MBP could sound this good! A huge step up from stock iTunes.

Totally agree, Royale with Cheese.  

post #1744 of 2583

for stability, my vote goes to Audirvana Plus 1.4

for sound, my vote goes to Amarra 2.4

Audirvana Plus sound artificial compair to Amarra IMHO, but difference is subtle.

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mac mini >> audio-gd DI-V3 >> Metrum Octave DAC >> Leben CS300 >> Grado PS1000

 

post #1745 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmlogic View Post

...

Audirvana Plus sound artificial compair to Amarra IMHO, but difference is subtle.

On what genre do you hear that?

post #1746 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by hubee View Post

On what genre do you hear that?

'70s rock/pop 96/24 vinyl rip mostly.

post #1747 of 2583

These plugins are released by other vendors (most deal with professional recording studios) and not available in Audiofile Engineering site. They vary in wide range in term of quality and price and must be conformed to plugin standards such as AU/VST/RTAS in order to work with various host applications such as Fidelia (AU and VST compatible). Fidelia without plugin consumes about 10% of CPU time, with Studio Devil's Virtual Tube Preamp plugin, the total CPU time is about 18%. Thus audio plugin increases CPU utilisation to different extends though their developers always try their best to minimise CPU usage.

 

The easier way to experience effects of these audio plugins when used with Fidelia (allows audio effects of up to three different plugins):

 

1. Go to popular sites to look for suitable plugin such as http://www.macosxaudio.com

 

2. Use search key such as "tube" to search within the site: http://www.macosxaudio.com/front/?s=tube&submit=Search

 

3. Identify the plugins you are interested and download their installation packages from respective websites, most allow trial for certain periods.

 

4. Install the plugin according to instructions on display.

 

5. Upon successful plugin installation, you should be able to see new files in following directories (note at root rather than user home directory):

/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Component  (for all AU plugins)

/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST  (for all VST plugins)

 

6. Set view of Fidelia interface to Smaller onward (other than Mini), three effect selection fields should appear below control buttons.

 

7. Select the newly install plugin in any of these fields and user interface for the plugin should pop up on display for you to set various controls.

 

8. Play music as usual to feel the audio effect provided by the plugin.

 

Note your audio gears must be good enough in order to hear the audio effect of the plugin (headphone is definitely more prominent than speaker), otherwise it will be a waste of time (your time and CPU time) and money. I am happy with Audirvana Plus alone or Fidelia in advanced mode without any plugins to work with my audio gears.

post #1748 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by littletree76 View Post

 I am happy with Audirvana Plus alone or Fidelia in advanced mode without any plugins to work with my audio gears.

 

 

Thank you for all the information. It's good to know how it works.

 

Really, the only plugin (or feature), (other than what is included with Fidelia Advanced) I was interested in was something that did cross-talk (I think that's the term - to emulate speakers)  ... tried something, but I didn't like it.

 

Now I think I'm happy with Fidelia in advanced mode without any plugins.  smile_phones.gif   (sometimes I'll use an effect in Audio Hi-jack Pro ... if I really need to hear something differently)

post #1749 of 2583

Here are all about audio plugins (AU and VST) for Fidelia in Audiofile Engineering support site: http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/support/helpdesk/index.php?pg=kb.book&id=39

 

In fact Audiofile Engineering does offers additional FHX add-on (USD 50) for headphone cross feed in its online store: http://www.audiofile-engineering.com/fidelia

 

According to the person who bought a audio gear from me, he feels that the cross feed effect created by FHX add-on is too soft and unnatural compared to hardware implementations. The only cross feed implementation I have experience is through Corda series headphone amplifiers produced by Mier Audio. Effect of the cross feed listened through headphone does not seems to be the same as real speakers. Furthermore it also depends on how music was recorded/mixed in recording studios (any cross feed introduced in master sound tracks ?). I will leave it to my brain to process audio signals introduced at both ears whether there is cross feed or not.

 

Advantage of these audio plugin/add-on in using Fidelia is that you can set up a virtual audio rig (if your computer is powerful enough for the purpose) according to your audio preference without worrying about heat issue of class A tube amplifier and impedance matching issue among various audio components. Audio Hi-jack Pro is a lot more flexible than Fidelia in this aspect, you can even set up a virtual circuit to encompass all virtual audio components.

post #1750 of 2583

Just like Fidelia, whatever audio plugins appear in folder: /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins are accessible by Audio Hi-jack Pro (support almost any audio plugin format). So in my previous post, I was referring to audio plugins purchased from other vendors but not those free standard plugins (not very useful anyway) bundled with Audio Hi-jack Pro. In Mac OS X, all audio plugins are located in single folder and all audio host applications (such as Fidelia, Audio Hijack Pro etc) can access the same set of audio plugins. Very much like all browser plugins are located in single folder "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins" and accessible by all browsers (such as Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera etc).

post #1751 of 2583

Hi, 

 

Just a word of warning on plugins. Once you get into the world of plugins there are a lot of claims made that certain plugins can increase soundstage, recreate the spatial dimension of speakers, reproduce the harmonic warmth of expensive analog gear. This is a really complex matter. Plugins and software recreations of hardware have been the fulfillment of the promise begun by the move to digital in the audio recording/mastering industry. In the hands of trained audio technicians, judicious--and radical amounts--of plugin use have fundamentally altered the way music is produced.

 

It is a different ballgame for music consumption

 

Audio engineering plugins are now at the level where they are truly usable. However, they are meant to change the sound in "musical" ways. This has limited use for audiophile sound reproduction as this also often introduces certain kinds of degradation. For example, a plugin promising "tube sound" may warm up your digital signal, but it will also decrease detail resolution. A stereo widening program may widen the soundstage but at the cost of decreasing depth, introducing phase problems, smearing transients, and generally confusing imaging. In other words, all the metrics of sound quality that you pay so much to gain in terms of source and amplification can be decreased through plugins. You may, at first, be impressed and amazed because you are only focusing on the new feature: "Whoa, my soundstage is so much wider." When you start bypassing plugins though you realize what you lost in the other areas, e.g., the stereo widening plugin also had left a sonic hole in your center image. The best studio grade plugins mitigate some of these kinds of problems--if used knowledgeably. But these are very expensive. They are not aimed at the consumer audio market. The cheap plugins that promise similar effects are, well... trash. It is like putting your carefully selected, matched, tuned system and putting it through a karoke-level reverb. 

 

Since I have a few thousand dollars worth of some of the best of studio-grade plugins, I've tried some of them through pure music, audirvana, etc. I've kept only one plugin which I think generally improves the sound and then have gradually dialed that down to a minimum. There is no parallel development (or market) on the audio consumer side to the recording plugin industry. It took a long time for the recording side to get to where they are. I think it'll be some time before we see genuinely usable plugins on the consumer side, that go beyond "audio tricks." If there were software recreations of the Smyth Realizer--now that would be something. Until that time, I would really counsel caution. Unfortunately, for now, there are no shortcuts or cheap solutions to great sound. Plugins are fun, but time and money is better spent finding the best proverbial "bang for the buck" gear. Just my two cents on where I'll be spending my pennies--okay hundreds and thousands of dollars (sigh). 

post #1752 of 2583

bigsmile_face.gif Thanks again for all the info, littletree76 and edwardsean.

post #1753 of 2583

Fidelia announced on Twitter today that an update to Fidelia will be released soon. No details yet.

The only plugin I use with Fidelia is Fabfilter's ProQ, which I use to add a bass bump while listening through the ALO Pan Am. The PanAm attenuates bass, at least I've found a substantial reduction in bass extension and weight with the stock, Telefunken, and Mullard tubes when used with IEMs. I like the clean presentation of through the Mullard tubes, but find it better with a gentle 3db bump in from 200hz down to 20hz. Fabfilter ProQ also gives you a swanky visual before/after frequency analyzer.

post #1754 of 2583
Quote:
Originally Posted by GarySaville View Post

Fidelia announced on Twitter today that an update to Fidelia will be released soon. No details yet.

The only plugin I use with Fidelia is Fabfilter's ProQ, which I use to add a bass bump while listening through the ALO Pan Am. The PanAm attenuates bass, at least I've found a substantial reduction in bass extension and weight with the stock, Telefunken, and Mullard tubes when used with IEMs. I like the clean presentation of through the Mullard tubes, but find it better with a gentle 3db bump in from 200hz down to 20hz. Fabfilter ProQ also gives you a swanky visual before/after frequency analyzer.

Re: Audiofile Engineering announced... 

post #1755 of 2583

I've been using XDA (on my Mac) to convert all of my FLAC files to Apple Lossless, so that I could play them with big music players like iTunes.

Now that I will have my first audiophile phones (Sennheiser HD598), would re-downloading the original FLACs benefit me?

 

I could easily use a program such as VLC, or something similar..

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