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Can you hear the difference? - Page 6

post #76 of 113

If anyone is interested, here is the 22050-44100 Hz range from b.flac and c.flac shifted down by 22050 Hz so that it becomes audible, and also amplified somewhat (the exact processing applied was: FIR brick wall high pass filter at 22050 Hz to remove the original audio band -> multiply by 22050 Hz sine wave to shift the spectrum -> amplify by 30x gain -> downsample to 44100 Hz to throw away the unneeded frequency range):

b_22k.flac

c_22k.flac

It seems the ultrasonic part does not "sound" that interesting, after all. normal_smile%20.gif


Edited by stv014 - 1/4/13 at 11:56am
post #77 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd R View Post

I think a better way to run a test like this would be to present an un altered file as a control, so the testers know what the music sounded like originally.

The whole point of the test was, "Is there an audible difference between high bitrate and redbook?", not "Which one sounds most like X?" The choices were all over the map, which shows that not only are the two audibly identical, you can even toss in noise above the range of human hearing and no one will detect it. The test just had one beautiful red herring added in to throw cheaters off the track. That actually seemed to be completely successful. We all know that folks tried to cheat and it didn't help them. It even proved its own point... Inaudible frequencies are inaudible.

Exactly.

 

The point is not can a well-trained tester spot even the most subtle artifcact to link X with Y as opposed to Z. The point was that between X, Y, and Z, what is ostensibly "better" could not be identified by a representative panel of interested laymen and experts alike. THAT is the interesting point.

post #78 of 113

Not sure what's wrong with some analysis after the fact in order to interpret the results.

 

So could anybody actually reliably tell them apart without knowing which was which?  It doesn't necessarily have to be in ABX format, but sighted definitely doesn't count.

post #79 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

I thought this was a LISTENING test. I did not observe the samples on anything capable of displaying either frequency or dynamic range - something you obviously did.

 

I also did several DBT listening tests between the three samples first and was unable to detect differences as I posted. Looking at the spectra was to allow me to see what (in FR) was being tested, which of course did not work because of the careful obfuscation by XNOR , but the DBT tests whether I really could tell a difference which I could not, as per my prior post preference where no detectable difference exists is meaningless. Of course you can suggest that knowing that the three were functionally identical to 20K is enough to convince me I will not be able to tell a difference and thus render my DBT invalid - sure I have no issue with that, throw away me as a data point. That nobody else including high def proponent passed a DBT however...

post #80 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Not sure what's wrong with some analysis after the fact in order to interpret the results.

 

So could anybody actually reliably tell them apart without knowing which was which?  It doesn't necessarily have to be in ABX format, but sighted definitely doesn't count.

 

 

Not according to the results shown in this thread but XNOR has more data !

post #81 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

You described B as the worst and A as the most natural, yet A and B are identical except for the reduction of bit depth to 16 bits for A.

 

Information below ~21 kHz was preserved in both cases and no lossy compression was used.

IIRC, B 96/24 has information above about 21 khz replaced with white noise - therefore not the same as A which is CD 44,1/16 quality, with nothing past 21 kHz or so.

 

B sounded wrong on first and all subequent listens - very flat and grainy to my ears. Never heard such a manipulation, as I always strive to preserve the most of the master best as I can and not do any manipulation if possible.  That I did chose A over C goes to the fact that, like it or not, lots if not majority of listening is nowadays to CD - I listen a lot to FM radio and there is mostly CDs played or digital or digitalised analog recordings - even live broadcasts are now mostly digitized and not bradcast in analog. As much as I prefer analog, I prefer music over sound - can not play my LPs over and over again exclusively and neglect everything else just because it is digital. I also do not play LPs for casual listening while doing chores around the house - and presto, after being exposed to so much basically CD, I chose it perhaps not as "best" but "most accustomed to". Good lesson.

 

Although you did exactly the kind of thing I am most against ( the whole B business ), I must admit you did it well. But ask yourself - would you do it after taking the trouble of making a 96/24 or better digital recording with microphones good say to 50 kHz and then remove everything above 21 kHz and replace it white noise - no matter how painstakenly done to best resemble the real thing ? It is good to know that such techniques exist - another thing is to use it in order to prove that it does not matter if content above 21 K or so is original or replaced with white noise. In that regard, test failed to prove it for me -  I had absolutely no doubt - B was not good no matter what. It sounds shrunk in width, it has very little if any depth, it is grainy - it sounds artificial. A or CD is what it is but at least it is honest CD quality which would also be present in a good commercially available CD.

post #82 of 113

You described A as the most natural sounding... and you're saying that's because you're just so used to CD audio that it sounds natural to you now?

 

Most people wouldn't just forget what natural sounds like... I think a more logical conclusion can be made here.

post #83 of 113
The most interesting thing about this test is that not only was it proven that you not tell which was which, but everyone else failed in a completely random dispersion. To most folks, that would indicate that all three sounded exactly the same. Yet you're still employing convoluted logic to try to convince yourself you did hear a difference. You must really have a lot invested in believing you can hear differences. If it was me, I would be very interested that it didn't turn out the way I expected and would be trying to understand why it turned out the way it did. I wouldn't be trying to come up with tortured logic to show why it doesn't mean what it clearly does mean.

Within the audible spectrum, all three of these files were identical. The only differences between them were beyond the range of human hearing. It shouldn't really be a surprise that no one could tell the difference.
Edited by bigshot - 1/4/13 at 1:14pm
post #84 of 113
nvm

Edited by nick_charles - 1/4/13 at 2:08pm
post #85 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

You described A as the most natural sounding... and you're saying that's because you're just so used to CD audio that it sounds natural to you now?

 

Most people wouldn't just forget what natural sounds like... I think a more logical conclusion can be made here.

One does not forget natural just as that - but samples 27 seconds or so long are too short. One does acustom to say a headphone or speaker - and tends to evaluate everything through that "filter". How many times have you read on head-fi " Coming from XY, ZZ sounded at first ..." ? It takes some time to adapt for us to "hear" the same when changing headphones/speakers - we even adapt to serious hearing demage/loss - because our brain with time menages to compensate for the most part the difference. I had a "diet" of almost exclusively digital sound for about last 24 days - and it obviously shows. 3 times 27 seconds , even repeatedly, taken together say 5 minutes, can not erase 24 day experience. 

 

A VERY interesting experience regarding resolution of recordings, particularly those live. I wanted to check for the acoustics of a venue that could prove interesting for concerts. With just Sony HiMD in hand and one single HiMD ( it is always Sunday an all of the few of the shops still carying HiMDs are of course closed ) I had to switch from 44/16 CD resolution recording to next lower quality, which is some kind of MP3 in the pause of the concert to have enough capacity on HiMD. Guess what ? Due to the fact that 100 m away from the venue was a fair for used books, noise of the book fair, although relatively "unobjectionable", made the full CD resolution recording rather unpleasent to listen - where MP3 was VERY pleasent. MP3 simply menaged to filter the "book fair" out - making technically inferiour recording in fact better under given circumstances. High resolution recordings are very vulnerable to any ambient noise - because they will reveal it. An entire generation has been raised since introduction of CD and grew acustomed to its sound and its appearent "silence"; the mechanism for masking fine detail with CD vs analog or hirez digital works the same as MP3 vs CD - except the effect is ever smaller between the two next better mediums. CD will always play with less noise than live mike feed or hirez digital - because it is the most widespread medium, known to most people, therefore will sound the "best", with the least noise to the most  people. -despite obviously being inferiour to mike feed and for the most part to hirez digital. It is simply something we grew acustomed to so much we judge everything by it and anything deviating from the norm is cause for suspicion/concern.

post #86 of 113
Thread Starter 

Another case of cognitive dissonance.

post #87 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Another case of cognitive dissonance.

 

and post-rationalization

post #88 of 113
And always changing the subject to avoid facing up to the truth. Not much more to say to him if he's failed the test and he still keeps claiming super human abilities.

I guess you can just add his name as a notch in your belt and wait for the next one to come along, xnor. Good job.
Edited by bigshot - 1/4/13 at 4:20pm
post #89 of 113

This reminds me of that Penn and Teller video someone posted on this board not too long ago.

 

They cut a banana and half, and after tricking someone into thinking the two halves were organic vs non-organic and having them describe the differences that they tasted, they asked if it challenged their conceptions of organic foods.

 

"...it more challenges my conceptions of bananas, to be honest."

post #90 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick_charles View Post

AFAICT The bottom line is that nobody was able to reliably, confidently and consistently identify the unmangled file from the two technically inferior ones, whatever errors may have been introduced only make this failure more interesting. That musical content above 22K can be replaced undetectably with random noise or that a (correct me if I am wrong) non-optimal dither procedure to lower the bitrate and thus SNR/dynamic range from 24 bits (theoretically 144db but realistically rather less) to 16 bits and (96db give or take) does not stick out like a sore thumb must give pause...

 

Of course you can't tell which is the original if you've never heard the original! Same as if I showed you three versions of a photo, 2 of them post-processed then asked you which was the original. You'd have no idea!

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