Originally Posted by ab initio
I think you are being a little bit unfairly dismissive of the scientific understanding of digital and analog audio. In the grand scheme of things, audio signals are pretty simple (one dimensional functions of time), and our ability to represent and reproduce them in digital formats far exceeds our auditory ability to discern the finest levels of detail. When you play the same song twice with the same reproduction chain, you hear the same thing twice---the hardware out-performs your auditory system.
I plead limited space to be clear!Once again I've made too much of a single point. I'm by no means trying to dismiss science and claim "It's a Mystery!" Instead, I'm reading the still-developing science in the area, such as Kunchur 2008, van Maanen 2010, I'm particularly interested in cutting edge empirical work on temporal resolution, such as Oppenheim and Magnasco 2013 (this one's behind a wall, I'm accessing with faculty privileges):
"We have conducted the first direct psychoacoustical test
of the Fourier uncertainty principle in human hearing, by
measuring simultaneous temporal and frequency discrimi-
nation. Our data indicate that human subjects often beat the
bound prescribed by the uncertainty theorem, by factors in
excess of 10. This is sometimes accomplished by an
increase in frequency acuity, but by and large it is temporal
acuity that is increased and largely responsible for these
gains. Our data further indicate subject acuity is just as
good for a notelike amplitude envelope as for the Gaussian,
even though theoretically the uncertainty product is
increased for such waveforms."
It's important that an evidence-based result here calls into question a limit that was formerly assumed on the basis of a mathematical construction.
You cannot conclude that because based on the limited information you've given us over an internet forum, that because us random collection of audio enthusiasts cannot explain to your satisfaction the mechanism by which you are successfully ABXing the same source 16/44 PCM stream from it's digitally upsampled 16/192 PCM stream, that the actual explanation is beyond the capabilities of science.
Wow, I would never claim that, sorry for the misrepresentation. I am *absolutely* sure that it IS well within the capabilities of science. What I'm calling very much into question is simplistic claims like "When you upsample, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever, unless the program you use is introducing artifacts. If you can hear a difference, it isn't music you are hearing. It's noise introduced by your upsample conversion." There is a LOT more to music, its capture, storage and reproduction, than is signified in reductive claims like this. The time domain of sound and psychoacoustics is *critical*, and far from settled as a large set of open scientific questions. Of course, depending on what "artifacts" is used to mean, I might be entirely in agreement with the statement above. For example, "artifacts" might mean "the time-shifting and blurring effects of D/A processing", in which case I would myself be thinking about just precisely those features.
I assure you, there a reason why you can ABX the CD quality audio from the upsampled version, and if someone was able to ask the right questions and take the appropriate measurements, it would be quite simple to determine that reason.
Yes, it always comes down to that, the right questions and appropriate measurements--no argument at all there.
This is a simple analog signal we're talking about, this isn't quantum gravity, turbulence, or the Reimann hypothesis.
Hmm. Analog, yes, simple not so much. It's a stereo signal with a complex waveform, decoded by mental processes into multiple spatial components, subject to many stages of processing between original creation and final listening. To me, it's far from simple. I *don't* mean mysterious or unknowable. I *do* mean complex and not fully understood.
I, for one, think that it's incredibly neat that you can so successfully ABX 44 and 192k audio streams of the exact same source data. The implication that you are audibly picking up on cues that exists somewhere north of 20kHz is fascinating, which is why i've been following this thread. I'm dying to see what the waveforms being sent to your headphones look like for each of the sample rates.
Again, apologies for the implication. I'm sure I am NOT picking up cues north of 20kHz, at least not in any way that's available to me consciously for the purposes of deciding a trial. My hearing, far as I can tell, is limited somewhere under 18 kHz. My success in detection has to lie elsewhere. Prime candidates I would say are D/A effects in the audible band due to filter interactions, and temporal resolution cues.
Here's something *really* telling to me, from Oppenheim: "
We further found that composers and conductors
achieved the best results in task 5, consistently beating
the uncertainty principle by factors of 2 or more, whereas
performers were more likely to beat it only by a few
Turns out, I *am* a composer, of contemporary classical music, with a Doctoral degree, and years of conducting experience. Listening into the music for the cues I'm trying to find IS very much like listening into the orchestra to hear that the second oboe was flat in the 17th bar.