24/192 Music Downloads ...and why they make no sense


#1

An interesting argument. Some may not agree, however.



http://xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html


#2

I think I have to agree. I have heard better recordings, but still haven’t heard a high rezz download that sounded betteri than the same recording at lower rezz(16/48). Maybe its hearing test time or maybe there is no difference to hear.


#3

Proof is in what you hear alone, let yourself be the judge. there are so many factors to influence SQ



how something was recorded from mic placement, recording equipment adjustments and equipment quality itself. Oh then there is the transfer of master to be made for distribution



Fuses and capacitors sound different and have distortions of there own. I would judge each recording on its quality “which is the major attributor of an excellent recording” and not so much on the format method used


#4

Discussed many times. You can easily try by yourself and decide if you hear any difference and how reliably. Get a true 24/192 and downsample it to 24/48 and 16/48. Then upsample a 16/44 track to 16/172 and 24/172 and ask someone to play them without you knowing what is playing.



Simple…


#5

Once you down sample , you can up sample but the improvement is gone. You cannot get back what you throw it away by down sampling. I agree with the test up to this point . I have taken a good 24/192 recording and down sampled it to 4 lower levels . I did this all from the original 24/192 flac no compression. Bit the way you explain it I can’t not say is the same. Maybe I am not understanding you correctly. Anyway I have said this in other forums and some agree and some say I have bad hearing or my system has poor resolution.

My findings were that anything from 24/96 and up I cpuld not here the change. But I certainly heard a 16/48

From a 24/96.

Al


#6
alrainbow said: Once you down sample , you can up sample but the improvement is gone.


I was not clear enough. I mean different tracks, not the same. And you compare the following:

1- 24/192 with 16/48 (downsampled) (one track)
2- 16/44 with 24/172 (upsampled) (another track)

Not any from 1 with any from 2

#7

So you are saying a track of a good recording from 24/192 down sampled to 16/48. And you could not hear a difference. That surprises me. Now if you take a track at 16/44 and up sample to 24/172 this you should not hear a change although maybe if the jitter increases only.

Al


#8

Gordon great topic. But there must be more to our hearing then tests show for now. I am not claiming to be any kind of golden ear . But I can hear a difference in tracks. And I can in both headphones and speakers. But speakers does revile the change faster .



Al


#9
alrainbow said: So you are saying a track of a good recording from 24/192 down sampled to 16/48. And you could not hear a difference.

I did not say that.

I said:

Alekz said: You can easily try by yourself and decide if you hear any difference and how reliably.



alrainbow said: Now if you take a track at 16/44 and up sample to 24/172 this you should not hear a change


I do, and I prefer them upsampled.

#10

Well you are not the first to like that . honestly I never bother to . maybe I should try

Thanks

al


#11
alrainbow said: But there must be more to our hearing then tests show for now.

Well this is an ongoing question and one I often get some rolling-eyes for posting so much about.
I, emphasis on I, believe that there is more to the "hearing" event than just what the ears pick up and the Brain decodes.
Many body parts, perhaps even perhaps every cell in our body is capable of transmitting information to our Brains. Let's assume for the sake of discussion, that these receptors are capable of receiving information beyond the measurable range of our equipment.
In this case the "out of range" changes in the sound [better or worse] CAN be detected.
I think a big part of the challenge here may be that we still are not well practiced at perceiving these differences as well as not yet being total believers of our own senses.
It is a subject that is getting a lot of attention these days though.
I have often enjoyed the sound of One Bit clapping.
G

#12
alrainbow said: But there must be more to our hearing then tests show for now.
We additionally experience low frequencies as vibration and pressure.  The reproduction of physical "slam" is very important to some, especially those that enjoy pop/rock at concert level volume and organ aficionados. 

Interestingly, research into listener preferences for headphone frequency response reveals however that we do not seek to replicate this when listening to headphones:

"Our expectation was that listeners would prefer more bass in the headphones to compensate for the lack of whole-body vibration and tactile cues that may have been present in the loudspeaker reproduction. That was proven not to be the case."

See, e.g., http://www.innerfidelity.com/how-is-ted-coding-the-fpgaent/headphone-target-response-curve-research-update

#13

Some time ago, based on my own listening experience, I came to the conclusion that extremely hi-res files are not necessary for superb sound. I have some 24/192 or 24/176 and they sound excellent. But last night, for example, I listened to the San Francisco Symphony’s Beethoven 7th Symphony and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra Haydn #100. Both are 24/96 and the sound was spectacular, particularly the Beethoven which I can only describe as demonstration class. Could a higher-resolution version of these sound better? Possibly, but I think the improvement would have to be very small. The very excellent sounding recordings by Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra have been released in 24/44. I could go on but you get the point. At the same time, my experience indicates that going from 16 to 24 bits makes a real difference, so I am skeptical about the claim in the article mentioned by Gordon that 16/44 is really enough. I’m not enough of a physicist/mathematician to really understand these things, so for now I’m just enjoying the “sweet spot” – buying mostly 24/44 to 24/96 recordings and enjoying them.


#14
magister said: The very excellent sounding recordings by Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra have been released in 24/44.

These sound superb in 44/16 and higher resolution. Excellent performances as well.

magister said: . . . my experience indicates that going from 16 to 24 bits makes a real difference, so I am skeptical about the claim in the article mentioned by Gordon that 16/44 is really enough. I'm not enough of a physicist/mathematician to really understand these things . . .

Both the math and the research into what listeners actually hear indicate there is no advantage to high resolution. Significantly, when objectively studied, even experienced knowledgeable listeners have been unable to distinguish between 96/24 and DSD, or between DSD and 44/16. We have discussed the studies before and there is no benefit in repeating this.

As a bottom line, all that matters is one's personal experience. If one finds high resolution files sound better and the extra cost in money and storage is worth it, by all means listen to high resolution files. Even if it is pure placebo, placebos are real.

magister said: . . . my experience indicates that going from 16 to 24 bits makes a real difference . . .

Do you find increasing the bit-depth makes more difference than increasing the sampling rate?

A number of recording engineers indicate the greater bit depth has greater impact on improving the sound, although I suspect relatively few audiophiles have compared 44/16 with 44/24. Your comment regarding the Minnesota Orchestra's recording makes me believe you have and are similarly impressed.

#15
Elk said: although I suspect relatively few audiophiles have compared 44/16 with 44/24. Your comment regarding the Minnesota Orchestra's recording makes me believe you have and are similarly impressed.

I have a couple of albums in both 44/16 and 44/24. It's been a while since I compared them -- I may have time to get them out tonight and see if I perceive them the same way I did a while back. I'll let you all know.

One thing I haven't seen in the various discussions of hi-res is any consideration of the type of material being recorded. It seems logical to me that 16/44 would be adequate for a singer and an acoustic guitar, while a rock band or a symphony or a pipe organ would benefit from higher resolution due to the greater dynamic range and frequency range that need to be captured. But I'm not a physicist, as I said, and don't understand all the technicalities.

I can say that the recordings that have stuck in my head recently as having outstanding SQ have been hi-res (not necessarily the very highest). Maybe that's because I've been buying these recently and many of my CDs (ripped to computer now) are older, made by less experienced engineers or whatever. I don't dispute that recent 16/44 recordings can sound very good.

A while back I bought a Schiit Loki DSD DAC and posted my impressions here. I haven't listened to it much recently because I have to bring in a laptop, which perches precariously on a table with no room for it, unpack the DAC, and make a bunch of connections. On Weds. I will receive a computer that will live in the music room (a CAPS Carbon server). This will make it much easier to listen to DSD as well as try WaveStream when (if) it becomes available and and rip vinyl using my NPC. I am curious to see how I will react to DSD with further listening -- I was quite favorably impressed on my initial trials with the analog-like warmth of DSD.

Maybe it's all placebo, or maybe Gordon is right that we don't understand everything about how humans process sound/music. I think this is a real possibility -- humans are more than the sum of the parts that science can study easily. Meanwhile, listening to what sounds good and keeping an open mind seems the best way to go. :)

#16

There may be other things going on that the resolution numbers don’t show. For example, mastering engineers may use less dynamic compression with higher resolution versions. I have the Beatles reissue collection on CD and 44-24 FLAC. The 24 bit files do sound better to me, particularly in terms of the dynamics. Whether this is a result of the higher bit depth or the way they were mastered I cannot tell. Also, has anyone studied whether, say, a 44-16 file down sampled from a 176-24 file sounds the same as if directly recorded at 44-16? In other words, is it possible sample rate converters are doing more than we think to the files and that this has a negative effect on down sampled files? It’s also possible (probable?) that all down samplers were not created equal.


#17
magister said: I will receive a computer that will live in the music room (a CAPS Carbon server).

Fun! Please let us know what you think when you get a chance to play with it.

magister said: Meanwhile, listening to what sounds good and keeping an open mind seems the best way to go.

Absolutely!

stevem2 said: I have the Beatles reissue collection on CD and 44-24 FLAC. The 24 bit files do sound better to me, particularly in terms of the dynamics. Whether this is a result of the higher bit depth or the way they were mastered I cannot tell.

They sound a bit better to me as well.

Also, has anyone studied whether, say, a 44-16 file down sampled from a 176-24 file sounds the same as if directly recorded at 44-16?

I have not seen anything formal, but in the past there has been a great deal of discussion of this topic on pro audio sites.

All recognize the advantage of recording at 24 bit depth when downsampling to 44/16 as setting recording levels is non-critical. You can set peaks at -12dB, know that you will never go over, and still have more than 16 bit resolution.

There is little consensus as to whether it sounds better originally recorded in 44.1 for 44/16 release, or at a higher sampling rate such as 88.2 and downsampled for release. I have tried and hear no difference. I record in high resolution however even for 44/16 Redbook release, if only because at some point someone will appreciate having the higher resolution files available.

#18

No clear answers but at least we seem to know that the “vibrations” of a concert are triggering the same parts of the Brain as our hearing.



Brains of deaf people rewire to ‘hear’ music



CHICAGO (Nov. 27) — Deaf people sense vibration in the part of the brain that other people use for hearing — which helps explain how deaf musicians can sense music, and how deaf people can enjoy concerts and other musical events.



“These findings suggest that the experience deaf people have when ‘feeling’ music is similar to the experience other people have when hearing music. The perception of the musical vibrations by the deaf is likely every bit as real as the equivalent sounds, since they are ultimately processed in the same part of the brain,” says Dr. Dean Shibata, assistant professor of radiology at the University of Washington.



http://www.washington.edu/news/2001/11/27/brains-of-deaf-people-rewire-to-hear-music/


#19

When my office rig is complete I plan to do many tests just like this we are talking About. As much as I like headphones , speakers reveal more details weather it is dynamics or resolution or both. For now I really cannot decern with accuracy anything above 24/96. But to do the test properly to me it must the same recording down sampled from dsd 64 or 128. As for just red book to me a really good recording is just that really good and this makes me feel the 16/44 format is good enough. But what I do not understand is people who make claims but do not dispose just what equipment they are using to make the claim. As for me although my office is not top shelf it surely is above havering to bookshelf speakers.

Al


#20
magister said: I have a couple of albums in both 44/16 and 44/24. It's been a while since I compared them -- I may have time to get them out tonight and see if I perceive them the same way I did a while back. I'll let you all know.

Just listened to a couple of tracks from Solti's recording of Wagner's Ring cycle, which I have in both 16/44 and 24/44. The 24-bit version has greater dynamic range, a better sense of the recording space, and better instrumental timbre. But the differences are not great; the 16/44 version is certainly musical and enjoyable.