Do microphones capture what we hear?

Hipper

New Member
Jun 12, 2011
29
1
3
Hertfordshire, UK
#21
Surely the word 'catastrophic' can't be right. More like 'compromise' as Peter suggests. Microphones do pretty well.

There have of course been attempts to show that a recording and replay sound the same. My speaker designer, Brian Cheney, tried this at some CES shows in his 'Live versus Recording' sessions in 2009 - start at paragraph 5:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/tas/193/editorial.htm

And here, para 3:

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue41/ces_gordon.htm

Perhaps the limitations mentioned are due to microphone set up, or the stereo system.
 
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Jul 5, 2014
623
8
18
Salem, OR
#22
Yes, the word catastrophic is rather accurate. But it has nothing to do with recording mic's.

And yes, there have been many attempts to illustrate similarities and/or differences between live and playback music and the results as usual are all over the map.

Apparently my speaker designer, Brian Cheney, also tried this at some CES shows. I own the VMPS RM-40 speakers and find them quite musical.

Alan Taffel is correct about the lack of space (actually it's the ambient info) and it being the final frontier but I remember a few of his other writings around that same time period and as I recall he almost seemed to be speaking out of both sides of mouth. I think his boss around that time frame was Harley. I remember one article where he talked quite negatively about how far short the SOTA-level playback systems were at that time but when I asked him about it, he almost seemed to be singing an entirely different song.

There's also an article by John Atkinson that I thought was in the Sep, 2009 issue where he attended a gathering where they recorded a live piano and then played back the piano and as I recall his conclusion was like Harley's much of the music never made it to the recording.

But I don't find any of things trustworthy anyway. The good news is that Harley, Meitner, and Atkinson are correct in that much of the music is missing from the recordings but they are incorrect thinking that something is preventing the music from reaching the recording when in fact most of the music is captured in the recordings. It's just that our playback systems are so overwhelmed with various distortions that the much raised noise floor keeps much of this music info inaudible at the speaker because it falls below the much raised noise floor.

Any reasonably well-thought-out playback system can shine on a live characteristic or two but overall falls well short of the mark, which is the live performance.

Again, catastrophic is the right word for this shortcoming and I doubt it originated with Harley since he just seemed to be parrotting Meitner's conclusions from Meitner's experiment. And I doubt Harley was even there.

It's becoming more and more diffuclt to find audiophiles with well-trained ears who are intimiately (not just professionally) familar with live music and playback music, without any hesitation they'll tell you that even today's best SOTA-level playback systems fall far short of the mark.

For example. Jonathan Valin, also of TAS, said in the 2008 circa, "We are lucky if even our very best playback systems can capture just 15% of the magic of the live performance." Paraphrased. I translate Valin's use of the word magic for overall believability. But If Valin made that statement, that would fall wholly in line with Harley/Meitner, Atkinson, and others' claims. I've known a few who even said that Valin's 15% was a bit optimistic. Regardless, if my quoting just these guys is anywhere close to accurate, it would indeed seem catastrophic is an accurate term.

Based on my own experience, I too would consider catastrophic being a rather accurate word because I'm pretty confident that even today's best playback systems are only keeping maybe 50-60% of the music info embedded in a given recording audible at the speaker while the remainder remains inaudible beneath a much raised noise floor.

And with virtually every last playback system showing signs to one good degree or another of that oh-so-common "me too hi-fi", that would just seem to substantiate something catastrophic is occurring somewhere.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,860
238
63
Switzerland
#23
Yes, the word catastrophic is rather accurate. But it has nothing to do with recording mic's.

And yes, there have been many attempts to illustrate similarities and/or differences between live and playback music and the results as usual are all over the map.

Apparently my speaker designer, Brian Cheney, also tried this at some CES shows. I own the VMPS RM-40 speakers and find them quite musical.

Alan Taffel is correct about the lack of space (actually it's the ambient info) and it being the final frontier but I remember a few of his other writings around that same time period and as I recall he almost seemed to be speaking out of both sides of mouth. I think his boss around that time frame was Harley. I remember one article where he talked quite negatively about how far short the SOTA-level playback systems were at that time but when I asked him about it, he almost seemed to be singing an entirely different song.

There's also an article by John Atkinson that I thought was in the Sep, 2009 issue where he attended a gathering where they recorded a live piano and then played back the piano and as I recall his conclusion was like Harley's much of the music never made it to the recording.

But I don't find any of things trustworthy anyway. The good news is that Harley, Meitner, and Atkinson are correct in that much of the music is missing from the recordings but they are incorrect thinking that something is preventing the music from reaching the recording when in fact most of the music is captured in the recordings. It's just that our playback systems are so overwhelmed with various distortions that the much raised noise floor keeps much of this music info inaudible at the speaker because it falls below the much raised noise floor.

Any reasonably well-thought-out playback system can shine on a live characteristic or two but overall falls well short of the mark, which is the live performance.

Again, catastrophic is the right word for this shortcoming and I doubt it originated with Harley since he just seemed to be parrotting Meitner's conclusions from Meitner's experiment. And I doubt Harley was even there.

It's becoming more and more diffuclt to find audiophiles with well-trained ears who are intimiately (not just professionally) familar with live music and playback music, without any hesitation they'll tell you that even today's best SOTA-level playback systems fall far short of the mark.

For example. Jonathan Valin, also of TAS, said in the 2008 circa, "We are lucky if even our very best playback systems can capture just 15% of the magic of the live performance." Paraphrased. I translate Valin's use of the word magic for overall believability. But If Valin made that statement, that would fall wholly in line with Harley/Meitner, Atkinson, and others' claims. I've known a few who even said that Valin's 15% was a bit optimistic. Regardless, if my quoting just these guys is anywhere close to accurate, it would indeed seem catastrophic is an accurate term.

Based on my own experience, I too would consider catastrophic being a rather accurate word because I'm pretty confident that even today's best playback systems are only keeping maybe 50-60% of the music info embedded in a given recording audible at the speaker while the remainder remains inaudible beneath a much raised noise floor.

And with virtually every last playback system showing signs to one good degree or another of that oh-so-common "me too hi-fi", that would just seem to substantiate something catastrophic is occurring somewhere.
Why you keep quoting two of the least reliable reviwers as your justification that very little is captured from a live performance is beyond me...I think some industry professionals would be a better source than a couple of hack reviewers...
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
5,331
259
83
North Shore of Boston
#24
...

It's becoming more and more diffuclt to find audiophiles with well-trained ears who are intimiately (not just professionally) familar with live music and playback music, without any hesitation they'll tell you that even today's best SOTA-level playback systems fall far short of the mark.
...
Based on my own experience, I too would consider catastrophic being a rather accurate word because I'm pretty confident that even today's best playback systems are only keeping maybe 50-60% of the music info embedded in a given recording audible at the speaker while the remainder remains inaudible beneath a much raised noise floor.
I don't know how "intimately" familiar I am with live music, but I try to hear a fair amount of it, both large and small scale, and I do hesitate to tell people that high end systems are "far short of the mark." I do not think I have heard true SOTA-level play back systems, but some of the good systems I have heard can actually sound pretty realistic given the right recording. I think we are way above the 15% close-to-real that you mention. I don't know if all of the information is embedded in the recording, nor do I know how much of it has to do with the level of the noise floor, but on certain types of music and with really good recordings, I think we are actually a lot closer to the real thing than people readily admit.

I suspect that audiophiles think we are further away than do non-audiophiles. I am astonished by ordinary people's reactions when they hear their favorite music played back on good systems. They are thinking: "Wow, I had no idea it could sound so real." Haven't we all had such moments?

Perhaps I just don't know what I don't know.
 
May 30, 2010
14,805
338
83
Portugal
#25
Stereo is a very limited system in spatial terms - just two channels carrying the information and two radiating sources. The spatial illusion is mostly created by small psychoacoustic cues, not just by the split of sound intensity between the two speakers - it is why some systems sound flat and between the speakers. In fact, wrong thinks can manage to destroy the illusion of space - perhaps it is why we have the strong feeling that systems are limited by the weakest link. The sound engineers producing the recordings must guess the contribution of system and room, it is why system evaluation depend a lot on the recording.
 

Al M.

VIP/Donor
Sep 10, 2013
4,270
228
63
Greater Boston
#26
I don't know how "intimately" familiar I am with live music, but I try to hear a fair amount of it, both large and small scale, and I do hesitate to tell people that high end systems are "far short of the mark." I do not think I have heard true SOTA-level play back systems, but some of the good systems I have heard can actually sound pretty realistic given the right recording. I think we are way above the 15% close-to-real that you mention. I don't know if all of the information is embedded in the recording, nor do I know how much of it has to do with the level of the noise floor, but on certain types of music and with really good recordings, I think we are actually a lot closer to the real thing than people readily admit.

I suspect that audiophiles think we are further away than do non-audiophiles. I am astonished by ordinary people's reactions when they hear their favorite music played back on good systems. They are thinking: "Wow, I had no idea it could sound so real." Haven't we all had such moments?

Perhaps I just don't know what I don't know.
I agree, Peter. Often after having attended a live concert I am delighted that what I am hearing from my system is a quite good facsimile in terms of believability -- I say specifically, believability, because if you compared recording with live event directly, you would immediately hear a rather large difference in actual sound (not the least also due to where mikes are placed relative to where you are able to sit). Of course, getting believability quite right is easier with small scale music than with large scale one.

So no, I emphatically don't share audiophile pessimism.
 

Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,609
30
48
Metro DC
#27
Microphones are extremely sensitive. They pick up things we miss. Binaural recordings tell us what the ear hears. Two channel systems are very good at spatial cues but fall short of reality. Recording techniques allow us to mimic live sound. An illusion can be created that approximates the real thing. If you have a good pair of earphones listen to this.
The virtual Barber Shop. Available on You Tube. I also posted it on my thread for SONY headphones.https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/sony-wh1000xm2-msrp-349-95.25196/page-2
 
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Jul 5, 2014
623
8
18
Salem, OR
#28
Why you keep quoting two of the least reliable reviwers as your justification that very little is captured from a live performance is beyond me...I think some industry professionals would be a better source than a couple of hack reviewers...
Beleive me, I get no pleasure quoting them. But I suppose I quote them because even two of the least reliable reviewers are surely more reliable than those incapable of ever discerning such differences.

Besides, it looks to me that Harley simply parrotted Meitner so Harely's opinion really doesn't count anyway. Atkinson's opinion never counts. But if both editors-in-chief decreed the sky is a blue to hazy blue, I'd have no problem quoting them because there are so many that still follow them.

But the point being is something catastrophic does indeed occur and there are others who acknowledge this catastrophic gulf that separates live music from playback music. I just happen to know the catastrophe is not at the microphones but rather at the playback system. Therefore, it's impossible to hear what the recording mic's hear regardless of all the other potential variables mentioned previously. No matter how "spooky" one's recorded voice may sound to themselves during playback.
 
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Jul 5, 2014
623
8
18
Salem, OR
#30
I don't know how "intimately" familiar I am with live music, but I try to hear a fair amount of it, both large and small scale, and I do hesitate to tell people that high end systems are "far short of the mark." I do not think I have heard true SOTA-level play back systems, but some of the good systems I have heard can actually sound pretty realistic given the right recording. I think we are way above the 15% close-to-real that you mention. I don't know if all of the information is embedded in the recording, nor do I know how much of it has to do with the level of the noise floor, but on certain types of music and with really good recordings, I think we are actually a lot closer to the real thing than people readily admit.

I suspect that audiophiles think we are further away than do non-audiophiles. I am astonished by ordinary people's reactions when they hear their favorite music played back on good systems. They are thinking: "Wow, I had no idea it could sound so real." Haven't we all had such moments?

Perhaps I just don't know what I don't know.
Peter, you bring up some excellent points and without audibly demo'ing potential differences your points are rather difficult to address.

But I appreciate your "Perhaps I just don't know what I don't know." comment as that applies to all of us to one great degree or another.

How many in this very What's Best forum still grapple with discerning basics like electrical burn-in or hi-rez formats or any number of controversies? Yet, I would attest the only reason some-to-many of these controversies refuse to die is because the vast majority of us lack the ability to discern / interpret what we hear. Including me. I suspect because many of us forgot long ago that in this audio-only industry, there's a potentially huge difference between hearing and possessing the ability to interpret what we hear. Very few, if any, become real connoisseurs of art just because they routinely visit art galleries or art museums. Nor does hanging around an auto repair shop make one a mechanic.

Case-in-point. There are many sound and mastering engineers, conductors, musicians, producers, manufacturers, dealers, distributors, too many reviewers, and yes audiophiles who lack such discernment, So it can't be just putting in the time but I suspect rather it has to be about consciously training ourselves while putting in the time. Latching on to somebody who really knows what they're talking about certainly can't hurt. But those types are so far and few between these days.

Not long ago, in another forum, John Atkinson of Stereophile was called on the carpet for his potential lack of listening skills and his staff's lack of skills too. He replied that all of his staff either sang in a choir or played an instrument. And some of us couldn't help but chuckle as his response seemed proof enough that he indeed lacks the ability to discern much of what he hears since he obviously didn't understand how one develops listening skils. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if that's why he leans so heavily toward measurements. In fact, I'm pretty confident that's why so many lean to "science" and measurements these days. I suspect these types think their faith in their trustworthy eyes is sufficient enought to get by since their faith in their untrustworthy ears is insufficient. In an audio-only industry mind you.

Then there's the author of a book entitled, "The Audio Expert" who claimed more than once in other forums that all cables sound identical and all components sounded identical because all retained the fidelity of the input signal. I mean where does one even start with some of these people? And he has a pretty good following. In some forums, they'd put my head on a pole just for speaking negatively about him. And funny enough, he too is way into measurements.

And this seems to be an age old problem. As I recall the story goes that those who gathered around Thomas Edison while he demo'ed his phonograph all decried that the playback sounded just like the real thing. Audio and especially high-end audio is really a funny business.

Sorry for digressing but hopefully in a round-about way, this all still has to do with the OP and your comments as well.
 
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morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,860
238
63
Switzerland
#31
Yes, the word catastrophic is rather accurate. But it has nothing to do with recording mic's.

And yes, there have been many attempts to illustrate similarities and/or differences between live and playback music and the results as usual are all over the map.

Apparently my speaker designer, Brian Cheney, also tried this at some CES shows. I own the VMPS RM-40 speakers and find them quite musical.

Alan Taffel is correct about the lack of space (actually it's the ambient info) and it being the final frontier but I remember a few of his other writings around that same time period and as I recall he almost seemed to be speaking out of both sides of mouth. I think his boss around that time frame was Harley. I remember one article where he talked quite negatively about how far short the SOTA-level playback systems were at that time but when I asked him about it, he almost seemed to be singing an entirely different song.

There's also an article by John Atkinson that I thought was in the Sep, 2009 issue where he attended a gathering where they recorded a live piano and then played back the piano and as I recall his conclusion was like Harley's much of the music never made it to the recording.

But I don't find any of things trustworthy anyway. The good news is that Harley, Meitner, and Atkinson are correct in that much of the music is missing from the recordings but they are incorrect thinking that something is preventing the music from reaching the recording when in fact most of the music is captured in the recordings. It's just that our playback systems are so overwhelmed with various distortions that the much raised noise floor keeps much of this music info inaudible at the speaker because it falls below the much raised noise floor.

Any reasonably well-thought-out playback system can shine on a live characteristic or two but overall falls well short of the mark, which is the live performance.

Again, catastrophic is the right word for this shortcoming and I doubt it originated with Harley since he just seemed to be parrotting Meitner's conclusions from Meitner's experiment. And I doubt Harley was even there.

It's becoming more and more diffuclt to find audiophiles with well-trained ears who are intimiately (not just professionally) familar with live music and playback music, without any hesitation they'll tell you that even today's best SOTA-level playback systems fall far short of the mark.

For example. Jonathan Valin, also of TAS, said in the 2008 circa, "We are lucky if even our very best playback systems can capture just 15% of the magic of the live performance." Paraphrased. I translate Valin's use of the word magic for overall believability. But If Valin made that statement, that would fall wholly in line with Harley/Meitner, Atkinson, and others' claims. I've known a few who even said that Valin's 15% was a bit optimistic. Regardless, if my quoting just these guys is anywhere close to accurate, it would indeed seem catastrophic is an accurate term.

Based on my own experience, I too would consider catastrophic being a rather accurate word because I'm pretty confident that even today's best playback systems are only keeping maybe 50-60% of the music info embedded in a given recording audible at the speaker while the remainder remains inaudible beneath a much raised noise floor.

And with virtually every last playback system showing signs to one good degree or another of that oh-so-common "me too hi-fi", that would just seem to substantiate something catastrophic is occurring somewhere.
But the quote you take from Harley is SPECIFICALLY about the microphones and that the loss at the microphone is already catastrophic...no I see you are walking that back to more like I said that it is the recording chain that comes after the microphones.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,860
238
63
Switzerland
#32
Beleive me, I get no pleasure quoting them. But I suppose I quote them because even two of the least reliable reviewers are surely more reliable than those incapable of ever discerning such differences.

Besides, it looks to me that Harley simply parrotted Meitner so Harely's opinion really doesn't count anyway. Atkinson's opinion never counts. But if both editors-in-chief decreed the sky is a blue to hazy blue, I'd have no problem quoting them because there are so many that still follow them.

But the point being is something catastrophic does indeed occur and there are others who acknowledge this catastrophic gulf that separates live music from playback music. I just happen to know the catastrophe is not at the microphones but rather at the playback system. Therefore, it's impossible to hear what the recording mic's hear regardless of all the other potential variables mentioned previously. No matter how "spooky" one's recorded voice may sound to themselves during playback.
It's worse then quoting them, it is your appeal to their authority and the sad part is that they are not even qualified to be "authorities" on the subject of making recoridngs. I guess it is not surprising coming from an admitted non-technical guy such as yourself.

So, wait, you have been throwing around this Harley "catastrophic" quote now for weeks and NOW you want to say his opinion doesn't really count?? So, you have now completely discounted one of your two "authorities" (the other being "sterile" Jon Valin) as being unworthy??...that's, well, stupid.

You will quote people just because they have followers? What does that mean? Why not trying to quote people who actually make good and valid points, regardless of their followers? Why is Atkinson's opinion less valid than Harley's or Valin's? He at least has generated data (nevermind the fact that he doesn't seem to have the ability to make sense of it) for others who have the wherewithal to do something with it. Harley and Valin just generate hot air. I guess you being non-technical and all wouldn't see the difference or the usefulness of something so messy as data.

In YOUR opinion something catastrophic occurs...I have heard examples where it was anything but catastrophic.

" I just happen to know the catastrophe is not at the microphones but rather at the playback system"

This completely contradicts our earlier debates and also your appeal (to your now disavowed) to Harley's authority that the catastrophe is already at the microphones...more backtracking on your part...or your thoughts on this topic are really just as muddled as I supposed they were...

Until you actually do some experiments like I and some others here have done, you will never know for yourself and you will just keep writing self contradicting tripe. In fact we happen to know what the sound from a microphone bypassing the recording medium sounds like...its called the live, amplified, concert and it happens all the time. So, I guess you are wrong that we don't know what the mic feed sounds like. If you have never recorded your own voice direct to disc as I have then you will have no clue to what I am referring to and an attempt to downplay it's importance as a piece of data in the puzzle is a typical non-understanding attack.
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,411
107
63
Boston, MA
#33
Personally, I do not share the sentiment there is anything 'catastrophic' per se when the recording chain is up to par. 'Limiting' yes, but not catastrophic. There are quite a number of great recordings, our systems evolve and do credit to said recordings, and both technologies - recording and reproduction - improve. Not to mention that just about all reviewers rave about various systems and components, and we here toot our own horns as well. But when it comes to reproducing reality, I do feel we are still far far away... FWIW
 

Kingsrule

Active Member
Feb 3, 2011
749
31
28
#34
ack

Your op has one very basic flaw in that u are assuming what the mikes are actually picking up. How do u know what pattern the mikes have and in what orientation they are placed on the cable ends? Also, the gain settings on each mike dictate what they might or might not record. In addition, where u are sitting has nothing to do with what is on the recording that is released

The only true "we hear what they recorded" from our systems is the recording engineer's release, if that can be had for reference. I agree that some recordings we have sound like what u might hear at Symphony Hall or wherever but IMO that's just hit or miss that is released......
 
Jul 5, 2014
623
8
18
Salem, OR
#35
It's worse then quoting them, it is your appeal to their authority and the sad part is that they are not even qualified to be "authorities" on the subject of making recoridngs. I guess it is not surprising coming from an admitted non-technical guy such as yourself.

So, wait, you have been throwing around this Harley "catastrophic" quote now for weeks and NOW you want to say his opinion doesn't really count?? So, you have now completely discounted one of your two "authorities" (the other being "sterile" Jon Valin) as being unworthy??...that's, well, stupid.

You will quote people just because they have followers? What does that mean? Why not trying to quote people who actually make good and valid points, regardless of their followers? Why is Atkinson's opinion less valid than Harley's or Valin's? He at least has generated data (nevermind the fact that he doesn't seem to have the ability to make sense of it) for others who have the wherewithal to do something with it. Harley and Valin just generate hot air. I guess you being non-technical and all wouldn't see the difference or the usefulness of something so messy as data.

In YOUR opinion something catastrophic occurs...I have heard examples where it was anything but catastrophic.

" I just happen to know the catastrophe is not at the microphones but rather at the playback system"

This completely contradicts our earlier debates and also your appeal (to your now disavowed) to Harley's authority that the catastrophe is already at the microphones...more backtracking on your part...or your thoughts on this topic are really just as muddled as I supposed they were...

Until you actually do some experiments like I and some others here have done, you will never know for yourself and you will just keep writing self contradicting tripe. In fact we happen to know what the sound from a microphone bypassing the recording medium sounds like...its called the live, amplified, concert and it happens all the time. So, I guess you are wrong that we don't know what the mic feed sounds like. If you have never recorded your own voice direct to disc as I have then you will have no clue to what I am referring to and an attempt to downplay it's importance as a piece of data in the puzzle is a typical non-understanding attack.
I perceive tho art angry with me. It's not my fault you lack the confidence to explain how playback music compares to live music. It's not my fault that you experience the "jump factor" at a piano concert. It's not my fault you get spooked every time you hear your recorded voice. Didn't Thomas Edison also get spooked when he heard his recorded voice on his phonograph? If so, you're in good company. Tee hee.

I don't know exactly what Meitner's guitar / amp experiment consisted of that led him and subsequently Harley to their conclusion but I'll give you credit on the live feed microphone thing. But I suppose my saving grace is that I never considered something catastrophic occurring at the recording mic's diaphragms in the first place. Along with your other failures in our recent meaningful monologues, er um dialogues is your seemingly inability to comprehend that I always only use those quotes (for years not weeks) and Valin's too, to substantiate and emphasize that at least some others realize something catastrophic occurs by the time the music info is audible (or inaudible) at our playback speakers.

But as usual it seems you wanna play dumb and think my emphasis is on the microphone. Never has been and never will be. Proof of that is Jonathan Valin's claim I mentioned. Did you read anything about microphones there?

Tell you what. I'd be happy to quote you. Just tell me in your own words how far short our best playback systems are in comparison to live music and I'll include your quote verbatim along with the others in the future. But something tells me people who are routinely spooked whenever they hear their own recorded voice are usually too giddy to think there's potential shortcomings in what they hear.

Oh, and how I know there is indeed a catastrophic occurrence and that it could not be at the recording mic's but at the playback system was due to my own experiments and without using any microphones. The catastrophe is not that we're only hearing 15% of the music as some seem to misinterpret Valin's use of the word magic. But it is more like 40- 60% of the music info embedded in a given recording where perhaps 100% of the info is read and processed but 40-60% remains inaudible at the speaker due to a much raised noise floor caused by numerous distortions. It's a universal governor type of thing and this sound is commonly known as "me too hi-fi" sound. I'm sure you're quite familiar with this sound.

Because of these exact same experiments I also knew 4.5 years ago and tried to warn others in this and other forums that it was impossible for MQA to live up to the performance hype that Harley, Atkinson, et al gave it and I've still yet to hear an MQA formatted recording. If MQA could have lived up to all the performance hype, that would have implied that the "catastrophe" was limited to the digital processing / format sectors and that simply is not true either.

Probably just coincidence that I was right all along about MQA. Just as it's probably coincidence that I'm right about you too. :)
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,860
238
63
Switzerland
#36
I perceive tho art angry with me. It's not my fault you lack the confidence to explain how playback music compares to live music. It's not my fault that you experience the "jump factor" at a piano concert. It's not my fault you get spooked every time you hear your recorded voice. Didn't Thomas Edison also get spooked when he heard his recorded voice on his phonograph? If so, you're in good company. Tee hee.

I don't know exactly what Meitner's guitar / amp experiment consisted of that led him and subsequently Harley to their conclusion but I'll give you credit on the live feed microphone thing. But I suppose my saving grace is that I never considered something catastrophic occurring at the recording mic's diaphragms in the first place. Along with your other failures in our recent meaningful monologues, er um dialogues is your seemingly inability to comprehend that I always only use those quotes (for years not weeks) and Valin's too, to substantiate and emphasize that at least some others realize something catastrophic occurs by the time the music info is audible (or inaudible) at our playback speakers.

But as usual it seems you wanna play dumb and think my emphasis is on the microphone. Never has been and never will be. Proof of that is Jonathan Valin's claim I mentioned. Did you read anything about microphones there?

Tell you what. I'd be happy to quote you. Just tell me in your own words how far short our best playback systems are in comparison to live music and I'll include your quote verbatim along with the others in the future. But something tells me people who are routinely spooked whenever they hear their own recorded voice are usually too giddy to think there's potential shortcomings in what they hear.

Oh, and how I know there is indeed a catastrophic occurrence and that it could not be at the recording mic's but at the playback system was due to my own experiments and without using any microphones. The catastrophe is not that we're only hearing 15% of the music as some seem to misinterpret Valin's use of the word magic. But it is more like 40- 60% of the music info embedded in a given recording where perhaps 100% of the info is read and processed but 40-60% remains inaudible at the speaker due to a much raised noise floor caused by numerous distortions. It's a universal governor type of thing and this sound is commonly known as "me too hi-fi" sound. I'm sure you're quite familiar with this sound.

Because of these exact same experiments I also knew 4.5 years ago and tried to warn others in this and other forums that it was impossible for MQA to live up to the performance hype that Harley, Atkinson, et al gave it and I've still yet to hear an MQA formatted recording. If MQA could have lived up to all the performance hype, that would have implied that the "catastrophe" was limited to the digital processing / format sectors and that simply is not true either.

Probably just coincidence that I was right all along about MQA. Just as it's probably coincidence that I'm right about you too. :)
Once again your perception is off...I don't get angry in debates and I am not angry at anyone now or before.

"is your seemingly inability to comprehend that I always only use those quotes (for years not weeks) and Valin's too, to substantiate and emphasize that at least some others realize something catastrophic occurs by the time the music info is audible (or inaudible) at our playback speakers. "

There is no lack in comprehension that you use them to support your case (unless you think substantiate and emphasize means something completely different...LOL) and these are naked appeals to authority (as if you think all audiophiles bow down to these two jokers) by you to make some claim about the disastrous nature of recordings. However, at first you did support Harley/Meitner's claim that the damage is already done at the microphone. If you don't believe this now (you backtracked on this one quite alarmingly) then why do you keep trotting it out? Because it "substantiates and emphasizes" your claims, which are what exactly now?

Trotting out JV's claim on anything is pretty dumb but you have done it repeatedly. JV is talking about the whole recording chain and that includes microphones...I will remind you that it is you who keeps using Harley/Meitner to "substantiate and emphasize" your claims and they talk specifically about microphones. You put your own foot in your own mouth.

As near as I can tell you are the one who is hear to preach to us, not the other way around...

As to your experiment, if that is what you choose to call it (not that you would in your non-scientific way know what a control is I would guess), how do you know how much you are losing? Seat of the pants numbers don't count, which is all your 40-60% really is...just a handwaving WAG (wild assed guess). You bash Valin's "word magic" and then roll out some of your own.

How do you know, without using microphones or playing with different recording media etc. , know how much got embedded in the grooves/digits? you have no idea. Also, you have no idea how much is getting read in analog (digital is probably close to 100% except for errors). Maybe 40-60% (again fake numbers!) is being lost in your "me too hifi" system...this is why preservation of information at low levels is an important thing to check...it gives you insight into the inherent noise and distortion floors of your system. Once you get loud enough most details that are retrieved in a recording make it to the surface in one way or another but at low level you see how fast a system collapses and information gets lost. As you approach the noise and distortion floors you see when the signal starts to dip below and get obscurred. In science we call this limit of detection. BTW, you know you can actually hear sounds below a true noise floor? Our brain is good at picking out correlated signals from noise. What it cannot do is pick it out of noise that is in some way correlated with the signal. I am not at all familiar with "me too hifi" my system is way beyond this sound.

FWIW, I never gave MQA the time of day...I too knew it was a fad...so what, doesn't mean you know other things.

I am not sure what you think you are right about me except that I know what I am talking about and you seem the need to appeal to authority from the likes of other non-scientific types like Valin and Harley to "substantiate and emphasize" your position. Your non-"experiments" are pretty laughable as well. No evidence of anything other than you "listened" to your recordings and dinked a bit and said something like, "oh that sounds better so I must have dug out more information by reducing noise and distortion" without any proof or justification or controls. You didn't try a live feed into your stereo did you? Then make recordings of that feed on different media, did you? Then done your dinking to see if it made a significant difference? No? well then... you have a nice story that some will swallow but the more skeptical of us will see you for what you are.
 
Jul 5, 2014
623
8
18
Salem, OR
#37
Once again your perception is off...I don't get angry in debates and I am not angry at anyone now or before.

"is your seemingly inability to comprehend that I always only use those quotes (for years not weeks) and Valin's too, to substantiate and emphasize that at least some others realize something catastrophic occurs by the time the music info is audible (or inaudible) at our playback speakers. "

There is no lack in comprehension that you use them to support your case (unless you think substantiate and emphasize means something completely different...LOL) and these are naked appeals to authority (as if you think all audiophiles bow down to these two jokers) by you to make some claim about the disastrous nature of recordings. However, at first you did support Harley/Meitner's claim that the damage is already done at the microphone. If you don't believe this now (you backtracked on this one quite alarmingly) then why do you keep trotting it out? Because it "substantiates and emphasizes" your claims, which are what exactly now?

Trotting out JV's claim on anything is pretty dumb but you have done it repeatedly. JV is talking about the whole recording chain and that includes microphones...I will remind you that it is you who keeps using Harley/Meitner to "substantiate and emphasize" your claims and they talk specifically about microphones. You put your own foot in your own mouth.

As near as I can tell you are the one who is hear to preach to us, not the other way around...

As to your experiment, if that is what you choose to call it (not that you would in your non-scientific way know what a control is I would guess), how do you know how much you are losing? Seat of the pants numbers don't count, which is all your 40-60% really is...just a handwaving WAG (wild assed guess). You bash Valin's "word magic" and then roll out some of your own.

How do you know, without using microphones or playing with different recording media etc. , know how much got embedded in the grooves/digits? you have no idea. Also, you have no idea how much is getting read in analog (digital is probably close to 100% except for errors). Maybe 40-60% (again fake numbers!) is being lost in your "me too hifi" system...this is why preservation of information at low levels is an important thing to check...it gives you insight into the inherent noise and distortion floors of your system. Once you get loud enough most details that are retrieved in a recording make it to the surface in one way or another but at low level you see how fast a system collapses and information gets lost. As you approach the noise and distortion floors you see when the signal starts to dip below and get obscurred. In science we call this limit of detection. BTW, you know you can actually hear sounds below a true noise floor? Our brain is good at picking out correlated signals from noise. What it cannot do is pick it out of noise that is in some way correlated with the signal. I am not at all familiar with "me too hifi" my system is way beyond this sound.

FWIW, I never gave MQA the time of day...I too knew it was a fad...so what, doesn't mean you know other things.

I am not sure what you think you are right about me except that I know what I am talking about and you seem the need to appeal to authority from the likes of other non-scientific types like Valin and Harley to "substantiate and emphasize" your position. Your non-"experiments" are pretty laughable as well. No evidence of anything other than you "listened" to your recordings and dinked a bit and said something like, "oh that sounds better so I must have dug out more information by reducing noise and distortion" without any proof or justification or controls. You didn't try a live feed into your stereo did you? Then make recordings of that feed on different media, did you? Then done your dinking to see if it made a significant difference? No? well then... you have a nice story that some will swallow but the more skeptical of us will see you for what you are.
You. “FWIW, I never gave MQA the time of day...I too knew it was a fad...so what, doesn't mean you know other things.” (I’ll assume there’s evidence of you saying that resides somewhere.)

Me (4.5 years ago): “It’s impossible for MQA (or any format) to come even remotely close to Harley and Atkinson’s outlandish performance claims.” Paraphrased.

Now I realize that in your scientific mind we said the exact same thing about MQA, but frankly I see little similarity.

Amazing how with routine little twists and spins and deliberate misinterpretations and misunderstandings and routine little presumptions here and there just how many straw man arguments one can generate. In just the 6 or 7 exchanges we’ve had in this forum, I’ve never witnessed nor encountered so many seemingly routine straw man arguments.

Clearly you either have a gift or you’re still spooked by hearing your own recorded voice.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
2,860
238
63
Switzerland
#38
You. “FWIW, I never gave MQA the time of day...I too knew it was a fad...so what, doesn't mean you know other things.” (I’ll assume there’s evidence of you saying that resides somewhere.)

Me (4.5 years ago): “It’s impossible for MQA (or any format) to come even remotely close to Harley and Atkinson’s outlandish performance claims.” Paraphrased.

Now I realize that in your scientific mind we said the exact same thing about MQA, but frankly I see little similarity.

Amazing how with routine little twists and spins and deliberate misinterpretations and misunderstandings and routine little presumptions here and there just how many straw man arguments one can generate. In just the 6 or 7 exchanges we’ve had in this forum, I’ve never witnessed nor encountered so many seemingly routine straw man arguments.

Clearly you either have a gift or you’re still spooked by hearing your own recorded voice.
LOL!! Your whole post on MQA is a strawman...I don't give a damn about MQA...or any other compression alogorithm... In fact that seems to be all you are capable of doing....
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
5,411
107
63
Boston, MA
#39
Time to link to a related topic, the sound of Boston Symphony Hall, in case anyone has any doubts that what the microphones capture is not what we hear live.

https://whatsbestforum.com/threads/boston-symphony-hall-measurements.27537/#post-559928

Decca recorded four albums of the Boston Pops which Mike engineered with Fiedler in the mid '70's after the RCA contracts were concluded. They could not get good sound in their recordings, perhaps because the seats were empty, not sure. Anyway, they did the same trick as they did for several of the halls they used. They removed a large number of the front rows of seats (easy to do since they replaced those seats with tables at the Pops concerts) and put the orchestra there, facing the stage, and the they had the microphones and recording gear on the stage. I saw a similar set up that Decca used for the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
https://whatsbestforum.com/threads/boston-symphony-hall-measurements.27537/#post-563780

"The BSO was built as a concert hall, and therefore mimics a megaphone. It's optimized to project and focus from about the 9th row, then become diffuse beyond. Musicians (and audiences for different reasons) love it, for they can hear one another far better than other halls due to the smallish stage shell, and early reflections. The BSO Hall just sucks as a recording space."
 

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