System Videos and the References Used to Judge their Quality.

stehno

Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2014
907
98
240
Salem, OR
No thanks .
I have it from ralph karsten / atmasphere who did analogue recordings, digital and direct to disc recordings afaik.
And who actually listened to direct mic feeds , did you listen to direct mic feeds often ??
Plus what are you re credentials in the recording bizz to dismiss all that ??

Its most likely not in cables , the electric department

The speed of electromagnetic waves is certainly known and is defined to be exactly 299,792,458 m/s in vacuum (same as the speed of light).

Okay through copper slightly less , but still pretty fast i reckon , for us humans undetectable .

View attachment 68774

Interesting. I have no credentials. Would my being Ralph's friend suffice as possessing credentials?

Not to presume much of anything here, but wouldn't Meitner's use of a guitar and amp used first for the recording be pretty close to a live mic feed? According to TAS Mar/Apr 2009 issue, Meitner then played back the recording using the same amp and then concluded something catastrophic must be occurring at the recording mic's diaphragm. That said, couldn't Meitner have easily derived at Ralph's same conclusion that all (or at least one) formats are inferior? Why do you suppose he did not?

Presuming Ralph's and Meitner's listening skills were somewhat on par with each other and presuming Ralph was clearly more satisfied with the live mic feeds, wouldn't Ralph's experiments between a live mic feed and analog and digital formats really do little more than potentially disprove Meitner's supposed findings?

Exactly how did Ralph's experiments between live mic feeds and analog and digital formats prove much of anything except perhaps that the input signal's fidelity is better preserved when it by-passes certain electronics?

Wouldn't Ralph have been more accurate had he concluded that he narrowed the problem (was the problem ever stated?) down to either electronics and/or formats?

Why do you suppose Ralph chose formats only as the culprit and leave the additional electronics out of the equation? Is it possible that segments of Ralph's playback chain outside the direct mic feed were less than stellar?

What credentials does Ralph possess that led you to believe Ralph's conclusions have merit? Do you think Meitner possesses credentials too? If both derived at incorrect conclusions (they did), what might that say about the real value of possessing credentials in high-end audio? Better yet, what does that say about our faith when we trust in those with supposed "credentials" conducting questionable experiments and deriving at incorrect or incomplete conclusions?

I guess I'm more curious how excactly does any of Ralph's stated endeavors translate to his (and now your) conclusively proving all currently avaiable formats are (grossly?) inferior?

Seems like a pretty big leap to me. That's why I said, folklore.
 
Last edited:

stehno

Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2014
907
98
240
Salem, OR
I came across a music video on YouTube this morning of solo violin and posted it in a thread which discussed system videos. I have since deleted it from there as inappropriate to the thread discussion and decided to rather post it here. Perhaps we can have a discussion on the usefulness of videos when assessing system sound quality or component comparisons. I wonder also about the whole notion of references, and what we use to judge the sound of a system, when sitting in front of it, or hearing it on a video.

Many audiophiles use live music as a reference when judging the sound quality of a music system. It seems that recently people are posting more and more system videos on this forum to share music, have some fun, and in some cases, solicit opinions about the sound of a system, either their own, or someone else's. It is the idea of judging a system's sound through videos that I would like to discuss here, not the value of sharing new music or providing a context to ones virtual system thread.

Dealers post videos of some new speaker or other component that has arrived to give an impression of its sound. I often watch these videos and others in system threads to get a sense of the quality of the sound of those systems or specific components in direct comparison videos. Many people find such videos unhelpful or so removed from the actual sound of the system, that they simply dismiss the whole idea.

I wonder if it might be more useful to compare a system video to a video of a live music performance just as some of us do when we judge the actual sound of a system we hear to our memory of a live music performance. In other words, comparisons of video to video, and of live listening to live listening.

Here is a video of a live music performance. I do not know if I have ever heard any system video of a solo violin which sounds as convincing as this one, or I'm sure other such recordings of live music. I wonder if when judging the sound quality of a system through a video we should be judging the sound compared to a video like this one rather than to our memory of actual live music. This way we could go back and forth quickly rather than rely on memory. As I wrote in that other thread, I am waiting to heard a system video that sounds as convincing as the violin being played here live sounds in this video.

I think comparing a system video to a video like this is a more direct comparison and perhaps more useful than is comparing the sound of a system video to some memory of the sound of live music, just as judging the sound of the actual system when heard while sitting in front of it is made easier when remembering the sound of live music and using that as the reference.


Peter, excellent topic of discussion and I'm glad to see somebody bring it to the forefront.

Sure there are plenty who won't give such videos the time of day. I can think of a several reasons why they won't and none of them of positive.

For the rest, I think such videos can be very educational in a number of ways. Yes, videos have certain limitations as it can be impossible to capture some aspects of the playback presentation but there are also other aspects captured and surprisingly preserved exceedingly well.

But like anything else in high-end audio, evaluating videos requires some imagination. Also, like high-end audio, I think it helps to consider amateur type videos a bit of a skill or art form. Just as nobody should expect their playback systems to perform at SOTA performance levels right out of the box, the same goes for recordng playback presentations. IOW, there's usually a direct corelation between the amount of effort put in and the sonic benefits received.

Posting a comment in an audio forum about a sonic characteristic also substantiated by a video of any type beats the cheese out of just reading somebody's comments and pretending to be on the same page.

That said, I think there's excellent benefit potential to these videos.
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
7,311
2,509
710
North Shore of Boston
Stehno, could you share some tips for people to improve the quality of these amateur system videos so that they can better capture the sound of one’s system?

I agree with you that they have the usefulness but they also have their limitations sometimes rather severe. I do think in some instances they can complement ones written description of the particular sound of a system. Of course they are not a substitute for actually hearing the system.
 

Solypsa

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2017
424
207
120
Seattle
www.solypsa.com
It may be that microphones don't capture well. In that case all acoustic recordings suffer that degradation. I would rather focus on the recordings (across time) that excel as a statement to capture. quality.
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,886
528
370
NYC , USA
I don’t have new equipment except for servers and dacs. Being this way I don’t offend my devices being shown perfect. Having says this I feel videos are a wealth of info. I belong to a few private groups we do share. now I admit videos are not perfect nor are they useful for all who play them. But I can say I can draw plenty of info from them. Not to throw roses at mike L. But his videos are excellent to me and show me how much time and accomplishments he has made. many show videos show me clipping
Bad timbre and other Artifacts too. bob if Rapsidy audio also has excellent videos. His new planner type speakers I feel are very good as his system in analog top to bottom. Does this mean it’s exactly as I hear well I’m willing to bet it’s damn close and excellent in person.
Now while I use my phone and headphones don’t laugh as I can hear plenty doing it.
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,886
528
370
NYC , USA
A phone at 6/9 feet back is pretty good if one tries a few volume levels. Keep the phone from shutting down dynamics
As for the level of bob or mike l no idea. I hope I did not offend anyone it’s just my view.
 

Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
1,886
528
370
NYC , USA
These guys have built a business around selling kit, mainly refurbished JBLs, via internet videos.

Have a look at their channel it is insane.


They do use good kit to record stuff with if the reflections I see in some speakers is anything to go by.

Just listened to the above using my reference Bluetooth speaker. It's frequency response is no doubt a joke and it is severely bandwidth limited as well as being mono.

This tells me I can hear a lot of room acoustics and cabinet colourations. Plus a harsh mid range.

But is any of that really true? I have noticed that microphones appear to pick up on room issues far more than the human ear seems to in room. And this is obviously detrimental. There's a whole industry feeding studios with sound damping kit for this exact reason.

In practice it can be very hard NOT to be influenced by these videos and have a belief that you can somehow hear through the limitations.

It has to be said of course that there is some truth in what any mic pics up. But the degree of truth varies a lot.

I've posted so many compromised show videos and videos of my own kit to have a good feel for this subject.

I remember doing some recordings of the Martin Logan CLX when it first came out London. I used the Rowland. They sounded pretty vague and dreadful. The speaker sounded OK at the show, if lacking bass extension and dynamics playing ZZ Top's La Grange. And very good on some other material. That one really stands out in the memory as to how misrepresentative even using a good quality recorder can be.

View attachment 68689
This is a good example of hot mess lol. But my hope is far better in person on amps tgat don’t clip almost constantly
 

stehno

Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2014
907
98
240
Salem, OR
Sure, Peter. I'm no expert by any means but I'll share what I think I gained since purchasing a Shure MV88 stereo condenser mic that connects directly to my iPhone XR. But I've learned enough to realize capturing in-room recordings requires a strategy, process, mindset, etc just as with high-end audio. IOW, it requires some thought. Otherwise, the video could be embarassing if sombody were just flying by the seat of their pants.

Below are some things I think I've practiced, learned, and/or observed along the way:

- Assemble and tune the most musical playback system I could muster. Duh?

- Practice makes perfect. I had to ramp up with some practice runs and then playbacks via iphone, youtube, etc, to develop a familiarlity how things will be translated. Once confortable, then it becomes more of a rinse and repeat process i.e. no further config changes and just push record.

- As some already mentioned, likewise my smartphone/mic config can be a bit selective about tracks it captures fairly well. Perhaps others' configs are equally selective. It's not a big thing but every so often there is a music piece that just will not record well. Or is incapable of sufficiently delivering whatever I'm hoping to share.

- My goal is to be an absolute minimalist about anything related to high-end audio so I try to keep this same mindset with recordings - keeps life simple that way. If you're a minimalist keep the recording configs to an absolute minimum also.

- At my stereo mic app settings I have it configured to accept / capture the widest stereo range possible to ensure wherever there is music in the room the stereo mic stands the best chance to capture it.

- You can only squeeze so much blood from a turnip and likewise with a little stereo condenser mic but it still seems to do an overall excellent job for its size.

- I've learned that in my case anyway my recordings capture a very small percentage of the overall gestalt of the in-room presentation and also some dynamics will suffer most. As such, I need the in-room volumes to average around 100-102db or higher depending on genre, etc. I don't know how this can be measured but I'd venture the gestalt captured is in the 1/20th to maybe 1/50th range of the in-room gestalt. The 100 - 102db in-room volume range is fine for me because it's only about 3 or 4 db higher than my average listening volume levels. For others maybe some little ear plugs are in order. Some playback systems may not fair so well at these volumes. If that's the case, I'm guessing turn down the playback presentation volume and turn up the mic's gain accordingly.

- The Shure MV88 mic also provides a nice video app instead of the stock Apple Photo app. I was using this Shure movie app for some time but then realized that movie app was causing the recording mic to overload at lower volumes. Or I just had things poorly configed. Anyway, I'm much more satisfied using Apple's stock photo app with Shure mic app running in the background. My recordings seem more robust and accurate with this config and less potential for overloading the mic. So mixing'n matching apps seems to benefit.

- Should be no surprise but most deep bass is also difficult to sufficiently capture. At the Shure MV88 mic iPhone app to manger the microphone input signal, I've got all configs either neutral or flat. Except for bass. Hear I do boost the EQ for the bass regions to capture more bass. And IMO works suprisingly well. Sure some may call it cheating, but IMO I'm simply doing my reasonable best to relay the most accurate message possible about the in-room experience. No matter though, cuz it all still falls way short.

- My mic gain in the iPhone app ranges from 22.5db to 27db depending the music. 99% of the time this remains the same at 22.5 but every once in a blue moon there is a piece or two that benefits from the 27db gain.

- iPhone's on a tripod placed about 3 feet in front of my ears and about 8 ft in front of the components and speakers.

- Get some cool little lights or do something for some eye candy.

- Evaluating my own videos after recording is also a nice way to boost my listening skills a notch or two. I know what the piece sounds like in-room and then I'm evaluating and comparing what's lacking and what's retained to the in-room presentation. Nothing better than critical listening to environments and music we're most intimately familiar with.

- Never forget the recording of an in-room playback presentation is a counterfeit of a counterfeit of a counterfeit with the recording medium being the first counterfeit. With that in mind, that should help generate more reasonable expectations.

- An in-room recording can't really demonstrate a truly superior playback presentation head'n shoulders over others but it could easily show that a playback system is as musical as some and/or that it may not be lacking much. If that makes sense. Though I'm sure with professional recording gear, results could be much different.

Oh, yeah. When listening / evaluating with earbuds or headphones, imagine you're a little bug sitting on your pituitary gland and watch how everything opens wide up. :)

One more thing. It seems to me that Youtube in particular has some kind of noise reduction system engaged during public playback. When in the private Youtube video editing section, the same piece seems to be at least around 20% more musical, higher volume, and more alive than during public play. That's a shame but it's not the end of the world. So if you listen to a video posted on Vemeo or perhaps elsewhere and it's fairly musical, chances are good it will sound less musical stored on Youtube.

At this point I'm potentially sharing more than I know so I'll stop here. Hope this helps.
 
Last edited:

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
4,742
1,275
388
Switzerland
I came across a music video on YouTube this morning of solo violin and posted it in a thread which discussed system videos. I have since deleted it from there as inappropriate to the thread discussion and decided to rather post it here. Perhaps we can have a discussion on the usefulness of videos when assessing system sound quality or component comparisons. I wonder also about the whole notion of references, and what we use to judge the sound of a system, when sitting in front of it, or hearing it on a video.

Many audiophiles use live music as a reference when judging the sound quality of a music system. It seems that recently people are posting more and more system videos on this forum to share music, have some fun, and in some cases, solicit opinions about the sound of a system, either their own, or someone else's. It is the idea of judging a system's sound through videos that I would like to discuss here, not the value of sharing new music or providing a context to ones virtual system thread.

Dealers post videos of some new speaker or other component that has arrived to give an impression of its sound. I often watch these videos and others in system threads to get a sense of the quality of the sound of those systems or specific components in direct comparison videos. Many people find such videos unhelpful or so removed from the actual sound of the system, that they simply dismiss the whole idea.

I wonder if it might be more useful to compare a system video to a video of a live music performance just as some of us do when we judge the actual sound of a system we hear to our memory of a live music performance. In other words, comparisons of video to video, and of live listening to live listening.

Here is a video of a live music performance. I do not know if I have ever heard any system video of a solo violin which sounds as convincing as this one, or I'm sure other such recordings of live music. I wonder if when judging the sound quality of a system through a video we should be judging the sound compared to a video like this one rather than to our memory of actual live music. This way we could go back and forth quickly rather than rely on memory. As I wrote in that other thread, I am waiting to heard a system video that sounds as convincing as the violin being played here live sounds in this video.

I think comparing a system video to a video like this is a more direct comparison and perhaps more useful than is comparing the sound of a system video to some memory of the sound of live music, just as judging the sound of the actual system when heard while sitting in front of it is made easier when remembering the sound of live music and using that as the reference.



Hi Peter,
Yes, very nice sound quality and large space! The playing is good but I have recorded better ;) (my ex- could play this flawlessly at about twice the speed). It was probably not made with an Iphone.

I will see what I can record from my stereo but I would do it in 24/96 with my TASCAM and then would need your email address to send the full file size.. PM me if you are interested.

Very few systems can capture the dynamics even of a single violin properly. When I was recording my ex during her training for a concert series (where she performed all 24 Caprices from memory o_O at 4 venues) it was difficult to keep the tape (yes R2R analog) from overloading with that one instrument. To be fair it was a Strad and I have never personally heard a violin with that much power in it. It pressurized the room to the point of making my ears pulsate on some double stops.

I also agree with you that comparing to a captured live performance is one step closer to live and arguably the next best thing. Have you played this Youtube video back through your stereo yet? (I am assuming you were using headphones until now because you don't have digital...or do you?)

That said, good live recordings on vinyl or cd are essentially the same thing. Perhaps a bit more processed but still a live recording.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PeterA

sbnx

Well-Known Member
Mar 28, 2017
327
205
115
What video format is supported on this forum? Anything special needed to post a video?
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
15,409
4,886
940
London
What video format is supported on this forum? Anything special needed to post a video?

download the YouTube app. After you record a mobile video, you can tap the app and upload the video. You can title it while uploading, or edit to play only the part you want to highlight. Once uploaded, just share the link to the forum. After you upload once it becomes very easy
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
4,109
3,963
495
Bangkok
For me and me only. I get familiar with the sound of iPhone and Samsung mobile recording. These two are accessible to anyone. Easier for me to relate because I know how they sound. Same standard through out. Keep the tool the same and we will talk more the same language less excuse. No editing. No using app.
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
15,409
4,886
940
London
For me and me only. I get familiar with the sound of iPhone and Samsung mobile recording. These two are accessible to anyone. Easier for me to relate because I know how they sound. Same standard through out. Keep the tool the same and we will talk more the same language less excuse. No editing. No using app.

Just to clarify you meant some other app, not YouTube app else you will confuse people. you can't edit the sound on YouTube app, only cut the part, i.e. If you record for ten minutes and want to show only the first give you can cut off the last part, or so on
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
4,109
3,963
495
Bangkok
Just to clarify you meant some other app, not YouTube app else you will confuse people. you can't edit the sound on YouTube app, only cut the part, i.e. If you record for ten minutes and want to show only the first give you can cut off the last part, or so on
No i didn't mean youtube app. There are sound app you can use editing what you record from mobile phone. Then you put up on youtube.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
5,027
1,817
720
Utah
Just to clarify you meant some other app, not YouTube app else you will confuse people. you can't edit the sound on YouTube app, only cut the part, i.e. If you record for ten minutes and want to show only the first give you can cut off the last part, or so on
There are many microphones, sound and video apps around today, you get different sonic results using those apps or external mics from what you get to hear from the OSX or Samsungs OS.

david
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
15,409
4,886
940
London
There are many microphones, sound and video apps around today, you get different sonic results using those apps or external mics from what you get to hear from the OSX or Samsungs OS.

david

Yes but in most cases external Mic quality or processing can be made out. Also some stellar sounding external Mic or processed videos just don't give in room and system feeling, like Tascam for example
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
5,027
1,817
720
Utah
Yes but in most cases external Mic quality or processing can be made out. Also some stellar sounding external Mic or processed videos just don't give in room feeling, like Tascam for example
I know you can tell in most cases when something else is used, I was replying while Tang was answering.

david
 

PeterA

Well-Known Member
Dec 7, 2011
7,311
2,509
710
North Shore of Boston
Hi Peter,
Yes, very nice sound quality and large space! The playing is good but I have recorded better ;) (my ex- could play this flawlessly at about twice the speed). It was probably not made with an Iphone.

I will see what I can record from my stereo but I would do it in 24/96 with my TASCAM and then would need your email address to send the full file size.. PM me if you are interested.

Very few systems can capture the dynamics even of a single violin properly. When I was recording my ex during her training for a concert series (where she performed all 24 Caprices from memory o_O at 4 venues) it was difficult to keep the tape (yes R2R analog) from overloading with that one instrument. To be fair it was a Strad and I have never personally heard a violin with that much power in it. It pressurized the room to the point of making my ears pulsate on some double stops.

I also agree with you that comparing to a captured live performance is one step closer to live and arguably the next best thing. Have you played this Youtube video back through your stereo yet? (I am assuming you were using headphones until now because you don't have digital...or do you?)

That said, good live recordings on vinyl or cd are essentially the same thing. Perhaps a bit more processed but still a live recording.

Thank you Brad. You have referred a few times to your ex in these pages, and it must have been quite an experience to hear her rehearse. You also seem to have learned some things by trying to record her in that space.

I have not played any YouTube videos through my system as it is vinyl only. I listen to these on my iMac plus HeadRoom amp and headphones. I will PM you to request such video. I appreciate it.
 

morricab

Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2014
4,742
1,275
388
Switzerland
Thank you Brad. You have referred a few times to your ex in these pages, and it must have been quite an experience to hear her rehearse. You also seem to have learned some things by trying to record her in that space.

I have not played any YouTube videos through my system as it is vinyl only. I listen to these on my iMac plus HeadRoom amp and headphones. I will PM you to request such video. I appreciate it.

Hi Peter,
I don't have live videos of my ex (this was mostly pre-smart phone days), only music recordings. I did a recording (on my Iphone of course ;)) of a violin piece I like that is played by Itzahk Perlman (not sure who the pianist is) with my main system (Odeon La Boheme, Aries Cerat Kassandra II and Aries Cerat Genus). I will email you some other recordings of my ex directly.

 

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio convertors (DACS), turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing