Skip to main content

Notice

Please note that most of the software linked on this forum is likely to be safe to use. If you are unsure, feel free to ask in the relevant topics, or send a private message to an administrator or moderator. To help curb the problems of false positives, or in the event that you do find actual malware, you can contribute through the article linked here.
Topic: what we're up against (Read 64875 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

what we're up against

Reply #50
This isn't a question of differentiating vocations. I know the difference between a dermatologist (an M.D.) and a makeup artist and I also know the difference between a mastering engineer (Barry Diament) and an EE.


You hove got me fooled, Scott. You're basically saying believe this matering engineer's ideas about audibility and forget what Jim Johnson says.

Quote
It's a question of attacking people for beliefs.


There's nothing sacrosanct about beliefs. If they are relevant and wrong or hamful, then in fact beliefs should be attacked instead of attacking people. If you believe that the Earth is flat, then anything else you believe about geography at the planetary level is highly suspect to say the least!

Quote
For instance Arny, if I remember correctly, you are a Christian.


True, but you have zero idea about what my Christian beliefs involve. For example if you attack me for being a Young Earth Creationist and Anti-Evolutionist because you know I'm a Born-Again Christian then I might be tempted to laugh in your face.

In this case we have some plain English statements to work with.

Quote
Now even though I am an agnostic atheist and find religion to be irrational I wouldn't attack you for your religious beliefs.


The main reason why this would be wrong is that it would be completely irrelevant in this context.  This ^%$!! about beliefs being holy, inviolate, non-negotable, inviolate and sacrosanct is nonsense. If you believe you are God you are simply wrong!

Quote
Not because I think religion is taboo to debate but because I don't think it would be fair to connect your faith with your credibility or rationality in other areas.


If by that you are saying relevance rules, then of course I agree.


Quote
I think in audiophilia there is a tendency to throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater. Point in case, Ethan Whiner was engaging in many debates over on the Stereophile forums. Got kinda ugly at times. Ethan was being attacked as a person, and as a professional. I pointed out to some of the folks over there that you don't have to agree with everything Ethan says or believes about audio in general to give him his due in the field of room acoustics. Some folks over there vowed to never use any room acoustics of the sort Ethan builds, designs or advocates. Now that's just dumb. audiophiles who could have really used bass traps and absorbtion were cutting there noses off to spite their face  just because their differences with Ethan on *other subjects in audio* had led to bitter fights.


The SP forum functions like a killing zone for rational thought. The people who are personal and bitter only know that, based on their weird statements about audio technology. They play what they brung. To bad what they brung was so rotten.


Quote
My point being that what any pro in audio says about audio in general is really not that important.


The logical consequence of that statement would be to never cite them as an authority. Now, who was it that cited one and then defended that?

(post truncated arbitrarily to fit into conference minisucle limits for quoting)

what we're up against

Reply #51
I just wanna point out that it wasn't me who brought up religion 

what we're up against

Reply #52
Apart from their religious beliefs and/or opinions about religion, I think Arnold and analog scott are enough on the same page for discussion of audio.

The comparison between audiophiles disregarding data and religious belief must be qualified - some religious believers fit into that category, but certainly not all. In fact, many people's beliefs about a whole range of topics, not just religion, are set up such that they don't like to be questioned or asked to defend.

It's worth noting, for the sake of more clarification of about religion, that there are many very rational religious believers who, like Arny, don't hide behind "it's just my belief, I'm entitled to believe what I want, don't question it." I know many religious people in the academic world who do think religious beliefs are worth debating in terms of argument and evidence, not just "it's what I happen to believe."
There's a very well-regarded Christian philosopher here at UNC who would probably just destroy Dawkins in a debate. He'd be out of his league, just as popular Christian apologist C.S. Lewis was when he debated philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe (who is Catholic, but still disputed and undermined Lewis' purported proofs of God).
So it's not accurate to characterize religious belief as always being outside the realm of rational argument and evidence.

The comparison made earlier in this thread is between audiophiles and the sort of religious belief that doesn't like to be questioned is itself a good point, as long as we're clear about what sort of religious belief we're talking about.

analog scott's point was that he, personally, thinks religious beliefs area a load of crap, but respects Arny's understanding of audio reproduction. I think scott said this to counter the sentiment that "barry deserves respect because he's a good engineer.


@andy o - fair enough
God kills a kitten every time you encode with CBR 320

what we're up against

Reply #53
But I'm totally fine branching off of this thread if people want to discuss this stuff.

As a moderator of this forum, I am not fine with people breaking TOS #5 here, however.

If you want to continue talk about religion, start a thread in the off-topic forum, or PM me with which posts to split and the desired name of the new topic and I will do the work.

Continued off-topic discussion about religion and the like will be binned and warnings will be issued.

what we're up against

Reply #54
I think scott said this to counter the sentiment that "barry deserves respect because he's a good engineer.

While he may deserve respect for the work his actual work, he does not deserve respect for his nonsense that led to this discussion.  The criticism he's gotten here is well-deserved, IMO.

what we're up against

Reply #55
If we take the narrow topic of his claim about lossless files on iPods, the only useful further contribution I can think of is either ABX tests showing audible differences or measurements. Otherwise this will likely degrade into a generic audiophool bashing thread.


 

what we're up against

Reply #57
I think the claims of relativists, postmodernists, Chopra-ists and New Age types pass largely uncriticized by the people who criticize religion.

Not me, I criticize all equally!

I agree that Barry's ability as a mastering engineer does not give him a pass to espouse bad science. Barry is not only wrong on the science, he is dishonorable as a person. The few times I've posted at the SH forum, either half my posts were deleted, or the entire thread was deleted. This happened just recently when Barry said my "only four parameters" is wrong. So I asked him what more there is. He spouted off a bunch of gobbledygook so I asked him to define "microdynamics" and his other nonsense terms. Next thing you know he's attacking me personally, then the entire multi-page thread was deleted. What was so humorous (read: pathetic) was every time I posted a check-mate, they'd hide the thread for a while, presumably to huddle behind the scenes. Then they'd open it just long enough for Barry to spout more BS, then hide it, etc. I have zero respect for Barry because of that, independent of whatever skills he may have* for turning the knobs to make music sound good.

The very same thing happened recently at The Womb, a supposedly "pro audio" forum run by a guy who calls himself Mixerman. When he couldn't defend his position using science, he started deleting my posts.

* BTW, do we even know if Barry is a good mastering engineer? To know that for sure we'd need to hear the original masters he received, then compare them to the released versions. Has anyone here done that? How do we know the recordings weren't already fabulous? How do we know Barry didn't make them sound worse?

Anyway, sorry for the rant, but IMO guys like that deserve NO RESPECT at all, regardless of their accomplishments in other areas.

--Ethan
I believe in Truth, Justice, and the Scientific Method

what we're up against

Reply #58
* BTW, do we even know if Barry is a good mastering engineer? To know that for sure we'd need to hear the original masters he received, then compare them to the released versions. Has anyone here done that? How do we know the recordings weren't already fabulous? How do we know Barry didn't make them sound worse?
Oh, Ethan! Invoking Terms of Service 8 here judiciously! You just made my day.

what we're up against

Reply #59
very interesting to know about Barry's forum behavior, Ethan
God kills a kitten every time you encode with CBR 320

what we're up against

Reply #60
I just want to say thanks for a very interesting read.  Took a while, but I found it interesting and amusing on many levels.
PS

what we're up against

Reply #61
Without going into details which I'm sure will probably bore all of you to tears (but I will be happy to back up), based on my experience as a poster on sh.tv, Ethan is 100% absolutely correct in his opinion of Barry Diament's forum behavior and honorability. Barry consistently demonstrates a lack of basic understanding of digital audio concepts. He holds his own beliefs and subjective experiences as superior and not open to logical or scientific debate. And, perhaps most importantly, when he is proven wrong, he either takes his toys and goes home, or his opponent's posts start getting locked and deleted: he will not engage in debate unless the moderators are on his side. Which, of course, isn't much of a debate at all.

His only claim to fame, AFAIK, is that he did many of the first (80s-era) CD remasters of pop/rock albums. Some audiophiles praise these remasters as being unusually close to the original source materal ("master tape" etc). Others call them dull. (I don't believe I own any of his remasters so I cannot comment subjectively.) His recent recordings of course are of fine quality as many posters here will probably attest, but you don't exactly need to be a genius to implement good minimalist miking/recording techniques. And he's done some other audio engineeering work besides those two things - but he is only known for his 80s remaster work. And the fact of the matter is that he is far from universally praised over that. Ethan's tongue-in-cheek TOS8 remark is apt.

So to some degree... Barry's a bit of an unusual case. He's not "what we're up against" insofar as, well, that not all audio engineers engage in technical discussion as if it were playing on a preschool playground. But OTOH, lots of audio engineers believe nutty things - perhaps even a majority of them. Belief that high res is unquestionably audibly superior, or that MP3 is unquestionably audibly inferior, or that lossless compression affects sound quality, or even that loudness equalization schemes compromise sound and/or dynamically compress the audio, are far more common than you might think.

I've made a point before that much of what is panned as poor quality in audio today - the poor quality MP3s, the hypercompression, the clipping - are not necessarily technological problems, but education problems, insofar as lay audio engineers simply do not know any better, and are under the mistaken impression that they need to buy more expensive equipment to get better sound. I think I'll repeat that point. Such education probably won't help Barry, but it probably would keep more future audio engineers from following him off a cliff.


what we're up against

Reply #63
I'd also like to point out another point that is very different and yet very relevant.

Occasionally on sh.tv you will see a denizen refer to the forum as a "party". This mindset goes hand-in-hand with the belief that arguments spoil the party. It's small wonder then the Beltist, anything-goes mindsets go unchallenged there - I'm OK, you're OK, we're all OK, especially if we can hear the difference between FLAC and WAV! - but the critical mindsets are often run off. Thin-skinned people feel emotionally threatened when their beliefs are challenged, even politely.

I like to think that HA is far different than that, and open/public argument is more or less encouraged (as long as it is civil and relatively impolitic). But I also think that most other audio forums are very much not like that. A lot of people think of forums strictly as entertainment, rather than education. That includes audio engineers too.

what we're up against

Reply #64
I agree with them on at least one count: Critical thinking ruins parties.

what we're up against

Reply #65
I've actually been to a few parties where critical thinking made them better...

what we're up against

Reply #66
Like this one. I think it's more fun when people's diplomacy dikes crack.

what we're up against

Reply #67
Guys, what´s it with this Steve Hoffman forum anyway? I mean I don´t listen to the music he usually masters (or re-masters)... since I´m more into movie scores and classical. Anyway, I only have one release he did, it is "Raiders of the lost Ark" by John Williams released on DCC in 1995. Not to do a TOS violation here, but his approach with an orchestral score simply doesn´t sound right. When I compare it to the newest remaster of that score released by Concorde in 2008, one can easily find that Hoffmans´ remaster has little bass and a peak at 11 kHz. Beside that the newer remaster was dynamically compressed a bit and it is also wider in stereo perspective. The sound of the newer remaster is more consistent with Williams´ work from that period (early 80s) so I guess it´s more true to the original.

I´m aware that this may be a matter of personal taste but IMO Hoffmans approach for an orchestra doesn´t work. Is he really that celebrated? I mean, some statements over there at that forum seem a bit... well... strange. To say the least.
marlene-d.blogspot.com

what we're up against

Reply #68
Guys, what´s it with this Steve Hoffman forum anyway?

His general remastering style is to try to stay true to the original master tapes (finding them can be a major project for some older works).  This can mean wider dynamic range (less compression) and less use of noise reduction, equalization and other processing (which may degrade the sound).  That's the theory, at least.

As noted, the posters in the forum are fanatics who often hear things that might not actually be there and who spend countless hours debating which mastering, pressing, etc. is the best.

The sound of the newer remaster is more consistent with Williams´ work from that period (early 80s) so I guess  it´s more true to the original.

It could easily be that all other Williams work from that period are more heavily processed and that you are used to the processed sound.  Very hard to say what's true to the original without hearing the original.

I usually like his sound.  Much on the forum is quite amusing.

what we're up against

Reply #69
The sound of the newer remaster is more consistent with Williams´ work from that period (early 80s) so I guess  it´s more true to the original.

It could easily be that all other Williams work from that period are more heavily processed and that you are used to the processed sound.  Very hard to say what's true to the original without hearing the original.
Presumably the original sounded rather like an orchestra playing music from Raiders of the lost Ark?

If not, any work done to make it closer to this sounds like a good thing.

Cheers,
David.

what we're up against

Reply #70
His general remastering style is to try to stay true to the original master tapes (finding them can be a major project for some older works).  This can mean wider dynamic range (less compression) and less use of noise reduction, equalization and other processing (which may degrade the sound).  That's the theory, at least.
Doesn´t sound so bad. Still, if the master itself was engineered with analogue distribution in mind (e.g. mastering for vinyl) then this approach may not be so good.

It could easily be that all other Williams work from that period are more heavily processed and that you are used to the processed sound.  Very hard to say what's true to the original without hearing the original.
Very true. But judging from other recordings of his done at the same period (Star Wars EP V, E.T., Star Wars EP VI) the newer remaster comes closer.


Presumably the original sounded rather like an orchestra playing music from Raiders of the lost Ark?

If not, any work done to make it closer to this sounds like a good thing.
Precisely  At least I hope so... But John Williams never sounded that compact and "small" as on Hoffmans master - not even on non-remastered editions so I guess the newer version comes closer. So, Hoffman may be good for Rock, Pop, Soul whatever... but he isn´t good for orchestra.

This tells me that mastering engineers can´t be fully trusted - at least not with material that´s uncommon for them. So one should be careful with taking opinions from them. I have to dig deeper into Michael Bishop (who´s my favourite)... 
marlene-d.blogspot.com

what we're up against

Reply #71
Oh, Ethan! Invoking Terms of Service 8 here judiciously! You just made my day.

LOL, I had to look that up.

--Ethan
I believe in Truth, Justice, and the Scientific Method

what we're up against

Reply #72
Some audiophiles praise these remasters as being unusually close to the original source materal ("master tape" etc).

But how could they possibly know unless they had access to the original masters?

--Ethan
I believe in Truth, Justice, and the Scientific Method

what we're up against

Reply #73
The sound of the newer remaster is more consistent with Williams´ work from that period (early 80s) so I guess  it´s more true to the original.

It could easily be that all other Williams work from that period are more heavily processed and that you are used to the processed sound.  Very hard to say what's true to the original without hearing the original.
Presumably the original sounded rather like an orchestra playing music from Raiders of the lost Ark?

But that's the issue.  Does it sound like the original (or an orchestra) or what we imagine the original (or an orchestra) sounds like?

If the claim is that it sounds like the original, how would you know?  Is there any objective support? 

As Ethan said "But how could they possibly know unless they had access to the original masters?"  Unless you were at the original recording, or a live performance.  And even then, you're relying on memory.

I'm all in favor of listening to things that are pleasant sounding, and realize double blind testing is not practical, but I'm wondering if the point of comparison is really live music or just the manipulations you're used to hearing from audio engineers.

what we're up against

Reply #74
I'm all in favor of listening to things that are pleasant sounding, and realize double blind testing is not practical, but I'm wondering if the point of comparison is really live music or just the manipulations you're used to hearing from audio engineers.

Apart from audiophiles, I am not sure there are many that think listening to a stereo in a small living room sounds similar to listening to an orchestra live in a concert hall. Multi channel is potentially a step in that direction if things are setup in the room for it and the recording has this intention. Listening to music in your own room has the potential to sound better than listening live and it strikes me as a pity when this is not accepted by the listener.