HydrogenAudio

Hydrogenaudio Forum => Listening Tests => Topic started by: Markuza97 on 2020-11-14 02:20:20

Title: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2020-11-14 02:20:20
Good evening.
Long time lurker and first time poster in here.

I found THIS (https://sourceforge.net/p/lame/bugs/506/) great sample by Jari Aalto.
He said he had some problems with LAME's V0 setting so I decided to test it myself including the other encoders, too.



MP3 is the most popular lossy codec in the world so let's test it first.
Using latest LAME 3.100.1 from RareWares.
lame -V0 input.wav

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Very easy to ABX. I also tried --vbr-old switch and results were much better.



The second most popular lossy codec in the world, AAC-LC.
Using qaac 2.71 with CoreAudioToolbox 7.10.9.0.
qaac64 -V127 input.wav

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I went with the highest quality setting -V127 but the problem is still there.
Drum hit at the beginning sounds different. Easy to ABX.



Opus, the most promising codec at the moment.
Using opus-tools-0.2-opus-1.3.1.zip from https://opus-codec.org/.
opusenc --bitrate 128 input.wav

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

English is not my primary language so I really don't know how to explain the difference that I can hear.
It is right around half a second. I also included the file encoded at 64 kbit/s that is very easy to ABX
and once you hear the difference you will know what exactly you need to listen to.

As you can see, I also had to change my sound card. My USB sound card just skips first ~two seconds on Opus
so I had to use PCIe card.



Everybody is focused on exhale now so let's test it.
Using latest exhale 1.0.8 from RareWares.
exhale 9 input.wav

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Lower bitrates were not really good so I tried with higher bitrates. Still terrible. Deaf person can ABX this.
Not many people have xHE-AAC decoder so I also included the decoded file.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2020-11-14 03:44:07
I cannot edit the original post so I apologize for double posting.
I just noticed this: DSD : WASAPI (event) : Izlaz (ASUS Xonar DGX Audio Device), 24-bit
I don't have any DSD device so I have probably chosen this by mistake.
Anyway, I didn't want that to affect the results so I redid the test using normal WASAPI.
Still not transparent.

Opus:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

exhale:

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Wombat on 2020-11-14 04:57:33
This may not be of much help but from the Mega download the V0 version created with lame 3.100 has this really obvious additional noise on the beats in the beginning.
Even at V3 with an old 3.98 version this is way better.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: 2M2B on 2020-11-15 10:48:58
AAC & LAME V0 --vbr new both have horrid pre echo clicks enough i don't need ABX to tell. Yet Opus & Vorbis are transparent at 160kbps. Never seen AAC perform so badly here.

Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2020-11-18 14:57:40
Try alternative Noise shaping mode;

-V0  --vbr-new -f
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: ani_Jackal3 on 2020-12-24 06:27:40
Try alternative Noise shaping mode;

-V0  --vbr-new -f

Or try --allshort V 0 --vbr-new, Had way more gains with samples in the OP.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: halb27 on 2021-07-12 21:00:46
I tried Helix mp3 encoder on this sample using the -X2 -U2 -V130 setting.
Result is pretty good (good enough for me) though bitrate is rather low.

So it is not necessarily the format when an encoder yields a very bad result.

I also tried the suggestions given in this thread for Lame. To me they don't work. It is true that 3.98 behaves better than 3.100, but is still easy to abx.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-14 11:52:16
 I tried different lowpass settings. listening relaxed on my speakers.
-V0 obvious 'thwack' added to drum.
-V0 -- lowpass 17 up to 18 is an improvement, OR  -V0 --vbr-old
 
--abr 256 ads  'clicks' to the drum
--abr 256 -h same but a bit better
--abr 287 -h sounds fixed or not annoying, I'll need abx with headphones
CBR is OK but -b128, -b160 likely b192 suffers ringing on the 'tssssiiiouuuu' part.
adding -f to CBR mode really helps.
-b224 and -b256 sound good enough than I will need headphone abx.

Given this, I  used cbr 160 gogo and -b160 -f lame on older portables.
For compatibility, size and predictability. My gut instincts turned out right.
I didn't need all the fancy, new or whatever back then. Even now I will use
these settings if needed. Or higher cbr up to 320.  Or, ABR 287 -h. Then --vbr-old also worked
for me well , --preset medium 3.90 which is now -V4 --vbr-old. Lame 3.90 -V2 or aps (vbr-old)
was tough for me in most cases (in the past). On lame3.100 I would use -V1 --vbr-old to get an 'aps' like level.
I've never been fully comfortable with vbr-new (angels fall first) though seduced by its speed.
But no more, stabilty over speed for me.

Update; -f screws up the cbr  on the drums, So it works for certain signals but not for others
like the drum part. Just tried -h or -q2 -b192. Its also ads something like -f but less. On around -b224 -h
its not as obvious. 

Now my opinion for -h or -f isn't clear. But i decided for high bitrates i won't use them
and just stick to the default (-q3) for cbr.  -b192 sound much cleaner without them. Also -ms makes it
worse. I tried -V4 --vbr-old 'preset medium'  and it still holds up. -V5 --vbr-old ads  some noise.

Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-14 13:08:24
Tried lame 3.90.3 and 3.98.4

vbr new V0 is still faulty on 3.98.4 not hard to hear as halb27 said.
3.90.3 V2 (aps) is ok or close as is aps fast ( --preset fast standard)
Strangely, --preset fast extreme adds some noise not very hard to hear.
--preset extreme is better.  I am not convinced its a lame3.100 only issue.

Tried MPC --radio 92kbps , sounds identical or close.
FAAC also falls hard up to -b256.  On -b320 and -b352 I can't hear it on speakers anyway.

Given this, I am happy with spotify's choice of vorbis  160k and 320k

Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-14 14:09:19
@shadowking
Are you willing to try Lame 3.100 --abr 256 -f --lowpass 16?
I think it should be better.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-14 14:20:58
Unfortunately,  Wavpack is also a disaster with the default
noise shaping . Setting it to -s0 or -s0.5 sorts it out .

Fortunately, even with default noise shaping its hard to detect around 400k

Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-14 14:24:49
@shadowking
Are you willing to try Lame 3.100 --abr 256 -f --lowpass 16?
I think it should be better.

Better but still not good. I though abr / cbr behave like  the -Y switch. Not sure.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-14 16:24:12

Fortunately, even with default noise shaping its hard to detect around 400k


So you could say is transparent at 400k?
Did you use additional quality switches like hx4?
I would like to test it at -b450hh which I use but I'm not a trained listener.
Definitely nice sample. :)
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-14 16:32:47
Dualstream  needed up to --Quality 7.  Wavpack 500 something.  Using headphones.
If you look at spectum the hf spike causes extra noise in various codecs . That would explain
why lowpass helped.

lame -b320 is abxable, though not bad quality:

foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.5.7
2021/07/15 01:29:38

File A: H:\doc\CodecTest 16bit.wav
File B: H:\doc\CodecTest 16bit.mp3

01:29:38 : Test started.
01:29:48 : 01/01  50.0%
01:29:52 : 02/02  25.0%
01:29:54 : 03/03  12.5%
01:30:13 : 04/04  6.3%
01:30:40 : 05/05  3.1%
01:30:48 : 06/06  1.6%
01:30:53 : 07/07  0.8%
01:31:02 : 08/08  0.4%
01:31:04 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 8/8 (0.4%)
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-14 16:40:59

Fortunately, even with default noise shaping its hard to detect around 400k


So you could say is transparent at 400k?
Did you use additional quality switches like hx4?
I would like to test it at -b450hh which I use but I'm not a trained listener.
Definitely nice sample. :)

With speakers 400k hx4 seemed near transparent, still got 8/8,
with headphones  ;

transparent
500 .. 550k -hx4 -s0.5
530 -hhs0.5
576 -s0.5
576 -hx4
---
450 -hhs0.5 not annoying abxable
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: halb27 on 2021-07-14 18:21:50
@shadowking:
Nice to hear that Lame CBR >200 kbps works pretty good here. Same goes for the lowpass finding.
Thanks for that.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: halb27 on 2021-07-14 18:53:03
Because of the lowpass finding I tried my own Lame version lame3995o -Q1.7 --lowpass 16 (199 kbps on avg for a collection of mixed pop music).
Works very well. Doing a quick ABX I didn't succeed.
Good enough for me as with normal listening I listen less carefully than even with my quick ABX.
Being old I don't care about lowpass 16. Only young people should, or those with the golden ears.
Guess that's also the reason why Helix behaves that well. Helix isn't HF friendly.

P.S. one day later:
Must have had a bad day yesterday.  -Q1.7 --lowpass 16 is still rather easily to ABX. Though quality isn't too bad for me. But same goes for --lowpass 17 so I prefer this one now.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-14 19:00:25

Fortunately, even with default noise shaping its hard to detect around 400k


So you could say is transparent at 400k?
Did you use additional quality switches like hx4?
I would like to test it at -b450hh which I use but I'm not a trained listener.
Definitely nice sample. :)

With speakers 400k hx4 seemed near transparent, still got 8/8,
with headphones  ;

transparent
500 .. 550k -hx4 -s0.5
530 -hhs0.5
576 -s0.5
576 -hx4
---
450 -hhs0.5 not annoying abxable


Thanks a lot for this testing. ;)
It seems that my setup is not enough. I didn't expect that.
Probably should go to 550hh or something similar to be sure but it's not longer economical (for me).
How would you describe quality at 450k?
Is this noise small and hard to hear or it's noticable immediately?
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: includemeout on 2021-07-14 19:06:18
Tried MPC --radio 92kbps , sounds identical or close.
Would you say this is more down to it being a sub-band codec?

Would it also mean -quality 5 and up as being probably safe choices (to your ears at least)?
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-14 19:55:03
550hh

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0.6d report
foobar2000 v1.6.6
2021-07-14 20:50:02

File A: master.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: 550hh.wav
SHA1: 1bd0b77cac5d8faaf6bebcbf7c18dd40211478b6

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

20:50:02 : Test started.
20:50:18 : 01/01
20:50:22 : 02/02
20:50:26 : 03/03
20:50:45 : 04/04
20:50:48 : 05/05
20:50:57 : 06/06
20:51:03 : 07/07
20:51:11 : 08/08
20:51:23 : 08/09
20:51:27 : 09/10
20:51:27 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 9/10
p-value: 0.0107 (1.07%)

 -- signature --
36ec4cd6873af7c712e52287ca376cd269788b39

Fan is working behind me + ears are filled with seawater.
If I focus it could be 10/10...
Best way to describe it? Like earbud diaphragm shakes little bit more.

Edit: Fan off + clean ears

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0.6d report
foobar2000 v1.6.6
2021-07-14 21:08:59

File A: master.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: 550hh.wav
SHA1: 1bd0b77cac5d8faaf6bebcbf7c18dd40211478b6

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

21:08:59 : Test started.
21:09:11 : 01/01
21:09:15 : 02/02
21:09:37 : 03/03
21:09:42 : 04/04
21:09:45 : 05/05
21:09:48 : 06/06
21:09:52 : 07/07
21:09:54 : 08/08
21:09:57 : 09/09
21:10:00 : 10/10
21:10:00 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

 -- signature --
6540c0afb1ca7afac5d380502729d081a07307aa
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-14 20:28:25
Thanks @Markuza97
So even 550hh is not enough. :D
Do you think that you could hear the difference in normal listening situation (wavpack 550hh)?
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-14 21:30:24
In normal listening situation? No way.

It has more to do with memory. First I have to spend ~10-15 seconds to actually hear the difference so I can isolate it and focus on it.
Then in the middle of the test my brain.exe will stop working and I will have to re-listen to it once again so I can isolate it and finish the test.

Edit: I recorded the video of me ABXing it. You can clearly see how my brain stops working on third and tenth trial.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Edit 2: MPC sounds great! I'm not even going to try to ABX it.
but............. I am still using the old (unsupported) MPC-HC v1.7.13 and file sounds terrible there.
I guess there is something wrong with their decoder. Anyway, once imported into foobar, its sounds great!
So be careful if you use old audio players.

Off-topic: This is not the first time I am impressed with MPC. It really makes me wonder why this format is not more widely supported.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-14 22:33:22
I see. That is imortant for me to know. Hard to make a difference even on abx.
Thanks a lot.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-15 03:33:03
I see. That is imortant for me to know. Hard to make a difference even on abx.
Thanks a lot.

You can use static noise shaping value like -s0.5 (-b450hhs0.5)
This will shift noise to the higher freq.  In this sample the default setting cause the noise to go
down the spectrum where it has a more audiable or static character.
If encoding time isn't an issue, try  -b450hhx4s0.5
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-15 03:38:55
There is an updated MPC-HC . Its from one of the mpc developers. Works well for me.
https://github.com/clsid2/mpc-hc/releases
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: jdimsa on 2021-07-15 09:11:11
Wow, what on earth is this killer sample? I can ABX it with 100% accuracy even at Apple AAC 320k CVBR (!!!!!!!!!??!?!?). I almost can't believe it. What about this file is so difficult that it trips up even the highest of quality lossy encoding?

Ok, seems like the Apple encoder specifically gets tripped up by it for some reason. Opus manages the sample fine at even 192k VBR.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-15 09:19:56
Wow, what on earth is this killer sample? I can ABX it with 100% accuracy even at Apple AAC 320k CVBR (!!!!!!!!!??!?!?). I almost can't believe it. What about this file is so difficult that it trips up even the highest of quality lossy encoding?

I think its the loud HF noise in the beginning. The drum causes the noise to modulate up and down.
Down the the spectrum it becomes audiable as distortion, ringing, noise etc.
I would be surprised if its from a properly mastered album etc.  A lower lowpass or static noiseshaping
to push the noise up helps.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: jdimsa on 2021-07-15 09:55:29
I think its the loud HF noise in the beginning. The drum causes the noise to modulate up and down.
Down the the spectrum it becomes audiable as distortion, ringing, noise etc.
I would be surprised if its from a properly mastered album etc.  A lower lowpass or static noiseshaping
to push the noise up helps.

I do wonder why Opus handles the file fine compared to CoreAudio encoder. I'm almost tempted to re-encode my mobile library from AAC to Opus due to this killer sample, just due to the implication of libopus' ability to handle edge cases better than CoreAudio can. But maybe I'm just being paranoid and overreacting.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-15 10:02:38
I see. That is imortant for me to know. Hard to make a difference even on abx.
Thanks a lot.

You can use static noise shaping value like -s0.5 (-b450hhs0.5)
This will shift noise to the higher freq.  In this sample the default setting cause the noise to go
down the spectrum where it has a more audiable or static character.
If encoding time isn't an issue, try  -b450hhx4s0.5

Thanks for the advice. ;) I'll play with different settings and this -s0.5 also.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-15 10:19:43
I think its the loud HF noise in the beginning. The drum causes the noise to modulate up and down.
Down the the spectrum it becomes audiable as distortion, ringing, noise etc.
I would be surprised if its from a properly mastered album etc.  A lower lowpass or static noiseshaping
to push the noise up helps.

I do wonder why Opus handles the file fine compared to CoreAudio encoder. I'm almost tempted to re-encode my mobile library from AAC to Opus due to this killer sample, just due to the implication of libopus' ability to handle edge cases better than CoreAudio can. But maybe I'm just being paranoid and overreacting.

If you have natural music or a bit of electronic your fine. If you have lots of this style, with
HF 'pfffftssss' , high pitch tones, etc  You may need to experiment to find a non-annoying setting.
I guess at 320k transparency is expected or at worst case a not-annoying level.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-15 10:28:52
Tried MPC --radio 92kbps , sounds identical or close.
Would you say this is more down to it being a sub-band codec?

Would it also mean -quality 5 and up as being probably safe choices (to your ears at least)?


It may have something with subband. Its immune to pre echo
and some other issues of mp3 /aac.

I tried quality 5 with headphones. It seems transparent.
Yes, Quality 5 is the work horse of mpc, that or Quality 6 gives
a small size - much smaller than 256 or 320k. in mp3 case its -b320k to
get an OK quality (-b256 is bad).  VS mpc --standard 119 k  !!!
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-15 10:33:06

Off-topic: This is not the first time I am impressed with MPC. It really makes me wonder why this format is not more widely supported.

Me too. In the past I posted 'I would take Quality 5 or 6 mpc over 256 ~ 320k mp3 / aac'
it did not go down well, But that was my gut instinct. This sample further confirms it for me.

Yes support and lack of interest is frustrating. People figure newer codec = better etc. MPC is seen as old , dead or whatever.
Also at low bitrate less than 96k its no good. But I could care less for that personally. You can have magnificent audio
170k streaming or local. We are not pinned to 128k as there is enough bandwidth today. But for business its all about
32, 64k etc or how far down they can push it.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-15 11:09:55
I see. That is imortant for me to know. Hard to make a difference even on abx.
Thanks a lot.

You can use static noise shaping value like -s0.5 (-b450hhs0.5)
This will shift noise to the higher freq.  In this sample the default setting cause the noise to go
down the spectrum where it has a more audiable or static character.
If encoding time isn't an issue, try  -b450hhx4s0.5

Thanks for the advice. ;) I'll play with different settings and this -s0.5 also.

I managed to get 400k to an acceptable level using -hhx5s0.5 .  I got 6/8 and 7/8
for 384 and 400.  With hhx4s0.5  -  450 was 8/8 though very subtle. I think the x5 helps
quite a bit .
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-15 11:21:47
I'll try x5 to see if I can hear any differences.

As for MPC, I think that today with foobar for Android/Windows + Linux (wine) we don't have compatibility issues. For cars someone could connect through BT or even old aux in should do fine. :)

Small request:
Is someone willing to test FhG (winamp) AAC at 320 CBR?
In recent Listening tests, Guruboolez found out that FhG aac is more robust against problem samples (if I remember correctly) so it would be interesting to see if FhG can do something about this sample (when Apple AAC can't)
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-15 11:29:11
I also tried a stronger shift -s0.75 and its more difficult to abx. I stopped at
1/4  for -b400hhx5s0.75  . With s0.5, I managed several  5/5 's

for -b450hhx5s0.75 i got 5/8

Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-15 14:09:44
fhg

--cbr 320
Fail. I keep getting 7/10

--cbr 256

Quote
foo_abx 2.0.6d report
foobar2000 v1.6.6
2021-07-15 15:02:40

File A: master.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: cbr256.m4a
SHA1: 9f2b56f5b6241f0a4c78344a21fe88940b990895

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

15:02:40 : Test started.
15:02:49 : 01/01
15:02:58 : 02/02
15:03:05 : 03/03
15:03:14 : 04/04
15:03:19 : 05/05
15:03:25 : 06/06
15:03:27 : 07/07
15:03:30 : 08/08
15:03:32 : 09/09
15:03:41 : 10/10
15:03:41 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

 -- signature --
48b50559f6f0d7692f2a92f6339c92e0d0f267e7

--vbr 6

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0.6d report
foobar2000 v1.6.6
2021-07-15 14:48:22

File A: master.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: vbr.m4a
SHA1: 5770475576a1270cbcab7341034cc5af567f8669

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

14:48:22 : Test started.
14:48:27 : 01/01
14:48:29 : 02/02
14:48:40 : 03/03
14:48:43 : 04/04
14:48:45 : 05/05
14:48:47 : 06/06
14:48:50 : 07/07
14:48:53 : 08/08
14:48:55 : 09/09
14:48:58 : 10/10
14:48:58 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

 -- signature --
6f985f8eef8549cd6960567b9f4b4547fdce9408

Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-15 15:22:13
@Markuza97
Excellent! Thanks.
FhG @320k should be very good.
Definitely more robust against problem samples. :)
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: includemeout on 2021-07-16 12:54:27
Tried MPC --radio 92kbps , sounds identical or close.
Would you say this is more down to it being a sub-band codec?

Would it also mean -quality 5 and up as being probably safe choices (to your ears at least)?


It may have something with subband. Its immune to pre echo
and some other issues of mp3 /aac.

I tried quality 5 with headphones. It seems transparent.
Yes, Quality 5 is the work horse of mpc, that or Quality 6 gives
a small size - much smaller than 256 or 320k. in mp3 case its -b320k to
get an OK quality (-b256 is bad).  VS mpc --standard 119 k  !!!
As usual, thank you so much for your invaluable, countless testing, SK.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: includemeout on 2021-07-16 13:13:44
As for MPC, I think that today with foobar for Android/Windows + Linux (wine) we don't have compatibility issues. For cars someone could connect through BT or even old aux in should do fine. :)
Hear, hear!

No to mention for -quality 5 and above - for in-car listening - transcoding into MP3, thanks also to the insignificant amount of time taken in the process these days - it definitely a plausible proposition as well.

Popularity or no popularity, I guess there just ain't many reasons, as it used to be the case 15 yrs ago, for "feeling guilty" for sticking to MPC (if that's your cuppa) - even more so after smartphones came up, given that many recent killer samples, as this one, haven't been making too much of a dent even in its "standard" setting - two frickin’ decades later, FCS!!

Edit:
Musepack may have fallen from grace, but it's still to be proven (for +160Kbps) to be out of shape.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: ani_Jackal3 on 2021-07-16 17:11:04
I think its the loud HF noise in the beginning. The drum causes the noise to modulate up and down.
Down the the spectrum it becomes audiable as distortion, ringing, noise etc.
I would be surprised if its from a properly mastered album etc.  A lower lowpass or static noiseshaping
to push the noise up helps.

I do wonder why Opus handles the file fine compared to CoreAudio encoder. I'm almost tempted to re-encode my mobile library from AAC to Opus due to this killer sample, just due to the implication of libopus' ability to handle edge cases better than CoreAudio can. But maybe I'm just being paranoid and overreacting.

Much better handling of HF & hard transients?. This is not the only sample that CoreAudio struggles with, It seems to hate the synth sounds that my Dark Ambient collection uses. V0 Lame with old-vbr is transparent but AAC as a whole fails at 320kbps, Yet MPC wins at a half the bit rate?.

It weird how hostile some here get when Musepack's strengths are pointed out despite the fact there like 12 examples alone in this forum where Q5 pretty much transparent. Both Opus/MPC are the only ones so far that have proved to be robust on killer samples.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: OLPP on 2021-07-17 04:11:21
It weird how hostile some here get when Musepack's strengths are pointed out despite the fact there like 12 examples alone in this forum where Q5 pretty much transparent. Both Opus/MPC are the only ones so far that have proved to be robust on killer samples.
Can't you at least post results of abx tests and samples so that you can back up your claim?

Besides, there are samples which Musepack struggles with at Quality 5.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/musepack-vs-other-codecs.23601/post-791881
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: ani_Jackal3 on 2021-07-17 09:02:11
It weird how hostile some here get when Musepack's strengths are pointed out despite the fact there like 12 examples alone in this forum where Q5 pretty much transparent. Both Opus/MPC are the only ones so far that have proved to be robust on killer samples.
Can't you at least post results of abx tests and samples so that you can back up your claim?

Besides, there are samples which Musepack struggles with at Quality 5.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/musepack-vs-other-codecs.23601/post-791881

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/musepack-vs-other-codecs.23601/#post-849256

Just did that with Q5 MPC both were transparent, There all electronic samples and some old MP3 aimed ones. It just backs up that Pure MDCT codecs can't cope without something breaking and need a encoder patch.





Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: includemeout on 2021-07-17 12:41:29
It weird how hostile some here get when Musepack's strengths are pointed out despite the fact there like 12 examples alone in this forum where Q5 pretty much transparent. Both Opus/MPC are the only ones so far that have proved to be robust on killer samples.
Besides, there are samples which Musepack struggles with at Quality 5.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/musepack-vs-other-codecs.23601/post-791881
We've all been well aware of those. So far nobody said there weren't; at least not in this thread.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-17 13:18:49
That guy is using a lot of DSPs in his test. Is it fair to use DSP effects while doing ABX test?
I mean, I just grabbed a random song, encoded using LAME V2. It sounds great, fully transparent.
Then I activated built-in Equalizer DSP to reduce lower and increase higher frequecies. LAME obviously has lowpass
and lossless will obviously win. Very easy to cheat the ABX.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: includemeout on 2021-07-17 13:33:00
Besides, there are samples which Musepack struggles with at Quality 5.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/musepack-vs-other-codecs.23601/post-791881
Nice link, but we needn't even leave HA's subforums in order to illustrate that:
We've been talking about those all the time - as recently as two years ago - and with people who'd apparently worked closely with the developers, such as @Kristo.

https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php?topic=117174.0

I think the bottom line regarding comments towards MPC here, is that given its mileage (and the aeons that have passed since it was last updated) how its standard setting (or something slightly above/below that but still sticking to fairly average bit rates) still manages to fare quite well when it comes to several killer samples - but not in detriment to this or that "competing" format.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: includemeout on 2021-07-17 13:36:24
That guy is using a lot of DSPs in his test.
Sorry, but for clarity's sake, you mean the person in the link provided by OLPP, right?
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-17 13:54:35
That guy is using a lot of DSPs in his test.
Sorry, but for clarity's sake, you mean the person in the link provided by OLPP, right?

Yes. I don't care what anyone says. That test is invalid.
That guy is literally comparing two entirely different files.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: OLPP on 2021-07-17 15:41:23
That guy is using a lot of DSPs in his test.

That guy is literally comparing two entirely different files.

I am going to assume that 'that guy' in the first quote and the second quote are two different people. I am 'that guy' of the first quote. I use the nickname 'UKPI' in audiosciencereview.

Among those DSP modules, Equalizer and IIR filters are used to match my headphones closer to the Harman target. Nothing more, nothing less. Scale is volume control. Meier crossfeed is crossfeed. The rest is self-explanatory. The difference of frequency responses between different headphones would usually be much larger than the difference of frequency response caused by the DSPs I used. If my test is invalid because of DSP usage, that would mean that only a handful of headphones can be used to test lossy codecs.


Just did that with Q5 MPC both were transparent, There all electronic samples and some old MP3 aimed ones. It just backs up that Pure MDCT codecs can't cope without something breaking and need a encoder patch.
So, you were the 'that guy' of Markuza97's second quote? Okay then.
The result of the second test just proves that different people have different sensitivities to different coding artifacts. Like I said in the link, there are only speculations without a test involving multiple listeners with multiple samples. Also, why did you compare 41_30sec.wv to velvet.mpc?


I think the bottom line regarding comments towards MPC here, is that given its mileage (and the aeons that have passed since it was last updated) how its standard setting (or something slightly above/below that but still sticking to fairly average bit rates) still manages to fare quite well when it comes to several killer samples - but not in detriment to this or that "competing" format.
I do agree with that. I was just tired of posts praising Musepack as "the" superior codec without sufficient evidence.

By the way, sorry for derailing this thread. That sample certainly is interesting.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-17 16:40:57
I am talking about you OLPP-UKPI.
You were using files from "different" sources for ABXing.

I dunno how to explain this properly.........
I will just repeat what I posted above.

Let's take MP3 for example.
Original lossless file doesn't have lots of useful stuff above 16 kHz.
LAME will see this and it will decide to cut it to save space.
Let's add lossless and MP3 file to foobar.
It sounds dull. We can use DSP to enhance higher frequencies. Lossless will sound great because it preserves whole frequency range.
MP3 will sound terrible because it doesn't actually have any higher frequencies to enhance.
If you applied DSP effects to lossless file and then converted to MP3 situation would be different.

I am not saying that MPC is God sent format that nobody can ABX. I am just saying that if you want to do fair test, do not use any DSP effects while playing.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-17 18:26:16
Maybe a little easier way to understand.

You have 1920x1080 PNG image (FLAC). Size is huge. You decided to convert it to JPG (MP3/MPC).
After conversion they will look identical (transparent).
Now you decided to upscale the image to 7680x4320 (DSP).
JPG will look a lot worse because you increased the compression artifacts.
But if you first upscaled the PNG image to 7680x4320 and then converted to JPG it will look identical.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: OLPP on 2021-07-17 18:55:23
Let's take MP3 for example.
Original lossless file doesn't have lots of useful stuff above 16 kHz.
LAME will see this and it will decide to cut it to save space.
Let's add lossless and MP3 file to foobar.
It sounds dull. We can use DSP to enhance higher frequencies. Lossless will sound great because it preserves whole frequency range.
MP3 will sound terrible because it doesn't actually have any higher frequencies to enhance.
If you applied DSP effects to lossless file and then converted to MP3 situation would be different.

I am just saying that if you want to do fair test, do not use any DSP effects while playing.
Different models of headphones, earbuds or speakers in various rooms all have their own unique frequency responses and distortion levels. Just like DSPs, these all affect the audio chain after decoding the file/stream. Therefore, in the example of the quote above, MP3 that sounds terrible by the boost from the equalizer would still sound terrible when that boost is occurred by a headphone.

What makes changes occurred by DSPs unacceptable while those caused by using different equipment acceptable in lossy codec tests?

Also, tests with files that were processed before encoding do not reflect most real-life use cases. No music downloading/streaming services that I know of provide custom processed lossy streams. Consumers decode the stream and process that.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-17 20:38:51
Yes, they do affect the audio chain after decoding ...
... but encoder does not expect any processing after decoding.
It is tuned/optimized for original unprocessed file.
Encoder has no idea what you are going to do with your files later.

With lossless files you have lots of bits to work with, with lossy ~192 kbit/s you don't.
Any kind of processing will make it much easier to ABX.
This is the reason why we always use lossless files when encoding lossy files.

Using DSPs for listening is okay, but for ABXing is not.
You want to be as neutral as possible.

Sure, some people are using DSPs for lossy files and it sounds good to them because:
1. They are playing music, not doing ABX test
2. They don't have original lossless file to compare it with
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: kode54 on 2021-07-18 01:11:50
It's headphone frequency response equalization filtering. It is tuned based on an accurate digital recording of the headphones' own frequency response curve, and is designed to produce a flat response after the correction is applied. To say that this sort of correction is invalid, is the same thing as saying that testing with any headphones which do not already have a perfectly flat response is also invalid.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-07-18 02:34:56
It doesn't matter what kind of DSP you are using - the only important thing is that it does processing.
With lossy files it is working with 192000 (you get the idea, no need to nitpick) bits of information.
With lossless files it is working with at least 1411200 bits of information.
DSPs might be transparent, but that doesn't change the fact that chance of audible artifacts is increased.

Using the same logic as you guys, I can grab 128 kbit/s MP3 file, convert it to Opus and cry online because it is not transparent.
Of course it is not transparent because it was already processed by another encoder that reduced the available bits of information.

Like I said above, using DSP for listening is good, but for ABX, big no-no.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: kode54 on 2021-07-18 04:37:06
You can say the same damn thing about headphones making the audio not transparent and that tests should only be performed with the best studio monitors in a recording studio.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: OLPP on 2021-07-18 05:09:32
Using the same logic as you guys, I can grab 128 kbit/s MP3 file, convert it to Opus and cry online because it is not transparent.
Of course it is not transparent because it was already processed by another encoder that reduced the available bits of information.
What...?

Okay, that's enough. An equalizer and a lossy encoder are totally different types of processing altogether and you just equated those.

-What does the frequency response of a linear time invariant system tell you about that system?
-What should you do with the frequency domain transfer functions of each linear time invariant system connected in series in order to acquire an accurate frequency response of the entire connected system?
-How do digital equalizers change the frequency level of a signal? Can you explain the difference between FIR and IIR filters?
-What is room correction and why is it absolutely necessary for accurate audio reproduction with speakers unless you are in an anechoic chamber?
-Why is just blindly compensating for the measurements of a headphone not a good way of obtaining a perfect target curve for you even when the measurement of that headphone is accurate?

If you don't know the answer to the questions above, you are talking out of your depth. If you know the answer to those questions and don't tell me a plausible reason why DSPs shouldn't be used in ABX tests when difference between gears and rooms are larger but acceptable, you are trolling and I am not going to take your response seriously.

So, please answer the question: Both DSPs and headphones, earbuds, speakers, and rooms etc. change the frequency response of the signal. Therefore, it can be said that both the former and the latter "process" the signal. Why is processing by the former unacceptable, but that of the latter acceptable in ABX testing? You have to explain the difference between "processing" by the former and latter.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: NateHigs on 2021-07-18 09:31:37
You can say the same damn thing about headphones making the audio not transparent and that tests should only be performed with the best studio monitors in a recording studio.

I've not read most of this thread because it's totally off the rails now. However, I agree with this statement and would add "with qualified listeners".

This is a great example of how ABX testing is only valid for the listener and the files tested. You can't really extrapolate from the results. I mean, for god sake, this test file is just boring, generic dance music. I could find 100 examples of this "filtered white noise over kick drum" technique.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-19 10:07:06
I see. That is imortant for me to know. Hard to make a difference even on abx.
Thanks a lot.

You can use static noise shaping value like -s0.5 (-b450hhs0.5)
This will shift noise to the higher freq.

Do you think that is safe to use -s0.5 in general?
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-19 10:56:53
I've finally decided to do an ABX test with Wavpack -b450hh and Apple 320k  CVBR to see if I can hear the artifacts.
WavPack is obvious (unacceptable for my setup). Apple is more subtle and I think I woudn't hear it in normal listening situation (maybe on very loud volume but I'm not sure).

I have to point out that I'm not a trained listener (at least until now :D).

Sound: Lenovo Thinkpad E595 - standard output (Volume 90%)
Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M40X

WavPack -b450hh

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.4.8
2021-07-19 11:29:42

File A: CodecTest 16-bit.flac
SHA1: fa044d2f4662f4689707666fe971d64d4882093b
File B: CodecTest 16-bit.wv
SHA1: e55b262a8685148d7d4230ca7095683fd1a2479b

Output:
DS : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

11:29:42 : Test started.
11:32:44 : 01/01
11:33:06 : 02/02
11:33:32 : 03/03
11:33:45 : 04/04
11:33:56 : 05/05
11:34:02 : 06/06
11:34:14 : 07/07
11:34:22 : 08/08
11:34:27 : 09/09
11:34:31 : 10/10
11:34:31 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

Apple 320k CVBR

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.4.8
2021-07-19 11:39:16

File A: CodecTest 16-bit.flac
SHA1: fa044d2f4662f4689707666fe971d64d4882093b
File B: CodecTest 16-bit.m4a
SHA1: 5c568899f4d3dec7767c77ad45734ff0b305b86e

Output:
DS : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

11:39:16 : Test started.
11:41:42 : 01/01
11:41:57 : 02/02
11:42:15 : 03/03
11:42:31 : 04/04
11:42:47 : 05/05
11:43:28 : 06/06
11:43:44 : 07/07
11:43:53 : 08/08
11:44:23 : 09/09
11:44:46 : 10/10
11:44:46 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-20 11:50:49
I see. That is imortant for me to know. Hard to make a difference even on abx.
Thanks a lot.

You can use static noise shaping value like -s0.5 (-b450hhs0.5)
This will shift noise to the higher freq.

Do you think that is safe to use -s0.5 in general?

Yes. Especially at high bitrate.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-21 06:57:53

You can use static noise shaping value like -s0.5 (-b450hhs0.5)
This will shift noise to the higher freq.

Do you think that is safe to use -s0.5 in general?

Yes. Especially at high bitrate.
[/quote]

Excellent! Thanks. I'll play with s0.5 to see the differecies.

Out of curiosity I've tried to ABX Aften AC3 @320k but I couldn't do it.
I always thought that AC3 is kind of lower quality but this sample surprised me.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-21 19:19:48
@shadowking
I've tried the -s0.5 switch and it really helps.
450hhs0.5 is definitely better than 450hh.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: includemeout on 2021-07-22 15:43:52
Out of curiosity I've tried to ABX Aften AC3 @320k but I couldn't do it.
I always thought that AC3 is kind of lower quality but this sample surprised me.
Considering that MDCT-based codecs seem to be having a tougher time (than the subbands ones) with this sample in particular, plus you not having done any additional tweakening to AC3's settings, this seems to be really worth mentioning.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: kode54 on 2021-07-22 20:17:40
At that point, it may even be worth investigating hybrid lossy/lossless codecs, or even lower bitrate ADPCM codecs. Those usually expose degradation as noise, which depending, may not be as noticeable, or may be a less annoying form of distortion. You pick your poison, hissing that's way less than tape hiss, versus smearing artifacts, or other things.

I mean, ADPCM is a preferred A2DP codec, even. AptX and its relatives are a subband ADPCM codec.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-22 21:55:34
Out of curiosity I've tried to ABX Aften AC3 @320k but I couldn't do it.
I always thought that AC3 is kind of lower quality but this sample surprised me.
Considering that MDCT-based codecs seem to be having a tougher time (than the subbands ones) with this sample in particular, plus you not having done any additional tweakening to AC3's settings, this seems to be really worth mentioning.

Especially considering is still very popular for movie audio.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-22 22:05:09
At that point, it may even be worth investigating hybrid lossy/lossless codecs, or even lower bitrate ADPCM codecs. Those usually expose degradation as noise, which depending, may not be as noticeable, or may be a less annoying form of distortion. You pick your poison, hissing that's way less than tape hiss, versus smearing artifacts, or other things.

I mean, ADPCM is a preferred A2DP codec, even. AptX and its relatives are a subband ADPCM codec.

My experience with wavpack so far is very positive. Small, very fine hiss could be heard very rarely on critical samples,
but on this sample is further distorted into  more aggressive noise (it is still minor issue but it stands out - very fine hiss is more blended into music, at least as I percieve it)
Reminds me of shaking wired fence. I don't know how to descibe it more accurately.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Porcus on 2021-07-23 11:09:46
Out of curiosity I've tried to ABX Aften AC3 @320k but I couldn't do it.
I always thought that AC3 is kind of lower quality but this sample surprised me.
Interesting. Tried ffmpeg's AC3 (more recent)?
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-23 13:09:54
Out of curiosity I've tried to ABX Aften AC3 @320k but I couldn't do it.
I always thought that AC3 is kind of lower quality but this sample surprised me.
Interesting. Tried ffmpeg's AC3 (more recent)?

Yes. Just few days ago I've tried Shanaencoder v5.04 which is basically frontend for ffmpeg. Same thing. I would say same quality (based on this sample).
Maybe someone with better ears and/or equipment could say something more about Aften/ffmpeg AC3 behavior on this sample, but considering how Apple AAC sounds, AC3 is better (to my ears).

I also tried Helix mp3 @320k CBR and V150 VBR (~230k). Also high quality. I didn'tbtry to ABX it but on normal listening throug headphones I coudn't make a difference.
I wonder why is not so popular as LAME is. Not to mention its extremly fast encoding speed.

Tried Lossy FLAC @ Economic 410k and couldn't ABX it.
Good alternative to wavpack, but i have very limited experience with Lossy Flac.
I'll definitely put some free time to LossyFlac testing.
It seems interesting.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Hitesh on 2021-07-23 19:21:33
It is true that 3.98 behaves better than 3.100, but is still easy to abx.
Even at V0?
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: halb27 on 2021-07-26 15:59:07
Yes, I did it the way the OP did.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: halb27 on 2021-07-26 16:09:57
@synclagz:

I also wonder why helix isn't that popular. It has proved to be quite robust when it comes to problematic samples.
Guess one point is that HF behavior beyond 16 kHz isn't great with helix. Though this probably isn't a real issue to many people.
The idea of a 20...20000 Hz frequency range just is too popular though the range beyond 16 kHz can hardly be heard by most people older than 30. Also musical contents in the HF range is often of little importance for many pieces of music.

Other than good reasons it's chance to a large extent which controls popularity.

Also problems like this one are interesting but have no practical meaning to most people. These problems are often very artificial. Important are problems related to real instruments. Harpsichord music can be a problem to various encoders. But for people who are not much into this music it hardly applies. Very tonal regions in music can be a problem too when using low or moderate bitrate. Same goes for transients in music. But with a bitrate of roughly 200 kbps on avg. you're safe with many formats and encoders when listening to 'normal' music in a 'normal' listening environment. There are exceptions, but they are rare. Even 128 kbps is very good for many formats and encoders. Even old mp3 is good here when using Lame or Helix. Sure there are better formats like aac or opus, and using 200 kbps or more isn't an issue with today's storage possibilities.

LossyFLAC is a good thing for bitrates in the range you used. I did use lossyFLAC for a long time. However the popular lossy codecs are totally satisfying to me at a much lower bitrate.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-26 19:02:15
@halb27
Hi,

Thanks for clarifying things about Helix. :)
Today I noticed that helix mp3 encoded files have higher track peak value than vorbis or aac (foobar replay gain scanner).
So I'm getting track peak value for some songs in 1.30 - 1.45 range which indicate potential clipping but I can't hear it.
Are these higher peak values of any concern?

As for LossyFlac, I can't find a critical sample to test it. IIRC, you said long time ago that herding_calls doesn't sound right. Do you still have that sample by any chance? I can't find it.

I also noteced that switching off noise shaping (-s o) drastically increases encoding speed of LossyFlac.
Using Standard or High preset sound excellent even without noise shaping.
Do you think that it can be safely switched off for higher presets (400-500k range) without sacrificing quality?

Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: halb27 on 2021-07-26 23:47:01
I wouldn't care about peak values >1 in encoded material. In case you do you can lower input in advance with a tool like Audacity or similar.

You can download herding_call from my webspace: http://horst-albrecht.de/misc/herding_calls.flac

I wouldn't switch off lossyFLAC noise shaping.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-07-27 07:36:22
I wouldn't care about peak values >1 in encoded material. In case you do you can lower input in advance with a tool like Audacity or similar.

You can download herding_call from my webspace: http://horst-albrecht.de/misc/herding_calls.flac

I wouldn't switch off lossyFLAC noise shaping.

Thank you for herding_calls and clarifying things. :)
I'll test LossyFlac to see how this sample sounds on different settings.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-07-27 14:34:32
EQ everything.  I was told by audiophiles to never do it. I have suffered for
years as a result. The treble is out of control in many speakers and headphones.
It may be a good thing for mixing but not for listening. I think the senheiser sound is
not a bad starting point maybe a bit veiled. I try to duplicate it with EQ. The same EQ
preset works for both speakers and phones.  I leave the low end , dial down mid bass and mid-top end.
it helps with samples like these and also your hearing. You can listen louder with less chances of damage.

 
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: kode54 on 2021-07-27 19:54:18
Speaking of EQ, precise measurement with a calibrated input (microphone with known frequency response to capture the response of speakers in an acoustic dampening chamber, or dummy head with known response to capture headphones or earphones), this can and has been used by both professionals and volunteers to create equalization curves for specific models of speakers and headphones. They're likely to work for most devices in the same product line. They're designed to compensate for the biases or weaknesses in the response curve of the device, so they will produce as flat a response as is possible for the device in question.

As far as equalization is concerned, that's pretty much the only method I'd condone for production, and also for testing.

Hand tuning things can be fine, but could also result in noticing things that shouldn't affect casual listening. I recommend looking around for EQ presets for your exact model of device if you lack the equipment to calibrate it yourself. Of course, calibrating it by ear is probably okay to begin with, and may be better than forcing yourself to listen to horribly out of balance audio.

Check out AutoEq, they may have presets for your device:

https://github.com/jaakkopasanen/AutoEq
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-09-30 19:32:41
I made an interesting discovery today:
AppleAAC is better at 256k ABR q1 (quality 64) then 320 CVBR /ABR and ABR q1
(Complete guessing :D)
I also noticed that using q0 (quality 32) is very similar (the same actually to my ears) to q96 but much faster at inceased bitrate by 3-6%.

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-09-30 20:18:23

Apple AAC 256k ABR -q 1

File A: Electronica (Sample).flac
SHA1: fa044d2f4662f4689707666fe971d64d4882093b
File B: Electronica (Sample).m4a
SHA1: ec6767b7c2283cfc5b5ea9995f7361c688dcbace

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

20:18:23 : Test started.
20:19:11 : 00/01
20:19:20 : 01/02
20:19:46 : 02/03
20:19:52 : 02/04
20:20:15 : 02/05
20:20:33 : 02/06
20:20:50 : 02/07
20:20:57 : 02/08
20:21:09 : 02/09
20:21:35 : 02/10
20:21:35 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 2/10
p-value: 0.9893 (98.93%)

Also disappointment at WavPack -b576s0.5 (I thought it's transparent but is not)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-09-30 19:50:04

WavPack -b576s0.5

File A: Electronica (Sample).flac
SHA1: fa044d2f4662f4689707666fe971d64d4882093b
File B: Electronica (Sample).wv
SHA1: f5b91e438edd5fa2ca11d10faed34d07084d0ed2

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

19:50:04 : Test started.
19:51:02 : 01/01
19:51:22 : 02/02
19:51:31 : 03/03
19:51:38 : 04/04
19:51:46 : 05/05
19:51:53 : 06/06
19:52:01 : 07/07
19:52:13 : 08/08
19:52:22 : 09/09
19:52:29 : 10/10
19:52:29 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

And finally decided to test FDK AAC. When it fails even 512k CBR is not helping.

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-09-30 19:55:38

FDK_AAC 512k CBR

File A: Electronica (Sample).flac
SHA1: fa044d2f4662f4689707666fe971d64d4882093b
File B: Electronica (Sample).m4a
SHA1: 74214a5c2cf8ad0b5c8ad3daa189be7506219926

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

19:55:38 : Test started.
19:55:57 : 01/01
19:56:02 : 02/02
19:56:07 : 03/03
19:56:11 : 04/04
19:56:15 : 05/05
19:56:19 : 06/06
19:56:23 : 07/07
19:56:29 : 08/08
19:56:37 : 09/09
19:56:44 : 10/10
19:56:44 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)



Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-09-30 21:47:20
-a 256 -q 1

Code: [Select]
foo_abx 2.0.6d report
foobar2000 v1.6.7
2021-09-30 22:45:25

File A: sample.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: sample.m4a
SHA1: f99e74380a5ca37604486744e166cc0431761b19

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver [exclusive], 24-bit
Crossfading: NO

22:45:25 : Test started.
22:45:29 : 01/01
22:45:32 : 02/02
22:45:35 : 03/03
22:45:37 : 04/04
22:45:40 : 05/05
22:45:43 : 06/06
22:45:45 : 07/07
22:45:48 : 08/08
22:45:50 : 09/09
22:45:53 : 10/10
22:45:53 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

 -- signature --
8387998dc83ab8f6f01fdb9e00561925ee854b80
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: kode54 on 2021-10-01 00:14:25
I gave up on trying to determine what's transparent to me, which is why I only store lossless and stream lossless now. Except for YouTube, who won't provide the option.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-10-02 15:47:54
I find that old mp3 above 128k works in practically everything.
You can use 160k cbr as the most archaic setting. Even that will rarely cause
issues and works in any player ever made. Even here -b160 -h --lowpass 17 does a lot of work considering its
so antiquated and the small filesize.

The other thing that works is the hybrid encoding of wavpack. On the PC or home LAn,
playback / streaming is lossless.  When the .wv is copied to limited storage, the playback is lossy.
Something like -b256x4c has low overhead. Suppport on PC and Android is good via 3rd party..

AAC, Opus, Ogg  won't cut it for the reason;  Still not lossless,
Its not universal as mp3, rare samples can still be an issue.  Filesize of 256 or 320 is large when considering that the most archaic mp3  settings of -b160 or  192 do a lot of heavy lifting in an overall sense.

For those that only want lossy, MP3 above 128k or -b320 when you don't care for space is great.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-10-02 16:40:36
Best:

-Use Lossless only if you can
-Use lossy+ lossless or hybrid coder
-If you have physical CD's and won't use lossless; Rip to Mp3
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: Markuza97 on 2021-10-02 17:18:54
I fully agree with both of you.
Considering how cheap the space is these days, there is really no reason to use lossy anymore.
Unless you have compatibility or space problems, obviously.
16/44 FLACs are perfect.

I consider 128 kbit/s MP3 to not be good enough.
144 kbit/s is good, but you know the rules, once you find what sounds good enough
you should go one step above to play it on the safe side.
So I consider 160 kbit/s to be the lowest I can go with MP3.

One thing that I would really like to see is a test between LAME 3.97 and 3.100 at V0.
Lots of people are saying that LAME got dumbed-down after 3.97.
I personally find older LAME versions to be better at lower bitrates. I did some test at V6.
None of them were transparent of course, but I found 3.97 to sound more pleasant.
And I like older LAME's lowpass better. New one seems to be more generous.
I still don't understand why newer LAME versions have lowpass disabled on V0.

Maybe some qualified listeners such as IgorC, Kamedo2 and guruboolez can give us their opinion about 3.97 vs 3.100.

Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-10-02 21:05:12
@shadowking
You said everything. I also agree.
Single, high quality, lossy archive is possible for someone who is prepared to make compromise and to accept rare issues. Otherwise, only lossless is the way to go.
Mp3 is good choice. I would say that AAC is also very well supported.

@Markuza97
Have you tried lame 3.100 -V0 --vbr-old ?
Bitrate is lower and it sound good. On this sample also. Much better than default V0.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-10-03 15:06:33
@ synclagz

What wavpack setting resolves it using -x4 or more ?
BTW You can go beyond -s0.5 all the way to -s1

My impression was -b576x4 with the default noise shaping was fine.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-10-03 21:16:42
@ synclagz

What wavpack setting resolves it using -x4 or more ?
BTW You can go beyond -s0.5 all the way to -s1

My impression was -b576x4 with the default noise shaping was fine.

WavPack -b576x4 (very small noise - not transparent)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-03 22:04:46

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit.wv
SHA1: 5563795325d0988b57d5035a76576911ee19ea5f

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

22:04:46 : Test started.
22:05:07 : 01/01
22:05:16 : 02/02
22:05:24 : 03/03
22:05:30 : 04/04
22:05:38 : 05/05
22:05:52 : 06/06
22:05:58 : 07/07
22:06:04 : 08/08
22:06:10 : 09/09
22:06:16 : 10/10
22:06:16 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

WavPack -b600x4 (very small noise still present)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-03 22:08:24

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-600x4.wv
SHA1: c9c64d4bad53ee7755bcee4d0413aa334cfdac7e

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

22:08:24 : Test started.
22:08:39 : 01/01
22:08:45 : 02/02
22:08:52 : 03/03
22:09:00 : 04/04
22:09:12 : 05/05
22:09:17 : 06/06
22:09:23 : 07/07
22:09:32 : 08/08
22:09:37 : 09/09
22:09:42 : 10/10
22:09:42 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

I don't know really. I would guess by 640k but I'm not sure. I'm slightly tired now. I'll try tomorrow.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-10-04 17:10:37
@shadowking

I've put more effort into it today.
I must say that this was difficult.

WavPack -b560x4s0.5 (super tiny noise still present)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-04 17:48:25

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-b560x4s0.5.wv
SHA1: 0710d011b1450c870b4f142b9f1052e61aaa59d1

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

17:48:25 : Test started.
17:48:42 : 01/01
17:48:55 : 02/02
17:49:00 : 03/03
17:49:12 : 04/04
17:49:17 : 05/05
17:49:28 : 06/06
17:49:42 : 07/07
17:49:55 : 08/08
17:50:10 : 09/09
17:50:20 : 10/10
17:50:20 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)


I thought that going up a noch is going to solve it but I was wrong

WavPack -b576x4s0.5 (super tiny noise - this was hard I must admit)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-04 17:53:37

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-b576x4s0.5.wv
SHA1: 7d3a5399d82e6edca70344dec867479c5a5ca5e1

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

17:53:37 : Test started.
17:54:07 : 01/01
17:54:23 : 02/02
17:54:32 : 03/03
17:54:44 : 04/04
17:54:50 : 05/05
17:55:00 : 06/06
17:55:06 : 07/07
17:55:13 : 08/08
17:55:34 : 09/09
17:55:43 : 10/10
17:55:43 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

And now I've increased bitrate a little bit more...

WavPack -b600x4s0.5 (Super tiny noise - really hard to spot)
I've got 8/10...

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-04 17:58:41

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-b600x4s0.5.wv
SHA1: 85881ad9c5fa8fe43cb07f94cd3f37e87f13e359

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

17:58:41 : Test started.
17:59:39 : 01/01
17:59:45 : 02/02
18:00:14 : 02/03
18:00:20 : 03/04
18:00:31 : 04/05
18:00:39 : 05/06
18:00:51 : 06/07
18:01:01 : 06/08
18:01:21 : 07/09
18:01:36 : 08/10
18:01:36 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 8/10
p-value: 0.0547 (5.47%)

I would say that it needs a little bit more bitrate so probably 620-630 x4s0.5 would solve it (with s0.5).

or

-b576x4s0.8 pretty much solves it (I think). I couldn't abx it. Maybe I'll put more effort to try again but I think that this is it. :)


Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-10-05 02:07:16
Thanks synclagz.

If you have time, How would something like -hx6 -s0.8 perform ?
Since -x4 is not the strongest wavpack setting.  The bitrate can probably be
lowered. 
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-10-05 10:01:34
@shadowking
Yes, I also think that stronger setting could solve it at lower bitrate.
I'll try tomorrow something like -b512hx6s0.8 and see how it goes.
I even think that maybe 480k could be used with strong setting but it needs testing.
This sample is definitely one of the hardest around. :)
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-10-06 17:56:56
@shadowking

WavPack -b480hx6s0.8 (Tiny noise - hard to spot)


foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-06 18:22:02

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-480hx6s0.8.wv
SHA1: 14ee83127ebd7804f60cc88dbd2f3fae0de36f6a

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

18:22:02 : Test started.
18:22:26 : 01/01
18:22:34 : 02/02
18:22:45 : 03/03
18:23:02 : 04/04
18:23:09 : 05/05
18:23:14 : 06/06
18:23:55 : 07/07
18:24:01 : 08/08
18:24:06 : 09/09
18:24:18 : 10/10
18:24:18 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)



WavPack -b512hx6s0.8 (Super tiny noise - very, very hard to spot)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-06 18:26:16

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-512hx6s0.8.wv
SHA1: 6316b78b34c2af4f129d593863e2088443540292

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

18:26:16 : Test started.
18:26:44 : 00/01
18:26:59 : 01/02
18:27:23 : 02/03
18:27:33 : 03/04
18:27:55 : 03/05
18:28:14 : 04/06
18:28:27 : 05/07
18:28:47 : 06/08
18:28:57 : 07/09
18:29:06 : 08/10
18:29:06 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 8/10
p-value: 0.0547 (5.47%)

My observations regarding this few abx tests:
All of them were very hard (for me) - we are "splitting hairs" here. :D

I would say that -b530hx6s0.8 is transparent (for me) I couldn't abx it. 512k is on the edge of my ability/eqipment and I think is still not enough.
i also tried -b512hx6s1 and I couldn't abx it (i'm getting 6/10) but I think that I still hear something. Maybe is my imagination. :D
To be honest this noise is so tiny that there is no way to spot it in normal listening even if you know exactly at which point this noise appear.

So I would say that:
-b530hx6s0.8 is transparent for me.
-b512hx6s1 might be but I'm not sure (but I would say that it is :).


Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: shadowking on 2021-10-07 09:24:48
Nice.  So extreme hard to abx quality can be achieved around 448k or more (3:1 compression). 
My theory that around 500 ~ 600k wavpack would converge with lossywav appears true.
Something like -b6hx6s0.75 or -b6.5x6s0.75 would be  530 / 570k.  In simpler terms,
around 512k could be standard and 576k as an extreme setting.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-10-07 09:54:20
Nice.  So extreme hard to abx quality can be achieved around 448k or more (3:1 compression). 
My theory that around 500 ~ 600k wavpack would converge with lossywav appears true.
Something like -b6hx6s0.75 or -b6.5x6s0.75 would be  530 / 570k.  In simpler terms,
around 512k could be standard and 576k as an extreme setting.

Yes. I think that this settings 512/576 are comparable to lossywav extreme setting.
Last week I've tried to abx lossywav/Flac -q 4 -s o (~450k without noise shaping to get fast encoding) and I couldn't do it (I could try again to be sure). It seems that even without noise shaping is quite capable at 450-480k.
But I also noticed that I had issues with lossy flacs at playback. Some songs were skipping and I hear loud clicks so they were unplayable. I don't know is it a bug or something else. But according to my limited testing with lossywav, I would say that Flacs produced this way are not 100% compatible.

One other thing to mention, last night after abx-ing 480-512k I also tried -b576hs0.8 and I think is comparable to -b512hx6s0.8. I was already tired and couldn't abx it (576hs0.8 ) but I would say that for high quality and very fast encoding, this setting could be used.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: synclagz on 2021-10-11 19:06:27
I also wanted to try Opus at 180k and 250k and FhG AAC at 384k. Non is transparent. But test was very hard.

Opus 180k (Small pre-echo. Hard to spot)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-07 18:01:54

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-180k.opus
SHA1: 6caec634ed844580d8402b71c766d778041f3ea2

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

18:01:54 : Test started.
18:02:10 : 01/01
18:02:19 : 02/02
18:02:28 : 03/03
18:02:34 : 04/04
18:02:49 : 05/05
18:03:00 : 06/06
18:03:18 : 07/07
18:03:33 : 08/08
18:03:48 : 09/09
18:03:56 : 10/10
18:03:56 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)



Opus 250k (Super tiny pre-echo. Very hard to spot)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-07 18:33:03

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-250.opus
SHA1: 332fbd568c434f8761016b7dcdc50e1683a29636

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

18:33:03 : Test started.
18:33:27 : 01/01
18:33:48 : 02/02
18:33:58 : 03/03
18:34:23 : 03/04
18:34:36 : 04/05
18:34:52 : 05/06
18:34:58 : 06/07
18:35:27 : 07/08
18:35:34 : 07/09
18:35:42 : 08/10
18:35:42 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 8/10
p-value: 0.0547 (5.47%)



FhG AAC 384k (Tiny pre-echo. Very hard to spot but somewhat easier than Opus)

foo_abx 2.0.6c report
foobar2000 v1.6.5
2021-10-11 19:38:46

File A: CodecTest 16bit.wav
SHA1: 86786351d337f5065444a841bf07f1b2319869c1
File B: CodecTest 16bit-384fhg.m4a
SHA1: f6d13b21b99cd5eed4bfee2564bac6e61bf822ca

Output:
Default : Primary Sound Driver
Crossfading: NO

19:38:46 : Test started.
19:39:16 : 01/01
19:39:28 : 02/02
19:40:09 : 03/03
19:40:29 : 04/04
19:40:56 : 05/05
19:41:12 : 06/06
19:41:16 : 07/07
19:41:22 : 08/08
19:41:29 : 09/09
19:41:54 : 10/10
19:41:54 : Test finished.

 ----------
Total: 10/10
p-value: 0.001 (0.1%)

Difference between FhG 320 and 384 is very very small. 384k is tiny bit better.
Title: Re: Great killer sample, easy to ABX on most codecs
Post by: DARcode on 2021-11-11 00:02:26
Something like -b6hx6s0.75 or -b6.5x6s0.75 would be  530 / 570k.  In simpler terms,
around 512k could be standard and 576k as an extreme setting.
Interesting, I just might might raise my -bxxx setting.