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: 'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'? (Read 8565 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

You know what I'm talking about... the proponents of Blade back in the day, and those who say that MD is more 'musical' than mp3, etc...

It's almost like these people feel that whereas a well-tuned psychoacoustic encoder doesn't show any outright detectable artifacts, the bits and pieces they trimmed at the edge of human audibility add up to a loss of 'tonal purity' and 'musicality' whereas they would prefer a coder that sometimes let artifacts slip through but at the same time preserve the 'purity' of the fundamental tones in the music, etc.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #1
Chris Johnson (webmaster of Airwindows) is still propagating this stuff about "tonal purity":

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=39509&cid=4221824

And people modded his post up as "insightful."  I think it is just nonsense.

BTW, when Chris talks about ABXing 256 kbit/s mp3 from the original, he's really referring to distinguishing castanets.wav encoded with FhG's slow codec, not about mp3 at 256 kbit/s in general.

Also BTW, when Chris talks about 94% confidence in a comparison of dithering vs. truncation at 16 bits, he neglected to mention that he actually continued past his initial score of 8/10 to get 9/16 overall.  After that, he tried another test with a different dither and got 10/16 on that one.

ff123

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #2
Gee, how do you know this shit... I mean when you fabricate ABX scores how come you'd let others know the real score too...

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #3
I just have trouble supposing that all these people say MD is superior to mp3 to their own ears and there's absolutely nothing it. Especially when somebody claims that he has heard the best of both mp3 and MD on high end systems.

Perhaps MD has a more 'pleasant' distortion?

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #4
Quote
Perhaps MD has a more 'pleasant' distortion?

Not to me, at least if if we compare with LAME -aps.

As I said at http://www.audio-illumination.org/forums/i...=3373&st=25&hl=,
MD distorts the sound in a quite more annoying way than MP3 --aps, according to a preliminar quick comparison with the later: pre-echo (castanets) , harsh and distorted highs (violins1, french) , losing of spatialness (timpani), timbral artifacts (violins2).

I will make a more thorough comparison with LAME -aps on these samples when I have time.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #5
Yeah, forget proper block switching and short blocks, and suddenly you have higher "tonal purity".. what a crap. Pre-echo in no way makes the sound more "tonally pure"..

Well, it's no surprise that Chris Johnson thinks that you either choose between transient accuracy and tonal purity with mp3, after all, he's the author of airwindows test site... A test site that uses inverse mixing for measuring quality of psychoacoustic codecs.. 
Can something be more inaccurate than claims like these..?

Tord came up with Blade's tonal purity when he was incapable to implement proper block switching and use of short blocks. Unfortunately so many people bought it, not very surprising though that Chris Johnson bought it, after all, his tests have nothing to do with measuring of quality of psychoacoustic codecs..
Juha Laaksonheimo

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #6
I don't buy the whole "tonal purity" argument with any codec, be it MP3, MPC, ATRAC, whatever. If one cannot ABX a sample from the source, that means that the encoding will sound no worse than the wav. Thus, proponents of the tonal purity theory should try comparing the original CD with the compressed recording, not just by themselves (it's easy to "make" people think that one recording sounds better when in fact it is of lower quality). If they indeed cannot be told apart, that means that the encoding cannot be any less pure (tonally) than the original CD!

As for MD, I think it has its uses. I own both MD and MP3, and use MD while exercising/etc due to the good battery life and being able to swap media if I so choose. I usually recommend it to friends who want good battery life and cheap media, but beyond that, MP3 players are a much more flexible choice. However, I was able to ABX a whole slew of samples a couple of years ago, so I wouldn't think of using it in a serious listening environment. Like I've said before, ATRAC is an unimpressive algorithm IMO, considering the type of artifacts (crackling, pre-echo) it produces at 292kbps ... ....perhaps this goes to show what proper tuning of a codec can do, in that since ATRAC is proprietary, it cannot be "tweaked" like some have done with MP3 and AAC.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #7
Can you ABX 'tonal purity' and 'musicality'?

Like I said in the subtitle...

I'm sure that at some level (obvious enough) you can, but do any of you subscribe to the idea that there are some things that you can't ABX but nevertheless feel? (I'm not sure where I lie on this matter  )

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #8
Well, what's bother me most in this "tonal purity" discussion, is that tonal purity would obviously refer to as little as possible audible quantization noise in non-transient sections of music. What does transient handling has got to do with this, like Tord and Chris Johnson imply?? How does proper transient handling possibly could automatically make an mp3-codec less tonally pure in non-transient sections of music?

What comes to Vorbis "tonal purity", before 1.0 its bitrate tripped often much too low with non-transient signals, like mouth-organ, making the sound very "tonally impure", meaning of course that the sound is harsh because of audible quantization noise due to too low bitrate. 
Juha Laaksonheimo

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #9
Yes, so is there any reason to believe that MD is more 'tonally pure' or 'musical' other than the fact that it has poorer transient handling? 

I suppose you could say that given the same average bitrate, if you used fewer bits to encode the attack of an instrument, you can use more bits to encode the steady phase.  Or if the developers neglected transient handling more, they could spend more time adding 'tonal purity'

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #10
Quote
I'm sure that at some level (obvious enough) you can, but do any of you subscribe to the idea that there are some things that you can't ABX but nevertheless feel? (I'm not sure where I lie on this matter  )

I subscribe to the idea that there might be some things that you can't ABX but that actually affect the listening experience. Perhaps someday these will be accurately measured (be means other than ABX). Until then, however, it is impossible to prove either way whether such effects exist.

This was explored in great detail in the later part of the following thread, including a couple posts by my brother who is getting his PhD in cognitive psychology.

http://www.audio-illumination.org/forums/i...3abebcd0f71c0b7

It's kind of like believing in God; there's no proof either way but intelligent, thoughtful people still manage to have pretty strong opinions on both sides

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #11
Quote
Well, what's bother me most in this "tonal purity" discussion, is that tonal purity would obviously refer to as little as possible audible quantization noise in non-transient sections of music. What does transient handling has got to do with this, like Tord and Chris Johnson imply??

It's not only in non-transient sections. The interesting question is also what happens in the transient sections 

Of course, encoders like Bladeenc are simply horrible there, but the better encoders are not perfect there either. Notably MPC can(could?) be ABXed by me with what sounded like tonal problems in transients. Don't get me wrong - it still does better than other encoders there, but that's the only place it sometimes 'falls through' for me.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #12
Quote
It's kind of like believing in God; there's no proof either way

Don't mistake faith for science.

If you want to discuss faith, there are 'audiophile' forums.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #13
Hey! I'm an undergraduate in Cognitive Science! I would like to get in contact with your brother  ! Can you give me his ICQ or something? 

@Garf: so transients are the places where all encoders fail, even mpc? I would think the weakest link of mpc is 'tonal purity'  There have been reports of it bloating on *classical* to retain 'tonal purity'! 

So transients are the biggest trouble for all encoders, but transform coders fail because of pre-echo while mpc fails because it has not enough 'tonal purity'?

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #14
Quote
Hey! I'm an undergraduate in Cognitive Science! I would like to get in contact with your brother  ! Can you give me his ICQ or something? 

That's cool! Yeah, no problem, I'm sure he'd like to hear from you. His email is gbryant "at" cats.ucsc.edu

He's on vacation in Spain for another week so don't expect to hear back right away.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #15
Great, thanks B) ! Hey, what is his research field?


'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #17
Quote
People who subscribe to the idea of tonal purity remind me of the guy at http://www.timecube.com/

Huh... could somebody explain me what the heck is that?

I read one third of the page, and gave up.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #18
It's either one of the stupidest/funniest internet jokes of all time whcih the creator maintains even though it's a total waste of time, or the actual beliefs of a stark raving mad imbecile.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #19
Quote
Well, what's bother me most in this "tonal purity" discussion, is that tonal purity would obviously refer to as little as possible audible quantization noise in non-transient sections of music. What does transient handling has got to do with this, like Tord and Chris Johnson imply?? How does proper transient handling possibly could automatically make an mp3-codec less tonally pure in non-transient sections of music?

I guess people just guess that tones must become 'impure' because you trade frecuency precision for time precision when swiching to short windows. So as Garf said the tonal impurity should be in the attack itself. I only wonder if it is really possible to detect warbling (or whatever it should sound like) in such a short period of time when there is a (broadband?) impulse at the same time?

Anyway I never heard such a thing, and until someone can point out a sample where it is easy to hear, I don't bother... Pre-echo an the other hand is really annoying sometimes.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #20
Quote
I only wonder if it is really possible to detect warbling (or whatever it should sound like) in such a short period of time when there is a (broadband?) impulse at the same time?

Anyway I never heard such a thing, and until someone can point out a sample where it is easy to hear, I don't bother... Pre-echo an the other hand is really annoying sometimes.

I posted samples and ABX results about this in the past, you should be able to find them in the archive.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #21
Quote
@Garf: so transients are the places where all encoders fail, even mpc? I would think the weakest link of mpc is 'tonal purity'  There have been reports of it bloating on *classical* to retain 'tonal purity'! 

So transients are the biggest trouble for all encoders, but transform coders fail because of pre-echo while mpc fails because it has not enough 'tonal purity'?

I think you misinterpreted what I said. MPC does excellent on transients. I have never heard any problems with it's 'tonal purity' (gah) either in normal music.

But in the few samples (like, 2 or 3) where I was able to ABX an MPC --standard (with a previous version) clip (out of the hundreds I tried), it was on a transient and it sounded like a tonal problem.

Comparing this to a transform codec is silly. MPC does much better there on every sample. The clips where MPC failed were clips where the transform coders had much much worse problems.

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #22
Quote
I posted samples and ABX results about this in the past, you should be able to find them in the archive.

whhooo... Any hints on what to search for? Both "ABX" and "MPC" would generate a lot of hits. (If you still remember anything of what you wrote...)

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #23
Quote
But in the few samples (like, 2 or 3) where I was able to ABX an MPC --standard (with a previous version) clip (out of the hundreds I tried), it was on a transient and it sounded like a tonal problem.

Is it the same problem Guruboolez heard with castanets? A small "piiu" after the castanet click. Or hihat sample like the one l3maniac mentioned a long time ago?

Edit: sorry 'bout the misspelled nick and the wrong quotation...

'tonal Purity'? 'musicality'?

Reply #24
Quote
Is it the same problem Gurublooz heard with castanets? A small "piiu" after the castanet click.

Not really after, but inside, or around/inside the attack.

 
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2021