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Topic: [CLUELESS TROLL] Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article (Read 1245 times) previous topic - next topic - Topic derived from "Why tubes sound bett...
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[CLUELESS TROLL] Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Tubes don't sound better, they make the music sound better. I'm a music producer / Audio engineer. Tubes are used throughout the signal chain during production and Mastering. From the microphone to the pre amp to the outboard gear in the tracking chain, right through to outboard gear used to mix and mastering. Also the market is saturated with plugins that emulate tube distortion for those who can't afford the the hardware. In the industry, countless producers / engineers try to add harmonic distortion into the production because it is pleasing to the ear. You would cringe if you heard some tracks I mastered using 'high quality recorded samples" being produced totally digitally. EMP producers who produce in the box spend hours passing their tracks through analogue outboard gear including tubes to add harmonic distortion and rid the production of a gritty fatiguing sound. But at some point it has to be converted to 1s and 0s for digital storage and distribution ETC. The waveform is sampled at intervals and quantified. This process is not perfect and quantization errors occur which is audible an unpleasant. That is because not exactly all of the waveform can be reproduced, hence, lacking musicality. Even order harmonics created via tubes smooth out these errors, ease ear fatigue and make it more pleasant and musical hence the modern producer tries to add this to begin with during the creation of the music because our main recording and storage medium is a hard drive and not tape so much anymore. This means A/D conversion and you guessed it quantisation error. Tubes during playback is pleasant because it takes the content and smooths it out and can harmonise instruments for e.g, drum cymbals upper harmonics mesh with guitar upper harmonics giving a more musical realistic pleasing sound. Meshing harmonics is what a musical sound is, incase the subjective Nazi wants to know. This is why even order and odd 'harmonic distortion" produced by tubes is desirable for a lot of people including myself and a large part of the music production community. Stop wasting your time and money trying to faithfully reproduce the production because it's all about system translation not accuracy. A good system is one that sounds musical if u know what that is? That can also be solid state gear. The goal of the producer is to make the song pop in as many playback systems as possible. 'Even yours" If you want to know what the producer hears, good luck because unless you were present during the mastering of 'Thriller' or "Nevermind" ETC, you will never know, not even close. For Heaven's sake, Butch Vig is deaf in one ear! If you want to recreate the production as accurately as possible, go play it in an anechoic chamber with your precious accurate solid state gear and enjoy the misery of listening to the gear and not the harmonious music. BTW the Loudness war is over! We now have LUFS standards.


Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #2
I'm a



Yes. It's nice when someone disqualifies themselves so early on in their propaganda.

Reality is that while tubes are still being used in niche applications related to recording, the mainstream gear that most professionals use most of the time is robustly SS and digital.  Tubes are boutique items, pure and simple.

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #3
What a Rode K2 microphone is nich? A drawmer 1960 niche? Really? Don't forget ART tube pre in thousands of home studios. Why would one destroy a pristine DI guitar or native instruments plugin synth converted to waveform through a tube amp? Any ideas or have you not heard of said common production practice? 

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #4
I fully acknowledge that tubes can add a wonderful amount of highly desired distortion in a guitar amp.
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #5
Tubes add desirable distortion in production and also reproduction. We are not talking about phase, frequency response or amplitude distortion. To say that SS is better is plain incorrect concluded by ignorance. I take wav files from EMP producers to sweeten them up for them. 'SHH'. I play them out of the headphone socket of my laptop into a Chinese Hifi tube buffer and into my interface to re-record it. They love it. Try it, get a $200 interface and download logic or some free DAW and run it through your favourite analogue gear and compare it. Use one of those Xiang Sheng DACs via USB into DJ unbalanced inputs and out of the balanced outputs then into your Mbox. Bounce the new mix and A B with the original. Play it back through your hifi. See what it does. Can someone do this experiment and report back perhaps?

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #6
Tubes add desirable distortion in production and also reproduction. We are not talking about phase, frequency response or amplitude distortion.
Well, they're going to add all three of those to some degree in the same way that any other real-world analogue amplifier will. Assuming a voltage and current gain of 1, try replacing it with a piece of wire and see if it sounds the same. If it sounds different then you have proof that the amplifier is non-linear in some respect, hence distortion. Distortion isn't some magical entity blown out the arse of a unicorn on a sparkly rainbow. It comes from non-linearity in one form or another.

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #7
Agreed and is undesirable but, when it's audible. Documented scientific tests tell you nothing. Your ears are what you aim to please, not your P.C and you should trust your ears not data. The room & environment has more say in the way you interpret the sound. So audiophiles who chase accuracy in their living rooms, ah hello. Even in their acoustically treated rooms, the same. all they are doing is spending money to confirm that something is different. "Confirmation bias". That is if it wasn't the fan from the amp or an aircraft outside. Me thinks..

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #8
Agreed and is undesirable but, when it's audible.
Which totally contradicts your previous post. What you're describing is a subjective preference for distortion over transparency.


Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #10
Agreed and is undesirable but, when it's audible.
Which totally contradicts your previous post. What you're describing is a subjective preference for distortion over transparency.
He's just another fly-by-night, clueless, "I'm a successful mastering engineer," nitwit whose ego is only smaller than the imagined size of his penis.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #11
Documented scientific tests tell you nothing.

"you" or "me"?
What can science tell me about people who totally fail to comprehend that difference?
What can science tell you about people who totally fail to comprehend that difference?
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #12
trust your ears

I trust my ears to tell me that yes, the EQ adjustments I've made based on REW measurements make the overall sound more pleasing to me.

But I certainly don't trust them to tell me that I should apply a -5dB cut at 47.5Hz with a Q of 5.71, in order to smooth out the response of my subwoofers in my room.

Ears should only be trusted for personal preference, not accuracy.

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #13
Documented scientific tests tell you nothing.

Sorry, what? Other than thinking you must believe in magic beans and unicorn poop from this statement. They tell us everything. How do you think anything is developed? Pure trial and error with no scientific method? You keep believing in wizards and flying dragons and stop trying to argue about anything because that statement alone proves you know nothing about anything.

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #14
They tell us everything.

Not really. Science is advancing, because there are advances to be made. And often, scientific tests are not (re-) done - due to what some would call shortage of resources and others would call cost/benefit considerations.

Shortage of replication aside, it brings me to another point:
A lot of undocumented marketing claims will remain undocumented because testing is costly and the benefits are expected to be low (to the researcher, who doesn't fancy to test snakeoil just to find the expected nothing AND - with fifty/fifty chance - have to explain why 100 out of 199 is indeed no more than nothing) or even negative (to those who do not want their marketing scrutinized).

That is why some jurisdictions have laws against undocumented marketing claims (which do trade off free speech, admittedly): not even the absence of documentation seems to be sufficient information in practice. We reinforce it by requiring those who have no such thing to show, to behave different and not so much mimic those who have documentation.

And then you got the issue that documented scientific tests fail to tell you what scientific tests were shelved and not documented. Be it on purpose (do twenty tests, report the one with significant-looking p value) or by unintended bias (nothing here, let's move on to something interesting).
High Voltage socket-nose-avatar

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #15
Agreed and is undesirable but, when it's audible. Documented scientific tests tell you nothing.

That is a very interesting claim. I think they'll pull my skeptics card, not to mention my junior scientist card if I accept as stated.

Could you provide some non-trivial reasons why?

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Your ears are what you aim to please, not your P.C

I agree, and before me I have the history of high quality audio starting with Tom Edison two centuries back. As the sound quality of audio gear has improved in general, it has measured better.  Modern audio systems  still have significant technical issues, but they are all in the domain of acoustics not electronics.

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and you should trust your ears not data.

Right, and my ears are happier with better measured performance in the realms indicated above.  Note that issues like tubes versus transistors and digital versus audio are off the table. They are solved problems that have been settled in the mainstream for decades.

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The room & environment has more say in the way you interpret the sound.

So why the obsession with other areas, such as tubes versus transistors and digital versus analog?

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So audiophiles who chase accuracy in their living rooms, ah hello. Even in their acoustically treated rooms, the same. all they are doing is spending money to confirm that something is different. "Confirmation bias". That is if it wasn't the fan from the amp or an aircraft outside. Me thinks..

Just because its in the acoustic domain doesn't mean that improvement in sound quality isn't ongoing.  This is, some of the bset sounding enhancements in speakers and room are solidly solid state and digital.

For a real  laugh, consider the implementation of a common DSP-based component for enhancing rooms and/or speakers that was tubed and 100% analog.  It would be about the size of a 3000 square foot house and would fail before you even got the first track of music playing.



Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #16
What a Rode K2 microphone is nich? A drawmer 1960 niche? Really? Don't forget ART tube pre in thousands of home studios.

All of them.  You really don't know much about real world work-a-day professional studios, do you?


Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #17
Tubes add desirable distortion in production and also reproduction.

Up thread it was explained why there is no such thing as desirable distortion. But, literacy and scholarship  seems to be lost arts for many, and so I'll repeat it.

There is really no such thing in actual use as Harmonic Distortion, Harmonic Distortion is a means for characterizing nonlinear distortion. 

While there is such a thing as 2nd order distortion, a lot of tubed gear is push-pull which cancels even order distortion out, so much of the time saying that tubed gear sounds good for this reason is a lie, because the tubed gear is designed not to have any even order distortion.

A lot of tubed gear is well made like we made it back when tubes were all we had, and it has inaudible distortion. People say it sound good because of bias and placebo effects.  Even SETs can have  low distortion if used with highly efficient speakers at typical listening levels. So the euphonic distortion is actually a lie because it gets lost in how it is typically used.

If you are amplifying complex sounds, even just a solo guitar or voice, there are multiple frequencies present and any even or odd order nonlinear distortion creates IM which is aharmonic, always sounds gritty, and requires a lot of deafness to say it sounds good. It can work for heavy metal where the idea is to sound gritty but it does zero or worse for most of the  other genres.

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #18
there is no such thing as desirable distortion. But, literacy and scholarship  seems to be lost arts for many, and so I'll repeat it.
[...]
It can work for heavy metal where the idea is to sound gritty but it does zero or worse for most of the  other genres.

I take that to mean that heavy metal is the only genre left where there is enough "literacy" and "scholarship" to spot even the most obvious contradiction. Or maybe Neil Young would object. And John Zorn refuse that him - or distortion - be confined to a single genre. Maybe you could call Link Wray heavy metal without him objecting anymore. But I kinda hear Donald Leslie's ghost turning in his speaker cabinet.
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Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #19
John Scofield, Allan Holdsworth, Larry Carlton, Duane Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Mike Campbell, Bruce Springsteen: not heavy metal.  ...and the list goes on and on and on.

Electric guitar processed to have a reduction in dynamic range can be found in just about any genre where electric guitar can be found.  It doesn't have to sound like a chainsaw.
Is 24-bit/192kHz good enough for your lo-fi vinyl, or do you need 32/384?

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #20
And then you got the issue that documented scientific tests fail to tell you what scientific tests were shelved and not documented. Be it on purpose (do twenty tests, report the one with significant-looking p value) or by unintended bias (nothing here, let's move on to something interesting).

Then they wouldn't be documented scientific tests, you just said they were shelved and not documented.

Re: Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #21
Tubes don't sound better, they make the music sound better. I'm a music producer / Audio engineer. Tubes are used throughout the signal chain during production and Mastering. From the microphone to the pre amp to the outboard gear in the tracking chain, right through to outboard gear used to mix and mastering. Also the market is saturated with plugins that emulate tube distortion for those who can't afford the the hardware. In the industry, countless producers / engineers try to add harmonic distortion into the production because it is pleasing to the ear.
You are talking about one particular segment of the music production market that rides the tube wave. You may think that is the whole market, but you are gravely mistaken. I know a number of professionals who wouldn't touch tube gear with a barge pole.

Listen, if you like tubes, you may say so, and you would at least be honest, even though you would be in conflict with TOS8 here. But don't pretend you are stating facts, because that makes you look dishonest and clueless at the same time.

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You would cringe if you heard some tracks I mastered using 'high quality recorded samples" being produced totally digitally.
That may well be the case, but I would blame you for it, not the digital production method.

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EMP producers who produce in the box spend hours passing their tracks through analogue outboard gear including tubes to add harmonic distortion and rid the production of a gritty fatiguing sound. But at some point it has to be converted to 1s and 0s for digital storage and distribution ETC. The waveform is sampled at intervals and quantified. This process is not perfect and quantization errors occur which is audible an unpleasant. That is because not exactly all of the waveform can be reproduced, hence, lacking musicality.
Bullshit.

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Tubes during playback is pleasant because it takes the content and smooths it out and can harmonise instruments for e.g, drum cymbals upper harmonics mesh with guitar upper harmonics giving a more musical realistic pleasing sound.
No, it is the reconstruction filter of a DAC that smoothes it out. That's its job. If this reconstruction filter is implemented correctly, there's nothing a tube can do to improve it. There's half a century of experience doing this for audio. You are the wrong man to dismiss that out of hand.

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This is why even order and odd 'harmonic distortion" produced by tubes is desirable for a lot of people including myself and a large part of the music production community. Stop wasting your time and money trying to faithfully reproduce the production because it's all about system translation not accuracy. A good system is one that sounds musical if u know what that is? That can also be solid state gear. The goal of the producer is to make the song pop in as many playback systems as possible. 'Even yours" If you want to know what the producer hears, good luck because unless you were present during the mastering of 'Thriller' or "Nevermind" ETC, you will never know, not even close.
You are contradicting yourself here, and don't even realize it. Your only chance as a producer to make your production sound good on as many playback system as possible, is to have those playback systems playing back neutrally. That means no additional distortion. If you advocate distortion in playback (whether through tubes or not), you throw your own control as a producer out of the window.

You can use whatever tube-based or non-tube-based gear you want during your production. I don't care, since it is primarily you who needs to be happy with your product. If I don't agree, I don't buy it, and I probably won't bother to tell you why I don't like it. But don't extend your unwelcome wisdom to my playback system. I know much better than you what I want and like, and I certainly have no interest in your tube crap in my system.

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If you want to recreate the production as accurately as possible, go play it in an anechoic chamber with your precious accurate solid state gear and enjoy the misery of listening to the gear and not the harmonious music.
It is you who apparently puts the gear before the music, why else would you bother to bring up the tube discussion again?

Your comment about the anechoic chamber, btw., shows your ignorance/arrogance in full glory.
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BTW the Loudness war is over! We now have LUFS standards.
Sure, but who enforces them? Do you see any authority that could prevent you from releasing a record that violates those standards?

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Documented scientific tests tell you nothing. Your ears are what you aim to please, not your P.C and you should trust your ears not data.
I usually trust my ears, but I would never trust anybody who tells me to trust my ears.

Without scientific tests, how do you know whether your potential customers hear the same way you are hearing? Whether they are pleased by the same things that please you? You may of course produce records so that they please yourself, but to assume that they will then automatically please others is arrogant at best. You are using a moronic argument to justify your own ignorance. With that, you will please nobody here.

Go play elsewhere, troll.



[CLUELESS] Re: "Why tubes sound better" nonsense article

Reply #24
Your ears are far more complex and superior to any scientific equipment. If you have to trust the gear to tell you, what does that say about your ability to discern? After all, it's not all about accuracy. No system is accurate and certainly most of the audience who purchase the music. Quincy Jones sold 52 million copies of Thriller on this principal. He didn't use a spectrum analyser to tell him but trusted his ears and and his team of engineers as to what they were hearing on as many systems as they could. They were listening to the music coming from the speakers first and foremost how it translated from the control room because that wasn't accurate either. Have you ever listened to a set of Yamaha NS10s, lovely and accurate aren't they? Seriously, they sound terrible. So how do u suppose producers create a flat sound? They don't and there is no point. If you truly got your systems flat, you would shunder. It would sound terrible. So how do u enjoy music? You don't, you listen to the gear, whatever that sounds like.

 
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