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  • jensend
  • [*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #25
This discussion is trying to accomplish too many things at once.

  • Substantive debate about declipping
  • Back-and-forth about the loudness wars and statistics of distributed music
  • Debate about the proper ways to deal with overly broad statements on the wiki and other disputes there
  • Questions about policies for allowing software authors and other experts to contribute to the wiki
  • Questions about Greynol's behavior patterns as a moderator and a wiki editor
  • Questions about cutestudio's edits and whether he should have wiki edit privileges

At least some of these discussions need to be separated somehow and addressed more generally and dispassionately.

CuteStudio, if you think greynol has overreacted and acted irrationally or based on emotion/hot temper, the most important thing for you to do is to avoid overreacting, act rationally, and keep temper and emotion in check. Try to be more concise and dispassionate in your complaints.

Here's my take on the first few of those topics; I may comment on the others later.

1. In a couple of other threads as well, Greynol and others have been unjustly dismissive of declipping. For highly variable signals such as speech, where clipped regions are likely to be short, isolated, and very severe, good audio restoration algorithms frequently improve the SNR by more than 12dB. It is not at all difficult to hear the improvement either (esp. the reduction in boomy full-spectrum distortion during clipped vowels). For less variable signals (most music), if the severity of clipping is high enough to make an obvious audible difference, it's likely that so many samples are clipped that a restoration algorithm has insufficient information for a really good reconstruction. Improvements are likely to be much smaller, say 6dB or less, but may still be worth pursuing.

This is not some kind of weird audiophile junk. This is a well-posed set of mathematical problems which have seen good theoretical and engineering work. Sadly the only open-source stuff I'm aware of are Audacity's clipfix, which is a very naive (cubic interpolation is not very appropriate for audio) simple hack Ben Schwartz (later of Xiph fame) did back as an undergraduate, and Monty's postfish, which does a reasonable job but is not as simple to work with (linux only, no distro includes binaries, source only available via svn, odd build dependencies, doesn't integrate into other kinds of toolchains). Audacity's "repair" effect, which does least squares autoregression, could probably be turned into a halfway decent declipper if combined with something that detected the clipped regions. Implementing the algorithms from any of the various recently published academic papers on the subject might be more competitive with the closed-source solutions.

2. If someone puts an overbroad statement about clipping in pop songs on the wiki, the right way to deal with that is a [citation needed] and then remove the offending statement if evidence is not provided in a timely way. We don't need to sit here and argue about the loudness wars and how they should have been addressed twenty years ago.

3. I don't think mass deletion and reversion and blocking users at the first suspicion is sensible for dealing with a small closed-membership wiki.

  • smok3
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Moderator
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #26
If I just take out one deleted part:
Quote
=== Does clipping affect me? ===
At a rough estimate 99% of modern pop CDs are clipped. Without analysing each one it can be tricky to tell how bad the problem is.
That ↑ alone reads as scare-ware which is a common scam tactics. Personally I'd KICK/ban you if that was possible. Thats kick 1st, ban 2nd. But that is just my subjective opinion not based on any listening tests.
edit: I have to give you some points for amount of text you are able to produce, roughly 43K in this thread only (measured with: du -h --apparent-size -). p.s. Luckily only 16K when xz compressed.
  • Last Edit: 10 January, 2017, 05:24:33 AM by smok3
PANIC: CPU 1: Cache Error (unrecoverable - dcache data) Eframe = 0x90000000208cf3b8
NOTICE - cpu 0 didn't dump TLB, may be hung

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #27
Why should I spend my time trying to verify or falsify your marketing claims?

Wrong premise, marketing claims are the capability of a product.
My challenge was about the problem of clipped tracks, not a possible solution.
Pointing out that your drain is blocked is not a marketing claim either.

The evidence and proof is there in front of you, should you decide to look at it instead of arguing here, you are refuting a body of evidence with the excuse that you can't be bothered to look at the evidence. It's amusing but rather a waste of your time.

Here is a list of badly clipped CDs, it will take you less time to scan that than to complain again on here:
http://www.cutestudio.net/data/digital_clipping/shame/index.php

In case clicking that link is too much effort, here's a typical entry:
Madonna
meter11.png "True Blue Remastered", 52m:34s, max track level -9.99dB rms
11 tracks, 354263 clips, dynamics 10.17dB to 12.38dB
28.3s
112.3Hz

If you actually want to learn about digital clipping you can read this:
http://www.cutestudio.net/data/digital_clipping/index.php
If you find mistakes or disagree please let me know, I can actually edit this.

If you want to test your own music collection with some free software that runs on any Windows, Mac or Linux box and analyses the whole music collection for you, go here
http://www.cutestudio.net/
and download it here
http://www.cutestudio.net/data/download/index.php

You have asked for proof. I have given it. I can't influence your decision to ignore it.
Please let me know if you'd like any other free proofs of the endemic clipping on modern CDs.

Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #28
These days are confusing!
First BS found we need MQA to know how it was meant to sound and now i learn everything is clipped and must be repaired in a way only CS knows.
BZZOWNT

Sorry I didn't understand this, could you please define:
BS
MQA
CS

please.
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • Porcus
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #29
Why should I spend my time trying to verify or falsify your marketing claims?

Wrong premise, marketing claims are the capability of a product.

Worship me, and you will not go to Hell.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #30
The main problem is the loudness war itself, which leads to overcompression in mastering, which affects the way the material sounds, even when there is no clipping problem. There are dynamic range databases for quite some time now, to allow people to make an educated guess before buying. They have their own serious problems, as we all should know by now.

Agreed 100%.

My own rating of each track takes account of not just clipping and clip duration but also dynamic range (peak-RMS), I may fine tune it later to include super-compression as the histogram gives that data - you can see the statistical bulge created by that.
The aim of SeeDeClip4 is to show me which tracks to play, SeeDeClip3 was fine at just declipping but that's not enough today. Obviously I used that module in 4 as I have it and it does remarkable stuff with sum tracks, but 'cleverly' limited renders it redundant.

Modern mastering seems to be like a steel mill, they usually (but not always!) use hot rollers to iron out the dynamics, and then there's a stage to remove the imperfections that got away by milling them off the surface.

Sadly this process also creates music as dynamic as a flat steel bar, which even the most expensive cables and interconnects don't cure.

For the tracks that are just clipped the repair is probably quite good, but some tracks are 'cleverly' compressed so they are damaged for all time. Looking at some tracks one can see the mastering engineer put in quite a bit of effort to damage the track.

I don't know why the reaction was as hostile as it was, but given that we have had discussions about this numerous times here, people may just have acquired short temper.
I suspect it's a taboo subject. HA's 'holy cow'.

People spend thousands on their gear and even hundreds on some stupid cables, when you tell them that they've a) been feeding in damaged waveforms - and worse: b) you can prove it on their own PC with their own music, it's a huge blow.
It's a bit like discovering termites have hollowed out your foundations and spraying won't help now.

I think I'm getting blowback from the Denial and Anger phases, the Acceptance phase will be a long wait - we've already had 2 decades as you said - and no one has accepted it yet.

Firstly, the CD has long ceased to be regarded as a quality medium, and the fact that all attempts at establishing an effective copy protection scheme had led content producers to try to establish alternative media that allow them to control copying. I would venture to assert that at least some of them have tried quite deliberately to harm the CD's quality peception to help moving people over to a different medium. They gave the people overcompressed shit because that's what they wanted to do. It wasn't an accident. Much to their frustration, the other media (i.e. SACD, DVD, ...) didn't catch on. They now pin their hopes on streaming.

Secondly, they haven't got enough money to do several different masterings of the same thing for different applications, and end up going for the broadest market. Kind of a lowest common denominator approach.
I suspect sadly that you are right. 2008 was the era I noticed most mention of the loudness war, since them most have given up or stopped caring in the face of an intransigent music industry.

I'm mentioned before that the loudness war has started a 'tail wagging the dog' effect of new music being vocal focussed, reading your comments makes me think that it also plays into the hands of the corporate music industry - not from just the point of having their X-factor singing competitions, but also from locking those inconvenient bands out, bands that tend to have their own ideas in songs that don't follow the mainstream narrative.
It was Clinton who deregulated radio in the US - the result now is that almost all US radio is now under a handful of big corporations who lock in a short politically correct, banal playlist on repeat.

My own pet theory is that it could be killed dead by introducing a floating point distribution format that doesn't have a clipping point of any practical relevance. Removing the wall everyone is banging their head against should remove the damage to the heads. But alas, I seem to have difficulties convincing people of this way. I failed miserably here in this forum.
I had a read of that thread - thanks for posting it. At reply #9 you were basically fighting off a hostile audience picking irrelevant holes in the idea. Floating point would be a very good idea IMO, with the standard mandating a min/max extent number in the header - to remove the +/- 1.0 convention in current WAVs.

Since the CD many viable file formats have been created, including ODF which is rather more complex than an array of IEEE floats and a trivial header.

Perhaps Denial is at play here - people I guess don't want to know the truth about the music they are playing.
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #31
This discussion is trying to accomplish too many things at once.

  • Substantive debate about declipping
  • Back-and-forth about the loudness wars and statistics of distributed music
  • Debate about the proper ways to deal with overly broad statements on the wiki and other disputes there
  • Questions about policies for allowing software authors and other experts to contribute to the wiki
  • Questions about Greynol's behavior patterns as a moderator and a wiki editor
  • Questions about cutestudio's edits and whether he should have wiki edit privileges

At least some of these discussions need to be separated somehow and addressed more generally and dispassionately.

CuteStudio, if you think greynol has overreacted and acted irrationally or based on emotion/hot temper, the most important thing for you to do is to avoid overreacting, act rationally, and keep temper and emotion in check. Try to be more concise and dispassionate in your complaints.

Here's my take on the first few of those topics; I may comment on the others later.

1. In a couple of other threads as well, Greynol and others have been unjustly dismissive of declipping. For highly variable signals such as speech, where clipped regions are likely to be short, isolated, and very severe, good audio restoration algorithms frequently improve the SNR by more than 12dB. It is not at all difficult to hear the improvement either (esp. the reduction in boomy full-spectrum distortion during clipped vowels). For less variable signals (most music), if the severity of clipping is high enough to make an obvious audible difference, it's likely that so many samples are clipped that a restoration algorithm has insufficient information for a really good reconstruction. Improvements are likely to be much smaller, say 6dB or less, but may still be worth pursuing.

This is not some kind of weird audiophile junk. This is a well-posed set of mathematical problems which have seen good theoretical and engineering work. Sadly the only open-source stuff I'm aware of are Audacity's clipfix, which is a very naive (cubic interpolation is not very appropriate for audio) simple hack Ben Schwartz (later of Xiph fame) did back as an undergraduate, and Monty's postfish, which does a reasonable job but is not as simple to work with (linux only, no distro includes binaries, source only available via svn, odd build dependencies, doesn't integrate into other kinds of toolchains). Audacity's "repair" effect, which does least squares autoregression, could probably be turned into a halfway decent declipper if combined with something that detected the clipped regions. Implementing the algorithms from any of the various recently published academic papers on the subject might be more competitive with the closed-source solutions.

2. If someone puts an overbroad statement about clipping in pop songs on the wiki, the right way to deal with that is a [citation needed] and then remove the offending statement if evidence is not provided in a timely way. We don't need to sit here and argue about the loudness wars and how they should have been addressed twenty years ago.

3. I don't think mass deletion and reversion and blocking users at the first suspicion is sensible for dealing with a small closed-membership wiki.

Thanks for your thoughts jensend, all relevant and all noted.
Greynol hasn't come back to me yet to explain any of his actions, I can only assume he's on holiday.

Censorship is always difficult to defend and to counter, it seems to be more and more the 'answer' to awkward subjects that no one likes discussing.
Moderation is usually a way to keep a forum/wiki running smoothly, one has to question it's effectiveness when it does the exact opposite, stifling discussion and suppressing alternate viewpoints - even when they are backed up with evidence and proof.

I'm also learning that the quality of the digital source is a sacred cow here. For me as a programmer it's simply input data so I have no bias - I'm used to all types of data quality, perhaps the audio hobbyist is particularly attached to a romantic 'perfection' of the signal. Clues for this are in the number of posts about 'bit perfect' quality. Boy if they looked at their 'bit perfect' waveform in Audacity they'd have a nasty surprise!!

This isn't helped by people never seeing the waveform - but I have to admit it's disappointing that people on a hobby audio website are too afraid to even look for themselves.

This is a typical modern track with around 50,000 clips.
The histogram shows quite severe compression (rather than limiting which is a bulge like a dolphin surfacing). That histogram would be very sparse - mostly black - on a well recorded track, that bright white is all artificial compression.
Note there is still clipping, so it was also given a good shave after the compression.


Click on the thumbnail/blob to view.

Perhaps it's all too familiar for me as I see it every single day. Literally - in the detail above.
Note that this song is not 'special' for modern pop, it's average - I've seen (and mistakenly paid for) much worse.

One can lead a horse to water but making it drink is another ball game.
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #32
My challenge was for Chibisteven to prove his assertion that '99% of all modern CDs are clipped ...  bullshit '

Because it's easy to make a loud CD without introducing any clipping.  I've done it with a few recorded MIDIs using the free version of Stereo Tool and that's an application designed for being as loud as other radio stations and even louder if one wants to.  I can imagine the methods and stuff used by more experienced professionals who do this for a living can do a 100 times better job at it than me and have access to tons of expensive tools at their disposal.

I've bought CDs in the last few years of recent albums and found no signs of clipping but they were loud nonetheless.

  • pelmazo
  • [*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #33
Agreed 100%.
You agree, yet seem to miss my point entirely. I was trying to tell you that your tool and your general approach doesn't solve the problem. You can't agree with me and in the next sentence carry on advocating your tool. There's a large cognitive dissonance here.

Quote
I suspect it's a taboo subject. HA's 'holy cow'.
That's almost certainly the wrong suspicion. Particularly when you are linking it with gear price and cable sound. Elsewhere perhaps, but not here.

Quote
... most have given up or stopped caring in the face of an intransigent music industry.
Any solution to this problem must take the business realities of the music business into account, or it will fail. This is what I consider to be the lesson to be learnt from the loudness wars. The main actors are in it for the money, and no amount of appealing will change this. Idealists, whether they are the artists, or music-lovers, or mastering engineers, or other kinds of activists, will only get exploited, or at best ignored.

Quote
I had a read of that thread - thanks for posting it. At reply #9 you were basically fighting off a hostile audience picking irrelevant holes in the idea. Floating point would be a very good idea IMO, with the standard mandating a min/max extent number in the header - to remove the +/- 1.0 convention in current WAVs.
Thanks for taking the effort to read it. I'm not yet sure you have understood the point I was trying to make there. You are mentioning a standard, implying that something is to be mandated. Which standard are you referring to, what exactly should it mandate and why, who would be in a position to mandate someting like this, and how would one ensure it is being complied with?

Quote
Since the CD many viable file formats have been created, including ODF which is rather more complex than an array of IEEE floats and a trivial header.
I don't think there's a lack of file formats, or streaming formats, which would be capable of transporting floating point audio. The technical capabilities are there for quite a while now. Taking up floating point as a distribution format is a strategical problem, not a technical one.

Quote
Perhaps Denial is at play here - people I guess don't want to know the truth about the music they are playing.
That may be the case with many people, but the people involved in the discussion here are much more likely to have known the sad truth for a long time. They don't question the problem, they question your approach to solve it.

  • Cavaille
  • [*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #34
CuteStudio - or Graham, whatever you prefer - your declipper comes too late. About 20 years too late. Besides, one can already buy a commercialized version of a DeClipper, it's included in iZotope RX. Far more expensive, yes. But comes without the nonsense.

CDs able to be declipped started to appear around the early '90s. They continued to be produced until the early 2000s. After that, mastering engineers were slowly switching to brickwall limiting lacking any clipping.

Nowadays, they may use a combination of analogue tape saturation, brickwall limiting, phase manipulations, dynamic equalizers, dynamic compressors. For roughly 10 years now, I've rarely seen a clipped CD. So what is there to "repair"?

Speaking about: you are not making clear if A) clipped samples are audible and B) that you cannot repair/restore them. The word I missed the most in all your talk, talk, talk is "interpolation". Because that is the only thing left to you. Your software guesses, nothing more. The results are therefore guesswork and may sound well to your intended audience. But don't try and pass them off as scientific. And did you really think you could get away with blatant and obvious advertising in a Wiki?

Try computeraudiophile, they will be much more welcoming, I assure you.
marlene-d.blogspot.com

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #35
Because it's easy to make a loud CD without introducing any clipping.  I've done it with a few recorded MIDIs using the free version of Stereo Tool and that's an application designed for being as loud as other radio stations and even louder if one wants to. 
Yes, it is easy to do that. At the limit you avoid flat-topped waveforms but end up with bumpy-top waveforms which can fool a declipper that doesn't use a histogram. The difference in sound will have a little less HF hash but it's still not HiFi.

It's also easy to transfer music to 16bit without detectable compression or clipping like they did up to the 1990s, but however much people bleat about 16bits being good enough on HA it doesn't cut it when you have dynamic source material like this:


(Saturn The Bringer Of Old Age)

There's parts on here that average  -48dB which on a 16bit format is using 8 bits. Is 8 bits still HiFi? I suspect this is one subtle driver of the loudness war (A war we've lost BTW).

I can imagine the methods and stuff used by more experienced professionals who do this for a living can do a 100 times better job at it than me and have access to tons of expensive tools at their disposal.
Imagination is a wonderful thing.

I've bought CDs in the last few years of recent albums and found no signs of clipping but they were loud nonetheless.

Which ones?

Please give a couple of these clean albums names - just one of 'last few years of recent albums' please. It sounds like you have several to choose from there so it should be easy, looking forward to seeing what you choose.

It will be great to find 2 albums are cleanly recorded: thanks in advance.

Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • KozmoNaut
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #36
It's also easy to transfer music to 16bit without detectable compression or clipping like they did up to the 1990s, but however much people bleat about 16bits being good enough on HA it doesn't cut it when you have dynamic source material like this:


(Saturn The Bringer Of Old Age)

There's parts on here that average  -48dB which on a 16bit format is using 8 bits. Is 8 bits still HiFi? I suspect this is one subtle driver of the loudness war (A war we've lost BTW).

-48 dBFS is still 48 dB above the noise floor of 16 bit PCM audio. In a very quiet listening room with a background noise of just 30 dB SPL, those quiet parts would have to be played louder than 78dB SPL at the very minimum before the noise floor would even begin to be a factor. Background noise is quite well-masked by musical content, so as long as the music's playing, the noise is inaudible. Even if it is audible, it's just inoffensive tape hiss-like white noise.

And played back at those levels, the peaks in that recording would be hitting 126 dB SPL. This isn't exactly practical or even possible for most people, in their homes.

In other words, even with the rather low average level of the quiet sections in that piece, the background noise from using 16 bit is a non-issue.

And besides that, the natural noise from microphones and other analog hardware involved in the recording would drown out the quantization noise, anyway.

  • bennetng
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #37
So I am a horse to taste your water.

I ripped a track and manipulated it by several means:

original: original file.
-6db: simple -6dB volume decrease.
cassette: record the original to a cassette and re-digitize it.
phase -90: phase shift -90 degrees with normalization to avoid processing clip.
phase +10: phase shift +10 degrees with normalization to avoid processing clip.

The free version offers a tool to analyse clipping and dynamics with a rating. See the screenshots attached.

In a short summary:
-6db: Fair
cassette: Ace
original: Poor
phase +10: Good
phase -90: Ace

So In CuteStudio's opinion, the best declippers should be a cassette deck or a phase shifter, while a simple volume reduction can also fairly solve the clipping problem. Good to know this fact since I don't need to buy the full version.

Some analysis are disabled, maybe a limitation of the free version. If you are going to tell me the full version has a more accurate analyser then sorry, it means the free version is a scam to fool and scare users in order to encourage them to buy the full version. Also I wonder how accurate your "Hall of fame/shame" in your homepage is since apparently the analysis is based on your own algorithm.

I also disagree the name of your software completely disappeared in the wiki but I agree you should be banned to edit because of your dishonesty. How about this? Some other members put an entry of SeeDeclip but warn about the inaccurate nature of the quality analyser by linking to this thread? It is quite predictable that someone interested in studying about clipping is also interested to know how to declip, adding this part into the wiki can prevent people being fooled by scamwares.

To conclude, the severity of clipping and loudness war in the music industry will not automatically make your software become useful, accurate and honest.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #38
The main problem is the loudness war itself, which leads to overcompression in mastering, which affects the way the material sounds, even when there is no clipping problem. There are dynamic range databases for quite some time now, to allow people to make an educated guess before buying. They have their own serious problems, as we all should know by now.

Agreed 100%.
You agree, yet seem to miss my point entirely. I was trying to tell you that your tool and your general approach doesn't solve the problem. You can't agree with me and in the next sentence carry on advocating your tool. There's a large cognitive dissonance here.
No cognitive dissonance, I just don't think you've understood what SeeDeClip4 is about which is probably my fault. Could you please read the last part of the post #17, starting "Reply #17 – Today at 05:16:37 PM".

Here - and on the main webpage (http://www.cutestudio.net/ at point 1 in the first numbered list) - it's quite clear that the main purpose of SeeDeClip4 over the previous V3 'declip only' software is to identify the quality of the the recordings so you can select and play the better mastered ones.

If you still disagree you'll have to define the phrase 'solve the problem' first, it could mean:
  • To avoid playing damaged audio tracks
  • To repair damaged audio tracks
  • To buy every music company and force them to master music properly
Your dissonance appears to originate from 2 and 3, whereas I am clearly pointing to 1), with a little 2).

Quote
I suspect it's a taboo subject. HA's 'holy cow'.
That's almost certainly the wrong suspicion. Particularly when you are linking it with gear price and cable sound. Elsewhere perhaps, but not here.
There are several hostile replies on this very thread where people are asserting their faith that their waveforms are not clipped, and then refusing to even name the album/track - much less post up the waveform. This has all the hallmarks of denial and taboo.

Quote
... most have given up or stopped caring in the face of an intransigent music industry.
Any solution to this problem must take the business realities of the music business into account, or it will fail.
What we see is falling CD sales - a 24bit/96k DVD format could have made downloading and MP3s laborious and buying silver discs worthwhile. SACD was the window for this but the music sabotaged it. This hasn't helped them one bit and now it's too late because download speeds and disk space have grown to make these readily pirateable too.
They also engineered the dip in mastering quality that made easily copied MP3 as good as the CD and thus wrecked their revenue.

The business reality is that the music industry missed a huge re-buying opportunity as big as the move from LP to CD and encouraged copying by damaging their 'flagship' product of the time so MP3s sounded just as good. It's a lose-lose strategy for them which they are still struggling from.

Instead of LP -> CD -> SACD we went LP -> CD -> MP3. How did this make money for them?

The other industry that suffered of course was the consumer electronics audio industry, because when the dynamics were steam-rollered out HiFi became redundant:
https://news.slashdot.org/story/07/08/23/1219205/the-loudness-war-and-the-future-of-music
"well, why get anything good to play it on"

Quote
I had a read of that thread - thanks for posting it. At reply #9 you were basically fighting off a hostile audience picking irrelevant holes in the idea. Floating point would be a very good idea IMO, with the standard mandating a min/max extent number in the header - to remove the +/- 1.0 convention in current WAVs.
Thanks for taking the effort to read it. I'm not yet sure you have understood the point I was trying to make there. You are mentioning a standard, implying that something is to be mandated. Which standard are you referring to, what exactly should it mandate and why, who would be in a position to mandate someting like this, and how would one ensure it is being complied with?
"the standard" was referring to your proposal: A standard based on 32bit floats so there's no magnitude limit.
I assume you'd already thought about the other questions - I'm not sure why I'd know the answers, it wasn't my proposal.

Quote
Perhaps Denial is at play here - people I guess don't want to know the truth about the music they are playing.
That may be the case with many people, but the people involved in the discussion here are much more likely to have known the sad truth for a long time. They don't question the problem, they question your approach to solve it.

You're the only one saying that, no one else has admitted to any clipping at all, their recent pop albums are all clip free.
So clip free that no album name or track has been mentioned in case I analyse it for them and tell them how damaged it is :D.


Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • CuteStudio
  • [*]
Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #39
I ripped a track and manipulated it by several means:

original: original file.
-6db: simple -6dB volume decrease.
cassette: record the original to a cassette and re-digitize it.
phase -90: phase shift -90 degrees with normalization to avoid processing clip.
phase +10: phase shift +10 degrees with normalization to avoid processing clip.

The free version offers a tool to analyse clipping and dynamics with a rating. See the screenshots attached.

In a short summary:
-6db: Fair
cassette: Ace
original: Poor
phase +10: Good
phase -90: Ace

Thanks for doing that.

-6dB
It says this is clean, which is obviously isn't and marks it down because it's quiet.
I'll have to see why it's not bothered to detect these.

Cassette
I can see that the cassette does indeed look like it's mastered correctly, no flat tops and no issues in the histogram.
The envelope has also lost its straight edges so it's definitely been altered by the journey.

It's good enough to fool me when I look at the waveform - can you spot a flat-top?
It looks like the band-limiting of the cassette has rounded off all of those edges, if your amplifier and speakers do the same then you should be just fine without any de clipping shouldn't you?

What does it sound like? Is it easier to listen to?

Digital (original)
I can see just under 8,400 clips of which the worst is around 50 samples - so an average modern pop, the ppm (concentration of clipping) is quite high though.
You chopped off the end of the histogram but the blank bit I can see and the nature of the waveform indicates minimal compression - it's really just been clipped - so fixing that would be fairly successful.

Waveforms with EQ
The de-clipper detects flat tops, as you can see your EQ has tilted the flat tops so they are no longer flat.
This is entirely expected behaviour because now these tracks are not technically clipped.

So In CuteStudio's opinion, the best declippers should be a cassette deck or a phase shifter
The declipper is looking for flat-tops on the waveform. If they are removed by EQ/bandpass then it will not detect them.
This is not a method of declipping, it's just a method of smoothing out or tilting the flat tops, which is interesting but what does it actually prove?

Some analysis are disabled, maybe a limitation of the free version. If you are going to tell me the full version has a more accurate analyser then sorry, it means the free version is a scam to fool and scare users in order to encourage them to buy the full version.
The fixes are disabled in the free version. If you'd like a free declipper you can choose one from the multitude out there on the internet like This One. You are also free to look at exactly the same waveform in Audacity so I'm not sure what you think is a 'scam'.
The implication is that I should make everything I write available for free, perhaps you do this but I see no motive for me to do so.

It also seems running your audio through a free three-head tape machine is your favoured solution.

Also I wonder how accurate your "Hall of fame/shame" in your homepage is since apparently the analysis is based on your own algorithm.
-6dB peak digital tracks are extremely rare, but in fact if you look at the bottom of the 'Hall of Shame' page you'll see that was created with V3 which has a different clip detection method.

I agree you should be banned to edit because of your dishonesty.
Can you please point out this dishonesty?
If you are referring to the claim that 'at a rough estimate 99% of modern pop CDs are clipped' please note that I still haven't had anyone post a track or album that isn't.

How about this? Some other members put an entry of SeeDeclip but warn about the inaccurate nature of the quality analyser by linking to this thread? It is quite predictable that someone interested in studying about clipping is also interested to know how to declip, adding this part into the wiki can prevent people being fooled by scamwares.
Please do, you are welcome to edit the wiki how you see fit. This thread is also the defacto HA resource on SeeDeClip4 now so your suggestion makes sense.

Discussion of the quality of clip analysis is a good, healthy thing and I have no objection to that.
As bugs are found or better algorithms appear they will be incorporated, just as with any software.

I'm grateful that you actually ran it and gave me feedback: Thank-you.
Creator of the SeeDeClip4 multi-user Declipping Music Server.
Download your free copy now.

  • bennetng
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #40
The dishonesty of your analyser.

If someone post the screenshots like I do in some forums and criticizing the quality of modern pop, or which specific pressing or release of the same album is the best (based on the analysis result) and so on, can your analyser actually tell which version sounds more dynamic and less clipped to someone?

I listened to the files I posted, apart from the inevitable noise and frequency response change in the cassette version, other versions sound identical to my ears, I mean I cannot ABX them after level matching. You asked me to see flat-tops, yes I can clearly see them but how about listen to them? Actually the cassette version sounds worse than other versions in my opinion due the limitation of cassette technology, obviously not "Ace" quality. It doesn't sound more dynamic, unclipped or pleasing to me.

I can predict if I capture the waveform of the full version of SeeDeclip and analyze it the quality score will also greatly improved due to the flawed algorithm of your analyzer. So it also lies about the effectiveness or your declipper, as well as a cassette deck, a phase shifter or declippers from other competitors. Is it honest?

  • pelmazo
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #41
No cognitive dissonance, I just don't think you've understood what SeeDeClip4 is about which is probably my fault. Could you please read the last part of the post #17, starting "Reply #17 – Today at 05:16:37 PM".

Here - and on the main webpage (http://www.cutestudio.net/ at point 1 in the first numbered list) - it's quite clear that the main purpose of SeeDeClip4 over the previous V3 'declip only' software is to identify the quality of the the recordings so you can select and play the better mastered ones.

If you still disagree you'll have to define the phrase 'solve the problem' first, it could mean:
  • To avoid playing damaged audio tracks
  • To repair damaged audio tracks
  • To buy every music company and force them to master music properly
Your dissonance appears to originate from 2 and 3, whereas I am clearly pointing to 1), with a little 2).
No, it doesn't originate from that. I did understand that you are trying to provide a tool for showing people the quality problems of the material they want to play. I maintain that this doesn't work. The dynamic range databases have tried to do something similar, and they haven't reached their goal either. The loudness war can't be terminated in this manner. Your hope that people will be more conscious in their buying decisions after having seen the output of your tool is, I am confident, in vain. Your tool won't have an appreciable effect on what source material people buy, and hence no business impact that could cause a change to the loudness war.

Quote
There are several hostile replies on this very thread where people are asserting their faith that their waveforms are not clipped, and then refusing to even name the album/track - much less post up the waveform. This has all the hallmarks of denial and taboo.
It has the hallmarks of opposition. It is you who is trying to find explanations for their opposition that puts the blame on them. You don't seem to be willing to accept the possibility that the fault is with you. If anything, it is your denial.

Quote
What we see is falling CD sales - a 24bit/96k DVD format could have made downloading and MP3s laborious and buying silver discs worthwhile. SACD was the window for this but the music sabotaged it. This hasn't helped them one bit and now it's too late because download speeds and disk space have grown to make these readily pirateable too.

They also engineered the dip in mastering quality that made easily copied MP3 as good as the CD and thus wrecked their revenue.
I think you are shaping the facts to suit your theory.

The music industry never wanted MP3, it was the consumers who liked it. It allowed them to have as much of their music as possible on a portable player (iPod etc.) with limited storage space and sufficient quality. MP3 was an enabling technology for this, which was a technology that wasn't under sufficient control by the music industry to prevent it from becoming adopted. It was also a technology that lent itself to streaming on the internet, which helped the emergence of internet radio, podcasts and all this stuff. All this developed under the weary eyes of the music industry, without them being able to stop it.

Overcompression and loudness maximisation actually hurts MP3 even more than the CD format itself. The clipping problems become worse with MP3. You have it the wrong way up here, because this lowering of CD quality didn't make the MP3 more competitive in quality. If anything, it could have been a trick to discredit MP3 against the CD. I'm not actually going as far as asserting this. I don't think the balance between MP3 and CD had anything to do with the declining CD quality.

The loudness war thrives on the realization, that most people buy records because of the music that's on them, and not the quality of the recording. And the realization that if two tracks are pitched one against the other, the slightly louder one is usually preferred. Both are truisms of the music business which are much older than the CD, and they are sufficient to drive the loudness war. It has got nothing to do with formats. It means that producers are inclined to sacrifice quality if they can get loudness in return, because they figure that this will give them better sales. It is only here where formats come into play, because the properties of a format determine the conditions for exchanging quality for loudness, hence they determine what the producer can do and with what effect.

The SACD flopped because of three reasons, IMHO.

One reason lies in its copy protection, which prevented people from doing the kind of things they had come to expect they could do. For example, why would I have to buy the same thing twice just for being able to play it at home and in the car?

The second reason was the extra CD-format layer, which required them to provide two versions of the same thing, one in CD format and one in SACD format. This sounds like a good idea at first, but it doubles mastering cost, and is fraught with problems. For example, you are in danger of showing to people that both actually sound the same, if they are both mastered well. If you put the CD version at an artificial disadvantage, it also becomes apparent. This has all ingredients for producers to shoot themselves in the foot, and they duly did.

The third factor, of course, is that there also was competition in the form of DVD audio, which creates the kind of confusion in the market which makes people wait for the market to sort itself out before they start buying stuff.

The irony of all this is that the LP now has a second spring because of their complete failure to kill the CD off. The LP became the audiophile medium again, purely because it was the minority format that could be targeted to quality-conscious consumers, and because the mastering for the LP doesn't easily tolerate the crimes that can be committed on a CD. This is not a testament to the inherent qualities of the LP, rather it is the testament of what a complete cockup the music business has become as a result of those failed CD replacement strategies.

Quote
"the standard" was referring to your proposal: A standard based on 32bit floats so there's no magnitude limit.
I assume you'd already thought about the other questions - I'm not sure why I'd know the answers, it wasn't my proposal.
I wasn't going to mandate anything, because I don't know anybody who could. The usage of the floating point format was meant to be an offer to producers who want to have more loudness without a sacrifice in quality. I figured that they would want such a format, not the least because it offers them a way out of a dilemma they have shed many public tears about. With this format, I opined, the market would sort itself out, without requiring anybody to rule, which is precisely why I think it can work.

Quote
You're the only one saying that, no one else has admitted to any clipping at all, their recent pop albums are all clip free.
So clip free that no album name or track has been mentioned in case I analyse it for them and tell them how damaged it is :D.
They try to tell you that they don't have the problem you say they have. I don't think you will have much chance of convincing them otherwise by telling them you know better. It can only come across as arrogance.

  • bennetng
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #42
Also, if you want to show how good your declipper is, release a standalone demo version with time limit or adding a tone every minute or so. In this way users can really try them with the audio files they have, instead of showing unreliable statistics or ratings.

Alexey Lukin from iZotope in fact, is a member of this forum, he also talked about his product sometimes, as well as John Siau from Benchmark and so on, yet they are not unwelcome. Do a search on their posts and see why and don't ask me why.

  • Porcus
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #43
I ripped a track and manipulated it by several means:

original: original file.
-6db: simple -6dB volume decrease.
cassette: record the original to a cassette and re-digitize it.
phase -90: phase shift -90 degrees with normalization to avoid processing clip.
phase +10: phase shift +10 degrees with normalization to avoid processing clip.

The free version offers a tool to analyse clipping and dynamics with a rating. See the screenshots attached.

Uh ... they are not possibly the same signal, are they?

Also, I am not so sure that it should be considered a failure to overlook signals that do not reach the full digital volume. The algorithm should be able to find clipping even if you bump down a little bit, but the application could very well just scan near the 0 dB mark - I mean, who will on purpose compress in order to boost volume up to the maximum only then to reduce by 6 dB?

Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #44
I mean, who will on purpose compress in order to boost volume up to the maximum only then to reduce by 6 dB?
I've found music like this, although I don't think it was reduced by so much. It was on a compilation CD. The volume was boosted during the original mastering, then reduced for the compilation.

  • bennetng
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #45
Also, I am not so sure that it should be considered a failure to overlook signals that do not reach the full digital volume. The algorithm should be able to find clipping even if you bump down a little bit, but the application could very well just scan near the 0 dB mark - I mean, who will on purpose compress in order to boost volume up to the maximum only then to reduce by 6 dB?

I can give you a real example. The OST of a PSX game called R-Type Delta

I have the CD and here are the screenshots of the first 3 tracks in flac. The first track looks pretty close to -6dB isn't it?

The whole lossy album is available on Youtube, of course the peaks will be different due to the compression, just post it so you know what music they are. If it violates TOS9 please remove the link.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpFV7UgypqA&list=PLXSaJ1VYkIYuzScqXdQahXAmgI7ul7o33

The purpose to reduce so much volume on track 1, is to balance out the tracks in the same album so listeners don't need to touch the volume knob. The dynamic works on the first track I suppose, is based on the artistic decision of the mastering engineer.

The phase shifted files are indeed from the same source, you can try it yourself, it is totally unsurprising.

I don't want to speculate in which circumstances this analyzer, or another one, is reliable because I am going to listen to them if I want to.
  • Last Edit: 12 January, 2017, 06:51:59 AM by bennetng

  • Porcus
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #46
The phase shifted files are indeed from the same source, you can try it yourself, it is totally unsurprising.
I do not dispute that they originate from the same file, but they do not look like the same time - the legend suggests they are thirty or seventy seconds apart, isn't it so?

  • bennetng
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #47
The phase shifted files are indeed from the same source, you can try it yourself, it is totally unsurprising.
I do not dispute that they originate from the same file, but they do not look like the same time - the legend suggests they are thirty or seventy seconds apart, isn't it so?
Oh I understood what you said. The purpose of my screenshots are not on the zoomed waveforms, but the ratings and statistics because Audacity or any other wave editor can also display the waveform, not specific to SeeDeclip.
  • Last Edit: 12 January, 2017, 07:23:44 AM by bennetng

  • Wombat
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #48
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

  • hödyr
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Re: Seedeclip4 Mediaplayer entry deleted, edits undone and user blocked. Why?
Reply #49
The irony of all this is that the LP now has a second spring because of their complete failure to kill the CD off. The LP became the audiophile medium again, purely because it was the minority format that could be targeted to quality-conscious consumers, and because the mastering for the LP doesn't easily tolerate the crimes that can be committed on a CD. This is not a testament to the inherent qualities of the LP, rather it is the testament of what a complete cockup the music business has become as a result of those failed CD replacement strategies.

That really resonated with me. I got into vinyl for this reason. I spent between 2500-3000$ until I had a setup that I consider to be on par with digital. Now I rip my vinyl into the PC so I can conveniently listen to it.

It's ridiculous, but it sometimes offers the best version of the music, even though it's technically the worse format. I just bought some LPs, they have sticker on the front that says "Mastered for vinyl for optimal listening quality" - one of my favorite bands has never sounded better.

Sadly, they don't offer the vinyl master as 24bit download, so I have no choice if I want the best quality.
Blubb