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Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

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Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Old 02-15-15, 12:02 PM
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Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

This video has a clever test to see what compression does to audio. The original audio is inverted and then played simultaneously with different lossless or lossy versions to see what's left after the sound waves cancel each other out.

<iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/94696979" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>

A Quick Lesson In Sound Quality from Daniel Barassi on Vimeo.

Old 02-15-15, 12:51 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Very interesting, thanks. But it still all sounds the same to me.
Old 02-15-15, 01:00 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

I plan to do the same test and compare a .WAV to a LAME-created 320kbps MP3 file to see if it sounds like his test comparison of an MP3.

His result just seemed too drastic in that case - I would've expected something more like the M4A/AAC test result.
Old 02-15-15, 05:13 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

MP3's disgust me so much. The only reason to ever use them is to send someone a sample through e-mail or post online. It's not as easy to send a WAV or FLAC file.

I am glad that more and more artists are allowing their music to be purchased in a lossless format on sites like HDTracks.

It's got to be at least 96/24 if you wanna dance with me.
Old 02-15-15, 06:39 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

The way most albums are brickwalled these days, it almost doesn't matter.
Old 02-15-15, 07:47 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by Randy Miller III View Post
The way most albums are brickwalled these days, it almost doesn't matter.
I hate this way more than the mp3 format.
Old 02-15-15, 07:50 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by Randy Miller III View Post
The way most albums are brickwalled these days, it almost doesn't matter.
Once I learned about brickwall production, I scanned a few of the songs that made my ears hurt. By gosh, they were all brickwalled.

Well! I'm not going to listen to that anymore.
Old 02-16-15, 10:58 AM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by Randy Miller III View Post
The way most albums are brickwalled these days, it almost doesn't matter.
Yeah, this is a bigger problem. No matter the compression, it will still sound like crap.

As far as mp3s and the like, most of my listening is on computer speakers at work or in the car. There's so much other noise that some compression isn't going to be a problem. I am glad that places such as Bandcamp, or directly from some artists, give me the option for lossless files, as I do occasionally stream to my home stereo.
Old 02-16-15, 11:22 AM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

99.99% of your average consumers won't be able to tell the difference between a 320 kb MP3 vs a CD. Most of them are listening on their phones, with earbuds, in the car, or on thin computer speakers. Your average "audiophile" will claim they can, of course.

As mentioned above, brickwalling is a much bigger problem than lossy formats. I was listening to "The Art of McCartney" over the weekend and production quality was abysmal.
Old 02-16-15, 11:41 AM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
99.99% of your average consumers won't be able to tell the difference between a 320 kb MP3 vs a CD. Most of them are listening on their phones, with earbuds, in the car, or on thin computer speakers. Your average "audiophile" will claim they can, of course.
I'm probably not a typical listener, but 95% of my (non-radio) music listening is either me playing a vinyl record, or streaming through Spotify. So just how much do you think I care if the other 5% is 320k Mp3 or FLAC?
Old 02-16-15, 12:11 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
So just how much do you think I care if the other 5% is 320k Mp3 or FLAC?
Oh... about twelve-and-a-half percent of caring capacity.

In all seriousness, I doubt most of us knobs are typical listeners/watchers of anything media related. For them convenience trumps quality in every case. Those 128k AAC songs downloaded from iTunes in 2006 sound perfect! Burma!
Old 02-17-15, 09:25 AM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
I'm probably not a typical listener, but 95% of my (non-radio) music listening is either me playing a vinyl record, or streaming through Spotify. So just how much do you think I care if the other 5% is 320k Mp3 or FLAC?
Do you hear the difference? In that example, most of the discarded information was the high frequencies. Now that I'm over 50, I'm noticing a real decay in my high-frequency hearing. I don't know how long it will be until I end up where my dad was, listening to jazz through crap speakers and saying that it didn't make any difference to him anyway.
Old 02-17-15, 11:15 AM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

I discovered that the other day. I'm 49 now and my daughter and I were messing around with a sound app on the iPad. I was amazed how much better her hearing was than mine now. She could hear things way before and way after I could. A lifetime of listening to heavy metal way too loud probably hasn't helped me either. I think the loss is so gradual you don't notice it.
Old 02-17-15, 12:34 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by Phodg View Post
I discovered that the other day. I'm 49 now and my daughter and I were messing around with a sound app on the iPad. I was amazed how much better her hearing was than mine now. She could hear things way before and way after I could. A lifetime of listening to heavy metal way too loud probably hasn't helped me either. I think the loss is so gradual you don't notice it.
There's something called "Mosquito Ringtones" that are high-frequency ringtones for cellphones that some kids use so they can hear their phone ring while grown adults (such as teachers) can't hear it at all. There's even some online hearing tests to play the ringtones and check if you can hear them. ( Hearing Test Link )
Old 02-17-15, 03:04 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Little bastards.
Old 02-17-15, 03:22 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
Do you hear the difference? In that example, most of the discarded information was the high frequencies. Now that I'm over 50, I'm noticing a real decay in my high-frequency hearing. I don't know how long it will be until I end up where my dad was, listening to jazz through crap speakers and saying that it didn't make any difference to him anyway.
I have surprisingly good hearing for a guy who's over 50 and has played in rock bands for thirty years. The upper registers are gone but that's about it.

But no, I doubt I could hear the difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3, even on a nice system.

ETA we share a birthday, don't we? I think you're a year younger though.
Old 02-17-15, 11:26 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

I'm 42 and I could hear all those tones. I often get distracted by high-pitched sounds that other people don't notice.
Old 02-18-15, 09:08 AM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

That video doesn't add up. If you can hear the flanging because the MP3 is out of sync with the orginal track, then having the file out-of-phase won't create a cancellation. They need to be perfectly tracked together in order to create perfect silence. If he really wanted to test the MP3, he should have realigned the tracks.

Not defending MP3 in any way, but it should be a fair test.
Old 02-18-15, 10:51 AM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by dhmac View Post
There's something called "Mosquito Ringtones" that are high-frequency ringtones for cellphones that some kids use so they can hear their phone ring while grown adults (such as teachers) can't hear it at all. There's even some online hearing tests to play the ringtones and check if you can hear them. ( Hearing Test Link )
I could only hear up to 12khz, nothing higher.

49, life long metal fan
Old 02-18-15, 11:32 AM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

I'm 35 and 15khz was about the highest I could hear anything with those test tones.
Old 02-18-15, 01:59 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

35, 12khz. I should use my earplugs more often at shows.
Old 02-18-15, 05:39 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Reason I don't go to many shows- remember seeing Depeche Mode in 1988 and it was RIDICULOUSLY loud- my ears were ringing when I got home! I swore never again- and that's why I laughed at people who complained movies at the theater I worked at were too loud!
Old 02-18-15, 06:02 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Your movie theater could have been too loud, even if it weren't as loud as Depeche Mode in 1988.

Also, if you're going to a concert, wear ear plugs. There are some great ear plugs that reduce the volume without killing the dynamics of the sound, you can get them on Amazon.
Old 02-18-15, 07:22 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

I could only hear up to 14khz on my iPad, but I could hear 15khz on my laptop.

Wonder certain speakers can't handle that upper range.
Old 02-18-15, 08:32 PM
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Re: Audio: Uncompressed vs. Compressed

Originally Posted by dhmac View Post
There's something called "Mosquito Ringtones" that are high-frequency ringtones for cellphones that some kids use so they can hear their phone ring while grown adults (such as teachers) can't hear it at all. There's even some online hearing tests to play the ringtones and check if you can hear them. ( Hearing Test Link )
I could hear 14K but no higher. And I wear ear plugs a lot. Riding my motorcycle, mowing the lawn, at the movie theater, driving, sitting in the office at work . . .

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
I have surprisingly good hearing for a guy who's over 50 and has played in rock bands for thirty years. The upper registers are gone but that's about it.

But no, I doubt I could hear the difference between FLAC and 320kbps MP3, even on a nice system.

ETA we share a birthday, don't we? I think you're a year younger though.
I don't remember -- we either have the same birthday or we're off by one day.

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