Never Underestimate Sound

Sound waves as visual art.

Standing waves are around us when we listen to music. Good sounding rooms minimize them.

This video forgets to mention that the vibrations around us are detected first by our hair follicles and joints before …

Proper Digital Audio Playback

The PonoPlayer got it right, whether they survive as a business or not.

There is a right way and a quick way to build a digital audio playback circuit.

The following information comes from Charlie Hansen, the designer of the …

Movie Lovers Coalesce The Vapors Around Streaming

It’s not just music lovers realizing that streaming has a long way to go to match physical media.

Film lovers see the same issues:  degraded quality, no extras, no ownership, unknown/ temporary access.

We give up a lot for …

The Problem With Experts Indeed

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Interesting take over on RealHDAudio taking shots at a music producer.

I read and replied to his post but it’s not publishing over there, so here is:


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Timing, timbre, and room sound.
Timing, timbre, and room sound.
Timing, timbre, and …

Anti-Audio Tech Sites, Pt. II

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I’m an A&K and I take sound quality very seriously.


To followup on my rant against american tech sites like Ars Technica and how they completely ignore hi-res audio, I found some proof.

Check out Crutchfield, an american stereo catalog …

The Power of Labels

Degrade -d  

  • treat or regard with contempt or disrespect
  • lower the character or quality of
  • reduce to a lower rank, especially as a punishment

Synonyms: demean, debase, cheapen, devalue, shame, humiliate, mortify, abase, dishonor, dehumanize, brutalize, lossy

 


Original   

  • present

Lossy Is Hurting Us

 

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Summer fun in full resolution: Cedar Point, Ohio looking out over Lake Erie.

 

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If you stream music or buy lossy files, here’s your version of summer fun. Close enough, right?

 

If you own a ponoplayer or another …

The Art of Recorded Music

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A canvas. A monitor. A block of clay.

Human imagination is more fertile and expansive than all of them.

Human imagination is where the soundstage of recorded music is rendered.

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Creating sound for a recording takes planning. Even a …

Streaming’s Shortcomings

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If everyone got their music from streaming?  That’s a big problem.

Streaming…

  1. has no cross promotion with local events or the local economy.
  2. has no cross promotion with local unsigned bands.
  3. has no direct connection back to the artist.

  4. completely

More Hi-Res Rumors For Apple

imagesI guess this is good – rumors are floating again that Apple Music is moving into Hi-Res Audio.  Being a rumor there are very few specifics but a few people more influential than me are saying that 24/96 streaming …

Guide To Hi-Res Audio

The momentum continues, as more publications pick up on this new push towards quality in consumer audio.  MP3 won’t die without a fight, but it’s 15 year grip on the music industry appears to be loosening.


1015prov.hands

 


 

Check out …

Headphones or Speakers

One thing I think is lost during audio debate and discussion these days is whether we are discussing listening on speakers or headphones. I find them to be very different.

Music is very complex vibration. When it is made by …

Promises Fulfilled

I don’t think I ever posted this – this is from a guy that spends his life testing high-end audio devices – things like $15k Amps and $5k headphones. This ain’t my market as you know.

He ordered a PonoPlayer …

Room Acoustics 101

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.14.20 AM

Here’s a simple to understand, visual version of basic room acoustic properties. People argue about gear and formats and often times forget to deal with the most important aspect of what they are hearing – the room.

 …

Making Records In The Age of Pono

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Great blog post covering Pono and the trends in music from a well known music producer. There is a lot of work to still be done in ending the era of bad sound quality but I like how he acknowledges …

The Danger of Perceptual Coding

Perceptual coding is responsible for data loss that is greatly misunderstood and perhaps even dangerous to society.

What is perceptual coding ? It’s a data compression concept used in audio, video, and streaming technologies.

 


 

send-to-zip

ZIP is a lossless

You Are Not Alone

Quality of sound is not a joke. It leads to quality of life and quality of mental state.…

PonoPlayer Doing Well At Amazon

During my recent shopping experience I’ve found Amazon reviews to be pretty accurate once enough people use that product and report back.

The Pono Player has been for sale up there for a while and people of all types have …

The Sad State of Consumer Audio

There is a lot of technology available today, some at very affordable prices. Choice appears abundant but it’s a false narrative.

Why is choice a false narrative? Because most of the choices are already compromised and the actual quality of …

Audio Quality & Music Love

…is now a channel on Disqus!  If that’s one of your hangouts online have at it.

https://disqus.com/home/channel/audioqualitymusiclove/

 …

Fix Your Playback

Best Musical Enjoyment = Proper Playback.

Here’s how to fix your music making machines:

  1. Rate the quality and identify the weakest link in your signal chain
  2. Research the prices and ability to upgrade the weak links
  3. Purchase the most sensible

Why Apple Music (or Spotify) Doesn’t Matter Much

There will be no saving the music industry.

There will be no new radio.…

Triangulation Neil Leo Pono

Tidal Shows The Ghost In The MP3

This is a good start. Here’s Tidal trying to explain simply why MP3 sounds worse than CD quality. They want $20/month the stream CD-quality to you, so they will strongly market against lossy compression.

How great can music sound? from …

New Listening Test – A Proposal

It’s time for a better listening test. It’s time to use our understanding properly.

A proper listening test…

  1. needs to use all available sensory data from a modern smartwatch/ wearable CPU device
  2. needs to be portable and self-contained to allow

Apple’s Upcoming Music Announcement

Will it have anything to do with sound quality?  I doubt it.

Apple likes to roll out new products with slick presentations touting all of the improvements in the product, or how the new product improves upon an existing solution.…

Loudness Wars Research

I’ve really been exploring my music collection lately* and along with the playback quality of the PonoPlayer, I’ve learned some things about the hated concept of “loudness wars”:

 

  1. I can really hear it start up in the early 90’s

Recording Quality Rule Of Thumb

Allow me to speak some truth about the recording arts — the overall quality of music production has been going down since before I started. I’ve done nothing to reverse the trend ;-).

This is due to multiple factors not …

FUNK @ 24/192: Oh My!

But of course, why did I ever doubt it?

I worry. More than my cool attitude allows.

I worry about incompetence and greed getting in the way of a good time.

I worried that the high resolution thing would pass …

The New Kid On The High Resolution Block – MQA

Well this is getting interesting. British company Meridian has come up with something that goes beyond just a format or delivery mechanism, and also involves lossy compression, yet it still looks like a potential future audio technology we need to …

I Thought It Was Gone…

… or I was losing my hearing.

Words of wisdom from the people that know music (the people that make music):

The Ghost in the MP3

Excellent work by Ryan letting you hear an approximation of what they are removing from MP3 files when doing “lossy” compression.

This is what the MP3 programmers deem unimportant in your music. You can play the video with it’s own …

Pure Sound Quality

Quality:

  1. GoodMusic as MP3  =  sounds pretty good – get your jam on!
  2. GoodMusic as 16bit FLAC  or   CD  =  sounds better – damn listen to that bass! – time to dance – pure and clean and timeless
  3. GoodMusic as

Pono In Cars, Coming Soon

Pono and Harman announced they reached a deal to bring the Pono audio goodness into cars, and this could be the mainstream breakthrough Pono needs. The more people that hear it the better because it’s the best marketing possible. Hear …

PonoPlayer Review Is Posted

I have a few revisions to make but I thought I’d get this thing posted so I can start sharing out the link next week. Enjoy my long-form run through what a PonoPlayer is, and why you might want one:…

Lecture: Quality Sound Matters

Stop listening to internet experts and listen to real experts. Here’s a panel of mastering engineers talking about quality sound and consumer trends. Interesting, informative and correct!

Bonus fun is that they invited a guy from streamer Rdio who has …

Leo Loves Pono

 

High quality mainstream style review of the pono player covering all the issues around modern consumer audio. Good stuff!

 …

Praise The Wire


In our rush to modernize and upgrade the conveniences in life we can forgo quality for convenience. Often times the better way gets out-marketed and replaced by the new way, and life goes on.

Wireless digital was the new …

Studio To Stereo

Here’s something really cool – a bunch of people are putting together an interactive event in London that details the process of creating music in the studio and then releasing it to the public, using iconic artists, classic albums, and …

Pre-CD Grandeur

Great write up on a classic opera recording finally being released properly in HD/Hi-Res audio:

Rediscovering Maria Callas in High-Resolution Audio

Internet experts continue to argue and debate about hi-res, but music lovers that consider themselves real listeners (not just …

How To Spot Internet Pseudo Science

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In regards to digital audio, there’s a few “tells” in a bad argument:…

Audio Mythology

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The world of myth and legend

See if you agree with any of these:…

The Pono Smile

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This might actually go mainstream, look at this financial show fawning over Pono:

 

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000319253

Getting Audio From Video Where There Was None

Yes that’s right. Researchers have used some cool computer programming and video chip tricks to do what was previously impossible – to use video to record vibrations made by sound and then recreate the sound.

No sound recorded, just …

Killing With Sound

You may have known that they have developed weapons using sound, and these are already shipping to military and police customers. While this “non-lethal” approach to crowd control is appreciated I can’t help but think of the abuse this will …

Apple Will Kill the Mini-Jack

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Also known as the mini-plug, mini-jack, mini-phones, the 3.5 (mm) or just the headphone jack. This thing has been around since the 1970’s [actually 1870’s!], and I’m pretty sure Apple is going to take it out back and end …

The Great Cable Scam

01-hdmi-cables-monoprice-6-ft-6105-630Don’t overspend on cables – HDMI especially. So many predatory companies out there lying to you, trying to take your money by confusing you with tech talk.

Why All HDMI Cables Are The Same

If you are spending big money …

What’s Next For Pono?

Good video interview with the CEO of Pono about their newfound buzz and orders needing fulfilled.

Here’s another QA Session with the same fellow that gives you further details on the pono player and the pono store.

A New Audio Era

modelsdisplaHigh Fidelity Audio Enters The Digital Age – Slashdot

 …

Hi There I’m Walkman 2014

Neil Young’s preaching has been working — Sony recently announced their latest WalkMan, the 35th Anniversary model, and it’s pretty bad-ass. Save the Audio!

NW_Z__ZX1_01-1200

 

That little slab of gadget-lust has got hi-fi audio specs (DAC, amp, wiring, shielding), excellent …

Resolution, Not Frequency Range

Anyone arguing about audio and getting stuck on the overall hearing range of humans is actually missing the point.

What digital audio has really been doing is giving us lower resolutions on the sounds we can hear.

Have you ever

Digital Audio Verses Timbre

If an electric guitar and a piano both play a C major chord at the same volume, can you tell the difference between them?  Would you be able to discern a difference between the guitar and the piano’s version of …

Bad Science + Business Interests = Trouble

Computer geeks know lots of things. The sheer breadth of stuff that geeks have crammed in their head is impressive.

But their major mistake is often not acknowledging their own ignorance. Many have come up in a world so digitally …

Wow Righteous Indeed

Excellent talk from Neil Young at South By Southwest about his new product – the Pono Music Player. He breaks it all down in simple terms, better than any amount of text I can type:

Listen: Neil Young Explains Pono

Righteous Audio – Finally!

pono_main


I love knowing I’m not alone in my rants. I have been complaining about digital audio compromises since the 80’s, and now, finally, a product is coming for people like me. It’s called “Pono” (Hawaiian for ‘righteous’) and its basically …

Critical Listening of Soundscapes

Besides music as created by humans, sounds of all kinds fascinate me. The vibration underlying sound is, in my opinion, the most underrated and sometimes disregarded human stimulus.

To that end, I discovered an amazing site called Aporee that celebrates …

The Challenge of Uncompressed Audio Formats

Good overview of the situation I’m heavily interested in (see “Save the Audio” section) – the battle between quality audio and convenient audio. Since the late 90’s most of us have accepted worse-sounding audio in the name of convenience, whether …

The Rise of High Definition Audio – Save The Audio!

Hear My Pixels

If eyes were treated like ears.


Ah finally, I’m not alone on the internet! Someone agrees it’s time to retire the MP3 and bring on high def digital audio.

We keep upping the resolution of our digital lives but …

I Support Pono

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Neil getting full balanced goodness into his ears

I love this idea.

Neil Young finally got his wish to attempt to restore audio fidelity to our lives. They are calling the thing Pono and most of the press reports …

Avid, Akai, M-Audio Oh My!

Avid software started in video editing in the early 90’s, then bought Digidesign (makers of Pro-Tools professional audio) as well as M-Audio (consumer audio) and for the last few years has been one of the biggest A/V hardware and software …

That Was Really Super Laid Back

William_Shatner