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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Hello AVS friends,

 

With all the wonderful banter about which format is better and which can't possibly be better because it is at the limit of human hearing I want to test it out for myself. I have hundreds of hours of recordings in the 24/96 format. I want to ABX against 16/44.1 and other sample rates, but I can not find a program that will automatically switch sample rates for ABX'ing. HELP!! How are you guys (and gals) doing this properly?

 

Is there software/freeware better than Foobar2000? - Strangely enough when I load an original 24/96 and the downsampled 16/44.1  clip in Foobar2000 at the same time, the track info bar at the bottom lists the sample rate appropriate to the file that is playing (so when the 44.1 plays it displays 44.1 and when the 96 plays, it displays 96), but my sound card does not change. It is locked at 44.1. So, the program is NOT changing sample rates. I also do not want to downsample, export, import and convert to the upsampled because I want to test a complete playback system including the appropriate sample rate for the file being played.

 

I have an Mbox2, and a MOTU 828MKII. My 24/96 files were recorded with DPA 4062s or AKG 414 MKIIs. Recording was done via a Roland R-44, using outboard mic pres, or directly to the MOTU.

 

I would like to see something like mp3ornot.com, but for many more file formats. - I found the site pretty fun. What's your best correct-in-a-row score?

 

Thanks in advance for all the help!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogerBrains  /t/1523566/24-96-vs-16-44-1-vs-mp3s-and-other-formats-how-do-i-setup-an-abx#post_24510310


Hello AVS friends,


With all the wonderful banter about which format is better and which can't possibly be better because it is at the limit of human hearing I want to test it out for myself. I have hundreds of hours of recordings in the 24/96 format. I want to ABX against 16/44.1 and other sample rates, but I can not find a program that will automatically switch sample rates for ABX'ing. HELP!! How are you guys (and gals) doing this properly?

The best way to prepare files for an ABX test of this kind is to take the 24/96 file, downsample it to 16/44.1 and then upsample it back to 24/96.


There is a lot of good resampling software out there, and this site has tests of much of it http://src.infinitewave.ca/help.html
Quote:
Is there software/freeware better than Foobar2000? - Strangely enough when I load an original 24/96 and the downsampled 16/44.1  clip in Foobar2000 at the same time, the track info bar at the bottom lists the sample rate appropriate to the file that is playing (so when the 44.1 plays it displays 44.1 and when the 96 plays, it displays 96), but my sound card does not change. It is locked at 44.1. So, the program is NOT changing sample rates.

I recommended the procedure above for a very simple reason - it circumvents all of the problems you listed.
Quote:
I also do not want to downsample, export, import and convert to the upsampled

IOW, you seem to want to make life difficult for yourself for no good reason.
Quote:
because I want to test a complete playback system including the appropriate sample rate for the file being played.

That strikes me as being a waste of time. The 500 pound gorilla in this evaluation are your ears. The performance of the rest of the playback system can be evaluated more easily using technical means.
Quote:
I have an Mbox2, and a MOTU 828MKII. My 24/96 files were recorded with DPA 4062s or AKG 414 MKIIs. Recording was done via a Roland R-44, using outboard mic pres, or directly to the MOTU.

Seems like a good enough hardware suite as far as this list goes. Your actual monitoring equipment - the headphones, speakers and amplifier are also critical components.
Quote:
I would like to see something like mp3ornot.com, but for many more file formats. - I found the site pretty fun. What's your best correct-in-a-row score?

Unless you mess up the evaluation with a poor resampler or monitoring system or something like them, the universal result is random guessing. Thousands of people have tried. Good luck!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogerBrains  /t/1523566/24-96-vs-16-44-1-vs-mp3s-and-other-formats-how-do-i-setup-an-abx#post_24510310


Hello AVS friends,
Hello back to you
.
Quote:
With all the wonderful banter about which format is better and which can't possibly be better because it is at the limit of human hearing I want to test it out for myself. I have hundreds of hours of recordings in the 24/96 format. I want to ABX against 16/44.1 and other sample rates, but I can not find a program that will automatically switch sample rates for ABX'ing. HELP!! How are you guys (and gals) doing this properly?
Great to see you embark on this testing.
Quote:
Is there software/freeware better than Foobar2000? - Strangely enough when I load an original 24/96 and the downsampled 16/44.1  clip in Foobar2000 at the same time, the track info bar at the bottom lists the sample rate appropriate to the file that is playing (so when the 44.1 plays it displays 44.1 and when the 96 plays, it displays 96), but my sound card does not change. It is locked at 44.1. So, the program is NOT changing sample rates. I also do not want to downsample, export, import and convert to the upsampled because I want to test a complete playback system including the appropriate sample rate for the file being played.
It is wonderful to see you check to see your assumption matches reality as far as sample rate. The problem here is not Foobar but rather, the Windows audio stack. By default that is what Foobar is using. Windows audio stack converts all audio coming from all applications into one bit-depth and sampling rate. That is configured in the advanced setting in the Sound control panel:




Foobar cannot change that configuration automatically so you wind up with all the output in one sampling rate. For this reason Arny's suggestion would not have worked as your system is configured for 44.1. There is a solution. See below.
Quote:
I have an Mbox2, and a MOTU 828MKII. My 24/96 files were recorded with DPA 4062s or AKG 414 MKIIs. Recording was done via a Roland R-44, using outboard mic pres, or directly to the MOTU.
Ah, I assume the MOTU also comes with ASIO drivers? If so, go to the output settings of Foobar and configure it to use ASIO. This is kind of what it looks like:




I don't remember if I had to download a plug-in for Foobar that supported ASIO or it came with it. Either way it is easy to figure out.


Good luck
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Thanks to you both! Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoroughly.

Hi Arny, I get your point about the upconverted, downsampled version and will test that out. I have Nuendo from my movie mixing days, which has a uniquely bright sound of its own, but resamples like a champ. I will also check out the program you mention - I am always interested in new audio software, especially when it works well.

I am also curious just to see if the 44.1/16 "native" output makes any noticeable difference. I can't say it does or doesn't without actually testing it. We can say it shouldn't, but there are a lot of things in this world that are supposed to act one way, but, unfortunately, do not. - In either case I'll give your suggestion a go.

 

Hi Amirm, thanks for the info about Foobar. Your explanation is great and sounds exactly like what is happening.

 

On another note, do either of you know why different audio programs sound different for playing back the exact same files? Comparing Nuendo to Soundforge, I think I heard a noticeable difference - though maybe it is my imagination.

 

Thanks to you both. I will let you know my findings! :)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogerBrains  /t/1523566/24-96-vs-16-44-1-vs-mp3s-and-other-formats-how-do-i-setup-an-abx#post_24511801



. I have Nuendo from my movie mixing days, which has a uniquely bright sound of its own, but resamples like a champ.

Not so much of a champion, at least in the versions tested at the site I referenced in my previous post:

http://src.infinitewave.ca/




The lower picture is an example of an essentially artifact free conversion performed by a well-written resampler. It shows nothing but a pure resampled wave. The upper picture depicts the same operation a performed by the versions of Nuendo specified. The lightly shaded lines are artifacts. They probably aren't audible but...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk  /t/1523566/24-96-vs-16-44-1-vs-mp3s-and-other-formats-how-do-i-setup-an-abx#post_24513612



Not so much of a champion, at least in the versions tested at the site I referenced in my previous post:

http://src.infinitewave.ca/




The lower picture is an example of an essentially artifact free conversion performed by a well-written resampler. It shows nothing but a pure resampled wave. The upper picture depicts the same operation a performed by the versions of Nuendo specified. The lightly shaded lines are artifacts. They probably aren't audible but...
Very interesting. Great resource. I will have to check this out. Thx.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Hello Again,
I have taken your advice and spent a little time searching through some of my recordings and found a few 24/96 files to use. The following is the process I am using to compare 16/44 to 24/96:
1. Open original in Audacity
2. Find the clip I want to use
3. Export as Other uncompressed files > Options > WAV, Signed 24bit PCM
4. Close the original file
5. Open my newly exported clip
 5a. Effect> Equalization...>Add +12dB EQ starting at 15Khz and shelving at 21Khz
 5b. Effect> Amplify...>maximum amplification - no clipping allowed
 5c. Save the clip to be my processed master for comparison.
6. Tracks > Resample... > 44100 
7. Change Project Rate to 44100
8. Export as Other uncompressed files > Options > WAV, Signed 16bit PCM
9. Close file
10. Open 16/44 clip
11. Resample to 96khz using the method above
12. Export as Other...>Options> WAV, Signed 16bit PCM
I then open both 96K files (albeit one at 24bits, the other at 16) into foobar and compare.
Have I missed anything?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogerBrains  /t/1523566/24-96-vs-16-44-1-vs-mp3s-and-other-formats-how-do-i-setup-an-abx#post_24581400



I have taken your advice and spent a little time searching through some of my recordings and found a few 24/96 files to use. The following is the process I am using to compare 16/44 to 24/96:

1. Open original in Audacity

2. Find the clip I want to use

3. Export as Other uncompressed files > Options > WAV, Signed 24bit PCM

4. Close the original file

5. Open my newly exported clip

5a. Effect> Equalization...>Add +12dB EQ starting at 15Khz and shelving at 21Khz

5b. Effect> Amplify...>maximum amplification - no clipping allowed

5c. Save the clip to be my processed master for comparison.

6. Tracks > Resample... > 44100

7. Change Project Rate to 44100

8. Export as Other uncompressed files > Options > WAV, Signed 16bit PCM

9. Close file

10. Open 16/44 clip

11. Resample to 96khz using the method above

12. Export as Other...>Options> WAV, Signed 16bit PCM


I then open both 96K files (albeit one at 24bits, the other at 16) into foobar and compare.


Have I missed anything?

Why the +12 dB eq above 15 KHz?
 
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