I'd be glad to post (blind) samples tomorrow, however that particular assertion was based on personal experience and wasn't necessarily meant as an objective claim of fact, whereas the latter claim regarding stacking tracks using low vs. hi-end converters was, and I offered evidenced to support it. You, on the other hand, have offered none, but I digress since we're belaboring a discussion that's tenuously connected to the topic of the thread.
You want proof that 2 differing audio signals will sound different through multiple stacked processing plugins? Like, that isn't self-evident to you? Wow.
You want proof that a degraded signal is less preferable to the original unadulterated signal, especially if you're going to put that signal through multiple plugins? And that isn't self-evident to you? Double wow. You are in the wrong business, my man. Try your hand at painting.
You could've simply summed all of that up by stating that human perception is flawed. Period. That's one reason why science relies on controlled studies. That said, this particular point of discussion has become disconnected from the intersecting dialogue that started it.
Perhaps the explanation should have been longer!
I can't imaging a discussion of your failure to hear a difference being MORE connected to the "intersecting dialogue" than you saying "in my own blind tests" which means "your own hearing".
If it wasn't your ears then please provide the measuring instrument used, and the results, either data or graph, that it produced.
or admit you have faulty hearing, that your argument is scientifically utterly wrong (they are not equal or unable to be heard), that all people won't agree to your conclusions in such a test so there are no such things as valid blind tests for hearing coming to a universally empirical conclusion. AND while you're at it, please defend the probable reality of unicorns. Haha
In my own blind tests, I couldn't tell a difference between Line-In and SPDIF, though if you're going to be performing multiple operations in a DAW
To clarify so you aren't confused, my first post was in response to your statement here above.
You seem to have "changed the goal post" from that and you did not "provide proof" of Line-in vs SPDIF (It's S/PDIF btw)
Provide some scientifically accepted proof of that and we'll talk. Please tell us how they are equal!!! (I'm be making some popcorn now...)
That's why blind testing is used; to rule out confirmation bias.
Check into "universally empirical."
Also, understand that while there are scientifically mechanical instruments capable of measuring some sonic outcomes that provide data for our MINDS to evaluate rationally, human ears and brains, which evolved to not be eaten instead of evolving as quality sound testing equipment are extremely irrational at measuring sound in a universally empirical way. They are untrustworthy, not just due to imparting mental bias, but because people do not all "hear" the same way mechanically or perceptually and so they cannot be relied upon to produce "universally empirical" proof.
You've read, no doubt, to only mix for an hour at a time because you hear differently based on what you were hearing prior? That high volume produces ear fatigue? That it's better to come to a mix with "fresh ears"? That's because your own ears judge sound in a relativistic way moment to moment based on what they just heard? Ear/Brains are incapable of being unbiased in a universally empirical way. If they were capable, as you suggest, then we'd all arrive at the same decision, right? The results would be Universal. They are not. That should be a clue to you that there is a crack in the above statement you provided that doesn't hold up under scrutiny.
Ever see a co-worker outside of work and forget their name because it's a different setting? Your ears work the same way. Setting affects how you hear things. Mood. Previous aural events. Past experience. Attention span. Hearing loss. Bone formation. Ear formation. Drug and Alcohol blood levels. etc, etc, etc.
It's sad we base court cases largely on eye-witness when scientifically we've proven it's one of the worst forms of evidence you can introduce into a court hearing. Ear-witness is the same. Unreliable, untrustworthy, capable of being fooled (aural illusions perhaps?)
We shouldn't fool ourselves into thinking our ears are anything but AS fallible as eye-witness. Ear-witness is a terrible measure of universally empirical (and scientifically accepted) results of sound.
You can add 2+2 apples and it's 4 apples all over the world. But if you look at the results of your "blind testing" and don't see 93%+ agreement? The test is a dud. Get 30% KPA, 30% Fractal and 40% IDK? Dud.
The first two samples in Ethan's test involved first captures from the microphone, and the third was a re-recorded version degraded by an extra pass through the Delta's D/A and the SoundBlaster's A/D sections, thus 2 levels of distortion from 2 different manufacturers.
Feel free to post samples that validate your claim.
Despite my initial assumptions, based on real-world blind A/B testing I've performed here I'm not inclined to believe it makes any real or notable difference. Feel free to post samples, though.
Your argument is entirely orthogonal.
While Ethan talks about the parallel effect of a Delta distortion, you are ignoring the Serial size and Serial processing of that Delta distortion. You are applying his findings inaptly, too.
You're using his study to advocate, wrongly, a position that a degraded signal is equal to the original un-degraded signal, which is, frankly, extremely illogical. Read my statement above about using ears as scientific evidence. Its only evidence for your own decision. They don't relate universally.
As to "proving" things, you resort to this measure on threads I've read, and I've seen you dismiss the proof out-of-hand without evidence. I won't play such games with you.
If you don't already know that processing distortion creates a divergence compared to an undistorted signal, I doubt you can understand the proof. Read up on it?
Feel free to post 5 more times on an illogical, unproven, and poor piece of advice. I'm sure those interested in good mixes will find good sources of information to avoid your choice. But you'll be arguing to yourself hereon out. I'm not getting involved in a fool's argument.
Ethan knows something about room acoustics.And not much else about making records.
Leaving aside some of the blatant dishonesty in some of his ‘tests’, he has a clear agenda to be the ‘guy who debunks things’
When I hear some records he has made that sound great then I’ll take his advice on these kinds of things.
Most of the people I know what make great sounding records for a living think ‘stacking’ is a real thing.
I don’t buy into the “nothing really matters” school of digital thought. Popular as it may be amongst the hobbyists on gearsluts.
Back on topic; the Fractal is a modeller. It’s building blocks to make a sound that emulates an amp and effects.
The Kemper profiles an actual amp.
That ability to profile MY amps mic’ed the way I like to mic, through the desk pre I like etc. is what makes t way superior to me.
It’s not someone’s idea of a Hiwatt. Or someone’s attempt to match a Hiwatt. It’s MY Hiwatt sounding the way I would record it.
These are my thoughts about Ethan's point:
I'm a scientist, so I can extract from a test result it's exacting point. There is an accurate point here, so it has merit and application.
But it's not as sweeping as indicated because of the many variable in real recording.
Its pure reality should also not cause decisions that are clearly stupid: choosing to go through 2 converters instead of staying in the digital realm.
Which, btw, is also scientifically proven to be a degraded signal. And Ethan is NOT advocating that. So he shouldn't be used for that aim.
By taking an isolated case to make an academic point (parallel input distortion isn't additive in a pure test case) instead of conversationally pointing out that this merely means that the causation initially ascribed is correct, but just for the wrong reason, well, you're resorting to argument for it's own sake, and not trying offer a solution or give some clarity by advocating a smart decision. You're arguing an exception as the de facto reason for a universal solution that is not professionally accepted and not even academically preferred and basing the nail in the coffin on your own senses (hearing) which is about as accurate as an optical illusion.
There's a clear role for science, but most of us judge by that terrible un-scientific standard of being an ear-witness. I'm guilty of this, but it helps to know when and why you do this.
If someone says they can't hear something, I take them at their word: Their hearing sucks, haha. But I don't broaden that to mean anything beyond their own hearing.
I can hear a difference. Is my hearing superior? Probably not. In fact, at my age, definitely not. And I don't fool myself into thinking there isn't some believe involved in my own aural decisions.
But I am quite aware that there is no way to be "scientific" about a human decision based on senses. The brain is too prone to failure of the senses to have anything universally empirical about them.
Right. Ethan Winer says that if you record one track with 1 dB distortion and then record another track with 1 dB distortion the resulting parallel summation will be... 1 dB of distortion. Good point.
But what I'm talking about is more of a real world stacking. You get distortion going through KPA -> DAC then that signal -> Apollo ADC's LINE IN. That's 2 levels of distortion going on from 2 different manufacturers. So that's additive distortion, or SERIAL as opposed to the PARALLEL that Ethan was referring to. If all you did was layer guitars using the same treatment, Ethan is still right. But we don't do that, do we?
Now, you go in with this DELTA level of distortion (or with converters, I think of it as "degradation" of the original audio signal) and it may not be readily apparent to someones ears (even if apparent to others). But it's there. And the problem with it being degradated is this: frequencies lost that are inaudible affect the audible spectrum.
When you start processing with further hardware, or as most of us now do, plugins ( often multiple plugins) this distortion becomes manifest as a different sounding audio signal than the original Digital S/PDIF -> S/PDIF Digital would be going through the same distortion. Because a plugin notation can act upon frequencies in the original signal that just don't exist in the degraded one. Which again, even if in the inaudible range, augment to affect the audible range.
In the REAL world, you don't use the exact same processing either. Your main vocal might be on a different reverb plugin than your guitar or even your background vocals. The whole mix might be on another reverb. The various differences of different compressors, etc, you get the point, are NOT the scientific "same distortion to a signal in parallel" that Ethan had proven scientifically means summation of equally treated signals doesn't end up with augmented differences.
You have a good point. But its a special case not prevalent in most people's mixes.
In the REAL world, we apply different conversions, different processing, and the differences augment. If they are not initially audible, they WILL stack up to become evidently audible as the processing stacks up.
I hear the initial difference on the Apollo Twin. I'll have to fiddle with my newer Apollo 8, to see if I can hear it (since it has a real LINE IN) but I'd STILL choose the straight digital signal.
Why choose a degraded signal if you don't have to, knowing it will be further processed and that this processing can only reveal an unnatural result?
In reality it makes virtually no difference.
Is "virtual" a pun? haha (good one if it is)
I guess stacking is audible with microphones for the noise, but a poor adc is either heard outright (ie fast track ultra vs clarett) or heard from multiple conversions (i.e. bussing through hardware or reamping)
Do you use/prefer XLRs or 1/4" from the Main Output into the Apollo Twin? Looking into a Apollo Twin.Many thanks,
I think the 1/4" is quieter since it forces internal routing to it's "LINE" IN vs the XLR forcing the Microphone route to "Preamp" but from my reading on forums, the LINE IN on the Twins are not true LINE IN and still go through part of if not all of the Preamp section anyways? I don't understand, but someone confirmed that only the Apollo 8 and up offer true LINE IN.
There can be a difference in noise level from XLR->1/4" assuming your 1/4" are not balanced (Mono cables) so use balanced cables if you go 1/4".
I hear a much truer signal through S/PDIF into the OPTICAL IN (coaxial RCA input) vs 1/4" but a converter is required for that.
Btw, if you go "up" to the Apollo 8 you can use straight up RCA cables (and you should because even with a converter the Optical IN's don't take S/PDIF, only ADAT)
The general idea on audio interfaces for the Kemper is: Digital is preferred, LINE IN your second choice but the Preamp section is not preferred under any circumstances.
I've heard huge stacking differences on multiple background vocals on cheap mics vs one with a much better signal to noise ratio.
It kinda of stands to reason that poorer conversion will stack poorly. Although, one could argue that the inherent frequency phase cancellations would do more damage in that regard.
I try not to stack the same tracking, but do so for harmonies (guitar or vocal) and it was amazing how well the TLM103 stacked vs say a C1000S.
The irony? I then put on tube compressors and eventually a friggin' tape emulator that all add noise so it starts becoming a mute argument at that point, haha
I think it depends on the audio interface whether you can hear a difference between Line and S/PDIF to most people's ears.
On the last few interfaces I've had, I've heard a clear difference and stuck with digital.
I couldn't get digital to work for the Audient ID22, but certainly anything with a Coaxial did work, and my conversion for Optical worked on all other interfaces I've tried.
Fractal isn't the only company guilty of retrograding a function for a supposed "upgrade".
I was a bit miffed, recently "upgrading" from Apollo Twin to the Apollo 8, learning that they took away the ability to choose between ADAT vs S/PDIF over the same Optical input! What?!?
Thus I was forced to get a long RCA cable for the Kemper (bump under rug now vs that nice wee bitty fiber cable), and then had to figure out how to switch from S/PDIF -> ADAT for the M3000 reverb rack I had setup. (more figuring out how stupid UA was than the M3000's settings, that was pretty easy)
But if you DO have a good interface (or perhaps an inability to hear the difference between Line vs Digital) multiple recordings should stack up to become a audible (for those who layer.)
My MO is, if I HAVE the best option (in this case digital) then I'm using it. Why force an unnecessary conversion?
It was because of this I decided to get the Apollo 8, for it's IN/OUT optical for reamping.
In the past, from reading forums, reamping was a problem with the need for external conversion (depending on the sample rate chosen) or else using Line back in to the interface but with the latest Kemper OS release it's not: you can stay entirely in the digital realm no matter what sample rate you choose. So this came along at a perfect time for me. (I expect this was the plan by KPA, lol)
So Kudo's to the KPA admin, design & programming teams for listening to customers and making what was formerly thought un-doable, now a reality!
You can't collect more than a few guitars and NOT have a broke guitar story.
I have three:
1) Had a 90's Ernie Ball MusicMan Axis Sport that was candy apple red. Cracked just looking at the finish. So I got the bright idea to strip it back to wood and shellac it.
While I was doing this, it rained. I had the parts in a big black bag, neck wrapped in t-shirt. Neck took the rain and held it against the neck. Axis Sport necks are "unfinished". Oops.
Swelled up like a puffer fish. 2 years in a Kiln and the frets popped and I still had to hammer it onto the body. Only good for slide. So after 5 years I decided to have the neck fixed.
MusicMan took the old neck, replaced it with a new Super Sport neck (lefty even though the guitar was a righty) and put on a compensated nut. The only lefty compensated nut on a 90s Axis Sport!
Not as good as the original, sadly, but good enough (9/10) The body? It was a right-handed body and I carved that naked baby up for lefty reach up the neck.
I now have a totally unsellable guitar (unless Van Halen signs it) but it plays fantastic and sounds even better. Like a 60's casino P90! I pimped the body up with rock-history stickers. Looks like a Pinnate.
2) Had a Parker PM20 Pro. Leaned against a wall. It slid 1 foot along the wall into a table. The headstock must have had weak grain and cracked at a tuner and sent a piece of wood across the room.
Took me an hour to find it! Had a local luthier fix it with a wooden peg stacked through it like a vampire. Ugly. I didn't pay for cosmetics. Too cheap a guitar to be worth the price.
3) Traded a GIbson SG for an Akai DPS24 (man, that was a bad deal, I miss that unit) and since it was a righty, gave it to my brother in NYC. He had it, probably knocked it over. It's a Gibson, so the neck broke of course.
My brother, being an egg-head about guitars, and too ashamed to admit to me he "broke" the guitar, didn't know you can fix guitars and threw it away. Somewhere, in the Canarsie dump in Queens long island, is a Gibson SG that can be fixed. Along with 50+ years of NYC garbage and innumerable mob hits. Being a right-handed guitar, and a bad swap, I think it got what was coming to in, no?
Seeing I've probably had about 30 or so guitars in the 20 years I've been spending on electric guitars (acoustic before that) that's about a 10% break rate. I now treat guitars much, much better.
People who buy my used guitars are amazed at the great shape. So an old dog has learned a trick!
I'm sick of you guys posting pics of crappy guitars.
Time to smote y'all with my latest acquisitions.
1) This guitar came with a 50 song playlist for my 50th birthday party.
Yes, how many can say they have friends with so little time they can make
mix "tapes" (mix USB sticks?!?) with a song per year for them? Plus they gave me this swanky baby. Can anyone ID it?
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2) How many have wanted a Rickenbacker? I had one. Wasn't impressed. At least I wasn't as impressed as I am with THIS one: (replete with spotlight, so it' a STAR!)
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3) I gotta say ONE thing about Gibsons. They have this ONE thing in common... Their necks just ache to find a reason to break on you. Proof:
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yep was running 2 kempers using a Morley ABY as I have been posting
Prob was it never worked right
Soon as I got the Lehle and switched on constant latency problem was solved. It some thing else to run 2 kempers with 2 mission stereo cabs
Remember I don't just run 2 amps into one stereo out put like the rest of the world.
Both cabs are stereo
It's like having 4 chicks not 2
I was running 4 kempers and...
You make it sound sooo casual, haha!
Oh, and Dr Tommy backs up what you say. 3 and 5 always leave someone out! (apparently, can't speak from experience unless we're talking bridge club and badminton)
Decided to jump on an Apollo 8 that comes (eventually) with a Satellite Thunderbolt QUAD.
Figure I can sell the Apollo Twin (silver) and Satellite Firewire QUAD which helps.
Also gonna sell the Slate VMS (U87 chain is working great for me)
Oh, went and re-bought the Behringer X-Touch as an external controller because Slate Raven doesn't work with Reaper.
Last time I had it, I was frustrated that its levers didn't line up dB-wise. But I found out there is a setting now in Reaper that can adjust this.
(I also realized that if I couldn't do it, it's easier to print envelopes (ie Volume, panning, effects) with actual levers than by mouse)
My studio upgrade panels are all set except an over-head one I'm tacking this week. So we're 99% of the way there.
My main reasons for upgrading to an Apollo 8 were:
* S/PDIF IN/OUT for reamping
* Extra DSP (Quad vs Duo)
* Slightly better converters
Strange thing though. The Twin will allow for a setting of S/PDIF or ADAT over their Optical IN. I was using a converter for the KPA from Coaxial -> Optical.
But the Apollo does NOT allow for this! (yet, they say)
So I had to go back to S/PDIF cables and run them under the rug (larger lump vs the Optical, so that wasn't optimal) but it's working!
And the KPA's new updates mean I can go out higher than 44.1 Khz w/o converters
My latest thing was to add a DBX 520 to the vocal chain (amazing how it tames sibilance but leaves the rest of your vocal good. Too much and you sound like you have a lisp!
I also grabbed some Owens-Corning 703 2" and 4" fiberglass boards, some Guilford of Main fabric to cover them (light blue but it looks more grey-blue) and Rotofast clips and tacky cloth spray.
I needed to route out the Rotofast clips a tad with a 27/64 inch drill bit (I have a set from years ago, strange to have that size but it's perfect) and put them up.
(website if anyone is interested: https://www.atsacoustics.com/cat--Accessories--103.html)
Here's what a panel looks like (this is w/o any wood framing, just open fiberglass on back, cloth from back edges around to front. It helps with controlling room noise when playing live, controlling your mixes of course, and when tracking live (more for acoustic gtr than amp'd guitar) I had foam treatment but they say this is way way better so instead of buying another $500 piece of gear I just did room treatment instead to see if it helps:
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Put the Mic through a Neve board!
How's about a HiWatt. Something Who-like!
Yeah, I was hoping to save money with one of those little mini Marshall amps that plug directly into your guitar, but the Kemper sounded worse, so I'm keeping it! haha