Mike Shinoda featured in upcoming documentary "The Distortion of Sound"

Discussion in 'News' started by Kevin, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. #21
    Rebel Traj

    Rebel Traj Well-Known Member

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    I swear that I could hear a flute in Mark The Graves and low-volume screams in Final Masquerade. Yet sometimes I can't hear it back.
     
  2. #22
    Nobody Can Shave Me Now

    Nobody Can Shave Me Now Formerly known as Ron Jeremy LPA VIP

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    I own several high end headphones and refused to buy Beats. I caved in 4 days ago and grabbed the Myxer ones. The Mid and highs stick out on them and they're honestly not even that bass heavy. I'm not sticking up for beats in anyway because out of all the headphones I own they aren't the best. Senniheiser has taken the crown for sure.

    Anywho, I really want to see this. I think It's a really important topic that needs to be addressed. There's so many people musically listening like sheep. It's god-awful....

    P.S. I wonder if it's as simple as Derek was saying and just create that music listening experience by simply making small FLAC files. Maybe just a matter of time...
     
  3. #23
    Star Scream

    Star Scream Does A Machine Like You Ever Experience Fear

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    "They say it's time for things to change
    Re-arrange like good product re-built cheap
    Anything if it's more to gain"

    so true when it comes to ear/head phones and audio files :lol:
     
  4. #24
    stringsibanez

    stringsibanez ...

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    Short response: I feel like a much more direct/immediate solution to the "size vs quality" issue would be for consumers as a whole to declare shenanigans on the cost associated with mobile device storage amounts. Absolutely nothing is going to convince me that 8Gb of portable USB storage can be had for ~$10 (including the housing, USB connector, etc. for the device), but the cost of including more storage in a phone or ipod should somehow be $100 or more between increased levels. Bullshit.


    Further Exposition: If the cost of an 8GB stick is ~$10: The cost to manufacture it is less than that.. ~$6? and the cost of just the memory component (without the device, connector, packaging and other manufactured components) would be less still ~$2? (and I'm being generous). The cost difference to include 64GB in a phone instead of 8GB or 16GB should be roughly ~$12. If the manufacturers want to say that space within current devices is the issue then the base-level device should just be built to accommodate the increased storage from the outset. Furthermore, I would argue that there is no reason manufacturers couldn't exponentially increase storage amounts if there were a demand, however, at present there is likely not a loud enough demand for them to deem it necessary.

    Average MP3 file: 5 ~ 10MB x Average Album: 10 ~ 12 tracks = 50 ~ 120MB
    Average Lossless: 30 ~ 50MB x Average Album: 10 ~ 12 tracks = 300 ~ 600MB

    Current Devices: 16 ~ 64GB / MP3s = 130 ~ 1,280 albums or 1,600 ~ 12,800 songs (give or take depending on OS and device)
    16 ~ 64GB / Lossless = 26 ~ 213 albums or 320 ~ 2,130 songs


    So we need between roughly 80 ~ 380GB to match current file quantities with lossless files. Sure.. so Apple and Samsung make some new phones with multiple internal storage chips totalling 100~500GB.. it costs 25~$150 in increased manufacturing costs, but because current values are a load of crap, the cost of the new devices barely changes... problem solved.


    Long and Technical response:
    Alternatively, we start from square one and completely re-engineer the way digital audio is stored and reproduced.

    Currently, lossless digital audio is stored using the following method: Depending on audio quality, the analog-to-digital converter takes a bit-depth snapshot of the incoming complex-audio-waveform at the sample-rate setting.
    The current standard for commercially released audio ("CD-Quality") is 16-bit, 44.1kHz. A "bit" being essentially a "1" or a "0", a single 16-bit sample (or "snapshot") would range from: 0000-0000-0000-0000 to 1111-1111-1111-1111 and at 44.1kHz, the converter stores 44,100 samples or snapshots per second.

    Now, the bit-depth of each sample (8-bit, 16-bit, 24-bit) dictates the number of possible amplitudes (intensities or "volumes") that can be represented.. which has a direct effect on the punchiness and overall dynamic quality of the reproduced audio (this is why 8-bit sounds like nintendo: the lack of finite amplitudes able to be represented causes "stepping" in what would otherwise be a smooth audio waveform) whereas the sample rate (44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96khz, 192kHz, etc.) has a direct effect on the accuracy with which the frequencies present can be reproduced. The average range of human hearing is from 20Hz ~ 20,000Hz (or 20kHz), and Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem postulates that in order to properly represent a given frequency the sample-rate must be greater than 2x the maximum frequency being reproduced. So 44,100 samples per second was chosen in order to ensure accurate reproduction of frequencies up to the threshold of the human ear's frequency response: 20kHz.

    Personally, or in any commercial recording facility, a bit depth of 24-bits is used for even greater dynamic detail, and I record at 88,200 samples per second (for a variety of reasons including more open sounding capture, greater detail,smoothness, and realism of frequencies, as well as more accurate conversion down to CD-quality), and some facilities use even higher sample rates (48kHz is the film-audio standard so 96Khz is often used for film mixing).


    Why MP3's suck: The above being said, the simplest reason that an MP3 file is smaller than a lossless audio file is that it has less information in it. Unlike a .zip or .rar container which reduces the storage size of data files within it by using mathematical algorithms to represent a complete set of the original data in less physical bits.. an MP3 file uses a pre-determined set of compression codecs to "decide" which information to retain, and which information to discard.
    The easiest way to describe this is to oversimplify: Essentially, MP3 compression decides that if there is "enough" information about what's happening at 10,000Hz for example, then the information about 10,100Hz can be discarded, etc, etc.. Depending, dynamic (volume-change) information may also be estimated and dumbed-down during conversion. Then, when the audio is being reconstructed for playback, the software's codec basically guesses, to the best of its ability, what the missing information would have been and uses an algorithm to attempt to recreate it. The result of this is less accurate frequency representation, poorer dynamics, a loss of width, depth, detail, colour, and feel.. but a much smaller file-size.


    The idea of a small file size with lossless quality is a great concept.. the implementation, however, might require brand new technology if it is even possible at all. The problem being that audio data is complex and un-predictable from a mathematical perspective.. so representing the necessary information without literally representing each moment of it the way current lossless audio does would likely require data compression through mathematical guess-work and thus bring with it all of the caveats currently associated with MP3 audio. Not that the hope for something that would solve this problem isn't founded, but as computer and digital technology has improved, studio-quality audio file-sizes have actually increased because today's faster processing has allowed greater-detailed sample-rates to become practical.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
  5. #25
    Josh

    Josh Met LP 8-13-14 LPA VIP

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    I watched the whole thing. It was really good. It really motivates you to want better quality music.
     
  6. #26
    Wizardofozil

    Wizardofozil Well-Known Member

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    I can hear one in MTG too
     
  7. #27
    Knt.Slbs

    Knt.Slbs K E N T

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    Which part of the song?
     
  8. #28
    Susy

    Susy god break down the door LPA Contributor

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    I actually really liked this movie.
     
  9. #29
    raptors661

    raptors661 Active Member

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    I laughed a little when Mike was talking about putting a lot of work in a track and the camera focuses on a screen streaming Empty Spaces on Spotify.
     
  10. #30
    minuteforce

    minuteforce Danny's not here, Mrs. Torrance. LPA Team

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    So I just watched "The Distortion Of Sound" ... and we've explored some of these points already, but:

    • personally, I still buy CDs and I'll probably never stop
    • sometimes, I rip in WAV if an album is especially important to me :huh:
    • if affordable hard-drives and portable digital music players had the means to easily store thousands of lossless-quality songs, then, I'd rip and store everything in lossless without hesitation
    • alternatively, if high-end earphones, headphones and speakers were more affordable for me, I'd buy it all in a heartbeat
    • if the WAV format allowed for ID3 tags, that would be great
    • I don't feel like the music that I listen to has been left completely devoid of all emotion due to audio compression
    • I don't know anyone who thinks that listening through "shitty laptop speakers" is a good way to experience music (thx., Decay)
     
  11. #31
    chihuasG

    chihuasG Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, I don't know if I believe Mike... Nearly all of Linkin Park's music is compressed and lack dynamic range. The only song I can think of that isn't highly compressed is "Lockjaw". The problem with that track is they only released it digitally as a 160kbps file. No lossless version of that track (that is public) exists. Another thing that really bugs me is that their recent LPU CD releases (starting at LPU9) have songs that aren't in the highest quality possible, "Across The Line" is one example. Ironically, the "compressed digital" version that was released for iTunes is much better quality than the LPU CD release.
     
  12. #32
    Try-hard Chimi

    Try-hard Chimi Well-Known Member

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    how come when i listen to THP on spotify and then i put my cd on I can hear parts that i haven't heard on spotify version? I think you didn't get the point of the video at all, you only mention linkin park music, when the entire video speaks about spotify, itunes etc and listening to music on your smartphone, it might be true that THP is not mixed very well, but you can still listen to the album and enjoy it if you buy CD, I think if u wanna enjoy some album that you are waiting for, just buy it, so you dont get disappointed by shitty quality, THP leaked like that.
     
  13. #33
    roBot

    roBot Well-Known Member

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    I really liked the movie too! It covers a problem that I see in literally all my friends behaviour when listening to music (and "buying" it)
    I am the kind of person who buys a cd if I like the artist or a song on that album and I merely use youtube to get an idea...
    most people laugh at me saying "you can just rip everything off youtube - its FREE"

    At the moment I don't have access to good quality headphones or speakers as I'm travelling... that's why I said I don't want to spoil my first listening experience of THP by doing so on my laptop or the $10 headphones I am currently using so to this day I haven't heard anything else than GATS and Until its gone off the new album...
    I still have to wait until August when I come back home to give it my usual first listen on my headphones (Audio Technica ATH-M50)
     
  14. #34
    Feenix

    Feenix Well I Do

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    I honestly believe people have already wised up to modern audio quality issues. I would like to believe most people know how bad those earphones that come with iPod's are. I would like to believe most people prefer mp3's at at least 320kbps. I would like to believe most people know Beats headphones are overpriced trash. I would like to believe most people don't leisurely listen to music for hours on laptop speakers. Am I wrong?

    But, what I also believe is most people's ears cannot tell the difference the moment you get beyond a 320kbps mp3. I can, but then I have the equipment and a headphone collection to back it up. Still, even then, it's subjective - Mr Shinoda favors Sony MDR phones; I have the exact pair he uses as well as the Prestige model. They're great phones but in my opinion produce just slightly too little bass and that makes them bad monitoring phones to use, i'm sure somebody else would disagree. Another subjective topic I find is vinyl, there are a whole group of vinyl purists out there that I swear only choose vinyl because they think it makes them automatically win some d*** swinging competition. I will take a 24 bit FLAC over your eventual noise, crackles, hisses and pops any day. The point is even when you're using better equipment, you'll still have subjective disagreements.

    I totally agree low bitrate mp3's are a major problem, but I was under the impression that most of us refuse to have an mp3 unless it was at least 320kbps. Heavily compressed mp3's have existed for years chiefly to save on bandwidth, now that we all have faster, better internet and cheaper storage, I believe people are already wising up, changing their behavior and we're heading in the right direction.

    If I had released any music at this point and saw people listening to it at 64kbps on iPod buds, yes, I would probably cry. My question is - is anyone really doing that?


    (As an aside, i'm so glad the film didn't turn out to be a giant advert for PonoPlayer.)
     
  15. #35
    roBot

    roBot Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking...

    And regarding vinyl - I would love to buy music on vinyl just for the sake of the bigger artwork and as they say in the movie it adds something beyond the music to the experience of an album
    BUT I agree with the aspects of sound quality because who can afford high-end players...

    It would be perfect if there was a download of the music in lossless format that would come with the purchase of vinyl...
     
  16. #36
    Derek

    Derek LPAssociation.com Administrator LPA Administrator

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    I thought that for the longest time too, until I did a test. I queued up the same song twice twice to test (VERSA's "Wanderlust"), playing it over a 5.1 surround system even though it was mixed for stereo channels. The first time was a 320kbps VBR0 mp3 file, followed immediately by the uncompressed FLAC file. The audio separation, quality...and detail in every note in the FLAC vs the mp3 was a real eye opener. Same applies to listening to the HDTracks version of THP (which is basically the master of the CD in CD Quality/FLAC) vs the mp3s I made right from the CD. You hear backing vocals and other things in uncompressed that aren't distinguishable when listening to mp3s.

    The differences are there, they just have to be found by a listener who actually cares about quality and the nuances in their music. If you care about hearing your music in the best quality, and as close to what the artist intended, FLAC is the only way. A 320kbps mp3 as much as some people I know may ignorantly claim 'sounds just like the FLAC!'...really doesn't. There's information missing (as proven scientifically) and it'll never, ever be a completely accurate representation of the song.
     
  17. #37
    lordblood

    lordblood Radiance of a Thousand Suns

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    As a result of this thread (and the documentary), I decided to do a little test. I have the CD version of THP and I decided to rip two versions of All For Nothing. The First version was a 252 kbps MP3, while the 2nd was in FLAC. The music was then played through my laptop and my Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones. If nothing else, there is certainly a difference in the sound stage. In the MP3 version, all the vocals felt like they were front and center, so in the chorus Page and Chester sounded like they were singing from the same place on the stage. In FLAC, not only did the vocals feel more layered, I feel like I could hear the snares and cymbals much better on the drums. I'm not sure how much of this is subjective, but to my ears I certainly do feel like FLAC does have better quality. That being said, if I'm playing music through shitty to average speakers I doubt that level of nuance would be noticeable.

    TL;DR: If you have decent speakers/headphones definitely get FLAC/lossless files. Otherwise it doesn't seem to matter.

    EDIT: One last thing I noticed is that distorted guitars had much more "crunch" to the sound in FLAC. It makes ALITS almost listenable now.
     
  18. #38
    Feenix

    Feenix Well I Do

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    I think we're in total agreement.

    I said "most people", you don't appear to be "most people", you care about the music, you're listening critically, and most importantly have the equipment to actually notice the difference. That's the ideal situation. The trouble is most people don't care about that level of critical detail in their music, they listen on Beats headphones and don't pay an awful lot of attention so a 320 mp3 will work just fine in the majority of those every day listening applications. You play the same two pieces of audio to the average layman and they'll probably say to you right after "Uhh dude, they both sound exactly the same" much to your dismay. The reality is though they do sound incredibly similar, and they will sound the same if you don't have the right equipment. I wonder if you did the same test via an ABX plugin on Foobar2000 if you'd still hear a difference. Alternatively, if you have at least a 2 channel mixer have both playing at the same time and use the crossfader to switch between them. You would probably struggle to tell the difference now, placebo effect has a lot to do with it. The minute you go below 320 though there is a chasm of difference.

    My point is lets not get too hung up on compression alone and look at the wider picture. The equipment is just as important as the audio format, if not more so - if you listen to an mp3 through iPod buds, it's gonna sound like s*** - listen to the same track in FLAC through iPod buds, it's still gonna sound like s***.

    (Those Technica ATH-M50's are one of my favorites btw, almost perfectly balanced range and amazing value for money.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
  19. #39
    Yaseen Alam

    Yaseen Alam Well-Known Member

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    Aye they have used it, but I can tell you 100% they would only use it for quickly listening back to audio files. Not fore proper listening or mixing of an album.
     
  20. #40
    lordblood

    lordblood Radiance of a Thousand Suns

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    Agreed, audio quality is a train of factors. It's a lot like how power is produced by a car engine and then transferred to the wheels, in between you have the quality of the powertrain, drivetrain, and wheels, which all factors into how much power is transferred to the ground. People seldom consider the amplifier they are using, which plays a huge part in sound quality as well. The bottom line is that if you want true sound quality, you need to invest in all the parts that transfer the audio, from the format the audio is being played down to the speakers used.

    I love my M50x! It's by far the best audio speakers I've ever listened to, short of concert speakers. They just get really uncomfortable on your ears after awhile, but that's the consequence of the price I suppose.
     

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