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Thread: Dither - My Ears can't hear it

  1. #211
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    As a long time HR.com lurker with mad respect for the regular contributers, this thread depresses me.

    Anyone in the same boat, I urge you to spend some time with PCABX. Learn how to listen for yourself, and the importance of double-blind tests. Then make up your own mind about what is and isn't audible.

  2. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    So now that you (by default) concede you have no rebuttal for my technical points that dither and jitter 90+ dB below the music are inaudible
    I don't know which thread you're in, Ethan, but I've only been rebutting you for some two weeks now, and concede nothing of the sort. The fact that you just can't understand that there is nothing *under* anything else here, the fundamental problem with your reasoning, is the core of your unability to understand the rest.

    Just because dithering takes place in the last bit or two doesn't mean that it doesn't cause harmonic distortion to the structure of the entrire wave form. It in fact *does*. This is just one of the many litmus tests that have become apparent in this thread that indicates that you just don't have a fundamental understanding of just how digital representation of an analog signal actually works. Without that fundamental understanding, any further technical discussion on our part would only a one-way dialog, because it would be falling on, maybe not deaf ears, but ears wothout the ability to comprehend.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    all you have left is threats?
    What is it about text-based forums that cause such complete misconstructures about what people say? There are no threats involved here. My GOD.

    I cautioned you that you're now entering an area where you are making statements that to anybody who has at least a somewhat correct technical grasp of the issue are indistinguiahable from complete nonsense, and that in your own interest you might want to condiser backing off. Hell, Ethan, if I had any ill will at all towards you, I'd let you continue spewing such muck wothout offering that caution, because you run the risk of digging your own grave if you do.

    You simply have no idea how that one post you made about analog jitter and all that stuff sounds like it came straight from a loon, and I and anyone else are powerless to correct or help you without sending you back to school for some basics first. You are trying to do the equivalent of trying to offer some non-linerar algebraic proofs while getting the basic arithmetic wrong..
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    And would surely be yours too if you were here so I could prove it to you in person with a blind test.
    Over and over and over and over again with the same misundertanding and misleading statements. Once again, if you actually read and understood what I and others have replied to you over and over and over again - with zero ducking - those tests are meaningless because you're testing for the wrong thing the wrong way.

    The effects of dither are - at best - subtle, and not automatically audible all the time. We have stipulated to that from the biginning. The real answer is statistical in nature, not an all-or-nothing proposition, and not one which can even begin to be investigated by a non-blind (you keep erroneously calling it blind, it's not) A/B test. I feel you will never be able wrap your head around that concept. You really are looking at a 20th century issue from a classical 19th century perspective.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    But I'm not willing to see my partner and employees harmed by those who can't discuss the facts calmly and rationally.
    Which is exactly what I was cautioning you against, Ethan. That potential harm is exactly the kind of danger you are inadvertantly exposing them to because you are talking about stuff that you do not yet have the fundamental knowledge base to be able to rationally discuss yet.

    Unfortunately, your fundamental knowledge of how digital actually *functions* is seriously flawed or lacking...or at least it certainly does not match your level of knowledge of things analog and acoustic. It would take weeks or months to get through enough of that just for us to be able to stipulate the basics together. I don't have the time for that. But without that, there is simply nothing to discuss, because you will continue to be talking about square pegs and I will continue to be talking about round holes, and we will never be able to get togther on anything related to the issue.

    I know you don't want to hear that, that you think it's an attack on you - even though I guarantte you it's not - and that you are blaming the messenger for the message. I will have to simply bear with that.

    The really sad part is that this whole thread is much ado about very little. My GOD, were talking about *dither* here for chrissakes. It's not like it's something that your avergae engineer loses any sleep over, one way or the other. It's such a minor variable in the entire equation to waste so much energy on.

    I have to apologize for my part in making this minor thread so damn long. It's my fault that I have a real hard and serious dislike for pseudo-science and bad science that tries to pass itself off as anything even close to legitimate, and I was suckered back into this thread more than once after "leaving". I try to keep that unflattering part of my personality under control, but I ovbiously don't often do a very good job of it .

    G.
    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
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  3. #213
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    Glen,

    You have insulted me no less than ten times (snips below), yet you still failed to refute a single thing I've said! Your entire post basically calls me an idiot over and over, but you never said why you think I'm wrong. You didn't explain how jitter could make things sound small. Or how anything that's 80 to 90 dB or more below the music could possibly be heard. In fact, you made the exact same mistake you accused me of - not understanding the basics of digital audio. In your post above you wrote:

    Just because dithering takes place in the last bit or two doesn't mean that it doesn't cause harmonic distortion to the structure of the entrire wave form.
    It seems you're not aware that distortion is often expressed as being some number of dB below the signal. There's a reason for that. And it doesn't matter that the distortion signal rides up and down on the overall waveform! All that matters is the magnitude of the artifacts when compared to the desired parts of the signal. The same goes for jitter, which is expressed as artifacts that lie some number of dB below the signal. Now, I could accuse you of being incompetent to discuss jitter after showing an obvious lack of knowledge by your statement above. But that's not my style. I haven't insulted you before in this thread, even though you have insulted me repeatedly.

    As it happens there's a relevant article in the current issue of Sound On Sound magazine. I don't know if you get SOS, but it's one of the few sane audio magazines. This issue has an article that claims to separate truth from myth about dither and jitter and other digital issues. Guess what? The writer (Hugh Robjohns, who knows his stuff) made a point of saying that jitter is a non-issue. He also put test files demonstrating dither on the SOS web site:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb0...audiofiles.htm

    In order to show what the effect of dither sounds like, he too had to reduce a sine wave to only 3 bits, though there are also piano files reduced to 8 bits.

    Glen, I assume you don't fall for expensive audio cables and other such hi-fi tweaks, yet I'm sure you're aware how vehement the "wire believers" are about what they think they hear. I see no difference between those beliefs and yours. In both cases someone has convinced themselves they hear something that all logic and understanding of masking principles says cannot be heard.

    --Ethan

    the fundamental problem with your reasoning, is the core of your unability to understand the rest.
    you just don't have a fundamental understanding
    ears wothout the ability to comprehend.
    that one post you made about analog jitter and all that stuff sounds like it came straight from a loon
    sending you back to school for some basics first.
    you will never be able wrap your head around that concept
    you are talking about stuff that you do not yet have the fundamental knowledge
    your fundamental knowledge of how digital actually *functions* is seriously flawed or lacking
    you are blaming the messenger for the message.
    I have a real hard and serious dislike for pseudo-science and bad science

  4. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by NL5 View Post
    the first ones were mp3's. He later put up a test with a ripped section from a Fiona Apple CD in WAV format
    Where? All I saw were links to MP3 files followed by another round of MP3 files.

    In both tests nearly everyone picked the ART converter out as the worst. If there is no difference how did that happen?
    I don't own any ART gear and I'm certain I never said anything about that brand being good or bad. So maybe that device really is poor? It wouldn't be the first time a piece of gear sucked!

    --Ethan

  5. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
    Glen,
    It seems you're not aware that distortion is often expressed as being some number of dB below the signal. There's a reason for that. And it doesn't matter that the distortion signal rides up and down on the overall waveform! All that matters is the magnitude of the artifacts when compared to the desired parts of the signal.
    From the following book:

    Convergence in Broadcast and Communications Media By John Watkinson

    "The importance of correctly dithering (a quantizer) cannot be emphasized enough, since failure to dither irrevocably distorts the converted signal"

    Ethan, remember that an audio signal is not a DC current. A sine wave (as most audio waves) will go to it's peak level, but at some point it will go down to a level equivalent to 3 bits and less during it's cycle. The purpose of dither is to decorrelate this distortion from the signal. Our ears are more forgiving of noise at a constant level, than distortion that is signal dependent and variable.

    Why is this thread like a car accident that we can't stop looking at? Anyway, Ethan I get that you're not into subtleties. Are you still using Mackie HR824 monitors? If so I understand, and I'm not being a smart ass either. You're talking to someone that can't listen to music with earbuds for more than 2 minutes at a time.
    Tom Volpicelli
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  6. #216
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    This thread is turning into the digital version of the "Why Did Jesus Have To Die?" thread - in other words a case of Dwayne not budging, Wayne begrudging and Twain not meeting. (And there's only so much Twain one can handle I know - after it become too, too twain we all need a break & a trip to Chantanooga!).
    Interesting as it has been, at times this has become depressing only inasmuch as the residents of Olympus are seen to throw lightning bolts at each other & the resultant pressure drop in the atmosphere seems to be affecting the mortals.
    There's been a lot of aggro across the BBS since the No Studio Stickies wars of Walk Away Rick.
    Don't get me wrong: I LOVE robust argy bargy & believe that inaccurate ascertions made to the niave &/or innocent must be corrected. The problem is that the problem ceases to be the problem.
    P.S.
    I have learned much from following this, have enormous respect for the knowledgable posters & look forward to acquiring more practical & theoretical knowledge to help me on my way.
    PSS
    What did the digital pirate say when he felt jitter in the decking?
    "Dither me timbers!" of course.
    Last edited by rayc; 02-09-2008 at 04:34. Reason: typo

  7. #217
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    "Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has his first presidential campaign commercial. In the ad, which is now running, Romney says, 'This is not the time for talk and dithering in DC.' Making him the first candidate to come out against 'dithering.'" --Jay Leno

    I believe that this is the major reason he lost the GOP race.
    Tom Volpicelli
    The Mastering House Inc.
    www.masteringhouse.com

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  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by masteringhouse View Post
    From the following book:
    Ooh, then of course it must be true.

    remember that an audio signal is not a DC current.
    Groan!

    Are you still using Mackie HR824 monitors?
    I never owned 824s though many of my friends do. The monitors in my studio are old-school JBL 4430s with a 15 inch woofer and bi-radial horn, bi-amped with just over 1 KW from two Crown power amps. Very loud and very clean.

    --Ethan

  9. #219
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    Oh my GOD, would the OP please lock this thread?

    Ethan, would you think I was threating you if I said "You had better look both ways first before crossing that street because there are a lot of speeding busses on that street and you could easily get hit by one"? Does that mean I am sending a speeding bus after you? No, that means I am trying to be NICE and warn you against an inherant danger over which I have no control.

    Would you find it insulting if I said "you just don't know how to speak Russian"? And if I followed that up with "Until you can understand at least some fundamental Russian, you just aren't going to undersand what that Russian guy is saying", would that mean I was insulting you twice?

    Put your ego away for a minute and understand this: unless or until you have a more formal fundamental understanding of the Cryllic of digital theory, we are talking two different languages and will never be able to debate the subject. There is nothing - at least there should not be - implicitly or explicitly insulting about that statement.

    Please OP: Lock this thread. It has turned completly non-productive.

    G.
    Last edited by SouthSIDE Glen; 02-09-2008 at 09:52.
    [SIZE=1][B][COLOR=DarkSlateBlue]Glen J. Stephan,
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  10. #220
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    Alright.

    I never meant to start a monster of an argument anyhow.

    This thread has even spilled over into other web sites, and blogs.

    ( http://www.hometracked.com )


    Thank you Ethan, Matering House, Glen, NL5, and anyone else in the debate, but as Glen has requested, I will lock the thread.


    Matt

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