How we perceive non-linear distortions

What is the probability that both of you came up with the idea, that designing audio pre for pleasing sound is like putting sun glasses on monalisa? Can you explain?
It is easy: sound production and sound reproduction is different things. In sound production you can add whatever you want. In sound reproduction should reproduce it as accurate as possible.
 

adason

Member
Paid Member
2004-11-10 8:31 pm
Maryland
When one is creating pre or amp, which has pleasing distortion, sounding way better than all the commercial crap in bestbuy, and that is here, in diyaudio, considered not flattering to the artist?
Excuse me, this is borderline insane. When I purchase cd, or pay for concert, or download, I purchased artists music. I can play it anyway I like. I already own the cd. If I prefer tube pre with more musical presentation, or use SE classA amp for pleasing second harmonic distortion, its my personal decision. I already paid the artist. Its none of his business, or yours for that mater, how I want to listen to the cd I purchased. Just like the farmer who sold you his produce does not care how are you going to cook it or what you do with it.
If creating our own audio device to please us out of love of music is considered not very flattering to the artist, then I think that opinion is wrong, totally wrong. Borderline insane.
 
When one is creating pre or amp, which has pleasing distortion, sounding way better than all the commercial crap in bestbuy, and that is here, in diyaudio, considered not flattering to the artist?
Of course you have the right to change the recording because you bought it. But in my opinion it did not respect to the sound engineer who create the recording.
 

adason

Member
Paid Member
2004-11-10 8:31 pm
Maryland
There was a thread long time ago, where, blindly, people could listen to about a dozen of files, same music, but went through a different opamp. Control, direct, was included, blindly.
Interestingly, direct control signal was not the winner.

As stated before, small amout of pure second harmonic was the key ingredient. Offcourse, just like with spices while cooking, its never good to overdo it.

I am going to put some shades on mona :)
Cheers.
 

Terry Demol

Member
2002-04-07 3:12 pm
*
I thought the sound engineer is supposed to respect the artist. Doesn't always happen, though.
It depends on the recording process / type of music etc etc. Even on classical recordings the SE has to make choices that will be imprinted on the recording forever.
What mic, mic pre amp, converter, mic technique (MS for example), how much ambience to capture etc. To make things more challenging often those choices
are made with headphones and an empty venue. Fill the venue with people, play back with speakers.......
 

rayma

Member
2011-04-29 8:37 pm
I'm aware of such matters, that was just a rhetorical statement. Once, I had to point out to the conductor
of our symphony that different parts of the audience will hear quite different sounds from the orchestra.
It was a newly built concert hall, and he didn't seem to realize that. His helper was trying to assist him
in balancing the sound during a rehearsal, but from a very unrepresentative seat.
 
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There are those, no need to name them, who are totally against any form of distortion, even pleasing. I was told few times when working on tube pre that trying to find pleasing distortion is 'disrespectful to the artist' and its 'putting shades on mona lisa' and that my tube pre is not an audio device but effect box.

Many people, many opinions.

Sometimes, i believe, we do not even agree why we listen to the music. How can we agree what sounds good.
There has been lots of rechearch done on exactly this: What do humans find "good sound".
Just search the science journals on this, lots of stuff there.

And the conclussion is that the vast majority of humans like neutral sound. Iow no added distortions.
Of cause these test were done double blind...
 
As DPH and Jakob2 have pointed out, much published science on humans has the appearance of being scientific, but is actually not good science. This is a huge problem that is being worked on for the past few years and the efforts continue today. Its called the replication crisis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replication_crisis One additional aspect of the problem is that when an initial study is done by respected scientists, subsequent researchers are biased to expect the same results. In some cases they have fiddled with their data to make it appear to produce the result they expected.
 

Terry Demol

Member
2002-04-07 3:12 pm
*
There has been lots of rechearch done on exactly this: What do humans find "good sound".
Just search the science journals on this, lots of stuff there.

And the conclussion is that the vast majority of humans like neutral sound. Iow no added distortions.
Of cause these test were done double blind...
What this could also read is something like:
'Once the right amount of various types of distortion have been added to various parts of the music and the sound is 'balanced' the vast majority of humans prefer no further distortions to be added.'
It's happening in every recording studio, every day and is documented on virtually every recording that has ever been made.

TCD
 
An analogy for non-linearity with live music might be squeaks from reed instruments, mis-tuned strings in a symphony orchestra, overblown horn section in a jazz band, etc.... Personal preference might select one of these "flaws" as preferable to a strict and accurate reading of the original performance, vs. a "perfect" reading of the original manuscript in a "perfect" concert hall, at an ideal position, as being "sterile", "lacking originality", etc. Two different perspectives, which really cannot be resolved, since opinion is implicit in preference
 
As DPH and Jakob2 have pointed out, much published science on humans has the appearance of being scientific, but is actually not good science. This is a huge problem that is being worked on for the past few years and the efforts continue today. Its called the replication crisis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replication_crisis One additional aspect of the problem is that when an initial study is done by respected scientists, subsequent researchers are biased to expect the same results. In some cases they have fiddled with their data to make it appear to produce the result they expected.
Science denial.
Of cause it's very easy to test for the audibility of non linear distortions, these tests have been done and been reproduced countless times.
I can make some files with various amounts of non linear distortions added, just let me know and we'll do a test here.
The results should be of no suprise to anyone.
 
An analogy for non-linearity with live music might be squeaks from reed instruments, mis-tuned strings in a symphony orchestra, overblown horn section in a jazz band, etc.... Personal preference might select one of these "flaws" as preferable to a strict and accurate reading of the original performance, vs. a "perfect" reading of the original manuscript in a "perfect" concert hall, at an ideal position, as being "sterile", "lacking originality", etc. Two different perspectives, which really cannot be resolved, since opinion is implicit in preference
Not a good analogy as in many cases the non-linearity is below audible levels. So a live music analogy would then be that somebody at the audience 30 rows behind you breathes bit louder than others.
 
@Boll Coltrane: Thanks but I already got an honorable mention from PMA in one of his listening tests by sorting recordings of matched single opamp unity gain buffers. Managed with lots of difficulty to sort them in order of distortion by ear. There was one exception which I did not bother to sort due to listening fatigue and general disgust with wasting my time. I figured someone else would nail it more easily than I could, but nobody did. Only difference between buffers was which audio opamp was used. IIRC they included 5532 and TL072, among others.

EDIT: BTW, the clue to which was more distorted was perceived brightness. Didn't sound like high level HD, rather the sound of very low level HD is quite subtle.