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MP3 V0 vs MP3 V2
Mach-X
post Aug 4 2012, 18:16
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While auditioning various codecs to use on my sansa clip+, I came across this sample from Dimmu Borgir's 'Enthrone Darkness Triumphant' album. It is the leadoff track, Mourning Palace, the first 30 seconds of it. In the left side of the soundstage there seems to be a percussion instrument that sounds sort of like a marracca or one of those old washboards. It is present all throughout the album. While listening to a lame -v6 version of the song, I noticed that the instrument had completely vanished. I tested all the way up to lame -v2, at which point it was STILL missing. I simply settled on lame -v0 for everything because even tho I couldn't abx 90% of anything I have at lame -v6 vs flac, I knew that every time I listened to this album I would be thinking about that 'missing' percussion. XD Anyway, here are the samples, hopefully others can reproduce what I heard and I'm not nuts.

sample1
sample2
sample3


Attached File(s)
Attached File  flac.flac ( 3.48MB ) Number of downloads: 130
Attached File  lamev0.mp3 ( 964.19K ) Number of downloads: 167
Attached File  lamev2.mp3 ( 716.01K ) Number of downloads: 197
 
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yourlord
post Aug 4 2012, 19:56
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I'm getting the opposite affect.. Listening on a laptop with Sennheiser HD-280's I can hear the sound in the left of the sound field in both of the mp3 samples, but not at all in the flac sample..

You sure you posted the right samples?
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Mach-X
post Aug 5 2012, 14:25
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Absolutely. I have the three samples on both my android phone and my sansa clip+, and I get identical results on both....in the lame -v2 file the sound is completely gone.
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Kohlrabi
post Aug 5 2012, 15:03
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I do not notice anything missing in either MP3 file compared to the FLAC. And even though I was under the impression that the percussion sound is slightly louder and sharper in the MP3, I wasn't able to ABX it, either:
CODE
foo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.14 beta 1
2012/08/05 15:56:47

File A: F:\flac.flac
File B: F:\lamev2.mp3

15:56:47 : Test started.
15:57:39 : 01/01 50.0%
15:57:56 : 02/02 25.0%
15:58:08 : 03/03 12.5%
15:58:27 : 03/04 31.3%
15:58:39 : 03/05 50.0%
15:58:53 : 04/06 34.4%
15:59:05 : 05/07 22.7%
15:59:32 : 05/08 36.3%
15:59:53 : 06/09 25.4%
16:00:04 : 07/10 17.2%
16:00:16 : 07/11 27.4%
16:00:26 : 07/12 38.7%
16:00:37 : 08/13 29.1%
16:00:49 : 08/14 39.5%
16:00:52 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 8/14 (39.5%)

Would you mind performing an ABX test of your own, Mach-X?

This post has been edited by Kohlrabi: Aug 5 2012, 15:07


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Mach-X
post Aug 5 2012, 15:39
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CODE
oo_abx 1.3.4 report
foobar2000 v1.1.13
2012/08/05 10:24:26

File A: C:\testing\flac.flac
File B: C:\testing\lamev2.mp3

10:24:26 : Test started.
10:25:17 : 01/01  50.0%
10:25:54 : 02/02  25.0%
10:26:32 : 03/03  12.5%
10:27:09 : 04/04  6.3%
10:27:38 : 05/05  3.1%
10:28:06 : 06/06  1.6%
10:28:36 : 07/07  0.8%
10:29:03 : 08/08  0.4%
10:29:30 : 09/09  0.2%
10:29:54 : 10/10  0.1%
10:30:22 : 11/11  0.0%
10:30:37 : Test finished.

----------
Total: 11/11 (0.0%)


Before any screams of 'fake' or 'cheating' begin I think I've isolated the cause of what I am hearing. My iems are sennheiser cx 300's which have a nasty peak at 5khz and some veiling in the upper treble regions. When setting my EQ i set a narrow cut at 5khz and a wide boost at 15khz. I *think* what I am hearing is actually a clipping effect, not the actual percussion sound itself. Because there is technically LESS data in the mp3 file I can only surmise that it's less prone to clipping than the flac. Or its possible that the low pass filter is eliminating a bunch of the upper frequencies boosted by my eq thereby eliminating clipping that way. The reason I say this is because what I am hearing is EXTREMELY sensitive to eq settings, ie non eq'd, I can't hear it no matter what file I listen to. Nevertheless, it DOES show something audible I can clearly hear that is played/sounds differently in lame -v2, -v0 and flac, even if it's an instrument or a clipping effect. Can anybody else shed some light?

This post has been edited by Mach-X: Aug 5 2012, 15:51
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greynol
post Aug 5 2012, 16:25
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I have not auditioned the samples, but that would explain a lot.

The encoder assumes a flat response for playback.


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Mach-X
post Aug 5 2012, 17:36
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Well the purpose of eq'ing is to try and illicit a flat response. Who here has equipment with a perfectly flat frequency response? If I simply ABX with flat settings there's no point as the gross peak at 5khz obscures many details and that's not how I listen to music. Besides the 'artifact' if you wish to call it that is present in the lossless file, not the lossy one smile.gif
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db1989
post Aug 5 2012, 17:58
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As it seems to require clarification:

The encoder assumes a flat response for playback relative to the input audio.

Not relative to later equalisation added intentionally by you to suit your equipment, room, or anything else. If an equalising stage introduces a problem, then it is by definition there where you must fix it.

It’s well known that positively EQing a given band can introduce clipping, and so it’s a standard recommendation that one avoid this altogether or at least only use it when one can guarantee that clipping will not occur.

This post has been edited by db1989: Aug 5 2012, 17:59
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Mach-X
post Aug 5 2012, 18:09
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Oh for sure, the eq I am talking about is added after the fact, not during encoding, that would be stupid. At this point I'm not even sure if it's clipping from eq, which if it IS I can properly replicate it using same eq settings on my clip, phone and notebook, or if it's just that this particular sound is being replicated more prominently in the lesser compressed files. Either way it's driving me nuts, but it IS a difference I can hear and replicate reliably between V2 and V0. (V0 and flac sounding the same)

@db1989 just re read your post, makes sense, if my eq settings are boosting frequencies that normally aren't heard it's not the fault of the encoder if the end sound is different from setting to setting.

This post has been edited by Mach-X: Aug 5 2012, 18:16
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yourlord
post Aug 5 2012, 18:28
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Just tried all 3 samples at work, with cheap ear buds, and now I couldn't abx these if my life depended on it.. I can't hear the click at all on the ear buds.

I'm not sure what happened at home on the Sennheiser HD-280's that made me hear that clicking in the left channel on the 2 mp3 tracks and not the flac.
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Mach-X
post Aug 5 2012, 19:07
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I just plugged in my sennheiser pc 151's which are a warmer sounding set, turned off eq, and i can't even hear the sound any more. I'm guessing it's a high hat that my eq settings were causing to distort in some oddball way, just funny that lame -v2 removed the distortion, which you would think it would have the opposite effect. Either way i'm tossing these cx 300's and finding something warmer that isn't fatiguing and won't require eq that way I won't be driven nuts by this any more.
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probedb
post Aug 5 2012, 19:33
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QUOTE (Mach-X @ Aug 5 2012, 19:07) *
I just plugged in my sennheiser pc 151's which are a warmer sounding set, turned off eq, and i can't even hear the sound any more. I'm guessing it's a high hat that my eq settings were causing to distort in some oddball way, just funny that lame -v2 removed the distortion, which you would think it would have the opposite effect. Either way i'm tossing these cx 300's and finding something warmer that isn't fatiguing and won't require eq that way I won't be driven nuts by this any more.


What price range are you looking at? If you're prepared to spend some money Westone UM2 and UM3x are very good. My cable is broke so I've had to resort to some Creative earbud things while it's away for repair....let's just say the response is not what you would call flat wink.gif I don't run any EQ on Rockbox with the Westones.
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