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AES conference London: High Resolution perception, paper about listening test
Kees de Visser
post Jul 5 2007, 11:25
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Unfortunately I wasn't able to visit the june 2007 AES Conference in London about High Resolution Audio.
The paper/presentation about a high-res audio listening test seems interesting. I'm wondering if anyone on HA happens to have been there and can share some information.

preview of the paper session:
Monday, June 25 11:00 – 12:30
Paper Session 2 — Perception

2-1 Which of the Two Digital Audio Systems Meets Best with the Analog System?— Wieslaw Woszczyk,1 Jan Engel,2 John Usher,1 Ronald Aarts,3 Derk Reefman3
1McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2Centre for Quantitative Methods CQM BV
3Philips Research, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

In this listening test, two digital audio systems (B and C), and one analog system (A) were tested by 10 test persons who listened to a surround sound scene “live” (without recording). The main question to be answered was: “Which of the two digital systems meets best with the analog system?” Both digital versions had 24-bit dynamic resolution but differed in sampling rate with which the analog signal was sampled. One version © was sampled with a CD rate of 44.1 kHz, the other (B) 8 times faster. There were also two test conditions, where in one condition there was a bandwidth cut off at 20 kHz instead of the 100 kHz that was possible with special 100 kHz microphones and added super-tweeters. For each subject, the experiment was replicated six times, in each of the two conditions. The outcome of each experiment was a 0 or 1, where the 1 means that the, technically best, digital system B has been chosen as meeting the analog quality. The paper describes the test and the outcome.

Without having read the paper, it's not clear to me whether the test was double-blind or not. Apparently it was not possible to replay sources, since the audio source was "live". How reliable would a test like this be ?
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post Mar 10 2012, 22:49
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Does anyone know who the 'reader' is , whose comments are being replied to by the authors?

Anyway, from those replies this struck me as odd
Assumption 2: “Both digital systems X and Y have a
performance that is not better than the performance of the
analog system A, if we measure this performance on the
one-dimensional latent variable.”
Assumption 2 has reasonable logic from audio knowledge
and experience if we assume that in theory the analog
version has an infinite number of data points (that is,
infinite resolution
), and DXD (8 Fs) has used eight times
more data points for conversion than the 1-Fs system.

emphasis mine

This 'theoretical' analog version is, therefore, a perfect recording. But real analog never is, and it never has 'infinite resolution', so why assume that digital is not better?

and this
Considering that the experience of professional recording
and mastering engineers working with high-resolution
audio has not been confirmed and quantified in laboratory
tests, we do not have a good validation of the testing
methods used in our industry. The current subjective testing
methodology does not seem to sufficiently reveal or
amplify the features characterizing individual listening
experiences. Perhaps this methodology, which is derived
from food and fragrance testing, is not as readily effective
for investigating subtle auditory sensations and the experience
of music? We too would like to encourage more
work in this area.

seems to me just Stereophiliac bafflegab. DBTs persistently fail to validate the experiences of 'professional recording and mastering engineers' who routinely employ only inherently flawed sighted comparison methods...therefore the problem may be with DBT? Come on!

This post has been edited by krabapple: Mar 10 2012, 22:55
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