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Technical Help > mp3 sourced ?

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badvokPosted at 2016-01-13 00:00:24(203 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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what software would you use to see/check if something was mp3 sourced but had been converted to wav or flac ?

Thanks

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toneblokePosted at 2016-01-13 06:17:25(203 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)
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Cool Edit Pro
Adobe Audition
Audacity

There are others but these are the usual suspects.



"Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen"
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neilwilkesPosted at 2016-02-02 09:27:17(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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The way I do this is to not waste time looking at spectrum plots as these can be misleading - certain old consoles and even some vinyl has an upper frequency response limitation of 14k400 - you may have seen vinyl with the logo ffss - full frequency stereophonic spectrum, - which has a range of approx 100Hz to 14.40 kHz and a spectral analyzer will try to tell you this is lossy when it is not.
Additionally, some of the old consoles did not have any response above 15kHz.

A surefire way to tell is to check for lossy encoding artifacts. To do this you will need to learn what they sound like, and the best way is to do this:
1 - take any lossless file, ideally ripped from a CD.
2 - Convert this to a 128kbps mp3 file (we are deliberately using a low quality coding to exaggerate the noise so you know what it sounds like)
3 - go to [url]www.voxengo.com[/url] and download the free MSED plugin, install this into your VST plugins folder.
4 - now open the MP3 file in your usual audio editor, and add the MSED plugin.
5 - add a second track containing your lossless original, and again add the MSED plugin
6 - Mute the MID component and pan the Side to both speakers & play the mp3 file.
At this point you are only listening to the spatial information and have muted the centrally panned mono information - you will notice what can only be described as a chirping sound, often described as "Space Monkeys".
7 - for comparison, A/B between the MP3 and the lossless versions, both going through the MSED plugin - the difference - and the noise - will be plainly audible.
Learn this sound & become allergic to it.

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learmPosted at 2016-02-02 09:56:55(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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Hi Neil, it's great that you are back on the site and also full of energy.
Also it's fantastic to get your professional advice. But I fear to follow this will even cost us more of our (more or less little) remaining lifetime.

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steve23yhPosted at 2016-02-02 11:08:40(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)
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I know that I'm way way less fussy about MP3 than most others, but if spectrum checks don't work, does it matter?  I guess what I'm saying is, if it isn't obvious that it's MP3-sourced, what difference does it make?



Don't blame me, I didn't do it!
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MBFPosted at 2016-02-02 12:35:52(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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steve23yh wrote:

I know that I'm way way less fussy about MP3 than most others, but if spectrum checks don't work, does it matter?  I guess what I'm saying is, if it isn't obvious that it's MP3-sourced, what difference does it make?

And so the debate between lossless and MP3's rages on... :D

Personally I'd say none but it presumably depends on what you listen to it on. If you are an audiophile and play the tracks through an expensive sound system then I'd guess that it would be noticeable say when compared to listening to it on an iPhone through headphones. However, I am no expert here of course and this is just MHO.

I do prefer Flac or Wav format but downsize to MP3 when playing on my own very cheap and old MP3 player.

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surflingPosted at 2016-02-02 12:43:19(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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trader's little helper checks for mp3 sourced files and works fairly well, quick and easy i'd say.

it's a fantastic tool to have anyway, doing flac conversions, removing SBEs etc, and - it's free  :-)

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paperdragonPosted at 2016-02-02 14:16:31(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)
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Quote:

I guess what I'm saying is, if it isn't obvious that it's MP3-sourced, what difference does it make?

The equipment I trust far more than any other is simply my ears. I've never cared what various testing programs showed - all that matters to me is how it sounds.

That said, I've always thought that MP3s sounded pretty bad.



...and then my mind split open.
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neilwilkesPosted at 2016-02-02 14:18:03(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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MBF wrote:

steve23yh wrote:

I know that I'm way way less fussy about MP3 than most others, but if spectrum checks don't work, does it matter?  I guess what I'm saying is, if it isn't obvious that it's MP3-sourced, what difference does it make?

And so the debate between lossless and MP3's rages on... :D Personally I'd say none but it presumably depends on what you listen to it on. If you are an audiophile and play the tracks through an expensive sound system then I'd guess that it would be noticeable say when compared to listening to it on an iPhone through headphones. However, I am no expert here of course and this is just MHO.I do prefer Flac or Wav format but downsize to MP3 when playing on my own very cheap and old MP3 player.

I understand the point, I really do - but for me the problem is that I can hear the artifacts now I know what to listen for, and so can anyone - it is just a matter of training your ears.
That said, some alleged "audiophile" downloads are a con, pure & simple. A classic example is the very expensive DSD version of "Reality" available for somewhere around £18 that is a straight DSD encoding of the 1`6/44.1 files!!

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MBFPosted at 2016-02-02 20:59:19(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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neilwilkes wrote:

but for me the problem is that I can hear the artifacts now I know what to listen for

Yup, can see (hear?!) that. Once you know or learn something then it's difficult not to see or hear it again.

Last edited by MBF on 2016-02-02 20:59:25


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steve23yhPosted at 2016-02-02 21:50:23(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)
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I'm always way way too busy listening to the songs!



Don't blame me, I didn't do it!
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willb3dPosted at 2016-02-02 23:07:49(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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Easiest if you are on a Mac to just download "Spek".

You just drag a music file onto it and a couple seconds later it shows you where the cut-off occurs.

After seeing a few examples you quickly understand what you are seeing - from the basics of how high quality (say, 320kbps) mp3 sourced material extends on up to 20 kHz, how lossless sourced material usually extends to 22 kHz, how low quality mp3s or YouTube sourced audio can cut off way down around 17 kHz, to more complex things like how you can spot television-sourced material by the tight band of color that goes across near the top third (which I guess is a carrier signal or something inaudible but quite noticeable visually).

It's really easy, and since it is a tiny program, it's worth trying.

It's at http://spek.cc

Recently I noticed you can even drop most VIDEO files onto it, and it will show you the audio. So no need to do anything complex. Literally just drop the file on to see the result.

Last edited by willb3d on 2016-02-02 23:09:00


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toneblokePosted at 2016-02-03 06:45:37(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)
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The whole story behind quality lossless audio isn't necessarily about listening as an audiophile (which I am not). The serious ROIO collectors/traders prefer the good stuff so that 1: when a show is traded or acquired you know you are getting quality files; 2: with these lossless files, as originated, the trading pool isn't filled up with a myriad of compressed/remixed/remastered/adjusted/resampled crap.
Yes, even a lossy based capture can sound good but, as a collector, if you have the option of getting files at 24/96 lossless as opposed to 320 Kbps mp3 then it's no question.



"Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen"
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neilwilkesPosted at 2016-02-03 09:00:10(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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willb3d wrote:

Easiest if you are on a Mac to just download "Spek". You just drag a music file onto it and a couple seconds later it shows you where the cut-off occurs.After seeing a few examples you quickly understand what you are seeing - from the basics of how high quality (say, 320kbps) mp3 sourced material extends on up to 20 kHz, how lossless sourced material usually extends to 22 kHz, how low quality mp3s or YouTube sourced audio can cut off way down around 17 kHz, to more complex things like how you can spot television-sourced material by the tight band of color that goes across near the top third (which I guess is a carrier signal or something inaudible but quite noticeable visually). It's really easy, and since it is a tiny program, it's worth trying.It's at http://spek.ccRecently I noticed you can even drop most VIDEO files onto it, and it will show you the audio. So no need to do anything complex. Literally just drop the file on to see the result.

The Carrier you are referring to is usually at around 15k6 and can also be introduced by early SSL consoles with the built-in monitors so again things are not always what they seem to be - this is the problem with looking at an audio file rather than listening to it.

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willb3dPosted at 2016-02-04 22:48:59(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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neilwilkes wrote:

The Carrier you are referring to is usually at around 15k6 and can also be introduced by early SSL consoles with the built-in monitors so again things are not always what they seem to be - this is the problem with looking at an audio file rather than listening to it.

Sure but if you see that line but also see frequencies up high, you know you're not looking at a television source. Eventually you just recognize what is what.

It's just easier for some people to judge visually than by using one's ears, especially if one is trying to decide which set of files to keep if both sound essentially the same.

Sure I do listening too, keeping my head in the same position because I'm aware that even moving your position completely changes one's perception of the sound from one's speakers. It's helpful, but not easy, to rely only on one's impression.



Last edited by willb3d on 2016-02-04 22:51:27


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neilwilkesPosted at 2016-02-05 11:38:23(200 wks ago) (Technical Help / mp3 sourced ?)


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Another instant CD tester is TAU analyzer.
This uses an algorithm to check for CDDA or lossy source and it also throws out a spectral plot if you really need one. The only downside is that is only checks a CD - not files.

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