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How does one know that one mix/master is really better than another?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Re: How does one know that one mix/master is really better than another?

Postby oktoobo » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:53 am

After long time just lurking, I log to post on this thread :p

I think you (Hobbyist) are mixing up some fundamental differences. You keep using the term ‘mid range’ and ‘high end’ gear while making argument that one is not ‘better’ than other.

There are two factors here. Technically, you cannot argue that equipment with higher sample rate is not better than the one with lower numbers. You cannot argue that lower latency is not better than higher. As you like to say, there facts, factual and quantifiable differences where you can objectively say one is better than the other.

The other factor is ‘perceived’ difference. Which nobody claims to be an objective thing.

Now, you are using this ‘perceived difference’ argument (i.e., after certain ‘level’ from which on there is no ‘better’, just ‘different’) and posing it on top of quantifiable differences (e.g., sample rate). If you said from the start something like ‘after X level of sample rate the difference becomes almost not perceivable’, then I think many would agree with you. That’s very common sense diminishing return concept for which nobody needs degree for. But you are keep trying to turn this into some kind of technical (or facts and logic as you say you prefer) argument. In truth if something is perceivable to human ear or not, in factual quantifiable terms you can put things in hierarchic ladder.

Tl; dr - as the meme goes, facts and logic don’t care about your feelings, as in how you feel about ‘mid-range’ and ‘highend’ gears based on your perceived difference (again, subjective). I also need to point out you are using very loaded terms that are mostly based on market positions and consumer standard, and ta-da - perceptions, i.e., you are mixing up again technical differences and differences in consumer perceptions/market price/brand image etc.

Anyways, just my 2 cents
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Re: How does one know that one mix/master is really better than another?

Postby hobbyist » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:07 pm

oktoobo wrote:After long time just lurking, I log to post on this thread :p

I think you (Hobbyist) are mixing up some fundamental differences. You keep using the term ‘mid range’ and ‘high end’ gear while making argument that one is not ‘better’ than other.

There are two factors here. Technically, you cannot argue that equipment with higher sample rate is not better than the one with lower numbers. You cannot argue that lower latency is not better than higher. As you like to say, there facts, factual and quantifiable differences where you can objectively say one is better than the other.

The other factor is ‘perceived’ difference. Which nobody claims to be an objective thing.

Now, you are using this ‘perceived difference’ argument (i.e., after certain ‘level’ from which on there is no ‘better’, just ‘different’) and posing it on top of quantifiable differences (e.g., sample rate). If you said from the start something like ‘after X level of sample rate the difference becomes almost not perceivable’, then I think many would agree with you. That’s very common sense diminishing return concept for which nobody needs degree for. But you are keep trying to turn this into some kind of technical (or facts and logic as you say you prefer) argument. In truth if something is perceivable to human ear or not, in factual quantifiable terms you can put things in hierarchic ladder.

Tl; dr - as the meme goes, facts and logic don’t care about your feelings, as in how you feel about ‘mid-range’ and ‘highend’ gears based on your perceived difference (again, subjective). I also need to point out you are using very loaded terms that are mostly based on market positions and consumer standard, and ta-da - perceptions, i.e., you are mixing up again technical differences and differences in consumer perceptions/market price/brand image etc.

Anyways, just my 2 cents

I am arguing that once you leave the cheap stuff and wannabees behind that the only difference between mid range gear and the very expensive high end is merely a difference and not anything that is arguably better and certainly not provably better unless your only criteria is Veblen.

I agree that higher sample rates are potentially better if you need to do certain manipulations to the signal. But basically they are equivalent as far as the final product sound. And I do prefer higher sample rates but that is just my preference not something I would dare say proves anything like some folks with a preference might do.

And I say there is no logical objective way to say anything is better than something else once the low end was eliminated. Once you get to subjective it all becomes a bleeping contest to see who yells the loudest that their ears are the definitive decider.
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Re: How does one know that one mix/master is really better than another?

Postby ReadySaltedChris » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:27 am

This is painful. Please make it stop.
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Re: How does one know that one mix/master is really better than another?

Postby oktoobo » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:16 pm

Well, to me it seems too paradoxical. Basically you are saying above certain level, we enter the domain of subjective - I can kinda agree to this. However, that certain level itself needs to be objective for this argument to hold its claim as factual. This means for your argument to be factually and logically valid, you need to provide factual evidence and quantitative value for this threshold of quality you are talking about, rather than subjective terms like midrange and highend.

I’ll just leave the ‘debate’ at this point’ as this is becoming basic logic 101 rather than audio related. :p if you re-visit this topic with data from empirical studies on physics of sound and psychoacoustics, I’m sure it will be an interesting audio subject that many people would love to read, and maybe even agree with you.
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Re: How does one know that one mix/master is really better than another?

Postby hobbyist » Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:43 pm

oktoobo wrote:Well, to me it seems too paradoxical. Basically you are saying above certain level, we enter the domain of subjective - I can kinda agree to this. However, that certain level itself needs to be objective for this argument to hold its claim as factual. This means for your argument to be factually and logically valid, you need to provide factual evidence and quantitative value for this threshold of quality you are talking about, rather than subjective terms like midrange and highend.

I’ll just leave the ‘debate’ at this point’ as this is becoming basic logic 101 rather than audio related. :p if you re-visit this topic with data from empirical studies on physics of sound and psychoacoustics, I’m sure it will be an interesting audio subject that many people would love to read, and maybe even agree with you.

Not paradoxical. But somewhat subjective as to the cross over point.

If you want to quibble then just pick the top two devices and prove how one is better than the other. They will be so close that you will have to use subjective measures and other people will disagree based on their own preferences.

Repeat with third best, 4th, ... until you can prove that one is objectively worse. You will find a huge list of acceptable items that are equivalent although different but still equal in quality.
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