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MQA is Vaporware


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On 12/16/2020 at 3:47 AM, wklie said:

 

This is by design.

 

1. With a non-MQA DAC, Roon correctly outputs 24/88.2kHz.

 

2. If you set in Roon your DAC as a MQA Renderer only, you force Roon to do MQA Core decoding, Roon correctly outputs 24/88.2kHz.  Your MQA Renderer correctly displays (not outputs) 44.1kHz.

 

3. If you set it as MQA Decoder + Renderer, in the absence of Roon DSP, volume leveling and multi-zone grouping, Roon will correctly leave the MQA signal unchanged.  This is similar to "MQA Passthrough" in Tidal desktop app.  Your MQA DAC displays (not outputs) 44.1kHz.

 

Part of the complication comes with Roon support for different types of MQA hardware, along with different users' needs for DSP, volume leveling and multi-zone playback.

Peter, You forgot one thing......

All of the above is pure marketing regurgitation.

1. We have never seen evidence of this being the correct output

2. Please show that any "decoding is going on - i.e. that it's not just an upsampling

3.Well this does depend heavily on what's in the "embedded" flags - no

All in all none of this has been shown beyond MQA marketing - which You are a part of.

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I like just to post an answer from the Roon forum. 
 

“The album art below shows the ‘FLAC 44.1kHz 16bit, MQA 44.1kHz’ is actually file tag information.

Encoder MQAEncode
ORIGINALSAMPLERATE 44100

If you tag the above to a non MQA file, Roon will display it. Of course when you try to playback, the signal path will a normal PCM 😄

Why MQA decoder must output 24/88.2/96k irregardless the source has to do with MQA filter applied during the encoding stage. Any filter applied during encoding process requires 2x OS to achieve the desired filter response at the end. This is similar to oversampling digital filter.16bit to 24bit output increase the precision so that the filter will perform better. Since the output from MQA decoder is already 24/88.2/96k, normal DACs without MQA rendering will perform better in preserving the impulse response. It will bypass the first stage of OS filter (usually the most steep, i.e, 44.1/48k filter) followed by a more gentle filter response in the conventional DAC

Not much is known about MQA rendering process but my guessed, even DSP can be applied after MQA decoder by first taking out the renderer information and later put back, means, the renderer does not depends on the musical data but the renderer bits which is set during the encoding stage. This rendering bits are used to select the different type of MQA filters that match the characteristics of the DAC types. As I said before in order for the filters to work, oversampling must be applied. Meaning the rendering stage is actually selection of filters and oversampling. The whole process of doing this is to improved impulse response and MQA processing is behind all this.”

 

I won’t comment before I’ve done test with different setting in my setup. I plan to make a table. 
I think we still need a confirmation about what Roon does/displays vs what a DAC displays. 
 

 

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Not sure if you guys have seen this yet, but you’ll never guess who is pushing conspiracy theories and debunked election fraud narratives on Twitter. The Absolute Sound’s very own, and huge MQA supporter that doesn’t believe the evidence presented to him by anyone here, Lee Scoggins. 
 

Shocking, I know. 

Do you have a link? I googled Lee Scoggins Twitter and came up with zip. 

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13 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Check out his re-tweets. 
 

 


Thanks, not sure why my search didn’t come up with his user name. As a subscriber to TAS for more than 40 years it’s difficult to express how disappointed I am to learn about this. My equipment buying days are pretty much over so I’ve been able to ignore the more over the top reviews of the “next new thing” including MQA but I look forward to the music reviews. More and more of that is online however so after four decades I guess it’s time to move on. Thanks again for the heads up.

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Are 2L actively using MQA in their workflow ?

Can anyone confirm if this is what’s happening or are they just releasing MQA as their “go to” delivery streaming format. I am not aware of any other recording studio/ company that use it ?

A712FEE9-40F4-4685-9BFB-673F9CF9F286.jpeg

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11 minutes ago, UkPhil said:

Are 2L actively using MQA in their workflow ?

Can anyone confirm if this is what’s happening or are they just releasing MQA as their “go to” delivery streaming format. I am not aware of any other recording studio/ company that use it ?

A712FEE9-40F4-4685-9BFB-673F9CF9F286.jpeg

There are no tools. Ask any studio other than 2L. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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2 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

There are no tools. Ask any studio other than 2L. 

You’re soon convincing me to call him 😀 (or just drop by). 

As others I thought MQA was used in studio as a real tool in authentication etc.

 

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1 hour ago, R1200CL said:

You’re soon convincing me to call him 😀 (or just drop by). 

As others I thought MQA was used in studio as a real tool in authentication etc.

 

Nope. It’s all after the fact sending it off to the big DSP black box in the cloud. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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21 hours ago, Currawong said:

 

I have spent some time recently listening to a variety of TIDAL MQA albums, both the originals (some which required listening via Qobuz) and the MQA versions. I've also done a bit of file analysis, as I have been able to capture the digital output, or get the original TIDAL file (with help from a software developer).  I haven't looked at the new MQA 16-bit files on TIDAL yet though.

 

After a long, heated discussion with a friend, who is or was pro-MQA (he didn't know about many of the things discussed here) he discussed some of the issues brought up with friends in pro audio, and there are some issues with some of the arguments here, which I'll leave for another time. However, he did suggest to me some albums he felt were improved by MQA, which I had a listen through a Chord Hugo 2 direct to headphones (Focal Utopias or Final D8000s) or through my speaker system which, while not super high-end, was enough to determine what I'm about to write about. I do have MQA DACs here I can listen with also, but listening with those didn't change what I experienced.

 

The one album that sounded better with MQA was the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club. Whatever processing they did brings some quieter sounds more forward, which was pleasant. However, the album itself isn't super high resolution in terms of what subtleties are noticeable in the recording, so no loss from the processing. 

 

Various classical albums (there are a variety) were wrecked by MQA, the subtle atmospheric details around the instruments obliterated, making everything sound more "one-note".  This was very obvious through headphones direct out of the Hugo 2, and may not be noticeable through a complex speaker system that loses some resolution through having multiple components and cables.

 

With regards to timing information being improved by MQA, that is categorically bullshit. With correct timing information, I can hear a good-quality, standard stereo recording of classical appear to come from behind my speakers, which are ~2.5m away from me, with the instrument locations correct in two dimentions. The depth and width of the stereo image are both preserved extremely well with Chord DACs, unlike with others, where the "space" of the stereo image is often compressed front-to-back to one degree or another. When the timing information is preserved, so is the stereo image! Timing is how our brain interprets the location of objects around us. 

 

The MQA filters are all short filters of one type or another, and they cannot reproduce a correct spacial representation of a recording.  This, both from the science of filters, as well as what is clearly audible when comparing with digital equipment that does it correctly. For example, when you use the short filters with an iFi DAC like the Pro iDSD, even on a non-MQA album, instead of a correct, deep stereo image from this music, instead the instruments are brought unnaturally forward -- on my system it sounds like they are coming from in front of the speakers. While this is more exciting to listen to, especially on headphones, it isn't a proper reproduction.  Again, it's enjoyable, but the actual stereo image is clearly not real. A full MQA chain doesn't change this at all!

 

So there isn't a question of "What if Stuart's theory is correct" because there is no "if" involved -- he's abusing a valid science to justify something that has the opposite effect.

 

Interesting information. Can you explain what a short filter is and how it impacts time domain performance?

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5 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 P.S. Ask anyone in a real studio about the MQA DAW plugins they need to actually hear what the DSP will do to their recordings. For all intents and purposes, they are nonexistent. The sound of the studio, except no studio can create it. 


I found this post and remember MQA stating that they would create such plugin. Does it actually exists, or it is just smoke and mirrors? Also why do we only have one MQA enabled studio ADC?

How many MQA releases were created with this MQA enabled Mytek ADC?

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mastering-forum/1182692-mqa-practicalities.html

Designer of the 432 EVO music server and Linux specialist

Discoverer of the independent open source sox based mqa playback method with optional one cycle postringing.

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Found it:

https://audioxpress.com/files/attachment/2592

 

Quote

The plug-in is actually more for the studio. Mastering engineers will be able to hear it and not only have the choices on how it folds and the way it folds, but they can hear a 192k file fully unfolded and folded at 96k, folded at 48k, and unfolded to legacy—where someone doesn’t have a decoder. Then they can make those mastering choices and decide creatively if it revealed what they wanted to reveal.It’s an interactive tool in that sense.


 Does any studio engineer has this tool?

Designer of the 432 EVO music server and Linux specialist

Discoverer of the independent open source sox based mqa playback method with optional one cycle postringing.

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4 hours ago, FredericV said:

Found it:

https://audioxpress.com/files/attachment/2592

 


 Does any studio engineer has this tool?

I know the person hired to write the plug-in. I can’t say more.  
 

If it was actually thing in real studios, you’d be able to add it to any Pro Tools DAW. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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58 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I know the person hired to write the plug-in. I can’t say more.  
 

If it was actually thing in real studios, you’d be able to add it to any Pro Tools DAW. 

I am assuming the studios would have to have an NDA in place and pay some money every time they to use it ? 

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41 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

No. MQA makes its money off consumers, not studios and content owners. 

And hi-fi manufacturers and audio software companies, no?

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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