It’s tempting to quote Wilde’s ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ (if that is accurate for this) but this is interesting as a development…
Downloaded a few of their test files a few weeks ago. Really couldn’t work out what they were doing. It looks mostly like the web designer got the decimal point in the wrong place…
This popped up in my news feed for lossless audio today.
Is it more snakeoil or the real deal?
There are some big (or small depending on your POV) claims there, for Muse Tape Technology (MTT):
For example, a 192 kHz 24 bit file of 1.47 GB is realised as a 384 kHz 64 bit file of 4.8 MB with no loss of analog integrity, information and arc structure.
That’s a pretty ludicrous compression rate (assuming that the 192 quote is for uncompressed WAV, they don’t say) to make a “no loss” claim, even if that’s an unprovable analog comparison. It’s noticeable that the " HOW DOES THIS HELP ME AS:" section doesnh’t mention consumers/listeners at all. It’s all quite MQA like is my feeling.
I have no idea what they are actually doing - someone had fun writing the website, even if they didn’t bother spell checking it.
But the CLASP system mentioned in the post I’ve come across before…
If indeed it is the same system. The description fits.
Must be a prize for the first person to work out what they actually do. They seem to mention mastering digital for vinyl via tape a lot, hence the CLASP system used in their studio. Does the flowery prose in the website mention patents or technical/white papers anywhere? You’d think it would given the revolutionary claims made for their technology/process?
Anyone tried downloading any of the clips and analysing the files?
I’ve downloaded them but not done anything particular with them yet, the full size ones are pretty immense. Not tried listening properly yet. Anything your curious about?
Usual stuff I guess - anything in headers or metadata to indicate where it came from, what bit depth and sampling rate it actually is…
Spectral analysis might tell us something, but it’s not something I’ve ever done. I don’t have the software…
Here’s a few basics:
$ ls -alh Sample\ 1\ * -rw-r--r-- 1 cfw cfw 132M May 5 21:04 Sample 1 96 24 bit Roisin_Mix_Original-p2p.wav -rw-r--r-- 1 cfw cfw 1.4G May 5 21:33 Sample 1 Roisin 384 64 bit MTT_MASTER_48-p2p.wav -rw-r--r-- 1 cfw cfw 66M May 5 21:03 Sample 1 Roisin_Mix_Original.wav file Sample\ 1\ * Sample 1 96 24 bit Roisin_Mix_Original-p2p.wav: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, Microsoft PCM, 24 bit, stereo 96000 Hz Sample 1 Roisin 384 64 bit MTT_MASTER_48-p2p.wav: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio, stereo 384000 Hz Sample 1 Roisin_Mix_Original.wav: RIFF (little-endian) data, WAVE audio $ mediainfo Sample\ 1\ * General Complete name : Sample 1 96 24 bit Roisin_Mix_Original-p2p.wav Format : Wave File size : 131 MiB Duration : 3 min 58 s Overall bit rate mode : Constant Overall bit rate : 4 608 kb/s Producer : Pro Tools Encoded date : 2018-10-2 11:01:49 Writing application : Weiss Engineering Saracon 01.61-37 (libsndfile-1.0.27) Encoding settings : A=PCM,F=96000,W=24,M=stereo,T=Saracon SRC (Weiss Engineering) / A=PCM,F=96000,W=24,M=stereo,T=libsndfile-1.0.27 Producer_Reference : CHDWESARACON30564153045086749298 Audio Format : PCM Format settings, Endianness : Little Format settings, Sign : Signed Codec ID : 1 Duration : 3 min 58 s Bit rate mode : Constant Bit rate : 4 608 kb/s Channel(s) : 2 channels Sampling rate : 96.0 kHz Bit depth : 24 bits Stream size : 131 MiB (100%) General Complete name : Sample 1 Roisin 384 64 bit MTT_MASTER_48-p2p.wav Format : Wave File size : 1.37 GiB Duration : 3 min 58 s Overall bit rate mode : Constant Overall bit rate : 49.2 Mb/s Producer : Pro Tools Encoded date : 2018-10-2 13:03:32 Writing application : Weiss Engineering Saracon 01.61-37 (libsndfile-1.0.27) Encoding settings : A=PCM,F=384000,W=64,M=stereo,T=Saracon SRC (Weiss Engineering) / A=PCM,F=384000,W=53,M=stereo,T=libsndfile-1.0.27 Producer_Reference : CHDWESARACON30564142756616724379 Audio Format : PCM Format profile : Float Codec ID : 3 Codec ID/Hint : IEEE Duration : 3 min 58 s Bit rate mode : Constant Bit rate : 49.2 Mb/s Channel(s) : 2 channels Sampling rate : 384 kHz Bit depth : 64 bits Stream size : 1.37 GiB (100%) General Complete name : Sample 1 Roisin_Mix_Original.wav Format : Wave File size : 65.9 MiB Duration : 3 min 58 s Overall bit rate mode : Constant Overall bit rate : 2 317 kb/s Producer : Pro Tools Encoded date : 2018-10-2 11:01:49 Producer_Reference : 4plJ2Fn!z2baaaGk Audio Format : PCM Format settings, Endianness : Little Format settings, Sign : Signed Codec ID : 1 Duration : 3 min 58 s Bit rate mode : Constant Bit rate : 2 304 kb/s Channel(s) : 2 channels Sampling rate : 48.0 kHz Bit depth : 24 bits Stream size : 65.6 MiB (99%)
Nearly 1.5Gb seems a lot for four minutes of music!
So… we have two ProTools files, and one (the ‘MTT’ file) from the Weiss upsampler. I’d guess their workflow takes the smallest (original mix) file, runs it through the CLASP system from within ProTools to add some nice tape saturation, saves the result as 24/96, then upsamples to 64/384 for output…
I don’t understand the spectragrams - what are they telling us?
From a quick look. The wave form of the monster file is noticeably different. None of the files have anything going on above 24K. The software scales the spectras to the prospective Nyquist frequency hence the ever increasing black space.
Not the most effective demonstration really.
Edit Corrected the frequency above and Roon’s having none of the big files, neither is their own site player TBF
Studios have been adding tape distortion to digital recordings since the 80s. Not exactly revolutionary if that is all they are doing.
Indeed. CLASP was unusual (maybe still is) in that it’s actually using a tape machine as ‘outboard’ insert, but there are many plugins that add ‘tape’ saturation effects. As well as a multitude of plugins that emulate the ‘sound’ of all sorts of ‘vintage’ gear for ‘creative’ purposes. I’ve even used (strictly non-professional) some of them…
Thanks. Doesn’t really align with the marketing does it?
Not at all, I got the large version playing in VLC FWIW but no “critical listening” which is hard when you don’t know the material. I think that tape saturation might be very close to the mark. The site has a few issues and is just a Square Site under the hood so I suspect they’re overselling a little.
I played with the same samples over the weekend. They all sound a bit woolly to me.
All very marginal, maybe a preference for the MTT version.
The ‘big’ MTT plays in Foobar too, and will import into Reaper. Roon doesn’t want to know above 32bit. I rendered the 64/384 from Reaper as 32/192 and 24/48 wav and tried all four playable variants in Roon, as well as running them through an Orban loudness analysis.
The Orban results seem anomalous, and don’t correlate with Roon’s R128 calculations. I think Roon is more likely correct, so I will have to see if I’ve messed up the Orban settings. In any case, the ‘MTT’ files have slightly higher peak and average levels, and slightly lower loudness range.
It’s a resounding ‘inconclusive’ from me!
Edit - there is something very faint above 24kHz on the MTT spectrogram; the analogue (re)master signal path is probably doing something…