Google Pixel Buds A-Series

Got them for Mitchie during the last Black Friday Sale, and later for myself, both 40% off, so almost two for one:

Google Pixel Buds A-Series, dark olive (Picture: Google)

They sound okay, with a very full bass, even more so than the Moondrop Chu in-ears with cables. Not the best and most HiFi (or neutral) sounding headphones – the Moondrops are probably even better in that regard, but I’ve tried them with a bit of Wikiloops radio and TV via the Zapp app, and they’re good, and even for TV you won’t really notice the latency. Then I listened to one of my own albums because I know the sound of these of course, and yes, they’re still nice – of course not comparable to my open Sonarworks-corrected Sennheisers, but if you want neutral on your phones, there’s always Wavelet – if you believe in that. My personal experience especially with in-ears is that it’s mostly the correct fit which “makes” the sound, especially in the lows. And both Mitchie’s Jabra Elite Active 75T and my Moondrop Chu can’t reach these here in the bass *in my ears* (yours might be different – Zuleikha for instance would prefer the Jabras I think). Anyway, in case you want to read and know more about Wavelet, you can do that here, here, or here. Or directly at the source.

I started listening to my album with both the phone and the earbuds at 100% charge, and after the 41 minutes of my album it was 97% for the phone and 87% for the earbuds. All good.

So yes, if you want to (or have to) get rid of the cable, and for casual listening and/or phone calls, and for 59€ these are nice ones. Recommended.

Using open source for music and video, by Bransby

This is a very cool video about what you can achieve using “only” open source software when creating music and videos for the tubes. The gentleman calls himself “Bransby“, and his explanation of things is about the best I’ve seen, so thanks for that, sir! Here we go:

Recording and Mixing using Open Source Software – Ubuntu, Ardour, Calf Plugins

I’ll use this for friends in Wikiloops in case they’ll ask about a howto, so thanks again for your good work and for the nice explanation, Bransby. Oh, and your song is great as well 🙂

Looking at / listening to Ardour 7.1 on Windows

Today I’ve been looking at & listening to the new Ardour 7.1 free and open source software DAW on Windows 11. Looks and sounds awesome:

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Ardour 7.1 on Windows 11, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

The music you see within that program is from Dan and Chris, you can listen to that one on Wikiloops if you’d like to. The program seems to work fine, so next step is to also install it on Linux 🙂

And like always, thanks for viewing, listening, and reading.

What’s New in Ardour 7.0

I had downloaded the new Ardour 7.0 for both Linux and Windows as soon as it was released, but haven’t tried it yet (except that on Windows I installed it parallel to the 6.9 version I already had).

In case you’re interested, here’s what’s new, in about 4 minutes:

What’s New in Ardour 7.0

Maybe I’ll try it with the next song & project I’ll be “working” on 🙂

As always, thanks for watching. And thanks and congrats to the Ardour team of course.

Edit, from later the same day: as soon as I show this, there’s a new version again. See here

Three hours with Paul Davis of Ardour

I reported about yesterday’s interview event, and in case you haven’t seen it, here are three hours of talks and interesting news about the upcoming version 7.0 of Ardour. Starts at 30:11 according to unfa, one of the hosts.

Enjoy…

Surprisingly good… so they stay

Zuleikha – or “Aki” as she prefers to have her called instead – has some original Google earbuds from the Pixel 3a phone. Yes, the ones with cables, and from a time when manufacturers still added those goodies (like power adaptors and headphones) to their expensive products.

Sadly, one of them is dead, so she can hear only one side when she’s out and about, time to get her new ones (or so we thought, more to that later).

First I wanted to get her the new Truthear Crinacle Zero for around 50 bucks (Euros/Dollars), but these were sold out immediately after being on the market for a few days. Out of further options, two stood out, the Moondrop Aria (~80€) and the Moondrop Chu (20€). So after a short brainstorming with Mitchie, I ordered the latter, and yesterday they arrived:

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Fancy IEMs, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

I’ve read and seen some tests about them, so I was very curious how these would sound. Turns out, very good – but these aren’t for Aki.

Further explanation: these are maybe *too* good for her – she immediately heard some “hissing” sounds from her phone (Pixel 4a 5G), and also from mine (Pixel 4a). Not so much from the older Nexus 5 or from a Huawei 8″ tablet we also have, but for her own phone she found them unbearable. Neither Mitchie nor me heard that, but then again, Aki’s ears are almost half a century younger than mine…

And why do these stay? Well, for me. I’m no big fan of in-ear monitors or headphones, my own Sennheiser CX 1.00 which I still have are terrible, *for me*. That must have to do with my ear canals, I’ve never had or heard anything which would have the most remote hint of bass, even not with the biggest rubber or silicon “plugs” mounted. Until the Chu, with their biggest “spring tips” (which cost 13€ alone). These still aren’t comparable to good over-ear headphones like the Sennheiser HD569 or HD560S, but at least they don’t sound “shrill”, or produce only treble. There’s a hint of bass even for me, and that’s why I decided to keep these for myself. Maybe those “Crinacle Zero” – with lots more bass under 200Hz – would be even better? I don’t know, but honestly, these kind of IEMs aren’t that important, I don’t use them often enough to justify further expenses for myself. Plus the Chu we ordered came with a microphone in their cables, so I could even take phone calls with these, with the phone in my jacket pocket – so I’m sold.

And Aki? Well she’s still not sure, she absolutely loves the sound of her old cable Pixel buds, so we don’t know, can’t replace these because they’re not made anymore… hints & tips anyone?

As always, thanks for reading.

Update from Saturday, 18:35:

I have to revise my first judgement about these Moondrop Chu IEMs: they are awesome! Get them if you need 20€ in-ears. Writing this from the old Nexus 5 phone on which I’m listening…

It all adds up

Or: your low latency is not my low latency

With makers of mobile phones and even notebook computers ditching the headphone sockets, more and more people have come to accept in-ears and headphones without cables, most of them using Bluetooth technology to transmit the audio to and from your phones, notebooks, computers, and so on.

And some people – like those playing games – noticed that it takes some time to get audio “streamed” to your wireless cans or in-ears, and that there can be lags between the picture they see, and the sound they hear.

But that’s not the worst. Even with “low latency” Bluetooth codecs – aptX speaks of 40ms – they still forget that there are people for whom this is much too much.

Musicians for example – some people claim that they can hear latencies of around 10ms (I can’t), and so we all set our audio interfaces to the lowest possible settings to achieve latencies of possibly 5ms or better – otherwise it would be hard to play in time with what you hear from others’ tracks coming from your DAW (digital audio workstation). We spend quite a lot of money to get interfaces like from RME or other professional vendors which can give you these low latencies – and then we should add 40ms for the Bluetooth cans only? No way.

Which is why musicians like Zuleikha or myself will always stay with cables, and only buy devices which offer a proper headphone jack. There’s no way around it. KISS principle anyone?

You probably don’t mind the lag if you’re listening to your phone while jogging. But we do – we simply have to. And we’re the ones you’re listening to (or so we hope, but I speak for all musicians here).

So please stop these claims of having ‘low latencies’ if you don’t even consider musicians.

Thanks.

Everybody owns a Jazz Snare…

Have a listen to this, from 25 years ago:

Superbass: Two for the Blues (1997)

The bassists are, from left to right: John Goldsby, Christian McBride, Ray Brown, and John Clayton, four real superstars on bass. Note that John Goldsby (who plays the first and longest solo) was the student of John Clayton and Ray Brown, and John Clayton was also Ray Brown’s student. I don’t know that much about Christian McBride, but he’s also a monster player, no questions there…

Edit: just read that all three “other” bass players were students of Ray Brown who invented the group “SuperBass”. See Wikipedia.

Also note that John Riley plays on a Telephone book from the city of Cologne, Germany. And bravo to Carmen Bradford on vocals as well, what a lovely performance 🙂 Proves again how well a human voice goes together with upright bass, a fact that Ray Brown knew very well – he was married to Ella Fitzgerald…

Found via Bonedo who in turn got it from No Treble.

As always, thanks for viewing.

Waking The Cat

This morning I set my new toy to the ‘FLIP TOP-Style’, which should make it sound like an Ampeg B-15N. Then I loaded Don’s and Rolf’s awesome ‘Waking The Cat’ song into my DAW, closed my eyes, and these guys transported me straight to Memphis, TN:

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.
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Using FLIP TOP-Style, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

As always, thanks to my friends at Wikiloops for all the fun, and thanks to you for listening.

New toy

Couldn’t afford a B-15N, and an Ampeg SVT with its two fridges is a bit loud for our living room, so I bought this instead:

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New toy, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2022

Hear it here – a first take with the bass going into two channels (as you can see in the photo, I used the parallel output for a clean bass as well):

This track is embedded with the friendly permission by the creatives on wikiloops.com.

As always, thanks for viewing, listening, and reading 🙂 More to come…