Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts


The new OPUS codec

I was reading a thread on Reddit about a new audio codec, and I was going to post a reply to someone who was wrong on the internet. People were talking like mp3 was going to disappear and Linux would have the year of the desktop, and I was going lash out at the naiveity, but the TFA and related sites are pretty clear on the actual purpose of this codec.

From boingboing's article:

"The IETF has finished its standardization effort for Opus, a new free/open audio codec that reportedly outperforms all other codecs on all axes."

Obviously wary about a huge claim like that, I had to dig a bit. From IETF's abstract:

"This document describes the Opus codec, designed for interactive speech and audio transmission over the Internet."

Audio enthusiast site HydrogenAudio does real testing of digitally treated audio and supposedly has demonstrated that all existing formats encoded at over 128kbps yield inconclusive results in double-blind testing and so OPUS is apparently untested in that area.

OPUS focuses on low latency in the 64-96kbps@48k range, which makes this a decent option for for large-scale network streaming, exactly like the project claims. Encoding one single stream at that quality is not even noticeable on modern CPU, and this codec is not primarily for high fidelity listening even though the authors claims it can be used for music up to 512kbps@48k. It's designed to deal with network latency and packet drops.

Now, what got me thinking was that since HA does not even test files over 128kbps, yet I have often been able to recognize them when I had higher qualities available.

I was wondering what kind of demography HA did this test on. Was it musicians, producers and the like or was it a random group? It matters because if you work a lot with sound and music, you will eventually be able to identify a low bitrate song

This post by IgorC on is interesting and got me questioning the testing procedure. They are operating with sample sizes around 30 and 40, which I think is small, and considering the facts about subjects IgorC points out, maybe the grounds for a claim to beat every other codec on the planet is a bit high at this time. Even the authors does not claim that their fresh 1.0.1 release competes with the best implementations of other codecs out there


A ~50MB .wav file (Metallica,'Figth Fire With Fire') was encoded to FLAC level 8 and it took 7 seconds with flac.exe trough Traders Little Helper.

Encoding the .wav to mp3 with 128kbps@44100 took 22.2 seconds with the latest VLC. For 48000khz, about 32 seconds. That is just the default settings, no encoder options. The output mp3 was about 4.5MB.

Using winLame 2010 with LAME 3.99 and "-V2 --vbr-new" took 7 seconds, and 10 with the best compression "-b 320 --cbr". The 7-second output mp3 was 11.1MB.

Then it was time to try out the OPUS encoder, which still is a CLI only app.

OPUS with default setting produced a file of 3.4MB running at 94kbps in 6 seconds.

Using OPUS with --bitrate 256 produced a 8.5MB file with 255.6kbps bitrate in 7 seconds.

That would be about the same speed as FLAC, if you can even compare these two, since FLAC produces lossless quality at nearly 1Mbit bitrate, nearly triple as much data troughput as OPUS.

I further tried --96, and --128 and they use the same amount of time, around 6-7 seconds.

Using rtp via VLC, streaming the first 128kbps mp3 encoded from an instance of VLC to another on the same host takes between 0 to 1 % in the encoding thread, and you can't even tell that the playback thread uses CPU time.
The 11MB maximum-encoded mp3 file was then streamed, at almost the same CPU usage as the file nearly 1/3 as big. Occasional spikes to 2%, but mostly 0% and 1%.

I am inconclusive about streaming, since VLC doesn't support OPUS yet, but it seems to me that all three formats hoovers around 1% for decoding.


From these simple tests, I have to conclude that OPUS is much slower to encode than recent FLAC and LAME releases at the moment. LAME and FLAC used about 30% and 37% CPU respectively while encoding, but OPUS used around 24%.

Playing back the OPUS file using the official CLI tools showed that the process doesn't even cross 1% to decode. FooBar2000 added support already, and shows a 1-2% CPU usage.
If this new codec can help huge organizations save bandwidth and CPU cycles, then good for them. It's irrelevant to end users not trapped in ISDN-land, but it may be a cost-saver if you are big inside the streaming industry.

Ofcourse, it's always nice to have more royalty-free codecs, but mp3 will be around a lot longer. And just to be clear, OPUS has already gotten attention from patent trolls, although the project claims these threats are groundless.(Qualcom and Huawei)
Further reading about audio: explains why it's no point in being audiophile.



So here's one of those rare band you find once in a while, Graveyard. When I first heard them at a friend's place, it sounded like some forgotten band from the 70's. But this is actually recorded very recently and it seems the feel from Led Zeppelin & Black Sabbath is very present in the both sound and the notes. Great stuff. Wikipedia link here

Just did a quick shot at this on the guitar:
* It's downtuned to D.
* It's mostly the chords C G A.
* Solo stuff goes in A.


Request: Identify song

Unknown song
Can you help me identify this song? It's from "Nat Geo Wild HD UK pre-launch Promo 2009" Please respond! I need to get the sheets for this and arrange for guitar.


Tips: Guitar rig

Guitar Hero, not Guitar Queero

It's 2010 and I got myself a couple of new guitars. One acoustic Yamaha and one electric guitar. Both used. Also, there's a few new tabs! So here's the list of my guitar rig:

Ltd. ESP F202

This Korea-model F-202 has EMG-HZ mics,24 jumbo frets and a Floyd Rose licenced bridge. Sounds great, feels heavy and good but cost me around 600 bucks (4500 NOK)! I can't belive instruments are so expensive. Even the crappiest ones are expensive!

Effect gear, picks & stuff

I've got an original Hendrix CryBaby, an Ibanez Distortion box and a Flanger box hooked up too. For picks I prefer the green Dunlop .85mm ones. They give a good combo of bounce and bend on the strings. Here's my pick collection, wich is nothing special. I'm using .85mm green Dunlops at the moment. I started out on the red .5mm ones, then advanced to orange, then yellow and now green! The blue one is just too thick. You can also see my capo, the slide and Floyd Rose tuner wrench on top of the green picks. Oh yeah, and a chromatic tuner.


A lovely sounding guitar, got it for a discount because it had to be glued.


My previous, and 3rd electric guitar, a Morgan 'Legend' series that cost me about $250 new. My first guitar was in the same price class, namely an Aria Pro. Belive me when I say that your next cheap guitar should be a Morgan. It's got the same quality as a $500+ guitar. It's body is made of nice and heavy woodwork, with a layer of dark-colored wood for fretboard. Don't know the tree type. It has good mics, keeps the tone and tuning and doesn't break after falling over a few times ! The other two sounds like pieces of plastic. (Which they are too I think)


I guess it's an OK guitar, I just couldn't get to know it.

And here's my wife's Fender bass:

I used to use Blue Steel .10 strings for a long time, they are really solid. Seems they don't sell them anymore around here, so now I use D'Adario. They used to break all the time when I had them before I discovered Blue Steel. Seems they fixed their quality now! They both sound OK, though. I had a cheap 40W Peavey amp that had really good sound, but it broke after I puked in it one very drunk night. Got a Vajia Music GF-30 now as an emergency amp, wich doesn't quite sound right in the low spectrum.


Trading: Metallica bootlegs

More Metallica Bootlegs
Here's a photo of some of my Metallica bootleg collection.
I've got atleast 20-30 covers/inlays with DVD's in them and around 20-30 new shows since last post! Please visit my trading page (URL in link below). Earlier bootleg picture post here.

Some of the audio directories!

And that's just the audio that I've sorted yet! I claim that i have the biggest Metallica bootleg collection in Norway.


Tab: Carpe Diem - Metallica

Metallica: CARPE DIEM BABY off reLOAD Partially & bits & pieces tabbed by: Eivind eivind256 at hotmail dot com 20/11/1997. Not finished, obviously.
Notation legend: 
\12   = slide from nowhere to here 
12\   = slide from here to nowhere 
14~   = vibrato 
14b16 = bend at 14th fret till you reach the pitch of the 16th fret 
16b14 = prebend (if your'e not already there) to 16th pitch, release to 14th fret 
\\    = pick slide / 'move-left-hand-noise' (gotta play it *LOUD* to get the effect!!)) 
P.M.  = palm mute P.S. = pick slide WHILE playing notes 
N.H.  = natural harmonics 
A.H.  = artificial harmonics SOLO: (starts at ~03:20 ) 

   P.M. (here you gotta *gradually* palm mute it!


fast bit

Indian bit: Very delicate scale!!

                          __there is something wrong here..

               P.M. this note!

this bit is very fucked by effects...(muted strings,harmonics,palm muting... very possible that i made some mistakes here...

   N.H.    N.H.        N.H.   N.H.  N.H.  
   |  P.S. |                             
   (move pick attacks towards brigde)

(the muted strings almost sounds harmonics!)   
      P.M. this note!      




Tab: The Hunt - Sepultura

The Hunt as performed by Sepultura on Chaos AD Original by New Model Army on Ghost of Caine Tab by me (kind of based on Pronks tab, which was basically crap (sorry) I really like this tune; it easy to play, it rocks and its nice!! I learnt it in 5 minutes (or rather 10, since i had to figure out most of the song,the fillins and solo as well) You can also hear a faint accoustic guitar here and there, im not quite sure what it plays, but probably much the same as the el guitars. Standard drop-d tuning (Dadgbe) (wow..a sepultura song with just one downtuned string!!)
Riff A - Intro
a -------1-------1-----
D -0-2-3---0-2-3---2-3-

Riff B
a -------1-------0-----1-
D -0-2-3---2-3-0---2-3---

Riff C
                            (with palm muted D's as backing)

Riff D
These three chords for the verses,figure the strumming your self
g -10-9---------------
d -8--8-12------------
a -8--8--8-------------
D -8--8--8-------------

The fill ins: (with flange and delay)
Fill 1       Fill 2
e ----------|--------------------
b -11-11-11-|-------------11-----
g -14-12-10-|----12----12----12--
d ----------|-10---10------------

The "solo":
g ---------------------------------
d ----9-7----5-4----4-2------------
a -/7-----/5-----/2-----4-5-4------
D --------------------------------- (twice)

Solo Backing
d --9------4------4-----2----------
a --7------5------2-----0----------
D ---------------------------------

Riff E:
b -----------------------------|------------------------
g -3/5-5-8/5-8/5-5-5/8-8-8-8/3-|10-(of 331 at the end)--
d -3/5-5-8/5-8/5-5-5/8-8-8-8/3-|10----------------------
a -1/3-3-6/3-6/3-3-3/6-6-6-6/1-|8-----------------------
D -----------------------------|------------------------

Riff F
e ----------------------------------
b ----------5-----5-----8-----8-----
g ----------5-----5-----8-----8-----
d -5----5-5-5-5-5-5-8-8-8-8-8-8-----
a -5----3-3-3-3-3-3-6-6-6-6-6-6-----
D -5--------------------------------
        pm.   pm.   pm.   pm.

Riff G
e ---------------------------------
b ---------------------------------
g ---------------------------------
d -6-8-5-6-------1/5-------------
a -6-8-5-6-------1/5-------------
D -6-8-5-6-twice-1/5-------------

Riff H
d -----5-6------6-5------5-6---------------
a -5-5-5-6--6-6-6-5--5-5-5-6---------------
D -5-5-5-6--6-6-6-5--5-5-5-6---------------
   p.m      p.m      p.m

Riff I
The End:
a -----1-----0-----3---
D -5-5---5-5---5-5-5---
   p.m   p.m   p.m

I am not gonna do you folks a favour and type up
the lyrics as well, since they are not in the album. >:)
I have them rigth here in front of me, but its too much!

Tab: Someone - Hooverphonic

Hooverphonic / Someone Tabbed by me eivind256 at. hotmail .dott com Standard tuning.
Main lick:

E -------------------------
b -------0-----------------
g -----0------------0------
d ---2------------0--------
a -3------------3----------
e ------------4------------ (repeat lots)

Then comes some kind of interlude

E -----------------------------------
b -----------------------------------
g -----------------------------------
d --5b6---5b6--5b6---5b6---5b6--5b6--
a -3-----3----3----------------------
e ------------------4-----4----4-----
(the bends are not always complete, just wing it.)

And there is a solo too:
(played only on the a string, play with lots of tremolo)
a -3-s--5-6-s1---
E --------------- x2

a -3----5-6-s8---s10-11-10-13-s15-15b16-
E --------------------------------------
(continue bending and messing with 15b16 for a while)

a -s3--3-3-3-3-3-3-
E ----------------- x3

a -1b2-------------
E -----3-----------

a -----------------
E -3-3-3-3-3-3----- x3