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ABX on OSX, Software to perform ABX tests on a Mac (no FB2K)
Nessuno
post Jun 2 2012, 10:36
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Many people here on HA running OSX are daily advised to perform ABX tests in all those fast spreading threads about XLD, AAC etc...
Well: apart from running FB2K on WINE/Crossover or on a virtual machine, AFAIK the sad truth is that there are very few easy ways to do it. sad.gif

I use this very simple and effective application: ABXer by Empty Music. Unfortunately their site has been down for a long while, and the home page says "Website Coming Soon! Stay Tuned". Let's hope for the best.

There is also an ABXTester application on the App Store. I haven't tried myself, but from an user comment it seems that it doesn't handle FLAC. It should at least support ALAC and other "native" OSX codecs. Another limitation is that the number of trials is hard limited to 5. This program also has an iOS version and seems actively developed, but the developer's site is in japanese only… and I already have my quota of troubles with english, so won't go any further! wink.gif

None of the above offers automatic level matching.

Does anybody know of something useful to add to this very short list?


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RobertoDomenico
post Jun 3 2012, 02:32
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Yes any OS X Lion and Snow Leopard can run AU LAB. Apple’s free digital audio mixing application, AU Lab, can be used as a host application for Audio Unit effects, including AURoundTripAAC Audio Unit, one of the new Mastered for iTunes tools. If you don’t already have Logic or another Audio Unit host application, download AU Lab to get started with auditioning your audio, detecting peaks and clipping, and performing double-blind listening tests.

http://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

This post has been edited by RobertoDomenico: Jun 3 2012, 02:33
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Nessuno
post Jun 3 2012, 09:31
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QUOTE (RobertoDomenico @ Jun 3 2012, 03:32) *
Yes any OS X Lion and Snow Leopard can run AU LAB. Apple’s free digital audio mixing application, AU Lab, can be used as a host application for Audio Unit effects, including AURoundTripAAC Audio Unit, one of the new Mastered for iTunes tools. If you don’t already have Logic or another Audio Unit host application, download AU Lab to get started with auditioning your audio, detecting peaks and clipping, and performing double-blind listening tests.

http://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

Ok: AU Lab is a host application for Audio Unit effects (nothing new: it was already present between free XCode tools, for those who have installed it. Look in /Deveolper/Applications/Audio).

AURoundTripAAC is an Audio Unit effect.

Unfortunately, neither the version that was already there (version 2.2, from XCode 3.2.5) nor the one I've downloaded right now from that link (version 2.2.2) comes with AURoundTripAAC between its ready to use AUs (or more likely, I'm not able to find or enable it!).
Maybe this AU should be downloaded or acquired elsewhere?

Would you mind explaining, please step by step, how to set up an ABX test with this toolchain (and possibly save the resulting logs)?


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Kees de Visser
post Jun 4 2012, 21:02
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QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jun 3 2012, 10:31) *
Would you mind explaining, please step by step, how to set up an ABX test with this toolchain (and possibly save the resulting logs)?
This is what worked for me (you'll need OS 10.5 or later):
1) Download the Audio Mastering Tools and the AU Lab application from the apple website and install them on your Mac.
2) Open AU Lab and setup an output device.
3) Select "Add Audio Unit Generator" from the Edit menu, choose "AUAudioFilePlayer" and hit OK.
4) Click on the AU Generator panel to select it and select "Edit Selected Generator" from the Edit menu.
5) Select an audio file to play by either clicking the Audio Files +... or drag/drop a file from the finder. Then click the Play button. You should be able to hear something now.
6) In the Master Out panel of the mixer, click on the grey triangle just under Effects and select Apple-AURoundTripAAC. Here you can switch between source and codec and do an ABX test.
7) Save your AU Lab setup for future use.

I've only tried it briefly and AFAIK it's only possible to ABX the apple codec, not two different audio files. On top of that I couldn't find a way to get rid of the delay caused by the AAC coding, which makes the ABX easy and invalid, because the source is always the one without delay. If someone knows a way to compensate for the delay, please chime in.

This post has been edited by Kees de Visser: Jun 4 2012, 21:08
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