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why does analog sound so good?

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Anonymous
August 29, 2005 11:23:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
hearing?

Nate

More about : analog sound good

Anonymous
August 29, 2005 12:25:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

What Scott said PLUS the fact that you shouldn't treat it as a
medium<->ears chain. You might have used the same speakers and
amplifier but who knows how the D/A converter on your CD-player
'compares' to the signal coming out of your turntable? Think about
it... weren't you looking for better converters a couple of days ago?
By the way, congratulations about your music man, musicianship like
this is a rarity nowadays!

Regards,

Evangelos

%
Evangelos Himonides
IoE, University of London
tel: +44 2076126599
fax: +44 2076126741
"Allas to those who never sing but die with all their music in them..."

Oliver Wendell Holmes
%
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 1:07:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I completely agree with you on this Arny.
I just wanted to raise the converter issue, especially since Nate
himself was looking for better ones for his recordings a couple of days
ago.
Apologies, again, for posting through Google. I still haven't found a
way to convince the people downstairs to unblock the nntp port for me.
I live and hope!

Best Wishes,

Evangelos
Related resources
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 2:23:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Nate Najar wrote:
> I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
> wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
> records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
> also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
> crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
> sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
> come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
> very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
> and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
> sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
> hearing?
>
> Nate

MAYBE...

An analog waveform is continuous. A digital representation is chopped
up into a zillion samples. The ears/brain SHOULDN'T hear a difference,
but maybe they do.

Also, the analog was processed in several ways: NR in the mult process
and the 2-track master process, then a few tweaks in mastering for
vinyl, then the RIAA curve, then your system theoretically decoding the
RIAA curve.

I'm a digiphile, but I sometimes prefer analog. Years ago, I
transferred my old 8 track mults to digital and did new mixes, and I
love them. On a whim while I was cleaning the studio, I broke out the
old machine and listened to the original analog mult tapes. WOW! I
can't describe it!
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 3:46:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

blackburst@aol.com wrote:

> MAYBE...
>
> An analog waveform is continuous. A digital representation is chopped
> up into a zillion samples.

And maybe not. Please, let's end this branch right here. (wishful
thinking)
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 3:49:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I bet that's it- I didn't think about the mastering process for one
versus the other, but that could have a lot to do with it being dull or
lifelike. And the converters, that's also a good point! I have a $200
sony consumer cd player so i guess that's making a difference. haha
maybe I should buy a 2 channel benchmark or apogee dac for my stereo!

I'm on the lookout for a used tango if anyone knows of one available.
none on ebay as of late.

thanks again to everyone for the great advice on this ng.

Nate
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 3:53:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Evangelos Himonides" <himonides@gmail.com> wrote in
message
news:1125329133.727734.142770@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com

> What Scott said PLUS the fact that you shouldn't treat it
> as a medium<->ears chain. You might have used the same
> speakers and amplifier but who knows how the D/A
> converter on your CD-player 'compares' to the signal
> coming out of your turntable?

What's coming out of the turntable is pretty gross, compared
to even mediocre modern turntable/cartridge output.

No, Scott was right - its no doubt about differences in
mastering.
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 6:14:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I think my previous attempt to post worked, so I'll try again. Forgive
me if this is redundant.

First off, I agree with the posters about the differences in mastering
being a likely reason people prefer analog versions of songs. But I
have a more general hypothesis for why people may prefer analog sound.
(Likely this is not an original idea, but since no one has mentioned it
here, I will.)

It's my idea that perhaps people prefer analog sound because of the
noise that's present in the music in the analog domain. Analog mediums
have tape hiss, turntable rumble, all of that. Phrases used to describe
analog sound typically are "warmer" and "less sterile". I'm thinking
that the noise in the analog domain feels more natural, or comfortable,
from a psychoacoustical point of view, than music playing with no noise
floor.

Has anyone ever tested this? For example, take a digital recording.
Make a second copy, but add tape hiss or low level pink noise. Will
listeners prefer the version with noise, and describe it as "warmer" or
"less sterile"? I'm curious. Does anyone know if similar tests have
been performed?

Dean
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 7:47:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

IMHO digital world sounds much more detailed and transparent.
....and, most of times, it is not a good thing....
I imagine digital vs. analog like close micing vs. room micing... You hear
too much details!!
Nobody ever should listen to a violin 1 foot far!! It is awful as digital
often is...

Anyway it is very difficult to talk about these things in a newsgroup.... I
think many people have written books on the subject...
F.



"Nate Najar" <nate@natenajar.com> ha scritto nel messaggio
news:1125325387.905029.161640@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
> wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
> records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
> also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
> crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
> sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
> come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
> very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
> and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
> sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
> hearing?
>
> Nate
>
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 7:47:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Just listen to the new remix/remaster of Hotel California. Even though the
original tracks had to be analog, they managed to *192kHz * it at some point
it and then *clean it up*. It is somewhat painful to hear.

"Federico" <plokmichael@tiscali.it> wrote in message
news:o 6GQe.115775$fm.7628633@news4.tin.it...
> IMHO digital world sounds much more detailed and transparent.
> ...and, most of times, it is not a good thing....
> I imagine digital vs. analog like close micing vs. room micing... You hear
> too much details!!
> Nobody ever should listen to a violin 1 foot far!! It is awful as digital
> often is...
>
> Anyway it is very difficult to talk about these things in a newsgroup....
I
> think many people have written books on the subject...
> F.
>
>
>
> "Nate Najar" <nate@natenajar.com> ha scritto nel messaggio
> news:1125325387.905029.161640@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
> > wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
> > records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
> > also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
> > crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
> > sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
> > come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
> > very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
> > and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
> > sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
> > hearing?
> >
> > Nate
> >
>
>
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 8:13:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Nate Najar wrote:

> I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
> wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
> records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
> also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
> crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
> sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
> come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
> very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
> and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
> sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
> hearing?

Well.... actually everything you hear is analogue. Until the human brain
can decode SPDIF or AES3 that'll continue to be the way. ;-)

Graham
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 9:56:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I still feel analog with SR is still better than 24 bit/96k.
I run the analog at a low flux density and it remains very quiet.
The 12k-16k region sounds silkier with the analog.
If I'm not mistaken, the best mastering places still conclude that
analog 1/2 is still the primary mixing medium.
kevin
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 11:15:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Maybe you should try the latest brazilian reissue (2004). It's a double
pack that comes with the re-mastered album on CD plus a DVD-A with a
sorround mix.
It was mastered at Sterling Sound, by Tom Coyne.
You can find it at www.trama.com.br

Regards
J.P. Ambrogi
BRAZIL


Nate Najar escreveu:

Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
> records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
> also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
> crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
> sounded.
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 11:30:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 8/29/05 10:23 AM, in article
1125325387.905029.161640@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com, "Nate Najar"
<nate@natenajar.com> wrote:

> I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
> wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
> records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
> also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
> crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
> sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
> come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
> very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
> and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
> sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
> hearing?

Until and unless you find out ALL of the following:

-----------------
What was done in the mastering of the LP

What the differences are between
the ACTUAL MASTER for the LP and
what actually appeared ON the PRESSED COPY YOU HAVE.

What odd things happen attributable to your Stylus, Cartridge and preamp

What was done in the mastering of the CD
----------------------

There is NO way to figure out WHICH of those distortions and changes are
what you LIKE in the modified sound from the original recording.
Anonymous
August 29, 2005 11:31:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 8/29/05 11:25 AM, in article
1125329133.727734.142770@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com, "Evangelos Himonides"
<himonides@gmail.com> wrote:

>...who knows how the D/A converter on your CD-player
> 'compares' to the signal coming out of your turntable?

I'd lay odds that, even with older convertors, WAYYYY less change happens in
the digital version...
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 2:46:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 29 Aug 2005 14:14:25 -0700, "drichard" <DRichard@wi.rr.com> wrote:

>It's my idea that perhaps people prefer analog sound because of the
>noise that's present in the music in the analog domain. Analog mediums
>have tape hiss, turntable rumble, all of that. Phrases used to describe
>analog sound typically are "warmer" and "less sterile". I'm thinking
>that the noise in the analog domain feels more natural, or comfortable,
>from a psychoacoustical point of view, than music playing with no noise
>floor.

FWIW, I'm somewhat of the same mind. Maybe more importantly
to folks like me of a certain age. But, fersure, there certainly
is some there there.

>Has anyone ever tested this? For example, take a digital recording.
>Make a second copy, but add tape hiss or low level pink noise. Will
>listeners prefer the version with noise, and describe it as "warmer" or
>"less sterile"? I'm curious. Does anyone know if similar tests have
>been performed?

Dunno, but the converse is inverse (IMO, others disagree). For
me a good A/D/A conversion sounds as good as the original A.
Just lends credence to your theory, if you believe my
observation.

Belief, said Peter Pan,

Chris Hornbeck
"What I love about Jean-Luc Godard is that he is honest, smart,
and has no humility." -butterfinger, reviewing _Pierrot le fou_, 1965
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 2:54:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 19:30:32 GMT, SSJVCmag <ten@nozirev.gamnocssj.com>
wrote:

>On 8/29/05 10:23 AM, in article
>1125325387.905029.161640@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com, "Nate Najar"
><nate@natenajar.com> wrote:
>
>> I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
>> wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
>> records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
>> also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
>> crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
>> sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
>> come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
>> very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
>> and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
>> sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
>> hearing?
>
>Until and unless you find out ALL of the following:
>
>-----------------
>What was done in the mastering of the LP
>
>What the differences are between
>the ACTUAL MASTER for the LP and
>what actually appeared ON the PRESSED COPY YOU HAVE.
>
>What odd things happen attributable to your Stylus, Cartridge and preamp
>
>What was done in the mastering of the CD
>----------------------
>
{quote}------------------------>There is NO way to figure out WHICH of
those distortions and changes are what you LIKE in the modified sound
from the original recording.

To master a LP, you would have some limitations not present in a CD
mastering. I have a feeling that you can handle, at record mastering,
[almost] to your heart's desire with mid to mid-high frequencies and
these are of an utmost importance. At low frequencies and at very high
frequencies, you have to watch your steps. So you can't blow things
much up like you can on CD. And a Pultec equalizer is so gentle. Yes,
unlike a perfectly-copied CD, there are sooo much variables involved
in a LP from mastering to reproduction of it and yes, that's life:) )

-- I transfer a record to PC by bypassing RIAA, im fact bypassing all
electronics -- a cartridge to input directly. My, what amount of
distorsion sometimes, more revealed by such a linear playback,
especially at microgroove 45 RPM singles and at inner diameters. But
this can be controlled to an extent by careful reequalization. And if
you can -- please -- stay away from those 17, 18, 19, 20 plus kHz
areas in your transfer work, a CD can sound soft yet precise enough. A
PC-drawn RIAA or whatever correction curve seems to be good enough for
me.

And yes, these old recording are often distant microphone recorded (or
very sensibly mixed) and _no way_ would a violin sound extremely
precisely at hard left while the player breathes at hard right.

As to distorsion --it is ridiculous to see that a 1906 recording
yields frequency tops to 22 kHz but this means, 80 % of all the plot
is distorsion only. This, under circumstances ("good" harmonics, doh)
can give a seemingly pleasant impression too. But these are just
artifacts in such cases.

Edi Zubovic, Crikvenica, Croatia
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 3:27:29 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Nate Najar wrote:
> I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
> wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
> records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
> also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
> crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
> sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
> come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
> very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
> and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
> sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
> hearing?
>
> Nate

If you have clean records and you can live with the noise floor, Vinyl
is a much better listening experience than CDs in my opinion. So box up
your CDs and go vinyl if you like older jazz and rock. It's really
futile to try and find parity with the CD replacements.

Your ears are not lying to you and by taking a minute to actually
listen and compare vinyl to CD you have a 'bing' moment and the obvious
becomes obvious. So as Scott Dorsey said .... "enjoy".

But your "why does analog sound so good question' could be as easily
phrased as "why do CDs sound so bad".

While it's very true that modern mastering is to blame for a lot of bad
recordings today, the truth is that the resoution of 16/44 CD is not
sufficient for good hi-fi sound and it's not hard to hear. Transfer
vinyl to CD and you'll easily be able to hear the problems even with
good converters. I do it every day have have stated my observations
here many times.

16/44 CD sound, compared to the source, loses depth & dimension and
produces empty sounding mids and highs that are not as smooth and
natural as vinyl or analog in general....... 24/96 is a great
improvement but I agree with the poster who said that 1/2 Analog Dolby
SR is superior. That's a wonderful sound if properly done.


Used Vinyl and decent turntables are not expensive. I use a Throrens in
the studio for transfers, have a pioneer in the living room and my son
has a cheap SONY in his bedroom......And sadly his cheap Sony sounds
Much better than his decent CD player comparing old records to their
'good' CD masters. That tells you something.

VB
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 7:14:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I agree that digital is more transeparent than analog and that's what I
don't like. It's too transparent. I always fell like I hear the analogs
sound ins the space/spaces between instruments. It's like listentig
with a different back drop.

It's like the difference between a photo aof a model and a photo of a
model with make up. The more accurate one is not alwasy the most
pleasing.

And then there's airbrushing which removes obvious flaws, but can look
artificial which also has it's digital audio correlation.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 8:07:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:

> blackburst@aol.com wrote:

> > An analog waveform is continuous.

But it isn't. There are these little particles of rust...

> > A digital representation is chopped
> > up into a zillion samples.

> And maybe not. Please, let's end this branch right here. (wishful
> thinking)

I dunno, you could run with it, too...

If you chop the branch into molecule-size chunks and then glue 'em back
together just so, you wind up out on a limb that is obviously just like
much of the rest of the tree, and is exactly like its former self. The
"gluing just so" is the important part.

--
ha
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 8:18:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Vinyl_Believer wrote:

> 16/44 CD sound, compared to the source . . . .

Please, tell us of your vast experience recording live music?
Otherwise, how would you know what the source sounds like? I think
you're comparing modern CDs with what you would like them to sound like
(which may be what older vinyl records sound like).

Have you listened to some of the new vinyl that's being produced for
dance DJs? does that sound any better to you than the CDs of the same
or similar music?

I like to listen to my old recordings more than I like to listen to my
new recordings, but that's not because of the audio quality. Some new
recordings that I have are very well recorded, mastered, and pressed.
But I find the music to be too 'pure' and just not something that calls
me back again for another listen. But then I'm more of a casual
listener and don't want my listening experience to be a challange,
either to understand the music, get deeper into the music or songs, or
study the recording techniques or production process.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 11:02:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike,

Your comments seem to agree with my hypothesis that much of what makes
analog so appealing is the inherent noise of the medium. It might be
that the s/n ratio of digital is so high that it sounds unnatural. It's
pretty rare in the real world to have a 96 db s/n ratio. In the real
world we're surrounded by ambient sound.

I'd really like to see that test performed if it hasn't already: A
listener can choose between two recordings that are identical, except
that noise has been added to one. Will they prefer the noisier version?
Will the reasons given be similar to those that analog lovers typically
use to describe why they prefer analog over digital?

Dean
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 11:06:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:
> blackburst@aol.com wrote:
>
> > MAYBE...
> >
> > An analog waveform is continuous. A digital representation is chopped
> > up into a zillion samples.
>
> And maybe not. Please, let's end this branch right here. (wishful
> thinking)

You da man, as far as I'm concerned, in audio matters, and I'll accede
to your judgment, but...

Can you explain to me how I'm wrong, if I am?

Is not an analog waveform continuous?

Is not a digital waveform a stream of samples? Thus, "sample rates"?
An audio pioneer who died a few years back opined that, as good as
digital samles were, they had "blank spaces" or "dark spaces" between
them, and that this may account for the subtle hearing differences
between analog and digital. Just his theory.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 12:03:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1125410775.795871.293710@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"blackburst@aol.com" <blackburst@aol.com> wrote:

> Mike Rivers wrote:
> > blackburst@aol.com wrote:
> >
> > > MAYBE...
> > >
> > > An analog waveform is continuous. A digital representation is chopped
> > > up into a zillion samples.
> >
> > And maybe not. Please, let's end this branch right here. (wishful
> > thinking)
>
> You da man, as far as I'm concerned, in audio matters, and I'll accede
> to your judgment, but...
>
> Can you explain to me how I'm wrong, if I am?
>
> Is not an analog waveform continuous?
>
> Is not a digital waveform a stream of samples? Thus, "sample rates"?
> An audio pioneer who died a few years back opined that, as good as
> digital samles were, they had "blank spaces" or "dark spaces" between
> them, and that this may account for the subtle hearing differences
> between analog and digital. Just his theory.
>

I would direct you to the theory of Claude Shannon.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 1:25:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks Scott, I will. That's exactly the type of info I was hoping to
find. I had to believe that some research had been done in this area.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 1:31:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi again, Scott. I'm having trouble tracking down his papers. A google
search of Stanley Lipschitz wasn't very useful. Do you know offhand
where I should look?
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 1:48:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi Arny,

>>>
The fallacy here is that digital recordings of a given event
don't have any better dynamic range than the event.
<<<

That's true, of course but, as you said the medium itself is not nearly
as limiting. And obviously the ambient noise in a studio environment
(where the event likely occured) is much less than the real world.
Also, a digitally generated event (synth, etc.) can have a dynamic
range as great as the digital medium it's stored on. Analog is more
confining.

I suspect you're right that much of the love for listening to music on
analog media is about nostalgia and poor remastering. And I have no
idea of what noise, spectra, or PDF would make for a good test my
hypothesis. I don't know enough about the psychoacoustic side effects
to offer suggestions. And Scott's point about the perceived tonality
changing in such a test is interesting - but doesn't render the
hypothesis invalid, in my opinion.

There are a lot of people with very good ears (mastering engineers,
etc.) that still prefer analog media. Some prefer to get masters on 1/2
inch tape to digital. I'm trying to think of reasons why that might be
so.

I appreciate your thoughts.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 2:31:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Nate Najar" <nate@natenajar.com> wrote in message
news:1125325387.905029.161640@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>I don't mean to start what could turn into a nasty argument, but I was
> wodnering something. Last night I was listening to one of my favorite
> records- Tom Jobim and Elis Regina "Elis and Tom". I have the lp and
> also the cd. I was listening to the lp and even though my copy
> crackles like a bowl of rice krispies, I couldn't believe how good it
> sounded. I'm trying to think of words to describe it- the best I can
> come up with would be transparent, detailed and alive. It just sounded
> very natural to me. Now I own this recording on cd and so i grabbed it
> and compared the two. The cd definitely sounds good, but it didn't
> sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
> hearing?


A few possibilities, any or all:
1 - The CD is reproducing the master faithfully, where-as the LP chain is
filtering out a whole lot of stuff.
2 - The mastering is totally different on each issue.
3 - The processing on the CD release has been flawed at some stage -
inferior AD, mastering processing, or subsequent digital manipulation on the
way to glass master.
4 - Bad glass master or stamper.
5 - Your CD playback chain, which may be being stressed by the CD release in
ways the LP cannot.
6- Probably quite a few other possibilities, but I'd say most likely "1".

geoff
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 2:31:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 10:31:02 +1200, "Geoff@work"
<gwood@nospam-audioproducts.co.nz> wrote:

>> sound near as lifelike as the vinyl. Am I dreaming? what is it I'm
>> hearing?
>
>
>A few possibilities, any or all:
>1 - The CD is reproducing the master faithfully, where-as the LP chain is
>filtering out a whole lot of stuff.
>2 - The mastering is totally different on each issue.
>3 - The processing on the CD release has been flawed at some stage -
>inferior AD, mastering processing, or subsequent digital manipulation on the
>way to glass master.
>4 - Bad glass master or stamper.
>5 - Your CD playback chain, which may be being stressed by the CD release in
>ways the LP cannot.
>6- Probably quite a few other possibilities, but I'd say most likely "1".

Excellent analysis, but your #6 conclusion implies that we
should be doctoring CD releases to sound like vinyl....

You can't really mean that, of course, so maybe there's
something interesting in the artifacts? (Personally, I
doubt it, but who knows? It's a wacky biz.)

Thanks, as always,

Chris Hornbeck
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 2:31:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<blackburst@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1125410775.795871.293710@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
> Mike Rivers wrote:
>> blackburst@aol.com wrote:
>>
>>> MAYBE...
>>>
>>> An analog waveform is continuous. A digital
>>> representation is chopped up into a zillion samples.
>>
>> And maybe not. Please, let's end this branch right here.
>> (wishful thinking)
>
> You da man, as far as I'm concerned, in audio matters,
> and I'll accede to your judgment, but...
>
> Can you explain to me how I'm wrong, if I am?

> Is not an analog waveform continuous?

Depends which analog.

For example, the output of analog tape is based on a fair
number of discrete magnetic domains that have only two
states. Virtually all analog tape playback is more
discontinuous than good 16 bit digital. Virtually all analog
audio signal recording and playbakc is far moer
discontinuous than a 16 bit digital signal, properly
converted back to analog.

> Is not a digital waveform a stream of samples?

A properly reconstructed digital signal is a continuous
signal in both the amplitude and time domain.

> Thus, "sample rates"?

Think of digital as a black box with a continuous signal
going in, and a continuous signal coming out. If we are
concerned with sound quality, we really don't care what
happens in the entrails of the box. We're just intersted in
results.


>An audio pioneer who died a few years
> back opined that, as good as digital samles were, they
> had "blank spaces" or "dark spaces" between them, and
> that this may account for the subtle hearing differences
> between analog and digital.

This theory provokes a lot of laughter among knowlegable
people. There were a fair number of old-time technical
greats who just didn't get digital, or even SS.

> Just his theory.

Its a theory that can be easily proven or disproven. Too bad
for him.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 2:35:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"drichard" <DRichard@wi.rr.com> wrote in message
news:1125410567.407539.191750@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com
> Mike,
>
> Your comments seem to agree with my hypothesis that much
> of what makes analog so appealing is the inherent noise
> of the medium. It might be that the s/n ratio of digital
> is so high that it sounds unnatural. It's pretty rare in
> the real world to have a 96 db s/n ratio. In the real
> world we're surrounded by ambient sound.

The fallacy here is that digital recordings of a given event
don't have any better dynamic range than the event.

The difference is that the digtial recording has a shot at
having the same dynamic range as the event, while a LP
probably doesn't.

> I'd really like to see that test performed if it hasn't
> already: A listener can choose between two recordings
> that are identical, except that noise has been added to
> one. Will they prefer the noisier version?

How much noise, what spectra and PDF?

> Will the
> reasons given be similar to those that analog lovers
> typically use to describe why they prefer analog over
> digital?

IME love for analog media is a lot about nostalgia and
recordings that were never properly updated to take
advantage of new technology.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 2:48:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

SSJVCmag wrote:
> On 8/30/05 10:06 AM, in article
> 1125410775.795871.293710@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com, "blackburst@aol.com"
> <blackburst@aol.com> wrote:
>
>
> > Is not an analog waveform continuous?
> >
> > Is not a digital waveform a stream of samples? Thus, "sample rates"?
> > An audio pioneer who died a few years back opined that, as good as
> > digital samles were, they had "blank spaces" or "dark spaces" between
> > them, and that this may account for the subtle hearing differences
> > between analog and digital.
>
> Cute thought except for the small matter that it's just plain wrong.

Which is why I started this with "MAYBE..."

>
>
> > Just his theory.
>
> Well, again, No.
> It's NOT a theory at all.
> It's his own postulation or guess, not even a well-laid out HYPOTHESIS at
> that.

I'd agree, but this is a guy who developed some major analog
technologies, but had a few far-out notions as well. That's why I was
wondering if he was right.

> Were you to actually do some homework, beyond reading audiophule articles,

Actually, it was a deathbed interview/conversation. It sounded SO
convincing.

> and look at the development into theory you'd trace and understand why what
> comes out of a digital recording is indeed NOTHING like what he postulates.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 2:48:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1125420499.629505.62350@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com>,
"drichard" <DRichard@wi.rr.com> wrote:

> Hi Arny,
>
> >>>
> The fallacy here is that digital recordings of a given event
> don't have any better dynamic range than the event.
> <<<
>
> That's true, of course but, as you said the medium itself is not nearly
> as limiting. And obviously the ambient noise in a studio environment
> (where the event likely occured) is much less than the real world.
> Also, a digitally generated event (synth, etc.) can have a dynamic
> range as great as the digital medium it's stored on. Analog is more
> confining.
>
> I suspect you're right that much of the love for listening to music on
> analog media is about nostalgia and poor remastering. And I have no
> idea of what noise, spectra, or PDF would make for a good test my
> hypothesis. I don't know enough about the psychoacoustic side effects
> to offer suggestions. And Scott's point about the perceived tonality
> changing in such a test is interesting - but doesn't render the
> hypothesis invalid, in my opinion.
>
> There are a lot of people with very good ears (mastering engineers,
> etc.) that still prefer analog media. Some prefer to get masters on 1/2
> inch tape to digital. I'm trying to think of reasons why that might be
> so.
>
> I appreciate your thoughts.
>

I think a lot of the preference for analog stems from our familiarity and
experience with analog. Analog recording has been highly optimized over the
years, with each little source of distortion and non-linearity addressed. We
have become accustomed to analog recording of popular music and the sound it
yields.

As digital gets the same level of refinement, we see (and hear) dramatic
improvement in the best digital recordings. But there are still growing pains
as we get used to digital recording and its new set of requirements: good
clocking, good linear converters, etc. Once digital is as well understood by
all of the practitioners of our art, I predict we won't be looking back.

Check out DSD/SACD if you want to hear where digital sound might go.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 3:15:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

drichard <DRichard@wi.rr.com> wrote:
>
>I'd really like to see that test performed if it hasn't already: A
>listener can choose between two recordings that are identical, except
>that noise has been added to one. Will they prefer the noisier version?
>Will the reasons given be similar to those that analog lovers typically
>use to describe why they prefer analog over digital?

This test has been performed in several configurations, and the perceived
tonality of the recording is affected by the spectrum of the noise that is
added. Check out Stanley Lipschitz's papers on the subject.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 3:17:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

blackburst@aol.com <blackburst@aol.com> wrote:
>
>Is not an analog waveform continuous?

Yes.

>Is not a digital waveform a stream of samples? Thus, "sample rates"?

Yes, but a bandlimited anmalogue waveform can be perfectly reconstructed
from it. That is the whole nature of Shannon's Sampling Theorem.

>An audio pioneer who died a few years back opined that, as good as
>digital samles were, they had "blank spaces" or "dark spaces" between
>them, and that this may account for the subtle hearing differences
>between analog and digital. Just his theory.

That theory is bullshit. There are plenty of arguments you can make
against digital recording but that's not one.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 3:35:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Otherwise, how would you know what the source sounds like? >>

Did I say Original source?? ..... Source means the source you're
recording FROM ie. the vinyl Source?.....dah..... You get a little bit
more crabby every day Rivers.

<<Have you listened to some of the new vinyl that's being produced for
dance DJs? does that sound any better to you than the CDs of the same
or similar music? >>

Yes I have actually and the Vinyl sounds Much better. Have you
btw?........ In all these discussions you've yet to provide one minute
of actual research or comparson to support or dispute any of your or my
claims. On the otherhand I have everytime..... But I'd welcome your
actual observations anytime Mike. We all know your 'opinions' very well
by now.

VB
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 3:36:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Yes 86 and perhaps this time you'll join in with some actual research
and observations instead of just your biases and opinions?

VB
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 3:52:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Vinyl_Believer wrote:

> Did I say Original source?? ..... Source means the source you're
> recording FROM ie. the vinyl Source?.....dah..... You get a little bit
> more crabby every day Rivers.

Oh, so you're saying that a digital copy of a vinyl record doesn't
sound as good as the vinyl record? OK, I can buy that, but I don't find
the difference to be anything to get so worked up about. I can live
with it if the benefits of having the digital copy outweigh having to
play the vinyl disk. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. But just
because you think you can hear a difference that's large enough to
argue about doesn't give you ammunition to denounce a whole technology.

> ....... In all these discussions you've yet to provide one minute
> of actual research or comparson to support or dispute any of your or my
> claims.

I don't dispute your claims, I dispute the validity of your
proselytizing. You have yet to show that you have a really good
recording chain. Or if you have, I guess I wasn't impressed because I
don't remember what you're using. I can think of lots of gear that will
make mincemeat out of any source, but I know of a lot of gear that
doesn't.

And if you really want to prove your point, make a vinyl copy of a
vinyl record and compare the two disks.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 4:40:08 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<<< You can provide every available statistic or *fact* you'd like
........>>

And so can you.

It would make for a much more interesting debate if you had some actual
personal observations and research as I've provided.

Please get back to us when you've actually tried a few of the
hamburgers.

VB
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 5:06:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Chris Hornbeck" <chrishornbeckremovethis@att.net> wrote in message
>
> Excellent analysis, but your #6 conclusion implies that we
> should be doctoring CD releases to sound like vinyl....


No - that would imply that compromised reproduction should be the criteria
to be aimed for. That some individual prefers things to sound that way
should not be a factor.

Peter Walker's "Closest approach to the original sound" - that being the
master or the original performance (depending on the nature of the music) -
should be the criteria.

geoff
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 6:03:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

drichard <DRichard@wi.rr.com> wrote:
>Hi again, Scott. I'm having trouble tracking down his papers. A google
>search of Stanley Lipschitz wasn't very useful. Do you know offhand
>where I should look?

There might be a search engine at www.aes.org that will let you look
through old papers and preprints, but a trip to the library to look
at the JAES index will probably be easier.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
August 30, 2005 7:04:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1125426907.623688.296690@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
vinylbeliever@hotmail.com says...
> << Otherwise, how would you know what the source sounds like? >>
>
> Did I say Original source?? ..... Source means the source you're
> recording FROM ie. the vinyl Source?.....dah..... You get a little bit
> more crabby every day Rivers.
>
> <<Have you listened to some of the new vinyl that's being produced for
> dance DJs? does that sound any better to you than the CDs of the same
> or similar music? >>
>
> Yes I have actually and the Vinyl sounds Much better. Have you
> btw?........ In all these discussions you've yet to provide one minute
> of actual research or comparson to support or dispute any of your or my
> claims. On the otherhand I have everytime..... But I'd welcome your
> actual observations anytime Mike. We all know your 'opinions' very well
> by now.

Some of it seems pretty easy.. like the nebulous RIAA curve
that vinyl recordings must adhere to, since they can't really
represent reality (the bass grooves would be way deeper than
the vinyl is thick). Thus we have an EQ introduced, along
with the phase abnormalities that go along with it.
In order to accurately test this, one would have to hear
the actual source material, then vinyl and digital reproductions
of them directly afterward, to see which more accurately
represented the original. Somehow I doubt that's been done yet.
Time and technology have moved on. Vinyl is unfortunately
somewhat self-destructive over repeated plays, so I don't dabble
in that medium anymore; I don't have the time nor money for it.
--
---Mikhael...
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 7:25:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Vinyl_Believer <vinylbeliever@hotmail.com> wrote:
><< Otherwise, how would you know what the source sounds like? >>
>
>Did I say Original source?? ..... Source means the source you're
>recording FROM ie. the vinyl Source?.....dah..... You get a little bit
>more crabby every day Rivers.

No, the source is what it sounded like in the studio. What the actual
instruments really sound like.

><<Have you listened to some of the new vinyl that's being produced for
>dance DJs? does that sound any better to you than the CDs of the same
>or similar music? >>
>
>Yes I have actually and the Vinyl sounds Much better. Have you
>btw?

I hate to tell you this, but almost all of these vinyl releases are
being made from 16-bot CD-R or DAT delivered to the mastering studio.
At least, those are the two most common formats that the Music Industries
plant in Holland is getting, and they are the biggest vinyl plant in
Europe.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 7:51:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 8/30/05 10:06 AM, in article
1125410775.795871.293710@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com, "blackburst@aol.com"
<blackburst@aol.com> wrote:


> Is not an analog waveform continuous?
>
> Is not a digital waveform a stream of samples? Thus, "sample rates"?
> An audio pioneer who died a few years back opined that, as good as
> digital samles were, they had "blank spaces" or "dark spaces" between
> them, and that this may account for the subtle hearing differences
> between analog and digital.

Cute thought except for the small matter that it's just plain wrong.


> Just his theory.

Well, again, No.
It's NOT a theory at all.
It's his own postulation or guess, not even a well-laid out HYPOTHESIS at
that.
Were you to actually do some homework, beyond reading audiophule articles,
and look at the development into theory you'd trace and understand why what
comes out of a digital recording is indeed NOTHING like what he postulates.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 8:01:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Here we go again.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 8:45:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

blackburst@aol.com wrote:
>
> An audio pioneer who died a few years back opined that, as good as
> digital samles were, they had "blank spaces" or "dark spaces" between
> them, and that this may account for the subtle hearing differences
> between analog and digital. Just his theory.

Yeah, "just his theory"
Shannon and Nyquist had some "theories" too, with some mathematicxal basis.

People who believe vague handwaving concepts like that should look with
an oscilloscope at the output of an audio D-A converter with the usual
anti-aliasing filtering on it, and observe the nice smooth curves. It
might come as a surprise that it doesn't appear as a series of
rectangular steps.

Anahata
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 9:54:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Anahata wrote:

> People who believe vague handwaving concepts like that should look with
> an oscilloscope at the output of an audio D-A converter with the usual
> anti-aliasing filtering on it, and observe the nice smooth curves. It
> might come as a surprise that it doesn't appear as a series of
> rectangular steps.

They also ought to do that with a 18 Khz singal from a fine analog deck,
to see how much like the source is the playback. <g>

--
ha
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 9:54:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"hank alrich" <walkinay@thegrid.net> wrote in message
news:1h23s7u.xlz4jg14351ceN%walkinay@thegrid.net
> Anahata wrote:
>
>> People who believe vague handwaving concepts like that
>> should look with an oscilloscope at the output of an
>> audio D-A converter with the usual anti-aliasing
>> filtering on it, and observe the nice smooth curves. It
>> might come as a surprise that it doesn't appear as a
>> series of rectangular steps.

> They also ought to do that with a 18 Khz singal from a
> fine analog deck, to see how much like the source is the
> playback. <g>

Let's consider a tape running at 15 ips, given that we want
to hear bass and not head bumps. ;-)

In all liklihood both signals are heavily low-pass filtered,
the DAC is filtered by its reconstruction filter, while the
tape is likely to be filtered by its head gap losses.

The square wave response of most tape machines, even the
fine ones, is generally pretty grim - sometimes far worse
than a DAC, because modern DACs have phase linear
reconstruction filters.

More likely than not, the tape will have a far larger
inter-channel delay, and that delay will be wandering around
due to azimuth variations as the tape tracks across the
head.

At 18 KHz the tape's playback will have a random, varying
envelope imposed on it by a number of influences. The output
of the DAC will be perfectly stable.
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 9:58:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mick <m.porter@sausagefreescale.com> wrote:
> Some of it seems pretty easy.. like the nebulous RIAA curve
>that vinyl recordings must adhere to, since they can't really
>represent reality (the bass grooves would be way deeper than
>the vinyl is thick). Thus we have an EQ introduced, along
>with the phase abnormalities that go along with it.

I think you are unaware of what the RIAA curve actually does. The notion
here is that emphasis is used in recording and an equivalent de-emphasis
is used on playback. Just like the standard emphasis that is occasionally
used on CDs.

Another way of thinking about RIAA is to think that with the RIAA curve,
the stylus _position_ is linear with signal rather than the stylus _velocity_.

> In order to accurately test this, one would have to hear
>the actual source material, then vinyl and digital reproductions
>of them directly afterward, to see which more accurately
>represented the original. Somehow I doubt that's been done yet.

Of course it's been done. Every time I cut a lacquer, I do it. There
has been an enormous amount of extensive A/B testing on discs in the
past 120 years or so. Get a copy of the AES Compendium on Disc Recording
and there are a bunch of articles discussing subjective effects.

> Time and technology have moved on. Vinyl is unfortunately
>somewhat self-destructive over repeated plays, so I don't dabble
>in that medium anymore; I don't have the time nor money for it.

That's fine, but please don't spread misinformation about it. There
are plenty of things that go wrong in the cutting and pressing process,
but don't blame the RIAA curve for response issues.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
August 30, 2005 10:03:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"drichard" <DRichard@wi.rr.com> wrote in message
news:1125420499.629505.62350@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...

> There are a lot of people with very good ears (mastering engineers,
> etc.) that still prefer analog media. Some prefer to get masters on 1/2
> inch tape to digital. I'm trying to think of reasons why that might be
> so.

I suspect that one of the big reasons mastering engineer like analog
recordings is that they aren't digital.

There's something magical about a really good mic feed, something incredibly
warm and liquid and smooth and all those audiophilic words that people use
to describe analog recording, except that this isn't a recording; it's the
sound coming straight out of the console or preamp into the monitor amps
into the speakers. Still not as warm, liquid and smooth as the real sound in
a good room, but nonetheless very magical sounding.

Record the sound, and a little of the magic goes away. My ears tell me that
the least loss of magic happens with a really good analog recorder,
carefully set up. So far 16-bit digital hasn't matched that; more of the
magic goes away. 24-bit digital comes a lot closer, and to my ears DSD comes
closer still (but the practical difficulties with the latter are still
daunting).

That's all subjective stuff, stuff you can't measure (although you can look
for measurements and try to correlate them). In the end, though, we use our
technical abilities to do things with subjective results, because this is
about *music*, which is about the heart and soul.

So it comes down to a non-quantifiable impression, one which is shared by a
lot of top-end mastering engineers. When digital finally catches up (and it
will, eventually) we'll all heave a sigh of relief, since it's a lot more
convenient. (For one thing, there's still no high-quality, robust means of
analog mass distribution other than WFMT. Duping 15ips half-track tapes for
the mass market ain't gonna fly.)

Peace,
Paul
!