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CD audio vs. WAV/AIFF - problem extractiong audio - Long p..

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Anonymous
September 6, 2005 5:31:59 AM

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

Hi all

Bear with me. This is a long post...

I had something very interesting happen today. I had a last minute call from
a new client needing help with a compilation product for release.

This person gets permission from old bands from the 60's and re-releases
them in short replicated runs for collectors.

He gets the songs from many different sources: people and formats. As he
says he doen't get the original masters, but audio CD's. Most of the time
they are ready for release. Sometimes he has to add a few bonus tracks to
the product so a new CD master has to be created.

Anyway, accordinng to him, any copy of the CD's that are made from his
masters don't sound the same to him as his main discs that the songs were
taken from. He says he hears a loss of detail and air around the recording
in the copies.

The master he was sent is what he wants and sounds good to him but,
according to him, any copies made of this disc sound wrong. He says both
the direct copy as well as an audio extraction sound different to him and
can pick out the different versions.

So, I had him bring over the discs that he had. He had the original audio
CD-R master, extracted AIFF files saved on a CD-ROM, as well as the bonus
tracks that need to be added the the final product in AIFF format.

I proceeded to extract the audio using Samplitude Pro 8.2 CD extractor. I
made him a CD and he sat there with headphones and switched CD's back &
forth in the player & said the copy doesn't sound the same.

Then I imported the AIFF files into the timeline and lined them up with the
extraction files to A/B them. There was a SLIGHT difference - yes, the AIFF
sounded "better" than the extraction - but my GOD he was being picky! My
monitoring and room are good so I know what I can trust hearing here.

Anyway, I made him an audio CD of the AIFF files and he compared all 3 disks
- the original, the extracted copy, and the AIFF disc. He compared again and
said all 3 sounded different!!

What he is trying to do is eliminate the change he is getting while trying
to copy the disc so it sounds like the master.

I am suspect of the original files as he didn't do the transfer, and doesn't
know what was used to do the transfer, and how the files were treated before
he got them. He did say someone had done some noise reduction especially on
the vinyl transfers.

I did see that the waveform of all of the files was VERY flat, giving me the
impression that the files were heavily compressed or normalized. Started
life as an mp3 maybe?

The actual audio level was quite low though - strange.

Anyway, anybody have any ideas on what might be going on?

Thanks!
--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 7:48:09 AM

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

Tom Jancauskas wrote:
> I proceeded to extract the audio using Samplitude Pro 8.2 CD extractor. I
> made him a CD and he sat there with headphones and switched CD's back &
> forth in the player & said the copy doesn't sound the same.

If it's a bad enough CD player, you can unload and re-load the same CD
and it will sound different to someone who really wants to be picky.
And if it's a home-made (CD-R or worse, CD-RW) disk, there's even
greater margin of difference. CDs may be digital, but they aren't
perfect.

Unless you can find something clearly wrong with what you're doing, I
think your friend is being too picky.
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 11:29:02 AM

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

"Tom Jancauskas" <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:BF425B5D.AD3F%mixbus@sbcglobal.net


> Anyway, accordinng to him, any copy of the CD's that are
> made from his masters don't sound the same to him as his
> main discs that the songs were taken from. He says he
> hears a loss of detail and air around the recording in
> the copies.

The well-knkown failings of sighted evaluations?

It's pretty easy to do a technical test that will shed
light.

(1) Rip a track from the origional
(2) Rip a track from a copy
(3) compare the two .wav files using one of the standard
utilities for comparing files. Good file comparison programs
are built into the two leading ripping programs - CDEX or
EAC.

It's pretty easy to do a blind listening test that will shed
light.

(1) Rip a track from the origional
(2) Rip a track from a copy
(3) compare the two .wav files using one of the standard
utilities for audibly comparing files under blind,
time-synched conditions: www.pcabx.com .

It might be possible that there's something wrong with his
copying procedures that is adding a lot of data errors.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 12:42:12 PM

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

Tom Jancauskas <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> Hi all
>
> Bear with me. This is a long post...
[...]
>...accordinng to him, any copy of the CD's that are made from his
> masters don't sound the same to him as his main discs that the songs were
> taken from. He says he hears a loss of detail and air around the recording
> in the copies.
[...]

Can you make two further copies in AIFF, one from the master and one
from the copy disc. Line them up precisely and invert the phase of one
of them, then mono the result.

With luck you will hear just the difference, if any.


--
~ Adrian Tuddenham ~
(Remove the ".invalid"s and add ".co.uk" to reply)
www.poppyrecords.co.uk
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 12:55:54 PM

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

Tom Jancauskas wrote:

> The CD player I was using was a sony from about 9 or 10 years ago with VERY
> little use. He says he hears the same problems on his home system.

I would expect a CD player of that vintage to be somehwat inconsistent
when playing a CD-R. You probably should consider yourself lucky that
they play at all.

Give this client a dope slap, or give him to someone else who needs the
money more than you do <g>
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 5:31:47 PM

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

in article 1h2gl6f.1oh3xc5xj9dz6N%poppy.uk@ukonline.invalid.invalid, Adrian
Tuddenham at poppy.uk@ukonline.invalid.invalid wrote on 9/6/05 2:42 AM:

> Tom Jancauskas <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
>> Hi all
>>
>> Bear with me. This is a long post...
> [...]
>> ...accordinng to him, any copy of the CD's that are made from his
>> masters don't sound the same to him as his main discs that the songs were
>> taken from. He says he hears a loss of detail and air around the recording
>> in the copies.
> [...]
>
> Can you make two further copies in AIFF, one from the master and one
> from the copy disc. Line them up precisely and invert the phase of one
> of them, then mono the result.
>
> With luck you will hear just the difference, if any.
>


This is what I will try next. I'll post the results later today.

Thanks,
--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 5:36:39 PM

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

in article 1126003689.624807.127110@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com, Mike
Rivers at mrivers@d-and-d.com wrote on 9/6/05 5:48 AM:

>
> Tom Jancauskas wrote:
>> I proceeded to extract the audio using Samplitude Pro 8.2 CD extractor. I
>> made him a CD and he sat there with headphones and switched CD's back &
>> forth in the player & said the copy doesn't sound the same.
>
> If it's a bad enough CD player, you can unload and re-load the same CD
> and it will sound different to someone who really wants to be picky.
> And if it's a home-made (CD-R or worse, CD-RW) disk, there's even
> greater margin of difference. CDs may be digital, but they aren't
> perfect.
>
> Unless you can find something clearly wrong with what you're doing, I
> think your friend is being too picky.
>


The CD player I was using was a sony from about 9 or 10 years ago with VERY
little use. He says he hears the same problems on his home system.

I agree that CDs may be digital, but they aren't perfect.

Geez, you get more loss of quality by making an analog copy of the CD to
another CD than what he is hearing. Go figure...

Thanks all. This seems to be one of those things that just is. He won't ever
be happy and will be looking to find a difference in ALL of his projects.
Lucky me.

--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 5:36:40 PM

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

"Tom Jancauskas" <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
news:BF430535.AEA4%mixbus@sbcglobal.net
> in article
> 1126003689.624807.127110@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com,
> Mike Rivers at mrivers@d-and-d.com wrote on 9/6/05 5:48
> AM:
>
>>
>> Tom Jancauskas wrote:
>>> I proceeded to extract the audio using Samplitude Pro
>>> 8.2 CD extractor. I made him a CD and he sat there with
>>> headphones and switched CD's back & forth in the player
>>> & said the copy doesn't sound the same.

>> If it's a bad enough CD player, you can unload and
>> re-load the same CD and it will sound different to
>> someone who really wants to be picky. And if it's a
>> home-made (CD-R or worse, CD-RW) disk, there's even
>> greater margin of difference. CDs may be digital, but
>> they aren't perfect.

Warning: some CD players have subtle problems playing CD-Rs.
It's a very much a hit-or-miss proposition. So much so that
good operation with other than CD players from the post-CDR
period (last 3-5 years) can't be guaranteed.

>> Unless you can find something clearly wrong with what
>> you're doing, I think your friend is being too picky.

Or, he's cursed with two CD players that have subtle
problems with CD-Rs.

> The CD player I was using was a sony from about 9 or 10
> years ago with VERY little use. He says he hears the same
> problems on his home system.

It could be psychological or it could be technical.

> I agree that CDs may be digital, but they aren't perfect.

At the media level, they are analog.

> Geez, you get more loss of quality by making an analog
> copy of the CD to another CD than what he is hearing. Go
> figure...

Really good analog-analog copies can be made, but it takes
really good equipment.

> Thanks all. This seems to be one of those things that
> just is. He won't ever be happy and will be looking to
> find a difference in ALL of his projects. Lucky me.

The DBT and technical comparison approaches either find
problems or satisfy a certain fairly large percentage of
doubters. But 100% desired results are not guaranteed.

Unfortunately, if the core problem is personal CD players
that have subtle problems with CDRs, neither of the tests I
suggested will be relevant. ;-(
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 5:36:40 PM

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

Tom Jancauskas <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
>The CD player I was using was a sony from about 9 or 10 years ago with VERY
>little use. He says he hears the same problems on his home system.

Try loaning him a high-grade D/A to put between his CD player and his
receiver. Ask if that eliminates the differences.

Also check the error rates on the discs.

>Thanks all. This seems to be one of those things that just is. He won't ever
>be happy and will be looking to find a difference in ALL of his projects.
>Lucky me.

Very lucky, if you charge by the hour. If he gives up on the whole thing
and decides to issue LPs instead, let me know.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 5:42:41 PM

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

in article AvSdnfbjgOTj4IDeRVn-3w@comcast.com, Arny Krueger at
arnyk@hotpop.com wrote on 9/6/05 6:29 AM:

> It might be possible that there's something wrong with his
> copying procedures that is adding a lot of data errors.


Thank you for the info Arny. I am thinking is has to do with the original
disks and how they were made.

He couldn't tell me what was used to make the original transfer as well as
what they did to the file before or after the fact. I'd like to know the
path of production.

I have had experiences recently with DVD-R burning (of original video tapes)
that certain programs make a disc that is OK as a 1 off, but if you try to
copy it, it comes out with all kinds of problems. Maybe this is related to
what this guy is hearing.

Oh well...

--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 6:23:44 PM

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

in article 3a-dnZYhMtrdAIDeRVn-uw@comcast.com, Arny Krueger at
arnyk@hotpop.com wrote on 9/6/05 8:44 AM:

> "Tom Jancauskas" <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message
> news:BF430535.AEA4%mixbus@sbcglobal.net
>> in article
>> 1126003689.624807.127110@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com,
>> Mike Rivers at mrivers@d-and-d.com wrote on 9/6/05 5:48
>> AM:
>>
>>>
>>> Tom Jancauskas wrote:
>>>> I proceeded to extract the audio using Samplitude Pro
>>>> 8.2 CD extractor. I made him a CD and he sat there with
>>>> headphones and switched CD's back & forth in the player
>>>> & said the copy doesn't sound the same.
>
>>> If it's a bad enough CD player, you can unload and
>>> re-load the same CD and it will sound different to
>>> someone who really wants to be picky. And if it's a
>>> home-made (CD-R or worse, CD-RW) disk, there's even
>>> greater margin of difference. CDs may be digital, but
>>> they aren't perfect.
>
> Warning: some CD players have subtle problems playing CD-Rs.
> It's a very much a hit-or-miss proposition. So much so that
> good operation with other than CD players from the post-CDR
> period (last 3-5 years) can't be guaranteed.
>
>>> Unless you can find something clearly wrong with what
>>> you're doing, I think your friend is being too picky.
>
> Or, he's cursed with two CD players that have subtle
> problems with CD-Rs.
>
>> The CD player I was using was a sony from about 9 or 10
>> years ago with VERY little use. He says he hears the same
>> problems on his home system.
>
> It could be psychological or it could be technical.
>
>> I agree that CDs may be digital, but they aren't perfect.
>
> At the media level, they are analog.
>
>> Geez, you get more loss of quality by making an analog
>> copy of the CD to another CD than what he is hearing. Go
>> figure...
>
> Really good analog-analog copies can be made, but it takes
> really good equipment.
>
>> Thanks all. This seems to be one of those things that
>> just is. He won't ever be happy and will be looking to
>> find a difference in ALL of his projects. Lucky me.
>
> The DBT and technical comparison approaches either find
> problems or satisfy a certain fairly large percentage of
> doubters. But 100% desired results are not guaranteed.
>
> Unfortunately, if the core problem is personal CD players
> that have subtle problems with CDRs, neither of the tests I
> suggested will be relevant. ;-(
>
>


I understand that different CD players handle CD-R's differently. I started
with the CD-R technology in 1996, and there were certain players that
wouldn't play a CD-R disc AT ALL!

I made the analog cd-cd transfer comment to illustrate the small change in
sound he is hearing. I was giving the example with the idea that really good
equipment was to be used.

He asked me before he left, "how can I eliminate the problem in the future?"

I told him "You can minimize it, but you may not elimiate the problem 100%
if you are hearing things like this! All you can do to minimize it is by
having control over the entire production chain of events, from getting the
original masters (or as close as you can) and having the same company do the
transfers, cleanup, and produce data files or audio disc for producttion."

His answer to all that was "I can't do that." that's when I sent him on his
way with the different versions of what we did.

I don't think I'll hear from him again. This whole thread is to really see
if anyone else has experienced anything like this recently and to maybe give
him at least an understanding of what he might be hearing.

Thanks all- to what may be just a long therapy session.

--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 6:26:50 PM

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

in article dfk7r6$s35$1@panix2.panix.com, Scott Dorsey at kludge@panix.com
wrote on 9/6/05 9:07 AM:

> Tom Jancauskas <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>>
>> The CD player I was using was a sony from about 9 or 10 years ago with VERY
>> little use. He says he hears the same problems on his home system.
>
> Try loaning him a high-grade D/A to put between his CD player and his
> receiver. Ask if that eliminates the differences.
>
> Also check the error rates on the discs.
>
>> Thanks all. This seems to be one of those things that just is. He won't ever
>> be happy and will be looking to find a difference in ALL of his projects.
>> Lucky me.
>
> Very lucky, if you charge by the hour. If he gives up on the whole thing
> and decides to issue LPs instead, let me know.
> --scott

Thanks Scott. If he does release the LP's you are my first call.

I am very curious as to WHERE he is getting his material from.

I have approached the subject several times & he can't (or won't) give me an
answer.

--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 6:26:51 PM

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

Tom Jancauskas <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>
>I am very curious as to WHERE he is getting his material from.
>
>I have approached the subject several times & he can't (or won't) give me an
>answer.

He may well not even know. He may be getting these things either from
the label or under the counter from someone at the label. All you can do
is shrug and ask for the master tapes which he probably can't get.

Still, this is really the best kind of customer to have, if you are
charging by the hour. You can spend an awful lot of time tracking
something like this down, and usually these guys are very willing to
pay for it.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 6:53:40 PM

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

"Tom Jancauskas" <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message news:BF425B5D.AD3F%
>
> Anyway, accordinng to him, any copy of the CD's that are made from his
> masters don't sound the same to him as his main discs that the songs were
> taken from. He says he hears a loss of detail and air around the recording
> in the copies.

What drive is being used for the extraction ? You are sure they are being
ripped, not recorded from analogue or SPDIF, or course.... How do other
rippers work - EAC, etc.

How is he comparing the files - presumably all thru the same DA/CD player.
What is different - different media ? (= different error rate and different
degrees of error correction.) The CD copies will of course be one 'write
and read' cycle older that the master, with accumulated errors in both
directions, but I've never managed to hear a difference, except of flawed
media.

Being more devious, how about getting two files, one a copy of the other ,
label them differently and see if he hears a difference in those.

And if they may have once been MP3's what 'detail and air' anyway ?

geoff
Anonymous
September 6, 2005 6:53:41 PM

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

in article Uw7Te.9130$iM2.867295@news.xtra.co.nz, Geoff@work at
gwood@nospam-audioproducts.co.nz wrote on 9/5/05 9:53 PM:

>
> "Tom Jancauskas" <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message news:BF425B5D.AD3F%
>>
>> Anyway, accordinng to him, any copy of the CD's that are made from his
>> masters don't sound the same to him as his main discs that the songs were
>> taken from. He says he hears a loss of detail and air around the recording
>> in the copies.
>
> What drive is being used for the extraction ? You are sure they are being
> ripped, not recorded from analogue or SPDIF, or course.... How do other
> rippers work - EAC, etc.
>
> How is he comparing the files - presumably all thru the same DA/CD player.
> What is different - different media ? (= different error rate and different
> degrees of error correction.) The CD copies will of course be one 'write
> and read' cycle older that the master, with accumulated errors in both
> directions, but I've never managed to hear a difference, except of flawed
> media.
>
> Being more devious, how about getting two files, one a copy of the other ,
> label them differently and see if he hears a difference in those.
>
> And if they may have once been MP3's what 'detail and air' anyway ?
>
> geoff
>
>
>

His AIFF files were extracted using an iMac internal drive using Peak. My
extraction was using a Lite-on 5232 IDE drive through a digital data
connection from the reader to the hard drive. I didn't get a chance to try
EAC.

He was fighting me all the way in trying to figure this out. He wanted help,
but didn't want to hear what I thought some of the problems might be, as
well as the cures.

The CD comparisons were through the same DA/CD player.

He IS using different media than what the master was recorded on. I tried to
bring this to his attention, but he had his mind made up that he was going
to use the discs he had with him. I wanted to use a similar Dye formulation
that was used on the master, but he wouldn't have it.

He had his wife do a "blind test" and he could pick the original - so he
says.

Yeah, the MP3 thing has got me curious. What I can't figure out is why he
doesn't find out how & what was done to create the master CD's that he likes
in the first place.

For me at this point, I want to make sure I am not missing something. I
think this guy is going a bit overboard - but if there IS something that can
be pinpointed, it would make his day.

Thanks for the reply

--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 12:08:34 AM

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

in article dfkmie$d3i$1@panix2.panix.com, Scott Dorsey at kludge@panix.com
wrote on 9/6/05 1:18 PM:

> Tom Jancauskas <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
>>
>> I am very curious as to WHERE he is getting his material from.
>>
>> I have approached the subject several times & he can't (or won't) give me an
>> answer.
>
> He may well not even know. He may be getting these things either from
> the label or under the counter from someone at the label. All you can do
> is shrug and ask for the master tapes which he probably can't get.
>
> Still, this is really the best kind of customer to have, if you are
> charging by the hour. You can spend an awful lot of time tracking
> something like this down, and usually these guys are very willing to
> pay for it.
> --scott
>
that's OK. The guys seems to be getting the material from not too reliable
sources as it turns out.

I have just been told by the replication house that the files the client is
using are from South Africa. These are AMERICAN 60's bands HMMM...

I am not dealing with him anymore and won't take his business. Something
semms amiss and I don't think I want to be involved.

He isn't willing to get the master tapes either or pay to track all of this
down.

His answer to the question "is there any way you can get the masters?" It is
a flat out no i can't. Not even a I can try...

Thanks for all of the info though! I'll keep it in mind for future projects.

I would love to have one of those long term projects that pays by the hour
for tracking down all of the material. He isn't it unfortunatly...

--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 7:39:37 PM

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

On Tue, 06 Sep 2005 01:31:59 GMT, Tom Jancauskas <mixbus@sbcglobal.net>
wrote:


>
> So, I had him bring over the discs that he had. He had the original audio
> CD-R master, extracted AIFF files saved on a CD-ROM, as well as the
> bonus
> tracks that need to be added the the final product in AIFF format.
>
> I proceeded to extract the audio using Samplitude Pro 8.2 CD extractor. I
> made him a CD and he sat there with headphones and switched CD's back &
> forth in the player & said the copy doesn't sound the same.

Is Samplitude good at extracting audio from CD's? Does your CD drive read
audio CD's properly? You need to know the answers to those questions
before going any further.

If you don't know then try using EAC - it will be slow but at least you'll
know that you are getting the most accurate transfer possible with your
hardware. If you are using a Plextor drive that supports the reading of C2
error flags (most do) then Plextools will also extract CD audio accurately.

Once you've accurately extracted the audio from both CD's then invert the
polarity of one, paste it over the other and see if there is any signal
remaining. If there isn't a perfect null then your client is right.

Without knowing the results of the null test we can't really help much
further.

Cheers.

James.
Anonymous
September 7, 2005 8:32:59 PM

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

in article opswqlobs2djgvgv@news.nerc.ac.uk, James Perrett at
James.Perrett@noc.soton.ac.uk wrote on 9/7/05 9:39 AM:

> Is Samplitude good at extracting audio from CD's? Does your CD drive read
> audio CD's properly? You need to know the answers to those questions
> before going any further.
>
> If you don't know then try using EAC - it will be slow but at least you'll
> know that you are getting the most accurate transfer possible with your
> hardware. If you are using a Plextor drive that supports the reading of C2
> error flags (most do) then Plextools will also extract CD audio accurately.
>
> Once you've accurately extracted the audio from both CD's then invert the
> polarity of one, paste it over the other and see if there is any signal
> remaining. If there isn't a perfect null then your client is right.
>
> Without knowing the results of the null test we can't really help much
> further.
>
> Cheers.
>
> James.


I have actually done the null test on the same song but 2 different files.
One was the Samplitude extraction, and the other was an AIFF file he brought
me. The null was total silence.

Thanks,

--
Tom Jancauskas
Imedia
Anonymous
September 8, 2005 2:38:01 PM

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

"Tom Jancauskas" <mixbus@sbcglobal.net> wrote in message news:BF448007.B089%

> I have actually done the null test on the same song but 2 different files.
> One was the Samplitude extraction, and the other was an AIFF file he
> brought
> me. The null was total silence.


*Total* silence (as in identical data) , or low level noise (= difference,
even if very low) ?

geoff
!