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Author Topic: Digital vs. Analog Review  (Read 12233 times)

kats

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Digital vs. Analog Review
« on: November 14, 2010, 08:12:31 pm »

I had to replace an old  RADAR (classic cards) system last week with the new Apogee (Apogee/symphony whatever TF they're called now - they replace the ADX series)  system due to workflow issues.

I always preferred the sound of tape over these RADARS, but I figured I wasn't a big fan of RADAR systems. So I was kind of looking forward to the latest incarnations of the new digital age.

Talk about being underwhelmed. 10 years later and this is where we're at? Give me a break...



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Tony K.
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Entertainment is a bore, communication is where it's at! - Brian Jones 1967

Barry Hufker

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2010, 09:51:08 am »

...and RADAR's "Classic" cards aren't even their best converters...

Barry

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kats

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2010, 12:26:26 pm »

And just to be clear, I don't think these Apogee's are bad. I am just wondering out loud if we've come to a brick wall as far as 24 bit recording is concerned.


Is this it?
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Tony K.
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Entertainment is a bore, communication is where it's at! - Brian Jones 1967

jetbase

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2010, 05:35:43 pm »

What other converters have you tried? I don't think that Apogee are considered the... apogee... of converters, are they?
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kats

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2010, 07:56:29 pm »

I had RADAR classics, pretty much all the apogees, and I still own my UA 2192.   I guess the question begs:

Have the been any technological advances to make digital conversion any better in the last few years?
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Tony K.
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Entertainment is a bore, communication is where it's at! - Brian Jones 1967

cgc

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 08:41:31 am »

kats wrote on Mon, 15 November 2010 11:26

And just to be clear, I don't think these Apogee's are bad. I am just wondering out loud if we've come to a brick wall as far as 24 bit recording is concerned.


Is this it?


The best converters only resolve about 20-21 bits so getting the full 24 is still a goal.  
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kats

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 11:45:27 am »

Why do we need the full 24 bits? I understand the philosophy behind higher sample rates vs. filter implementation, but not really why we would need more bits.

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Tony K.
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Entertainment is a bore, communication is where it's at! - Brian Jones 1967

cgc

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 11:59:12 am »

kats wrote on Tue, 16 November 2010 10:45

Why do we need the full 24 bits? I understand the philosophy behind higher sample rates vs. filter implementation, but not really why we would need more bits.




Maybe we don't, but your topic is so incredibly vague I was attempting to offer something tangible.  
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Geoff Emerick de Fake

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2010, 10:49:39 am »

I think the brickwall is not 24bit; it's that the current technology has hit the point where it is so devoid of audible flaws and artefacts it has become tasteless. Just like the purest water has no taste and no colour, one has to mix it with alcohol to regain some excitement...
The excitement of tape comes from its flaws, saturation, head bumps, flutter, self-erasure, noise-dither...The closest to perfection it became (A827), the less exciting it sounded.
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Podgorny

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2010, 09:36:04 pm »

Geoff Emerick de Fake wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 09:49

Just like the purest water has no taste and no colour, one has to mix it with alcohol to regain some excitement...



I'm happy with a pinch of salt and some CO2.
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svs95

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 06:07:51 pm »

Quote:

Talk about being underwhelmed. 10 years later and this is where we're at? Give me a break...

Depends what you mean. Compared to what? If what you want is something back from the system that's somehow more subjectively pleasant than what you feed it, I guess you'll need to go back to analog mixing.

My real point is there's no way to know how much of the comparison between an analog desk and a RADAR with the latest converters is a "lack" of [objective] quality in the converters, versus a certain [subjective] euphonic "quality" you happen to like in the analog.

Well, I say there's no way to know, but I think we probably have an opinion about that, don't we?  Cool

If you were to use an analog desk as the front end of a digital system (with a split so you can monitor the analog before/after conversion), you'd have some basis to judge the quality of the converters.

Comparing the present digital system to your memories of an analog system is probably going to favor your memories. Like comparing an actual present woman with your memories of one... Laughing
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kats

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 06:15:22 pm »

Geoff Emerick de Fake wrote on Mon, 22 November 2010 09:49

I think the brickwall is not 24bit; it's that the current technology has hit the point where it is so devoid of audible flaws and artefacts it has become tasteless. Just like the purest water has no taste and no colour, one has to mix it with alcohol to regain some excitement...
The excitement of tape comes from its flaws, saturation, head bumps, flutter, self-erasure, noise-dither...The closest to perfection it became (A827), the less exciting it sounded.


Naahh, I doubt all that.
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Tony K.
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Entertainment is a bore, communication is where it's at! - Brian Jones 1967

DarinK

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2010, 08:01:36 pm »

Tony (& others) - Have you tried the Korg 5.6mHz DSD recorder, as discussed in this thread: http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/33238/11988/
Lots of raves, including claims (from credible sources like Terry) that it can be indistinguishable from console output.


It's just two-track, but supposedly there is a multi-track version in the works, possibly with editing capabilities.  I haven't tried one because I typically mix out-of-the-box without automation, so I often punch in or edit my mixes. I don't think that is currently possible with DSD.
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svs95

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2010, 10:01:42 am »

What is the data bandwidth of dsd? I assume it's denser than PCM, but can anybody tell me the file size per unit of time for say a stereo 5.6448 MHz dsd recording?
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Stephen Smith
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Geoff Emerick de Fake

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2010, 10:29:53 am »

Since the bit depth is 1, the resulting bit rate is 5.6Mbit/sec. Now this is streaming. DSD cannot be stored directly, when you store it, it has to be arranged in bytes and packets and some kind of ID must be added. At the moment, there is no standard for storing DSD, it's all proprietary.
Roughly, 1 minute would take 5.6M X60 /8 bytes, about 20MB, twice the size of 44/16. This is not accounting for overheads.
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