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Author Topic: Digital vs. Analog Review  (Read 12017 times)

svs95

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2010, 12:45:49 pm »

Thanks, Geoff! That's not too bad for the highest dsd sample rate!

I'd like to know about build quality on the korg 2000, if anybody has one?

I guess I would prefer to see a number of installations where this has been implemented, but that may have to wait awhile.
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Stephen Smith
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Geoff Emerick de Fake

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2010, 07:53:55 pm »

kats wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 17:15

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.

Please elaborate. Without an explanation, it just sounds like an expletive.
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Fenris Wulf

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2010, 12:07:57 am »

Good digital sounds more like the signal from the mic preamps. Good analog mimics the behavior of the human ear at high volume levels, smooths out some of the exaggerated transients and midrange peaks that come with close-micing, and sounds more like the sound in the room.

It's not even an apples to oranges comparison. More like apples to bricks. You can't eat a brick or make a house out of apples. Asking what is better, apples or bricks, is a meaningless question. I seem to recall saying this before somewhere.
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jetbase

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2010, 12:27:30 am »

Fenris Wulf wrote on Fri, 10 December 2010 16:07

Good digital sounds more like the signal from the mic preamps. Good analog mimics the behavior of the human ear at high volume levels, smooths out some of the exaggerated transients and midrange peaks that come with close-micing, and sounds more like the sound in the room.



Fenris, when you say that good analogue mimics the behaviour of the human ear at high volume, is that a fact or an opinion? If it's a fact do you know where I could find out more about it?

Thanks.
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kats

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2010, 09:53:45 am »

Geoff Emerick de Fake wrote on Thu, 09 December 2010 18:53

kats wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 17:15

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

; it's that the current technology has hit the point where it is so devoid of audible flaws and artefacts it has become tasteless..


Naahh, I doubt all that.

Please elaborate. Without an explanation, it just sounds like an expletive.



I'm sorry, it's just that your basic premise that digital is too perfect therefore making music too boring or less exciting is wrong. Therefore, I doubt the rest of your post. A simple test you can conduct to prove yourself wrong is to a/b the output of your console with the digitally converted returns. If it was too perfect there would be no difference. Unfortunately there is.

However, my post is really a commentary on how slow the progress of digital conversion has been over the last 25 years. Not that it isn't perfect,  but rather why isn't it improving.
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Tony K.
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compasspnt

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2010, 10:08:49 am »

kats wrote on Fri, 10 December 2010 09:53

Not that it isn't perfect,  but rather why isn't it improving.



Of course if something really were perfect, it could not be improved upon.
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Geoff Emerick de Fake

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2010, 11:35:24 am »

kats wrote on Fri, 10 December 2010 08:53

Geoff Emerick de Fake wrote on Thu, 09 December 2010 18:53

kats wrote on Wed, 08 December 2010 17:15

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

; it's that the current technology has hit the point where it is so devoid of audible flaws and artefacts it has become tasteless..


Naahh, I doubt all that.

Please elaborate. Without an explanation, it just sounds like an expletive.



I'm sorry, it's just that your basic premise that digital is too perfect therefore making music too boring or less exciting is wrong.
I never said it made MUSIC boring. I said it doesn't colour the SOUND in a noticeable way. Just like it's almost customary to have some distortion on electric guitar, because that's the way we've heard it since the 1940's, many SE's want to have tape crunch on their recordings. When they don't have it, they think it's not exciting.
Quote:

 Therefore, I doubt the rest of your post.
I don't understand the transitivity here... You disregard all I express because you don't agree with one sentence you haven't really understood.
Quote:

 A simple test you can conduct to prove yourself wrong is to a/b the output of your console with the digitally converted returns. If it was too perfect there would be no difference. Unfortunately there is.
In fact, I don't hear any difference at High Speed (88 or 96). My comment on near-perfection was based on 24/96 or 24/88, not 16/44. (Someone already mentioned that I must be deaf, so please, say it LOUDER)
Quote:

 However, my post is really a commentary on how slow the progress of digital conversion has been over the last 25 years. Not that it isn't perfect,  but rather why isn't it improving.
And my answer was that it is improving slowly because it's close to the physical limits. Just the law of diminishing returns.
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kats

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2010, 12:40:07 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Fri, 10 December 2010 09:08

kats wrote on Fri, 10 December 2010 09:53

Not that it isn't perfect,  but rather why isn't it improving.



Of course if something really were perfect, it could not be improved upon.



But  if something cannot be improved upon, does that make it perfect?


@Geoff, I understand your point better now. I think you may be right in non studio environments, but in the studio I think the differences a more pronounced. Probably the marketeers of this technology are aiming for a larger buying demographic.  
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Tony K.
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svs95

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2010, 02:04:08 am »

kats wrote on Fri, 10 December 2010 08:53


I'm sorry, it's just that your basic premise that digital is too perfect therefore making music too boring or less exciting is wrong.

I think "perfect" is the wrong word (and idea) here. I see how you got there from Geoff's "devoid of flaws." But a better way to put it is "so sterile."

Our entire audio heritage was built on recording to and processing with devices that give us back our input plus some tonal character. Working with a hi-res digital format won't do that. It's like playing in an anechoic chamber, you're not getting anything back that feeds your spirit.

A friend of mine was in the orchestra when Itzak Perlman was guest violinist. At the one rehearsal he had with the orchestra, in a new and horribly designed, dead hall, he played one note, dropped his bow and looked around, saying "The music! Where did it go?"

Having experienced that, you can see how important is the contribution of a good room to musical communication. Likewise, we're discovering (I think) that the long-dreamed-of goal of an ultra-low distortion, noiseless, neutral response in every device in the recording chain is kind of wrong-headed.
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bruno putzeys

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2010, 09:41:21 am »

I find it curious that people are counting on the recorder to add stuff that should be in the signal before it gets there. If what comes out of the recorder sounds sterile, ask if perhaps this isn't the way you miked it and what you can do to fix it.

To use the distortion of the recorder to spice up the sound is like adding salt to each and every dish you eat (including dessert). That's not how it goes if you're serious about food. So why should the magic multitrack suddenly get charged with cooking the stew just right?

If the ingredients alone aren't enough and you want to add electronic colour, do so using effects gear because like herbs and spices they should be optional and dependent of what you're making. If the same condiment works magic on every dish it's time for the cook to find another job because even McD's won't take him on.
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Greg Reierson

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2010, 11:17:19 am »

bruno putzeys wrote on Wed, 15 December 2010 08:41

I find it curious that people are counting on the recorder to add stuff that should be in the signal before it gets there.

snip


Exactly! Or the amp or speakers or wires, etc. Well said!


GR
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compasspnt

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2010, 11:30:12 am »

Thank you Bruno!
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Spindrift

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2010, 01:55:15 pm »

svs95 wrote on Thu, 09 December 2010 09:45

Thanks, Geoff! That's not too bad for the highest dsd sample rate!

I'd like to know about build quality on the korg 2000, if anybody has one?

I guess I would prefer to see a number of installations where this has been implemented, but that may have to wait awhile.


I just received my Korg MR-2000S but I've only had time to take it out of the box and feel it. The build quality is solid, like a pro piece of gear. Can't wait to plug it in and HEAR it though.
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kats

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2010, 08:33:16 pm »

bruno putzeys wrote on Wed, 15 December 2010 08:41

I find it curious that people are counting on the recorder to add stuff that should be in the signal before it gets there.


I am curious where you get this impression? The only people I hear talking about these so called benefits you speak of ( the idea to which I do not subscribe) are usually the apologists for poor digital implementation.

I am certainly not relying on the flaws of an analog storage medium to benefit my recordings. But by the same token, I certainly do not want my storage medium detracting from my recordings. So I will pick the one that does the most justice or the least damage to the music - not necessarily the spec sheet.  
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Tony K.
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svs95

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Re: Digital vs. Analog Review
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2010, 06:00:47 pm »

It's simply not possible for everything to already be there in most recordings. Surely in some classical and other acoustic music in a good hall, it can be, requiring only mixing. But for most kinds of music, a good deal of sound sculpting is done by the mix engineer (and some by the mastering engineer).

I do agree that the character (whether you consider it "destructive" or "euphonic") of analog tape (which is always there - i.e., tape has a "sound" -- it's not sonically invisible) is not always appropriate to every source, now that we have high quality digital recording capabilities. That should be a producer option - not a limitation of the studio.

It would be ideal if every studio could have both analog and digital recording systems, but given today's recording budgets, it's just not feasible for most studios to support that kind of dual system approach (or even to support just the highest quality analog approach).

Which is why I'm interested in advancements in tape emulation effects. What interests me is not the nth degree of perfection of the emulation, but the "xth" degree of enhancement to a digital souce. That is to say, with a given digital source, assuming a producer wants to present the program in a more vintage style, how well does the processor achieve that goal? Something like an ATS-1 or a high-quality tape emulation dsp allows that approach to be taken after a digital recording of the highest-possible quality has been made.

So, yes, signal quality (faithfulness to the performance) should definitely already be there before recording, but it usually isn't the naked, unadorned truth an artist or producer wants to present in an album.
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Stephen Smith
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