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Author Topic: A new meaning for the word analog...  (Read 7921 times)

Thomas W. Bethel

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A new meaning for the word analog...
« on: July 03, 2011, 04:10:01 pm »

A good friend suggested that one thing that differentiates digital from analog is that with analog you can hear the spaces between notes. I have noticed this myself and all my interns tell me when they listen to records, especially for the first time, that they can hear the instrument actually being in the space and the sound is continuous.

Comments?
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
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Ben F

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 08:54:50 pm »

Maybe print this message out on to a piece of paper so it's analogue, and see if there are more noticeable gaps between the words?
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 10:28:57 am »

A good friend suggested that one thing that differentiates digital from analog is that with analog you can hear the spaces between notes. I have notice this myself and all my interns tell me when they listen to records, especially for the first time, that they can hear the instrument actually being in the space and the sound is continuous. With digital they seem not to notice the same thing.

Comments?

Not that good of a friend...

JR
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Laarsų

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 10:53:17 am »

Well, of course, with digital audio, the sound is not continuous because it is only sampled.  So the audio strobes on and off many tens of times each second, or however many times per second is equivalent to 44.1/2, the Nyquist goal.  However, with a good clock, we should not be able to notice the sound gaps...  Unless there is something shining on the sound, like a light bulb at 60 Hz, say, while the sine wave you are auditioning at full volume is, say, 100 Hz.

I am somewhat surprised that your interns have picked up on this.  It must be because you take on college students and/or do drug screening with your background checks. 

It's true that analog is continuous and has a much quieter noise floor to begin with than digital carriers.  The problem with analog is that, because of its continuity and excellent SNR, it's very easy to make a perfect copy of the original, be it vinyl or tape, with no generation-loss or sound degradation, unlike with the various digital "file formats," so, unfortunately, analog is not very safe against piracy, which is one of the biggest concerns of today's recording artists.   

My biggest gripe with digital audio is actually that it's not possible to apply more than one type of dither before the signal self-erases.


Ymw (hopefully) v,
     Laarsų

( ;)
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Laars Oglethorpe, V
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MoreSpaceEcho

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 12:59:48 pm »

complete baloney. i can hear the spaces between the notes just fine on digital. in fact i'd say i can hear them a lot better because there's no tape hiss and the noise floor's at least 20db lower. also i'm pretty sure the sound coming out of my DA is indeed continuous, call me crazy.

Gold

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 01:37:44 pm »

Comments?

Quote
I am somewhat surprised that your interns have picked up on this.  It must be because you take on college students and/or do drug screening with your background checks.


I disagree with Laarso. The results of the test would be impossible if these measures were in place.
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Paul Gold
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Greg Reierson

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 06:31:56 pm »

Well, of course, with digital audio, the sound is not continuous because it is only sampled.  So the audio strobes on and off many tens of times each second, or however many times per second is equivalent to 44.1/2, the Nyquist goal.

It works nothing like that. Look at the analog output on a scope. No space. No strobing. Just a smooth analog waveform. This is basic stuff. Let's not get too deep in the weeds with it.


GR

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Greg Reierson
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 08:58:48 pm »

Perhaps it's a comment on the dynamic analog records of yore,

versus the squashed digital records of today.

"spaces between the notes" because of the dynamics,

not because of the format itself.

JT
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Cass Anawaty

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 10:15:18 pm »

It works nothing like that. Look at the analog output on a scope. No space. No strobing. Just a smooth analog waveform. This is basic stuff. Let's not get too deep in the weeds with it.


GR
He's got to be joking.  I hope.
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Herbeck

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2011, 01:57:56 am »

I often perceive SRC, oversampling and AD/DA as a picture taken with a camera slightly out of focus.


Cheers,

Herbeck
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Jim Sam

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2011, 05:02:20 am »

I have notice this myself and all my interns tell me when they listen to records, especially for the first time, that they can hear the instrument actually being in the space and the sound is continuous. With digital they seem not to notice the same thing.
Have you and your interns listened to SACD?  Room detail / reverb was the very first thing I noticed the first time I heard that format.  Because I was used to hearing 16/44 through a rather lousy disc player in my living room.

The reason I bring up SACD and not the 24/96 files we listen to everyday is because of the setting you/they're probably listening in.  Get some good digital (that includes 16/44 done right) in your/their home living room and without your/their work hat on, and listen then.  Compare that to the inner groove area of the records and decide what you prefer.
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2011, 05:17:14 am »

There is an immense amount of balony spoken about audio and often by mastering engineers.
(I am not commenting directly about this assertion in the thread though).

American sausage variants (sorry if I have my cultural reference wrong) infiltrate every level of audio engineering.
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Barry Gardner
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2011, 06:50:04 am »

Have you and your interns listened to SACD?  Room detail / reverb was the very first thing I noticed the first time I heard that format.  Because I was used to hearing 16/44 through a rather lousy disc player in my living room.

The reason I bring up SACD and not the 24/96 files we listen to everyday is because of the setting you/they're probably listening in.  Get some good digital (that includes 16/44 done right) in your/their home living room and without your/their work hat on, and listen then.  Compare that to the inner groove area of the records and decide what you prefer.

In all my years as a mastering engineer I have never heard SACD. I guess I should at some time. Isn't SACD considered a "dead" format at this point? The players, if memory serves, were expensive and not much was ever produced for them. This article seems to say that indeed it is a "dead" format http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10287419-47.html. There are a lot of other articles that say basically the same thing about DVD-A. Too bad if it as good as people say it was.
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2011, 06:56:49 am »

Perhaps it's a comment on the dynamic analog records of yore,

versus the squashed digital records of today.

"spaces between the notes" because of the dynamics,

not because of the format itself.

JT

I think this maybe what they are really listening to.

They will sit and listen to a whole side (which they very seldom do with CDs). When they go home they will have "listening parties" where they invite their friends over to listen to some records. They are also buying a lot of other "analog" gear. One or two of them have gotten into reel to reel tapes. They could be on to something.
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Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Celebrating 23 years in business in 2018

Laarsų

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Re: A new meaning for the word analog...
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2011, 07:52:35 am »

He's got to be joking.  I hope.

Thanks, Cass. 

If you didn't know my post was 100% sarcasm, please re-read it, slowly. 


Laarsų
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Laars Oglethorpe, V
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