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Chickenjohn
Not a chicken


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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Digital Emotions]
      #169476 - 18/08/05 03:48 PM
Quote Digital Emotions:

Quote Chickenjohn:

I think the problem with digital is that it isnt really music its just numbers. When you look at a vinyl record, you can SEE the music, you can SEE the soundwaves as the grooves




That's just cannot be serious.
When after WW2 taperecorders become available
it was clearly an improvement, there is no argument against it.
And of course you couldn't see the music.

Digi Em.




I think your missing my point, on analogue tape the sound is still there in a captured magnetic form as analogue waves of magnetism on the tape. My mention of seeing the soundwaves on a record shows that the sound is actually on the record, its not just numbers.

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cJ na


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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Digital Emotions]
      #169477 - 18/08/05 03:48 PM
are you blind?

if you can look at a record and hear the music then you are a spaceman!

Edited by ow (18/08/05 03:50 PM)


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Jupiter_4
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169479 - 18/08/05 03:50 PM
I used to have a high end turntable and now I just listen to my CD collection via i-Tunes broadcast on my hifi system (still quite a nice one). I think that analogue sounds different but not necessarily better. I prefer the sound of analogue but it is a pain to have to get up every five minutes to change a track or record....and the good hifi stuff to get the best off a record is just too big; my turntable was made of four separate components as was my amp, all with dedicated power supplies etc, it was a joke, and now I am as happy as larry with i-Tunes. Did you know that Max Townsend, designer of the Rock Turntable, one of the best every made, said that he would love to be able to made a turntable that did base as well as a £200 CD player!!! But, I would not sell my Jupiter 4, Minimoog, CS60 etc though, but I do have a Roland and Yamaha modern thing for convenience of having lots of instant sounds on tap. These days convenience seems to be winning with music reproduction (and in dance circles with recording); maybe we all have our work/life balance wrong!!!!!


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Chickenjohn
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Digital Emotions]
      #169481 - 18/08/05 03:52 PM
Quote Digital Emotions:

-snip-Digi Em.



just clocked your username.....
digital emotions, somewhat of a misnomer, me thinks, an oxymoron?

not you personally, just the very idea of putting the words "Digital" and "emotion" together...

join the guy who's just heard Dark Side of the moon as it should be heard and change to "Analogue emotions" puh-leease...

--------------------
Chaas
cJ na


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PWGLE



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Posts: 3439
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Chickenjohn]
      #169483 - 18/08/05 03:54 PM
Quote Chickenjohn:

Quote Digital Emotions:

Quote Chickenjohn:

I think the problem with digital is that it isnt really music its just numbers. When you look at a vinyl record, you can SEE the music, you can SEE the soundwaves as the grooves




That's just cannot be serious.
When after WW2 taperecorders become available
it was clearly an improvement, there is no argument against it.
And of course you couldn't see the music.

Digi Em.




I think your missing my point, on analogue tape the sound is still there in a captured magnetic form as analogue waves of magnetism on the tape. My mention of seeing the soundwaves on a record shows that the sound is actually on the record, its not just numbers.




would be nice idea if RIAA wasn't there

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Chickenjohn
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: __]
      #169484 - 18/08/05 03:55 PM
Quote ow:

are you blind?

if you can look at a record and hear the music then you are a spaceman!




Not blind, but quite short sighted actually , I've had to wear glasses since I was a kid, and not deaf, thankfully so I CAN hear how much better vinyl sounds than CD.

Oh, and thanks for the compliment! NASA take note of OW and please employ me as a spaceman!

--------------------
Chaas
cJ na


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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Chickenjohn]
      #169486 - 18/08/05 03:58 PM
no offence, im a happy poster man


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Chickenjohn
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169487 - 18/08/05 03:58 PM
this is gorgeous! you can tell its going to sound good (OW) just by looking at it! The quality of analogue......

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Chaas
cJ na


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ChrisCarter
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169489 - 18/08/05 04:00 PM
A bit late to the discussion but here goes...

I can't stand vinyl and never have done, in fact I bloody hate it.
Why? Because once the sounds I've spent weeks recording and mixing are pressed onto vinyl they're magically transformed into a warped platter full of scratches, hiss, pops and distortion that destroys any dynamics, nuances or clarity the original music had. The sooner vinyl dies out the better!

Chris Carter
(been releasing stuff on vinyl since 1977)

And you can quote me on that...


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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Chickenjohn]
      #169490 - 18/08/05 04:01 PM
Ive just shot my bolt!


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maitreya



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Chickenjohn]
      #169493 - 18/08/05 04:04 PM
does it matter what you prefer?!!?

Of course not it's the music that matters so get a grip on reality and stop taking crap ..Led zep4 is gonna sound great whether it's on my grannys gramophone or on N.A.S.A.s latest digital device....

Beauty is in the ears of the beholder....


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Scottdru]
      #169494 - 18/08/05 04:04 PM
Quote Scottdru:

The subject of the thread is the relative sound quality (subjective and/or objective) of vinyl versus digital recordings, and not the quality of music itself. While we all agree the music is most important (including, I'm quite sure, Mr. Albini), the topic is quite valid irrespective of the music. We could be talking about recording birds, the sounds of animals in the jungle, trains, thunderstorms, or anything else for that matter.




In which case it is easy to show that current, well designed and constructed digital recording technology surpasses (and by quite some margin) any form of analogue recording (tape, vinyl, or whatever) in every possible measureable technical quantity: signal-noise, headroom, linearity, distortion, wow and flutter, bandwidth and so on.

Quite simply, whatever you put on digital you get back the same way. It doesn't come back with wobbly pitch, or added harmonic distortion, or transient distortion, or tracking distortion, or noise modulation, or added noise come to that...

Clearly, some people like all those things -- just as some people like sepia-toned photographs -- and that's fine. We are talking about musical art here after all. But the technical argumetns are entirely pointless because the case has already been proven absolutely and completely.

I have several hundred vinyl records. I play some of them occasionally/ I love the scale of them, the cover art, the very tactile quality of loading the record onto the turntable adn lowering the cartrdige. I quite enjoy tinkering with the VTA and raking weights too -- it's all part of the fun.

But I also know that if I swapped the cartridge for another make it would sound completely different. Same applies to swapping the turntable itself. It is not a reliable, consistent or accurate medium. End of story.

hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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PWGLE



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: __]
      #169496 - 18/08/05 04:04 PM
sound, is accually changes in presure.

--------------------
P.I.G.L.E.T - where is polly?


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The real musiclover



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Chickenjohn]
      #169497 - 18/08/05 04:05 PM
Quote Chickenjohn:

The quality of analogue......




How did you get a picture of my studio? (I wish!)


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PWGLE



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Designnotes]
      #169498 - 18/08/05 04:05 PM
i'll tell you this for nothing on the earth sound travels faster in one direction! but which one is it!

--------------------
P.I.G.L.E.T - where is polly?


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__
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169499 - 18/08/05 04:09 PM
Nine out of ten Dogs say they like Vinyl better


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PPP



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169502 - 18/08/05 04:12 PM
You know, if you'd round up a dozen or so "critical listeners" who have years of experience with mastering, mixing, and things of that sort,... and you play them a song off of a CD on some $3000 ADAM monitors, and then you play the same song but off of vinyl though that has absolutely no scratches and doesn't pop (not telling which song is digital which is not) do you really think that they would be able to make a unanimous decision? I think not!


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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: PPP]
      #169507 - 18/08/05 04:15 PM
I think they could


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mattneighbour
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Chickenjohn]
      #169508 - 18/08/05 04:15 PM
Well I'm glad my opinion is in line with Hugh and John's, it makes me feel like I'm still a proper engineer, and not a sentimentalist.

It may be because I've never had access to a top-end turntable and hi-fi setup, but all vinyl to me sounds dreadful. It sounds like there is a low-pass filter at 12kHz, there's no top end there. And the point about bass has already been made. I'd rather make a recording distributed on CD that gets played in a £200 CD player and is guaranteed to sound accurate, than make a recording that ends up on vinyl and sounds awful played through a £200 home turntable setup. I must admit though I can't stand mp3 under 256kbps.

There's no point in arguments along the lines of 'there's no emotion in numbers' / you can't see the music / stepped waveforms sound bad. The mathematics of A/D and D/A is solid. I agree that 16-bit should be improved upon (especially for classical) and that higher sample rates can make digital processing sound better, but:

Fundamentally, digital replay has a better frequency response, distortion spec, dynamic range, wow and flutter, crosstalk etc etc than vinyl.

Oh, and before someone argues that better spec doesn't mean better sound, I think that it does. Having said all that, I quite like the sound of open-reel tape on some material, but accept that it isn't as accurate as digital.

One last point to do with the digital camera comparison (I am a bit of a (film) photographer ) - it seems that the best results are had with digital cameras by capturing the image in RAW mode, exposing to retain as much information as possible then doing post-processing on it to make it look the best possible (boost saturation maybe, shift the white balance) before creating the final TIFF or jpeg file. It strikes me that this is similar to recording in 24-bit then applying mastering plugins, normalising and dithering down to 16-bit for CD distribution. In comparison, with film, the film itself has a certain 'look' - colour balance, saturation etc, which is pleasing but isn't exactly accurate - and the lab enhance this. A bit like tape compression and distortion making things sound good, and having to work harder with digital to get similar sounds.

I'm rambling now, I'll stop.

Matt

EDIT: Oops, took me so long to write that Hugh made the point first!

Edited by mattneighbour (18/08/05 04:19 PM)


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Stan



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169509 - 18/08/05 04:17 PM
Hello Steve
Records played on average systems never sounded that good.
What system do you use?

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.. is this thing on?


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BigAl
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #169510 - 18/08/05 04:18 PM
And it's great fun turning Pink and Perky records down to slower speeds to hear the guy singing.

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Jack of all trades, master of some.


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PWGLE



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: __]
      #169511 - 18/08/05 04:18 PM
ye theres a chance they could, things are mastered specifcally for vinyl...

its likely to have a different tonal quality...

how about you put the record's sound on the cd, and play the cd though that RIAA filter as well! less varibles!

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maitreya



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Designnotes]
      #169512 - 18/08/05 04:18 PM
Depends according to general theory of relativatity....and where you are equator or poles


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PWGLE



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: maitreya]
      #169514 - 18/08/05 04:21 PM
yep

and the fact that we are moving!

constant movement is a bee to spot!

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P.I.G.L.E.T - where is polly?


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Les



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169518 - 18/08/05 04:27 PM
While we're talking Vinyl, I have a SUBERB old turntable made by a company called Goldring Lenco. It's 70's, with lovely wood body, tiny little weights for the tone arm and a fabulous sound.

trouble is, I cant find a cartridge for it

Any ideas anyone? I assume Stantons and-the-like wont work, in fact pretty sure they wont.

--------------------
"If I had all the money i'd spent on drink, i'd spend it on drink". Vivian Stanshall

Edited by Les (from the Island of Lesbos) (18/08/05 04:27 PM)


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Arse Bandit



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Chickenjohn]
      #169522 - 18/08/05 04:31 PM
Quote Chickenjohn:

There is a theory posted by a well known nusic industry person (I cant remember who and don;t have the link) that says that listening to digital music can make humans feel on edge and irritated, subconsciously wheras listening to pure analoge (a vinyl record made from analogue equipment) is relaxing and pleasant.

He also goes on to suggest that this is the cause of most of the antisocial behaviour and crime in the modern world, (and possibly terrorism?).

Hard to believe, but listening to vinyl IS more relaxing and pleasant, he gave a technical reason for it, which I cant remember.

What do you think about that???

and despite what Hugh says vinyl DOES sound much better than CD, although i do have an iPOD, just to try and prove I'm not a complete technophobe.





I think I read that comment in an interview somewhere with Rupert Neve. I don't have golden ears myself, but I can understand his point if I think about badly encoded mp3s, for instance - they irritate the hell out of me. As for vinyl being better than CD, I prefer to concentrate on the emotion of the music - when I master that (i.e. never!) then I'll move onto the vinyl vs CD question...


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The real musiclover



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Les]
      #169523 - 18/08/05 04:31 PM

Hehe, Goldrings, 16-78rpm and beyond.

To boldly listen where no one has listened before.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Stephen Bennett]
      #169525 - 18/08/05 04:32 PM
Quote Stephen Bennett:

I have a lot of new vinyl and it's almost always better than the CD version.




But how do you define better? You clearly don't mean better in any technial, objective sense, because we can show that vinyl technology certainly isn't better than digital technology.

So you must be talking about subjective preferences... and that is a no-win argument isn't it. What I prefer is always going to sound better to me than what you prefer...

I once spent a considerable amount of time listening to two stereo loudspeaker setups hidden from view behind a curtain. One pair was significantly 'better' than the other.
It turned out the two systems were identical in every way except that one had a tweak to the crossover that gave a mild lift of 0.75dB in the upper midrange -- yet it sounded more open, more spacious and seemed to have a richer bottom end too!

The frequency response of most record playing systems is all over the place, so it's not surprising that subjective opinions vary so much!

I've spent a lot of time in studios comparing directly what came through the desk and over the speakers during the recording, with what came back off whatever medium I was recording on. In the days of tape, the difference was clearly audible -- not unpleasant, but audible all the same. With good quality digits (and I'm the first to ackonwledge that a lot of budget gear isn't 'good'), the perceivable difference is so small as to be utterly irrelevant.

I've also been able to comapre at first hand several pressed vinyl discs with their original tapes, and again the differences were obvious and not entirely flattering. I'm not saying the records were unpleasant, but they were certainly not the same as the tapes.

If you like the sound of vinyl that's fine. Enjoy it. Some people like the sound of 78s or old cassette tapes too. But please don't try to tell me they are 'better'. More enjoyable to you on your replay system, maybe, but not 'better'.

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Jupiter_4
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #169527 - 18/08/05 04:34 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:

Quote Scottdru:

The subject of the thread is the relative sound quality (subjective and/or objective) of vinyl versus digital recordings, and not the quality of music itself. While we all agree the music is most important (including, I'm quite sure, Mr. Albini), the topic is quite valid irrespective of the music. We could be talking about recording birds, the sounds of animals in the jungle, trains, thunderstorms, or anything else for that matter.




In which case it is easy to show that current, well designed and constructed digital recording technology surpasses (and by quite some margin) any form of analogue recording (tape, vinyl, or whatever) in every possible measureable technical quantity: signal-noise, headroom, linearity, distortion, wow and flutter, bandwidth and so on.

Quite simply, whatever you put on digital you get back the same way. It doesn't come back with wobbly pitch, or added harmonic distortion, or transient distortion, or tracking distortion, or noise modulation, or added noise come to that...

Clearly, some people like all those things -- just as some people like sepia-toned photographs -- and that's fine. We are talking about musical art here after all. But the technical argumetns are entirely pointless because the case has already been proven absolutely and completely.

I have several hundred vinyl records. I play some of them occasionally/ I love the scale of them, the cover art, the very tactile quality of loading the record onto the turntable adn lowering the cartrdige. I quite enjoy tinkering with the VTA and raking weights too -- it's all part of the fun.

But I also know that if I swapped the cartridge for another make it would sound completely different. Same applies to swapping the turntable itself. It is not a reliable, consistent or accurate medium. End of story.

hugh




Hugh I agree with you (mostly) about digitial reproduction in the studio, but not the home. You seem to suggest that all CD players sound the same (the inference taking from your cartridge change on your turntable), surely you cannot be suggesting that every CD player will make a CD sound exactly the same if played through the same amp and speakers? Probably a slip of the digit with your typing. My personal experience in blind tests (which is how I chose my current CD player and amp) is that CD players do sound different, some more than others in the same way that turntables do.

The other problem is that D/A A/D converters and digital converters in digital desks do not all sound the same so what ends on on a hard disk does not always sound like the original instrument or singer, especially if it was not a digital instrument which is why there are budget converters and high end converters, desk etc.

Me, I'm happy so long as I like the music, but agree that playing with turntables is fun once in a while and can sound nice to many of us who grew up having no choice as CD had not been invented.


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jerry123



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169528 - 18/08/05 04:35 PM
One more thing, drag a nail across a record and then, do the same to the CD version of the release. Let me know which one sounds better then.


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The real musiclover



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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Arse Bandit]
      #169530 - 18/08/05 04:36 PM
Quote Jon Dickinson:



As for vinyl being better than CD, I prefer to concentrate on the emotion of the music




I agree with that bit.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: maaszy]
      #169532 - 18/08/05 04:42 PM
Quote maaszy:

Us humans listen to everything analogue - we certainly don't have ears with ADDA converters.




Er.. yes we do. The nerve cells in the inner ear send digital pulses to the brain.... The ear is a very sophisticated (and extremely non-linear) A-D converter.

Quote:

Surely the point is that we generally like the sound of analogue recordings because they are in fact "coloured" by the recording process itself, and the holy grail of making digital sound like analogue is actually a quest to mimic those "colourations".




I think you have a good point here.

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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__
Who's never been here


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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169533 - 18/08/05 04:42 PM
is it true that vinyl/tape can provide a greater frequency range than a cd.


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Chickenjohn]
      #169536 - 18/08/05 04:47 PM
Quote Chickenjohn:

I think your missing my point, on analogue tape the sound is still there in a captured magnetic form as analogue waves of magnetism on the tape.




Magnetic recording is a digital medium. You can only have two states: N-S or S-N -- that is a Binary state. it is a digital medium.

With 'analogue recording' on tape, there are a huge number of available magnetic 'cells', and the relative proportion of those biased N-S as opposed to S-N is used to encode the required 'analogue' signal state -- just as in a digital medium it is the balance of 1s and 0s. Your argument is fatally flawed I'm afraid.

Hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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The real musiclover



Joined: 01/09/04
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Hugh Robjohns]
      #169537 - 18/08/05 04:47 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:



Quote:

Surely the point is that we generally like the sound of analogue recordings because they are in fact "coloured" by the recording process itself, and the holy grail of making digital sound like analogue is actually a quest to mimic those "colourations".




I think you have a good point here.







In a world of many thumbhits, sometimes the hammer strikes a nail fairly squarely, very good point.


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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169538 - 18/08/05 04:49 PM
Surely the point is that we generally like the sound of analogue recordings because they are in fact "coloured" by the recording process itself, and the holy grail of making digital sound like analogue is actually a quest to mimic those "colourations".

Why are we trying to mimic something that doesn't sound 'better'


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Digital Emotions
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169540 - 18/08/05 04:50 PM
Quote Hugh Robjohns:



Flying Mole amp review

Strangely, the distortion figure given in the specifications (0.03 percent at 50W output) appears rather unimpressive, yet auditioning the amp suggests it compares very favourably to a Bryston — which quotes distortion figures with several more zeros before the digit. The logical conclusion is that what we hear and what we measure are not necessarily the same thing! In many ways, the Flying Mole amps can be compared to a really good valve triode design — which would share a similar, yet equally inaudible, distortion figure.





Edited by Digital Emotions (18/08/05 04:52 PM)


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
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Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: __]
      #169542 - 18/08/05 04:52 PM
Quote ow:

If we had carried on developing analogue recording and vinyl and record player technology. Then where would we be at now? Maybe some of those problems that Hugh pointed out would be smaller or gone problems. And 32 track home machines would be standard project kit.




No, I'm afraid not. By the eaerly 1990s we had already achieved all that was possible with analogue technology. The very best analogue tape machines were excellent, but huge, heavy, and extremely expensive -- totally reliant on expensive precision mechanics. A top of the range Studer two-track machine cost about £12K, and it simply wasn't possible to reduce the cost without also reducing the performance. The same applies to vinyl record players. A really good EMT broadcast turntable cost about £5K and was capable of stunning performance... but any attempt to reduce the cost also reduced the performance for the same reasons -- the precision mechanics are esstial, but inherently very expensive, bulky and heavy.

In contrast, a top quality Studer CD player at the same time cost £1200, and a mastering quality Sony PCM1610/U-matic set up cost about £6k -- and both offered better technical specs than the analogue equipment they replaced. They were more convenient, easier to use, more reliable, more consistent, and... er... better!

hugh

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Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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Hugh RobjohnsAdministrator
SOS Technical Editor


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Loc: Worcestershire
Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: PPP]
      #169544 - 18/08/05 04:57 PM
Quote PlinPlickemn:

... do you really think that they would be able to make a unanimous decision? I think not!




No, of course they couldn't. They would be able to say which version they prefer -- but that would be a purely subjective opinion, and I would guess there would be a roughly 50/50 split as to who preferred what.

To make your test valid, you'd have to play them the orignal source master recording, and then ask which of the other two was the same. And (assuming it was mastered sympathetically) it would be the CD.

Hugh

--------------------
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


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jerry123



Joined: 18/08/05
Posts: 43
Re: Vinyl is better than anything else. new [Re: Steve Albini]
      #169545 - 18/08/05 04:57 PM
I was under the impression that digital tape ran magnetic particles north-south to replace ones and zeros, and that analog tape actually lays down a constantly fluctuating field. Is Hugh saying that they are both using north south (digital representation) magnetic particles? If so, what is the real difference?


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