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Interesting Video on Analog vs. Digital

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
This was a funny blast from the past:

YouTube - Analog or Digital? (1993)

Look how young Peter Gabriel looks!
post #2 of 41
Thread Starter 
Another better quality discussion from a mastering engineer:

YouTube - Can Digital Recordings Sound as Good as Analog?
post #3 of 41
I liked the last video when he talks about different studios making different quality music. I don't think analog vs digital is all that important when there's this current consumer trend towards convenience at the cost of sound quality, and in the studio loudness over dynamics.
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
I liked the last video when he talks about different studios making different quality music. I don't think analog vs digital is all that important when there's this current consumer trend towards convenience at the cost of sound quality, and in the studio loudness over dynamics.
I find it interesting that many of the better studios and mastering facilities usually have analog gear. Jack White's recording work in 2" tape is really good and shows how fine analog tape can sound on his White Stripes vinyl.
post #5 of 41
yeah, the vinyl versions have been much better. i actually found some of the cd masters near unlistenable it was so bad. they really managed to screwed them up.
post #6 of 41
Totally Agree RE unlistenable CD's.

What is it engineers/producers are doing so wrong? It is systematic because the majority of my CD's are like it. It cannot be anything wrong with the format as the properly recorded ones sound great.

Is there any industry discussion on this?
post #7 of 41
Both videos talk about CDs losing the ambiance and the subtleties in the music. As if the 16-bit 44.1 kHz CD format is not able to reproduce those sounds and those sounds can't be put on a CD. I've heard plenty of CDs with ambiance and subtleties so the problem isn't the CD format itself. The CD format can do it.

I put up the theory that the problem is digital editing rather than the final CD digital format. The problem is that digital editing makes it too easy to filter out those subtle details and the ambiance, either intentionally or accidentally. Every digital editing process and effect has high frequency filters (it's part of sampling theory). Maybe those filters are being too aggressive or misapplied. It's also too easy to make digital EQs during mixing that may lop off the high frequency spacial ambiance frequencies.

Add to that the modern recording methods of isolating each performer and recording each individually. Then assembling the band on the mixing board. I can't see how that style of recording can maintain any sense of real ambiance and natural reverb and other acoustic subtleties. Those acoustic subtleties never exist because they were never given a chance to be recorded. Record the band "live in the studio" rather than piecemeal and you'll be able to get those subtleties back. You'll be able to hear the sound of the studio room again rather than the dead sound of an isolation booth.
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
Both videos talk about CDs losing the ambiance and the subtleties in the music. As if the 16-bit 44.1 kHz CD format is not able to reproduce those sounds and those sounds can't be put on a CD. I've heard plenty of CDs with ambiance and subtleties so the problem isn't the CD format itself. The CD format can do it.
I'm not so sure. Now that I am more familiar with hirez, I see some real deficiencies in 16/44.1.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTrack View Post
I'm not so sure. Now that I am more familiar with hirez, I see some real deficiencies in 16/44.1.
If we are talking about qualitative differences between 16/44.1 and higher bitrates/frequency, then what one sees (or more accurately hears) doesn't matter. To find the difference between the two, they must be the only variables in the proverbial system. What you perceive as sound is a variable, and therefore taints a test. Only methods that involve the use of extremely low variable measuring entities and sound creation entities with the only large variable being the res of sound used will show what the difference really is. Also note that there is more than just one category of difference between redbook and higher res.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTrack View Post
I'm not so sure. Now that I am more familiar with hirez, I see some real deficiencies in 16/44.1.
Even if we're to accept that high resolution audio is better than CD, that doesn't mean that the CD format isn't adequate for reproducing the subtleties and ambiance that both videos claim goes missing when recording digitally. I've heard CDs with space and ambiance so I know CDs can do it.
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTrack View Post
This was a funny blast from the past:
It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

The digital-as-stair-step is the oldest propaganda myth in the book.

From the video:

In analogue, sound is converted into analogous electrical waves.



In digital, instead of a continuous wave, you get samples of the wave. 44,100 samples per second.



So by definition, when you listen to digitized music, you're not hearing all the music, just slices of it.

By definition, the producers of this video are glaringly ignorant and haven't a clue what they're talking about.

What they fail to mention is that stair-step nature of the waveform represents frequencies at and above the sampling rate, i.e. 44,100 Hz in the case of Compact Disc.

In other words, the depiction shown is the signal PLUS the frequency components of the sampling rate.

Most every playback system uses what's called a "reconstruction filter" which filters out frequencies at and above the sampling rate.

Once they're removed, what you get is this:



A continuous waveform.

se
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
Even if we're to accept that high resolution audio is better than CD, that doesn't mean that the CD format isn't adequate for reproducing the subtleties and ambiance that both videos claim goes missing when recording digitally.
They're attempting to substantiate that claim with one of the oldest propaganda myths there is. It does nothing but demonstrate complete ignorance of how actual digital systems work.

se
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koyaan I. Sqatsi View Post
They're attempting to substantiate that claim with one of the oldest propaganda myths there is. It does nothing but demonstrate complete ignorance of how actual digital systems work.

se
Yes, and one of the videos made mention of subtleties "slipping through the cracks" due to the sampling rate. sigh.

At least they didn't go on to demonstrate linear interpolation to reconstruct the waveform.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham Sandwich View Post
Yes, and one of the videos made mention of subtleties "slipping through the cracks" due to the sampling rate. sigh.
At least they didn't go on to demonstrate linear interpolation to reconstruct the waveform.[/QUOTE]



se
post #15 of 41
Redbook cd does lose information by being 44,100hz even if it is later smoothed out by a filter. I won't argue cd vs. vinyl or cd vs. sacd however, because the trend is towards 320kbps lol.
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