Timing

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Current audio systems do not reproduce the entire wavefront that
creates the listener's experience in the concert hall. At best, they
measure a few channels and reproduce those, inexactly, through a few
speakers.

Yet the playback experience can be enjoyable and thrilling. Obviously
something of the original sonic event is preserved. Something of the
original time-evolving spectrum of sonic energy is reproduced.

Ignoring for now the question of reproducing a wavefront, let's look at
just how the signal in one channel is handled. It can be quite
distorted and yet still recognizable. What aspects of a signal must be
preserved for it to be recognizable? What aspects must be preserved
for it to sound good, and to sound very much like the original signal?

Engineers have addressed this question in many ways, for example
designing compression algorithms. Some details of the original signal
can be thrown away without losing much, perceptually.

MP3's sound sorta like the orignal files. I'm interested in addressing
the question "what makes an accurate signal" at a higher level of
quality than that.

For example, I've always preferred analog sources to digital, finding
the former more lifelike. Does an analog recorder preserve some aspect
of the signal better than a digital recorder? I know that many of you
will say categorically not. Fine. Let's look anyway at one aspect of
the signal.

Intuitively, a musical signal is made of many "events"...for example
attacks of notes. Intuitively I hear even sustained notes as made of
events...little shifts of timbre, and so on. This idea is confirmed
when we look at an audio signal and see periodic spikes, and also
confirmed by the success of "granular synthesis" (a technique for
synthesizing sustained sounds by summing many individual wavelets).

Perhaps an important dimension of accurate sound reproduction is the
accurate reproduction of the *relative timing* of these events. To
clarify, perhaps we could conceive of each event as being recognized by
the neural machinery and triggering a neuron to fire. And something
about the pattern of this firing, the timing contained therein, is
important to defining the sound quality.

How does a particular recording/playback process affect the timing of
transients? Recording processes are sometimes characterized in terms
of frequency response. Digital has a very flat response in the region
audible to the ear, meaning it doesn't introduce much distortion.
However, it does introduce some distortion. And if we were somehow
able to examine the relative firing times of neurons in response to a
recorded/played-back signal, how much would a digital playback process
distort those times? How much would an analog process distort those
times?

This is not a question about jitter. Certainly jitter is one
distortion mechanism in digital (and analog) playback, but this more
about how even a linear playback system will distort transients because
it is band-limited. Changing the shape of the transient will likely
have a small effect on neural timing. Both digital and analog
recording processes distort the shape of the transient, but perhaps one
of them does so in a way that better preserves the relative timing of
neural events.

My *suspicion* is that analog in fact does better preserve the timing
of neural events. However, I would need to know more about
neuroscience and non-linear systems to have a good answer to this, but
perhaps someone reading is interested.

Best,
Mike
 

chung

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Michael Mossey wrote:
> Current audio systems do not reproduce the entire wavefront that
> creates the listener's experience in the concert hall. At best, they
> measure a few channels and reproduce those, inexactly, through a few
> speakers.
>
> Yet the playback experience can be enjoyable and thrilling. Obviously
> something of the original sonic event is preserved. Something of the
> original time-evolving spectrum of sonic energy is reproduced.
>
> Ignoring for now the question of reproducing a wavefront, let's look at
> just how the signal in one channel is handled. It can be quite
> distorted and yet still recognizable. What aspects of a signal must be
> preserved for it to be recognizable? What aspects must be preserved
> for it to sound good, and to sound very much like the original signal?
>
> Engineers have addressed this question in many ways, for example
> designing compression algorithms. Some details of the original signal
> can be thrown away without losing much, perceptually.
>
> MP3's sound sorta like the orignal files. I'm interested in addressing
> the question "what makes an accurate signal" at a higher level of
> quality than that.
>
> For example, I've always preferred analog sources to digital, finding
> the former more lifelike. Does an analog recorder preserve some aspect
> of the signal better than a digital recorder? I know that many of you
> will say categorically not. Fine. Let's look anyway at one aspect of
> the signal.
>
> Intuitively, a musical signal is made of many "events"...for example
> attacks of notes. Intuitively I hear even sustained notes as made of
> events...little shifts of timbre, and so on. This idea is confirmed
> when we look at an audio signal and see periodic spikes, and also
> confirmed by the success of "granular synthesis" (a technique for
> synthesizing sustained sounds by summing many individual wavelets).
>
> Perhaps an important dimension of accurate sound reproduction is the
> accurate reproduction of the *relative timing* of these events. To
> clarify, perhaps we could conceive of each event as being recognized by
> the neural machinery and triggering a neuron to fire. And something
> about the pattern of this firing, the timing contained therein, is
> important to defining the sound quality.
>
> How does a particular recording/playback process affect the timing of
> transients? Recording processes are sometimes characterized in terms
> of frequency response. Digital has a very flat response in the region
> audible to the ear, meaning it doesn't introduce much distortion.
> However, it does introduce some distortion. And if we were somehow
> able to examine the relative firing times of neurons in response to a
> recorded/played-back signal, how much would a digital playback process
> distort those times? How much would an analog process distort those
> times?
>
> This is not a question about jitter. Certainly jitter is one
> distortion mechanism in digital (and analog) playback, but this more
> about how even a linear playback system will distort transients because
> it is band-limited. Changing the shape of the transient will likely
> have a small effect on neural timing. Both digital and analog
> recording processes distort the shape of the transient, but perhaps one
> of them does so in a way that better preserves the relative timing of
> neural events.
>
> My *suspicion* is that analog in fact does better preserve the timing
> of neural events. However, I would need to know more about
> neuroscience and non-linear systems to have a good answer to this, but
> perhaps someone reading is interested.
>
> Best,
> Mike

There were experiments done where the output of a vinyl rig is captured
and digitized using the CD standard. Then the listeners tried to tell
the analog playback from the digitized verison. The difference was
indistingusihable by the most vigorous vinyl supporters. Do a search on
the Lipshitz article to read more about this.

Many of us have digitally recorded vinyl LP's with great success,
achieving results that are virtually identical to the original. That
should tell you a lot about how good digital recording is.

You prefer analog (vinyl) because the distortions associated with vinyl
equipment are euphonic to you. It's really quite simple.

Read up on the sampling theorem to learn how accurate digital recording
can be.
 

ban

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Apr 14, 2004
146
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Michael Mossey wrote:
> Current audio systems do not reproduce the entire wavefront that
> creates the listener's experience in the concert hall. At best, they
> measure a few channels and reproduce those, inexactly, through a few
> speakers.
>
> Yet the playback experience can be enjoyable and thrilling. Obviously
> something of the original sonic event is preserved. Something of the
> original time-evolving spectrum of sonic energy is reproduced.
>
> Ignoring for now the question of reproducing a wavefront, let's look
> at just how the signal in one channel is handled. It can be quite
> distorted and yet still recognizable. What aspects of a signal must
> be preserved for it to be recognizable? What aspects must be
> preserved for it to sound good, and to sound very much like the
> original signal?
>
> Engineers have addressed this question in many ways, for example
> designing compression algorithms. Some details of the original signal
> can be thrown away without losing much, perceptually.
>
> MP3's sound sorta like the orignal files. I'm interested in
> addressing the question "what makes an accurate signal" at a higher
> level of quality than that.
>
> For example, I've always preferred analog sources to digital, finding
> the former more lifelike. Does an analog recorder preserve some
> aspect of the signal better than a digital recorder? I know that
> many of you will say categorically not. Fine. Let's look anyway at
> one aspect of the signal.
>
> Intuitively, a musical signal is made of many "events"...for example
> attacks of notes. Intuitively I hear even sustained notes as made of
> events...little shifts of timbre, and so on. This idea is confirmed
> when we look at an audio signal and see periodic spikes, and also
> confirmed by the success of "granular synthesis" (a technique for
> synthesizing sustained sounds by summing many individual wavelets).
>
> Perhaps an important dimension of accurate sound reproduction is the
> accurate reproduction of the *relative timing* of these events. To
> clarify, perhaps we could conceive of each event as being recognized
> by the neural machinery and triggering a neuron to fire. And
> something about the pattern of this firing, the timing contained
> therein, is important to defining the sound quality.
>
> How does a particular recording/playback process affect the timing of
> transients? Recording processes are sometimes characterized in terms
> of frequency response. Digital has a very flat response in the region
> audible to the ear, meaning it doesn't introduce much distortion.
> However, it does introduce some distortion. And if we were somehow
> able to examine the relative firing times of neurons in response to a
> recorded/played-back signal, how much would a digital playback process
> distort those times? How much would an analog process distort those
> times?
>
> This is not a question about jitter. Certainly jitter is one
> distortion mechanism in digital (and analog) playback, but this more
> about how even a linear playback system will distort transients
> because it is band-limited. Changing the shape of the transient will
> likely have a small effect on neural timing. Both digital and analog
> recording processes distort the shape of the transient, but perhaps
> one of them does so in a way that better preserves the relative
> timing of neural events.
>
> My *suspicion* is that analog in fact does better preserve the timing
> of neural events. However, I would need to know more about
> neuroscience and non-linear systems to have a good answer to this, but
> perhaps someone reading is interested.
>

These are your speculations. I deny your whole idea.
You can test it yourself. Use your turntable and play one of your favourite
tunes. At the same time record from the tape out receptacle with your
soundcard. Keep the level low, like -12dB so there is some headroom. Then
burn s CD from the wave-file.
Now you can set up a comparison. I do this with a small mixer, but you can
switch also on your (pre)amp, if you fade out before switching and then
adjust the volume knob, so both sources have exactly the same volume. Start
the CD first and pause it at a significant point, so you can synchronize the
two sources.
Try to listen carefully if there is any difference.
Do this with a friend without you knowing which is which.

--
ciao Ban
Bordighera, Italy
 
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First the differences have to be audible.

Nonetheless, it is generally the case that if a device has a well
behaved frequency response curve, then it probably doesn't distort
transients very much. Of course you can concoct devices which disobey
this rule (such as echo chambers and goofy filters), but I don't think
they are typically part of a basic audio recorder.

There is a widespread misconception that something is lost in between
the data points measured by a digital recorder. This is not the case.
If the input signal is bandwidth-limited by reasonable analog means,
then the digital data accurately preserves *all* of the temporal
content. (Other experts on this forum can probably state this more
precisely).

Chances are, digital does a better job of preserving timing because the
phase response can be quite flat. Hope this helps.

Michael Mossey wrote:

> My *suspicion* is that analog in fact does better preserve the timing
> of neural events. However, I would need to know more about
> neuroscience and non-linear systems to have a good answer to this,
but
> perhaps someone reading is interested.
 
G

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"Both digital and analog
recording processes distort the shape of the transient, but perhaps one
of them does so in a way that better preserves the relative timing of
neural events.

My *suspicion* is that analog in fact does better preserve the timing of
neural events. However, I would need to know more about neuroscience and
non-linear systems to have a good answer to this, but"

There is a simple test, record an analog source unto a digital one and
using listening alone see if they can be distinguished. We can save
time, it was done and they can not.
 

Michael

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Chung wrote:

> There were experiments done where the output of a vinyl rig is captured
> and digitized using the CD standard. Then the listeners tried to tell
> the analog playback from the digitized verison. The difference was
> indistingusihable by the most vigorous vinyl supporters. Do a search on
> the Lipshitz article to read more about this.
>
> Many of us have digitally recorded vinyl LP's with great success,
> achieving results that are virtually identical to the original. That
> should tell you a lot about how good digital recording is.
>
> You prefer analog (vinyl) because the distortions associated with vinyl
> equipment are euphonic to you. It's really quite simple.
>
> Read up on the sampling theorem to learn how accurate digital recording
> can be.


When recording an LP digitally you can really "see" the kind of analog
grundge that is present. I use Audacity on Linux, and from the moment
the tonearm is placed on the "silent" lead in groove the meters start
jumping around like the 4th of July. I'm guessing that this stuff is
present throughout the recording, but just masked by the louder program
signal.


I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
floor (along with the wider frequency response).


In any event, to me the CD's sound essentially the same as the records
when I monitor using headphones.


michael
 
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michael wrote:

> I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
> analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
> floor (along with the wider frequency response).

The HF response of many, if not most, recordings is hotter
than neutral. Some degree of HF distortion is also not
infrequent. With digital, it is possible to reproduce this
all accurately. It can be annoying to those with good ears.

That is not to say that those who love vinyl may not also be
responding to other factors, just to agree that better
reproduction is not always pleasant to hear.

Mike Prager
North Carolina, USA
 
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>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net
>Date: 12/21/2004 8:31 PM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <cqatal0eh4@news2.newsguy.com>
>
>Chung wrote:
>
> > There were experiments done where the output of a vinyl rig is captured
>> and digitized using the CD standard. Then the listeners tried to tell
>> the analog playback from the digitized verison. The difference was
>> indistingusihable by the most vigorous vinyl supporters. Do a search on
>> the Lipshitz article to read more about this.
>>
>> Many of us have digitally recorded vinyl LP's with great success,
>> achieving results that are virtually identical to the original. That
>> should tell you a lot about how good digital recording is.
>>
>> You prefer analog (vinyl) because the distortions associated with vinyl
>> equipment are euphonic to you. It's really quite simple.
>>
>> Read up on the sampling theorem to learn how accurate digital recording
>> can be.
>
>
>When recording an LP digitally you can really "see" the kind of analog
>grundge that is present. I use Audacity on Linux, and from the moment
>the tonearm is placed on the "silent" lead in groove the meters start
>jumping around like the 4th of July. I'm guessing that this stuff is
>present throughout the recording, but just masked by the louder program
>signal.

Kind of a broad claim based on limited experience don't you think?

>
>
>I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
>analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
>floor (along with the wider frequency response).

That striles me as a rather absurd claim given that most said vinyl enthusiasts
at least claim that live music is their reference. What is the noise floor of
the real thing?

>
>
>In any event, to me the CD's sound essentially the same as the records
>when I monitor using headphones.
>
>
>michael
>
>
>
>
>
>
 
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On 23 Dec 2004 19:03:57 GMT, Mike Prager <hifi@ec.rr.com> wrote:

>michael wrote:
>
>> I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
>> analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
>> floor (along with the wider frequency response).
>
>The HF response of many, if not most, recordings is hotter
>than neutral. Some degree of HF distortion is also not
>infrequent. With digital, it is possible to reproduce this
>all accurately. It can be annoying to those with good ears.
>
>That is not to say that those who love vinyl may not also be
>responding to other factors, just to agree that better
>reproduction is not always pleasant to hear.
>
>Mike Prager
>North Carolina, USA

Hear hear! Go to a normal classical concert with a symphony orchestra,
and you hear a pleasant, balanced sound. Listen to the same on a
normal record - CD or vinyl - and all of a sudden the highs have a
sort of exaggerated fizzing quality. This is very unpleasant, but can
usually be fixed quite easily if you are prepared to take the trouble
of running the recording through a DAW to re-equalise.

d

Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
 

Michael

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Dec 31, 2007
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S888Wheel wrote:

>>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net

>>When recording an LP digitally you can really "see" the kind of analog
>>grundge that is present. I use Audacity on Linux, and from the moment
>>the tonearm is placed on the "silent" lead in groove the meters start
>>jumping around like the 4th of July. I'm guessing that this stuff is
>>present throughout the recording, but just masked by the louder program
>>signal.
>
>
> Kind of a broad claim based on limited experience don't you think?

You tell me, then. I'm guessing that the "silent grooves" of a record
are the baseline and represent the actual noise floor of the
record/diamond interface. Would not this "baseline" (if indeed it is
such) be present throughout the recording but masked during louder
passages? In any case, from home transfers it is clear that the analog
signal differs greatly from a digital source when strictly considering
non-musical program noise.

>>I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
>>analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
>>floor (along with the wider frequency response).
>
>
> That striles me as a rather absurd claim given that most said vinyl enthusiasts
> at least claim that live music is their reference.

Well...that's what they claim in any case. When one listens to a live
performance there are all kinds of noise artifacts present which may not
be heard on a recording. But we are speaking and writing of two
different things. First, I was speaking of inherent vinyl noise which
is NOT present in any live venue. Second, in a "live" recording ambient
acoustical noise is (or should be) recorded along with the program.

I am a Wagner fan. Let's look at two different recordings: first, the
Boulez Bayreuth Ring (Phillips) and, second, the Levine Met Ring
(DGG-the CD version and not the DVD live recording). The first was an
all digital (except Gotterdammerung) 'rehearsal' recording and exhibits
all one would expect from a live performance except audience artifacts
(since no audience was present). That is, stage noises from the cast
jumping around on the floor, and sets moving, etc. This is caught on
the digital tape quite clearly and can be heard apart from any
additional vinyl artifacts. The Levine set, on the other hand, being a
studio recording arises from an imperceptible noise floor and one hears
nothing but the musical notes (and singing).

When making a CD copy of both I can attest to the vinyl noise of the
former (which I have records of), but the latter is a CD version and my
subsequent copies have no additional noise (simply copying digit for
digit).

On the other hand, the Levine set has an eerie, almost unnatural aural
feeling about it due to "digital silence". It is true that we do not
experience, in life, sound emanating from a zero noise floor. That is
what I meant when I suggested that maybe digital is "too good" for the
analog crowd. Not that digital cannot capture a "live music reference"
to use your words, but that, at times and from the studio, what is
presented IS artificial due to a lack of background noise. Maybe analog
front ends supply enough background grundge to allow us to
psychologically better integrate what we are hearing vis-a-vis our
normal experience.

Now, in the analog world we also experience studio recordings, but they
always have some tape hiss along with the heretofore mentioned vinyl
background crud. Listening to them is nothing like listening to a CD.
Often the vinyl background crud is high enough to mask the master analog
tape hiss (assuming no Dolby or dbx was used in which case tape hiss may
not be a factor).

As an aside, I am reminded of, many many years ago and when digital was
quite young, purchasing a CD copy of a Yes album. Upon listening to the
CD I found that on a particular tune one side of the stereo track
abruptly drops out. Tape hiss (clearly audible on the CD) from this
"silent" channel was quite startling. I checked my Lp version but
because of surface noise I could not hear any tape hiss. This was my
first indication that digital really does capture everything.

michael
 
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Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
> On 23 Dec 2004 19:03:57 GMT, Mike Prager <hifi@ec.rr.com> wrote:

> >michael wrote:
> >
> >> I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
> >> analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
> >> floor (along with the wider frequency response).
> >
> >The HF response of many, if not most, recordings is hotter
> >than neutral. Some degree of HF distortion is also not
> >infrequent. With digital, it is possible to reproduce this
> >all accurately. It can be annoying to those with good ears.
> >
> >That is not to say that those who love vinyl may not also be
> >responding to other factors, just to agree that better
> >reproduction is not always pleasant to hear.
> >
> >Mike Prager
> >North Carolina, USA

> Hear hear! Go to a normal classical concert with a symphony orchestra,
> and you hear a pleasant, balanced sound. Listen to the same on a
> normal record - CD or vinyl - and all of a sudden the highs have a
> sort of exaggerated fizzing quality. This is very unpleasant, but can
> usually be fixed quite easily if you are prepared to take the trouble
> of running the recording through a DAW to re-equalise.

And you're sure this is due to the recording, and not the vastly
different room acoustics?

--

-S
If you're a nut and knock on enough doors, eventually someone will open one,
look at you and say, Messiah, we have waited for your arrival.
 
G

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michael <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> S888Wheel wrote:

> >>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net

> >>When recording an LP digitally you can really "see" the kind of analog
> >>grundge that is present. I use Audacity on Linux, and from the moment
> >>the tonearm is placed on the "silent" lead in groove the meters start
> >>jumping around like the 4th of July. I'm guessing that this stuff is
> >>present throughout the recording, but just masked by the louder program
> >>signal.
> >
> >
> > Kind of a broad claim based on limited experience don't you think?

> You tell me, then. I'm guessing that the "silent grooves" of a record
> are the baseline and represent the actual noise floor of the
> record/diamond interface. Would not this "baseline" (if indeed it is
> such) be present throughout the recording but masked during louder
> passages? In any case, from home transfers it is clear that the analog
> signal differs greatly from a digital source when strictly considering
> non-musical program noise.

There's no question that even the quietest vinyl will show visible
'grunge' in a wavform or spectral view, during the supposed silences
before and after tracks...in contrast to digital silence. This is just
one of several ways of demonstrating technically that digital
beats vinyl in the S/N department hands down.

> >>I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
> >>analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
> >>floor (along with the wider frequency response).
> >
> >
> > That striles me as a rather absurd claim given that most said vinyl enthusiasts
> > at least claim that live music is their reference.

> Well...that's what they claim in any case. When one listens to a live
> performance there are all kinds of noise artifacts present which may not
> be heard on a recording. But we are speaking and writing of two
> different things. First, I was speaking of inherent vinyl noise which
> is NOT present in any live venue. Second, in a "live" recording ambient
> acoustical noise is (or should be) recorded along with the program.

It used to be common for CDs to have the disclaimer like, '
the higher resolution of digital transfer may reveal imperfections
in the source' .

> On the other hand, the Levine set has an eerie, almost unnatural aural
> feeling about it due to "digital silence". It is true that we do not
> experience, in life, sound emanating from a zero noise floor. That is
> what I meant when I suggested that maybe digital is "too good" for the
> analog crowd. Not that digital cannot capture a "live music reference"
> to use your words, but that, at times and from the studio, what is
> presented IS artificial due to a lack of background noise. Maybe analog
> front ends supply enough background grundge to allow us to
> psychologically better integrate what we are hearing vis-a-vis our
> normal experience.

Along the same lines, it has often been suggested that what vinylphiles
prefer about the LP medium is what it *adds* to the recording --
midrange phasiness and other so-called 'euphonic' distortion.

> As an aside, I am reminded of, many many years ago and when digital was
> quite young, purchasing a CD copy of a Yes album. Upon listening to the
> CD I found that on a particular tune one side of the stereo track
> abruptly drops out. Tape hiss (clearly audible on the CD) from this
> "silent" channel was quite startling. I checked my Lp version but
> because of surface noise I could not hear any tape hiss. This was my
> first indication that digital really does capture everything.

ah...Perpetual Change. ;>

--

-S
If you're a nut and knock on enough doors, eventually someone will open one,
look at you and say, Messiah, we have waited for your arrival.
 
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On 24 Dec 2004 16:08:34 GMT, Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

>Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>> On 23 Dec 2004 19:03:57 GMT, Mike Prager <hifi@ec.rr.com> wrote:
>
>> >michael wrote:
>> >
>> >> I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
>> >> analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
>> >> floor (along with the wider frequency response).
>> >
>> >The HF response of many, if not most, recordings is hotter
>> >than neutral. Some degree of HF distortion is also not
>> >infrequent. With digital, it is possible to reproduce this
>> >all accurately. It can be annoying to those with good ears.
>> >
>> >That is not to say that those who love vinyl may not also be
>> >responding to other factors, just to agree that better
>> >reproduction is not always pleasant to hear.
>> >
>> >Mike Prager
>> >North Carolina, USA
>
>> Hear hear! Go to a normal classical concert with a symphony orchestra,
>> and you hear a pleasant, balanced sound. Listen to the same on a
>> normal record - CD or vinyl - and all of a sudden the highs have a
>> sort of exaggerated fizzing quality. This is very unpleasant, but can
>> usually be fixed quite easily if you are prepared to take the trouble
>> of running the recording through a DAW to re-equalise.
>
>And you're sure this is due to the recording, and not the vastly
>different room acoustics?

It still happens with headphones - so room acoustics don't come into
it.

d

Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
 
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>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net
>Date: 12/23/2004 8:41 PM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <cqg6ll01113@news1.newsguy.com>
>
>S888Wheel wrote:
>
>>>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net
>
>>>When recording an LP digitally you can really "see" the kind of analog
>>>grundge that is present. I use Audacity on Linux, and from the moment
>>>the tonearm is placed on the "silent" lead in groove the meters start
>>>jumping around like the 4th of July. I'm guessing that this stuff is
>>>present throughout the recording, but just masked by the louder program
>>>signal.
>>
>>
>> Kind of a broad claim based on limited experience don't you think?
>
>You tell me, then. I'm guessing that the "silent grooves" of a record
>are the baseline and represent the actual noise floor of the
>record/diamond interface.

Again it is a bit broad. I am sure the TT system, the cutting lathe and the
quality of the pressing all come into play. You cannot take any old record and
plop it on any old record player and assume that this is any kind of standard
for the medium.

Would not this "baseline" (if indeed it is
>such)

If indeed.

be present throughout the recording but masked during louder
>passages?

Yes, I'm not sure that your personal experience is a universal base line
though.

In any case, from home transfers it is clear that the analog
>signal differs greatly from a digital source when strictly considering
>non-musical program noise.

I'm not questioning what you found to be true with *your* transfers, only the
universitality of it.

>
>>>I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
>>>analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
>>>floor (along with the wider frequency response).
>>
>>
>> That striles me as a rather absurd claim given that most said vinyl
>enthusiasts
>> at least claim that live music is their reference.
>
>Well...that's what they claim in any case.

It certainly is what I claim. It is the truth in my case. I cannot speak for
all others.

When one listens to a live
>performance there are all kinds of noise artifacts present which may not
>be heard on a recording.

Really? That would sem to me to be a defective recording then. What else is
missing I wonder?

But we are speaking and writing of two
>different things. First, I was speaking of inherent vinyl noise which
>is NOT present in any live venue. Second, in a "live" recording ambient
>acoustical noise is (or should be) recorded along with the program.

You were speaking of what people are acustomed to. If people who generally
prefer vinyl are acustomed to live music as a reference then your argument that
they are not used to the lower noise floor of digital holds no water. The
higher noise floor of vinyl clearly is not present in the cited reference, live
music.

>
>I am a Wagner fan. Let's look at two different recordings: first, the
>Boulez Bayreuth Ring (Phillips) and, second, the Levine Met Ring
>(DGG-the CD version and not the DVD live recording). The first was an
>all digital (except Gotterdammerung) 'rehearsal' recording and exhibits
>all one would expect from a live performance except audience artifacts
>(since no audience was present). That is, stage noises from the cast
>jumping around on the floor, and sets moving, etc. This is caught on
>the digital tape quite clearly and can be heard apart from any
>additional vinyl artifacts. The Levine set, on the other hand, being a
>studio recording arises from an imperceptible noise floor and one hears
>nothing but the musical notes (and singing).
>
>When making a CD copy of both I can attest to the vinyl noise of the
>former (which I have records of), but the latter is a CD version and my
>subsequent copies have no additional noise (simply copying digit for
>digit).

We still don't know how good your records/TT playback system are so we cannot
take it as representative of SOTA. Your findings are valid for your transfers.
they are not neccessarliy representative of the thresholds of the medium
itself.

>
>On the other hand, the Levine set has an eerie, almost unnatural aural
>feeling about it due to "digital silence".

What do you consider "digital silence" to be? How is it eerie or unnatural?

It is true that we do not
>experience, in life, sound emanating from a zero noise floor. That is
>what I meant when I suggested that maybe digital is "too good" for the
>analog crowd.

If it is capturing the ambient sound of the venue then it shouldn't be eerie or
unnatural sounding. It should not present any problem for the "analog crowd" if
live music is their reference (it is mine).

Not that digital cannot capture a "live music reference"
>to use your words, but that, at times and from the studio, what is
>presented IS artificial due to a lack of background noise. Maybe analog
>front ends supply enough background grundge to allow us to
>psychologically better integrate what we are hearing vis-a-vis our
>normal experience.

Normal experience being experience with live music?

>
>Now, in the analog world we also experience studio recordings, but they
>always have some tape hiss along with the heretofore mentioned vinyl
>background crud. Listening to them is nothing like listening to a CD.

Depends on the recording, mastering, pressing and playback equipment.

>Often the vinyl background crud is high enough to mask the master analog
>tape hiss (assuming no Dolby or dbx was used in which case tape hiss may
>not be a factor).
>
>As an aside, I am reminded of, many many years ago and when digital was
>quite young, purchasing a CD copy of a Yes album. Upon listening to the
>CD I found that on a particular tune one side of the stereo track
>abruptly drops out. Tape hiss (clearly audible on the CD) from this
>"silent" channel was quite startling. I checked my Lp version but
>because of surface noise I could not hear any tape hiss. This was my
>first indication that digital really does capture everything.

I happen to be a major Yes fan. I will happily recomend specific pressings of
any Yes album that sonically clobber any and all fo the available CD versions
of any given title.
 
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Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
> On 24 Dec 2004 16:08:34 GMT, Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

> >Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
> >> On 23 Dec 2004 19:03:57 GMT, Mike Prager <hifi@ec.rr.com> wrote:
> >
> >> >michael wrote:
> >> >
> >> >> I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
> >> >> analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
> >> >> floor (along with the wider frequency response).
> >> >
> >> >The HF response of many, if not most, recordings is hotter
> >> >than neutral. Some degree of HF distortion is also not
> >> >infrequent. With digital, it is possible to reproduce this
> >> >all accurately. It can be annoying to those with good ears.
> >> >
> >> >That is not to say that those who love vinyl may not also be
> >> >responding to other factors, just to agree that better
> >> >reproduction is not always pleasant to hear.
> >> >
> >> >Mike Prager
> >> >North Carolina, USA
> >
> >> Hear hear! Go to a normal classical concert with a symphony orchestra,
> >> and you hear a pleasant, balanced sound. Listen to the same on a
> >> normal record - CD or vinyl - and all of a sudden the highs have a
> >> sort of exaggerated fizzing quality. This is very unpleasant, but can
> >> usually be fixed quite easily if you are prepared to take the trouble
> >> of running the recording through a DAW to re-equalise.
> >
> >And you're sure this is due to the recording, and not the vastly
> >different room acoustics?

> It still happens with headphones - so room acoustics don't come into
> it.

Headphone listening doesn't model listening in a concert hall either.

The limitations of two-channel reproduction of a live event have been
known since the development of audio for movies and later, for home.

Yet you seem to be talking about a frequency anomaly. If all recordings
--LP and CD -- merely require re-equalization to 'fix' them, it seems
surpassingly odd that no recording engineer or producer has noticed taht
so far, in the 50+ years since the first LPs.

--

-S
If you're a nut and knock on enough doors, eventually someone will open one,
look at you and say, Messiah, we have waited for your arrival.
 
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On 26 Dec 2004 16:57:12 GMT, Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:

>Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>> On 24 Dec 2004 16:08:34 GMT, Steven Sullivan <ssully@panix.com> wrote:
>
>> >Don Pearce <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:
>> >> On 23 Dec 2004 19:03:57 GMT, Mike Prager <hifi@ec.rr.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >> >michael wrote:
>> >> >
>> >> >> I've always thought that maybe digital recording was "too good" for the
>> >> >> analog crowd. That they just couldn't ever get used to the low noise
>> >> >> floor (along with the wider frequency response).
>> >> >
>> >> >The HF response of many, if not most, recordings is hotter
>> >> >than neutral. Some degree of HF distortion is also not
>> >> >infrequent. With digital, it is possible to reproduce this
>> >> >all accurately. It can be annoying to those with good ears.
>> >> >
>> >> >That is not to say that those who love vinyl may not also be
>> >> >responding to other factors, just to agree that better
>> >> >reproduction is not always pleasant to hear.
>> >> >
>> >> >Mike Prager
>> >> >North Carolina, USA
>> >
>> >> Hear hear! Go to a normal classical concert with a symphony orchestra,
>> >> and you hear a pleasant, balanced sound. Listen to the same on a
>> >> normal record - CD or vinyl - and all of a sudden the highs have a
>> >> sort of exaggerated fizzing quality. This is very unpleasant, but can
>> >> usually be fixed quite easily if you are prepared to take the trouble
>> >> of running the recording through a DAW to re-equalise.
>> >
>> >And you're sure this is due to the recording, and not the vastly
>> >different room acoustics?
>
>> It still happens with headphones - so room acoustics don't come into
>> it.
>
>Headphone listening doesn't model listening in a concert hall either.
>
>The limitations of two-channel reproduction of a live event have been
>known since the development of audio for movies and later, for home.
>
>Yet you seem to be talking about a frequency anomaly. If all recordings
>--LP and CD -- merely require re-equalization to 'fix' them, it seems
>surpassingly odd that no recording engineer or producer has noticed taht
>so far, in the 50+ years since the first LPs.

Who says they haven't noticed? I suspect that even the most assiduous
of engineers will fall prey to the producer leaning over his shoulder
saying - it sound a bit dull, can you give it some sparkle?

d

Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
 

Michael

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2007
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

S888Wheel wrote:

>>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net

>
> Yes, I'm not sure that your personal experience is a universal base line
> though.
>
> In any case, from home transfers it is clear that the analog
>>signal differs greatly from a digital source when strictly considering
>>non-musical program noise.
>
>
> I'm not questioning what you found to be true with *your* transfers, only the
> universitality of it.

I snipped out most of the thread becuase anyone interested can go back
and read. This back and forth is getting unmanagable. Anyhow, to
recap: I claimed that when recording from a turntable to a CD there
exists alot of analog grundge that is heard and is also shown
graphically by VU meters. This stuff is non-musical noise. Now it
appears that you are arguing the validity of this?

My suggestion: take a turntable, any turntable, and get yourself some
analog to digital software. Use any album you like. If you want to
replicate my results then I'll tell you that I use Audacity on Linux;
I'm sure there are many other similar applications out there you may
use--even Windows applications. :)

Next, place the stylus in the lead in or the lead out groove, or any
silent passage you like. Finally, watch the vu meters bob up and down
with peaks around the -40dB value when there is supposed to be
"quietness". It helps to have a good set of headphones for monitoring.
I use Sennheisers. Once you have done this several hundred times, or
even just once or twice, then post about the "universality" of the
experiment.

I have 2 turntables (I kind of collect Lps) and both exhibit this
behavior when hooked up to the computer. For the record (since you
asked and with no pun intended), during digital transfer I use a Thorens
160 with a V-15xMR. Other cartridges I currently have are a Denon 103;
an Ortofon super OM-20; A Stanton 881 S; an Epoch L8Z S; and an AT 440
ML. I have used most of these to copy personal CDs also, and each
exhibits the same properties. I settled on the Shure since, IMO, it
sounds very musical, it tracks as well if not better than the others,
and the nifty little damping brush gathers lint off even "clean" Lps.

michael
 
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>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net
>Date: 12/27/2004 7:52 AM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <cqpb4502qpq@news3.newsguy.com>
>
>S888Wheel wrote:
>
>>>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net
>
>>
>> Yes, I'm not sure that your personal experience is a universal base line
>> though.
>>
>> In any case, from home transfers it is clear that the analog
>>>signal differs greatly from a digital source when strictly considering
>>>non-musical program noise.
>>
>>
>> I'm not questioning what you found to be true with *your* transfers, only
>the
>> universitality of it.
>
>I snipped out most of the thread becuase anyone interested can go back
>and read. This back and forth is getting unmanagable. Anyhow, to
>recap: I claimed that when recording from a turntable to a CD there
>exists alot of analog grundge that is heard and is also shown
>graphically by VU meters. This stuff is non-musical noise. Now it
>appears that you are arguing the validity of this?

No I am arguing against the implied global implications. Heck one can find any
number of CDs that have "grundge" in the signal. It doesn't say anything about
the medium just something about that CD. I have never said your tests weren't
valid for *your* records on *your* equipment.

>
>My suggestion: take a turntable, any turntable, and get yourself some
>analog to digital software. Use any album you like.

My suggestion is that you take a turntable but not any turntable. A world class
turntable and then take an album, not any album but a top of the line RTI
pressing or a 180 gram pressing from Simply Vinyl or a pressing from King Super
Analog and do your tests over again.

If you want to
>replicate my results then I'll tell you that I use Audacity on Linux;
>I'm sure there are many other similar applications out there you may
>use--even Windows applications. :)

If you want to know what the limitations of the medium are and not just the
limitations of your stuff I suggest you use a Rockport TT or Forsell that is
properly isolated or even a fully decked out Walker Procenium Gold. There are
others in this league as well. Hey, there is nothing wrong with finding out the
noise floor of your stuff. It's just not likely going to have anything to do
with the actual limitations of the medium.

>
>Next, place the stylus in the lead in or the lead out groove, or any
>silent passage you like. Finally, watch the vu meters bob up and down
>with peaks around the -40dB value when there is supposed to be
>"quietness". It helps to have a good set of headphones for monitoring.
> I use Sennheisers. Once you have done this several hundred times, or
>even just once or twice, then post about the "universality" of the
>experiment.
>
>I have 2 turntables (I kind of collect Lps) and both exhibit this
>behavior when hooked up to the computer.
For the record (since you
>asked and with no pun intended), during digital transfer I use a Thorens
>160 with a V-15xMR. Other cartridges I currently have are a Denon 103;
>an Ortofon super OM-20; A Stanton 881 S; an Epoch L8Z S; and an AT 440
>ML.

All reasonable equipment but hardly representative of SOTA.

I have used most of these to copy personal CDs also, and each
>exhibits the same properties. I settled on the Shure since, IMO, it
>sounds very musical, it tracks as well if not better than the others,
>and the nifty little damping brush gathers lint off even "clean" Lps.
>
>michael
>
>
>
>
>
>
 
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

michael <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> S888Wheel wrote:

> >>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net

> >
> > Yes, I'm not sure that your personal experience is a universal base line
> > though.
> >
> > In any case, from home transfers it is clear that the analog
> >>signal differs greatly from a digital source when strictly considering
> >>non-musical program noise.
> >
> >
> > I'm not questioning what you found to be true with *your* transfers, only the
> > universitality of it.

> I snipped out most of the thread becuase anyone interested can go back
> and read. This back and forth is getting unmanagable. Anyhow, to
> recap: I claimed that when recording from a turntable to a CD there
> exists alot of analog grundge that is heard and is also shown
> graphically by VU meters. This stuff is non-musical noise. Now it
> appears that you are arguing the validity of this?

> My suggestion: take a turntable, any turntable, and get yourself some
> analog to digital software. Use any album you like. If you want to
> replicate my results then I'll tell you that I use Audacity on Linux;
> I'm sure there are many other similar applications out there you may
> use--even Windows applications. :)

> Next, place the stylus in the lead in or the lead out groove, or any
> silent passage you like. Finally, watch the vu meters bob up and down
> with peaks around the -40dB value when there is supposed to be
> "quietness". It helps to have a good set of headphones for monitoring.
> I use Sennheisers. Once you have done this several hundred times, or
> even just once or twice, then post about the "universality" of the
> experiment.

Yep, the behavior you see is not unusual; you're seeing the surface noise
of vinyl, which even for the *best*, *cleanest* LP is noisier than
digital silence. It *is* a universal phenomenon.

Vinylphiles IME are loath to admit any deficiencies of their favorite
medium, but to deny the universal existence of surface noise in vinyl,
is to be, well, in denial. Digital capture and display of vinyl
transfers simply makes it visible. It can be 'heard through' and thus
ignored, but it's always there.

--

-S
If you're a nut and knock on enough doors, eventually someone will open one,
look at you and say, Messiah, we have waited for your arrival.
 
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Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>From: Steven Sullivan ssully@panix.com
>Date: 12/28/2004 7:33 AM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <cqrubt02ts5@news3.newsguy.com>
>
>michael <pm279@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>> S888Wheel wrote:
>
>> >>From: michael pm279@bellsouth.net
>
>> >
>> > Yes, I'm not sure that your personal experience is a universal base line
>> > though.
>> >
>> > In any case, from home transfers it is clear that the analog
>> >>signal differs greatly from a digital source when strictly considering
>> >>non-musical program noise.
>> >
>> >
>> > I'm not questioning what you found to be true with *your* transfers, only
>the
>> > universitality of it.
>
>> I snipped out most of the thread becuase anyone interested can go back
>> and read. This back and forth is getting unmanagable. Anyhow, to
>> recap: I claimed that when recording from a turntable to a CD there
>> exists alot of analog grundge that is heard and is also shown
>> graphically by VU meters. This stuff is non-musical noise. Now it
>> appears that you are arguing the validity of this?
>
>> My suggestion: take a turntable, any turntable, and get yourself some
>> analog to digital software. Use any album you like. If you want to
>> replicate my results then I'll tell you that I use Audacity on Linux;
>> I'm sure there are many other similar applications out there you may
>> use--even Windows applications. :)
>
>> Next, place the stylus in the lead in or the lead out groove, or any
>> silent passage you like. Finally, watch the vu meters bob up and down
>> with peaks around the -40dB value when there is supposed to be
>> "quietness". It helps to have a good set of headphones for monitoring.
>> I use Sennheisers. Once you have done this several hundred times, or
>> even just once or twice, then post about the "universality" of the
>> experiment.
>
>Yep, the behavior you see is not unusual; you're seeing the surface noise
>of vinyl, which even for the *best*, *cleanest* LP is noisier than
>digital silence. It *is* a universal phenomenon.
>
>Vinylphiles IME are loath to admit any deficiencies of their favorite
>medium, but to deny the universal existence of surface noise in vinyl,
>is to be, well, in denial.

Please cite one example of anyone denying the existance of surface noise.

Digital capture and display of vinyl
>transfers simply makes it visible. It can be 'heard through' and thus
>ignored, but it's always there.

It is not the same for all records and all TT rigs. That was my point.
>
>--
>
>-S
>If you're a nut and knock on enough doors, eventually someone will open one,
>look at you and say, Messiah, we have waited for your arrival.
>
>
>
>
>
>
 
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