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  #1  
03-21-2012, 12:31 AM
kristoffo kristoffo is offline
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Excuse my ignorance, but I don't read audiophile or technical journals. So I was just wondering if someone here might answer a few questions that have been pestering me for a few years...

I have been told by several knowledgeable people that audo CD's never have the dynamic range of LP's and chromedioxide tapes, therefore LP's are preferred by many connaisseurs. Of course, LP's rapidly deteriorate each time they are played--but you can capture the first play on a chromedioxide tape.

I believe this. Because in the 1970's, I copied some music from LP to chromedioxide, and marveled at the clarity. Even though I did not have an especially good system, I could clearly hear the guitar player's fingers fretting the strings.

It also "sounds logical" to me that there is simply not enough space on a CD to capture the minute highs and lows that can be captured by physical vinyl.

However--what about using a DVD or BlueRay for high-end digital sound reproduction?? A sound is a sound. Any sound can be translated digitally--even sounds which are beyond human hearing. It seems to me just a matter of having enough space--and we surely "could" make digital recordings with every bit of clarity as vinyl, and more, and that never deteriorates. (?)

Similarly, digital photography for years was not as crisp as film. Now it is. I saw a documentary-about-a-documentary about the making of "The Blue Planet." To capture the second of a killer whale attack, they merely attached the digital camera to a hard drive, and ramped up the pixels and speed.

On the other hand... when you burn an image into a film, this is a direct process, similar to how the human eye works. So, I do believe there are nuances in film photography which cannot be equalled by digital photography. Also with sound, using a magnetic tape is a relatively direct process. The magnetic field of the tape is interacting with the sound, just as our ear drum interacts to the sound. So in theory, I do suspect there might be nuances to a magnetic tape recording that cannot be equalled with digital or even with vinyl.

Technically however, it seems to me that a digital recording certainly can equal and in fact exceed the 'dynamic range' of a vinyl or magnetic process. We may always complain that a digital method is 'cold' but--if done properly--I do not think we should be able to say it has less clarity or technical precision. (?)

My questions:

1. Am I correct that digital audio 'should' and 'could' have dynamic range that is virtually as good as a first playing a vinyl recording?

2. Am I correct that it makes sense to use DVDs or BluRays for sound recording--and finally get really good digital recordings?

3. If so, is this in the works to phase out CDs for hi fi recordings? Or is anyone at least discussing it?

Thank you anyone!

kristoffo of Verhampshire.Org
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03-21-2012, 03:14 AM
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Quote:
Am I correct that digital audio 'should' and 'could' have dynamic range that is virtually as good as a first playing a vinyl recording
The dynamic range of audio is the difference between the softest and loudest sound. One of the advantages (or disadvantages) of digital sound is that dynamic range increases with every new generation of digital audio format. CD is better than LP, because LP is full of noise at the lowest values. CD also has a higher dynamic. As you go beyond CD, into Dolby Digital (AC3) and DTS, dynamic range almost becomes unrealistic. Whispers are so faint that you have to crank up the volume knob, and then loud sounds could damage your speakers.

Dynamic range isn't a very good measurement of audio quality anyway.

If you want some long technical explanations of CD vs LP, with lots of math and charts, then these links are useful:
- http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Myths_(Vinyl)
- http://www.audioholics.com/education...-vs-cds-part-4

Quote:
We may always complain that a digital method is 'cold'
The biggest issue with digital sound -- of any format -- is that unskilled audio engineers (or overzealous sound engineers) have a tendency to "cook" audio. For most of the 1990s, CD audio was often poorly mastered to disc. It's really just that easy. It's not that LP was "better" as a format, but simply that many CD mastering facilities maxed out the audio to near distortion, while also heavily compressing beyond what was required for CD. It's one reason lower bitrate (160kbps) MP3 can sound transparent to many CDs.

I fully enjoy listening to records on a decent stereo, but it sounds muffled and fuzzy compared to mastered FLAC files on near-reference grade speakers from a computer. Vinyl is more about the experience than sound quality. Each time I listen to records, I tend to think about the 1970s and 1980s, remembering family and what I was doing at the time. For that non-audio reason, it's "better".

The quality of a stereo (and speakers) is generally more important than the format. What most people consider "good" is not even close. Inversely, many audiophiles waste money on equally not-good hardware. For example, they make record players that use lasers, although you'll pay about $10K for one -- and it may actually play LPs worse than needle systems! (Dust over-sensitivity, meaning more crackles and pops.) The frequency response curve, along with the quality of the processor (digital) or various mechanical parts (LP), matter most for stereo quality.

Quote:
Am I correct that it makes sense to use DVDs or BluRays for sound recording--and finally get really good digital recordings?
Not really. Modern lossless formats like FLAC could theoretically sound better than uncompressed 16-bit PCM (audio CD), while still being smaller file sizes. It's not so much "size" as the bit depth. But there is a point of diminishing returns with bit depth (and therefore file size), where all you're doing is wasting disc/disk space. There is a ceiling to what can be achieved, within the confines of the format. In this case, the confines of what human ears can hear.

I routinely work with a number of audio formats. Right now, for example, I have Dolby E broadcast files on a hard drive. It's a fairly new (2009) multi-channel broadcast format for audio, and sounds quite good compared against older formats of the same bandwidth. Honestly, future audio formats will focus on compression while retaining quality, as opposed to quality ignorant of the file size.

Quote:
If so, is this in the works to phase out CDs for hi fi recordings? Or is anyone at least discussing it?
New formats are often discussed. SACD and DVD-Audio are both flopped formats. Most new formats are going to be disc-less, such as FLAC (lossless) or OGG (compressed). For the foreseeable future, most all physical distribution will be via CDs, which are made for mass consumption. If you want "purer" audio (assuming it's made available, and NOT made from the CD), then you'll generally be looking for studio FLAC files.

Technically speaking, CD-Audio is high fidelity.

Quote:
I do believe there are nuances in film photography which cannot be equalled by digital photography
Digital imaging has surpassed film in the past 2-3 years. I've been using digital cameras since the early 1990s, and have watched this slow process evolve across more than two decades. The Nikon D3s SLR camera I have is so detailed and sensitive that it actually shows flaws on subpar lens glass. The same lenses that gave photographers beautiful images in the film era are proving to be turds in the digital era. High end cameras require high end glass now. While that was always suggested anyway, there are now such visible defects that even laymen can see problems.

The only real limiter is bit depth. Lots of cameras now shoot in 12-bit and 14-bit RAW, however. Most bit depth loss is visible in 8-bit and maybe 10-bit range. Note that JPEG images are 8-bit, down-sampled from the sensor's 12-14 bit original.

As with most things, the quality of the camera and glass (and photographer!) matters most for image clarity and quality.

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03-21-2012, 07:33 AM
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Vinyl "sounds better" then most CD versions of the same song because the original vinyl wasn't subject to the loudness wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war

One of my vinyl transfer jobs, a circa 1998 DJ promo vinyl, which involved a master that was originally digital. I also happened to have a few of the same tracks commercially released on CD, so I could compare the two. They really didn't sound all that different, aside from the surface noise. Also remember that vinyl is equalized using the RIAA curve. The source music has its bass trimmed down (to limit groove width) and the highs pushed up (to keep them above surface noise) before being cut to vinyl.
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03-21-2012, 02:16 PM
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This catches my attention:
Quote:
Loud mastering practices caught media attention in 2008 with the release of Metallica's Death Magnetic album. The CD version of the recording has a high average loudness that pushes peaks beyond the point of digital clipping, resulting in distortion. These findings were reported by customers and music industry professionals. These findings were later covered in multiple international publications, including Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, BBC Radio, Wired, and The Guardian. Ted Jensen, a mastering engineer involved in the Death Magnetic recordings, subsequently criticized the approach employed during the production process.
There's always been something extremely unearthly about the sound from Lars drums on this album. I've heard and read several times that unusual tension was used, but it's still unlike any sound I'd heard from a snare, and I grew up around plenty of drums. A sibling and myself tried to recreate it several times, but it just would not happen. Something there simply had to be altered in the studio. It has a very clipped/distortion sound to it (yet not distorted to the point where it makes cracks and fuzz).

Looking at the referenced articles (particularly this one from the Guardian), Lars responds with "I don't know what kind of stereos these people listen on". I can agree with him here. It sounds fine in my car, and it sounds absolutely amazing on reference speakers from high-grade computer audio cards. This is another case where a lot of fan-heard distortion and quality problems is likely the direct result of crappy audio gear. Noting that distortion does still exist, but nowhere near as badly as some claim.

I'd suggest that the product supplied by the band wasn't suited for the common devices of their demographic. The music was literally too much for the users' stereos to handle! While that may sound amusing, ultimately it wasn't a very well thought-out decision on their part. Many fans are unable to enjoy the music without their stereos crackling and crapping out. Cheap Chinese-made speakers and stereos, as well as low-end integrated sound cards, are also to blame.

I primarily just listen to 'The Unforgiven III', 'The Day That Never Comes' and 'My Apocalypse' -- every album has hits and misses, and these are the hits.

There really isn't any dynamic range in Death Magnetic, but that's really a result of the music itself. Aside from 'The Unforgiven III', there's really not any soft/silent areas. It's a loud wall of sound, but that's because the music is written as a wall of sound -- it's thrash metal, after all! While I've long point out how Metallica uses quite a bit of music theory in a majority of their music, this really isn't the best example. They were trying something new, something harder, something louder, something with less definition. The safe clipping of sound is what helps to achieve some of this "less definition". It should also be noted that the distortion is mostly on the drum and guitar tracks -- not vocals or accompanying instruments.

Not that it's a good thing. Or a bad thing. Just that it is what it is: loud rough-at-the-edges thrash metal.

However, it does makes for an easy example for laymen to hear CD loudness distortion, since the Guitar Hero unaltered tracks exist.

For anybody curious, probably half of the time while I'm working on video, I have metal playing.

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03-21-2012, 08:22 PM
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CD's are being phased out next year!
http://www.side-line.com/news_commen...=46980_0_2_0_C

LP's have a distinct sound, which involves distortion (20% distortion for LP vs .01% for CD)
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/techn...html?showall=1

Besides the experience of playing an LP, people can come to like a particular distortion, even the distortion of mp3's
http://mastering-media.blogspot.ca/2...llshizzle.html

laser turntable
http://www.elpj.com/

LP's have poor separation and have to be mastered differently. Moving a physical object like a needle has it's limits. The LP version can end up sounding different. I can't find a reference right now. You can certainly simulate the sound of LP if you want to.

I can offer another explanation from the point of view of electronics. Making good analog electronics requires high purity of materials and dimensional tolerance. Physical electronics are also sensitive to changes in temperature, magnetic fields, drying out (in some cases), aging and so on. Once digital, none of these effects distort the sound, however you can talk about things like numerical accuracy. In any case, the sum of the conversions from analog to digital, and back to analog, plus the digital distortions, is far far less than the total distortions of all analog processing.
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03-23-2012, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
I can offer another explanation from the point of view of electronics. Making good analog electronics requires high purity of materials and dimensional tolerance. Physical electronics are also sensitive to changes in temperature, magnetic fields, drying out (in some cases), aging and so on. Once digital, none of these effects distort the sound, however you can talk about things like numerical accuracy. In any case, the sum of the conversions from analog to digital, and back to analog, plus the digital distortions, is far far less than the total distortions of all analog processing.
That "distortion" or "colorization" of audio is where the whole tube vs. solid state amp argument originates. I also noticed older solid state amps have their own "colorization" of audio vs. the newer stuff. Its one reason why classic Pioneers like the SX-1980 still go for big bucks on ebay, vs. say the newer (and more powerful) Adcom GFA-555.
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03-23-2012, 04:08 PM
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There is a fundamental difference in the physics of transistors vs tubes. As a result of the physics model derived equations, the distortions in tubes are even harmonics, in transistors they are odd harmonics. Odd harmonics sound metallic, even ones sound more pleasing. Thus this could explain why tubes, even though they are distorted, act like a type of "effect pedal" and create a more pleasing sound. You could certainly simulate this, and there are plugins for that kind of thing.

In fact you can simulate any 'sound' you like, with free programs. How do they get the "Hall" sound effects in receivers etc.? They go to an actual music hall, make a loud clicking sound, and record it. Then a program can find the "convolution" parameters which exactly recreate the sound. You can do the same with tubes. If you have such an amp we can do this for fun! I can give you a file to play through it, which you record with your soundcard, and I can process to give a data file that could be loaded in Audacity and recrreate the sound.

As far as older solid-state amps, I don't know, but there were different manufacturing techniques for transistors in the 50's, and the class of amp can make a difference, that is class A, B, or C. (Now there's Class D as well).
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03-23-2012, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
CD's are being phased out next year!
http://www.side-line.com/news_commen...=46980_0_2_0_C
That's already been debunked: http://www.nme.com/blog/index.php?bl...&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

Although I would love to hear any comments or opinions on the long-term future of CDs. Do they need to generate more revenue than downloads to stay viable? Can they always serve as a method for delivery/storage or is there a cut-off point?
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03-23-2012, 05:45 PM
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Although I would love to hear any comments or opinions on the long-term future of CDs. Do they need to generate more revenue than downloads to stay viable? Can they always serve as a method for delivery/storage or is there a cut-off point?
The question you've asked is actually flawed. Here's why:

A common myth amongst internet users is that the internet is free. It's not. Servers, bandwidth and licensing can easily eat up tons of money. I'd even suggest that the cost of commodity CD/DVD pressing (plus warehouse space and trucking to distributors) is less than the cost of maintaining online infrastructure.

Consider the recent MegaUpload case -- not the infringement aspect, but the costs of their infrastructure, as made public this week by Carpathia (their web host). The servers use about $9,000 per day in electricity, cooling and bandwidth. The servers themselves are worth $1.25 million. Compared to a music label, MegaUpload is a teeny tiny operation. Furthermore, music labels would be more apt to use cloud and CDN infrastructure, which is far more costly than single-location dedicated servers.

We deal with several labels, and one of the common complaints is the cost of bandwidth. This is a primary reason labels keep MP3 bitrates down (256kbps), and why they're always looking for and supporting new compression techniques that will yield high quality sound at less space and transit.

Now let's go back to CDs real quick...

CDs are honestly overpriced -- excessively so, in fact, for the $15-20 range now found in local stores.

The argument could be made that a CD has to stay at the same prices as an MP3 (~$1 per song), so that the old product doesn't compete with the new one. But I think that's bunk, because everybody wants MP3s. For example, iTunes is addictive to many users, thanks to the cult of Jobs. You could give away a CD for free, with instructions on how to rip it with freeware, and people would still buy MP3s because it's the "in thing" to do or "easier" to use (manage, sync to iPod, etc).

Something along the lines of 90-95% of a CD sale is profit margin. That's not the case for online distribution.

What's in the long-term future, you ask?

Well, I think if the labels (RIAA members, etc) hope to stay in business for the remainder of the 21st century, I foresee a long-term change from them being what they are now, into what would look more like a profit-sharing web/CDN host (while still being a partial venture capitalist for what it perceives to be quality acts). Otherwise artists are going to cut them out entirely, and choose to self-publish and work with distributors directly (or through more agreeable middlemen).

Hosting, bandwidth, and hardware will eventually commoditize more, to the point where online sales will be at least as profitable as physical sales. The one variable will always be energy consumption.

Some of our clients are Nashville based musicians, and they use services like CDBaby.com to sell CDs (profit sharing), and get them pressed for low cost at places like DiscMakers (or my favorite, NewCyberian). Because companies like Amazon and Apple (iTunes) can be hard to work with -- especially Apple -- musicians share profit with a middleman company that aggregates music, who in turn deal with Amazon and Apple to sell MP3s and albums. (These middleman operations are what labels will likely become in the future, until an act is so big that a distributor desires to work with the musician directly -- which does already happen from time to time.)

Why CD will never go away:

The irony is that small musicians make more money on the CDs, which are still overpriced compared to the mass-produced "big name" bands/acts. To borrow from the NME.com article mentioned by a previous poster, one musician wrote on Twitter: "Got paid 8 for 90,000 plays. F--k Spotify." When a small artist self-presses (or even burns!) CDs, they keep almost 100% of the profit. Or as much as 75% when using a store service like CDBaby.com

Larger bands never really made much money from airplay, records/CDs or downloads anyway. The label acted as a venture capitalist, and they keep virtually all profits from those products. For them, CD sales is the real money-maker, hence all the hatred towards streaming and downloadable acquisition venues. The bands actually brought in funds through their branded merchandise (look at KISS and Gene Simmons for an excellent example), or by live touring and keeping ticket profits. (Note: The "ticket profits" thing is one reason artists have been so pissed about the financial raping of their fans by scalpers in recent years. What was once harder to do is now routine thanks to eBay, Craigslist, and the online resellers. These third-party entities are massively profiting from the artist.)

Another good article can be found in The Atlantic issue from November 2011: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...-graph/249267/
I've also attached the main graphics from that article to this post.


Attached Images
File Type: jpg TheAtlantic-MusicianIncome.jpg (35.9 KB, 0 downloads)

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03-23-2012, 08:05 PM
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This is an excellent article covering all the myths, from hearing, to samplerate and bitdepth, to observer bias.
http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html
Btw, the illustration of how the ear works, also explains how mp3's work, each hair listens to a "critical band" and you can't hear nearby tones a bit less loud, this leads to redundant info in the sound which can be discarded.

iTunes mastering guidelines
https://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/

reading bug - thanks for the debunk!

I also found out some more about LP's, they use a trick to raise the volume by making the lateral "wiggles" wider than the track spacing, this can be done by noticing that the nearby spirals are indented too. Hmm, think of it this way, you can write AVAVAV in a monspaced font and they are quite far apart, but if you space them based on the shape of the letters you can see that you can fit them a lot closer together.
Code:
AVAVAVA
monospace
AVAVAVAV
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  #11  
03-23-2012, 10:22 PM
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The Xiph.org piece is very current (March 2012) and does make for a good read.
Thanks for sharing!

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03-27-2012, 04:07 PM
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Thank you all for the lively and expert conversations. I would just like to say two things, in case maybe this might affect your opinions...

1. My family listens only to classical (symphonic) music, which has a far greater range of sounds. Whenever we buy sound equipment, such as speakers, we cannot make a decision until we hear classical music. (Although usually, the closest we can get, if we forget to bring our own CD, is the theme from Star Wars.) I.e., to people who listen to classical music, we really cannot judge the quality of a reproduction system by listening to rock-n-roll. And--except for people who enjoy certain distortions--I don't think it works the other way. I.e., if a system does well reproducing the sound of a tin can hitting the pavement, this does not tell you much about its ability to reproduce a symphony orchestra. But if a system is good with a symphony orchestra, it probably will have no problem with the tin can.

So, if anyone thinks the question of CD's vs. LP's might change depending on the music you listen to, please let me know. I doubt that there is much difference. Although I am certainly skeptical of the ability of MP3's to do well with symphonic music. (I have not used MP3's much so I don't know, but just an assumption.)

2. About 'downloads replacing CDs' and similar subjects...

I like the 'kindle' screen which imitates the look of paper, and I hope all computer screens will eventually be like that...

However, I cannot imagine why people (except the idle rich) want to pay so much money for a Kindle instead of reading things on their computer...

Even more so, the price of a "kindle edition" is usually just a tiny bit less than a print edition--in spite of the fact that the "kindle edition" probably saves the publisher and distributor 95% of manufacturing and distribution costs. And often I can get a high-quality used edition for less than 1/2 the cost of either. This is totally outrageous! They are fishing for suckers!

When a "kindle edition" is 1/4 the cost of a printed edition, as it should be, then maybe it will be an enticing alternative. However, so long as the "kindle edition" is 95% of the cost of the printed edition--while giving me nothing to put on my shelf--they must think 95% of all people are total suckers. And maybe they are. But to me it is all rather incredible.

kristoffo of Verhampshire.Org

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04-01-2012, 08:21 AM
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Classical strings/horns and metal actually share a lot musical theory. I've listened to violins in a symphony that didn't sound too much different from metal thrashing on an electric guitar. Granted, a guitar can sound louder if you crank the amp, but it's usually tuned down a bit for indoor venues -- especially if it's a quality venue also used by classical music. (Think of the 1999 Metallica / San Francisco Symphony album S&M, or several of rock/metal bands that paired with symphonies in the aftermath of the Metallica success. Most of those were beautifully done.)

You can screw them up equally. All it takes is goober pushing the gain and EQ values on a mixer.

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04-01-2012, 05:37 PM
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There's always symphonic rock, like Nightwish
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9GxUZqyXwE
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04-08-2012, 10:16 PM
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I'd say that if you're comparing MP3 to LP or some analog source, then yes, the LP will sound better. However, uncompressed vs. LP? Well, that just depends on the ear, I guess.

Loudness has always been a critical factor in recorded sound. For example, Edison's wax cylinder lost out to Berliner's disc at the turn of the century because the public preferred the louder, more easily stored, and cheaper laterally-cut disc, even though they had more surface noise, and the needle had to be changed every record to prevent increased wear. Nevermind that a few years later, the same public would sacrifice quality (and loudness) for style when the internal horn Victrola was introduced. Of course, the loudness of '78s was fairly consistent up until the late '20s when electrical (microphone) recording was introduced, and even then, it was limited by what could be played on the average machine (which had then moved away from acoustic pickups to the more modern electric pickup).

I'd say that the increased loudness is really only a pain in the rear when A) it's so loud it causes distortion even when played back on very high-end equipment, and B) you're listening to it through headphones.
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04-10-2012, 01:34 PM
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Even MP3 vs LP is too general a statement. It really depends on how each was made.
Superior audio is superior audio, and there's not necessarily an overlap with the storage medium.

MP3 can be better than LP.
But LP can be better than an MP3.

The biggest issue with this myth is that there's far too much generalizing and anti-format hooey that clouds the underlying quality variables.

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04-10-2012, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Classical strings/horns and metal actually share a lot musical theory. I've listened to violins in a symphony that didn't sound too much different from metal thrashing on an electric guitar. Granted, a guitar can sound louder if you crank the amp, but it's usually tuned down a bit for indoor venues -- especially if it's a quality venue also used by classical music. You can screw them up equally. All it takes is goober pushing the gain and EQ values on a mixer.
Actually metal and I think jazz are a bit special as far as vinyl goes. I have this sound card Terratec Aureon Universe 7.1 that has phono pre-amp to digitize vinyls. It came with the software Algorithmix SoundLaundry that is supposed to declick the noise. So I tried to clean up a few vinyls after I had digitized them. When I put a higher level of declicking, it would filter out drums. If I put a lower level of declicking, it would leave vinyl pops and clicks. I contacted the customer service asking for the advise for the optimal level of declicking. First thing they asked what kind of music I was digitizing/declicking. I said "metal". They told me that this software was not good for metal and I think jazz. The only 2 genres of music they admitted it wasn't working very well. I think it was pretty funny.

Back to the topic vinyl vs CDs. I agree with most of the responses here. Vinyl is inferior to CDs. The reason why some vinyl sounds better than the same CDs is poor mastering. The opposite sometimes is true. I do know a few cases when the factory made CDs (in 90s) sounded far more superior than their vinyl counterparts.

I did vinyl transfer myself with relatively hi-fi turn table and high end ADC (M-Audio and/or Terratec). There's no way one can spot the difference between the original vinyl played and the red book CD after my transferring. Now if one transfers CD to vinyl, there will be huge difference.

I actually can't stand vinyl for its clicks and the fact that the beginning of the each side sounds a lot better than the end of the side due to decreasing of linear velocity as the cartridge approaches the end. The difference is gradual but noticeable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Think of the 1999 Metallica / San Francisco Symphony album S&M, or several of rock/metal bands that paired with symphonies in the aftermath of the Metallica success. Most of those were beautifully done.)
Metallica always jumps on bandwagon. IMO, the first real marriage of classical and metal was Celtic Frost's 2 albums To Mega Therion in 1986 and Into The Pandemonium in 1987. I know Deep Purple and Rainbow attempts, but Celtic Frost was the one that did it right. All IMO of course.

Last edited by metaleonid; 04-10-2012 at 04:13 PM. Reason: more stuff
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  #18  
07-18-2012, 10:45 PM
thecoalman thecoalman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
This catches my attention:
There's always been something extremely unearthly about the sound from Lars drums on this album. I've heard and read several times that unusual tension was used, but it's still unlike any sound I'd heard from a snare, and I grew up around plenty of drums. A sibling and myself tried to recreate it several times, but it just would not happen. Something there simply had to be altered in the studio. It has a very clipped/distortion sound to it (yet not distorted to the point where it makes cracks and fuzz).
What is interesting here is you can compare to the Guitar Hero version, even with the stepped all over youtube version there is tremendous difference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRyIACDCc1I

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  #19  
07-19-2012, 12:04 AM
Belmont Belmont is offline
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On the subject of musical instruments, here's another comparison: Acoustic Vs. Digital/Electric Pianos. This video compares a Pianoteq digital piano shaped to resemble a tiny grand piano against an acoustic Petrof concert grand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo0O1pC6zDA



As a former piano player (I used to be pretty damn good at it back in Middle School), and having played many pianos both digital and acoustic, both of these sound pretty damn fine. The Pianoteq comes off as more muted and has a lower expression range than the Petrof, but to the untrained ear, it sounds much like a real piano. The Petrof is somewhat brighter sounding, but still sounds somewhat subdued even with the lid open. Keep in mind, though, that this is an incredibly idealized test, since very few people are as good as that guy, that room is the size of a normal home, and most people wouldn't have the funds, the need, or the room for a concert grand anyway. Also, the acoustic piano is further away from the camera.

The main reason why digital pianos, even though they have professionally made samples taken from top of the line instruments with extremely high quality recording equipment, is due to resonance. In an acoustic piano, when a note is struck, other strings will ring with it slightly, giving the note a harmonic sound. Add on more and more notes, and you will get more and more harmonies. On a digital piano, it is currently impossible to replicate these harmonies. Thus, digital pianos sound duller and less lifelike no matter how good the samples are. Of course, this can change as technology advances.

I've played many types of piano (Kimball spinet, Knabe upright that used to be a reproducing piano, Steinway grands, Kawai Heritage Digital Piano, Yamaha upright, and a Pianoteq digital grand similar to the one in the video, etc.), and honestly, I can say that older pianos have a much richer sound than newer ones. The piano has "settled in", as the hammers are somewhat harder (if they get too hard, though, it creates a honky tonk type sound), and the board has fully adjusted and is somewhat softer. It's hard to explain. In addition, from an investment standpoint, digital pianos depreciate considerably after a new model comes out due to the rapid pace of technological development, while acoustic pianos tend to hold or gain value as time goes on because of their design and the technology which has been more or less standard for well over 150 years. Digital pianos are great for those who live in smaller homes or with limited funds, because they are much cheaper, and are often designed to resemble a small piano, and still sound pretty good. In addition, they don't require any real maintenance or tuning, which makes them very practical for schools and institutions. However, I still prefer the acoustic piano, because the sound from even a generic upright is quite powerful when played well (almost a blown away type of feeling, hard to describe. It's like blaring an awesome sounding song through a good quality stereo system. It's just amazing to be there in person).
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07-19-2012, 12:07 AM
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You can embed Youtube videos. I've edited the above two posts.

If the URL is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRyIACDCc1I
... then insert this code into a post: [youtube]DRyIACDCc1I[/youtube] and it will embed into a forum post.

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