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I hate digital...Why?

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I hate digital...Why?

Post by Zedinmexico on Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:00 pm

I have spent years trying to understand why much of older analog recordings sound better than much of the digital stuff. If I spend 1000USD on a good
D to A (digital to analog) converter I don't mind digital but if I listen to my CD on a crappy DVD player it is so bad one can't listen to it. Any others feel
this way? And yes I know a CD is actually analog but for this argument pretend it is digital.

Why is digital so bad so often?

Z

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by casi nada on Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:09 pm

Zedinmexico wrote: And yes I know a CD is actually analog but for this argument pretend it is digital.
Z

Really? Please explain.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by HelperGuy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:01 pm

Agreed. However, a fix is in the works, and it is being brought to you by none other than Neil Young, Canadian inventor extraordinaire (who by the way has a secondary career as a mega rock star...). He has created a sound recording and playback system that recreates the studio recording sound, so there will be no more crappy MP3s or downconversions or anything like that. Even kids bopping around with music players and phones will be able to hear music like never before. I cannot wait. Check out PONO.com. Then Google the topic for all kinds of interesting news on it.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by tictoc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:53 pm

Rase you're hand if you remember the HiFi craze... Now it is all about just enough quality to let you stuff as much data as you can...

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by tictoc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:12 pm

Zedinmexico wrote:I have spent years trying to understand why much of older analog recordings sound better than much of the digital stuff. If I spend 1000USD on a good
D to A (digital to analog) converter I don't mind digital but if I listen to my CD on a crappy DVD player it is so bad one can't listen to it. Any others feel
this way? And yes I know a CD is actually analog but for this argument pretend it is digital.

Why is digital so bad so often?

Z
Z it is all about sample rate and compression. Now a days sample rates have decrease and compression has taken over. The human ear/brain is good at filling in "holes" in audio (and video). Mr Niquest (sp?) figured this out and now the world exploits it to increase data storage. The I want more, now, generation has taken over. As for D to A conversion, if you start with a poor source, you can not improve it.




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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by hockables on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:18 pm

Zedinmexico wrote:I have spent years trying to understand why much of older analog recordings sound better than much of the digital stuff. If I spend 1000USD on a good
D to A (digital to analog) converter I don't mind digital but if I listen to my CD on a crappy DVD player it is so bad one can't listen to it. Any others feel
this way? And yes I know a CD is actually analog but for this argument pretend it is digital.

Why is digital so bad so often?

Z


try a bottle of wine with yer digital entertainment.... dramatically improves the sound Beer

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by tictoc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:40 pm

hockables wrote:


try a bottle of wine with yer digital entertainment.... dramatically improves the sound Beer
Works for women as well. Lol I keed, I keed.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by casi nada on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:44 pm

HelperGuy wrote:Agreed. However, a fix is in the works, and it is being brought to you by none other than Neil Young, Canadian inventor extraordinaire (who by the way has a secondary career as a mega rock star...). He has created a sound recording and playback system that recreates the studio recording sound, so there will be no more crappy MP3s or downconversions or anything like that. Even kids bopping around with music players and phones will be able to hear music like never before. I cannot wait. Check out PONO.com. Then Google the topic for all kinds of interesting news on it.

Neil is a great musician but he has his head way up his ass on this one. Read the following and tell me we need another digital file format:

Why 24/192 Makes No Sense

We already have a perfectly fine lossless encoder (FLAC), so why reinvent the wheel? And as far as digital compression goes, I challenge anybody on this board to be able to hear the difference between a lossless music file and one compressed to MP3 320kbs. There is no way the average human ear can hear the difference.

The major problem with digital music is not the format, but in the mastering. What has happened over the last couple of decades is that the dynamic range has been lost due to commercial concerns. Google The Loudness Wars and you will be amazed at what digital recording and remastering has done to the music you loved on vinyl. See the following video:

The Loudness Wars

P.S. Where does Zed get the idea that CDs are analog? If he´s playing them on his turntable, I´m not surprised the sound quality is so bad.




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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by tictoc on Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:54 pm

casi nada wrote:

P.S. Where does Zed get the idea that CDs are analog? If he´s playing them on his turntable, I´m not surprised the sound quality is so bad.
ROLF I think you found the problem.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by HelperGuy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:01 am

Well, first of all Mr. Young's gig is all about the mastering; the format and players are secondary. His book is quite clear on this. Second, it was terrific to get a year's worth of audio theory and math on one big web page, but so what. And finally, the plan is to get the properly-mastered or remastered music out there in a viable format that isn't over compressed and is acceptable to the major studios.

The big problem is that Apple and others have completely forked music over for the sake of sales, and FLAC is never going to be acceptable to the manufacturers of the devices or the record companies. A mass wave is going to be necessary to change the public's perception, and the combination of Pono and music industry deals could do that.

And I'm for anything that improves the situation.


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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by Zedinmexico on Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:38 am

tictoc wrote:Rase you're hand if you remember the HiFi craze... Now it is all about just enough quality to let you stuff as much data as you can...

Yep still have my 1960 JBL 15" woofers in homemade cabinets with update tweeters added in 80s from a set of Infinity Qa speakers. Hey it doesn't
sound bad and you can literally drive it with 5 watts. The stereomaster Scott tube amp finally committed suicide after 30 years in a puff of smoke
and Lord knows where the horrible Garrard automatic rim drive turntable with the worst rumble in the world is as it was replace by an AR manual
belt drive turntable with a V15 Shure sometimes in the 70s. My D50 Audio Research tube amp with added regulated grids I gave to a HAM guy as
I knew he wouldn't kill himself with the tube power supplies like my idiot friends who grabbed the power supply leads on my 100wpc VT100 and
hit the floor shaking. If you don't understand this old tube amps had big time voltage and amps and all was exposed to keep it cool LOL.

Oh yea baby getting excited even thinking about all this LOL. I remember my parents playing the first stereo album and LOL it was a recording of
a ping pong game.

Z




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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by Zedinmexico on Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:58 am

casi nada wrote:
Zedinmexico wrote: And yes I know a CD is actually analog but for this argument pretend it is digital.
Z

Really? Please explain.

Well a CD is closer to a record actually. A laser fires onto a CD. The pits on a CD are like the groves on a record. This pits are interpeted and changed
into numbers (now its digital) and run into a Digital to analog converter to create normal analog sound. A DVD has a laser fired onto it and it picks up
the numbers directly off the disk. So a CD disk is analog and a DVD disk is Digital. Both are involved in digital but only the DVD disk is digital. Don't worry
about it for the discussion it doesn't matter that the CD is not digital . Thinking a CD disk is digital is very common.

Z

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by Zedinmexico on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:04 am

tictoc wrote:
casi nada wrote:

P.S. Where does Zed get the idea that CDs are analog? If he´s playing them on his turntable, I´m not surprised the sound quality is so bad.
ROLF I think you found the problem.


No sorry a CD is analog look it up.

Z

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by casi nada on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:21 am

HelperGuy wrote:Well, first of all Mr. Young's gig is all about the mastering; the format and players are secondary. His book is quite clear on this. Second, it was terrific to get a year's worth of audio theory and math on one big web page, but so what.

Yeah, but so what. The encoding Young is pushing may sound a little worse, and cost quite bit more, but so what? A five minute music file encoded 24/192 might take up 300Mb on your hard drive and not sound any better than a 8Mb MP3 320kbs, but so what? You have to buy a special player to even play the files, rendering obsolete about 300 gazillion CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, IPod, MP3 players, but so what? Young has claimed that in downloading MP3 files you are "only getting 5% of the original music", which means he has no idea how sampling and compression work, and is totally ignorant about the Nyquist Theorem, or is intentionally trying to con gullible consumers, but so what?

Look, get yourself a great pair of headphones and download a well recorded piece of music in .wav (lossless) file and a MP3 320kbs. Listen to both and let us know what you find out. I'll be curious as to what you think (and hear).

Like I said before, the problem today is not with the delivery format, it's with the way records are produced. Most popular songs today have a dynamic range anywhere between 4db and 10db. If Neil can do something about this sad state of affairs, more power to him.

BTW, if you're curious about the dynamic range of your mp3 collection, here's a free analyzer:

Dynamic Range Analyzer

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by Zedinmexico on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:33 am

casi nada wrote:
HelperGuy wrote:Well, first of all Mr. Young's gig is all about the mastering; the format and players are secondary. His book is quite clear on this. Second, it was terrific to get a year's worth of audio theory and math on one big web page, but so what.

Yeah, but so what. The encoding Young is pushing may sound a little worse, and cost quite bit more, but so what? A five minute music file encoded 24/192 might take up 300Mb on your hard drive and not sound any better than a 8Mb MP3 320kbs, but so what? You have to buy a special player to even play the files, rendering obsolete about 300 gazillion CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, IPod, MP3 players, but so what? Young has claimed that in downloading MP3 files you are "only getting 5% of the original music", which means he has no idea how sampling and compression work, and is totally ignorant about the Nyquist Theorem, or is intentionally trying to con gullible consumers, but so what?

Look, get yourself a great pair of headphones and download a well recorded piece of music in .wav (lossless) file and a MP3 320kbs. Listen to both and let us know what you find out. I'll be curious as to what you think (and hear).

Like I said before, the problem today is not with the delivery format, it's with the way records are produced. Most popular songs today have a dynamic range anywhere between 4db and 10db. If Neil can do something about this sad state of affairs, more power to him.

BTW, if you're curious about the dynamic range of your mp3 collection, here's a free analyzer:

Dynamic Range Analyzer


Neil does play a little fast and loose with physics but his heart is in the right place and he can hear. He and Joni Mitchell worked hard on HDCD which adds
more data to a CD on HDCD mastered CD and Players with this feature. He has been trying to make things sound better for quite a while. He does have
quite a bit of influence.

Z


Last edited by Zedinmexico on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:35 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by casi nada on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:34 am

Zedinmexico wrote:
tictoc wrote:
casi nada wrote:

P.S. Where does Zed get the idea that CDs are analog? If he´s playing them on his turntable, I´m not surprised the sound quality is so bad.
ROLF I think you found the problem.


No sorry a CD is analog look it up.

Z

Then why do CD players have a DAC (digital to analog converter)? And why don't turntables?

From How Stuff Works:

As discussed in How Analog and Digital Recording Works,
a CD can store up to 74 minutes of music, so the total amount of digital data that must be stored on a CD is:
44,100 samples/channel/second x 2 bytes/sample x 2 channels x 74 minutes x 60 seconds/minute = 783,216,000 bytes


Inside the CD player, there is a good bit of computer technology
involved in forming the data into understandable data blocks and sending
them either to the DAC (in the case of an audio CD) or to the computer
(in the case of a CD-ROM drive).

The
fundamental job of the CD player is to focus the laser on the track of
bumps. The laser beam passes through the polycarbonate layer, reflects
off the aluminum layer and hits an opto-electronic device that detects
changes in light.
The bumps reflect light differently than the "lands" (the rest of the
aluminum layer), and the opto-electronic sensor detects that change in
reflectivity. The electronics in the drive interpret the changes in
reflectivity in order to read the bits that make up the bytes.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by Zedinmexico on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:37 am

casi nada wrote:
Zedinmexico wrote:
tictoc wrote:
casi nada wrote:

P.S. Where does Zed get the idea that CDs are analog? If he´s playing them on his turntable, I´m not surprised the sound quality is so bad.
ROLF I think you found the problem.


No sorry a CD is analog look it up.

Z

Then why do CD players have a DAC (digital to analog converter)? And why don't turntables?

From How Stuff Works:

As discussed in How Analog and Digital Recording Works,
a CD can store up to 74 minutes of music, so the total amount of digital data that must be stored on a CD is:
44,100 samples/channel/second x 2 bytes/sample x 2 channels x 74 minutes x 60 seconds/minute = 783,216,000 bytes


Inside the CD player, there is a good bit of computer technology
involved in forming the data into understandable data blocks and sending
them either to the DAC (in the case of an audio CD) or to the computer
(in the case of a CD-ROM drive).

The
fundamental job of the CD player is to focus the laser on the track of
bumps. The laser beam passes through the polycarbonate layer, reflects
off the aluminum layer and hits an opto-electronic device that detects
changes in light.
The bumps reflect light differently than the "lands" (the rest of the
aluminum layer), and the opto-electronic sensor detects that change in
reflectivity. The electronics in the drive interpret the changes in
reflectivity in order to read the bits that make up the bytes.


The CD disk is analog. The CD player is digital. Nothing you wrote changes anything I said. Like I said it is a common falacy.

Z

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by casi nada on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:50 am

Zedinmexico wrote:

The CD disk is analog. The CD player is digital. Nothing you wrote changes anything I said. Like I said it is a common falacy.

Z

Oh boy, I think that if I respond to this it's going head to the Octagon.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by HelperGuy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:52 am

casi nada wrote:
HelperGuy wrote:Well, first of all Mr. Young's gig is all about the mastering; the format and players are secondary. His book is quite clear on this. Second, it was terrific to get a year's worth of audio theory and math on one big web page, but so what.

Yeah, but so what. The encoding Young is pushing may sound a little worse, and cost quite bit more, but so what? A five minute music file encoded 24/192 might take up 300Mb on your hard drive and not sound any better than a 8Mb MP3 320kbs, but so what? You have to buy a special player to even play the files, rendering obsolete about 300 gazillion CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, IPod, MP3 players, but so what? Young has claimed that in downloading MP3 files you are "only getting 5% of the original music", which means he has no idea how sampling and compression work, and is totally ignorant about the Nyquist Theorem, or is intentionally trying to con gullible consumers, but so what?

Look, get yourself a great pair of headphones and download a well recorded piece of music in .wav (lossless) file and a MP3 320kbs. Listen to both and let us know what you find out. I'll be curious as to what you think (and hear).

Like I said before, the problem today is not with the delivery format, it's with the way records are produced. Most popular songs today have a dynamic range anywhere between 4db and 10db. If Neil can do something about this sad state of affairs, more power to him.

BTW, if you're curious about the dynamic range of your mp3 collection, here's a free analyzer:

Dynamic Range Analyzer
Well, thanks for all the tips. I guess the 20 years I spent running a recording studio in Canada was for naught.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by casi nada on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:16 am

Zedinmexico wrote:
casi nada wrote:
Zedinmexico wrote: And yes I know a CD is actually analog but for this argument pretend it is digital.
Z

Really? Please explain.

Well a CD is closer to a record actually. A laser fires onto a CD. The pits on a CD are like the groves on a record. This pits are interpeted and changed
into numbers (now its digital) and run into a Digital to analog converter to create normal analog sound. A DVD has a laser fired onto it and it picks up
the numbers directly off the disk. So a CD disk is analog and a DVD disk is Digital. Both are involved in digital but only the DVD disk is digital. Don't worry
about it for the discussion it doesn't matter that the CD is not digital . Thinking a CD disk is digital is very common.

Z

So according to you, the CD player needs an ADC (analog to digital conversion) if at any point you are dealing with an analog signal. The problem is, CD players don't have ADC. Want to know why? Because at no point in the translation process of the laser converting the "bumps" on the CD is an analog signal produced. If an analog signal is produced at any moment of the process, then the DAC is not needed. Right?

And by the way, DVDs work in much the same way. You said that "A DVD has a laser fired onto it and it picks up the numbers directly off the disk" What?

Are you just making this shit up as you go along or are you a really clever person that is just f***ing with my head?

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by espíritu del lago on Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:33 am

Great topic... popcorn anyone??
avatar
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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by HelperGuy on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:07 am

casi nada wrote:
HelperGuy wrote:Well, first of all Mr. Young's gig is all about the mastering; the format and players are secondary. His book is quite clear on this. Second, it was terrific to get a year's worth of audio theory and math on one big web page, but so what.

Yeah, but so what. The encoding Young is pushing may sound a little worse, and cost quite bit more, but so what? A five minute music file encoded 24/192 might take up 300Mb on your hard drive and not sound any better than a 8Mb MP3 320kbs, but so what? You have to buy a special player to even play the files, rendering obsolete about 300 gazillion CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, IPod, MP3 players, but so what? Young has claimed that in downloading MP3 files you are "only getting 5% of the original music", which means he has no idea how sampling and compression work, and is totally ignorant about the Nyquist Theorem, or is intentionally trying to con gullible consumers, but so what?

Look, get yourself a great pair of headphones and download a well recorded piece of music in .wav (lossless) file and a MP3 320kbs. Listen to both and let us know what you find out. I'll be curious as to what you think (and hear).

Like I said before, the problem today is not with the delivery format, it's with the way records are produced. Most popular songs today have a dynamic range anywhere between 4db and 10db. If Neil can do something about this sad state of affairs, more power to him.

BTW, if you're curious about the dynamic range of your mp3 collection, here's a free analyzer:

Dynamic Range Analyzer
Sorry, not trying to be flip about the audio specs; it's just that they don't mean a lot in this context. No one is trying to con anyone. Future players will include all the existing formats, and there's a big plus: Apple and Microsoft would have you locked into their formats, and that's just not fair. And the music will still be available in existing formats, so there's no loss for anyone, only rewards.

The encoding will not sound worse; let's hope it sounds better and conforms to the creators' ideals for mastering and distribution. And why would it cost more? The whole point is to have the music industry completely involved, and thus mass distribution helps everyone. He's got the contacts, I believe.

I only use Sennheisers for my cans, and while there are lots of good headphones out there, pairing them with my Onkyo equipment gives me a fairly good idea of what good sound can be.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by Zedinmexico on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:08 am

casi nada wrote:
Zedinmexico wrote:
casi nada wrote:
Zedinmexico wrote: And yes I know a CD is actually analog but for this argument pretend it is digital.
Z

Really? Please explain.

Well a CD is closer to a record actually. A laser fires onto a CD. The pits on a CD are like the groves on a record. This pits are interpeted and changed
into numbers (now its digital) and run into a Digital to analog converter to create normal analog sound. A DVD has a laser fired onto it and it picks up
the numbers directly off the disk. So a CD disk is analog and a DVD disk is Digital. Both are involved in digital but only the DVD disk is digital. Don't worry
about it for the discussion it doesn't matter that the CD is not digital . Thinking a CD disk is digital is very common.

Z

So according to you, the CD player needs an ADC (analog to digital conversion) if at any point you are dealing with an analog signal. The problem is, CD players don't have ADC. Want to know why? Because at no point in the translation process of the laser converting the "bumps" on the CD is an analog signal produced. If an analog signal is produced at any moment of the process, then the DAC is not needed. Right?

And by the way, DVDs work in much the same way. You said that "A DVD has a laser fired onto it and it picks up the numbers directly off the disk" What?

Are you just making this shit up as you go along or are you a really clever person that is just f***ing with my head?


And you probably think a Laserdisk is digital it is not it is an analog medium along with a CD disk.

A CD has pits in it but it represents an analog signal. A DVD represents digits directly off the disk. A CD players takes this analog signal
and converts it to digits. Yes CD players have D to A converters in them. I am not yanking your chain. It takes the analog
signal off the CD and converts it to digital. Every CD player I have had has a D to A converter in it and yes DVD player have D to A convertors.
If you were correct audiophiles would not have seperate CD transports and Seperate D to A convertors. The digital signal is created
off the analog CD and sent through optical or copper methods to the D to A converter in a seperate box. Yes the CD Player takes the analog
signal from the CD disk and converts it to digital and than it goes to a D to A converter and output analog signal through the RCA jacks. Why
would I kid you guy??? As I said before it is a common piece of mis-knowledge. You will have to go deeper than how things work to understand
a CD player they left out some stuff. Yes I simplified how a DVD works that doesn't mean I don't know how it works. See I shouldn't have said
a thing cause you folks think that a CD disk is analog even when I show you why it is not it is analog. A Cd player is actually a discrete device
designed to play CD. A DVD or Blueray player is actually pretty much a full computer that does the work. Very different creatures.

Z

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by casi nada on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:43 am

Zedinmexico wrote:
And you probably think a Laserdisk is digital it is not it is an analog medium along with a CD disk.

A CD has pits in it but it represents an analog signal. A DVD represents digits directly off the disk. A CD players takes this analog signal
and converts it to digits. Yes CD players have D to A converters in them. I am not yanking your chain. It takes the analog
signal off the CD and converts it to digital. Every CD player I have had has a D to A converter in it and yes DVD player have D to A convertors.

Z

Please show me any evidence at all that an analog signal is produced by a CD player before DAC processing. And don't just start talking, please. I will shut up if you can link to any study, article, or whatever, that will show us that an analog signal is produced in a CD player at the time of reading of the disc. Anything. I beg you. Anything.

As humans, we perceive the world in analog. Everything we see and
hear is a continuous transmission of information to our senses. This
continuous stream is what defines analog data. Digital information, on the other hand, estimates analog data using only ones and zeros.


For example, a turntable (or record player) is an analog device,
while a CD player is digital. This is because a turntable reads bumps
and grooves from a record as a continuous signal, while a CD player only
reads a series of ones and zeros.


Please refute this.

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Re: I hate digital...Why?

Post by viajero on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:47 am

What a mind numbing thread,just put the freaking CD in your player and listen to your music.


Last edited by viajero on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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