• 02-11-2004, 03:35 PM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by skeptic
    Pavarotti isn't just about power. There's far more to him. It takes an intense lifelong effort and then only a handful in a generaton ever develop a voice like his. It not only has power, but purity. And it is always completely under control. He has an enormous knowledge of the music he sings and all of the different languages he sings them in. His voice has a distinctive sound of its own. Often though, it is the sheer power of it that impresses me and it comes through even when it isn't loud. He reminds me of a bellowing bull in the greatest sense. Strong and virile. And he also reminds me of Chateau Latour from a great year. Even Placido Domingo whose voice I also greatly enjoy doesn't seem to be in his league. Domingo is more like Chateau Margaux. I feel sorry for those who have not had the opportunity to experience and understand some of life's greatest pleasures. It was one of the fortuitous priveliges that were gifts from my parents. No amount of money would compensate for not having gotten them.

    I have heard Pavarotti, and only on CD. Believe me, it was no pleasure - it was torture! To be perfectly honest, though, I do not care for classical or opera singing. Absolutely I can be wowed by their technical abilities but they all seem to be lacking in anything resembling emotive content. The only piece of music I can think of where I don't skip the vocal parts (or simply not purchase the disc) is Beethoven's Ninth. The voices are part and parcel of the work which is a phenomenal piece of composition.
  • 02-11-2004, 03:41 PM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FLZapped
    The only thing records are good for are hiding the flaws in poorly done recordings.

    -Bruce

    On the flip side, CD's are good at hiding the good qualities in excellent recordings.
  • 02-11-2004, 03:44 PM
    DMK
    I got the others but...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rb122
    Then the dulcimer must be like a drunken third cousin while the psaltery could be like a redheaded stepchild. I'm struggling with their place in the hierarchy and I'm curious also where to place the bandoneon, bouzouki, harmonica, sitar and sackbut. And is the viola a lovely but overweight woman? And we haven't even covered brass instruments! I'm sure the french horn is at the top of that list for you - perhaps it's your Aunt Betty?

    Interesting analogy about heavy metal. Classical reminds me of old Uncle Joe after thanksgiving dinner - slow, heavy laden, those eyelids drooping, and zzzzzzzzzzzzz..... a nice 3 hour nap punctuated by flatulence.

    ...what's a sackbut and a psaltery? Shoot, I had to look at the latter carefully before I was even sure I spelled it correctly!

    Is Uncle Joe's flatulence at least in tune or on cadence? :)
  • 02-12-2004, 05:03 AM
    rb122
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DMK
    ...what's a sackbut and a psaltery? Shoot, I had to look at the latter carefully before I was even sure I spelled it correctly!

    Is Uncle Joe's flatulence at least in tune or on cadence? :)

    Actually, I don't know! I saw them mentioned on the back cover of John Mayall's "The Blues Alone" LP :)

    Yes, Uncle Joe is in perfect harmony. We wouldn't want any creativity.

    I'm working on my hierarchy of instruments and carefully ranking them from "Best" to "Worst". Being an objectivist can be cumbersome but it's very predictable. So far, I've ranked the first 50 instruments. Skeptic will be upset to learn that his beloved violin placed no better than 27th, between the trombone and the contrabass clarinet. The guitar, of course, is the "best" instrument by a long shot, a full 26 places ahead of the violin and 19 ahead of the cello. For simplicity, I placed the classical guitar in the same bracket as the electric even though it doesn't have the expressive quality and is not as "good" an instrument. But I didn't want to get into splitting electric from acoustic instruments. I'm trying to decide if I can place all percussion instruments together or if I have to break them down by snare drum, cymbals, glockenspiel, etc. Once I have all the instruments placed, I'll give the list one last careful recheck and then I'll proclaim it gospel and anyone who disagrees with me just doesn't know anything about music.
  • 02-12-2004, 05:11 AM
    rb122
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DMK
    On the flip side, CD's are good at hiding the good qualities in excellent recordings.

    They're good at changing timbre and tonality as well. CD's are the best at distortion. Must be the "Jitterbug Waltz".
  • 02-12-2004, 09:06 AM
    FLZapped
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DMK
    On the flip side, CD's are good at hiding the good qualities in excellent recordings.


    Are you basing this off of standard records? Or have you all the mixdown masters at your disposal?

    If you are basing this off of a record, then you are hearing higher noise, less channel seperation, more distortion, loaer dynamic range, and more variation in frequency responce from the record. Hardly seems the kind of thing you'd want to make that proclimation from.

    -Bruce
  • 02-12-2004, 09:10 AM
    FLZapped
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rb122
    They're good at changing timbre and tonality as well. CD's are the best at distortion. Must be the "Jitterbug Waltz".


    Really? Please show me the distortion numbers from a CD as compared to a recod and lets see which one is actually lower......

    While were at it, we can also check wow and flutter, frequency responce variation, dynamic range, signal to noise ratio, and channel seperation - all various forms of distortion. I seriously doubt you'll find any vinyl system that can match the cheapest CD player.

    So what do you base this claim off of? Were you there for the recording session, or are you just propagating another urban legend?

    -Bruce
  • 02-12-2004, 09:23 AM
    rb122
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FLZapped
    Are you basing this off of standard records? Or have you all the mixdown masters at your disposal?

    If you are basing this off of a record, then you are hearing higher noise, less channel seperation, more distortion, loaer dynamic range, and more variation in frequency responce from the record. Hardly seems the kind of thing you'd want to make that proclimation from.

    -Bruce

    I would imagine that dmk will respond at some point but since I agree with him, I will answer as well. Certainly I'm basing this off a record some of the time and other times I'm basing it off either hearing the master tape (very rarely) or being at the live event during recording (more often but still rare) or simply comparing the sound of the instruments on CD to the sound of them live (VERY often).

    Measurements may show us one side but listening shows that most CD's I've heard have much higher distortion, more noise, less frequency range, less dynamic range, jitter and other gross sonic anomalies. I can appreciate what's been measured but those specs must apply to the sound before I can give them as much credence as you seem to be able to do.

    This is going to sound like boastfulness but what the heck. I play the guitar. I can tell within a few notes what kind of guitar is being played (electric models/brands) and I know the sound of most electric guitars intimately. When I know that Herb Ellis is playing a Gibson ES-175 and the sound from the CD is a Fender Stratocaster, that's a "gross sonic anomaly" in my book. That's just one example of many. BTW, I use a tubed amplifier for my stereo system mainly because of my experiences with tube and SS guitar amps. A tubed guitar amp allows the sound of the guitar to come through while the SS guitar amp often imposes its own sound, particularly when using an overdrive channel or driving the amp to clipping if there is no overdrive channel. I therefore reasoned, and careful listening has backed me up, that a tubed stereo system amp sounds more like music and less like amplification. The bottom line is that I use my ears to determine what sounds most like real music and that is vinyl and tubes. When I post that CD's sound distorted, I do so because that's what I hear.

    "Give me distortion that simulates reality rather than reality that simulates distortion" i.e give me a undistorted final product and I'll accept the means - at least when it comes to audio!
  • 02-12-2004, 09:29 AM
    rb122
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FLZapped
    Really? Please show me the distortion numbers from a CD as compared to a recod and lets see which one is actually lower......

    While were at it, we can also check wow and flutter, frequency responce variation, dynamic range, signal to noise ratio, and channel seperation - all various forms of distortion. I seriously doubt you'll find any vinyl system that can match the cheapest CD player.

    So what do you base this claim off of? Were you there for the recording session, or are you just propagating another urban legend?

    -Bruce

    Bruce,

    See my last post - looks like we overlapped.

    YOU go ahead and measure all you like. I prefer to listen. The "distortion numbers" from CD's all become painfully apparent upon listening.
  • 02-12-2004, 12:34 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rb122
    The "distortion numbers" from CD's all become painfully apparent upon listening.

    Hey guy, get with the plan ! Don't you know that the numbers prove RBCD is perfect and the only reason the high resolution formats are being developed is because the RB patents are running out? :)

    rw
  • 02-12-2004, 01:26 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jemmamartin
    Why do you prefer vinyl and the 'analog' sound? is digital technology too rigid, lifeless, too 'perfect'?

    Hi Jemma,

    First off I wouldn't say that I prefer vinyl to redbook CD as I regularly listen to both. There is much to like about digitally recorded music. Vinyl is quite frankly a pain in the rear. Clean the disc every time with your vacuum record cleaner. Play one disc at a time. Manually skip over undesired bands. Cue the tonearm at the end. Don't replay bands immediately as it will damage grooves. Endure a range of surface noises not present with digital. So why put up with all that? I find the current RBCD standard lacking in two areas: low level resolution and complex high frequency harmonic capability. I see no inherent problem with digitally recording music per se. Look back at how the current 44.1 khz / 14 bit standard came to be. The engineers were initially given a hard limit on how much data could be put on the media: 640 MB. It was the marketing folks who proclamated that the initial high expense of digital would require at least one carrot for the mainstream audience : extended playing time. It was decreed that CDs needed to play at least 70 minutes. With those technical fences built around the concept, the resolution standard was pretty much determined long before the audio engineers even started. One of the first commercial digital recording processes was pioneered by Dr. Thomas Stockham (who recently passed away, BTW) and used by Telarc Recordings as early as 1977. Starting from a clean slate and no such limitations, his Soundstream process used both a higher sample rate (50 khz) and longer word length (16 bits).

    Digital recording is essentially a connect-the-dots picture. For every sample in time, there are a fixed number of dots. The scheme works best at both high levels where all the bits are firing and at lower frequencies where the signal is simpler. There are plenty of dots to create the impression of an unbroken line. The worst case scenarios are soft passages where the number of bits firing is significantly lower than 14 and musical passages containing complex high frequencies with significant harmonic content. The result of the former is that digital goes deaf. It fails to quantizize or recognize material below a certain level and loses the faintest passages. Since most music is compressed, this factor is only evident on very high quality recordings, usually classical. Even through surface noise, analog resolves musical information below the noise floor. There is a natural "air" to live unamplified music due to unrestrained bandwidth and dynamic range. While most analog doesn't generally have the dynamic range of digital, it can possess a more open high frequency response. I have several high quality Telarc and Windham Hill recordings in both formats. The difference is clear.

    As a computer engineer, I am confident that the current limitations are simply governed by computer storage standards... and those are constantly improving. The DVD disc on which the new high resolution standards are based contains as much as fifteen times as much data as the original CD format. There are experimental formats that greatly exceed that. I very much like the idea of having a central repository for all music devoid of even the concept of a disk where one can easily and quickly access any musical selection. I have ripped all my CDs to MP3 and store them on my computer. I enjoy having MusicMatch randomly pick music from my collection. I look forward to the day when I can have the best of both worlds.

    rw
  • 02-12-2004, 01:36 PM
    rb122
    Yes, I've heard that
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Hey guy, get with the plan ! Don't you know that the numbers prove RBCD is perfect and the only reason the high resolution formats are being developed is because the RB patents are running out? :)

    rw

    I just didn't know perfection had so many faults and limitations! :)
  • 02-12-2004, 05:32 PM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by FLZapped
    Are you basing this off of standard records? Or have you all the mixdown masters at your disposal?

    If you are basing this off of a record, then you are hearing higher noise, less channel seperation, more distortion, loaer dynamic range, and more variation in frequency responce from the record. Hardly seems the kind of thing you'd want to make that proclimation from.

    -Bruce

    But with CD's, I'm hearing more grain, more etch, more glare, jitter, tonal imbalances, lack of low level resolution and more distortion. CD's generally make it a pretty simple task to make the statement I did. For all the measurable problems vinyl has, it's amazing that it's still the medium to beat for quality sonics. When and if I ever find anything that sounds better than the 45 RPM LP's I own, I'll be shocked but happy. But yes, standard records generally beat CD's in the sonics department as well. And at around $1-2 a pop at the used record stores, they're economical as well compared to $14-15 CD's (or even $8 used copies).
  • 02-12-2004, 05:41 PM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Hi Jemma,

    First off I wouldn't say that I prefer vinyl to redbook CD as I regularly listen to both. There is much to like about digitally recorded music. Vinyl is quite frankly a pain in the rear. Clean the disc every time with your vacuum record cleaner. Play one disc at a time. Manually skip over undesired bands. Cue the tonearm at the end. Don't replay bands immediately as it will damage grooves. Endure a range of surface noises not present with digital. So why put up with all that? I find the current RBCD standard lacking in two areas: low level resolution and complex high frequency harmonic capability. I see no inherent problem with digitally recording music per se. Look back at how the current 44.1 khz / 14 bit standard came to be. The engineers were initially given a hard limit on how much data could be put on the media: 640 MB. It was the marketing folks who proclamated that the initial high expense of digital would require at least one carrot for the mainstream audience : extended playing time. It was decreed that CDs needed to play at least 70 minutes. With those technical fences built around the concept, the resolution standard was pretty much determined long before the audio engineers even started. One of the first commercial digital recording processes was pioneered by Dr. Thomas Stockham (who recently passed away, BTW) and used by Telarc Recordings as early as 1977. Starting from a clean slate and no such limitations, his Soundstream process used both a higher sample rate (50 khz) and longer word length (16 bits).

    Digital recording is essentially a connect-the-dots picture. For every sample in time, there are a fixed number of dots. The scheme works best at both high levels where all the bits are firing and at lower frequencies where the signal is simpler. There are plenty of dots to create the impression of an unbroken line. The worst case scenarios are soft passages where the number of bits firing is significantly lower than 14 and musical passages containing complex high frequencies with significant harmonic content. The result of the former is that digital goes deaf. It fails to quantizize or recognize material below a certain level and loses the faintest passages. Since most music is compressed, this factor is only evident on very high quality recordings, usually classical. Even through surface noise, analog resolves musical information below the noise floor. There is a natural "air" to live unamplified music due to unrestrained bandwidth and dynamic range. While most analog doesn't generally have the dynamic range of digital, it can possess a more open high frequency response. I have several high quality Telarc and Windham Hill recordings in both formats. The difference is clear.

    As a computer engineer, I am confident that the current limitations are simply governed by computer storage standards... and those are constantly improving. The DVD disc on which the new high resolution standards are based contains as much as fifteen times as much data as the original CD format. There are experimental formats that greatly exceed that. I very much like the idea of having a central repository for all music devoid of even the concept of a disk where one can easily and quickly access any musical selection. I have ripped all my CDs to MP3 and store them on my computer. I enjoy having MusicMatch randomly pick music from my collection. I look forward to the day when I can have the best of both worlds.

    rw

    DMK (holding a Budweiser and all choked up with emotion): I LOVE you, MAN!!!!!

    Of course, I'm choked up mainly because it's a Bud instead of a Guiness Stout :)

    I've often missed the posts of Dougman who used to post here about a year and a half ago. He was an engineer well schooled in both analog and digital and he was able to refute a lot of the digital measurement crowd's arguments. Me, I just listen. I'm not anti-digital; I simply find vinyl more sonically accurate and more listenable. In fact, I praise digital everytime I find a CD who's vinyl counterpart has been long OOP and that I thought I never find. Many jazz CD's have bonus tracks as well.

    When a medium that is superior to vinyl catches on and takes off, I'll be one of the first vinyl advocates on board. I'll still listen to vinyl but I'll purchase much less of it. RBCD is NOT that medium.
  • 02-13-2004, 05:21 AM
    rb122
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DMK
    DMK (holding a Budweiser and all choked up with emotion): I LOVE you, MAN!!!!!

    Of course, I'm choked up mainly because it's a Bud instead of a Guiness Stout :)

    I've often missed the posts of Dougman who used to post here about a year and a half ago. He was an engineer well schooled in both analog and digital and he was able to refute a lot of the digital measurement crowd's arguments. Me, I just listen. I'm not anti-digital; I simply find vinyl more sonically accurate and more listenable. In fact, I praise digital everytime I find a CD who's vinyl counterpart has been long OOP and that I thought I never find. Many jazz CD's have bonus tracks as well.

    When a medium that is superior to vinyl catches on and takes off, I'll be one of the first vinyl advocates on board. I'll still listen to vinyl but I'll purchase much less of it. RBCD is NOT that medium.

    What happened to Dougman?

    I'm with you on your last paragraph. And it appears from E-stat's post that 16/44.1 is not sufficient to accurately reproduce music. There's a great thread about this at Digital Domain that Sir Terrence is involved with and you should check that out.
  • 02-14-2004, 07:50 AM
    DMK
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rb122
    What happened to Dougman?

    I'm with you on your last paragraph. And it appears from E-stat's post that 16/44.1 is not sufficient to accurately reproduce music. There's a great thread about this at Digital Domain that Sir Terrence is involved with and you should check that out.

    I don't know - he just split and never came back. He was great to have around because he had the ears to recognize the superiority of vinyl and the knowledge to show the specs where CD fails and was able to use those specs to describe WHY CD's fail. This board is less well off because of his absence. He sold me an old Technics turntable for a bedroom system I used to have. I was dubious but I bought it ($50) and it is still good enough to beat the pants off most CD's, although not as good as my VPI. My kids now use it.
  • 12-30-2007, 03:30 AM
    mikkelbreiler
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rb122
    ...I've bought a thousand or two LP's in the last few years and only perhaps three dozen CD's. In all but a few cases, the LP sounds accurate and the CD sounds distorted.

    I know there are good CD's out there and that would presuppose that the medium is not at fault. I guess that matters. However, when the final products that I buy or hear sound sonically compromised, the fact that a few good CD's are in existence isn't a cure.

    The fact that so few cds sound great is just one symptom that something is wrong. Voices in ads sound extremely unnatural to me and the fact that commercial breaks are a dozen an hour on tv and all audio levels of those breaks are about 3 times louder than any sane listening level for the programme material I really hate just about every second person in the broadcast business, on radio at least the level is the same.

    The problem is not that audio CDs can sound good, but that most of them do not. And I am seeing this trend in radio and tv as well. I am almost 38 I grew up listening to analog then digital and it took me until 1989 until I allowed a CD player into my setup, and not until 1994 did I buy CDs over vinyl, I was running out of places to buy the vinyl locally. In the last 4 years I am buying vinyl online, and I am finding it more easy to find new issues on vinyl and when I have the choice I choose the vinyl because I get to hear the CD versions whereever else I go, but at home I then have the choice of putting on an entirely different soundexperience.

    I can't turn back time like Belinda Carlyle, but I do wish I could go between the times and pick the best of both digital and analog at any time. But with corporations it is always about controlling the masses and cheapening the product, never the art itself. Few companies still have heart behind what they do.

    I often wonder what Berry Gordy felt when he sold out to RCA.....

    Mikkel
  • 01-01-2008, 12:20 PM
    BRANDONH
    Opened a can of worms
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jemmamartin
    HI! i'm in my final year at uni in brighton, uk. I'm studying digital music and for my final project i did an essay on Analog vs. digital technology, and for my practical work i'm trying to figure out what i'm going to do in relation to my essay. Basically what i would like is for people to give me their views on analog equipment, more in terms of listening to, rather than purely technical stuff. Why do you prefer vinyl and the 'analog' sound? is digital technology too rigid, lifeless, too 'perfect'? Feel free to express all your opinions, it's all good and will help me out a great deal. Thanks for your time

    Well I have them both CD & Vinyl from the same composer, orchestra band etc..
    Sometimes the CD sounds better that the Vinyl and vis versa
    This is an age old question with no definite answer and I have yet to see an argument posted with a clear winner.
    My self I prefer Vinyl over CD but thats me.
    But at this very moment I am playing 30 licks on CD.
    You will have to let your ears aid you in your research.
    I recommend this album because it comes in CD and Vinyl,
    you should get them both and and see what you think.


    http://store.acousticsounds.com/imag...G/ASTR-104.jpg
    http://store.acousticsounds.com/brow...Title_ID=39987
    http://store.acousticsounds.com/brow...Title_ID=39979
    We would love to hear your assessment.
    Before you turn in the paper please see if you can post a PDF of it or something