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  1. #1
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    HDCD. is it that good?

    Is there a big difference between listening to a HDCD on a HDCD cd player compared to listeing to it on a regular cd player not picking up the HDCD coding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duds
    Is there a big difference between listening to a HDCD on a HDCD cd player compared to listeing to it on a regular cd player not picking up the HDCD coding?
    No. The best that HDCD can do is slighly lower noise in the high frequencies (at the cost of higher noise in the lower frequencies). At best, you might hear less noise in very quiet passages (with HDCD decoding). This improvement could never happen with older reissues or any popular music.

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    So it really shouldnt deter me from buying a cd player that does not do HDCD?

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    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Like THX,if its got it,fine but i wouldnt woory about it. DTS Music Disc,even if its more money soulds wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy better.
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  5. #5
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    No. The best that HDCD can do is slighly lower noise in the high frequencies (at the cost of higher noise in the lower frequencies). At best, you might hear less noise in very quiet passages (with HDCD decoding). This improvement could never happen with older reissues or any popular music.
    Duds- All the HDCD's that I have do sound very good on my HDCD player (Denon DCM-370) and I would say noticeably better overall than CD's. However, the HDCD's do also tend to sound very good on non-HDCD players, so I can't say for certain whether it is the HDCD encoding that makes them better or just that more care tends to go into mastering HDCD releases. I have listened carefully to the difference between using the Denon's HDCD DAC providing an analog out (HDCD decoded) to my receiver (Yamaha V800) vs. outputting a digital signal and letting the Yamaha do the DAC (no HDCD decoding). The Yami sounds brittle compared to the Denon. Perhaps, the HDCD decoding is providing a better-resolved sound. That's what I'd like to believe, and is the reason I think HDCD players are superior.

    I don't quite understand RobotCzar's comments. HDCD is supposed to provide greater (20bit) dynamic resolution over CD (16bit). I fail to see why a greater dynamic resolution should bias noise at any particular frequency range. Maybe he can explain. Seems to me that if you believe that 24bit is better than 20 is better than 16, then HDCD is likely superior to CD. No one claims DVD-A has more noise at lower frequencies...

    I would disagree with shokhead. HDCD is a format and is not like THX, which is a certification standard. I think there is likely an improvement with HDCD being a marginally superior format, whereas THX certification just means everything is functioning like it was designed to.

    It can be difficult to find HDCD disks. And since Microsoft acquired HDCD, I expect them to turn it into an inferior, and over protected technology like many of their offerings, but that is a different rant.

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    Mike Oldfield's back catalogue has been remastered to HDCD and if you compare the original recording of tublar bells with the HDCD remaster you will hear the difference quite clearly, the HDCD remaster has more detail and better rendition of the dynamics of the piece. If you have a HDCD capable CD spinner I would recommend using it whenever possible, no arguments this is just my ears telling me this.
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    Did some testing last night

    So i am thinking about buying this Rotel RCD-971 from a guy i work with. I brought it home to listen to it last night. I hooked it up with analog cables.

    I found some HDCDs in my collection. One was Neil Young's newest greatest hits. The cd sounded great on the rotel, so i wanted to see if it was the HDCD that was doing it. So i popped it into a cheap RCA dvd player I am borrowing which is hooked up digitally to my Marantz SR-7000 receiver. I dont think I could tell any difference between the two if I had to do a blind test.

    Now dont get me wrong, this cd sounded 100 times better than Neil Young decade, but I dont think it was because of the HDCD coding.

  8. #8
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    I have encoded a few Gospel projects in HDCD, and in some cases there was an audible improvement, and in others you couldn't tell if the recording or mastering job was more beneficial than the encoding itself. High rez audio should make this encoding moot.

    To me HDCD was just another bandaid(along with dither) to help make a inherently flawed format to sound better than it could on its own.
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    I use an audio alchemy DTI32 16-24-bit interpolater/jitter reducer with a DDEV3.0 HDCD D/A with I2S cable and powered Data Steam Transmission co-ax cable with a Rotal RCD-1070 as one source, and HDCD is definitely an improvement.

    Listen to Blue Man Group "Audio" HDCD
    History of Horror- City of Prague Philharmonic orchestra (DD/HDCD recording)
    Or any of the The DOORs remastered HDCD's

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    Are you saying HDCD is an improvement over the original recording? If so, i agree, but i couldn't tell the difference between HDCD being played on an HDCD player compared to the same cd being played on a non HDCD player.

  11. #11
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Because were are told,yes this is the difference and that is the difference so it must be better,it is on paper but how many of these things do we really hear?
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  12. #12
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenakamichi
    I use an audio alchemy DTI32 16-24-bit interpolater/jitter reducer with a DDEV3.0 HDCD D/A with I2S cable and powered Data Steam Transmission co-ax cable with a Rotal RCD-1070 as one source, and HDCD is definitely an improvement.

    Listen to Blue Man Group "Audio" HDCD
    History of Horror- City of Prague Philharmonic orchestra (DD/HDCD recording)
    Or any of the The DOORs remastered HDCD's
    Nice stuff, but I have to ask. Are your sure it is the HDCD encoding, or just good mastering by the mastering engineer? From my experience, the better the live or studio recording and post mastering is, the less difference HDCD made on the end product.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by noddin0ff
    I don't quite understand RobotCzar's comments. HDCD is supposed to provide greater (20bit) dynamic resolution over CD (16bit). I fail to see why a greater dynamic resolution should bias noise at any particular frequency range. Maybe he can explain. Seems to me that if you believe that 24bit is better than 20 is better than 16, then HDCD is likely superior to CD. No one claims DVD-A has more noise at lower frequencies...
    You cannot provide 20 bit "resolution" with 16 bits regardless of what marketing departments say. The idea is to trade some noise in the frequencies that our ears are less sensitive to (very high freqs) for better noise in the frequencies that our ears are sensitive to (upper middle). Under ideal conditions, processing like HDCD lowers noise in the sensitive band "up to" 18 or 19 bit performance at those frequencies.

    Note that this does nothing to improve the quality of what you hear beyond potentially lowering noise. Even this would only apply to high quality jazz and classical recordings that have music that requires such a noise floor and were recorded to be very quiet. Forget about any effect with reissues because they do not have a low enough noise floor to start with (the noise is in the original recording).

    It has been shown that recording companies using HDCD have tampered with the sound to make the HDCDs sound "better". That is probably the source of the "improvements" you hear. As to whether or not the remix sounds better, that is up to the listener--but it has nothing to do with the HDCD process regarding simulated "20 bit performance". The same "improvement" can be achieved with a fancy equalizer. In short, the music is processed to sound more applealing that the original recording.

  14. #14
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    You cannot provide 20 bit "resolution" with 16 bits regardless of what marketing departments say. The idea is to trade some noise in the frequencies that our ears are less sensitive to (very high freqs) for better noise in the frequencies that our ears are sensitive to (upper middle). Under ideal conditions, processing like HDCD lowers noise in the sensitive band "up to" 18 or 19 bit performance at those frequencies.
    You can get 20bit performance from a 16bit signal. Dts does with their encode/decode process. By moving the noise from the audible range into the inaudible range, you lower the noise floor within the audible range. By moving approximately 24db worth of noise to an inaudible range, you can squeeze an extra 4bits out of a 16bit signal. So in the end, you are getting 20bit resolution from a 16bit signal. That is just one of the processes in HDCD



    Note that this does nothing to improve the quality of what you hear beyond potentially lowering noise. Even this would only apply to high quality jazz and classical recordings that have music that requires such a noise floor and were recorded to be very quiet. Forget about any effect with reissues because they do not have a low enough noise floor to start with (the noise is in the original recording).
    Actually is does improve the quality of what you hear. The noise whether it is tape hiss, or noise from the console, mikes, pre-amps etc, can change the timbral characteristics of certain acoustical and amped instruments. By pushing that noise up in frequency(much the way SACD does) you can restore the natural timbre back into these kinds of instruments. The genre of music is insignificant.

    It has been shown that recording companies using HDCD have tampered with the sound to make the HDCDs sound "better". That is probably the source of the "improvements" you hear. As to whether or not the remix sounds better, that is up to the listener--but it has nothing to do with the HDCD process regarding simulated "20 bit performance". The same "improvement" can be achieved with a fancy equalizer. In short, the music is processed to sound more applealing that the original recording.
    Sometimes "tampering"(engineers call it a more appropriate sweetening) is necessary to make softer instruments heard over louder instruments, or to bring certain passages forward in a mix. Eq is "tampering" and it is totally necessary in many cases to use. Limiting and compression is "tampering", but it is required to get signals recorded in 24bit through a 16bit pipleline. Eq's cannot acheive this, as they alter the amplitude of everything, not just the noise floor.

    HDCD process is valid, tested, and when measured, you can see the process at work. It can definately lower the noise floor, and correct amplitude and spatial errors. On some material the improvements it imparts on the audio signal is audible, and sometimes it is not. What it is not is some marketing scheme as one conspiracy theorist proports. If it doesn't work, they won't sell any liscenses, and that is all there is to it. They appear to be still selling liscenses, so what does that tell you.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    HDCD process is valid, tested, and when measured, you can see the process at work. It can definately lower the noise floor, and correct amplitude and spatial errors. On some material the improvements it imparts on the audio signal is audible, and sometimes it is not. What it is not is some marketing scheme as one conspiracy theorist proports. If it doesn't work, they won't sell any liscenses, and that is all there is to it. They appear to be still selling liscenses, so what does that tell you.
    I'll just be happy when there's a common format that can render high frequencies more lifelike than the sterility of redbook.

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  16. #16
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Were those you're thoughts the first time you listened to a cd?
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  17. #17
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    I'll just be happy when there's a common format that can render high frequencies more lifelike than the sterility of redbook.

    rw
    SACD and DVD-A are those formats. I have never been happy with the way muted brass, or any instrument rich in high frequency harmonics sounded through redbook CD.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by shokhead
    Were those you're thoughts the first time you listened to a cd?
    No. My first thoughts back in the early eighties were that CDs sounded absolutely dreadful. The sound was thin, dry and hard as glass. Nothing like the Soundstream master digital tapes I heard during the recording of the ASO's Firebird. The first generation CD player I had (Philips or Magnavox something) was horrible.

    Today, however, the hardware has greatly improved and the result is quite good. It took the engineers two decades, however, to really figure out how to make the standard work, within its limitations. The redbook standard is still not "perfect sound forever" unless you hold the bar low. Having said that, "good" sound today can be achieved quite inexpensively..

    rw

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    You can get 20bit performance from a 16bit signal. Dts does with their encode/decode process. By moving the noise from the audible range into the inaudible range, you lower the noise floor within the audible range. By moving approximately 24db worth of noise to an inaudible range, you can squeeze an extra 4bits out of a 16bit signal. So in the end, you are getting 20bit resolution from a 16bit signal. That is just one of the processes in HDCD
    Are you sure oyu don't work for a marketing department? Nothing I have every read about can "move" 24 db of noise from the audible range to the inaudible. Hell, why not record one bit and move all the noise out of the audible range? Heck, I thought redbook audio has such as narrow range that there is nowhere "inaudbile" to move things to. In short, I stand by my statement that noise is not moved to an inaudible range, but to a less audible one. Also, they never achive 20-bit performance even in the reduction range. If anybody really cares, I will provide references to article that will tell you the real story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Actually is does improve the quality of what you hear. The noise whether it is tape hiss, or noise from the console, mikes, pre-amps etc, can change the timbral characteristics of certain acoustical and amped instruments. By pushing that noise up in frequency(much the way SACD does) you can restore the natural timbre back into these kinds of instruments. The genre of music is insignificant.
    No. You cannot "improve" the sound "quality" beyond the original recording. You can process it to sound more pleasing (usually to the uncritical). The removal of any noise or tape hiss from the original recording WILL effect the fidelity of the music. You may like it better, there is no accounting for taste. The reviews I have read found distinct distortion (another name for "improvements") of the music in reprocessed releases (I will try to find the references).

    Duh, of course, the genre of the music matters. Pop/rock has a very limited dynamic range so it does not need a large dynamic range, such music also has a distinct lack of very quiet or silent sections in comparison to classical (i.e., you can't hear a lowering of noise in most pop/rock music). You do listen to music? Has this fact escaped your notice? Do you think that the dynamic range of the music doesn't matter in regard to the dynamic range of the playback medium? Don't just contradict me, try to come up with some kind of explanation or better yet a reference or evidence.

    Oh, and in case you didn't notice, we are not talking SACD here we are talking HDCD processed Redbook.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Sometimes "tampering"(engineers call it a more appropriate sweetening) is necessary to make softer instruments heard over louder instruments, or to bring certain passages forward in a mix. Eq is "tampering" and it is totally necessary in many cases to use. Limiting and compression is "tampering", but it is required to get signals recorded in 24bit through a 16bit pipleline. Eq's cannot acheive this, as they alter the amplitude of everything, not just the noise floor.
    Yeah, they do a lot of "sweetening" of re-releases to make it appear that pseudo "20-bit" processing is actually doing something. Once again, there is no accounting for taste. Some people like colorized B&W movies. Why is the new engineer's take more valid than the original engineer's? At least the performer is more likely to be involved in the original mix. Sonic analysis of such processed recordings indicates that the results are very often not subtle, they are often showy so as to make an impression on the unsophisticated listener. It seems to be working.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    HDCD process is valid, tested, and when measured, you can see the process at work. It can definately lower the noise floor, and correct amplitude and spatial errors. On some material the improvements it imparts on the audio signal is audible, and sometimes it is not. What it is not is some marketing scheme as one conspiracy theorist proports. If it doesn't work, they won't sell any liscenses, and that is all there is to it. They appear to be still selling liscenses, so what does that tell you.
    I never implied that the process doesn't work. I have suggested that it does not get even 20-bit quieting under ideal conditions. I have also suggested that what people hear as differences has nothing to do with noise shaping and everything to do will remixing and processing (i.e., filtering and equalizing) the sound to make it flashier and more dramatic--NOT "sonic improvement". Further, if the noise level of the original recording is not 20-bit then noise shaping isn't going to make the recording quieter, gain riding and filtering will. It is deceptive to imply that this type of processing is some kind of "20-bit" processing, it isn't and the part of the process that does work will not make music sound "better".

    Selling licences tells me they have good marketing, what does it tell you? That you can be 20-bit performance from 16-bits? Processing music and claiming audible differences are due to a "20-bit" process is a lie and a scam. No matter how many people you fool.

  20. #20
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    Are you sure oyu don't work for a marketing department? Nothing I have every read about can "move" 24 db of noise from the audible range to the inaudible. Hell, why not record one bit and move all the noise out of the audible range? Heck, I thought redbook audio has such as narrow range that there is nowhere "inaudbile" to move things to. In short, I stand by my statement that noise is not moved to an inaudible range, but to a less audible one. Also, they never achive 20-bit performance even in the reduction range. If anybody really cares, I will provide references to article that will tell you the real story.
    I'd be interested in the articles, if they can be had online. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    No. You cannot "improve" the sound "quality" beyond the original recording. You can process it to sound more pleasing (usually to the uncritical).
    I don't think anyone suggested any improvement over original recording...But what do you mean by more pleasing to the uncritical?
    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    Duh, of course, the genre of the music matters. Pop/rock has a very limited dynamic range so it does not need a large dynamic range, such music also has a distinct lack of very quiet or silent sections in comparison to classical (i.e., you can't hear a lowering of noise in most pop/rock music). You do listen to music? Has this fact escaped your notice? Do you think that the dynamic range of the music doesn't matter in regard to the dynamic range of the playback medium? Don't just contradict me, try to come up with some kind of explanation or better yet a reference or evidence.
    I've been enjoying both sides of this discourse! Really! I'd hate to see it moderated from the forum for deteriorating to uncivil namecalling. Can everyone try to make nice?
    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    Yeah, they do a lot of "sweetening" of re-releases to make it appear that pseudo "20-bit" processing is actually doing something. Once again, there is no accounting for taste. Some people like colorized B&W movies. Why is the new engineer's take more valid than the original engineer's? At least the performer is more likely to be involved in the original mix. Sonic analysis of such processed recordings indicates that the results are very often not subtle, they are often showy so as to make an impression on the unsophisticated listener. It seems to be working.
    I've never really understood what 20-bit processing was supposed to mean, since they still get re-released as Redbook. I assume that that means the analog material was sampled at 20bit then downconverted to 16? But that doesn't make a lot of sense if you could easily sample at 24 and higher rates and then down convert...what's up?

    To me it just seems silly to expect a live performance to be perfectly replicated...for starters where is the imaginary listener sitting (front row? Mezzanine?). So I guess I figure it's always up to the engineer to decide how the release should sound regardless of what was recorded. Sometimes the second engineer is a better artist, sometimes worse. But s/he does get better technology. What do you mean by showy?
    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    I never implied that the process doesn't work. I have suggested that it does not get even 20-bit quieting under ideal conditions.
    From what I understand, you don't get true 16bits from Redbook either. Am I misinformed?

  21. #21
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobotCzar
    Are you sure oyu don't work for a marketing department? Nothing I have every read about can "move" 24 db of noise from the audible range to the inaudible. Hell, why not record one bit and move all the noise out of the audible range? Heck, I thought redbook audio has such as narrow range that there is nowhere "inaudbile" to move things to. In short, I stand by my statement that noise is not moved to an inaudible range, but to a less audible one. Also, they never achive 20-bit performance even in the reduction range. If anybody really cares, I will provide references to article that will tell you the real story.

    I work for myself, and not for anyone else thanks. It seems apparent to me that you know nothing about oversampling, something used in the D/A conversion in CD players for years. HDCD uses an oversampling technique, and 24bit word lengths for their process. They reduce the dynamic range using compression and limiting algorythms during downconversion, then add high frequency dither that is filtered based on the oversampled signal(88.2khz). Since oversampling is utilized in the process(88.2khz becomes the sample rate) the filters only need to cutoff at 44.1khz which is an entire octave higher than redbook cutoff of 22.050khz. The dither is added around the 44.1khz filter to smoothen out and linearize the D/A conversion. So, in essence the dither(noise) is located well above 22.050khz which is out of the range of audibility. The object of the system is to get the noise floor at 20bit performance(-120db below full scale) with a 16bit signal(noise floor is -96db below full scale). You cannot get this kind of performance without moving noise somewhere where it cannot be heard.

    I would like to see the articles that tell the "real" story. Please provide.

    No. You cannot "improve" the sound "quality" beyond the original recording. You can process it to sound more pleasing (usually to the uncritical). The removal of any noise or tape hiss from the original recording WILL effect the fidelity of the music. You may like it better, there is no accounting for taste. The reviews I have read found distinct distortion (another name for "improvements") of the music in reprocessed releases (I will try to find the references).

    Actually you can improve the sound quality. You can oversample which allows you to use filters that are less agressive which improves sound quality. You can move noise from audible frequencies to above human hearing(like SACD does). Are you can use data reduction techniques like Dts's coherent acoustic codec. All of these steps can make make audible improvements to a signal.
    Sonic Solutions has a tape di-hisser that can remove tape hiss without effecting the signal quality of the original analog audio . It is used quite a bit these days with excellent results.
    Lastly, how do you know the distortion is brought on by HDCD's process?. It could have been there BEFORE being processed in HDCD. Since you do NOT know what processes where used in the recording and process chain before encoding, your claims against HDCD are unfounded without direct evidence.

    Duh, of course, the genre of the music matters. Pop/rock has a very limited dynamic range so it does not need a large dynamic range, such music also has a distinct lack of very quiet or silent sections in comparison to classical (i.e., you can't hear a lowering of noise in most pop/rock music). You do listen to music? Has this fact escaped your notice? Do you think that the dynamic range of the music doesn't matter in regard to the dynamic range of the playback medium? Don't just contradict me, try to come up with some kind of explanation or better yet a reference or evidence.
    The type of music being played back is irrelevant. Encoding audio at 16/44.1khz is the same no matter what music is being encoded. Digital formats do not adjust themselves just because the dynamic range of the sample is limited. The format specifications are fixed regardless of the music that is encoded. If a recording is done digitally, you won't here noise pumping, it remains a constant -96db with 16bit encoding. Analog is the only format that has noise floor pumping as a result of gain riding in the recording process, or noise reduction is used.


    Oh, and in case you didn't notice, we are not talking SACD here we are talking HDCD processed Redbook.
    This is a rather obvious point. HDCD processed redbook does do some of the things that SACD does(noise shaping) hence the reference.

    Yeah, they do a lot of "sweetening" of re-releases to make it appear that pseudo "20-bit" processing is actually doing something.
    Do you have any proof of this, or is this more conspiracy rantings?

    Once again, there is no accounting for taste. Some people like colorized B&W movies. Why is the new engineer's take more valid than the original engineer's? At least the performer is more likely to be involved in the original mix. Sonic analysis of such processed recordings indicates that the results are very often not subtle, they are often showy so as to make an impression on the unsophisticated listener. It seems to be working.
    Not going to address this, it nothing but more conspiracy rantings. Can we stick with facts, and not your personal theories(which are VERY often wrong)



    I never implied that the process doesn't work. I have suggested that it does not get even 20-bit quieting under ideal conditions.
    Have you personally measured a bitstream after HDCD processing or is this more of your theories? I have measured after processing, and HDCD does as claimed, the noise floor is -120db which is 20bit performance. There is no way I would buy the plug in to my console if it didn't perform as advertised.

    I have also suggested that what people hear as differences has nothing to do with noise shaping and everything to do will remixing and processing (i.e., filtering and equalizing) the sound to make it flashier and more dramatic--NOT "sonic improvement".
    How can you suggest what differences anyone else hears? Are in in control of their ears and brain. It might sound flashy to you, but better to someone else. Please be careful you are not drawing conclusion for everybody, but just for yourself.


    Further, if the noise level of the original recording is not 20-bit then noise shaping isn't going to make the recording quieter, gain riding and filtering will. It is deceptive to imply that this type of processing is some kind of "20-bit" processing, it isn't and the part of the process that does work will not make music sound "better".
    Gain riding will cause the noise to rise and fall along with the amplitude. It doesn't make recordings quieter. Gain riding raises the amplitude of both the audio, and the noise. Noise shaping DOES improve performance(and sound quality) by moving noise out of the audible band

    http://members.chello.nl/~m.heijlige...l#noiseshaping

    Selling licences tells me they have good marketing, what does it tell you? That you can be 20-bit performance from 16-bits? Processing music and claiming audible differences are due to a "20-bit" process is a lie and a scam. No matter how many people you fool.
    HDCD submitted their white paper to AES in 1996. It has been peer reviewed and not challenged or rebutted. With that said, the white paper says that its system provides 20bit performance with 16bit signals. No one has challenge that assertion except some guy named robotczar on audioreview. Now there are plenty of qualified people in AES who could test the HDCD encoding and publish their findings. No one has. That is because plenty of folks have tested the system(myself included) and have found it performs as specificed by the white paper. You have claimed the system introduces distortion, yet no sound engineer has reported this, and the five gospel albums I have recorded and encoded in HDCD had no distortion after decoding. You have not mentioned the CD that has post decoding errors, or the recording and playback chain's integrety(could it be introducing distortions?), ou have not produced a peer reviewed white paper challenging HDCD claims of 20bit performance. Dts has published a white paper claiming that their codec can get 20bit performance out of 16bit signals. It was tested and verfied true. Dolby also wrote a white paper stated that Dolby digital can get 20bit performance out of 16bit signals. That paper was disproven by another AES member who found that it could really only get 18bit performance. If this was done to Dolby, it can happen to HDCD. It hasn't.

    What is helpful to the discussion of audio is that you bring facts to the table, not conspiracy rantings and theories. It is rather obvious by this post, and several others I have read you have a real problem with this record industry as a whole. That makes you way less than objective in your evaluation of audio technology benefits and drawbacks. It would be very helpful to this discussion if you could provide supporting evidence along with your claims so everyone can distinguish fact from your rantings and theory.
    Last edited by Sir Terrence the Terrible; 03-23-2005 at 03:03 PM.
    Sir Terrence

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    Pacific Microsonics used to require that HDCD players lower the level of plain-CD playback to match playback of HDCD encoded CDs (which is about 6 dB lower). I don't know if Microsoft still requires that or not.. That might be the tampering that RobotCzar is referring to.
    IIRC some HDCD-decoding units offered the option of restoring conventional CDs to full-gain playback.

    As with SACD, DVD-A, 20-bit remastereing, etc, it's premature to claim HDCD-endoded discs sound better *because of* HDCD, given that they're all remasters too, and different mastering choices all by themselves will impart audible differences likely to vastly outweigh other factors. Unless you can eliminate that variable -- compare the *same* mastering chain with and without HDCD processing , preferably blind, with levels matched etc -- then comparisons are invalid.

  23. #23
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krabapple
    Pacific Microsonics used to require that HDCD players lower the level of plain-CD playback to match playback of HDCD encoded CDs (which is about 6 dB lower). I don't know if Microsoft still requires that or not.. That might be the tampering that RobotCzar is referring to.
    IIRC some HDCD-decoding units offered the option of restoring conventional CDs to full-gain playback.
    I wouldn't call this tampering because it is reverseable. If it was not reverseable, then I could see his point.

    As with SACD, DVD-A, 20-bit remastereing, etc, it's premature to claim HDCD-endoded discs sound better *because of* HDCD, given that they're all remasters too, and different mastering choices all by themselves will impart audible differences likely to vastly outweigh other factors. Unless you can eliminate that variable -- compare the *same* mastering chain with and without HDCD processing , preferably blind, with levels matched etc -- then comparisons are invalid.
    What about those of us who have already A/B'ed HDCD(and SACD for that matter) and found that is does have audible improvement on SOME sources(SACD was a audible improvement over all the CD sources I compared it to). Is it too early for us to make up our minds?

    What about all of the engineers who have A/B'd SACD against CD under studio condition, and have thrown their support behind SACD. Is it too soon to make up their minds? HDCD, SACD, and DVD-A have been around long enough for people to make up their minds whether they sound better than redbook CD. Not buying the "too soon" arguement anymore.
    Sir Terrence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    I wouldn't call this tampering because it is reverseable. If it was not reverseable, then I could see his point.



    What about those of us who have already A/B'ed HDCD(and SACD for that matter) and found that is does have audible improvement on SOME sources(SACD was a audible improvement over all the CD sources I compared it to). Is it too early for us to make up our minds?

    What about all of the engineers who have A/B'd SACD against CD under studio condition, and have thrown their support behind SACD. Is it too soon to make up their minds? HDCD, SACD, and DVD-A have been around long enough for people to make up their minds whether they sound better than redbook CD. Not buying the "too soon" arguement anymore.

    Sticking just to *playback* (because 'hi rez' recording has reasonable technical advantages) -- recording 'engineers' usually aren't (engineers, I mean). They don't tend to adhere to scientific standards. I've seen recording and mastering engineers tout some pretty ridiculous products (Shakti stones, anyone?). When you guys have actually published some replicable data from well-done *double blind* comparisons, in, say, the AES journal -- which, curiously, even the *developers* of DSD and DVD-A appear not to have done, why is that? -- *then* it's time to believe. We all know even the the most 'trustworthy' ears can be mislead by normal, inescapable human bias.

  25. #25
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krabapple
    Sticking just to *playback* (because 'hi rez' recording has reasonable technical advantages) -- recording 'engineers' usually aren't (engineers, I mean). They don't tend to adhere to scientific standards. I've seen recording and mastering engineers tout some pretty ridiculous products (Shakti stones, anyone?). When you guys have actually published some replicable data from well-done *double blind* comparisons, in, say, the AES journal -- which, curiously, even the *developers* of DSD and DVD-A appear not to have done, why is that? -- *then* it's time to believe. We all know even the the most 'trustworthy' ears can be mislead by normal, inescapable human bias.
    I do not know any recording engineer who peddles shakti stones, and most of the engineers I know around Los Angeles do not even recommend using them. I don't know where you get your information from. And you cannot make a blanket statement that audio engineers do not adhere to scientific standards, many of them do and have done their own blind comparison before investing in new audio formats.

    Also, I am not here to impress upon you the benefits of any format. You can either recognized that they it sounds better than redbook CD, or you don't. That is your business not mine.

    Lastly, double blind testing may be great for ending arguements, but it is not always the best way to distinguish between what is good, and what is better. They are VERY stressful, and can put you in a state that doesn't allow you to distinguish anything.

    You can't be biased if you don't have an opinion one way or the other anyway.

    You post may play well with the naysayers, but most people don't sit in the naysayers or yeasayers camp. They sit somewhere in between.
    Sir Terrence

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