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Does a computer play a role in sound quality?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Does a computer play a role in sound quality?

This might be a ridiculous question to ask but I figured why not.

I would assume by plugging an audio interface into a computer, the computer has to have some sort of influence on how it processes that information, right?

I am not at all nearly educated in that technical aspect but if someone could chime in, I'd really like to hear some input.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
No. Digital audio = math = X's and 0's. Sound quality comes from audio interface converters and clock.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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octatonic's Avatar
Macs sound better than PCs- that is why you see more Macs in studios than PCs.
Once a computer is more than 5 years old it is vintage and therefore sounds more analogue.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Macs sound better than PCs- that is why you see more Macs in studios than PCs.
Once a computer is more than 5 years old it is vintage and therefore sounds more analogue.
Idk about that, many pros I see are using IBM PC's and have ton of their sample libraries on floppy disks.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterCrayle View Post
Idk about that, many pros I see are using IBM PC's and have ton of their sample libraries on floppy disks.
My Commodore 64 sounded so great they now have sample libraries dedicated to it's sound.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Macs sound better than PCs- that is why you see more Macs in studios than PCs.
Once a computer is more than 5 years old it is vintage and therefore sounds more analogue.
Truer words were never spoken.

In other news, Elvis and Big Foot were spotted at this year's NAMM show whipping up a buzz about their forthcoming Las Vegas show, titled "We believe in you - if you believe in us". Riveting stuff - you heard it here first!
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterCrayle View Post
This might be a ridiculous question to ask but I figured why not.

I would assume by plugging an audio interface into a computer, the computer has to have some sort of influence on how it processes that information, right?

I am not at all nearly educated in that technical aspect but if someone could chime in, I'd really like to hear some input.
The only thing a computer could have an effect on is electrical noise getting on the analog outputs and inputs of the audio interface.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterCrayle View Post
I would assume by plugging an audio interface into a computer, the computer has to have some sort of influence on how it processes that information, right?
the interface has a converter. That is converting the audio waveform to numbers. The computer is writing down those numbers. There is no higher goal for any computer than to write down those numbers correctly. There is no possible way to 'improve' upon correctly. Any computer that did not write down the numbers it was given would be broken.

Fortunately, writing down numbers is what computers are really good at. All computers, Macs, Dells, HPs, Sonys etc etc

Quote:
I am not at all nearly educated in that technical aspect but if someone could chime in, I'd really like to hear some input
Many people who do not understand a technical aspect will drift towards ascribing the technology as magic. Some will even take license to make up their own "theories" about how it works. But computers were built by human beings and some human beings do understand how they work. There is no need to make "guesses" about what is going on.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
Even more important than the sound of computers is the sound of cables, which varies greatly. Since all cables are directional, it is important not to confuse input and output, because you could easily end up with nasty phase cancellations and stuff.

DAWs have a sound, too, but we knew that already.

Overlooked quite often are also the sonic imprints of hard drives. SSDs are the worst since they sound kind of "plastic", just as one would expect. I like to break in my hard disks for a week or two, for that more focused, mature sound.

The OP mentioned that "many pros I see are using IBM PC's and have ton of their sample libraries on floppy disks", which, of course, is true. Nothing much has changed since the early 70s, and seasoned professionals swear by the auditive purity and slim elegance of floppy disks... They never would sacrifice such qualities for speed or convenience. Personally, I am holding on to my Iomega Jaz and Zip drives. I find in particular over SCSI that I can produce that grainy 80s sound in no time.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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octatonic's Avatar
Don't forget that you cannot prepare food anywhere near your studio because... you know.... pan laws.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Even more important than the sound of computers is the sound of cables, which varies greatly. Since all cables are directional, it is important not to confuse input and output, because you could easily end up with nasty phase cancellations and stuff.

DAWs have a sound, too, but we knew that already.

Overlooked quite often are also the sonic imprints of hard drives. SSDs are the worst since they sound kind of "plastic", just as one would expect. I like to break in my hard disks for a week or two, for that more focused, mature sound.

The OP mentioned that "many pros I see are using IBM PC's and have ton of their sample libraries on floppy disks", which, of course, is true. Nothing much has changed since the early 70s, and seasoned professionals swear by the auditive purity and slim elegance of floppy disks... They never would sacrifice such qualities for speed or convenience. Personally, I am holding on to my Iomega Jaz and Zip drives. I find in particular over SCSI that I can produce that grainy 80s sound in no time.
Now this is hilarious
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Macs sound better than PCs- that is why you see more Macs in studios than PCs.
Once a computer is more than 5 years old it is vintage and therefore sounds more analogue.
Ahahahaha!!!

Man, YOU ARE GREAT! You made laugh so good like I can't remember for how long!!!

Damn, how wouldn't one LOVE posts like this! Tell me! How?!

Krešo
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Don't forget that you cannot prepare food anywhere near your studio because... you know.... pan laws.
This one was actually funny!
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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Poinzy's Avatar
 

I find when I turn my computer off, it doesn't make any sound at all. So it's important that a computer have a power button, preferably a vinyl power button.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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biksonije's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogo C View Post
This one was actually funny!
Yes, that's true! This one is the best. Funny, you know, how little is needed to jump-start the heart of fun!

Krešo
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Don't forget that you cannot prepare food anywhere near your studio because... you know.... pan laws.
Wait... are you series ? that's how you write it in English ?!

I ALWAYS thought that it is called "Pen Laws" !! ... because, y'know... pen is analog, and computer is digital !
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Vintage computers have a warmer sound.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by octatonic View Post
Macs sound better than PCs- that is why you see more Macs in studios than PCs.
Once a computer is more than 5 years old it is vintage and therefore sounds more analogue.
Iphones sound better than iMacs since the iPhone is newer.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterCrayle View Post
This might be a ridiculous question to ask but I figured why not.

I would assume by plugging an audio interface into a computer, the computer has to have some sort of influence on how it processes that information, right?

I am not at all nearly educated in that technical aspect but if someone could chime in, I'd really like to hear some input.
Well there is some truth to this but only with respect to clocking and the interface. Not all clocking methods are created equal. This can mean more jitter which can alter the sound. A few examples would be USB interfaces vs a PCI interface with BNC world clock. The word clock is going to be much more stable and is going to sound better.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
Well there is some truth to this but only with respect to clocking and the interface. Not all clocking methods are created equal. This can mean more jitter which can alter the sound. A few examples would be USB interfaces vs a PCI interface with BNC world clock. The word clock is going to be much more stable and is going to sound better.
Good point.

Many people do not know this, but there are hidden parts inside computers that sound better. There actually is an analogue clock inside every computer, but finding it can be difficult. Since I use Macs (they sound more pro, as someone mentioned), I spent a couple of days looking for that clock because I read on GS that analogue clocking is still the best for that warm, round sound. Digital sounds kind of square and edgy. I finally found my clock tucked away in a rarely used program called "System Preferences". I put up a picture of it so people can check if they have something similar in their computers.

Needles to say, since I changed to analogue, my computer sounds glorious!

Old 1 week ago
  #21
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
USB interfaces vs a PCI interface with BNC world clock.
I forgot to mention that since the release of interfaces with world clock, the whole world seems to be more on time and in time. Drummers and violinists in particular play better in time, which makes for a nice change.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
I forgot to mention that since the release of interfaces with world clock, the whole world seems to be more on time and in time. Drummers and violinists in particular play better in time, which makes for a nice change.
And if you wear a wrist watch? That is the ultimate clocking and quality I'd say. :-P

Krešo
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by biksonije View Post
And if you wear a wrist watch? That is the ultimate clocking and quality I'd say. :-P

Krešo
Absolutely!

For this purpose, I got myself a wrist watch with an analogue crankshaft:



"The Switch Watch by TokyoFlash is an innovative watch design that uses a crankshaft system to start up. Wearers can simply crank the shaft to find out what time it is. This dapper looking wrist watch elegantly fuses together vintage technology with modern aesthetic.

Unlike most analogue watches, the Switch Watch functions through a crankshaft system. The watch face comes in a rectangular design with several dozen LED lights that illuminate to tell the wearer the time whenever the above wooden crankshaft is pulled. The time will light up in an analogue fashion with a series of colorful LED lights. The shiny silver look of this watch face with the rubber wrist band creates a minimalistic and clean look that is perfect to pair with business suits, evening outfits and casual clothes."

Illuminating Crankshaft Watches : innovative watch design
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
biksonije's Avatar
 

Hahahaha, crankshaft! Yeah!!!

You can have both watch, clock and render for pumpkin (for instance), or potato for rendering it for, emmmm, let's say a sheperd pie!

Hehe...

Krešo
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
Peakae's Avatar
 

BNC = Beans Not Counted?
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
I forgot to mention that since the release of interfaces with world clock, the whole world seems to be more on time and in time. Drummers and violinists in particular play better in time, which makes for a nice change.
oops I meant "word"

Regardless of the typo, USB clocking is not stable compared to other methods. there can be sound quality differences.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Tui
Gear Guru
 
Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
oops I meant "word"

Regardless of the typo, USB clocking is not stable compared to other methods. there can be sound quality differences.
Right on.

The mere fact that there is not a single audio file that could demonstrate such "sound quality differences" shouldn't dissuade anyone from believing in them!

I firmly hold to the conviction, if facts get in the way of a good philosophy or ideology, it is the facts that need to be ignored thoroughly. All our achievements in science came into existence not due to miserly rational thought and experimentation in the real world, but strong feelings and suppositions.

Why test something if you know the outcome already?
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