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Famous Fun Thread: Analog v. Digital--Which is "The King" of great sound quality
Old 16th July 2005
  #31
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Johnny B's Avatar
 

Perhaps with one or two exceptions, most IC-based systems sound like ass when compared to discrete systems, IMHO.

But the major culprits responsible for the deplorable sound of digital has to do with the weak A-to-D and D-to-A conversion chips; the lame ass, obsolete, and emasculated CD format; and the jerkwater engineers who came up with this crap.

These propeller-headed engineers should all be taken out and forced to listen to MP3's until they all get headaches while they are being flogged, this would be appropriate punishment for perpetrating a massive fraud on the world.

Only recently are these engineer prickheads publishing their large list of "anomalies" on the web. (i.e. see: http://search.analog.com/search/defa...alies&local=en ) (BTW..I do not mean to single out AD, *all* the chip makers are equally at fault)

They all must have "tin ears" so we should flog them, flog 'em all unmercifully until they get it right.

"Ear People" and all those who are serious about "Digital Sound Quality" deserve better and have a God-given right to demand better.

When the "Ear People" and digital sound's harshest critics such as Walter Sear are happy, the entire world will be happy.
Old 16th July 2005
  #32
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

ADACs are no more to blame than poor tone arms and needles for vinyl... what do you REALLY expect for a $35 CD player?!? i mean COME ON!
Old 16th July 2005
  #33
Gear Head
 

MP 3 (Mangled Phonics gen3) Oh well it kinda goes along with the advent of the IPOO or whatever the hell its called!!!
Got to admit it though the IPOO did kill the "Boom Box".
Live = Analog
Reproduced = Analog, Digital
Duplicated = Digital
Recreating the experience = "priceless" - cause it just cant be done!!
It sure is fun trying though!!
Old 16th July 2005
  #34
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

i dont give a **** about walter sears.... its a tired old curmudgeon.... my focus definately isnt on making him happy.

so i assume by your statement george massenburg doesnt have "ears"?

there is NO FORMAT that isnt in constant evolution.... even analog is evolving, however soon it will just be gone as a medium. but analog circutry is still evolving in pres, comps, eq's, etc... which is usually one of the weaker parts of those "ill-fated" ADC's you keep referring to.
Old 16th July 2005
  #35
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johnnyb....with respect...
dont blame the engineers. blame the darn accountants.
through my career ive seen many times where the engineers wanted to improve a product. but were thwarted by "the accounting dept" and the profit motive.
why do you think most CEO's are accountants. very rarely engineers - unless its a smaller company. the problem is often accountants are the bosses.
and they simply dont understand tech and how a new tech product can make or break a bottom line orientated outfit.
this is why a lot of corps get run into the ground. the accountants milk the old product lines untill there is no more milk. and inventiveness gets stifled at the engineering level. so the company fails. basic mba 101.
in summar johnny...there are many more facets an complex issues than just blaming the engineers.
Old 16th July 2005
  #36
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Ok, we can add the bean counters and the cost accountants as those also deserving of punishment by flogging. When any of those idiots get control of company, you can kiss it good-bye.

I cannot speak for GM or his current thinking, but about a year ago he very clearly expressed his desire for digital sound improvement. GM also hates it when some of these companies lie about modeling and emulation stuff and say moronic things like "it's *exactly* like the real deal analogue device" when, in fact, that's never true.

In the meantime, all the crappy AD/DA chip makers and CD format f**kers deserve to be tortured on the rack, the iron maiden, drawn and quartered, and then whipped to within an inch of their damn lives.
Old 17th July 2005
  #37
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Walter Sear has been associated with some fantastic musicians and some absolutely great recordings, and as one of digital sound's harshest critics Walter Sear deserves to be made happy. When people like him are happy with the sound quality of digital, then the whole world will be happy. I'm glad there are people like Walter Sear in the world who point out the truth---that digital sound quality as it currently exists is still inferior.
Old 17th July 2005
  #38
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azrix's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny B
Even the idea that Nyquist's theory can accurately respresent extremely complex waveforms with only two data points can be subjected to further challenge and may be superceeded by newer or better alternatives. Nyquist might work great for the phone company, but the pro-audio community demands sound quality that greatly exceeds telephones.
The Nyquist Theorem is not a theory. It's true and it works. It's not really up for debate. What is up for debate is how much bandwidth is needed for the human ear. Knock yourself out with that one.

I don't understand the furor over a topic like this. It seems no one is at all interested in the facts. Let's at least try and make an analog to digital comparison resemble an apples to apples comparison. Tape machines have tranformers, in and out. Digital converters do not have transformers. The only transformerless tape machine I know of is made by ATR Services, their Aria electronics. I don't know of anyone that makes a converter with transformers. I tend to think a lot of what people like about "tape" is the transformers, especially if you're using high bias tape. Maybe I'm wrong, I've just never seen any discussion of how much the sound of a tape machine is provided by the transformers and how much is provided by the tape.

How many of you have actually used an ATR machine that has the Aria electronics installed? What do you think of it?
Old 17th July 2005
  #39
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johnny...
i feel your pain i really do - but i remember people cursing years ago when they had a problem with a tape multitrack in a critical session.
but the point is the recording engineers to their credit in every recording era overcame the technical limitations of the technology for many decades.
way on back to mono, 3 track, 4 track , 8 track, 16 , 24,48 and through the adat era,and now the digital era .. all the time making great records that millions of folks bought.
in summary - no matter any era in the future (like the past) people will find ways to make great songs with the tools at hand working around the limitations.
what i believe seperates the truly great audio engineers from the rest of us mere mortals is their inate abilties to work around whatever barriers they come across.
I'm sure the bob ohlssons and brethren had many challenges to face.
but they overcame them and made great songs.
for example i'm forever in awe at the standard of audio engineering in the old patsy cline hits like "walking after midnight"...one of my favorite songs.
I just cant get THAT SOUND on any vocal female.
but as someone told me - thats because they arent patsy !
Old 17th July 2005
  #40
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Nyquist is not God, far from it. Like any other attempt to model the real world with math, he can be challenged and blamed for the sorry state of digital sound quality like all the rest of the math-headed propeller brains with tin ears, they, and their chips, are full of "anomalies." The chip makers even publish long lists of "anomalies."

Some people like the sound of telephones and that's where Nyquist shines...telephones. Pro-audio should not sound as bad as telephones but if you think Nyquist and his two data points can truly represent extremely complex analogue waveforms then here's a telling qoute:

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality,
they are not certain; as far as they are certain,
they do not refer to reality."
---Albert Einstein---


Let us not make excuses and apologies for the deplorable sound quality of digital, let us attack and punish all those who are responsible, flog 'em all, then sue the bastards for fraud.

Beat them up until they get it right.
Old 17th July 2005
  #41
Quote:
CD's sound as bad as telephones IMHO
Got yeah.. check. My cell phone and my home stereo with CD player have the same quality resolution.

Don't you think at some point you could just be biased and you have forced yourself to believe the above statement is true because you have been repeating it for so long?? I am not picking a fight but come on, digital audio is not that bad. Saying a CD sounds like a phone smacks of elitism to me, sorry,

Yes I like analog and given the budget, space and time I would love to record on an M79 or a JH24 and listen back on a $10000 turn table but this is not the real world. Also correct me if I am wrong but the old Play School/Fisher Price record players were analog devices and I don't care what you say it will never sound as good as my home stereo including the CD player. The equipment matters, just because it is analog does not mean it is sacred.

Comes a point when you have to wake up to the fact that most people are happy with MP3's and CD's, digital is not as bad as all that and if recording to digital is going to get people to listen to music so be it, that is the real goal afterall.

Oh and nice posts Ziggy, you hit every point I was going to bring up.
Old 17th July 2005
  #42
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Hiwatt's Avatar
 

Don't get me wrong, I love analog, alot. But sometimes it is not practical for every recording session or type of music and or budget. By the way don't blame nyquist himself... he did come up with that therium close to 100 years ago...
Old 17th July 2005
  #43
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i don't think tape is going away anytime soon............
that it is as expensive and cumbersome as it is to use
relative to the other medium
and still can evoke the passion that
it does.........
in both engineers and artists............
even if its a small group - it'll keep
going ............

2" 16 track + gp9 + and some great players - it works every time, and if the band
hasn't done it in awhile or ever, they make real positive facial expressions when they come in the control room, which is helpful in the work environment...........

be well

- jack
Old 17th July 2005
  #44
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Johnny B's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiwatt
By the way don't blame Nyquist himself... he did come up with that therium close to 100 years ago.
While it's true that Nyquist himself was nowhere near pro-audio because he was long dead, his fanatical followers share a large part of the blame for the awful sound of digital. Bad math and the wild claim that only two data points can fully represent all the complexities of real life analogue audio is preposterous on its face. It might be ok for the telecom and phone company, but so far, the only proof that counts is that digital sound quality still is inferior to great analogue.

And always remember this:

"Math is the last refuge of scoundrels."
Old 17th July 2005
  #45
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny B
I cannot speak for GM or his current thinking, but about a year ago he very clearly expressed his desire for digital sound improvement. GM also hates it when some of these companies lie about modeling and emulation stuff and say moronic things like "it's *exactly* like the real deal analogue device" when, in fact, that's never true..
no you cant speak for him... but i will tell you what MY biggest complaint is.... MODELLING. i DONT want modelling. i just want a function ot sound good. probably why i tend to like plugins that ARENT modelled after something else over ones that are... frankly i think its impossible to sound like the analog counterpart since it IS digital but i think digital has enough strengths they need to abuse those instead of going backwards modelling.
Old 17th July 2005
  #46
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny B
Walter Sear deserves to be made happy. .
no he doesnt.... he has his method and can keep working in that method until he [probably soon] dies. the world WONT stop when he does.
Old 17th July 2005
  #47
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom
some great players - it works every time,
it works no matter what medium is chosen... was most engineers in their ego fail to realize is that they are fairly disposable and great players can be recorded by a monkey and it still sound great. you have to be a idiot, or steve albini to hose that job.
Old 17th July 2005
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
was most engineers in their ego fail to realize is that they are fairly disposable and great players can be recorded by a monkey and it still sound great.

Then why are most engineers (in general) so quick to criticize other engineers work if everything everybody does "sounds great even if recorded by a monkey"?
Old 17th July 2005
  #49
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Johnny B's Avatar
 

Ok, but when people stop and think carefully about digital sound, they will realize that it is *all* only a mathematical model of really complex analogue waveforms. The underlying math is flawed, the model itself is flawed, and so far, it always introduces "anomalies" which yields "poor" digital sound quality when compared to great analogue.

Einstein had it right on the money when he more or less said that people who believe that math can model reality are only deluding themselves. Even math itself is not real, it is nothing more than an abstraction.

This is why "Math is the last refuge of scoundrels."
Old 17th July 2005
  #50
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Ziggy!!'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny B
Ok, but when people stop and think carefully about digital sound, they will realize that it is *all* only a mathematical model of really complex analogue waveforms. The underlying math is flawed, the model itself is flawed, and so far, it always introduces "anomalies" which yields "poor" digital sound quality when compared to great analogue.

Einstein had it right on the money when he more or less said that people who believe that math can model reality are only deluding themselves. Even math itself is not real, it is nothing more than an abstraction.

This is why "Math is the last refuge of scoundrels."

Well hell J.B better throw out your Analog reel to reel... it was designed using Math! Gotta sell that Car too... its engine design also required math. And what the hell are you doing on a computer!

You comparison of Digital and Analog is "flawed"

You are directly comparing two different electronics circuits with very different design ideas and final goals. Back to my initial comparison, Its like comparing a Car to a Plane.

Digital conversion hasn't been designed to replicate analog tape. Thinking it will ever do so would probably leave you disapointed.

Have a good weekend.

No, math doesn't model reality. Reality models Math.
Old 17th July 2005
  #51
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=alphajerk]it works no matter what medium is chosen...

it just sounds better from the tape....

the tape has lows you can feel
and highs that are detailed, but delicate
there is a three dimensional
sense to the sound......


be well

- jack
Old 17th July 2005
  #52
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

i apologize for not yet having mastered the software of the site
i have not yet figured out how to manipulate the quote mechanism
and have the other person's words show up inside the grey box in
this case - alphajerk

thanks for the patience
- jack
Old 17th July 2005
  #53
Gear Maniac
 

Digital and analog sound different.

They Both have their uses!.. but in this day if someone gave me unlimited money to set up a studio I'd be going digital for two main reasons.

A)digital is what I'm used to.. I'm more than comfortable working with computers... Analog however I can use.. but when it comes to matinence and such I'd be learning a whole new science

B)Cd's are the medium these days.. no matter how you slice it.. regardless if you love them or hate them.. they're what we're selling.. and in my opinion alot of the sound that tape has that makes it so nice is lost going down to cd... some of the good sound of a nice digital rig is lost aswell.. but not as much IMHO
Old 17th July 2005
  #54
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T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphajerk
you all are operating on a dillusional self serving utopia that doesnt exist PERIOD. even live.
I once sat in a theatre in NY in the front row for Cats. When I heard the singers in front of my some of them less than 10 feet away the experience was amazing.
I will take to my grave. Someday the technology will be able to capture it.
Old 17th July 2005
  #55
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

i use both
i have both
they sound different
i like analog more
while cd isn't my favourite
medium , i can still
hear the tape in a cd
usually within a few bars


i sometimes wish that in my hallucination i really had become some sort of magician
and with a wand i could do the math on the percentage of the war
budget that it would take to buy everyone even remotely curious about
tape , a new studer tape recorder and many cases of fresh tape, and the
minute nature of that percentage would somehow validate the immediate
allocation of the funds.......right from the government, handshakes, friendly talk.......
i would do that if i could..................

anyway,
be well
- jack
Old 17th July 2005
  #56
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
Then why are most engineers (in general) so quick to criticize other engineers work if everything everybody does "sounds great even if recorded by a monkey"?
read what you quoted me... the answer is IN it.... their EGO.
Old 17th July 2005
  #57
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom
it just sounds better from the tape....

and that is YOUR subjective OPINION. which is fine. it isnt the TRUTH [which does not exist]
Old 17th July 2005
  #58
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S
I once sat in a theatre in NY in the front row for Cats. When I heard the singers in front of my some of them less than 10 feet away the experience was amazing.
I will take to my grave. Someday the technology will be able to capture it.

while this is the closest you will get, you still have the rooms impurities.... but for realities sake, this is the best experience one can have. just like nothing beats a band in a club live... NO RECORDING has EVER touched that. never will.
Old 17th July 2005
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny B
I'm glad there are people like Walter Sear in the world who point out the truth---that digital sound quality as it currently exists is still inferior.
All mediums are inferior...always have been.

The quest for a cleaner, clearer alternative sound was due in part of the 'inferiority' of Analog.

There is no argument to better or worse ever...there is just choice.

What 'truth' does WS point out? That digital has it's problems? That ain't no secret or revelation. He is right...what's the point?
Old 17th July 2005
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene

What 'truth' does [Walter Sear] point out? That digital has it's problems? That ain't no secret or revelation. He is right.
He seems to point out that the chip makers have suceeded in deluding people that digital sounds exactly like analogue...just as good...or better, when in fact, that when digital is compared to great analogue, digital still sounds like ass because it's full of "anomalies." When all those "digital anomalies" conspire and combine to produce a Negative Cumulative Impact, the result is crappy digital sound quality.

I wish it were different, but it's not.

Maybe with the Next Gen Chips and after being flogged to within an inch of their lives for perpetrating a massive fraud on the world, the propeller-heads will get the God damn **** right.

"Math *is* the last refuge of scoundels."

And these scoundrels better quit using flawed math to back up their stupid arguments and quit lying to people too because more severe forms of punshment can be imposed on these little lyin' bastards.

I'd like to see a couple of bright kids working out of their bedrooms and garages come up with some new, fresh methods for doing the A-to-D and D-to-A process that blows all these chip making jerks and all their lame ass theories right out of the water. If a few of the existing chip makers went bankrupt for putting out bad sounding digital products, they might get the message that the current crop of crappy products they sell must be improved to World Class Analogue Sound Quality Standards.
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