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Have the higher sampling rate and bit depths cured the digital monster? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 6th August 2014
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
When it comes to most series TV, trust me, you don't want to.
That's the first thing I noticed when I first got an HD TV...a lot of actors and actresses have really lousy complexions...
Old 6th August 2014
  #32
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Listening to TV through a 5.1 setup as I do can be a real comedy of errors in the way channels and stations present their "high def audio". My family doesn't seem to notice but I am in my seat just cringing at some of the broadcasts.
Old 6th August 2014
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
Not to be confusing analogue vs digital!
of course this is another analog vs digital thread!

you begin your question with an STATED assumption: that digital is a "monster" that needs to be "tamed". It's not even implied, it's stated. No one can address the question directly unless they already agree with your starting assumption. Did you really think everyone would?

Quote:
It'll never sound the same as tape but in it's difference does it stand as and equal?
so here you are in the second paragraph of the first post, asking does 96k (digital) "stand as an equal" to tape (analog) ? ...how is that NOT "analog vs digital" ? Because you listed 96k first, so it is "digital vs analog"?

Nothing sadder than the diehards finally giving up their opposition to digital and looking to save face by making the 'distinction' about sampling rates.

I agree with blue, put a fork in it.
Old 6th August 2014
  #34
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Quote:
Its been discussed a lot but the moving towards higher sample/bit recording seems to defeat the shortcomings of CD. I'm happy at 96/24. It'll never sound the same as tape but in it's difference does it stand as and equal?
The thing that fascinates me about this argument that won't and maybe should never end... Digital is a better representation of sound than tape could ever be. Sure I enjoy tape more, I'm only human.. But I realize that while tape may be an 'analog' to whats happening in reality- we have to remember that it's only an analogy. Similar but not just like reality. A kid can get a 4 track going in his living room and have something at least stylized by the end of the day. with digital its a kid in his living room. tape forgives us, and digital screeches at us. You have to respect what it takes to get a good digital recording, because to do this its going to take some know-how (of course) tape can not take 96,000 "pictures per second" of your voice, and nor can your ears perceive sound in such fine increments. Digital is more real than tape i said it! In fact.... DIGITAL is a better Analog than tape. if we use the dictionary definition of what an analog (the noun) actually is.
Old 6th August 2014
  #35
I like your first post, and completely agree. I spent many years with tape and have now happily put it behind me for good. Realize now it was a crutch I no longer need. It takes more thought and planning but I'm getting closer to a sound I like better than what I was getting from tape just a year ago.
Old 6th August 2014
  #36
Word of Advice to ya....from one friend to another,
Stop debating this nonsense and get on with the job....
Old 6th August 2014
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdenton View Post
That's the first thing I noticed when I first got an HD TV...a lot of actors and actresses have really lousy complexions...
I was talking more about the audio, but yes you're right. And especially on older TV series you'll see some pretty goofy things. On some episodes of Bonanza, the Ponderosa backdrop doesn't quite make it all the way down to the floor.
Old 6th August 2014
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
I'm curious about 24 bit playback, I realize the playback itself may not require 24 bits, but converting the master from 24 to 16 requires truncation therefore wouldn't we presumably lose quality? dither and noise shaping is still not perfect. Not sure if it can be.
Lose quality in what way? The only difference between the 24-bit file and the (properly dithered) 16-bit file will be the level of the noise floor.
Old 6th August 2014
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
The only difference between the 24-bit file and the (properly dithered) 16-bit file will be the level of the noise floor.
righto

"properly" dithered ..........

the fact that noise shaping algorithms exists should be enough to inform us of potential differences in quality going from 24 to 16.
Whether you can hear it or not is a different debate
Old 6th August 2014
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
I like your first post, and completely agree. I spent many years with tape and have now happily put it behind me for good. Realize now it was a crutch I no longer need. It takes more thought and planning but I'm getting closer to a sound I like better than what I was getting from tape just a year ago.


digital can blow away the sound of analog
Old 6th August 2014
  #41
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I'm going to answer the original question as I understand it, from my minority and extremist position: Have higher sample rates and bit depths cured the digital beast? No, not really, though they have tamed it a good bit. Even at 24/192 using Prism Orpheus (same with 192, Apollo) I've noticed when I do tape transfers something is lost. That's right something is lost from the TAPE, and same from mic feeds/console. That thing is realness, a relaxed 3d sound.

That said, when doing some 2" transfers from the A827 a few years back to the 192 IO, 192khz was the first sample rate that seemed musical, or that got some air on the top end of the cymbals. Lots of people say you won't notice the difference with high sample rates, I do (A LOT) and so prefer to work at 192. I don't relate to people who can't hear or don't care about anything above 24/48 or 16/44, the lower rates sound hard, crunchy, and flat to me. I can't really ignore that. That said, on the gear I'ved used 24/192 is not the end all, be all. To me it's like the bare minimum that gets the musical space and feel.

The only thing that actually preserves the original analog to me is DSD, which isn't really viable. I've heard 352khz recordings, and they STILL had a bit of a stiff quality. I've yet to test my brand new Burl's, and I'm guessing they will also be an improvement. The main factors seem to be the analog circuitry in the converter and the digital filtering. The more gradual the filter (which higher bandwidth at 96k and 192k afford) the more real and immediate the sound.

I guess the question these days is if less clinical, more overbuilt converters like Burl and JCF+ high sample rate/bit depth, cure the digital beast.
Old 6th August 2014
  #42
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One thing I noticed about 24 vs 16 bit is that it masking seems to be less of an issue at 24 bit. Sounds don't step on each other as much, and I can usually hear a reverb tail separate from the sound source. Seems more than just a lower noise floor.
Old 6th August 2014
  #43
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IMO not so much as real-world engineering understanding of jitter. Sampling rate issues, yes, they were understood in 1980, and bit depth issues also - but not jitter. To rephrase Bob, unfortunately they haven't cured the cheap, underpowered anemic clocks found in most converters.
Old 6th August 2014
  #44
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Jitter was understood too but there has been lots of incompetent gear and even chip design.

I understand all of this including the requirement of dither was understood by Bell Labs in the 1950s. Unfortunately just as transistors became a means of saving money, so has digital audio.
Old 6th August 2014
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
what "digital monster" would that be?

DAWs have been working at 96k for over 15 years now. If you have "come around" to liking it, I would first look to your own self for the reasons why.



yes some people "love tape", and some people love the sound that comes through the wires of their microphones just as it is. It is even possible, I am told, to love both in different situations.
I've been recording the higher sample/bit rates for over 7 years. The public in general are still not exposed to the high Sample/bit. DVD OK but that's never going to be an across the board format. I record in high rate and I know once it's reduced to CD it is a shadow of the high res master. I hear very vividly the way high res thins out when at CD rate. The so called monster I elude to is the thin CD sound and many of us players/recordists do not appreciate it's virtues so to speak. But 96/24 is nice I can bounce 96 24 into tape or visa versa and a wink becomes as good as a nod. That wink and nod on an industry wide scale can give us decent sounding recordings .

My early 44/16 recordings were a confusing experience They didn't sound like there were all there, they were distant and no amount of volume could bring them up closer. Products like APIL are what gave me enough satisfaction with those early digital recordings to stick with it. However 96/24 is indeed much like rolling tape except it lacks tape's sweet distortions and natural compression. But the sound is all there. It is that sense of all there that makes the difference.
Old 6th August 2014
  #46
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And your question is?
Old 7th August 2014
  #47
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
I record in high rate and I know once it's reduced to CD it is a shadow of the high res master. I hear very vividly the way high res thins out when at CD rate. ... It is that sense of all there that makes the difference.
Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback*

Quote:
Now, it is very difficult to use negative results to prove
the inaudibility of any given phenomenon or process.
There is always the remote possibility that a different sys-
tem or more finely attuned pair of ears would reveal a
difference.
Quote:
But we have gathered enough data, using suf-
ficiently varied and capable systems and listeners, to state
that the burden of proof has now shifted. Further claims
that careful 16/44.1 encoding audibly degrades high-
resolution signals must be supported by properly con-
trolled double-blind tests
Old 7th August 2014
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
I guess the question these days is if less clinical, more overbuilt converters like Burl and JCF+ high sample rate/bit depth, cure the digital beast.
yes
Old 7th August 2014
  #49
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16bit/44khz is inherently thin harsh and shrill sounding?

*sticks on my old Dave Matthews Band - Crash CD album*

...nope, thought not.

*melts into musical bliss....*

Old 7th August 2014
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
I dunno. The difference is, the majority of people view DVD and TV shows on high def televisions. How many people listen to music with high def systems? with subs and high quality crossovers in an acoustically treated room?? not many.

With TV you don't have such requirements, so quality is immediately noticeable to the naked eye. With music I bet if you listened on great monitors, great power amps in a great room the average person could tell the difference between 96/24 and 44/16. Hopefully the engineer can since these are presumably the condition he monitors in daily. The music is only going to sound as good as its playback system, playback system is a bottleneck so to speak.
I dare you to go over to visualslutz.com and make that kind of remark.

Whilst I agree it's far easier to see low res video compared to hearing low res audio, the statement you made above is pretty far from the truth.

The lighting of the room, placement of the TV and viewing distance/angle have a MASSIVE impact on the image being displayed. And this is before we even talk about calibrating your TV which is an absolute must to get a semi decent image. The way they come setup out of the box is akin to the smiley face curve on a graphic EQ.
Old 7th August 2014
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
And your question is?
Would the negative voices against CD sound have been silent if the default for the public sampling/plackback rates were 96/24 from the start? I say CD sound because everything below CD is convenience centric as opposed to fidelity centric.

Interesting the thread is going is way too unnecessary directions. Hi res downloads are increasing in audiophile circles which indicates to me at least that things can be recorded in high rates and left in those high rates.
Old 7th August 2014
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sardi View Post

Whilst I agree it's far easier to see low res video compared to hearing low res audio, the statement you made above is pretty far from the truth.

The lighting of the room, placement of the TV and viewing distance/angle have a MASSIVE impact on the image being displayed. And this is before we even talk about calibrating your TV which is an absolute must to get a semi decent image. The way they come setup out of the box is akin to the smiley face curve on a graphic EQ.
I dunno I think it's far more complicated to setup an optimal listening environment than it is a optimal viewing environment. while I have no proof of this...the good thing is you have no proof of your assertions either

I guess that makes both our points sort of moot.

Although I think it's pretty much common sense to conclude an audio listening environment is subjected to way more inconsistencies than a viewing environment. Equipment too.... There is only one way to make a LCD and a video card, there are countless ways to make speakers and power amps and converters
Old 7th August 2014
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chainrule View Post
I dunno I think it's far more complicated to setup an optimal listening environment than it is a optimal viewing environment. while I have no proof of this...the good thing is you have no proof of your assertions

I guess that makes bot hour point sort of moot
You'd be surprised. Being an audio guy, your view on optimal viewing will probably differ to a video guys view and vice versa.

And, I can kinda comment as I treated my studio many years back. Was a big undertaking, made a massive difference but I still don't find it to be perfect.

I spent a lot of time earlier in the year setting up my new media environment in my lounge room when I bought a new TV and it took a while. It's still nowhere near perfect, but a boatload better than what it was.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, we're going to favour our industry more like anyone in there chosen field would. You'd cry if I told you what I went through trying to pour the perfect espresso shot.
Old 7th August 2014
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
Would the negative voices against CD sound have been silent if the default for the public sampling/plackback rates were 96/24 from the start? I say CD sound because everything below CD is convenience centric as opposed to fidelity centric.
Don't ignore the fact that many early CD players had serious technical compromises that had nothing to do with the Redbook standard. And, of course, not all early product was properly prepared. But once those issues were sorted, most fidelity-oriented audio consumers found the CD to be their preferred music medium of the era. If they had waited until 24/96 was sustainable, we would have had to wait a lot longer, since there was no practical transfer medium.

With regard to a presumed need for higher sample rates and deeper bit depth in release formats, the existing evidence is quite convincing that those who might be able to distinguish the difference with properly prepared material at listening level are so rare as to have not yet been found:
As a matter of principle, I could live with a couple of extra bits of dynamic data space, I'm a classical music fan and I know an orchestra CAN put out a fair bit more DR than Redbook's 90 dB.

That said, I already hear CD format classical music that forces me to continually adjust the playback volume because of a perhaps 'too' dynamically accurate presentation. I feel like a bit of a sell-out as an anti-loudness-war Jeremiah, but, to be honest, a little bit of program compression for a lot of classical is probably not a bad thing.

The fact is that home listening is seldom analogous to the concert listening experience. (And, hell, I mean, there are times in the concert hall I have to cover my ears with my fingers to avoid pain. That's NOT a level of verisimilitude I'm racing to embrace.)
Old 7th August 2014
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sardi View Post
You'd be surprised. Being an audio guy, your view on optimal viewing will probably differ to a video guys view and vice versa.
I used to do image processing a couple jobs ago. I do have my masters in CS in computer graphics.... although I admit that doesn't mean ****, but I did study human factors as well as physics of light and other aspects of computer graphics and video. Right now I'm working for a company that makes the tools to fabricate LCDs so I've been learning a lot about that process as well. I can tell you it is way more consistent than converters and audio amplifiers and such. There is only one way to make an LCD. So it's not at all like a playback audio chain where you have all these different implementations in speakers and monitor cabinets, audio amplifiers.... So many more variables there to alter the reproduction process of digtial audio. With video there are many ways to ensure consistency of playback and viewing. For instance Gamma settings are very consistent in video and cg. In audio we have no standard like that, at least for the average listener/end user.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sardi View Post
I guess what I'm trying to say is, we're going to favour our industry more like anyone in there chosen field would.
my chosen field is sleep, my industry is napping
Old 7th August 2014
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
This? Again?

Done. Done. Done.

I like tomatoes. You like tomah-toes. Preference is what it is. The self-annointed golden ears have weighed in with their subjective valuations on all sides, the science is -- for those with some vague degree of science and math literacy -- pretty clear and mostly inarguable as science. But preference is preference and some will prefer one sound and others another and many will want one sound for certain projects and another sound for others.

We COULD have yet another 4 or 5 hundred post go-round with all the same arguments, evidence, fanciful conceits and bizarre imaginings as usual -- or we could actually talk about something interesting and pertinent to recording practice. Because, let's face it, precious few people will change their minds in the wake of yet another discussion in this collapsed vein, and fewer still will likely be able to make a cogent rationale for that change of mind. Let's be real.
I sorta stoped posting because theblue1 always already said what I wanted to say. If you want you can be my official representative blue
Old 7th August 2014
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by nept View Post
I sorta stoped posting because theblue1 always already said what I wanted to say. If you want you can be my official representative blue
I was hoping you'd take over for me. I'm afraid I may be mellowing in my old age.


Notice, of course, that I still couldn't keep myself out of it. I'm a sinner...
Old 7th August 2014
  #58
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanBSC View Post
I'm going to answer the original question as I understand it, from my minority and extremist position: Have higher sample rates and bit depths cured the digital beast? No, not really, though they have tamed it a good bit. Even at 24/192 using Prism Orpheus (same with 192, Apollo) I've noticed when I do tape transfers something is lost. That's right something is lost from the TAPE, and same from mic feeds/console. That thing is realness, a relaxed 3d sound.

That said, when doing some 2" transfers from the A827 a few years back to the 192 IO, 192khz was the first sample rate that seemed musical, or that got some air on the top end of the cymbals. Lots of people say you won't notice the difference with high sample rates, I do (A LOT) and so prefer to work at 192. I don't relate to people who can't hear or don't care about anything above 24/48 or 16/44, the lower rates sound hard, crunchy, and flat to me. I can't really ignore that. That said, on the gear I'ved used 24/192 is not the end all, be all. To me it's like the bare minimum that gets the musical space and feel.

The only thing that actually preserves the original analog to me is DSD, which isn't really viable. I've heard 352khz recordings, and they STILL had a bit of a stiff quality. I've yet to test my brand new Burl's, and I'm guessing they will also be an improvement. The main factors seem to be the analog circuitry in the converter and the digital filtering. The more gradual the filter (which higher bandwidth at 96k and 192k afford) the more real and immediate the sound.

I guess the question these days is if less clinical, more overbuilt converters like Burl and JCF+ high sample rate/bit depth, cure the digital beast.
Out of interest, what field of music do you work in? Working in "popular" music (everything that entails - from some types of alt jazz through to death metal at times, and everything in between!) rarely do we work at 96k, and never at 192 - the demands on the system are just too much, the track count and processing demands would make the computer fall over.

You must dislike..well, everything that's ever played anywhere except audiophile recordings released on HD download I guess! Or is there any "modern" recordings you can tolerate?

Either way, sounds like a hard musical life to me...
Old 7th August 2014
  #59
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One thing nobody pointed out is that when CDs first came out, a lot of analog recordings were very badly transferred to the digital medium (perhaps in great part to re-release the entire catalog of recorded music into the new medium, often hurridly and without good quality control). I mean some were literally unlistenable compared to their record counterparts. I know for me this jaded me against CDs for awhile.

During that time, there were various audiophile companies releasing high quality original CDs and remasters of classic recordings. Those always sounded great even being on CDs among the ocean of crappy sounding CDs that were in circulation.

So it would seem initially the technology in of itself had the capability to sound good...but the production techniques and applications took some time to catch up...
Old 7th August 2014
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Out of interest, what field of music do you work in? Working in "popular" music (everything that entails - from some types of alt jazz through to death metal at times, and everything in between!) rarely do we work at 96k, and never at 192 - the demands on the system are just too much, the track count and processing demands would make the computer fall over.

You must dislike..well, everything that's ever played anywhere except audiophile recordings released on HD download I guess! Or is there any "modern" recordings you can tolerate?

Either way, sounds like a hard musical life to me...
I do mostly indie pop/folk/rock with a 16 channel summing mixer so we don't need so many tracks with native plugins on each one. We mix most of the stuff we track in house. Sometimes I do have to make compromises when my UAD cards get pushed and maybe use fewer subgroups than I used to.

I get that most engineers value foremost how easy it is to put together a solid or commercial sounding mix/production and that absolute sound quality is an afterthought. I respect that AND for my own work (when I have the option) I want the fullest sound I can get. The sense of dimension is something I value. It just sounds right, and it just really bugs me when that dimension is missing. I put on a Joni Mitchel LP or Dylan SACD and it's just like "****! Why doesn't new (digital) stuff sound 3d and real like this?" I want that sense of space that you can put on headphones and get absorbed in. I want that as a part of my production quality. If somebody wants a mix mainly for cars, radio, etc there are others that can do that better.

To be honest, I do find many contemporary non-electronic recordings disappointing. Too many that I hear have no dynamics, little depth and too much distortion. Whatever aesthetic that is, whether it includes format or sample rate choices (though I can't imagine they care much), I'm not so interested. I'd rather do something different.

The question of whether working independently in this way is sustainable is a relevant one, and we will find out soon. The goal on the horizon is to sell direct downloads of our 192 and DSD files, which basically nobody else is doing. Taking a chance doing what motivates me and hoping other people dig it.
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