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Channel Classics Condenser Microphones
Old 30th December 2016
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackHenry View Post
I don't understand any benefit of judging DSD from MP3 samples.
Me neither, but they're free and consistent with other samples provided by members here at Gearslutz. They do give a sense of the mic placement and style. On the same site you can also purchase just one track in any DSD rate, or buy the complete recording.

Last edited by tailspn; 30th December 2016 at 04:26 AM..
Old 30th December 2016
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
And in a live event, my brain would quickly be jelly seconds after the start. You have to respect these great artists, like great sports people, they have very impressive mental command and control.
No less so for the live engineers either, especially with a large orchestral programme involving sizeable dynamics, it can be a big help to have a score-reading producer at your right elbow, calling up the changes about to occur !

Reverb is added live to the spot mics, and while there might be an Apogee limiter over the mix buss to catch overs, the engineer still wants the mix sitting in the sweet spot before passing it on to the broadcast chain compressors. So while the musicians might be sweating, so are the broadcast crew...to perhaps a lesser degree ?
Old 30th December 2016
  #33
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackHenry View Post
I don't understand any benefit of judging DSD from MP3 samples.
Well, naturally you can't judge DSD from something that isn't DSD; I'd assume that's an offer to audition the recording, and if you like the recording you can listen to it in higher quality.
Old 30th December 2016
  #34
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Plush's Avatar
I never get nervous, no matter how big the production.

The reason for that is that I have sat in the rehearsal(s) and got fully prepared.

Live broadcast with Mahler Symphony No. 2.

300 people on stage.
Old 31st December 2016
  #35
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boojum's Avatar
In the Army it was "The Six P's."

Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Some lessons are not forgot.
Old 2nd January 2017
  #36
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Returning to the original post. What is courageous about Jared's approach is that het ALWAYS makes the definitive mix (usually a mix of two AB plus an MS for the two stereo channels) within his analoque mixer (Heijnis). This way he doesn't have to alter anything on his DSD stream. The same goes for the center channel (a dedicated mic) and the surround channels. So he always ends up with a 5.0 stream on his harddisc. The only PCM conversion applied is the short internal conversion within Pyramix on the little amount of edits.
So Jared does not have the safety-net of a lot of possibilities in post. That is a rather courageous I think.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #37
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_G View Post
Returning to the original post. What is courageous about Jared's approach is that het ALWAYS makes the definitive mix (usually a mix of two AB plus an MS for the two stereo channels) within his analoque mixer (Heijnis). This way he doesn't have to alter anything on his DSD stream. The same goes for the center channel (a dedicated mic) and the surround channels. So he always ends up with a 5.0 stream on his harddisc. The only PCM conversion applied is the short internal conversion within Pyramix on the little amount of edits.
So Jared does not have the safety-net of a lot of possibilities in post. That is a rather courageous I think.
So what is Jared doing with his DSD recording that is any different than a direct-to-stereo capture of 30 or 40 years ago? Other than mixing and recording to five tracks rather than two, I submit Jarad's mixing on the fly to the recorder is little different than any great stereo recording - for example Gert Palmcrantz recording Jazz at the Pawnshop. The main difference I can see is that young musicians seem unaware that great music was always recorded that way and seem surprised that it sounds 'better' when they record live from the floor. What was old is new again.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad View Post
The main difference I can see is that young musicians seem unaware that great music was always recorded that way and seem surprised that it sounds 'better' when they record live from the floor. What was old is new again.
Exactly...with the flow-on implication that "we'd better get it right on the night, rather than try to fix it in the mix" later, with overdubs and drop-ins and comping ! Unlimited undo has a lot to answer for in terms of overt or required musical proficiency, when live to 2 track (or surround) is the only game in play.
In this case I believe the 'best of 3 takes per piece' was the only safety net required, and served everyone's best interests.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #39
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Yes Jim and Studer58, that is quite true, but how many recordists dare to work like that nowadays? I think most play it safe in that they want to have all options open in post.
What is special about Jared's motives, is that, aside from having a purer way of recording, he also wants to have his DSD stream as pure as possible, and the endresult is very convincing. If there's a difference between DSD and PCM, you can hear it in his productions and not in those socalled DSD recordings that were converted like hell...
Old 3rd January 2017
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_G View Post
Yes Jim and Studer58, that is quite true, but how many recordists dare to work like that nowadays? I think most play it safe in that they want to have all options open in post.
What is special about Jared's motives, is that, aside from having a purer way of recording, he also wants to have his DSD stream as pure as possible, and the endresult is very convincing. If there's a difference between DSD and PCM, you can hear it in his productions and not in those socalled DSD recordings that were converted like hell...
I very much appreciate the "live-to-2" aspects of the work. My background was in jazz and pop/rock recordings and I always felt that a live recording, even with the occasional "oops", generated a much more compelling product.

As for the DSD/PCM - the "proof" (such as it could be), would be to ship the same analog signal to simultaneous DSD/PCM encoders, and do a blind test on the playback, using the same speakers and amp.
Old 3rd January 2017
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
As for the DSD/PCM - the "proof" (such as it could be), would be to ship the same analog signal to simultaneous DSD/PCM encoders, and do a blind test on the playback, using the same speakers and amp.
Such tests have been done. Faulkner mentions such a test (comparing analoque signal form recording chain with "after tape" recordings) and he and his companions judged the DSD as closest to the source. Others say they don't hear any differenc or they reject DSD because of the high freq. spuriae (in DSD 64).
Old 4th January 2017
  #42
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Plush's Avatar
I recall that Tony F. instead said (and he said it to me too on the telephone) that he preferred the Studer A80 analog tape above all others. He also said that there was no way to convey that sound to the home listener.

Deutsche Grammophon did tests with DSD and PCM and rejected DSD in favor of 96kHz. Thus ended all DG dsd releases.
Old 4th January 2017
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I recall that Tony F. instead said (and he said it to me too on the telephone) that he preferred the Studer A80 analog tape above all others. He also said that there was no way to convey that sound to the home listener.

Deutsche Grammophon did tests with DSD and PCM and rejected DSD in favor of 96kHz. Thus ended all DG dsd releases.
I wonder if he'd still prefer the A80, as I understand that the new tape stock today is not what it used to be? And I also assume that the R&D that gave us the hot tape back in the 80s is gone too?
Old 4th January 2017
  #44
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
I wonder if he'd still prefer the A80, as I understand that the new tape stock today is not what it used to be? And I also assume that the R&D that gave us the hot tape back in the 80s is gone too?
The sound of tape can be beguiling, however, I've never heard tape that didn't ever so slightly vary from the original live sound. I have however, heard digital systems that you couldn't consistently tell from the direct sound, and these were not even DSD.
Old 4th January 2017
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
The sound of tape can be beguiling, however, I've never heard tape that didn't ever so slightly vary from the original live sound. I have however, heard digital systems that you couldn't consistently tell from the direct sound, and these were not even DSD.
yeah, me too. I'm an 'accuracy' fanboy rather than a 'wonderful' fanboy, so I'll take the PCM. Besides, tape is heavy.
Old 4th January 2017
  #46
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boojum's Avatar
I can remember being mesmerized by SONY tapes in the mid '50s. They were played over Weathers speakers and I am not sure what the amps were. The sound was astounding and tape had almost that "ribbon sound" in that it was airy, spacious somehow different and more open than even the best LP's.

But that was in the mid '50's. The downside of tape, indeed all analog, is that every generation it goes through degrades it. So while it sounds great off the machine it was recorded on it usually does not sound as good on another machine and the daughter tape is worse. "Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em, and little fleas have lesser fleas and so on ad infinitum."
Old 4th January 2017
  #47
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Plush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
I wonder if he'd still prefer the A80, as I understand that the new tape stock today is not what it used to be? And I also assume that the R&D that gave us the hot tape back in the 80s is gone too?
There is no problem getting excellent tape these days. "Recording The Masters" tape offers the formulas from the ex RMGI (BASF, AGFA). It is made in France.

ATR Magnetics in Pennsylvania makes good tape too.

A good dealer for Recording The Masters is Malelo Camera in Chicago or Full Compass in Madison, WI.

Fantastic +6 and +9 tapes are included in the line up.
Old 4th January 2017
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I can remember being mesmerized by SONY tapes in the mid '50s. They were played over Weathers speakers and I am not sure what the amps were. The sound was astounding and tape had almost that "ribbon sound" in that it was airy, spacious somehow different and more open than even the best LP's.

But that was in the mid '50's. The downside of tape, indeed all analog, is that every generation it goes through degrades it. So while it sounds great off the machine it was recorded on it usually does not sound as good on another machine and the daughter tape is worse. "Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em, and little fleas have lesser fleas and so on ad infinitum."
And it degrades under use and in storage too.

Now, I think it's clear that many folks feel that recording to good analog tape results in a playback that's "better" than the signal that came down the wires in the first place. And while I'm not sure I agree, I can agree that it's possible. So I don't have issues with all the folks who record on analog multitrack, or mix to 1/2" analog and then take that analog and record it back onto PCM or DSD for distribution.

I would argue with anyone who says that taking that analog master and converting it to digital (assuming reasonable SR and bit depth and technique) somehow degrades it, though.
Old 9th January 2017
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
There is no problem getting excellent tape these days. "Recording The Masters" tape offers the formulas from the ex RMGI (BASF, AGFA). It is made in France.

ATR Magnetics in Pennsylvania makes good tape too.

A good dealer for Recording The Masters is Malelo Camera in Chicago or Full Compass in Madison, WI.

Fantastic +6 and +9 tapes are included in the line up.
Here's another report from the analog trenches, to support what Plush is working with: Off The Record: Analogue Technology | Sound On Sound
Old 13th January 2017
  #50
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c1ferrari's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
Their primary market is likely audiophiles, who doubtless appreciate this information.
Audiophiles whom may also be amateur recordists.
Old 13th January 2017
  #51
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I find it hard to watch a video about getting superior sound when, the audio is out of sync with the video.
Old 14th January 2017
  #52
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I recall that Tony F. instead said (and he said it to me too on the telephone) that he preferred the Studer A80 analog tape above all others. He also said that there was no way to convey that sound to the home listener.

Deutsche Grammophon did tests with DSD and PCM and rejected DSD in favor of 96kHz. Thus ended all DG dsd releases.
I know this is an older post, but I was going to add that in my view he is absolutely wrong. The fact that a good digital system is beyond the resolution accuracy of our ears, it is fully possible, (if you are so inclined), to do your "analogue" recording and copy the end result to digital preserving the "tone" of the tape. I in fact know several people doing this, not that it is for me.

There is a mastering engineer that I know who is cutting a lacquer and then recording this back to digital for release, and several "rock & pop" engineers that record to tape prior to laying off to pro tools.

My own view has been that recordings made to tape tend to sound a little "smaller" and more contained. I think this makes things easier to mix as you find less problem getting things to sit. As another aside a good friend of mine who is also a sound engineer have been listening to a lot of old and new recordings, particularly from the 90's onwards. This is interesting as this has been the major transition period for recording on multitrack tape to digital. During the 90's pretty much every contemporary record was analogue multitrack, the last ten years, pretty much every record has been digital. Although entirely subjective, we felt that looking back at those great records of the 90's in comparison, they tended to sound more frequency band limited and just lack a lot of the impact we expect from modern records. Of course there are great recordings from both eras as well as some poor ones, but generally the more recent ones sound bigger.

On the classical side, I think it's much more difficult to judge as exceptionally fine microphones have been used for many years, however, if you listen to classical records from the sixties, (perhaps DG and Decca as they have had reasonably consistent recording policies with regard to microphones and techniques), and compare that to their work in the 80's where pretty much the main change was the introduction of digital recorders, I think it is fair to say in spite of the amount of work to restore analogue masters it's fairly apparent that the latter have generally better sonic quality.
Old 14th January 2017
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland View Post
... I think it is fair to say in spite of the amount of work to restore analogue masters it's fairly apparent that the latter have generally better sonic quality.
No question. I have just finished watching Planet Earth II, mind blown totally. Properly prepared and cared for digital video and audio leaves one wanting for nothing.

Last edited by David Spearritt; 14th January 2017 at 11:55 PM..
Old 14th January 2017
  #54
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Plush's Avatar
Well, of course we ARE talking about opinion.

You can record a digital recording and at the same time record through an all analog path to analog tape and then do a listening comparison.

The comparisons usually come down to asking the question, "how pleasant is the recording to listen to?"

Sometimes it is the analog that comes off as more appealing to listen to. Sometimes, especially with high dynamic range material, it is the digital.

Unlike in former years, I do not proscribe which is better.

Tony F. was talking about a piano record he did.
I was not there, but in that case, I am sure that he knew what he heard and so formed an opinion about the superiority of the analog tape for that program.

What he meant by saying there is no way to present *that* sound to an audience at home is exactly the crux of the matter--the failure of the converter to capture the analog playback experience.

The desirable and ineffable quality of analog playback is lost in the a/d conversion.

Try it yourself and report back.
Old 14th January 2017
  #55
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Roland's Avatar
I can say that one of my big issues with analogue is the number of piano recordings where you can detect the wow and flutter.

If you are not preserving the sound ad/da I would look to other converters, the best should allow you to switch live prior to conversion to post without being able to discern which is which.
Old 15th January 2017
  #56
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boojum's Avatar
I have liked the sound of good analog tape. I bet the original sounds really wonderful but as it is analog each succeeding generation will be poorer. When it is mixed and transcribed to records we have the wow, flutter, rumble, surface noise and so on to deal with. Plus the gradual degradation of the record itself. Way back, before digital, some folks would record on tape the first playing of the LP and then listen to the tape.

But all these problems and endless jury-riggings ended with digital. Digital had problems being screechy at first but recording and mixing techniques were modified and now we have good, pleasing performances. Listen to the Samar recording of a chorale (SAMAR Audio & Microphone Design - Take a Look at and Listen to Our Products) and see how that pleases you, the skeptics.
Old 15th January 2017
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
I have liked the sound of good analog tape. I bet the original sounds really wonderful but as it is analog each succeeding generation will be poorer. When it is mixed and transcribed to records we have the wow, flutter, rumble, surface noise and so on to deal with. Plus the gradual degradation of the record itself. Way back, before digital, some folks would record on tape the first playing of the LP and then listen to the tape.

But all these problems and endless jury-riggings ended with digital. Digital had problems being screechy at first but recording and mixing techniques were modified and now we have good, pleasing performances. Listen to the Samar recording of a chorale (SAMAR Audio & Microphone Design - Take a Look at and Listen to Our Products) and see how that pleases you, the skeptics.
Tape degradation over time has many components...it's not a solitary issue. There's initially the loss of recorded transients, which golden-eared engineers claimed to occur within hours of recording or mixing, hence they would haste to the cutting lathe pronto after the final mixdown...if that were logistically possible ?

There's also print-through of material from one layer of tape to another, which increases with time and storage temperature, and was also dependent on the substrate and base tape thickness.This resulted in a ghostly, annoying pre or post echo of recorded material

Then there's the sticky shed syndrome which affected some brands of tape more than others, where shards of oxide would peel off etc on playback...partially cured by tape baking. Interestingly some of the older tape (from the 50's and 60's) fared much better in this regard than the Ampex stuff of the 70's and 80's). This may have been fixed in the most current tape incarnations..one would certainly hope so. Again, somewhat predicated by tape storage conditions (temp/humidity), though not entirely.

Analog tape playback was of orders of magnitude less problematic (if the mastering machine was of of high standard, such as Studer or Ampex, and well maintained and calibrated) than the variables of LP playback, especially cassettes and reel to reel)...that final domestic link in the playback chain was the biggest Achilles Heel of all.

The net result of this rave is that it pays to qualify which part of the 'analog' chain one is referring to when comparing with digital

Let's not give early digital a free ride either, with those 12 and 14 bit converters in CD players, and the haste to get analog releases out on CD.... which had record companies using equalized cassette masters and other dodgy sources, to give the early CD's a very bad name...maybe not as bad as the Loudness Wars of recent decades though, a travesty of equivalent scale ?

With all this accumulated wisdom and battle scars, it's not surprising that digital has continued to lift its game over the last 34 years since CD became available...would anyone have expected less ?

Is that to say that digital has no further to evolve....hardly, but deciding on which barriers to storm (sample rate, AD conversion, delivery medium) is the question.
Old 15th January 2017
  #58
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Roland's Avatar
+1.

I would also point out that every time you run analogue tape back through the machine you are abrading the tape with an polished metal head that also begins to get magnetised with each pass. Oxide particles are being smeared down the length of the tape, bass performance is patchy to say the least, and top end response curtails.

I suspect that the smearing that tape produces also has a subtle reverberation effect, this might be the sheen/shimmer that people like with tape. This brings to thinking two distinct possibilities. Firstly something recorded to tape could be immediately copied toigital file preserving the good without getting into the bad, (print through, drop outs, progressive loss of top end, etc.), the other would be to record the digital file to tape afterwards. I would further postulate that it would be possible to build a system containing an analogue tape circuit feeding a record head with some sort of magnetic disc that has extreme closeness to the head without touching and a playbackhead back through an analogue tape circuit and reproduce the tape machine effect. How good is the Steven Slate or Waves tape machine plugins? (I've not heard them). Depending on the depth they go into we should be getting close to be able to model or convolve this process.
Old 15th January 2017
  #59
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Plush's Avatar
Sorry, Roland, but high technology will not get anywhere close to beautiful analog playback. And none of the things you say are happening during analog playback (abrading oxide, smearing oxide, some type of reverberation effect and the other guessing) are happening with a good machine.

The first thing that one has to have to do a legitimate test is a high quality all analog playback path. Many on this forum don't have it. They listen to everything through a digital path. I am outraged when I go to a studio and they don't have an analog monitoring path.

You all have to do the recording tests yourselves. Then you can join the circle of nirvanasound.

Citing the playback characteristics of a poorly maintained tape recorder does not help the "digital is our savior" argument.

You have to do the recording test yourself.
Oh wait--you don't have a good tape recorder???
Old 15th January 2017
  #60
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Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Sorry, Roland, but high technology will not get anywhere close to beautiful analog playback. And none of the things you say are happening during analog playback (abrading oxide, smearing oxide, some type of reverberation effect and the other guessing) are happening with a good machine.

The first thing that one has to have to do a legitimate test is a high quality all analog playback path. Many on this forum don't have it. They listen to everything through a digital path. I am outraged when I go to a studio and they don't have an analog monitoring path.

You all have to do the recording tests yourselves. Then you can join the circle of nirvanasound.

Citing the playback characteristics of a poorly maintained tape recorder does not help the "digital is our savior" argument.

You have to do the recording test yourself.
Oh wait--you don't have a good tape recorder???
Pretty much heard it all, but in recent years it's been ATR 100's 1/2" machines.

What I mentioned above is true of any analogue machine as it is the inherent limitations of analogue. No machine can prevent print through as that is a problem with tape. All analogue machines have friction on the tape path, the fact you have to clean the oxide off the heads tells you that you are loosing stuff. That oxide is magnetised and being scrubbed along the tape.

As I've said before, if you like it great, but we can prove it isn't more accurate because we can measure that. We can prove how relatively accurate digital is because we can also measure that.

I also know how even supposedly golden eared engineers have been proven time and again to not even accurately discerne quite large discrepancies. I was party to such a test and some well known names from our industry didn't fair very well. In fairness that test was very difficult, but proved none of us are probably as good as we think.
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