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Does analog gear really sound "better", or is it just a learned response? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 4 days ago
  #1561
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post

So, I totally agree with you that we use simplifications out of necessity. But we can account for those simplifications with as much detail as we deem necessary (to your last point).
That's the whole key I think "as much detail as we deem necessary". Oftentimes we're wrong about how much detail is necessary. When the sound of plugins cannot be differentiated from their analog counterparts, then we've gotten as much detail as necessary. We've made an effective model of the analog circuit. When they don't, we've missed something.
Old 4 days ago
  #1562
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogClassicist View Post
The soundwaves of audio produced, recorded etc. using analog equipment are rounded, the soundwaves produced by the human voice, a piano, a violin, a saxophone and every other instrument, birds singing, a crashing waterfall etc. are rounded as well. Digital soundwaves are not rounded, they're clipped, as a result they sound different, strange and foreign to our ears because every other sound in the world is carried on a rounded wave. So it's not a familiarity bias in the sense that analog is better because it's what we grew up listening to, it's that digital soundwaves are different to every other sound in the natural world, and that makes them strange to our ears.
^^^ DIGITAL SOUNDWAVES^^^!!!??? No such thing. The Internet is an amazing place where people who really dont know anything, can think that they do, just because they looked at a picture and interpreted the info incorrectly. FYI, "DIGITAL AUDIO" is called "DIGITAL AUDIO" because there are no soundwaves involved, only numbers, or "DIGITAL" WORDS. The DIGITAL WORDS are converted on output to ANALOG SOUNDWAVES, that are ANALOG all way to your ANALOG Eardrum....
Old 4 days ago
  #1563
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vernier's Avatar
Yep, converters convert the analog signal from analog to digital. Then, at some point later, converts it back to analog. Explaining it doesn't matter though, because if science had a real handle on this subject, we'd be able to build a modern BA6A that would be "exactly" like an old BA6A. But we can't. And don't. And won't.
Old 4 days ago
  #1564
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vernier View Post
Yep, converters convert the analog signal from analog to digital. Then, at some point later, converts it back to analog. Explaining it doesn't matter though, because if science had a real handle on this subject, we'd be able to build a modern BA6A that would be "exactly" like an old BA6A. But we can't. And don't. And won't.
Who said anything about a BA6A? I sold that old piece of junk for a nice profit 6 years ago. Good Riddance...
Old 4 days ago
  #1565
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preston135 View Post
so...we have the most basic form of a wave. and this much spectral harmonic distortion.
what happens to these on more complex waves? truly random. real time fluctuation of raises in ampletude and phasing?

and combine that with more instruments.... hell that's a lotta noise.
All are basically constructed of sine waves, which is why Nyquist works.

"To conclude, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REALIZE that triangle, square, and sawtooth waves ARE MADE UP OF SINE WAVES – AS IS EVERY SOUND IN THE UNIVERSE. In essence, one can synthesize a somewhat accurate square wave by adding odd multiples of the fundamental frequency to a sine wave. "

From...
What Are Waveforms And How Do They Work? - SoundBridge
Old 4 days ago
  #1566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
In this world, digital processing is the light tower. Analogue processing is largely a romantic bias, literally laughed at in most other audio fields (and essentially any other field of engineering).
This is ridiculously incorrect. You obviously have no idea of what goes on in real world engineering or what kind of research is being done in various fields.

If anything it's analog pushing the limits of technology which then gets adapted (at reduced speeds) to digital. The reality is you can't DSP the lastest analog, it's too fast.

Please stop posting things as facts regarding engineering when you clearly do not understand it.
Old 4 days ago
  #1567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dights View Post

It's probably someone with a few aliases who just enjoys stirring the pot... could even be someone else involved in the main thread
Logically, from the digital "side". As if this pot needs stirring. Looks like the thread started over regardless.
Old 4 days ago
  #1568
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
This is ridiculously incorrect. You obviously have no idea of what goes on in real world engineering or what kind of research is being done in various fields.

If anything it's analog pushing the limits of technology which then gets adapted (at reduced speeds) to digital. The reality is you can't DSP the lastest analog, it's too fast.

Please stop posting things as facts regarding engineering when you clearly do not understand it.
Ok. So we got Fabien, a very respected developer of software, and then you. Somebody's right, nobody's right, or everybody's right. Somebody want to clear this up?
Old 4 days ago
  #1569
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Lance Lawson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
IMHO, that's biased wording acrobatics.



In this world, digital processing is the light tower. Analogue processing is largely a romantic bias, literally laughed at in most other audio fields (and essentially any other field of engineering).
Now see here if we're going to turn anything into a laughing matter let's have a worthy target for our laughter. IMNSHO the only laughing matter in this analogue/digital debate is the idea that vinyl records are the keepers of the keys to the analogue kingdom. I can run my tape machine and say at the end that it's all there enough to warrant a thumbs up. I can run my Sonar and at the end give it a thumbs up. I can even run my tape into Sonar and have decent reason to put two thumbs up. But every time I run those big black flat things, you know the one's with the nice cover art, I know that my two other mediums give it a whoppin.
Old 4 days ago
  #1570
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Ok. So we got Fabien, a very respected developer of software, and then you. Somebody's right, nobody's right, or everybody's right. Somebody want to clear this up?
It's pretty simple actually. Knowing software doesn't make you qualified in matters of engineering. Much like knowing engineering doesn't make you qualified in matters of software.
Old 4 days ago
  #1571
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
It's pretty simple actually. Knowing software doesn't make you qualified in matters of engineering. Much like knowing engineering doesn't make you qualified in matters of software.
And neither makes you qualified as a good programmer/producer.
Old 4 days ago
  #1572
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Brian Campbell's Avatar
 

I see y'all still nicely 'contained' over here...
Old 4 days ago
  #1573
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
You keep insisting that some kind of averaging is going on, but there's not. Take a circuit block consisting of a LPF and feed it to a gain stage; what's the total transfer function of the system? It's the product of the transfer functions of each circuit block. This product is itself a transfer function, characterizing the interaction between the circuit elements. There are no "permutations".
You're still talking about doing calculus by running instantaneous values through functions to set up a matrix of inputs and outputs. By processing via matrix, you're using approximate fixed slope values, aka average values that represent a segment of the curve. That's what makes plugging input values in an average. It's not an average of the values, it's an average of slope ratios for the segment of the curve you're approximating with a straight line.
Old 4 days ago
  #1574
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogosort View Post
This doesn't make any sense. Differential equations define the output curves; they literally describe what the system does to its input at every point in time. You say that integration should be "used"; used for what? For solving the differential equations? That's one possible way to do it; another is Laplace transforms. What does that have to do with anything?
Yes the equation defines the curve, but finding the derivative slope for a set input to find an output solution invariably leads to averaging the SLOPE, not the input and result values. The only way to properly define the true value of curvature is to find the area under the curved segment, via integration (anti-derivative). Which is an NP calculation when dealing with interdependent functions whose summary formula may or may not be a function (passes the vertical line test). This is why in sampling theorem, you can't reconstruct a derived set of slopes unless sampled periodically or randomly at a sufficient rate between an appropriate bandwidth, again which you can't do because the functions are interdependent between components, the bandwidth is unknown, because the number of permutations where functions combine into a formula that is not a function (alias curves) is unknown and can't be factored (to separate aliases), there are an unknown amount of alias curves. That is why you must approximate the curve and can't reconstruct it with 100% confidence in polynomial time. Algebraic AC circuit measurement is not the same as sampling theorem, so it's simplified to behave like sampling theorem but does not have 100% accuracy like sampling theorem.

PS - Do you follow now, or am I going to have to modulate two functions by a function whose slope is the first function modulated by the modulating function over the second function modulated by the modulating function modulating itself, in order to prove that there is no way to define a period or random sample set that has a known set of factors from which an appropriate bandwidth can be determined to then determine the period or random sample set size to determine a known quantity of factors from which to determine an appropriate bandwidth from which to determine, etc hahaha True circuit behavior, with complex multi-component feedback and feed-forward (complete with power supply vs demand inequality periods), can't be modeled in a polynomial time expectant environment by digital processing. Circuits modeled by a digital computer cannot reconstruct the behavior of the analog circuit with 100% accuracy, but they can approximate circuits, much like using the samples of a digitized waveform as the waveform itself instead of reconstructing, or maybe more like reconstruction without a lowpass. Haven't thought about a decent metaphor between the two yet. If this whole post isn't proof, I'm breaking out a pen and paper and a graphing calculator (which I prob won't even need but it's fun haha).

PPS - I'm still calling it "Rauch's C-BAIT Hypothesis" haha

Last edited by psykostx; 4 days ago at 06:18 AM..
Old 4 days ago
  #1575
Gear Maniac
 
BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Dolby SR was a big improvement over Dolby A. But you couldn't have both that and saturation/compression. If there had been a next generation of noise reduction that figured that one out...
i did a few sessions on Dolby SR equiped Studer A800mk3s.

unfortunately all thoses sessions were classical/orchestral and i never slammed anything to tape.

i was totally impressed on the sound coming back on tape monitor return.

i remember thinking WOW.. its almost digital, but just a little softer and warmer

anyway it worked on classical for me.

but i never did any rock n roll on SR, so cant comment on saturation on SR myself.

Buddha
Old 4 days ago
  #1576
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dights's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Lawson View Post
Now see here if we're going to turn anything into a laughing matter let's have a worthy target for our laughter. IMNSHO the only laughing matter in this analogue/digital debate is the idea that vinyl records are the keepers of the keys to the analogue kingdom. I can run my tape machine and say at the end that it's all there enough to warrant a thumbs up. I can run my Sonar and at the end give it a thumbs up. I can even run my tape into Sonar and have decent reason to put two thumbs up. But every time I run those big black flat things, you know the one's with the nice cover art, I know that my two other mediums give it a whoppin.
Haha! Yup.

And yet the irony is that I still find vinyl the most meaningful format I've owned music on!
Old 4 days ago
  #1577
Gear Nut
 

I'll give a tangible example of where I thought analogue sounded way better. Take a vocal track and grab an analogue EQ. Mine is a Neve 1073 but you can use any analogue EQ pretty much. Harrison has really smooth and gentle EQs (the great river stuff), API etc. Even SSL. Now, run the vocal track through it and boost the EQ +10db in the high end (just fixed shelf tone shaper EQ).

As a point of comparison do this with a software EQ (it doesn't matter which but you can compare like for like if you want; tons of modeled 1073 EQs out there).

You'll immediately realise that it's really difficult to make analogue sound bad even at the most extreme settings. Of course you wouldn't boost a vocal track by 10db in the high frequency range but if you did, on the aforementioned EQs, you'd have, at worst, a really cool effect on the track. The audio wouldn't be destroyed.

In software, if you go above 3db you'll destroy the track. It'll just end up a harsh sounding mess that will hurt your teeth (and ears).

The high resolution in analogue is undeniable. Maybe when digital gets up to 2, 3, 5 or even 10mhz sample rates it might be able to compete I don't know. For now there are some areas that are undeniably better in analogue.
Old 4 days ago
  #1578
Geariophile
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dights View Post
Haha! Yup.

And yet the irony is that I still find vinyl the most meaningful format I've owned music on!
Because frequency response, accuracy to source etc is not related to emotional impact.

There sure seems to be something about playing those black bits of plastic which gets in through the cracks to touch the heart strings more. I think part of it may be to do with subconscious brain trickery. Like the stuff you try to create when applying modulation to things to keep it feeling free and interesting and not static.
With a bit of vinyl as soon as you hear the intro crackle it's like THIS time you play it. Won't crackle identically to last time. Each time is a sort of performance of imperfection. Of parameters kept alive and different each play. Like an unsync'd lfo. Like flickering flames. A digital file is guaranteed the SAME each time. A bit like watching a fire or a picture of one.

Plus the crackle kind of makes it sound like an actual fire. Which is cosy.
Old 4 days ago
  #1579
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Looneytune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Limit54 View Post
It's simple. We all love saturation and distortion. It's awesome and there ain't nothing like electronic parts that do that better. Electricity and heat can create some magical **** to my ears, with a well built box that is.
I thought it was all bull but then I got myself an ssl buss comp and I literally crapped my pants.
Totally freakin agree...I love my Analog outboard and don’t care what the nay sayers say. Nothing beats it.
Old 4 days ago
  #1580
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dights's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Because frequency response, accuracy to source etc is not related to emotional impact.

There sure seems to be something about playing those black bits of plastic which gets in through the cracks to touch the heart strings more. I think part of it may be to do with subconscious brain trickery. Like the stuff you try to create when applying modulation to things to keep it feeling free and interesting and not static.
With a bit of vinyl as soon as you hear the intro crackle it's like THIS time you play it. Won't crackle identically to last time. Each time is a sort of performance of imperfection. Of parameters kept alive and different each play. Like an unsync'd lfo. Like flickering flames. A digital file is guaranteed the SAME each time. A bit like watching a fire or a picture of one.

Plus the crackle kind of makes it sound like an actual fire. Which is cosy.
I'd never thought about it that way, but I suppose that is a factor.

For me what makes it the most meaningful format to own music on is its tangible connection. It's a possession that I treasure, and gives me a real connection to the artist.

Not only that, but the physical aspect of the format lends itself to you listening to the music as a pastime in itself. I put on a record and listen to a record, not put on music and do something else.

I have a large vinyl collection, lots of CDs, and a whole library of digital music downloads; and that's just it... the vinyl is a collection.
Old 4 days ago
  #1581
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
You're still talking about doing calculus by running instantaneous values through functions to set up a matrix of inputs and outputs. By processing via matrix, you're using approximate fixed slope values, aka average values that represent a segment of the curve. That's what makes plugging input values in an average. It's not an average of the values, it's an average of slope ratios for the segment of the curve you're approximating with a straight line.
Again, this doesn't make any sense to me. The slope of a curve is implicit in the curve's values. If we sample these values (under the constraints of the sampling theorem), the slope doesn't change -- it remains implicit in the sample values. This is easily demonstrated with an o-scope and an ADC-to-DAC chain: feed the chain a sine at known frequency, then compare the output. If the frequency is the same (and it will be), then the slope must be equivalent, because any change in slope is a change in frequency.
Old 4 days ago
  #1582
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
It's pretty simple actually. Knowing software doesn't make you qualified in matters of engineering. Much like knowing engineering doesn't make you qualified in matters of software.
Do you actually know he's not an engineer? If not, maybe stay away from a personal attack, you may not like the answer......
Old 4 days ago
  #1583
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
Yes the equation defines the curve, but finding the derivative slope for a set input to find an output solution invariably leads to averaging the SLOPE, not the input and result values. The only way to properly define the true value of curvature is to find the area under the curved segment, via integration (anti-derivative).
This is simply not true; the slope of a curve is implicit in the curve's values (see my post above). And if you want to know the value of the slope at any point, you differentiate. Integrating the curve just sums all the values; it is the opposite of what you want, since it hides any local details (e.g., slope changes) behind a single global number, like the averages you keep mentioning.

Quote:
This is why in sampling theorem, you can't reconstruct a derived set of slopes unless sampled periodically or randomly at a sufficient rate between an appropriate bandwidth, again which you can't do because the functions are interdependent between components, the bandwidth is unknown, because the number of permutations where functions combine into a formula that is not a function (alias curves) is unknown and can't be factored (to separate aliases), there are an unknown amount of alias curves.
You claim that the bandwidth of the composition of functions is unknown, but this is patently false. If two sub-circuits (e.g., two filters) are connected in series, and if the transfer function of the first filter is F(s) and the transfer function of the second filter is G(s), then the combined transfer function is simply their product: H(s) = F(s)G(s). Let s= jw and we have the Fourier transform -- and hence the bandwidth -- of the composition.

Quote:
PS - Do you follow now, or am I going to have to modulate two functions by a function whose slope is the first function modulated by the modulating function over the second function modulated by the modulating function modulating itself, in order to prove that there is no way to define a period or random sample set that has a known set of factors...
Go ahead and demonstrate.
Old 4 days ago
  #1584
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Lance Lawson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dights View Post
Haha! Yup.

And yet the irony is that I still find vinyl the most meaningful format I've owned music on!
However just recently I went out and bought the vinyl pressings of the Dylan Albert Hall Concert. I could have had it on CD but chose vinyl because for decades I had the bootleg Manchester Free Trade Union Hall concert and it seemed more fitting to have RAH in vinyl. It does sound good.
Old 4 days ago
  #1585
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bogosort's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyc View Post
If anything it's analog pushing the limits of technology which then gets adapted (at reduced speeds) to digital. The reality is you can't DSP the lastest analog, it's too fast.
To be fair, all circuits are analog. I'm not an RF guy, but aren't the uber fast circuits usually just front-end receivers? I'd think that near-THz DSP could be created, but it's much more effective/efficient to downconvert uber fast signals to standard digital clock speeds.

If there are purely analog high-speed applications, I'd be curious to know.
Old 4 days ago
  #1586
With all due respect to our beloved tape decks of yore... I'm not sure at all that I concur with Lance's observation that tape offers higher fidelity than vinyl. BUT -- and this is crucial -- in either case, much depends on one's playback. Cheap tape decks tend to have a lot of wow and flutter as well as typically being frequency response-challenged -- but the same can be said of cheap vinyl playback. And, of course, we're talking about what is possible, not what is probable from average gear.

Now, for many, the first things they notice are a) noise and b) overall frequency response/balance... and those are clearly important.

But one aspect many people don't seem to often mention -- but which, at least for me, can be a total joy-killer when it's bad -- time domain accuracy, ie, wow & flutter. When I listen to a piano, I want to hear the piano's intertwined resonances ringing out clearly, with no time distortion 'shimmer' (or worse).

And it's somewhat easier for vinyl to deliver better W&F performance than tape -- as we can see by comparing the manufacturer's W&F specs for the legendary Studer A827 [which, when new, cost as much as a house, $58K in 1989] -- 0.03% at 30 ips, 0.04% at 15 ips, 0.06% at 8.5 ips [peak weighted] and the very popular Technics SL-1200 MKII [the 1200 was listed in the 1980 Stereo Review Buyers' Guide at $350], which appears to provide measured peak W&F spec of 0.025 to 0.035%. (Technics specifies a non-peak W&F measurement of 'less than 0.01%' in the manual for the MKII.)


Different people have different levels of sensitivity/discomfort with W&F, to be sure, but I find such time domain distortion to be extremely distressing above a certain level. When I hear a pristinely recorded grand piano, I want to hear the resonances ring and interact naturally -- I don't want the medium I'm listening to to impart an extra 'shimmer' to it. And the 'underwater effect' familiar from so many cassette decks just makes me seasick.
Old 4 days ago
  #1587
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Lance Lawson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
With all dues respect to our beloved tape decks of yore... I'm not sure at all that I concur with Lance's observation that tape offers higher fidelity than vinyl. BUT -- and this is crucial -- in either case, much depends on one's playback. Cheap tape decks tend to have a lot of wow and flutter as well as typically being frequency response-challenged -- but the same can be said of cheap vinyl playback. And, of course, we're talking about what is possible, not what is probable from average gear.
I've almost always maintained a decent consumer/prosumer RTR deck. Indeed there were poor RTR machines especially in the early days when they were the only tape format. But in the occasions I've been able to record high res digital or CD digital onto my RTR the result is better than the vinyl versions I have of same said material. Of course my own tape masters done in studio are indicative of tape's performance.

As for vinyl playback mediums where does the line get drawn between a serious playback unit vs a less than serious unit? Again I can only base my listening on the devices I have. In the case of turntable it is a MOR ubitiquitous Technics of late 70's vintage. However it was from new fitted with a TOTL AT cart, the one they use for Shibata stylus which a low time Shibata is in it now. I suspect it gives a respectable sound. I've been happy with it all along. But I am certain Michael Fremmer has a playback TT that is orders of magnitude better. But do these new SOTA TT's that resemble modern sculpture and cost tens of thousands $$ deliver a quantum leap in quality?

Another problematic obstacle in accessing vinyl's true quality is the impossibility to reproduce a disc to do a direct side by on the spot side comparison. The tester is more or less restricted to first getting the vinyl disk to test then finding same in the formats to either record or compare.

Lastly the record itself if it has production flaws will be as present in a cheap system as in a quality system. So there are lots of variables to consider. That said I will attest that recording a vinyl record to RTR tape does not create a whole greater than sum of the parts. It creates yet another generation of loss but preserves the source. The contribution of tape effect is only a kind of better sound when recording digital files. In those instances the only wow/flutter of the tape machine is the only only potential offender. Most "golden age" (70's-90's RTR's) are better than good.

The entire game changes when recording the vinyl in 96/24 digital. The differences are sublimely tiny.
Old 4 days ago
  #1588
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
All are basically constructed of sine waves, which is why Nyquist works.

"To conclude, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REALIZE that triangle, square, and sawtooth waves ARE MADE UP OF SINE WAVES – AS IS EVERY SOUND IN THE UNIVERSE. In essence, one can synthesize a somewhat accurate square wave by adding odd multiples of the fundamental frequency to a sine wave. "

From...
What Are Waveforms And How Do They Work? - SoundBridge
so it's a bit like a rectifier/diode on car alternator.

after having a look over that page. is even though we can only hear there to there. summing above there and there causes an effect in what we can hear. i dont know what this phenomenon is called. supersonic overtone drop down harmoniousness. or SODDH for short..

(it does have a proper name, just cant remember it)

and from what i gathered (many moons ago) 44.1-16 is 44.1-16 is for no other reason than it was the perfect size of chunks to fit on a compact disk.

my memory's a bit vauge... to know the ins and outs of it all now.
only took what i needed from the info i gathered back then and the rest went to the back of the mind.

10+years ago i was like johnny5 in a book shop. need input!!!

Last edited by Preston135; 4 days ago at 07:31 PM..
Old 4 days ago
  #1589
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
All are basically constructed of sine waves, which is why Nyquist works.

"To conclude, IT IS IMPORTANT TO REALIZE that triangle, square, and sawtooth waves ARE MADE UP OF SINE WAVES – AS IS EVERY SOUND IN THE UNIVERSE. In essence, one can synthesize a somewhat accurate square wave by adding odd multiples of the fundamental frequency to a sine wave. "

From...
What Are Waveforms And How Do They Work? - SoundBridge
I was taught the same thing in the 70s, and I'd certainly agree for the sort of periodic waveforms produced by instruments or voices or other natural means, i.e., wave forms generated by natural means.

The only exception to this I can see is the type of unnatural waveform that can be generated electronically with a duty cycle of something other than 1:1. Think of a rectangular wave with a 1 mS on 5 mS off duty cycle

You could certainly get the first portion ( a positive rectangle of 1 ms duration by adding enough sine wave harmonics harmonics) but the same combination wouldn't give you the 5mS "off" portion of the wave.
Old 4 days ago
  #1590
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Do you actually know he's not an engineer? If not, maybe stay away from a personal attack, you may not like the answer......
Well I'm an EE, know lots of engineers in various fields, both in industry and academic research. And none of them say those kinds of things. The idea that digital guys are sitting around laughing at non-digital guys is rather insulting to some very smart people. It's been a consistent theme over the years, and rather tiring.

But don't take my word for it. If you are near a major research university take a tour of the engineering department and see for yourself what kind of work goes on. I'm out of that game for now, but could still probably set something up for someone in LA.

Last edited by johnnyc; 4 days ago at 08:19 PM..
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