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I like low resolution TV, movies, and video games better.

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Nowadays there is this craze where everything has to be in high definition or people are unsatisfied. I grew up with the Atari 2600 and 70s and early 80s movies and I really don't like how things look in high resolution, unless there is a specific reason for it.

Let's start with movies. Movies from 1975-1985 have that film look that I like. Take the movie Halloween for instance. When you see less detail, you think more abstractly. The movie Halloween would be less mysterious in high definition. The movie has the feel of horny teenagers, a neighborhood, and a killer on the loose. I don't want to see it in high definition. I don't need to see every little detail of the jeans they are wearing or what every piece of furniture looks like or every little detail of their face. I like the way you see Jamie Lee Curtis's face and the kids faces only a little bit. If it was so detailed as if they were in front of you, you see too much.

The key is that with less detail things become more abstract. I just want to see the personality of people's faces or the neighborhood or surroundings.

I hate today's movies that give so much detail that they all feel like watching a football game on a big screen TV. Film gives me a timeless quality and seeing every detail just takes that away. On the other hand, movies like Jeepers Creepers and the American Pie series do use that level of detail to give themselves a certain feel. The high quality of filming adds something to these movies, but I think that is the exception to the rule.

The same is true for video games. I never played games past the Colecovision until recently but I like NES games and don't see much need to go past that in detail, unless there is a reason. Most of the time they just add colors in the background or textures for no artistic reason. I like the feel of Super Mario Brothers and Megaman. All the colors they add on SNES games are a distraction unless they create a certain personality. They do on the best games, but some of them I can do without the extra graphics. A game like Bionic Commando, Batman, or Adventure Island on the NES has enough detail to give me a whole feel of the little world it creates. Similarly, for 3-D graphics, the N64 is enough for me. I like things cartoonish. Things lose their magic when they are so detailed.

Anyone else agree or am I just stuck in the past?
post #2 of 52
I detest grainy 80's music videos.
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

I detest grainy 80's music videos.

See that's another thing. I never noticed, having grown up with them, that there was something wrong. I haven't seen many recent videos, since most of toay's music stinks IMO, so I can't compare.
post #4 of 52
Zork.
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post #5 of 52
Nerd.
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post #6 of 52
You need to move out of Beverly Hills and move to Lancaster County...
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post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindler View Post

Anyone else agree or am I just stuck in the past?

This is akin to the touch-feely obsession some people have over tube amps. If you like the grainy look, there's no shame in admitting it, but you are also correct in admitting that you are clinging to the past. There isn't just one way to take a medium and bring art to it. Digital amps and high def video have much better signal integrity than do tubes or film, so it might be more difficult to evoke a "warmness" to it, but warmness is a crutch.
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post #8 of 52
For me it's not so much about the look of old film. In fact, there is no comparison between old and new. HD is so much better it's not even funny.

The thing I've noticed is this: Now that we have all this amazing technology (HD, $1500 plasma displays, Blu-Ray/HD-DVD, etc.) almost all the movies being made REALLY SUCK.
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post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

This is akin to the touch-feely obsession some people have over tube amps.

Surely you don't disparage the warm tones of my Silvertone 1482, sir!
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post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

For me it's not so much about the look of old film. In fact, there is no comparison between old and new. HD is so much better it's not even funny.

There's little perceptual difference between 35mm and 1080. However, 35mm is still higher resolution and has a better image in most respects.

Low-bit, low-res is great, though. It's like a painting with broad, obvious brush strokes or a clock with exposed gears. People who prefer HD in all cases remind me of 8yo girls who put ketchup on everything.
post #11 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by giant View Post

There's little perceptual difference between 35mm and 1080. However, 35mm is still higher resolution and has a better image in most respects.

Low-bit, low-res is great, though. It's like a painting with broad, obvious brush strokes or a clock with exposed gears. People who prefer HD in all cases remind me of 8yo girls who put ketchup on everything.



I probably should have been more clear. I really just mean grainy looking older film versus HD or even high quality newer film. I can't see why someone would want a copy of something that doesn't look as good. Think about older movies you've seen transferred to HD. They don't look incredible?
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post #12 of 52
There is some point to what you're saying, but that post reminded me of a guy I worked with who was an aspriring musician with a band trying to get a label. He would swear up and down that vinyl records sound better than CD's. He said that CD/Digital takes all the 'character' out of the music, in other words, they are TOO perfect.

You could apply the same arguments to the PS3 vs Wii thread, some people just aren't happy if it's not HD, even if the underlying quality of the game/movie is worse. Some of the best games I've played, and re-play, in my life are 2D sprite based games. (Bioware/Infinity Engine)
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post #13 of 52
Just to throw another fish in the pot (wait, is that a real saying?):

A lot of the perception of how "older movies" look is a function of watching really terrible transfers of really terrible prints on television.

While it is true that film stocks got progressively finer grained over the years, the washed out, low contrast version of many films from the 60's, 70's and 80's that get shown on TV don't really reflect what was on the negative.

While there has been a movement to "remaster" some classic films, doing high res digital transfers from original negative, where possible, there are a lot of second tier films that only exist as battered prints or indifferent transfers.

Now that we have displays capable of showing higher res, and formats capable of handling same, we can get a chance to see some movies much closer to their original splendor, or, in some cases, better than the original theatrical presentation, since many audiences first saw these films as third generation prints that had been screened multiple times (with the attendant wear and tear) on poorly adjusted projectors. For my money, getting to see something like "Citizen Kane" in HD without any gate weave or scratches or flicker, in perfect focus, in the comfort of my own home, is a miracle of the age (just pulling an example out of the air, have no idea if there has been a proper HD transfer of Citizen Kane).

Not to mention sound, which until recently was always a pale reflection of what was possible to put on the magnetic film (and later, multi-track tape) that was used to carry the track through mix down, and which we can now hear (when properly remastered) as the sound engineers did.
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post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

There is some point to what you're saying, but that post reminded me of a guy I worked with who was an aspriring musician with a band trying to get a label.

Touchy feely obsessions. If you need vinyl to make you sound good, practice harder. In addition, AV technology is so good today that if you wanted to add a vinyl sound to a digital recording or a old-style video look to an HD video, that's certainly possible.
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post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Touchy feely obsessions. If you need vinyl to make you sound good, practice harder. In addition, AV technology is so good today that if you wanted to add a vinyl sound to a digital recording or a old-style video look to an HD video, that's certainly possible.

Oh, don't get me wrong, their demo album was released on CD. Just his personal taste that a given song sounded better on vinyl than digital. He also claimed that he could identify what brand and model guitar/amp/effect box an artist was using just by listening to the song (he was a guitarist).

\
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post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPoster View Post

He also claimed that he could identify what brand and model guitar/amp/effect box an artist was using just by listening to the song (he was a guitarist).

That's not surprising. A Les Paul has a pretty distinctive sound. A strat, too. Beyond that, it gets difficult. Is it a Les Paul or a PRS? Is it a Strat or a Godin Artisan?

But the two main categories (Strat and Les Paul)? Sure. That's believable.

Certain effects boxes are pretty distinctive, too. Not much else sounds like a Big Muff. Not much else sounds like an Echoplex Memory Man.
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post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

That's not surprising. A Les Paul has a pretty distinctive sound. A strat, too. Beyond that, it gets difficult. Is it a Les Paul or a PRS? Is it a Strat or a Godin Artisan?

But the two main categories (Strat and Les Paul)? Sure. That's believable.

Certain effects boxes are pretty distinctive, too. Not much else sounds like a Big Muff. Not much else sounds like an Echoplex Memory Man.

Why Professor Midwinter, that's quite a bit of guitar and effects box knowhow there...... been rockin' much?
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post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Why Professor Midwinter, that's quite a bit of guitar and effects box knowhow there...... been rockin' much?

Nah. I just memorize stuff like this for fun and trivia challenges.

I played quite a bit in college and grad school on the southern circuit (Baton Rouge, Jackson, the coast, Mobile, B'Ham, Tuscaloosa, Oxford, that kind of thing...anywhere we could drive in a day and get back for class). And I will never, ever replace my Godin Artisan ST. EDIT: this is actually closer to mine.

I am in the market for a left-handed Taylor, concert-sized. Maybe a lefty Olsen. Anyone have one they want to give away?
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post #19 of 52
I'd like to see the Apple 1984 ad remastered in HD. I imagine it'd look pretty cool.

I don't necessarily agree that a lower-res version of something would give it a different feel, unlike color adjustment (The Matrix), making something only black and white (Sin City or Schindler's List), or even subtitling versus overdubbing.

What we need to remember is that they are production choices. I imagine that all of those old movies would probably be distributed in HD if they were produced today. The only feel I get out of all those old films is that they are old. I have a hard time believing that I'd be less scared by an HD version or that a lower res version would seem better to watch.

All else the same, if I were able to play the original Super Mario Brothers game in high definition with millions of colors I don't know that it would feel any different. Now if you started to throw in the bigger more buttony controllers or the Wiimote, then it would change.
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post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Touchy feely obsessions. If you need vinyl to make you sound good, practice harder. In addition, AV technology is so good today that if you wanted to add a vinyl sound to a digital recording or a old-style video look to an HD video, that's certainly possible.

That's not the reason it sounds better. Analog recording does in fact sound better with the exception of the noise. The reason is that analog captures the entire audio wave, whereas digital only samples and recreates the wave. That is why 24 bit players using 24 bit material sound better than 16 bit.



An analog recording shows that entire wave as being smooth. While CDs eliminate the noise of tape or vinyl, they cannot carry as much information. Ever listened to a really expensive turntable with perfectly cared for record? It's incredible in terms of depth. There is a "warmth" to the sound that doesn't exist with digital audio.
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post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

That's not the reason it sounds better. Analog recording does in fact sound better with the exception of the noise.

That's an unprocessed digital signal. A digital signal can be reconstructed into the original continuous, non-quantized signal by use of an ideal low pass fiter (aka sinc interpolation). In fact, given the stipulation that the maximum component frequency is about 22kHz, the CD signal carries just as much information as the source signal. This is the basis of information theory.

Using modern FIR filters and by oversampling, a near-ideal filter with linear phase delay can be realized. The noise in any analog system, even the stuff that comes from electron diffusion in the amps themselves, is much greater that what you're going to see from signal-degradation of the digital system. There's also the bonus that any number of FIR filters can be used on digital signals, and FIR filters basically rock -- very flexible, linear phase delay. Linear phase delay is actually a really big deal. Analog filters generally do not have this attribute.

I've spent a few years doing this stuff.
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post #22 of 52
I think the crux of what is being discussed here is that there is a certain appreciation of the intelligence that went into overcoming limitations within a certain timespace and still telling compelling stories, making compelling music, etc.

A large problem isn't the fact we can improve the transmission rate, clean up the prints, liven up the color to its original state or such features of modern technology. It is the fact that so many, heck even some of the originators feel the need to go back and "improve" the prior product.

Is it nice to be able to listen to a band I grew up without the hiss in the middle of the recording. Yes it is. However it is not nice when they decide to "fix" the tuning of the Hammond organ they had been dragging around in their van. It is not acceptable for them to correct the timing of their drunk/high keyboard player.

We've seen this occur with smoking, with phrases, concepts or words that are less acceptable in this day and age. There are no more guns in E.T. and Han doesn't shoot first anymore. Star Trek has all new musical recordings and special effects. I'm sure they played the music with the same gusto, likely even with better musicianship. However that doesn't mean it is now more "right." There really are certain things that cannot be recaptured.

Nick

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post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

That's not the reason it sounds better. Analog recording does in fact sound better with the exception of the noise. The reason is that analog captures the entire audio wave, whereas digital only samples and recreates the wave. That is why 24 bit players using 24 bit material sound better than 16 bit.

An analog recording shows that entire wave as being smooth. While CDs eliminate the noise of tape or vinyl, they cannot carry as much information. Ever listened to a really expensive turntable with perfectly cared for record? It's incredible in terms of depth. There is a "warmth" to the sound that doesn't exist with digital audio.

This isn't true. Just because it's analogue doesn't mean it stores infinite information.

There's a limit to the size the pits can be in a record before the needle gets stuck. Additionally, there's a limit to the size where vinyl can be effectively pressed.

All said, vinyl has a dynamic range of 20 dB lower than a CD, giving vinyl an effective bit rate of around 12-13 bits. That's why CD players using 16 bit material sound better than records.
post #24 of 52
Me want these. How they compare with modern solid state amps, I do not know, but glowing valves sure look the business, don't they?

I've had a good listen to a good quality valve amp before. It did sound good. High sensitivity speakers are a must... any suggestions from the sound gurus out there, just in case one of these were to follow me home...
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post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat View Post

This isn't true. Just because it's analogue doesn't mean it stores infinite information.

There's a limit to the size the pits can be in a record before the needle gets stuck. Additionally, there's a limit to the size where vinyl can be effectively pressed.

All said, vinyl has a dynamic range of 20 dB lower than a CD, giving vinyl an effective bit rate of around 12-13 bits. That's why CD players using 16 bit material sound better than records.

I'm not saying it can store infinite information. I'm saying the acoustic wave is not "true." It's a sample of the wave, which the player reconstructs. I still think that a really fine digital recording sounds better because of the lack of noise and dynamic range...but there is an argument that certain kinds of music just don't have the warmth. In particular, brass and strings have this problem.

My theory as a musician on that is these instruments produce pitches with more audible overtones, and that these aren't represented with as much accuracy on a digital recording. That's just a thought though.
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post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I'm not saying it can store infinite information. I'm saying the acoustic wave is not "true." It's a sample of the wave, which the player reconstructs. I still think that a really fine digital recording sounds better because of the lack of noise and dynamic range...but there is an argument that certain kinds of music just don't have the warmth. In particular, brass and strings have this problem.

My theory as a musician on that is these instruments produce pitches with more audible overtones, and that these aren't represented with as much accuracy on a digital recording. That's just a thought though.

I don't understand how one version of the wave is true and the other isn't. If the digital is limited by its something and the vinyl is limited by its something, how are either of them "true"? I say this as a musician who prefers tube amps to solid state ones.
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post #27 of 52
Film no matter how old has always looked better than tv.

HD is much closer to film so even old movies look much more like the director intended.

If you like the look of all that grain and noise you get from an analog signal ( at on a good day 330 lines ) so be it.

But a DVD at 480p or HD at 1080i ( minimum ) is much more like film.

You need your eyes checked.

In my house I have my lady friend and her kids. She says she likes analog and can't tell the difference. Personally I think this is just a resistance to new things.

And since the transition is inevitable as the Borg say " Resistence is futile! ".
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post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I don't understand how one version of the wave is true and the other isn't. If the digital is limited by its something and the vinyl is limited by its something, how are either of them "true"? I say this as a musician who prefers tube amps to solid state ones.


I've heard this argument time and again. One of these items is music production the other is music reproduction.

As midwinter says tube amps for playing an instrument are great! They add a warmth and side harmonics that give the sound life. This is also why musicians use a device called a flanger. This creates a slowed down echo of the wave from the instrument. The 2 waves slightly out of sinc create harmonics that aren't in the original to give a more complex ( warm ) sound. A tube amp adds warmth to the signal to create a more complex sound.

When playing music I prefer a recording that is as close to what's being played originally with out the warmth that a record needle would add ( not to mention all those pops and cracks that even the best record or turntable produce ).

One produces a more pleasing sound in the first place. The other produces a more pleasing sound in the second place.
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post #29 of 52
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Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

One produces a more pleasing sound in the first place. The other produces a more pleasing sound in the second place.

I dunno, though. I remember when CDs first came out, I was listening to the CD of Sweet Baby James and could hear the sound of the guitar moving on his leg and of him moving on the stool. When I've done studio work, I've been able to hear the sound of my arm moving against the side of one of my guitars (admittedly, it has an unfinished cedar top, so it's a little, um, scratchy) on the playback and had to redo parts.

Now, had we been recording into a big horn onto a wax cylinder? I wouldn't have had to redo some of those parts.
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post #30 of 52
I only listen to music, I don't know anything aboout making it, but it looks like digital production now offers far more "fidelity" and resolution than what could be done in the analogue era. An interesting thing for me, as a consumer of your fine labours, is hat we see valves making a bit of a return to home amplification. Some claim that this is actually a good match to digital media, and especially compressed music as it fattens up the sound bit and gives vocals and certain instruments back some of their "natural" sound... You all find any merit to that idea?
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post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matsu View Post

I only listen to music, I don't know anything aboout making it, but it looks like digital production now offers far more "fidelity" and resolution than what could be done in the analogue era. An interesting thing for me, as a consumer of your fine labours, is hat we see valves making a bit of a return to home amplification. Some claim that this is actually a good match to digital media, and especially compressed music as it fattens up the sound bit and gives vocals and certain instruments back some of their "natural" sound... You all find any merit to that idea?

Ok I thought I would expand on this a bit so I edited the post. I grew up with a stereofile. My dad was a musician and he also loved stereo equipment. He built his own speakers and lived and breathed the equipment. The last thing he bought before he pasted away was a $ 7,000.00 McIntosh sytem ( a different Mac ).
His idea he always told me was to get the equipment to reproduce as close to a live performance as possible. For him that was the ultimate goal for the equipment. I guess that philosophy carried over to me.


As far as tube amps for music reproduction it's that " Warmth " thing again. So it's all in the ear of the beholder I guess.
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post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac View Post

Ok I thought I would expand on this a bit so I edited the post. I grew up with a stereofile. My dad was a musician and he also loved stereo equipment. He built his own speakers and lived and breathed the equipment. The last thing he bought before he pasted away was a $ 7,000.00 McIntosh sytem ( a different Mac ).
His idea he always told me was to get the equipment to reproduce as close to a live performance as possible. For him that was the ultimate goal for the equipment. I guess that philosophy carried over to me.


As far as tube amps for music reproduction it's that " Warmth " thing again. So it's all in the ear of the beholder I guess.

Yeah, but then you get into the whole "what is a live performance" in the studio recording electronic manipulation era thing,

In my experience the most "live" I've ever heard a system sound has been when playing back acoustic jazz sets. I good system can do an amazing job of placing each performer on the stage, left to right, front to back, while maintaining the integrity of each instrument. It helps that a lot of people's listening areas aren't hugely different than the stage of a small night club.

Interestingly, the very best of that kind of thing that I've heard was a recording from the late sixties, remastered to 24bit CD. Absolutely breath taking in its verisimilitude.

But a symphony orchestra? I don't think a stereo speaker pair has the capacity to convincingly reproduce that many instruments arrayed across that large a space.

And studio stuff? Multiple tracks from different sessions, solos added after the fact, processed, mixed.... there really isn't any live performance to reproduce, so the measure of accuracy would be how close your listening experience matches the master, but even then your talking about different playback equipment, so who knows?

And that's not even getting into sound scape-y electronica and ambient, and all the other stuff that doesn't even pretend to be imitating any "real" acoustic space, or if they do it is entirely synthetic.

It's sort of like evaluating a big screen TV for how "realistic" it looks when showing a CG lightshow.
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post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yeah, but then you get into the whole "what is a live performance" in the studio recording electronic manipulation era thing,

In my experience the most "live" I've ever heard a system sound has been when playing back acoustic jazz sets. I good system can do an amazing job of placing each performer on the stage, left to right, front to back, while maintaining the integrity of each instrument. It helps that a lot of people's listening areas aren't hugely different than the stage of a small night club.

Interestingly, the very best of that kind of thing that I've heard was a recording from the late sixties, remastered to 24bit CD. Absolutely breath taking in its verisimilitude.

But a symphony orchestra? I don't think a stereo speaker pair has the capacity to convincingly reproduce that many instruments arrayed across that large a space.

And studio stuff? Multiple tracks from different sessions, solos added after the fact, processed, mixed.... there really isn't any live performance to reproduce, so the measure of accuracy would be how close your listening experience matches the master, but even then your talking about different playback equipment, so who knows?

And that's not even getting into sound scape-y electronica and ambient, and all the other stuff that doesn't even pretend to be imitating any "real" acoustic space, or if they do it is entirely synthetic.

It's sort of like evaluating a big screen TV for how "realistic" it looks when showing a CG lightshow.


Well like I said as " close " as possible. But you make some good points. Even with the best surround sound an orchestra is very difficult to reproduce.
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post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I don't understand how one version of the wave is true and the other isn't. If the digital is limited by its something and the vinyl is limited by its something, how are either of them "true"? I say this as a musician who prefers tube amps to solid state ones.

I'm testing the limits of my technical understanding here to be honest. That said, I don't think those limitations are quite the same. Regardless of the limit vinyl may have, it's still capturing the actual shape of the acoustic wave. Digital is not...it's estimating it (and quite well, might I add).
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post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I dunno, though. I remember when CDs first came out, I was listening to the CD of Sweet Baby James and could hear the sound of the guitar moving on his leg and of him moving on the stool. When I've done studio work, I've been able to hear the sound of my arm moving against the side of one of my guitars (admittedly, it has an unfinished cedar top, so it's a little, um, scratchy) on the playback and had to redo parts.

Now, had we been recording into a big horn onto a wax cylinder? I wouldn't have had to redo some of those parts.

I would suspect that's because of the total clarity and lack of any mechanical noise in the digital recording, which is a huge of benefit.
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post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yeah, but then you get into the whole "what is a live performance" in the studio recording electronic manipulation era thing,

In my experience the most "live" I've ever heard a system sound has been when playing back acoustic jazz sets. I good system can do an amazing job of placing each performer on the stage, left to right, front to back, while maintaining the integrity of each instrument. It helps that a lot of people's listening areas aren't hugely different than the stage of a small night club.

Interestingly, the very best of that kind of thing that I've heard was a recording from the late sixties, remastered to 24bit CD. Absolutely breath taking in its verisimilitude.

But a symphony orchestra? I don't think a stereo speaker pair has the capacity to convincingly reproduce that many instruments arrayed across that large a space.

And studio stuff? Multiple tracks from different sessions, solos added after the fact, processed, mixed.... there really isn't any live performance to reproduce, so the measure of accuracy would be how close your listening experience matches the master, but even then your talking about different playback equipment, so who knows?

And that's not even getting into sound scape-y electronica and ambient, and all the other stuff that doesn't even pretend to be imitating any "real" acoustic space, or if they do it is entirely synthetic.

It's sort of like evaluating a big screen TV for how "realistic" it looks when showing a CG lightshow.

This goes to why I still feel digital is far better. It will only improve. The lack of noise and digital processing overcomes any "warmth" issues or what not for me (and that's from someone with a trained ear).
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post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I'm not saying it can store infinite information. I'm saying the acoustic wave is not "true." It's a sample of the wave, which the player reconstructs.

The sample frequency for audio CDs is fine. Yes, it's taking samples, just like a digital photo is just pixels, but it's more than enough resolution. The only thing having a higher sample frequency helps is recording higher sound frequencies—because these come so fast, you get the aural equivalent of a Moiré pattern, and these have to be clipped out. At the 44.1 kHz of a CD, sound frequencies over 22 kHz have to be clipped. Human hearing stops at around 16-20 kHz depending on your age, so this doesn't matter for most purposes.

Quote:
I still think that a really fine digital recording sounds better because of the lack of noise and dynamic range...but there is an argument that certain kinds of music just don't have the warmth. In particular, brass and strings have this problem.

My theory as a musician on that is these instruments produce pitches with more audible overtones, and that these aren't represented with as much accuracy on a digital recording. That's just a thought though.

The "warmth" in vinyl is two things.

One, is noise. People like it. A lot of sound producers lay out a small amount of white or pink noise in their songs.

Most of the warmth is from "compression." This is where you compress the dynamic range, and it's absolutely required for records—otherwise, quieter sounds would fall through the "floor," which, like I said, is 20 dB above that digital sounds. Records have to be heavily compressed to avoid this.

Compression is like salt—a little of it is a really good thing, but too much makes things sound flat. Pop music like Justin Timberlake is incredibly compressed. High quality orchestral pieces today often aren't compressed at all.

It's not vinyl's pros that make it sound good, it's its cons. That's the way things often are—limitations and boundaries in art gives things beautiful aesthetics. But digital sound is much more versatile, and producers still add noise and compression in more than healthy doses.
post #38 of 52
I'll preface my comment by saying that I know very little about all this technology, but...

There seems to be a noticeable "crispness" difference between digital and analog recordings. I can tell that when listening to Dave Matthews Band's Under the Table and Dreaming (analog mastering) and Stand Up (digital). I almost like the older recordings better. Their newer stuff sounds too perfect.
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post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I'm testing the limits of my technical understanding here to be honest. That said, I don't think those limitations are quite the same. Regardless of the limit vinyl may have, it's still capturing the actual shape of the acoustic wave. Digital is not...it's estimating it (and quite well, might I add).

Digital and analog are both estimates. All that differs is the nature of the estimation errors -- and digital can easily make those errors much smaller in magnitude.

Digital is limited by sampling rate and sample resolution. The fairly close equivalents in analog recording are frequency response and S/N ratio. Digital recording can suffer from "jitter" too, which is time base instability. The very rough equivalent in the analog world is wow and flutter (but that's on a very different time scale than jitter).

"Golden ear" audiophiles, attempting to justify $5000 CD drives with external $5000 DACs (connected via $1000 digital coax) can really go on and on about jitter because it is one of the few complaints about digital audio that at least has a tiny kernel of truth at the core -- but the audible effects of typical amounts of jitter are tremendously exaggerated by the Stereophile/TAS crowd, and can easily be remedied by very cheap technology.

Every kind of recording, digital or analog, can be thought of as RS = OS + N (recorded signal equals original signal plus noise). For some strange reason, however, a lot of people seem to think analog recordings some sort of magical, mystical connection to the OS part of OS + N. But unless you can overcome all of the uncertainty contained in N, the pure OS is just as lost, just as "gone forever" in an analog recording as in a digital recording -- in fact, typically much further gone since N-analog is typically much larger than N-digital.
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post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I don't understand how one version of the wave is true and the other isn't. If the digital is limited by its something and the vinyl is limited by its something, how are either of them "true"? I say this as a musician who prefers tube amps to solid state ones.


Very true. A 24-bit recording is much more accurate to the sound being picked up than 2" tape is, the same as a computer playing back a 24-bit wave file is more accurate than a turntable (assuming the same amplifier and output).

The reason many artists and engineers stick ("stuck") with analogue source recording is because of that certain "je ne c'est quoi" of analogue which, until the last couple of years, hadn't been possible digitally. Now, companies like TC electronics can recreate the sound of bouncing a recording to 2" tape so well that almost no studios have funtional tape machines anymore.

Audiophiles all agree that a well mastered CD on a high-end stereo and high end speakers kicks any turntable's ass. However, the turntable still gets that nice nostalgic sound, and demands more attention to the music since you have to flip the record every 22 minutes.

(interestingly, the longer the playback medium has gotten - 45 to lp to tape to CD to 80 gig iPod, the shittier the artistic quality of "new" music's gotten, because you don't have to pay as much attention to it. Really, you can set up your computer to play music forever without having to choose anything or decide whether to hear it again...)
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