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

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 51
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    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
  • Reply 22 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 23 of 51
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    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...
  • Reply 24 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,012member
    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.
  • Reply 25 of 51
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    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.
  • Reply 26 of 51
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    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! ".
  • Reply 27 of 51
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    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.
  • Reply 28 of 51
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    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.
  • Reply 29 of 51
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    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?
  • Reply 30 of 51
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    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.
  • Reply 31 of 51
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    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.
  • Reply 32 of 51
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    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.
  • Reply 33 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,012member
    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).
  • Reply 34 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,012member
    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.
  • Reply 35 of 51
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,012member
    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).
  • Reply 36 of 51
    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.
  • Reply 37 of 51
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    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.
  • Reply 38 of 51
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    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.
  • Reply 39 of 51
    superbasssuperbass Posts: 688member
    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...)
  • Reply 40 of 51
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    There's another aspect to folks having a negative impression of digital: the first wave of CDs (and somewhat beyond) often sounded terrible, as labels rushed to put stuff out and reap the profits of reselling back catalogue.



    In some cases they didn't even bother to change the eq curve that had been set up for vinyl, specifically to overcome some of vinyls shortcomings but which was taken into account by the design of phono preamps. Or they used second or third generation dupes, or at best gave things a cursory going over.



    The result? Strident, harsh, and almost unlistenable. Hence the wave of "remastered" CDs years later, wherein you were expected to buy the same material again, once engineers had gotten better with working with the new distribution format.



    Remember, when CDs arrived on the scene the recording industry had had many, many years to refine their techniques for extracting the best, most pleasing sound possible from vinyl. Just because digital took away some of the limitations they had been working with (and added others) didn't magically make everything just "sound better"-- recording, mixing and mastering are musical art forms akin to playing the instruments themselves, and require familiarity and practice with the materials at hand to acquire the skills to make it sing.
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