Digital sound is different ?

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Digital sound is different ?

Postby slimmouse » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:02 pm

<br><br> A good friend of mine , who is also a musician, recently suggested to me that digital sound actually removes the vibrational frequency of those sounds.<br><br> I countered by suggesting that any kind of sound, digital or otherwise , will still create a vibrational frequency.<br><br> Anyone got any thoughts on this ? <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Digital sound is different ?

Postby robertdreed » Sat Jun 24, 2006 9:36 pm

Your musician friend is referring to the fact that complex waveforms, like music, have harmonics that goin up several octaves beyond what's directly audible by humans, and that the resolution of most processes of digital recording and storage drop out before they can capture the complete spectrum of sound emitted by some musical instruments. Some people claim that even though the human ear cannot hear above 12-20kHz, the substraction of the higher octave sounds still does unnatural things to the phasing of the waveform that affects the sound badly. <br><br>For that matter, many common digital formats, such as MP3 and Ipod, compress data for convenience's sake. The result doesn't bear a very close relationship to the sound of unamplified live music- or, for that matter, even the amplified sort, to my ears. <br><br>I've always felt that the highest quality of analogue recording is still the best fidelity. But I haven't heard all of the most advanced formats. <br><br>And one of the results of the ubiquity of digitally recorded and broadcast music is that I no longer place much of a priority on listening to recorded music. It doesn't involve me as much as it once did...I think that could be partially a function of the fact that digital music tends to remind me of powdered egs vs. fresh eggs...it's okay sounding. But it doesn't have a lot of richness or sweetness. <br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Digital sound is different ?

Postby Et in Arcadia ego » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:09 pm

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>I've always felt that the highest quality of analogue recording is still the best fidelity.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br>The reason you and many others feel this way is because analogue recordings actually truncate the frequency much more than a digital recording. This is often reffered to as 'warmth', and is a much sought after grail amongst digital recording musicians. <br><br>We argue about this endlessly at kvraudio.com.<br><br>As far as mp3 formats go, the reduction in transients can be pretty pronounced depending on which encoding algorithm is employed. For best fidelity, you want to try using the LAME codec for mp3 conversions and not descend below 192 kpbs, which is already enough to hear a difference depending on the richness of the material's harmonic contents. Some of my own material is essentailly ruined in the mp3 encoding process it's so heavy handed . One good alternative is the lossless 'Ape' encoding, which you can check out here:<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.monkeysaudio.com/">www.monkeysaudio.com/</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Digital sound is different ?

Postby Et in Arcadia ego » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:10 pm

Also, as far as digital being an inferior format, this largely rests on the analogue to digital process employed. Different 3rd party souncards offer hugely varying ranges of success in AD conversion, so it's pretty much a case of you get what you pay for. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Digital sound is different ?

Postby robertdreed » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:17 pm

<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>analogue recordings actually truncate the frequency much more than a digital recording.</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>I'm not aware of what's up with the latest advances in digital formats. Perhaps they surpass analogue, these days. I'm not obdurately anti-digital. It would be nice, if this has happened. But the original 44.1kHz standard for CD, even with oversampling, is audibly flawed. <br><br>There is often a contour effect on analogue tape machines in the lower mid-range. But high-speed (15 or 30 ips) analogue reel-to-reel recordings go out several octaves beyond audibility, with a remarkable degree of fidelity. They don't have the brick-wall filter effects that makes the general run of CD technology so edgy. But I've noticed some of the newer formats being made avaialble, and haven't auditioned them intensively. It would be great if that were no longer a problem. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Digital sound is different ?

Postby thurnandtaxis » Sat Jun 24, 2006 11:51 pm

I feel the loss is particularly eggregious with jazz recordings. The unnaturally shotenened decay of piano notes sends shattered chills down my spine and the "clipped" sound of high-hats makes for an abrupt disconnect in my listening experience. It's almost as if there is a wall<br>between the music and the listener being built.<br><br>Will future generations even know the difference? Is some portion of our cognitive sensitivity to resonance being de-tuned? Certainly our vibrational connectivity to recorded sound is being tampered with, out<br>of the convienient concerns of "progress". However as with so many of our civilization's mechanical advancements, what gains are justified by the engendered losses? <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Digital sound is different ?

Postby Et in Arcadia ego » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:03 am

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>They don't have the brick-wall filter effects that makes the general run of CD technology so edgy.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br>That's your engineer's fault, not the recording technology. Devices like Waves' plugins and Sony's Inflator are Industry standards for years now used to compress/limit audio to within an inch of atomic fusion. They'll take the old analogue recordings, pass them through heavy-handed multiband compression effects, and use look-ahead soft limiters(if they're smart, otherwise it's the quick and brutal Brickwall), essentially killing all transients in the original recording's material.<br><br>Abuse of Compression is probably the single largest culprit in ruining 'music' today. You mention a percieved lack of interest, and I agree the ready availability of the digital format takes something away from exctracting an LP from it's case and placing on a turntable, but equally offending is the ear-fatigue generated from over-compressed and limited audio, especially in today's pop and dance where competition is fierce to have the loudest percieved tracks in a playlist. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Digital sound is different ?

Postby Et in Arcadia ego » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:09 am

One more thing for the original question(can you tell Audio's a hobby of mine yet?):<br><br>Digital recording is critically determined not only by what's already been said, but also the sample rate used in the recording process. A good breakdown of this can be read here:<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_rate">en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_rate</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>Basically, the higher your sampling rate, the better the recording will be. If you have say an analogue sine wave, which is a perfect curve, and record it, the sampling rate determines how true to the original sine you're going to get. With a lower sampling rate, you will see literal 'stepping' in the waveform:<br><br><!--EZCODE IMAGE START--><img src="http://arts.ucsc.edu/EMS/Music/tech_background/TE-16/teces_164.gif" style="border:0;"/><!--EZCODE IMAGE END--><br><br>The bottom waveform introduces a higher sampling rate from left to right. The idea is to use a sampling rate that is higher resolution than the human ear is able to detect; ailure to do so introduces an effect which is reffered to as aliasing(see nyquist-shannon). <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=etinarcadiaego@rigorousintuition>et in Arcadia ego</A> at: 6/24/06 10:10 pm<br></i>
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Thanks to you all....

Postby slimmouse » Sun Jun 25, 2006 7:38 pm

<br><br> Thanks for the responses.<br><br> I think that in a few sentences I might best sum up my friends knowledge which I have rightly or wrongly incorporated into my own "intuition" from the following;<br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr> I feel the loss is particularly eggregious with jazz recordings. The unnaturally shotenened decay of piano notes sends shattered chills down my spine and the "clipped" sound of high-hats makes for an abrupt disconnect in my listening experience. It's almost as if there is a wall<br>between the music and the listener being built.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br> Thanks Thurnandtaxis ( love the name btw )<br><br> Not to mention your question regarding whether future generations will actually know - or should that be <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>understand</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> </em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> the difference.<br><br> NWO anyone ? <br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Thanks to you all....

Postby thurnandtaxis » Sun Jun 25, 2006 10:16 pm

Hey Slim<br><br>I do, in my flights of fancy, imagine how the digital age is reshaping our<br>sensual distinctions. The digital image as well is quite similar to sound reproduction with "curved" lines being made up of increasingly smaller rectangular "steps". The soft organic slopings of analog waves<br>are really only being approximated by right-angled forms. Film reproduces images in an organic manner so that a representation is produced by a process that in itself is a natural one using lightwaves<br>and chemical liquids. The resulting pictures being much softer and more evocative of how the eye itself works.<br><br>Couple this with "advances" in sound processing and a computer engineered model of reality that can be formatted pixel-by-pixel and byte-by-byte is being developed. Currently, even the best computerized effects look somehow unnatural on film and savvy directors use a combination of bluescreen, miniatures, matte paintings and make-up techniques to compensate for some of the disconnect. Features shot on DV-cam, such as Rebecca Miller's "Personal Velocity", employ a technique of shooting scenes infused with slight amounts smoke/fog machine in order to soften the harsh depth-less enviroments produced by digital video. So while the ability to alter reality effectively through computerized reproduction<br>still has a long way to go in creating convincing "virtual realities" it<br>is not so far-fetched to think that the time approaches when such<br>illusory environs will be created, and taken for granted by a re-tuned<br>visually and auditorally "dumbed-down" future generation.<br><br>That being said, the new Superman movie is being released with some state-of the-art digital 3-d scenes in the I-Max prints. And major directors like Jackson, Speilberg and Cameron are looking at the next generation of digital projection in conjuction with multi-channel sound<br>systems provided by new 3-D cinemas in order to compete with the home viewing market. -Or rather create another enticing adjunctively marketed product.<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.reald.com/">www.reald.com/</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br> <p></p><i></i>
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