DVD-Audio is dead. Hopefully it'll be replaced by BD Profile 3.0
Sorry if I was unclear. I meant high resolution audio delivered on a dvd disc (Blu-Ray, DTS HD, etc.).
DVD-Audio has now become a generic term in professional circles. DVD-A, the actual format you mention, has been dead for a while. Like Betamax vs. VHS, SACD was the only "music only" format left standing (and just barely) between those formats. All other high resolution/multi-channel music is delivered, for now, on what you humans call "DVD"
Once you store analog sound in a digital format for editing and processing, it is no longer analog.
Correct, but that sound started life as an analog waveform. And was captured and pre-amplified in the analog domain then converted via (hopefully) high quality DACs before becoming digital.
And that's what makes the most difference in digital recording, the quality of the conversion that turns those wonderful little continuous analog waveforms into chopped up evil little ones and zeros.
Bit depth and sample rate frequency then come into play. And dither. And jitter. And stable clocking and... a myriad of other factors that combine to "recreate" analog sound events.
Only high quality converters can even get close to capturing and storing analog properly. This is the "crux of the biscuit" in modern recording today.
Almost all quality digital processing are emulations of analog gear. And mostly vintage gear at that. Plug-ins that recreate analog and the inherent anomalies/distortions/saturations etc. are what's happening in recording currently.
Why is that if digital is perfect? Because analog is what the human ear wants to ear. Not just a higher/lower frequency range without tape hiss and no playback degredation. Resolution is all. Digital is getting better with high resolution audio, but remember, analog is infinite resolution. Digital still has to catch up to the primitive "quality" of 1960's recording techniques done on two channel tape by Rudy Van Gelder using just two microphones and a tape deck!
I love digital technology, but it is still trying to emulate/recreate analog. And one day, perhaps, it will do it "right".
I heard of DSD and SACDs in 1999 as they were being introduced. I've also not heard of any popular music being released on them since about 2006. DSD is a horrible format, all the limitations of analog...
You are talking about the consumer end, I'm talking DSD professional two channel (thus far, multichannel DSD is very expensive and not really available) at 64 fs or 2.8 MHz (same as SACD), and 128 fs or 5.6 MHz (professional archiving). DSD can be printed and saved as DSDIFF, DSF or WSD files. PCM audio is 44.1 or 48 kHz at 16/24-bit; also 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz at 24-bit. While my daw does 32 bit (and now) 64 bit, it still has to be delivered to the consumer somehow. And yes Blu-Ray is what I'm placing my hopes and fears on as a consumer playback format. And when it comes down between DTS encoding or Dolby encoding, I pick DTS. But YMMV. DSD is being used (experimented with?) right now as a future proof archiving format.
And SACD is not dead, it just smells funny! Unfortunately consumers want ease of use/portabilty with iPod's and free stuff with illegal downloads/mp3's/bit-torrents etc. instead of paying for quality. The recording industry brought it on itself though. But there are still SACD releases. As well as dual disc (cd/dvd) releases that are high resolution/multi-channel. Is anyone buying them? Don't really know. I am. Just bought Steve Wilson's (Porcupine Tree) solo release and it is amazing. These formats are the best I've heard in digital thus far, and the only thing that has "bested" the vinyl lp/reel to reel (consumer division) as far as playback.
How does recording to analog tape, and then passing that playback through an ADC differ from capturing the live performance straight into an ADC? Oh, the analog tape rolls off the highs, and adds hiss. Definitely don't want to lose out on that "analog sound".
Lol, you are kinda right there. Tape saturation and other analog anomalies are exactly what people have grown to love from pop/rock music. The right kinds of harmonic distortions and natural compressions that hitting tape with sound produces. That's why almost all digital processing used in recording today is trying to emulate analog gear from the 60's and 70's. The ear likes that sound. Pure digital is technically perfect, but cold and sterile and flat otherwise. Of course if you think current CGI technology and Autotune robotics are "awesome", then you might dig that pristine digital flavor. Most serious music lovers do not.
The biggest budget film so far, Avatar, was shot digitally. So were: Alice in Wonderland, Apocalypto, The Cell, Coraline, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Gamer, Jumper, Knowing, Public Enemies, Sin City, Slumdog Millionaire, Zodiac, and so many others including, of course, the new Star Wars trilogy.
Whew! I dig your style man, you do have a vast knowledge that I have come to respect on this format, but you have just made my point (that most big budget films, unless CGI/animation, are shot on film) for me.
Let's break this down, shall we?
1. Avatar. Yes, as it stands today (2010c.e.), Avatar is the biggest budget movie ever made. But I would argue that it is an effects driven, CGI movie. And with 3d technology, closer to an amusement ride than a film. Art vs. entertainment imho. I would love to see it in IMAX 3d (and will), but it is closer to CGI/video games than actual film. James Cameron should be commended for pushing the state of the art, but he is not a Kubrick or a Fellini or a PT Anderson or a Lynch or a Hitchcock. He makes disposable entertainment, not art. But that is a subjective observation I realize. James Cameron is like the Micheal Bay for smart people.
2. Alice In Wonderland. I'm assuming you are talking about Tim Burton? He is a genius and a true artist. But again, this movie is going to be CGI intensive, so...
BTW, let me state that I do not hate CGI! Just most of it. When it is used well, it is wonderful. The best use of CGI (other than animation only movies) is the LOTR trilogy. That is stunning. But most CGI all looks the same. Fake-y and computer game-y and becomes dated (unlike mechanical effects) almost as fast as computer processing evolves. I thought the Matrix was pretty awesome (effects wise) when it came out. Today it looks cheesy and very dated, unlike say John Carpenter's remake of The Thing (1982) which looks amazing and is mostly latex/robotics.
3.Apocolypto? Didn't see it. But since Mel Gibson was involved, it probably sucks.
4.The Cell. Seriously? That looked as bad as a made for tv movie! The best effect in that was Jennifer Lopez's ass.
5. Coraline. That is animation! And old school stop motion at that! I will say though, that movie is a little masterpiece (in 3d and 2d) and I'm amazed that it is not Italian made, it's that good...
6.The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Again, an effects driven film. And a bad one at that.
7.Gamer. Didn't see it, but if it's about "gaming", then I don't want to.
8.Jumper? I had the misfortune of seeing that one. I had a friend who did sound design on that movie. What a piece of (soon to be very dated CGI) garbage. Popular culture is declining as I type this. I can't even take that one serious. Not art and definitely (imho) not entertaining.
9.Knowing. Don't "know" that one. I will check it out.
10.Public Enemies. Despite Michael Mann's directorial efforts and the talented Johnny Depp, that movie looked terrible. Digital for sure. Hard to watch because of the editing and hand held digital camera "artifacts". Yuck. (and I really wanted to love that one)
11.Slumdog Millionaire. Yes, a popular movie. But looks very digital. Like a music video or American Idol. No thanks.
12. Zodiac. Pretty good movie. Liked the 70's recreation. But it had the same HD quality striving to achieve film-like quality. Almost, but no cigar... yet.
13. Star Wars Trilogy? You mean a newer one? I love George Lucas' commitment to cutting edge technology, but truthfully, he has not made a decent film since THX-1138.
While Star Wars is definitely entertaining, it marked the beginning of the end of big budget adult science fiction imo. 2001: A Space Odyssey has not really been bested for being an accurate depiction of space travel. Space is a vacuum, so how come in Star Wars (and countless other movies) do I hear sound?
And didn't Lucas get a lot of flack for "fixing" some of the older Star Wars films with digital effects?
Anyway, I don't hate digital technology in films at all, when used tastefully and seamlessly it is fantastic, but as far as picture quality (same as audio quality), you cannot photograph anything more stunning than Mario Bava or Fellini or Kubrick or Orson Welles, etc., did way back before computers became the norm.
Do I want to go back to editing actual film physically or splicing analog tape? Hell no! But I know that digital is not "better" that analog. It's just a tool to manipulate analog and digital sounds/sights.