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#286143 - 01/09/10 06:08 PM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: audiosavant]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
 Originally Posted By: audiosavant
DVD-Audio has now become a generic term in professional circles. DVD-A, the actual format...
Just a semantic thing, but the disc format was actually called DVD-Audio, most people shorten it to DVD-A. If you're talking sound recorded on a DVD, they you should say DVD audio, no hyphen, no capital A.

 Quote:
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.
So why put it on tape, with its inherent weaknesses before handing it to the ADC (Analog to Digital Converter)? (DACs go the other way.)

 Quote:
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.
We're in agreement, it does take a high bit-depth and sampling rate in order to accurately represent the original air pressure levels. But I believe that 96 kHz, and definitely 192 kHz with 24-bits for playback is enough. That's playback, the recording side needs a little more, as I'll describe.

Tape doesn't have infinite resolution, not in the least. A 16-bit sample basically means the original voltage level at that slice of time can be assigned to one of 65536 different levels, from silence to really freaking loud. I don't think a magnetic tape even has that level of precision, or if it does, it doesn't have the accuracy to always store volume level X to magnetic impulse Y. Maybe tape can pull of a SNR of 96 dB. But 24-bit get you 16,777,216 different sample levels, and 146 dB signal-to-noise ratio. There's no way to do that in the analog domain. I don't even think the best ADCs (some of which are now 32-bit: 4-billion levels, 206 dB) can accurately quantify that many levels, thermal variance alone will contribute more noise than that. Oh, dither is only applied when changing bit-rate, it's not part of a normal capture/mix process, unless you're using tools which can handle the bit-rate of capture (then you need to upgrade). Dither should be applied when converting your final mix from 24 to 16 bit.

As for sampling rate one needs to capture, and work at a rate twice that of the target mix. For CD/DVD (44.1 and 48 kHz) that would be 96 kHz, for Blu-ray which is still mostly 48 kHz, but can go as high as 192, that may mean up to 384 kHz. All very doable in a studio. Most people will talk about frequency response, and the Nyquist theorem when dealing with sampling rate. Stating that 48 kHz is enough to be able to reproduce up to 24 kHz, which is above the human hearing threshold. But more samples per second does go hand in hand with another feature, how much detail is preserved in the sample alignment. If recording at 96 kHz, and mixing down to 48, where do half of the samples go? They're averaged into their neighbors. Now imagine a 20 kHz sine wave. Nyquist says this should be able to be reproduced at a sampling rate of 40 kHz. But in fact it can only be stored as a triangle wave, and then also only when aligned exactly with the samples. 90 degrees out of phase, and the up, down, up, down samples of the sine's peaks and troughs become an mid-level DC signal. A low-pass filter should be applied before the antialiasing, of the down-sampling to a lower rate, to remove the high frequency content which will only be encoded as noise anyway. But a 192 kHz final mix, run through a low-pass filter of 24 dB/octave tuned to 24 kHz, and then down-sampled to 96 kHz will have excellent alignment of samples, and audible detail all the way out to 30 kHz.

I got a little off track there, but my point is frequency response can be directly correlated to a media's ability to track any waveform accurately. Since 16-track, 2" tape running at 30 IPS, rolls off at 10 kHz at about 12 dB/octave that can be taken to mean it's magnetic field flux can change at a rate of about 40 kHz. The designers who worked on the CD technology were no dummies (the engineers who only use the top two bits, by mixing for loudness are). CDs do have a resolution of master tape, but need to be mastered at twice that rate when working digitally.

Oh, in case you were wondering. I was a double major in Mathematics, and Computer Science. I've studied recording engineering, one of my friends owns a small recording studio. I've written digital signal processing routines to handle both 2D and 3D data sets (think audio and pictures).

 Quote:
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.
But high quality converters can be had for $3k for 16 channels of 24-bit/192 kHz ADC/DACs. Add to that good master clock for $1500. That's not out of the reach of anyone making money doing this stuff.

 Quote:
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!
This is where we disagree. Maybe you're so used to hearing distortion, harmonics, and hiss that you think it's pleasing. But when I listen to anything live, it's not there. Why should it be in the recording of live instruments? I want my recordings to be as pristine as possible. That's what sounds natural to me.

 Quote:
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.
I'm talking about DSD in general. It's single bit indicating whether the analog wave form is headed up, or down makes working with it impossible. Sony not wanting to lose face found one place it works well. You said it, DSD is a great archival format of analog tapes. It's limitation of a slew rate (it can't go from 0 to max in one sample, neither can anything analog), and that it can't be processed (no EQing, no filtering, no nothing, but time alignment between channels) is perfect for taking something which is in the analog domain, and isn't going to be changing anymore.

 Quote:
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?

[films snipped]
Well, you stuck me there. All big budget films have CG effects, that's where the budget goes. But there's plenty of smaller indie films being shot on digital too.

How about this, Peter Jackson shot Lord of the Rings on film, and in the process of adding the CG and effects built the second-largest effects house in the world (Weta, just behind ILM). So one might assume he likes the look of film, he used film again when shooting King Kong. But upon seeing the output of a prototype of the new camera maker, Red, he took two of them, prototypes which only had Rec/Stop functions, to shoot a 15 minute short film called Crossing the Line with Neill Blomkamp. That's why District 9 then used the production version of the same camera.

Go watch Che, maybe that'll be more in line with what you were wanting to see. It was shot with the same cameras as District 9.

Oh, I agree Public Enemies looked awful. It's not a good example of a digitally shot film, but it was the director's intent. He could have used the Viper camera which Fincher used on Zodiac, but went with some Sony junk with an 8mm photo-sensor, because he liked the massive depth of field. I actually didn't even watch the whole picture, because it was such an eye sore.

 Quote:
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.
Again, while their films were beautifully shot, that doesn't have anything to do with their image quality. Do you think that Kubrick or Welles didn't use the sharpest, most advanced technology available when shooting 2001, or War of the Worlds and Citizen Cane?

Again, my eyes don't have a grain sheen on them, detail is not lost in shadows, bright lights don't bloom. Film has a look, but it isn't natural. Digital gets closer to how things really appear, and that's what I like...and I guess you don't.


Edited by ClubNeon (01/09/10 06:12 PM)
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
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#286149 - 01/09/10 06:39 PM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: ClubNeon]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11208
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
Even if I don't fully understand most of it, this conversation is pretty interesting.

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#286194 - 01/09/10 09:08 PM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: CV]
audiosavant Offline
devotee

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 311
Loc: Worldwide
 Originally Posted By: CV
Even if I don't fully understand most of it, this conversation is pretty interesting.


Lol, yeah.

It's starting to get good now.

ClubNeon knows his stuff. I'd really like to hire him as my assistant engineer. \:\)

I'm impressed that he knows about the Red camera systems. I've been wanting one (I'm a budding filmmaker too) since following the development of it for the past few years. It is truly an amazing camera and film is way to expensive for the indie filmmaker!

I will respond to his posts soon. ClubNeon makes a persuasive case, and I think we are in agreement on most aspects of this conversation/thread.

Girlfriend and I just got in from the cold after going downtown and getting tickets for the Zappa Plays Zappa show Monday night. Found out The Residents and McCoy Tyner will be playing here in February... woo-hoo!

Went to one of the finest record stores in the US, Criminal Records. They have a booming business despite the downturn in the industry. Lot's of new and used vinyl, cd's comics, games etc.. I can't remember the last time I bought music from a brick and mortar store. Usually Amazon and other online outlets.

In case anyone is interested, I bought these three cd's...

ELP 'Tarkus'
Steely Dan 'Katy Lied'
Can 'Soon Over Babaluma'
_________________________
"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it."
---Frank Zappa


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#286202 - 01/09/10 09:51 PM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: audiosavant]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16280
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
I'm applauding this "civilized difference of opinion" from my couch. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#286213 - 01/09/10 11:19 PM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: pmbuko]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Yes, this has been a very enlightening thread.
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#286230 - 01/10/10 01:07 AM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: jakewash]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7405
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
I'm enjoying it, too! Thanks, guys.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#286238 - 01/10/10 10:26 AM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: St_PatGuy]
RickF Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 5210
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
I'm going to need to try what Rick did, this scrolling to read is a royal pain in the ass.
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Rick
Our Room

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#286265 - 01/10/10 01:21 PM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: RickF]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8290
Loc: Tacoma
Really enjoying learning from you guys. Thank you very much.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#286291 - 01/10/10 05:14 PM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: ClubNeon]
audiosavant Offline
devotee

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 311
Loc: Worldwide
 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
Just a semantic thing, but the disc format was actually called DVD-Audio, most people shorten it to DVD-A. If you're talking sound recorded on a DVD, they you should say DVD audio, no hyphen, no capital A.


Well, we're actually talking about sound data stored and distributed for playback on dvd, because, unless someone comes up with a proprietary device to store and deliver the data that is un-hack-able, we are heading for data distribution directly via download/streaming onto media servers and media playback devices.

But once again ClubNeon, you are correct.

 Quote:
So why put it on tape, with its inherent weaknesses before handing it to the ADC (Analog to Digital Converter)? (DACs go the other way.)


I use tape mainly to track drums (natural transient squash), or to do just basic tracking with (and that's when the budget allows) before conversion, mainly for the sound tape imparts. A kind of euphonic glue that sounds pleasing and "analog". Tape has become more of an effect (and most young rock bands like that sound better than straight digital, as digital can sounds too sterile and flat sometimes) than as an actual straight recording medium.

It's sorta how microphone bleed use to be the bane of recording engineers in the late 70's. Isolation was all the rage. Now we find out, that for rock, jazz and sometimes pop, a bit of bleed can be a good thing. Gives a better overall picture of the sound of actual musicians playing together in a "space" and has more of a "vibe" that you can sometimes lose when you build tracks clinically, via overdubbing a track at a time. But of course, this is an aesthetic choice.

 Quote:
We're in agreement, it does take a high bit-depth and sampling rate in order to accurately represent the original air pressure levels. But I believe that 96 kHz, and definitely 192 kHz with 24-bits for playback is enough


Yes, 24/96 is easier to live with for us analog guys. I can live with that kind of digital playback. It's a bit harder to discern 24/192 as being that much better, though it sure eats up drive space a bit faster! I see 24/192 mainly being used for classical and jazz audiophile two channel location recording.

 Quote:
The designers who worked on the CD technology were no dummies (the engineers who only use the top two bits, by mixing for loudness are).


Lmao! Preach on brother. That statement should be on a t-shirt. The lack of headroom and squashed dynamics of modern recording (the loudness wars) are a terrible trend that I hope ends soon.

Do you know of the newest debate about mixing ITB (in the box) vs. OTB (out the box)? I bet you have an interesting take on that current trend. So funny to see studios that got rid of their analog mixing consoles to go with a HUI and a full blown ProTools HD system only to now, once again, start using an analog mix (summing) bus (mainly for stem mixing at mixdown) before digitizing the sound once again.

I have a confession to make. I use a Dangerous Music summing bus myself for two channel mix down and monitoring. It sounds better to my ears too. \:\) But I do all surround mixing ITB.

Despite my love of vinyl, my favorite music format now is high definition multichannel digital audio. So I'm not that anachronistic

 Quote:
Oh, in case you were wondering. I was a double major in Mathematics, and Computer Science. I've studied recording engineering, one of my friends owns a small recording studio. I've written digital signal processing routines to handle both 2D and 3D data sets (think audio and pictures).


(Slurring drunkenly) "Oh, we got us a college boy here with all his fancy book learnin's! What, you think you're better than me?" (stumbles and falls into a pool of his own hubris) \:\)

 Quote:
But high quality converters can be had for $3k for 16 channels of 24-bit/192 kHz ADC/DACs.


Well, some would argue that you can barely get two channels of high quality conversion for that much $. And while my converters are higher end (Apogee/Prism) than most home studio set-ups, I'm in agreement with you on that one. It's unbelievable how much bang for the buck can be had nowadays.


 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
Add to that good master clock for $1500..


True dat. Walter Sears uses a crystal clock in an oven kept at a constant temp to provide perfect clocking.

If you don't know about Walter Sears (Sears Studio), you really should check him out. He is a guru to a lot of us audio guys. He forgets more in a day than most of us learn in a lifetime.

http://www.searsound.com/index.html

 Quote:
That's not out of the reach of anyone making money doing this stuff.


Making money in music? (laughs so hard, pees on self a little bit), now I know you are full of it!!! \:\)

 Quote:
This is where we disagree. Maybe you're so used to hearing distortion, harmonics, and hiss that you think it's pleasing.


Well, I don't know about hiss, but yeah, I do like (some) harmonic distortion. Rock music is based on distortion!!!

 Quote:
But when I listen to anything live, it's not there.


Unless you listen to just classical and (clean) jazz, you hear all kinds of distortion, done on purpose.

 Quote:
Why should it be in the recording of live instruments? I want my recordings to be as pristine as possible. That's what sounds natural to me.


Ok, now you sound like the purist! Are you just talking about live performances? And of what type?

You see, I think of audio recording as two, very distinct types of things (sometimes combined of course), one is the recording of live musical events with little or no overdubbing, editing, effects or compression and the other type being "produced" music (eg. Pet Sounds, Sgt. Peppers, NIN, Radiohead, etc.) where the studio is used as an instrument, with compression, effects, editing and various forms of audio manipulation using the wonderful tools that science has brought us. And yes, that includes distortion(s).

 Quote:
You said it, DSD is a great archival format of analog tapes. It's limitation of a slew rate (it can't go from 0 to max in one sample, neither can anything analog), and that it can't be processed (no EQing, no filtering, no nothing, but time alignment between channels) is perfect for taking something which is in the analog domain, and isn't going to be changing anymore.


Yes, that was what I was talking about. Archiving older, analog recordings. But you said it more articulately and eloquently than I did. Damn you!

 Quote:
All big budget films have CG effects, that's where the budget goes.


Well, not all big budget films. I have worked on a few and some would argue that a lot of the budgets are spent on stars salaries and craft services...

 Quote:
But there's plenty of smaller indie films being shot on digital too.


I know, and the holy grail of low budget HD indie productions has been to be able to emulate film quality (24 fps) with digital cameras. I am one of those who have been waiting for this very thing.

 Quote:
How about this, Peter Jackson shot Lord of the Rings on film, and in the process of adding the CG and effects built the second-largest effects house in the world (Weta, just behind ILM). So one might assume he likes the look of film, he used film again when shooting King Kong. But upon seeing the output of a prototype of the new camera maker, Red, he took two of them, prototypes which only had Rec/Stop functions, to shoot a 15 minute short film called Crossing the Line with Neill Blomkamp.


That camera is the $hit man!

 Quote:
That's why District 9 then used the production version of the same camera.


Cool! I've been wanting to see that movie. Bumping it up to the top of my Netflix, yo!

 Quote:
Go watch Che, maybe that'll be more in line with what you were wanting to see. It was shot with the same cameras as District 9.


I will. Have you seen Inland Empire by David Lynch? He shot it with an off the shelf consumer HD camera and it looks fantastic. Very inspiring to those of us who want to make "films". Although I didn't see it in the theater, blown up screen size.

I really loved 28 Days Later, which was shot on earlier digital technology. I did not see that in a theater either, but I heard some say it had a lot of digital artifacts blown up and projected. But on an HD display it looked pretty cool.

But, when it comes to the old school masters (Kubrick, Welles, Bava, Fellini etc.) you say:

 Quote:
Again, while their films were beautifully shot, that doesn't have anything to do with their image quality.


Really? I think film stock/speed and lenses have everything to do with image quality.

 Quote:
Do you think that Kubrick or Welles didn't use the sharpest, most advanced technology available...?


Most certainly! They would be using only the best available, which some still feel is film. But digital is catching up and fast.

 Quote:
...when shooting 2001, or War of the Worlds and Citizen Cane?


Orson Welles didn't direct the first War Of The Worlds, he did the radio play (that caused a panic!). I know that is nit-picking guys, but I gotta take any win I can get with ClubNeon, as he is a formidable opponent!!!

 Quote:
Again, my eyes don't have a grain sheen on them, detail is not lost in shadows, bright lights don't bloom. Film has a look, but it isn't natural. Digital gets closer to how things really appear, and that's what I like...and I guess you don't.


I think that this is our one major area of disagreement (misunderstanding?) in audio and visuals.

You say that HD video, in all of it's life-like glory, is the truth. But for what?

Straight 1080p HD looks good for sports, reality shows and nature documentaries. Movies (and produced music) is all about creating an illusion. Who wants exact reality unless that's what you are trying to achieve?

I have not seen any HD porn (eeks!), but is that much HD a good thing? Skanky augmented breasts and razor burns (I miss furry muffs and natural boobage!!!) captured in 1080p sounds a bit, uh, scary...

In movies, if you are using any kind of lighting or color correction or effects or any form of creative manipulation, you are basically "lying" to your eyes.

I for one, do like the illusions. I deal with reality every single day!

Well, I am ensconced in my own little hedonistic world, but I do come into contact with reality every once and a while. \:\)
_________________________
"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it."
---Frank Zappa


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#286294 - 01/10/10 05:45 PM Re: The perfect power source for M80's!!! [Re: audiosavant]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6613
Loc: It's all about the location.
This is an excellent discussion that pretty much lost me at the beginning \:D , great debate. Now if I'm forced to choose sides here, how do each of you guys feel about reducing our taxes?
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Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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