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Please don't think for one minute I'm advocating any claims in this article :-)

I came across it on another website and thought it may have some entertainment value...

Tried a search and couldn't find it here, forgive me if it's been posted before.

http://www.diamondcenter.net/digitalstress.html

Regards,
Justin

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Isn't this the same basic topic as this thread from back in August:

"Digital audio and society\'s evils according to Rupert Neve "

Which you started. \:D


miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

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Kinesiology? Give me break.

Oh, and you can buy his "Life Energy Plus" product and "alleviate many of the effects of PCM – it still doesn’t sound like music nor fully act like it, but this formulation does overcome what in the recording industry is now called "digital fatigue." "

Bullsh*t! Just another example of the snake oil being sold as healing music.

Jeff

BTW: Read that other thread. I said then and I say now that we've tested both analog and digital recording and seen no difference in efficacy.

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The problem is not digital recording, but bad mixing architecture and dynamic squashing

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Quote:
Originally posted by miroslav:
Isn't this the same basic topic as this thread from back in August:

"Digital audio and society\'s evils according to Rupert Neve "

Which you started. \:D
Do forgive me, I just felt that this kind of crap is better off debunked in the public domain than passed around between the gullible in private.

Justin

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I had the pleasure of attending Syn-Aud-Con with Don Davis many years ago just at the dawn of digital.

Just throwing this tid-bit out as food-for-thought, but we repeated and an experiment originally done by the AES where a listener was played a piece of music (it was an orchestral piece) in a blind listening test. The listener wasn't told what the test was about or what they were listening to. The first time the piece was played, it was played from an analog master (full analog recording). After the test, the listener was instructed to hold out their arms to the side. An assistant then tried to press down on the listener's arms. In every case, the listener was easily able to keep their arms extended by resisting the downward pressure.

The listener was then played the same piece of music from a digital master and the test was repeated (again, the listener had no idea if the music was analog or digital, or even what was trying to be proved). Without fail, the listeners could not hold their arms up after listening to the digital piece.

The theory was that the jagged nature of the digital "wave form" have an adverse affect on the human nervous system. I'm not sure if these tests were ever expounded upon or the theories proven, but I did witness it first-hand and thought it very intriguing at the time.

FWIW - YMMV


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I'm stunned that anyone considered this test you did legitimate.

Did anyone look at an oscilloscope or an FFT and determine what the waveform really looks like, or did you all run under the notion that digital audio is composed of little stairstep waves?

Remarkable.

Nika.

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I agree. there are way too many variables, and ways to make mistakes.

Hey, what would be the result of listening to an analog recording of a cd? How about an analog recording of an elementary-school orchestra? Yougottsbekiddinme....

I love the "snake oil" all-encompassing out this guy has at the end:

quote: "Note that after a certain period of exposure to the digital signal, the subject will be so reversed that there will be a paradoxical false pseudo-positive response. This can totally invalidate the results of the untrained tester."

Yep. gotta' watch out for them there false pseudo-positives!

Did you know that if you buy FOUR bottles of this guy's "life force" and rest your AD converter on top of them, it will reduce jitter?

This definitely makes my list of top-ten worst scams ever thrust upon the hi-fi commnity.
Top five.

Caveate Emptor.

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT !!!!!!!!

I will soon be releasing my own product:

It will be a digital-fatigue reducing oil.

Distilled from the resin of crushed Stradivariius violins, this special oil is applied liberally to the crotch area whenever you are forced to listen to those nasty cd's.

You must rub this oil in for a period of not less than five minutes (three if you're listening to Shakira or Beonce. Ten if you're listening to Bach.) After proper application, using the specified up and down motion, you will no longer notice how harsh those cd's sound.

It's amazing!

For mp-3 listening, we offer an optional, battery-operated applicator. \:\)

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Quote:
Originally posted by Allan Speers:

This definitely makes my list of top-ten worst scams ever thrust upon the hi-fi commnity.
Top five.

How does this rank in your top ten?

Or maybe the better sounding knob is more up your street?

\:D

Justin

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Quote:
Originally posted by Thermionic:
How does this rank in your top ten?

Or maybe the better sounding knob is more up your street?

\:D
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Must...stop...laughing... Not...enough...oxygen...
About...to...pass...out.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!



...

Sorry, blacked out there for a minute.

Peece,
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thermionic:
Quote:
Originally posted by Allan Speers:

This definitely makes my list of top-ten worst scams ever thrust upon the hi-fi commnity.
Top five.

How does this rank in your top ten?

Or maybe the better sounding knob is more up your street?

\:D

Justin
"Price: $485.00"

(making many odd percussive sounds due to simultaneous confusion, distress, and amazement)

They should have a disclaimer for owners to avoid wicker furniture and other lesser items which will absorb all of the sonic goodness that the knob instills.


Give me the ANALOG and no one gets HURT
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Please someone tell me this is a spoof

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Don't know what this means - but I used to listen to LPs all the time. I never listen to CDs, and i don't have a turntable - so for whatever it means music used to be a part of our lives and now it isn't. And we love music. I make music for a living and I don't listening to it from the DAW - but there is very little music in the house so to speak. My wife is a music enthusiast and knows a lot about music and artists and history of R&B and blues etc - but we just don't have the desire to listn to music on CDs. It's not even as though we actively don't like it - we just fond ourselves not putting on the CDs. Tons of CDs in the house - yes. But they never get played.

anyone else?


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Quote:
Originally posted by edmann:
I make music for a living and I don't listening to it from the DAW
should be:"and I don't mind listening to it from the DAW..."


Ed Mann
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Ed, I've been enjoying my old vinyl lately. Just listened to a bunch last weekend. First time I've listened to 4 hours of music at home in a day for years.

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Quote:
Originally posted by edmann:
- we just found ourselves not putting on the CDs. Tons of CDs in the house - yes. But they never get played. anyone else?[/QB]
______________________
Yes!

I buy new CD's and listen maybe once. I have thousands of albums and a turntable and find myself putting on old Ray Charles records just to feel the love.


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Quote:
Originally posted by edmann:
Don't know what this means - but I used to listen to LPs all the time. I never listen to CDs, and i don't have a turntable - so for whatever it means music used to be a part of our lives and now it isn't.

...

anyone else?
Could it be because we are older and also work with music all day?

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Just to mess up the Bell Curve here, I listen to about 10 CD's a day (when I am not in the studio). I am an active buyer and use music as both a mood enhancer and an inspiration for creating. Last night I compiled 10 CD's of various artists for recreation! My interests are eclectic so I have found no lack of great music, new and old. As a matter of fact a few months ago I revisited Ed Mann's CMP release's on a whim, great stuff Ed. Presently in my player are 80's pop from Jakarta, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, John Fahey, Nurse With Wound, and Robert Wyatt


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Edmann,

You should find yourself a nice old pair of tube amps from the 60's. Not the new, "so clean it might as well be transistor" stuff, but the real funky old mullard-type circuits. The right amps will totally change how you feel about listening to cd's. It won't make them sound like vinyl, but it's an equally compelling experience.

Stay away from Macintosh, as they are ridiculously overpriced.

Good brands to look for:

Fisher, Eico, Scott, Acrosound, Heathkit, etc. -and If you ever see a pair of fairchild 260's or 270's, grab 'em up. those may be the best ever made, and are somewhat unknown.

These all sound great, though extremely Euphonic. $475 wooden knobs not required.

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I was listening to a CD (yes CD) of the Everly Bros Greatest Hits the other day - gee those guys could sing - but I could definitely tell when their recordings went from valve to transistor - it was glaringly obvious. well to me anyway.

cheers
John

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No matter if it's a CD or analog record,
the music is coming out of ANALOG speakers, right???
We are not hearing those 1s and 2s.
Everything comes through a D-A converter.
So, why does that matter? I have no knowledge on the subject, but I'd really like to know the truth.

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Thinking about it - I would have to say we listen to CDS around the house here more as a functional thing eg: sonic wallpaper, checking mixes or for the kid to dance around.

when I put on LPS, especially old AAA ones - thats when its sit back in the easy chair time & enjoy an engrossing listen.

FWIW

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I would have to say any unconscious stress that might be induced by digital music, at least for me, pales hugely in comparison
to overt stress of daily life like 'the grind', Wife's moods, DAW's, the 6 o clock news, Rick Astley etc etc .
Probably by a factor of 10 billion

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I've been wondering this myself, is it the 1's and 0's or.. Is it that these newer CD's are just squashed to shit in the master house.. I was so excited at Christmas to recieve an Evanescence cd, you know the meter's on my Tascam board don't even move throughout 90% of the CD.. They just pin out just below red and stay there.. The dynamics are just ruined.. I really believe the mastering idea is just killing what most of us enjoy as musicians in songs.. The "feel".. That's what I need out of music... I don't really get much else, cause it's not like 95% of the commercial crap out there now is unique anymore... Yes I find myself not listening to much, just working on my own un-unique stuff thinking that no one's been here before...
Later
Bri


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well I see some kind of nerve has been touched here...and I do not have the answers.....but my wife does not work on the DAW all day long and she is the most avid music lover and expert that I know of - and usually/used to fill the house with music - you know, the GOOD stuff (real music!), Joni Mitchell, old blues, EWF etc

One thing I was wondering about was the mastering - inevitably a lot of the great music was digitized over 10 - 14 years ago....so I don't know if it was the conversion quality at that time or what. I know I have some of the early Hendrix CDs and they sound f****** horrible and THAT is a crime :0

anyway maybe the tube amp thing is the way to go (?).....being the cynical cheapskate that I am maybe I will experiment with putting an ART tube-pre between the preamp and the amp.....

I also do leave room for the possibility that there IS something wierd in the digi-process that even the experts cannot quantify becuase the detection methods and terminology do not exist yet! who knows

I do know that in other alternative medicines muscle testing is accepted as worthy, and I believe it works (my own experience)

thanks for listening to the music Chris

Ed


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When I Listen to Nightfly, especially on DVD-A, I could hold my arms up all day long it sounds SO DAMN GOOD. Digital thru and thru - and old "dawn of", 1980's digital technology at that. Who says we don't need 16-bit/50KHz?

I think Don Davis was just jealous of Donald, Roger, and Elliot


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It really does not make sense. Whether you play a CD, LP, casette, phonograph etc., it is just an impulse to create sound vibrations coming from your speakers. If you listen to a CD, the vibrations and sounds coming to your ears are not digital !! They are just sounds, normal sound acoustic waves coming out from your speakers within your audible spectrum in EXACTLY the same way as they would come out if you play LP or whatever. ANother thing would be if (hypotetically) instead of listening to your speakers you would receive some 0-1 impulses through some cable or something like that - than it would be worth to raise the head and talk about "digitalised music" .

I think there are three basic factors :
1) the quality of your audio system (the cheap crappy speakers will not bring you a real pleasure and good therapeutic effects whatever medium you listen)
2) the quality of a recording (whatever was a method of creating it - analog or digital). A bad recording, be it analog or digital will not please you. We can discuss of the sound delicacies like sound of the tape, vintage devices etc., but this is quite different secondary story
3) And before all - what really counts is the quality of the music and music performance. Talking about therapeutic effects: if a particular music is inspired and positive, these effects will be there whether you listen to CD, LP or whatever, supposing the music is good, is well recorded and you have a quality audio system.

Of course, recorded music can never reach the effects, power and influence of music performed live - its real rich vibrations (which even the best possible speakers cannot reproduce) including the momentary flowing inspiration of the musician(s).
Even the best recording is just a "can", conserved, instant sterilised music. But if it is done well, it can be very nutritious

All the other things are just a matter of technology development. Was the Edison´s phonograph the most therapeutic device ? (according to Dr.Diamond maybe yes ..) Or the vinyls from 20´s ? To listen to an LP full of scratches etc. could be quite a frustrating experience. Digital technology is just a technology with the same inputs and outputs as any previous recording technology. Of course, the quality of AD and DA convertors (a crucial point in digital technology) in 1979 was probably not very exciting. So the first digital recordings might lack something. Even nowadays there are plenty of cheap digital devices in use which produce very bad sound quality recordings . But it is not about a "digital" sound, but just about a low quality of equipment (the same problem if your analog gear is very mediocre).

If you played and recorded an instrument or vocal in old times you could certainly hear that the sound you hear from the speakers is quite imperfect, deformed in a way, not much as live.

If today you use the best possible transparent devices - microphones, preamps, AD, DA and 1st class sound system - you can hear very very faithful, detailed and pleasing sound of that instrument (or voice) coming from the speakers. And what more, you can make it even more pleasing and natural by using many possibilities of the modern studio technology.

So, thinking over it, I would dare to say that what Dr.Diamond writes is simply not true, it is rather a kind of nonsense ...

Maybe he wanted rather to say that plenty of today´s music (produced on CDs, of course) like some rock, pop, punk, rap, heavy metal etc. is quite negative, aggressive, empty and causing lot of harmful and destructive effects on human psyche, physiology, behaviour and on society in general. Then he would be very much right (unfortunately).

BUT beautiful uplifting music will always remain beautiful and uplifting, maybe even more if you use the best possible recording and listening technology

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Quote:
Originally posted by Thermionic:
Quote:
Originally posted by Allan Speers:

This definitely makes my list of top-ten worst scams ever thrust upon the hi-fi commnity.
Top five.

How does this rank in your top ten?

Or maybe the better sounding knob is more up your street?

\:D

Justin
HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Stop - it hurts!!!

A... Four Hundred Eighty Five Dollar Knob?!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

WOoo - beechwood... coated several times with C37 lacquer... for best possible sound...

HAW HAW HAW HAW

*cough*

*wheeze*

*snort*

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
I'm stunned that anyone considered this test you did legitimate.

Did anyone look at an oscilloscope or an FFT and determine what the waveform really looks like, or did you all run under the notion that digital audio is composed of little stairstep waves?

Remarkable.

Nika.
Hey man, I saw a world famous audio designer draw it that way on a black board and explain it - the stair steps cause the pain.

Damn, if I only I would have had a set of wooden knobs to sell him :p \:D :rolleyes:

OK, a $500 knob - that takse all. It makes the $400 power cable seem like a huge bargain.

I used to hang my mic cables from the ceiling with twist ties - see how ahead of my time I was - but then we all decided the microphonics added "realism" and authenticiy to the recording, so now we just toss them across the floor.


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Quote:
Originally posted by Griffinator:
Quote:
Originally posted by Thermionic:
Quote:
Originally posted by Allan Speers:

This definitely makes my list of top-ten worst scams ever thrust upon the hi-fi commnity.
Top five.

How does this rank in your top ten?

Or maybe the better sounding knob is more up your street?

\:D

Justin
HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Stop - it hurts!!!

A... Four Hundred Eighty Five Dollar Knob?!!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

WOoo - beechwood... coated several times with C37 lacquer... for best possible sound...

HAW HAW HAW HAW

*cough*

*wheeze*

*snort*
I just ordered three for my Strat!

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
I'm stunned that anyone considered this test you did legitimate.
As I said, just a repeat of a test originally performed by a group of engineers belonging to the AES (probably one of the bigger groups of "techno-geeks" on the planet). They're usually pretty careful about being "legitimate".

I didn't say I necessarily believed it, just that it was intriguing. I don't recall all the details of the set-up (the drugs... the war...), but I do remember the analog playback wasn't a CD of an analog master - It was a 1/4" half-track.

Anyways, just passing along what I remember. No need to take it as gospel.

Sheesh...


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Yes, but the test is based on a complete fallacy - that digital audio produces stair-step waveforms. This is completely and emphatically incorrect, rebuking any legitimacy that the test holds.

Digital audio has far less high frequency content than analog audio.

I know the AES. I am on a technical committee in the organization. Assuredly noone would try to pull this misleading fallacy off.

Nika.

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The test wasn't done yesterday. It was done circa 1983/84. We've ALL learned a lot about digital audio since then.

They used to think the world was flat, too.

In any event - fallacy or not - the theory was that digitized audio has an adverse effect on the human nervous system. I partook in the test, saw the results with my own eyes, and (as I've said) found it intriguing.

BTW, since you're on the AES technical committee, would you be so kind as to point me to an article that completely and emphatically rebukes that digital audio produces stair-step waveforms? I'd like to see what you kids are up to these days. Who knows, an old dog might learn a new trick or two .


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Medicine Dog Studios:
The test wasn't done yesterday. It was done circa 1983/84. We've ALL learned a lot about digital audio since then.

Ahh, OK, that makes some sense. Even though digital audio, even back then, was not comprised of stair-step waveforms, there was enough wrong with it back then in terms of distortion and other issues that I think it is pretty undeniable that analog playback far exceeded digital playback in many capacities.

BTW, since you're on the AES technical committee, would you be so kind as to point me to an article that completely and emphatically rebukes that digital audio produces stair-step waveforms? I'd like to see what you kids are up to these days. Who knows, an old dog might learn a new trick or two .

Hmmm. The only one that I know of off the top of my head that puts it so clearly is this one:

http://www.tllabs.com/files/Digital%20distortion%20white%20paper.pdf

But it isn't exactly straight to the point, though it isn't exactly a tough read, either. Let me know if you have any questions - I know the author.

The fact that digital audio produces sinusoidal and not stair-stepped waveforms is such an underlying and integral part of waveform analysis and digital audio knowledge that I haven't ever seen this discussed at the AES level. It would be like discussing at an automotive convention whether or not most cars have 4 wheels. It is such an underlying tennant of the field that one can't think of a paper that specifically identifies this fact, though it must be accepted for many other papers to have any validity at all.

Nika.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
It would be like discussing at an automotive convention whether or not most cars have 4 wheels. It is such an underlying tennant of the field that one can't think of a paper that specifically identifies this fact, though it must be accepted for many other papers to have any validity at all.
Hmmm... Sounds a bit like a faith-based religion ;\)

Okay, perhaps we're just not on the same page here (maybe we're in different books all-together...). I'm sure this type of stuff has been discussed to death (and even see where you've written a recent book about it), so I don't mean to get off on a whole different tangent here. But, digital's "stair-step" effect is the whole reason for things like higher sampling rates, higher bit rates, and dither - no? I mean, did the term "stair-step distortion" just get made up for fun? Or is that term considered fallacy, too?

OTOH, I understand that digital's output reproduces a sinusoidal waveform (not a stair-stepped one) - but doesn't it do that by essentially "making up" the waveform content between the sample (stair) points? You said yourself on your own website (when discussing a 16-bit waveform) that:

"...the properties and harmonic distortion are similar to that of square waves. These stair steps in the waveform have an audible effect on the audio by adding determineable harmonic distortion to the signal at a fairly high level."

Could it not then follow that this type of harmonic distortion (I'm guessing it's odd-numbered harmonics) could, indeed, have an adverse affect on the human nervous system? Certainly if one were to sit around listening to square waves all day it would probably get on your nerves and wear you out (well, it would me, anyways ).

Or, does the reconstruction between the sample points turn the odd-based stair-step distortion back into even-based, soul-soothing harmonic distortion? In essence, it's all in the D to A process?

BTW, just playing devil's advocate here. I have no firm belief in ANYTHING one way or the other :p

So school me.


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Medicine Dog Studios:


Okay, perhaps we're just not on the same page here (maybe we're in different books all-together...). I'm sure this type of stuff has been discussed to death (and even see where you've written a recent book about it), so I don't mean to get off on a whole different tangent here. But, digital's "stair-step" effect is the whole reason for things like higher sampling rates, higher bit rates, and dither - no?


Nope. Not at all.

I mean, did the term "stair-step distortion" just get made up for fun?

Completely made up term that has been thereby misapplied.

Or is that term considered fallacy, too?

Yupperdo!

OTOH, I understand that digital's output reproduces a sineusuedal waveform (not a stair-stepped one) - but doesn't it do that by essentially "making up" the waveform content between the sample (stair) points? You said yourself on your own website (when discussing a 16-bit waveform) that:

"...the properties and harmonic distortion are similar to that of square waves. These stair steps in the waveform have an audible effect on the audio by adding determineable harmonic distortion to the signal at a fairly high level."


The point of the writing of mine that you are quoting is as follows: The waveform that we describe as stair-stepped contains the same type of harmonic information as a square wave - lots of HF content. By simply putting a low-pass filter in place all of that HF content is removed, thereby leaving the same waveform that was converted from analog in the first place. It follows like this: If I have something (a waveform, let's say) and then I add something to it (some high frequencies) and then I remove what I added (by filtering out the added material) I am left with what I started with.

Could it not then follow that this type of harmonic distortion (I'm guessing it's odd-numbered harmonics) could, indeed, have an adverse affect on the human nervous system? Certainly if one were to sit around listening to square waves all day it would probably get on your nerves and wear you out (well, it would me, anyways ).

Or, does the reconstruction between the sample points turn the odd-based stair-step distortion back into even-based, soul-soothing harmonic distortion? In essence, it's all in the D to A process?


Nope. It just takes away all of the distortion altogether. And yes, the D/A process is pretty consequential. The filtering has to be done and it has to be done right!

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Well, Nika, it looks like you have a few million audio engineers to school on digital audio (that's the purpose of the book, I guess).

So if there's no such thing as stair-step distortion, or stair-step anything when it comes to digital audio, what is the purpose of higher sampling rates?

No matter how many times a second you sample an analog signal, there's still going to be information missing between the sample points. The dots still have to be connected. Even if this information is "reconstructed" (and not just a straight line between points), you're still introducing distortion.

Is it your opinion that this distortion is psycho-acoustically inaudible? I'm not understanding exactly what you're saying.


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The original "study" involved with anxiety and digital audio actually was conducted around 1975-1976. I remember this because it was listed in Recording Engineer (as well as the Journal of the AES) and Recording Engineer magazine went out of business shortly thereafter (I wrote a little for them and was sad to see them go). The study was considered inflamitory and silly at the time and doesn't seem to have gone away yet.

As far as this stair step thing is concerned. May I respectfully request that some of the population of this forum do a little studying on the subject of digital audio before presenting these arguments to Nika. These questions present a lack of understanding of digital audio so fundamental that I'm sure he feels frustrated responding at all. There have been excellent books published for more than 25 years on the subject, including books by Sony and Yamaha. Can I suggest "Principles of Digital Audio" by Ken C Pohlmann, or "The Art of Digital Audio" by John Watkinson?

Respectfully,

Bill

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Quote:
Originally posted by Medicine Dog Studios:

Is it your opinion that this distortion is psycho-acoustically inaudible? I'm not understanding exactly what you're saying.
Au contraire, monsieur. You understand exactly what I'm saying!

I'll attempt to answer more later, but it might be worth your time to check out the first couple of pages on this thread:

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000822

And remember that the digital sample points are not a waveform. They represent a waveform. Unearthing what it is that they represent takes some work, but Nyquist presented the formula to us - that in order to perfectly accurately reconstruct a waveform we needed to sample it x often. If its amplitude is sampled that often then that is enough to represent the entire waveform, enough to exactly reconstruct it.

In other words - nothing is lost "between the sample points." Everything we need to know about what happened between the sample points is known by two things - A. the maximum frequency represented and B. the sample points.

Ask if you have questions.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Medicine Dog Studios:
BTW, since you're on the AES technical committee, would you be so kind as to point me to an article that completely and emphatically rebukes that digital audio produces stair-step waveforms? I'd like to see what you kids are up to these days. Who knows, an old dog might learn a new trick or two .
An old dog would surely whip out an O-Scope, hooked to some converter spewing out a sine wave and say "shit - no stairs - wadda ya know!"

This is way basic. No articles, web, google or any of that required.


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Quote:
Originally posted by edmann:
[...]

One thing I was wondering about was the mastering - inevitably a lot of the great music was digitized over 10 - 14 years ago....so I don't know if it was the conversion quality at that time or what. I know I have some of the early Hendrix CDs and they sound f****** horrible and THAT is a crime :0
[...]
I don't think anyone realizes just how terrible converters were in the early 70's, compared with converters today or simply taken by themselves.

I remember the (uh, what was it?) Sony CX-10071 which was used in the first 3324 multitrack–a truly terrible-sounding machine. This converter was obstensibly a 16bit part, but it wasn't monotonic (look it up) beyond 14 bits or so. Also, it "aged" poorly, and over the years the linearity suffered further, and a friend who measured one said that it was measuring...oh...11 bit-linear. Now, back then we were told by the Philips/Sony Men Of Science to never let digital clip (ask me about the 3M multitrack, which although it had better converters, and definitely better filters, had a nasty habit of clipping in a manner such that the waveform doubled back on itself and went in the opposite direction). So, anyway, we were modulating digital tape at -18 to -20. So there went another 3 1/2 bits.

Perhaps we were listening to 8 bit conversion? At 44.1?

No damn wonder many early digital transfers sounded so bad.

George


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by gm:
I remember the (uh, what was it?) Sony CX-10071 which was used in the first 3324 multitrack–a truly terrible-sounding machine. This converter was obstensibly a 16bit part, but it wasn't monotonic (look it up) beyond 14 bits or so.

As soon as someone learns about what monotonicity is and what causes it they tend to learn a lot about converter quality issues.

Also, it "aged" poorly, and over the years the linearity suffered further, and a friend who measured one said that it was measuring...oh...11 bit-linear.

Was it calibratable? I'm afraid that I wasn't in primary school yet when these came out, but I've read a lot about ones that could be calibrated.

Now, back then we were told by the Philips/Sony Men Of Science to never let digital clip (ask me about the 3M multitrack, which although it had better converters, and definitely better filters, had a nasty habit of clipping in a manner such that the waveform doubled back on itself and went in the opposite direction).

Was this the one that I've read about that, when hitting full scale, would start counting over again at 0? So that as V increased your digital data would go:

1111 1111 1111 1100
1111 1111 1111 1101
1111 1111 1111 1110
1111 1111 1111 1111
0000 0000 0000 0000
0000 0000 0000 0001

Or do I misunderstand how this one "doubled back?"

Thanks for chiming in, George.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Mueller:
These questions present a lack of understanding of digital audio so fundamental that I'm sure he feels frustrated responding at all.
Oh, sorry... I thought this was a place where people could exchange thoughts, ideas, ask questions, perhaps learn a thing or two - whatever. Guess I was mistaken. Sorry to clog your bandwidth, Bill.

Thanks for putting up with me, Nika.

(edited for spelling)


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Quote:
Originally posted by Nika:
Quote:
Originally posted by gm:
[...]Now, back then we were told by the Philips/Sony Men Of Science to never let digital clip (ask me about the 3M multitrack, which although it had better converters, and definitely better filters, had a nasty habit of clipping in a manner such that the waveform doubled back on itself and went in the opposite direction).
Was this the one that I've read about that, when hitting full scale, would start counting over again at 0? So that as V increased your digital data would go:

1111 1111 1111 1100
1111 1111 1111 1101
1111 1111 1111 1110
1111 1111 1111 1111
0000 0000 0000 0000
0000 0000 0000 0001

Or do I misunderstand how this one "doubled back?"

Thanks for chiming in, George.

Nika.
No, actually it was on the analog side, and not as mathematically as concise as your example.

Think of it as a non-linear processor circuit, where approaching clipping from either direction (positive or negative) the circuit quite suddenly switches 180 degrees out of phase and adds a huge amount of gain.

George


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Quote:
Originally posted by gm:
No, actually it was on the analog side, and not as mathematically as concise as your example.

Think of it as a non-linear processor circuit, where approaching clipping from either direction (positive or negative) the circuit quite suddenly switches 180 degrees out of phase and adds a huge amount of gain.

George
Oh, well that sure is convenient. I can't imagine why you might have objected?

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By all means - let me see if I can find one of those on E-bay! I can't imagine how anyone could process audio without it! ;\)

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Getting back to those $485 wooden knobs.....

In all seriousness, I've been meaning to post something about this and how it points to our own lives:

realize that, as absurb as those knobs are, there are actually some people buying them. (and these same people complain that their taxes are too high, but that's another subject.) Realize that these people really DO hear a difference when they switch knobs. THEY REALLY HEAR IT. That is, their brains do, even though the difference doesn't physically exist.

We can laugh about this, but it's important to realize that the same thing happens to us all the time.

In our world, I call it the "placebo knob effect."

How many times have you pushed the eq on a track, then backed it off a little, until it sounded perfect.... and then realized you were actually eq-ing the wrong track? But you actually DID hear the un-eq'd track change, didn't you?

It's odd that this important topic is never discussed. There are so many instances of ow this affects us: Mic placement, eq-ing, etc. This is also the reaon that doing any A-B testing is so incredibly difficult to do accurately. (hence the need for the double-blind methodology, which almost no-one ever bothers to do.)

This phenomenon, btw, is why some of us have asked GM to incorporate the Waves' A-B preset thang into the next version of the MDW eq plugin: It allows you to do quick, blind A-B comparisons between two different settings. I do this constantly, and am constantly surprised at which setting is which.

The "placebo knob effect" could also well explain why some people have a strong preference for a particular mic, or monitor, or analog summing mixer, etc etc etc.
Them there wooden knobs are EVERYWHERE.....

This is a heavy, heavy subject which really deserves some discussion.

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Medicine Dog Studios,

I appologize if I offended you. My point is that it is an incredible gift to have friggin' gm and Nika's obvious talents available here and we should make the most of it, not argue basic tenents of a technology that are now twenty five years old.

GM. I welcomed the Sony 3324 when we bought our first one at Sheffield. The linear frequency response and total lack of wow and flutter was great, especially on acoustic instruments like grand piano. I could have done without the +400 degrees of phase shift at 20khz though!

The Sony 3202 however was another animal altogether. Man was that an ugly sounding machine!

Best regards,

Bill

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I agree Allan - and while the moto is trust your ears - you cannot trust your brain or your prejudices.

So I go to my ears 1st and then I like to have measurements and visual feedback and meters and science and every other thing I can find that will corroborate what my brain thinks my ears have heard.

I can remember doing one of the DAW shootouts - my own little one, way before the famous 3D Audio comparison. I was listening to what should have been indentical mixes in my car wiht the test CD on random - trying to see if I could pick my fav. After two hours of attempts, I finally decided that maybe there was no difference.

When I got back in the studio and measured them I was shocked to find I wasted two hours hearing differences that did not exist - sure I finally got onto it - but it took two hours for my brain to give up on trying to like one of them best.


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Quote:
Originally posted by Allan Speers:

...How many times have you pushed the eq on a track, then backed it off a little, until it sounded perfect.... and then realized you were actually eq-ing the wrong track? But you actually DID hear the un-eq'd track change, didn't you?.
It was a great epiphany for me! So, so true as is the rest of your post Allan. To this day if the volume is close enough between settings I always try to close my eyes and randomly switch until I do not know which is which, then see whats what. It tells me what part of the brain is running the session at that moment and continues to aid me in these days of visual information abundance in regards to aural decisions.


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