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Analog vs Digital article, not bad
Analog vs Digital article, not bad
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Old 12th October 2017, 11:45 AM   #1
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Analog vs Digital article, not bad
Default Analog vs Digital article, not bad

If you're interested, here is an article in Scientific American that explains digital vs analog to the non audio savvy crowd. I think the author does a good and honest job without getting mired in details or silly debates. (she's a mathematician)

It's nothing we don't already know here, but it's refreshing to read it in the popular press.

Which Sounds Better, Analog or Digital Music? - Scientific American Blog Network
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Old 12th October 2017, 12:22 PM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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I think she is wrong to say that Fourier theory is needed to allow a record groove to represent music. All that is needed is the recognition that the output from a microphone is a single analogue signal and the variation in a record groove is also a single analogue signal, and both are (compatibly) bandlimited. The fact that the signal (in either case) can be resolved into "pure tones" is irrelevant.

I'm not sure what she means by sound waves having an infinite number of points. Perhaps she is trying to say that a sound wave is continuous? Because it is bandlimited it does not have an infinite number of independent points. Neither has a record groove.

She implies that math cannot fully replicate reality, yet earlier says that the sampling theorem say that it does.

She is a maths PhD student, so not quite yet a mathematician. It is a blog post, not an article. To me it came across as "I barely understand this myself, but I will write a tutorial piece for those who don't understand it at all". As you can tell, I am less enthusiastic about this than Pano.
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Old 12th October 2017, 12:34 PM   #3
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Analog vs Digital article, not bad
I'm not quite sure about Fourier and the record groove - and wonder if an editor didn't mess things up there because it seems misplaced. That's related to digital audio, not analog.

And yes, it's actually a blog, not a full S.A. article. I was just amazed to see the subject fairly treated in the popular press, I didn't care to pick all nits out of it. I'll leave that inevitable task to someone else. Are my expectations too low?
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Old 12th October 2017, 06:45 PM   #4
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
She is a maths PhD student, so not quite yet a mathematician.
If she is a PhD student she must have an MSc title or equivalent in mathematics. In my book someone with an MSc in mathematics is a mathematician.
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Old 13th October 2017, 05:58 AM   #5
xx3stksm is offline xx3stksm  Japan
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Default both are not same originally

The difference between analog and digital music mainly comes from mastering, AFAIK. My musical source is digital data digitalized from vinyl. I can't distinguish an original vinyl from digitalized one even in 24bit/48kHz. The latest ADC board(DIY) has good performance than before. But if you compare a commercial vinyl with a CD, both don't have the same content. Both don't have the same mastering. A CD and a SACD are also different. If you compare a digital music which is digitalized without extra mastering, the difference is very little. I think many people don't know a CD and vinyl don't have the same electrical signal. You can easily see the difference by FFT these days. Seeing is better than hearing in some case. That's why both sounds differently.
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Old 13th October 2017, 10:12 AM   #6
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcelvdG
In my book someone with an MSc in mathematics is a mathematician.
When reading the article I felt that it was not written in the style I would expect from a professional/academic mathematician. I was therefore not too surprised to find she is a student.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xx3stksm
My musical source is digital data digitalized from vinyl. I can't distinguish an original vinyl from digitalized one even in 24bit/48kHz.
That is evidence for the transparency of digital. LP needs different mastering because it is an inferior medium, although good enough for a pleasant musical experience. The same signal put on LP and CD would sound a bit different.
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Old 13th October 2017, 07:28 PM   #7
MarcelvdG is offline MarcelvdG  Netherlands
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There can be another reason for differences in mastering: LP, especially the 180 gramme or whatever versions, SACD, DVD-A and high-resolution files are all formats that the record companies expect to be played back on a decent audio system. CD and MP3 are mainstream formats that are often played on very poor audio systems, MP3 files often even on totally unsuitable equipment such as mobile phones.
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Old 15th October 2017, 08:03 PM   #8
jfetter is offline jfetter  United States
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Possibly some original studio 2" tape has additional content too.

I found this 1/4" deck at our annual neighborhood garage sale along with blank and recorded reels , now curious will have to listen.

And what did we buy today?

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Old 15th October 2017, 10:45 PM   #9
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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I once listened to 4 versions of a single recording - a dual disc SACD/CD remastering where both versions essentially sounded the same. The Vinyl and reel to reel (from a previous mastering) had the same tonal balance (much different from the digital remastering) but the tape had WAY more noise than the vinyl. There was a certain warmth to the older analog mastering, more midbass.

Anyway, almost all of these "new" vinyl pressings are from digital masters so there is something other than digital vs analog behind the resurgence of vinyl. Could be people missed the ritual of cleaning and flipping...could be it is a fashion or fad brought on by hipsters (hipsters ruin everything )
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