I recently read a white paper on the web that claimed: when burning audio tracks to CD for eventual mastering, use a model recommended specifically for audio recording.
The informational claimed that audio requires a slightly deeper groove-cut; & that using a data drive to write audio can result in playback problems with CD players (ranging from long cue ups, mis-tracking, or even not executing playback at all.)
A) Is this true?
B) If so, how about differeneces in the resulting audio quality itself? Wouldn't a more stable burn yeild a higher quality sound?
Thanks in advance,
I was really inquiring as to pre-mastering...getting the highest quality burn prior to sending the CD-R off to the replication house (as oposed to ripping.) I'm in the process of checking out the technical info that was posted; & I really did get a lot out of the discussion.
Can hear no difference on a direct burn from cd to cdr. Hear difference when converting to wav file & then burning, so I recommend bypassing hard drive. Regards, HiFi Guy
Your right about conversion to .wav first. I've heard this is due to the mix engine. John Vestman has some good relative info on his site:
Since audio CDs are organized differently than data CDs, attention must be paid when converting CD-A to .wav files on your hard drive. This process is called "digital audio extraction". Do a google search on this term to learn more about it.
Never converted CD Audio to a .wav file yet.
And you can't make me either!!!
Been using more recently a Yamaha CD Burner for PC.
Whenever I get the chance I burn in Audio Master Quality mode, and on my main stereo sometimes the copy sounds better than the original: firmer soundstage and more low-level detail. On good recordings to begin with, the copy sounds to me just as good the original, and I'm quite picky when it comes to low-level resolution.
Audio Master mode DOES make a quantifiable difference, however, on ANY audio system, because it reduces jitter and reading errors.
While I can't measure jitter (only appreciate it subjectively by listening), it's very easy to show the benefit of Audio Master recording mode in terms of minimizing the skipping errors. Just put a CD in the car, or portable CD player and take it jogging. Miraculously, no skips! Minidisc-like stability. Or almost no skips, while the original CD or a regular copy skips like crazy. Unfortunately, one can only burn 63 min. of music on a 74 min. CD or 68 min. on a 80 min. CD, respectively.
For Audio Master mode you can only use NERO 5.5.9.xx or later (currently 5.5.10) *** for Yamaha CD Burners ***, which only works with the Yamaha. I've also a TDK but, as expected, doesn't work.
Otherwise Clone CD is another excellent program, but you can't do AMQR mode with it.
Cos they do not always read the source CD properly
On a computer or data based burner you can re -read the data if you "RIP" it , ie extract it properly from the source , a stand alone (or if you burn a CD on the fly with a data recorder) cannot always read the info and if the error correction is not 100% you can get a corrupt burn , not to say this wont play , but it might lose info.
I have been burning since the first audio only CD recorders came out and have been thru all the hoops etc
Apart from this , I have owned both , and my CDRs burnt on a top of the range Pioneer PDR-05 DONT play on my meridian transport - whereas 24x burnt CDr's/cdrw's DO.
I used to be anal about both audio and data burns , burning at 1 or 2x speed only , using expensive media , devoting a puter to Audio only as well as using a Meridian 518 mastering processor tween my source and the PDR-05 - nowdays my 24x LG burner takes 3 mins to burn an audio cd that plays in EVERYTHING.
I did a whole lot of blind , double blind and sighted tests with originals and CDr's burnt via various means and came to the conclusion that sometimes burnt CDrs sounded better and with stand alones , cables and scource CD transport mattered.
Now this is all academic , modern burners and media do a fantastic job and all the "care" taken those days is not an issue these days.
What matters now is that you have a decent burning program , reasonable media (Do a search on BLER or BLERS to find out what matters with media) and the correct firmware for your burner and a puter capable of running it all. I have blind tested originals vs 24x burnt and cannot tell the difference.Funnily enough , when I was doing sighted tests , I always said the original was best , when doing the same tests blind , mostly the recorded cdr came up as "the best"
There is NO reason , apart from wishing to record analog(where stand alones are more convenient) in using a much more expensive stand alone type burners that use audio only CDR media (no diff to normal media , in fact worse as it does not have to comply with media that spin at 40x which has to be balanced and far better in terms of BLER rates etc)
Data and computer based burners are more than up to the task of recording audio. The added benefits of a puter based system are legion , cost , low cost media , no copy protection , data and audio , speed , the ability to edit , mixed mode recording etc.
If the burner is capable of writing red book standard there is no issue with "deep cuts" etc , the puter burners dont burn "deeper" at any rate and anything that burns with some proprietory mode is to be avoided.
There is one issue with data burners and cd copiers in general , the audio data on a CD has no real "start" address and you get what is called an offset error , IE the first block of data is not read from it real "beginning" , but this is not something to agonise over at all.
The other issue is to use a decent "ripping" program, EAC is free and considered the best as well as a source that can rip digital audio (using the burner to do this works perfectly)
When you say "mastering" from this information, it might be related to professional recording studios. If I was a recording engineer making master CDs for sale and distribution, I would pay very close attention to all aspects going into making it.
But aren't we just a bunch of guys making favourites CDs for parties and our vehicles? My new CD burner, unlike my old one, has yet to disappoint me so I have no burning desire to get one just for audio CDs.
i swear i can hear the differance between a cd copy i made on the computer and the original (mabey that's why i'm in the Asylum).the copies seem to have less dynamic range.i noticed that they do sound better when i copy the entire cd "on the fly",than when i use the compilation feature.i've often wondered if a good stand-alone unit would make better sounding copies.
Even on my budget stereo, comparing a CD-R (burned at 4x) with the original, something sounds "different" to me. I think the CD-R sounds more sterile, and less dynamic, less bass, and slighty more bright. If you're crazy, then I guess I am too.
I also get a lot of errors on the transfer of tracks from the original to the hard drive. Even if CD-ex says there are no errors, after listening to the final burned product, there are still cracks and pops. Any idea why this happens? My CD-RW is a generic one included on a Dell Laptop.
From the problems you describe, then it's not surprising they sound worse. You should get zero (or very near zero) errors when copying, and there should be no cracks and pops at all.
Most tracks on most discs copy with zero jitter errors. But then there are sometimes when an original disc could have 50% of its songs copy with read errors (the disc is pretty much scratchless and clean). Sometimes I have one song that is causing most of the trouble...I have to recopy it perhaps 5-10 times to get a "perfect" copy, but even that does not assure me of the song being pop and error free.
I'd say about 5% of all songs copied, despite being reported as error free, still contain errors.
It's still under warranty my laptop. I think I should take it in to get it replace, though I have a feeling Dell is very bitchy when it comes to replacing things that are all but dead.
Plus, the last time I phoned Dell Cust. Serv. I was put on hold for nearly 45 minutes, and this was 11:00 PM - hardly a peak hour for calls. Unless its a supply side problem, and they were understaffed at the time.
Possibly somehow related to the green colour of the CD-R which might "magically" absorb the reflecting red beams of the laser? Recall the green/black marker tweak for CD's that came out a few years ago ;)
The cracks pops etc are cos the Audio data is not being extracted properly
Download Exact Audio Copy , EAC (www.exactaudiocopy.com or exactaudiocop.de) and use it , if this does NOT help then the source CDr you are ripping from is not properly capable of extracting digital audio and you need one that is , plextor , lg , yamaha etc are good at this.
laptops are not ideal for audio burning , even my 2.4 ghz p4 with a Cdrom/cdr/dvd combo can only burn at 8x and can thus not support the good "full size" recorders which are pretty cheap
It depends on the burn speed. The slower the burn, the less chance of errors and the burn is indeed "deeper" thus making it easier for a player to read it. I do all my archivals on a Marantz Pro CDR-500 and use the computer for quickies and hand-outs.
How deeply it burned the disc matters. Just because one player can successfully read a disc that was burned at 64x doesn't mean any others will. You would be amazed at how much error correction has to happen with a disc that has a "faint" burn.
It would seem to me that if "faint burning" was the problem, then the error correction that is burnt as part of the process would have the same problems. So just how would there be so much successful error correction occurring, if the error correction data was "faintly" burned?
it's a statistical thing. Chances are the more correction bits you add, the better the chance that any errors that occur can be corrected. Yes, the error correction bits have the same chance of being in error as any other, so long as the total number of bit errors in any given 'word' of data does not exceed the redundancy built in via the error correction bits, then the data can be recovered.
What I am saying is that any given player is going to have a harder time reading a "faintly burned" CD over one that has a deep burn. I know of several players that I and some of my friends have that cannot sucessfully read a CD that was burned at high speeds. The fainter the burn, the bigger the chance that error correction is going to take place. The only thing you gain by burning a CD a a high rate is time. I'd rather do it right the first time. As far as error correction in the dubbing process goes, I would guess the same thing. Discs read at high speeds will probably have more errors than ones read at a slower speed. From what I have read, some CDR's that dub do not even use error correction during a dub. They take data from the source deck and dump it to the recording deck.
A pit is not a 0 and a land is not a one or anything like that at all , the laser actually reads troughs and non troughs , not a zillion "pits" , the data on a Cd is also not contiguous , it is interleaved and has error correction as well , the depth of a trough CANNOT actualy vary much as the reciver of the laser works when the pit is a 1/4 of the wavelength of the laser deep as it then "disrupts" it , you cannot go willy nilly and make deeper troughs etc. You might define the start of a trough better by sort of "slowing" and burning at this point or increasing power at the start, its actually called power ramping (I use it on my cutting lasers - where it slows down on curves or changes the power to less when doing 90 degree corners as it slows down at these corners)
There are also other conversions involved and the end result is not a series of ones and zeros or digital "pulses" , rather an analog sine like wave at about 3mhz - so the notion of an On/OFF and no grey area type thing is actually not really accurate.
The way a laser reads has all to do with reflectivity , speed and tracking issues and how the laser interprets or if indeed it CAN interpret the troughs or "less reflective" areas.
I am aware of how it works at that level, and yes the 1/4 wavelength principle behind it means that the word "deeper" must stay in quotes, but I beg to differ on the last part of your description a little, and perhaps to add some. The 'sinewave' varies. A series of alternating 1's and 0's will give an even mark/apce ratio and hence approximate a sinewave, but a few 1's, followed by many zero's then some quick 1's and 0's will give a rather odd looking waveform. Now, the next thing that is done in the curcuitry, is to turn that wave into a digital waveform, a certain voltage level indicating a 1 and another indicating a 0. This is why I referred to reading 1's and 0's, not wanting to get into the nitty gritty of HOW they are read. Nevertherless, that is what the player is interested in.
Within limits, your pits and lands can get pretty sloppy and so long as detected waveform is at the correct level/state when sampled (let's not get into a lengthy discussion on oversampling and jitter etc etc) then the result is a 1 or a 0. So, within normal tolerance, I believe what I said is correct.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and I get no more errors at 16x than at 4x, and subjectively it sounds just as good. Of course a good burner might compensate for the increased speed (power ramping you called it), in fact, such techniques must be one of the reasons burners keep getting faster.
I have a disc made by the church I attend in their own studio. I can play it on the computer, and on a portable in my office. However, I am inable to play it at home on my DVD player as it skips. I exchanged the disc for another, but I only ended up with skipping in different places. What would cause a consistent problem such as this?
Either the reflectivity of the Disc , the Disc not having been burned to Red book standard , a bad glass master if they did a big volume run or the fact the DVD is faulty or perhaps intolerant to slightly out of spec recordings
Its most likely badly recorded
Thanks, Rodney. What's interesting is that this is the second disc with this problem, and they only made 1500. No other disc in my collection (somewhere between 400-700), has this problem. Yet, two of these do. Since I know the folks involved quite well, what should I tell them to do about the problem? How do they ensure that future recordings don't suffer from such problems?
You probably want to take a look at the following review of Yamaha CD FRW-1 burner.
It does both data and audio, but has a special mode to achieve improved quality in audio mode, including the increased groove size. Note that in eithet case it uses data CDRs. Also if I'm not mistaken, it can record in CAV mode to minimize the jitter while recording.
Thanks, man. Check out this link to the Yamaha site:
Click on the icon for Advanced Audio Mastering; & check out the technology demonstration (I know you probably already have one of these things, but I'm now starting to feel like, between this burner; & some good mastering or maximizing software, I have a chance to compete (or, at least be in the same ballpark) as "pro level" CD pre-mastering. Thanks again.
using *audio mode* ( tagged Audio Master Quality Recording ) actualy made it worse to my ears. More vailed and lack of transient bites compared to the copies made with 4X speed.
I've replaced Tascam CDW-2000 with this Yamaha for both archiving WAV files on the HD as well as making a stand-alone copies.
Perhpas, this unit still needs some running in, but, results so far is pretty dissapointing. It is possible it's because of ripping software I use. ( Toaster 5.2 and iTunes ) PC users might have better luck with it.
< < < worse to my ears > > >
That's curious... in my case Audio Master mode ALWAYS yielded improvements, often in sound quality (it lifts the veil off the recording) and regularly in playback stability. Try EAC or Easy CD Extractor to rip wavs.
I have noticed no difference in audio quality or playback reliability between my CD burner in my PC vs the outboard Pioneer CD recorder in my stereo rack.
Also, I have noticed no difference in sound quality or reliability using "audio" CD recordable media vs cheap "data" CD media.
I have both including the CD R/W drive in my PC and a Pioneer consumer CD recorder. They both do an outstanding job and I don't notice any difference in the quality of the CD copy.
I find the PC CD R/W drive (along with my PC CD ROM drive) to be very convenient for high-speed copying of an original CD to recordable CD media. Not so convenient for making copies of various tracks from different CD's onto a single recordable CD media.
On the other hand, I find the outboard standalone Pioneer CD recorder to be more convenient when recording from my 5-disc CD changer. I program a couple dozen tracks on the CD changer from 5 different CD's, press a couple buttons and walk away. Instant "favorites" CD when it's all done. (I can then take that "favorites" CD and make high-speed copies on the PC).
Audio CDs cost more becasue of the royalties. I have used data cds for years and they sound pretty damn good.
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