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In Reply to: RE: confusion again posted by belyin on June 05, 2023 at 14:31:09
Someone wrote that compression is the soul of rock music - or something similar. For Random Access Memories Daft Punk took the output from Pro-Tools to tape and back into Pro-Tools again to add something to the sound.
I've heard Bernie Grundman wax lyrical about how great analog tape is and that it is the best archive medium, I've heard an interview with Engineer/Producer Al Schmitt where he said he hated tape due to head flutter and stretching. I saw a short interview with rick Rubin recently where he said analog tape sounds great but it soon loses its magic - you replay it after a short time and it doesn't sound as good any more.
I agree that compression is necessary - and, I think, you need a noise floor to let you know where you are. Especially true of groove noise during the run in - it sets your expectations.
> I saw a short interview with rick Rubin recently where he said analog tape sounds great but it soon
> loses its magic - you replay it after a short time and it doesn't sound as good any more.
The best part about digital is its accuracy and its longevity. It's exceedingly accurate so it can copy the sound of analog tape and/or vinyl almost perfectly. Moreover, it doesn't change over time. Therefore, if you want to preserve the beautiful sound of high-speed analog tape, simply make a high-resolution digital copy when the tape is new and you'll have that great sound quality forever.
Yes it can be very accurate, but the longevity of digital storage is challenged by the ever changing formats and encoding that may well make most stored digital archives unrecoverable in 50 years unless they have been constantly updated and transferred, while a vinyl record will still preserve the waveform for maybe 10,000.
> a vinyl record will still preserve the waveform for maybe 10,000 [years].
I think we can all laugh at that one. First of all, there are no records that are 10,000-years old. Secondly, show me a record that's 100-years old and I'll show you a record that sounds like crap compared to modern vinyl pressings.
Digital is only about 50-years old. I own some of the first CDs made. I bought them in 1982 or thereabouts and as far as I can tell, they sound just the same as they did when brand new. Actually, they probably sound better now because the playback equipment sounds better. However, the binary data on the CD hasn't changed as far as I can tell.
Digital is simply binary data -- numbers. You can write them down on a piece of paper if you want.
Just because there are new digital formats being developed doesn't mean you still can't play the original formats. However, DSD256 sounds as good as anything I've ever heard. Therefore, even if newer and better digital formats are developed, DSD256 will still sound just as good as it sounds now and I find it hard to believe that any newer digital formats can be significantly better sounding. You can only get so close to perfection and DSD256 comes pretty close as far as I can tell.
Anyway, I disagree with your arguments against the longevity of digital.
So 10,000 years is hyperbolic, but pvc takes a very long time to degrade (a big ecological problem,) and an archived lp should last a very long time. There was no vinyl records a 100 years ago, yet 100 year old phonograph records pressed on shellac (a much less stable material) if unplayed and well stored still sound pretty much just like the day they were pressed.
But really I think we are talking about two very different things. You are approaching this from an audiophile perspective, and I am thinking about this from an archival perspective of preserving cultural material across long periods of time with no guaranteed of a continuous and uninterrupted cultural and social continuity. In other words, if our "civilization" collapses in a few hundred years and a new human social formation develops a thousand years later, if they discover an lp it wouldn't take all that much technical sophistication to retrieve information from it, but what would they do with a compact disk or a hard drive?
My first record project was recorded 23 years ago on a Tascam D-88, an 8 track digital recorder that used Dtrs 8mm video cassettes (they look like DATs, but are different.) This was Tascam's response to the more common ADAT system from Alesis that used VHS tapes for 8 track digital recording. But the twist was that my engineer used a special box (I think it was called a Rat Packer) that instead of 8 tracks at 16/44.1, it enabled two tracks at 24/88.2 (or was it 24/96?) It would be difficult for me retrieve this data today, and in a 100 years . . .?
> But really I think we are talking about two very different things.
Let's suppose you're right about everything. You can still copy a vinyl record in DSD128 like I do, and save the LP while playing the digital copy. I've found that high-resolution digital copies like DSD128 sound identical to the vinyl record. Therefore, you can preserve the LP and play the digital copy.
I store my digital copies in triplicate in case a hard drive goes bad. That way I won't lose the digital recording. You can also make duplicate copies periodically to keep them alive if you feel they fade over time. That's the beauty of digital. It's just numbers and they don't change if you take care of them. You can duplicate a digital recording as many times as you like and all the duplicates will be perfectly identical to the original.
Anyway, if you're concerned with the longevity of the digital recording, you can always retain the vinyl and find out if one outlasts the other. However, with proper care, I'm sure you can preserve both for a long time!
Allegedly, the data collected during the trip to the moon in 1969 were stored in some digital format that is not readable by any devices in existence today.
Digital sucks. Both as an approximation to the analog, and as an archival medium. Paper outlasts millennia, and so does plastic. Digital is super convenient but anyone serious about archiving some information must rely on physical, tangible objects.
Everything is an approximation compared to the original live performance. The beauty of high-resolution digital is that it's the most accurate approximation relative to any other format available today. It's better than vinyl and it's better than analog tape. All you have to do is listen to some music recorded in high-resolution digital and let your ears make up your mind.
Otherwise, you can continue believing what you now believe in lieu of discovering the truth.
I have many high resolution FLAC files (some even in 32 bit/360 kHz format) but:
a) They don't sound any better than 16 bit/44.6 kHz format
b) They still lack the air, space, and the almost frightening dynamics that good LPs have
Digital is hype. Yes, it is quiet, clinically clean, and super convenient to stream at will. But it lacks life.
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