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Normalize Vs Volume increase
tinpanalley
post Jul 8 2011, 15:49
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QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Jul 8 2011, 07:01) *
There is something to be said for listening to a raw transfer on decent quality equipment. It's a bit like listening to lossless audio. With lossy audio (and automatically restored audio), you never know if any faults you hear are down to the processing - and this thought can be distracting. Whereas with lossless audio, or unrestored audio, you know any faults are there on the original, so you might as well forget about them (or fix them manually, if possible).


Exactly, David. Thank you for the thoughts.
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tinpanalley
post Jul 8 2011, 16:08
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This is the info from a download from the site (which will remain nameless for legal reasons) where the guy posts vinyl transfers he does and the specs on them. They sound great to me... but too clean. I don't even know what half these processes or gear are. Although I undeerstand a lot more (especially the DR stuff) now because of you guys. wink.gif



RCM Hannl ‘limited’ with “Rotating Brush”
Music Hall MMF 9.1 Turntable
Tonearm: Pro-Ject 9cc evo with Pure Silver Wires
Cartridge: Nagaoka MP-500
Brocksieper Phonomax (Tube Phono PreAmp)
E-MU 0404 external USB 2.0 Audiointerface
Interconnections : Silent Wire NF5
WaveLab 6 recording software
iZotope RX Advanced 2.00 for resampling and ditheringVacuum cleaning > TT > Brocksieper Phonomax > E-MU 0404 > WaveLab 6 (24/192) > manual click removal >
analyze (no clipping, no DC Bias offset) > resampling and dithering with iZotope RX Advanced 2.00
> split into individual Tracks > FLAC encoded (Vers. 1.21)

Vinyl rip in 24-bit/192kHz (presented in 24/96 & 16/44.1) | FLAC | m3u, cue & Tech Log
Artwork | DR Analysis | 875 / 274 mb incl. recovery | FSonic, FF & HF

Dynamic Range Analysis
———————————————————————————————-
DR Peak RMS
———————————————————————————————-

DR14 -0.11 dB -16.24 dB A1
DR13 -1.12 dB -15.71 dB A2
DR14 -1.38 dB -16.08 dB A3
DR13 -2.69 dB -16.62 dB A4
DR12 -1.50 dB -16.11 dB A5
DR12 -1.83 dB -15.25 dB B1
DR13 -1.63 dB -16.36 dB B2
DR12 -0.83 dB -16.37 dB B3
DR13 -3.09 dB -16.86 dB B4
DR12 -1.64 dB -16.24 dB B5
———————————————————————————————-

Number of files: 10
Official DR value: DR13
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2Bdecided
post Jul 8 2011, 20:30
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Nothing automatic there, just "manual click removal" - no idea why it would sound too clean (unless you have dirty tastes).

Cheers,
David.

This post has been edited by 2Bdecided: Jul 8 2011, 20:31
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DVDdoug
post Jul 8 2011, 20:32
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QUOTE
Is Audacity totally a lame program? Vinyl capturing sites seem to love it?!
As I think mentioned before, your choice of recording program shouldn't affect recording quality... All of the "real work" is done by the hardware & drivers. The recording program simply gives you a "control panel", communicates between the driver and operating system, and routes the digital data from the soundcard (or interface) to your hard drive.

When it comes to editing & processing, there can be a difference. For simple things like cutting, pasting, and volume adjustment, there shouldn't be a difference. But, for more advanced things like noise reduction, there may be a big difference.

If you made a list of the top 5 or 10 open source programs of all kinds, Audacity would probably be on the list. But, it's not on the same level as commercial programs like Sound Forge or Adobe Audition. I use mainly use GoldWave, but there are some things that Audacity can do that GoldWave can't, and I use some other special-purpose audio tools such as Wave Repair.

The vinyl capture guys probably love Audacity because it comes FREE with various USB turntables. I believe it also came free with your ART interface.

QUOTE
...where the guy posts vinyl transfers he does and the specs on them. They sound great to me... but too clean. I don't even know what half these processes or gear are.
Different recordings? Better or newer recordings in better condition? The manual de-clicking probably makes a big difference too. His equipment list shouldn't make that big of a difference, except some phono cartridges are "brighter" than others, and some preamps are quieter than others. But, 1950s technology (vacuum tubes), and silver wires (or oxygen-free copper) don't really help.


wink.gif I can't relate to "too clean".... I know some people prefer the sound of vinyl, and this is the vinyl forum... But, I prefer noiseless, distortion-free, crystal-clear audio... I grew-up with vinyl and the noise always annoyed me. Now, I only use my turntable to digitizing records that are not available on CD.
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AndyH-ha
post Jul 8 2011, 20:36
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I 've paid no attention to Audacity for some years so I can't comment on what ways it might have improved. The declicking and noise reduction were not very good, probably as likely to be destructive as helpful. It was clumsy relative to what I'm used to, but then being used to something else counts a great deal when making comparisons. It does not come close to better programs in display quality where actually getting much information off the screen is the goal.

There is nothing wrong with its recording quality, but the same can be said of virtually every recording application in existence. The main thing about it is that it is freeware. If you can't, or don't want to, put money into something better, it is way more than nothing.

Recordings applications do get some information from the hardware, or at least from what the OS tells them about the hardware through the driver; I won't pretend to know what is involved at the code level. Audacity is normal, Sound Forge is abnormal in regard to not letting you recording into a floating point format. Using floating point is not about the hardware, it is about optimal DSP processing. The hardware characteristics are irrelevant from that viewpoint. If you want only to record and store, floating point would be an irrational choice. (From what I read, there is such a thing as a floating point ADC, and it can have certain advantages, but I've never seen anything about one being used in recording music.)

To each his own in regard to tastes and goals. The kind of person who believes there's some benefit to keeping vinyl transfers at 24-bit has something weird going for him but it is hardly the kind of weird as the person who blows up a bus station because god told him sinners were using the buses to escape cosmic vengeance, and I have nothing to say against him.

I occasionally do only manual declicking, perhaps totally irrationally even then, but this is quite infrequent. I know there is a real data difference from any automated declicking process, and I know it is easy to severely damage the recording with such tools, but mostly it is possible to get very good results without any obvious downside, if your focus is on the music. I'm only concerned about 'how much' for any given recording. If I can't tell a difference in A/B comparisons, or I can only tell a difference by paying very close attention during an A/B comparison, then the easy route to the music is the rational choice.

I've been buying LPs from thrift shops for some years and have obtained some marvelous music. For anywhere from twenty cents to two dollars I get an album that would cost considerably more new, and, in many genres, is often better than a new version redone to modern mastering practices. I find not the least charm in the "vinyl sound". Getting the recording nearer to what it would have been if it had never been cut to the media to begin with is my goal.
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tinpanalley
post Jul 8 2011, 21:09
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jul 8 2011, 15:36) *
Getting the recording nearer to what it would have been if it had never been cut to the media to begin with is my goal.


I totally appreciate that perspective as well. Maybe you're swaying me a bit to see it that way. The ONLY counter I have for that is that, well, it WAS cut to that media. The Beatles WERE cut to vinyl. Robert Johnson WAS cut to 78s, and for the most part people like this were heard on AM radio on crappy speakers. I've played CDs of the Beatles that are mastered "correctly" to my parents who grew up with them and they say, "hmmm.... interesting. But it's not the way I grew up listening to them so it's like a different song to me. The rhythm and the beat and the singing is what got us back then. Not the perfect sound."

But yeah, how it sounded, let's say, in the studio has value as well. I think this is an endless debate which we don't need to continue here.
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greynol
post Jul 8 2011, 21:16
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Um, no, The Beatles were recorded to tape and the audio from that tape was manipulated in various ways in order to prepare it to be cut to vinyl. If you want to get closer to what was done in the studio, you go back to the tape.

As to the rhythm, beat and singing, they are still present on any version of the CDs no matter how they were mastered, no?


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tinpanalley
post Jul 8 2011, 22:46
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 8 2011, 16:16) *
Um, no, The Beatles were recorded to tape and the audio from that tape was manipulated in various ways in order to prepare it to be cut to vinyl. If you want to get closer to what was done in the studio, you go back to the tape.

As to the rhythm, beat and singing, they are still present on any version of the CDs no matter how they were mastered, no?


A. It's an opinion, not fact. It's just how may parents, with uneducated ears feel, man.
B. I said they were "cut to vinyl", not that they weren't first mastered on tape. Is that wrong? They weren't cut to vinyl? What they were mastered on is also irrelevant to the average person who first heard them on record or radio. Or am I wrong in assuming that most people didn't have reel-to-reel tape machines in the average household in the early 60s?
C. I know you made an attempt to apologise for the comment "discussed to death" you made earlier that I took personally, and I let it go. But I have to say that the "um, no" at the start of your reply would be considered by most people to be a passive aggressive and kinda pretentious way of saying, "You're wrong and I'm going to make you look stupid for saying what you did." If you need to be right all the time then either shut my thread down or ignore me. I realise "Super Moderator" lends you a certain omnipotence, but I didn't ask for the attitude. And yes, it's attitude. Clearly not everyone can be as knowledgeable about audio as you and you need people to know it. I'm sorry, it's how I feel. Shut me down if you have to.

The rest of you, thank you ever so much for your kind attempts to help me understand. I apologise for my slow intake of all the info you've given me but I assure you it's been helpful to me and I appreciate it.

This post has been edited by tinpanalley: Jul 8 2011, 22:48
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greynol
post Jul 9 2011, 00:07
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Denying that vinyl was the most common medium back then would be denying my own childhood. While there is something to be said about songs as you remember them, I suggest you consider that it may have more to do with the editing than it does with the medium.

Regarding your temper tantrum, I made no attempt to apologize as there was nothing for which to apologize. Assuming you're correct that I've given you attitude, what do you hope to achieve by giving back stronger attitude? I have no intention on shutting you down, nor this discussion. However, if you cannot manage to engage in a civil discussion then I suggest you refrain from posting.


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Juha
post Jul 9 2011, 09:31
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Couple questions:

Would normalization be more secure because of the highest peak of source data is (automatically) checked before the final process (what I've learned, gain change in digital domain is kind of increasing/decreasing bits --> as (norm./ ampl.) process is done in 32/64-bit enviroment, after amplifying (without knowing the 'secure' amplification value) there might be clipping present you maybe can't hear until the data is transfered to its final 16-bit resolution (isn't 24-bits native driver resolution for many DACs ?)?.

Are there any advantages in amplifying or normalizing 24-bit data rather than 16-bit if the final resolution is 16-bit?

Juha
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AndyH-ha
post Jul 9 2011, 09:40
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What one gets by normalization is independent of the bit depth (except that the quantization error is smaller at greater bit depths, just as it is with any other operation you might do on the data).

Now, if you mean should you do it while at 24 bit depth or wait until you have the 16 bit final format, do it while at 24 bits. One normally dithers when reducing the bit depth. Dithering is also recommended, for each operation, if working at 16 bits. Thus you would (should) have dithered twice if you wait until you've converted to 16 bit.

Of course, working in floating point gives you the ability to avoid clipping by normalizing to a reasonable level before converting to integer.

This post has been edited by AndyH-ha: Jul 9 2011, 09:47
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2Bdecided
post Jul 9 2011, 12:30
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QUOTE (greynol @ Jul 8 2011, 21:16) *
Um, no, The Beatles were recorded to tape and the audio from that tape was manipulated in various ways in order to prepare it to be cut to vinyl. If you want to get closer to what was done in the studio, you go back to the tape.
On original vinyl, without damage, played on a decent turntable, sounds pretty close to the master tape anyway. Closer than the current stereo CDs (extra compression, 40 years of master tape degradation).

A beaten up vinyl, played on a cheap portable record player, sounds nothing like the master tape. That may be the sound many remember, and the sound most heard. It's certainly what was in George Martin's mind when he made those recordings. That's why lots of 60s pop music sounds so sparse on CD. That's why 2000s pop is so mushed on CD - producers know the replay equipment won't mush it up any more!

Cheers,
David.
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tinpanalley
post Nov 12 2011, 23:24
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If I'm going through a recording process with a mono record, where I'll be summing the two channels picked up by a stereo cartridge, where should the channel summing process happen? Basically, should I declick the raw 2-channel recording or declick-pop once the channels have been summed?

(Just in case, yes I know there are mono stylii, I know a stereo stylus on a mono record isn't true reproduction, I'm not buying a mono stylus, that level of fidelity doesn't interest me. Got heck elsewhere for even suggesting a stereo stylus on a mono record.)

This post has been edited by tinpanalley: Nov 12 2011, 23:28
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mjb2006
post Nov 13 2011, 00:20
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Why did you bump this thread? Your question has nothing to do with the topic.

Why are you choosing to sum the channels after you were essentially told that wasn't necessary?

This topic may also be of interest (click); your question is answered there.

This post has been edited by mjb2006: Nov 13 2011, 00:49
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tinpanalley
post Nov 13 2011, 05:09
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QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Nov 12 2011, 19:20) *
Why did you bump this thread? Your question has nothing to do with the topic.
Actually it was part of the conversation in this thread that I started. P.S., my question isn't about whether to record stereo, my question is about when to do the declick before or after summing the channels.
QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Nov 12 2011, 19:20) *
Why are you choosing to sum the channels after you were essentially told that wasn't necessary?
I guess you've never made a mistake before and forgotten something after you already asked it months before, huh? Oh, and this guy disagrees with you:
"from the fairly large number of mono LPs I done, only a couple have not done better summing the two channels rather than choosing one channel. I believe both exceptions required choosing parts from each channel to make one best.
The summing does need to be done as the proper step, after declicking and (when needed) after decrackling."


QUOTE (mjb2006 @ Nov 12 2011, 19:20) *
This topic may also be of interest (click); your question is answered there.
Thank you.

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botface
post Nov 13 2011, 10:24
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QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Nov 12 2011, 23:24) *
Basically, should I declick the raw 2-channel recording or declick-pop once the channels have been summed?

Most people will advise declicking then summing to mono. However, I have achieved better results with some 78's that were in very poor condition by recoding them mono in the first place - by summing the channels before the preamp and recording to a mono track. So, I'd suggest trying both of the approaches you mention and seeing which one works best with your source material
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tinpanalley
post Nov 13 2011, 22:24
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QUOTE (botface @ Nov 13 2011, 05:24) *
by summing the channels before the preamp and recording to a mono track

Hey thanks for the reply. Appreciate it. But I don't think I have the capability of doing this. At least I wouldn't know what to use.
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2Bdecided
post Nov 15 2011, 11:23
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QUOTE (tinpanalley @ Nov 13 2011, 22:24) *
QUOTE (botface @ Nov 13 2011, 05:24) *
by summing the channels before the preamp and recording to a mono track

Hey thanks for the reply. Appreciate it. But I don't think I have the capability of doing this. At least I wouldn't know what to use.
It's identical to recording in stereo then converting to mono as the first stage in software. So there's no advantage to recording in mono IMO+IME.

I record, declick, decrackle and denoise 78s in stereo, then convert to mono as the last step. It works far better than converting to mono first (or capturing mono). The artefacts from the automatic restoration tools are pretty much the same either way per channel, but are reduced by about 3dB relative to the music when converting to mono as the last step, since they're not 100% correlated between the channels (and the music is, or should be).

YMMV - depends on the recordings and the restoration tools I guess.

Cheers,
David.
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AndyH-ha
post Nov 15 2011, 11:36
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It also depends on the channel balance. Some cartridges, and set-ups thereof, are better than others. That is to say, the summing goes better or worse depending upon this. It seems to be pretty much the case that declicking first works better regardless.
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botface
post Nov 15 2011, 17:27
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Yes, I wasn't suggesting recording in mono as the preferred method just pointing out that I have on some occasions got better results by doing so. Of course it should make no difference whether you mono in software or hardware but trying monoing first and comparing the result with monoing afterwards is what I was suggesting
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2Bdecided
post Nov 16 2011, 13:43
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Nov 15 2011, 11:36) *
It also depends on the channel balance. Some cartridges, and set-ups thereof, are better than others. That is to say, the summing goes better or worse depending upon this.
If I'm in a perfectionist mood, I check this before summing. I find the best approach is to adjust the levels while listening to the channels summed with one channel inverted. Set the balance for least wanted audio audible in this "difference" channel, then with that set, sum as normal (i.e. without inversion).

It's quicker to do that to say - especially with analogue controls, or analogue-like controls in the software. You can get close enough with CEPs channel mixer + real time preview, creating a new channel from L-R to check the proportions of each that are best.

Cheers,
David.
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musicollector
post Nov 28 2011, 04:30
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QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Jun 30 2011, 12:51) *
Some people like to break a recording into individual tracks and work on each separately. I find it more convenient to record both sides of the LP into one file and keep it that way until I am done with all processing. Normalizing, at the proper time, is then a single operation against the entire album. There is no possibility of altering the album's dynamics.

Normalizing should be done after any and all filters are applied, especially if you intend to use 0dB.


I was one of those people! No more! I also like the idea of processing each file BEFORE breaking them up as it saves time and effort.

Thanks for the reminder.


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