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I like colored/distorted sound, Split from Topic ID: 99623 (TOS #5)
post Feb 27 2013, 20:37
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Just to write something about "vinyl does not sound better", well, "betterness" is a very subjective thing. Many people. including me, actually like sound colored/distorted in a certain way, whatever it is old LP records, magnetic tape, or Amiga MODs made with raw crispy 16 Khz 8-bit samples without a reconstruction filter. I am a lo-fi guy and I am not afraid to admit that vinyl, tape, old samplers, Amiga 500, etc. are technologically highly inferior to CDs. However, for some people like me, accurate sound is not really the goal. Vinyl would sound "wrong" with an accurate frequency response and old tracked computer music would sound hideously muffled if "mathematically correct" anti-aliasing filters were applied. Obviously there is place for everything, for example, I wouldn't record bat recordings on vinyl and I don't want to hear heavy metal in MOD format with 16 Khz samples either. However there is absolutely nothing wrong with liking inaccurate sound. What is bad is pretending that those legendary vintage technologies are technologically superior to Redbook or higher resolution audio, as some vinyl lovers do. I am among the many people who love the sound of the legendary Amiga sound chip Paula and the sound of old samplers like Emulator II, but none of those fans would claim that their DACs are better than DACs on a modern 5.1 soundcard or whatever. The vinyl audiophiles should stop pretending that their love for vinyl is based on technological superiority.
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post Mar 1 2013, 15:47
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A recording with a DR of 4 is practically unlistenable to me. True vinyl has its own faults, but what is funny about analog sound is that often these distortions are euphonic as opposed to something like distortion from digital clipping which is disruptive for most people except for those who listen to extreme electronic music (and they won't like the overcompressed Beyonce CDs either as they like the distortion to be a part of their music style, not something good for pop). There are differences between analogue and digital clipping and distortion, just try to achieve an overdriven guitar tube sound by using the Audacity hard limiter, nope, not gonna happen.

This is not to say digital sound imperfections can not be euphonic (pleasant to the ear), I am indeed a lover of vintage digital audio. However digital clipping is not pleasant.

In my unscientific opinion, the difference between analog and digital is this. Digital sounds perfect if the media is good and when the source is good. However, people in the recording industry have no idea about a limit in loudness or any basics of digital audio at all and mix their products at extreme levels of compression and clipping. By contrast, tape is more "tolerant" and foolproof - with tape you get soft saturation when you are recording loud instead of hard clipping, and you don't compress the product as much because the tape already has some compression inherent in it. Same applies to vinyl, the physical nature of the recording media simply forbids you from fucking the audio up too much. On the other hand, vynil or tape can never hold such clear sound like CDs do. The distortions of vinyl or tape are however pleasant to a huge number of people, including me, while I never heard anyone saying "Oh, I love this wonderful sizzly sound of Death Magnetic". The possibilities are greater with digital however most people who make digital music media have no taste when it comes to mastering, while much of vinyl is mastered by people who know what they are doing.

About the fuss about even good vinyl not exceeding the SNR of a 13-bit file, well, first, vinyl is not equivalent to 13-bit because vinyl or tape can have sounds under the noise level (unlike with PCM quantization "noise"). Second, this can be helped by dithering, but you'd have to have a 14-bit dithered file as dither usually adds 1-bit of noise. Third, most people cannot distinguish a 12-bit file from a 16-bit one as was proven in a test on this site. Most of the "oldschool crunchy sound" of 12-bit samplers was caused by their low sampling rate and aliasing, not bit reduction. A 44.1 Khz 12-bit file will sound crystal clear as long as you are not in a soundproof room. If you have a refrigerator in your house, odds are that that noise is much louder even with you being in a room with closed doors than any 12-bit quantization noise or noise from a good FM radio transmission. Contrary to rumors, 44.1 Khz 16-bit was not chosed because it was the "acceptable compromise in the 80s", it was chosen because before CD digital audio was often stored on videotapes at 44.1 Khz and 16 bits happen to be 2 bytes so adressing data was easier. Yes, CD is a bit overkill, if you ever had a stereo television and recieved analog TV, the stereo sound was in fact transmitted in a digital format called NICAM which was 32 Khz 10-bit companded to 14-bit, yet nobody is going around saying "omg those analog TVs had such lo-fi crunchy sound".

About vinyl being technically crap yet so great sounding ... well so is mp3. Otherwise you wouldn't have music transparent to the CD source at 2.9 bits per sample. If you subtract the mp3 from the original source you will uncover tons of psychoacoustically hidden weird noise. However it does not matter, the noise is hidden and completely non-disruptive, just like the many technical faults of vinyl.

This post has been edited by Neuron: Mar 1 2013, 16:02
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post Mar 1 2013, 19:12
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QUOTE (Neuron @ Mar 1 2013, 06:47) *
The distortions of vinyl or tape are however pleasant to a huge number of people, including me, while I never heard anyone saying "Oh, I love this wonderful sizzly sound of Death Magnetic".

I assume you realize that the vinyl version of Death Magnetic was made from the same master that created the CD. Are you telling us you prefer the vinyl version better?

Golden ears? Nope. Golden EYE$.
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Posts in this topic
- Neuron   I like colored/distorted sound   Feb 27 2013, 20:37
- - db1989   QUOTE (Neuron @ Feb 27 2013, 19:37) old t...   Feb 27 2013, 20:55
- - Hotsoup   I gravitate towards Neuron's point of view. Wh...   Feb 27 2013, 21:13
- - Neuron   Good cassetes aren't lo-fi through. A better e...   Feb 27 2013, 21:31
|- - Hotsoup   QUOTE (Neuron @ Feb 27 2013, 13:31) Good ...   Feb 27 2013, 21:48
||- - Neuron   QUOTE (Hotsoup @ Feb 27 2013, 21:48) QUOT...   Feb 27 2013, 22:08
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Neuron @ Feb 27 2013, 20:31) Good ...   Feb 28 2013, 11:56
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 28 2013, 05:56) QU...   Feb 28 2013, 13:17
||- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Feb 28 2013, 12...   Feb 28 2013, 15:11
|- - Neuron   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 28 2013, 11:56) QU...   Mar 1 2013, 15:30
- - greynol   QUOTE (Neuron @ Feb 27 2013, 11:37) The v...   Feb 27 2013, 23:01
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Neuron @ Feb 27 2013, 14:37) Just ...   Feb 27 2013, 23:40
|- - db1989   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Feb 27 2013, 22...   Feb 27 2013, 23:48
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (db1989 @ Feb 27 2013, 22:48) ...I ...   Feb 28 2013, 11:29
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Feb 28 2013, 11:29) P....   Mar 1 2013, 19:31
- - Neuron   A recording with a DR of 4 is practically unlisten...   Mar 1 2013, 15:47
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Neuron @ Mar 1 2013, 06:47) About ...   Mar 1 2013, 19:06
|- - greynol   QUOTE (Neuron @ Mar 1 2013, 06:47) The di...   Mar 1 2013, 19:12
|- - Rollin   QUOTE (Neuron @ Mar 1 2013, 18:47) vinyl ...   Mar 1 2013, 19:59
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Neuron @ Mar 1 2013, 09:47) About ...   Mar 1 2013, 21:20
- - Neuron   BTW to respond to Arnold, no, I don't like LP ...   Mar 1 2013, 16:34
- - krabapple   This is in some ways coming down to whose anecdote...   Mar 1 2013, 16:59
- - Neuron   I can enjoy pop music with DRC, although honestly,...   Mar 1 2013, 17:06
|- - krabapple   QUOTE (Neuron @ Mar 1 2013, 11:06) I can ...   Mar 2 2013, 00:26
- - greynol   There is no question that the two forms of media d...   Mar 1 2013, 19:01

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