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Thread: Neil Young Wants Digital Music to Die

  1. #31
    Senior Member Krunchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanium Dome View Post
    Every couple of years I get the urge to experience the rapture ()expressed by the vinyl aficionado, and it takes about 30 seconds of the first track on the first side to break the spell. So far I've resisted the urge to blurt out something unkind to the person who spent a few hundred to a few thousand on their vinyl analog set ups, because it does mean something to them.I still have a few hundred LPs that are not available in another format, but I rarely listen. My emotional attachment is great however, and I keep a simple vinyl system in a spare room. It's hard to listen to it for very long, but there is some great music that will never be on another medium. I suppose I could rip the files and be done with it, but at least with the physical vinyl it's obvious why those extraneous sounds are there.
    I could go for a rapture right about now, any kind will do.
    Better get some of these puppies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4313B View Post
    I have to confess that I've never found vinyl surface noise or tape hiss charming.Someday I do hope to get all my vinyl transferred to flat files where it belongs. The best part of vinyl, the cover art, will be a real shame to lose. I guess I could scan all the covers in and make a screensaver.
    Very true on both counts. I'm not crazy about the pops & hiss but thats to be expected to a certain extent.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Montreal View Post
    I have a long list of CDs that sound much worst than their vinyl counterpart. No bass, no highs, and very muddy.
    Popcorn on vinyl reminds me that as human we all wear out too and aren't perfect.
    Absolutely ! I remember the first copy of King Crimson's Discipline I purchased of cd, it frankly sucked! The second version I purchased years later was an improvement & I havent ventured to get a third, the record sounded much better.
    Just play music!

  2. #32
    Senior Member pathfindermwd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    when I go to record stores or shows , my estimate is that the buyers are:

    90% male , 8% female , 2%
    80% hipsters under 30
    20% old farts (like me) who like lots of "bang for the buck" and are not so
    affected by surface noise ie: able to "cut thru it" and hear the music

    I will repeat : RECORDS ARE NOT FOR EVERYBODY , but the resurgence
    must have some reason behind it.
    Because there's a market. Because things don't have to go out of style anymore, because there is room for more than one fashion. I see it every time someone re-does an 80's song, or has that 80's sound. Today there is room for all of it, the new and the old.
    And there are alot of people like yourself who ask people to give it a listen, and the internet is a medium for which your voice can be spread among hundreds or thousands of people. That's alot of vocal power.

  3. #33
    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Music lovers pursue technologies to return to high fidelity

    .
    CLASP

    (yes, author confuses bits & bytes)

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/st...2/1?csp=34news

    excerpts:

    The recording studio is the same Music Row space where stars such as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins and Joe Cocker made albums during an era in which bulky analog tape decks faithfully captured the sound in a studio and music was sold on vinyl records. Analog captures the entire spectrum of sound, as does vinyl, because the music isn't compressed or squeezed to fit.
    Digital recordings, on the other hand, are captured by computers, which record only certain slices of sound at split-second intervals that are then encoded into computer language. All those 1's and 0's end up representing a numeric interpretation of sound.
    But Niemann's recording session relied on a new piece of recording machinery known as CLASP, which takes a hybrid approach.
    It records on analog tape and feeds it into a digital machine, giving producers the ease of editing digital with a better-recorded sound, said CLASP's inventor, local music business entrepreneur Chris Estes.


    Vinyl is most faithful medium
    Although no medium is capable of duplicating exactly the quality of a live performance, the best audio recordings and playback equipment capture the entire range of sound in the studio.
    Vinyl is the most faithful medium, with no compression or translation of music.
    Among digital recordings, Blu-ray offers one of the highest resolutions possible — the biggest digital space to capture and then rebroadcast a much higher portion of the recorded sound.
    But CDs subtract portions of the sound to fit on discs. And MP3s subtract even more.
    In mathematical terms, a typical Blu-ray song contains 2,304,000 bits of information. A CD contains a third of that — about 705,600 bits.
    But a digital version — an MP3 downloaded from iTunes or the Internet — captures just 70,000 bits.
    For all of the hundreds or thousands of minute human-driven adjustments of microphones, sound boards, mixing and mastering that go into constructing a professional album, it's a computer software program that uses a standard algorithm that decides which of the millions of bits of information aren't necessary for the human ear — in effect, which parts of a song a listener can do without.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM

  4. #34
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    .
    CLASP

    (yes, author confuses bits & bytes)

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/st...2/1?csp=34news

    excerpts:

    The recording studio is the same Music Row space where stars such as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins and Joe Cocker made albums during an era in which bulky analog tape decks faithfully captured the sound in a studio and music was sold on vinyl records. Analog captures the entire spectrum of sound, as does vinyl, because the music isn't compressed or squeezed to fit.
    Digital recordings, on the other hand, are captured by computers, which record only certain slices of sound at split-second intervals that are then encoded into computer language. All those 1's and 0's end up representing a numeric interpretation of sound.
    But Niemann's recording session relied on a new piece of recording machinery known as CLASP, which takes a hybrid approach.
    It records on analog tape and feeds it into a digital machine, giving producers the ease of editing digital with a better-recorded sound, said CLASP's inventor, local music business entrepreneur Chris Estes.


    Vinyl is most faithful medium
    Although no medium is capable of duplicating exactly the quality of a live performance, the best audio recordings and playback equipment capture the entire range of sound in the studio.
    Vinyl is the most faithful medium, with no compression or translation of music.
    Among digital recordings, Blu-ray offers one of the highest resolutions possible — the biggest digital space to capture and then rebroadcast a much higher portion of the recorded sound.
    But CDs subtract portions of the sound to fit on discs. And MP3s subtract even more.
    In mathematical terms, a typical Blu-ray song contains 2,304,000 bits of information. A CD contains a third of that — about 705,600 bits.
    But a digital version — an MP3 downloaded from iTunes or the Internet — captures just 70,000 bits.
    For all of the hundreds or thousands of minute human-driven adjustments of microphones, sound boards, mixing and mastering that go into constructing a professional album, it's a computer software program that uses a standard algorithm that decides which of the millions of bits of information aren't necessary for the human ear — in effect, which parts of a song a listener can do without.
    This seems a bit off. I do not think this writer nailed it by any means. The first section touts adding all the limitations of tape and claiming it contains some magic portion that analogue captures yet is invisible to digital capture. I call that out as pure BS. I mean think about it. DSD misses something tape captures?

    If the idea is that the average digital recording is not as "faithful" to the performance as the best analogue capture, of course. Because the average here is careless and ignorantly done.

    The second section is also based on comparing the weakest reproduction of digital masters to the best processing of tape masters. Again, apples and oranges, with the deck stacked in complete favor of the thesis.

    I do have horses in this race, but on both sides. I have a very nice vinyl rig and a revealing digital rig as well. No argument that superb vinyl beats crappy digital. But compare the best of both, and the difference is crystal clear and in favor of digital. I spent a long time listening to both top notch digital and vinyl side by side, only the source being different - vinyl vs CD in this case. It did not take long to quantify it. To use an inclusive but non scientific term, the vinyl sounded great by itself but "Soft" next to the digital. I was (& am) using an amp/speaker system that is scary revealing of the input. This would not be as obvious on most systems. But the reveal is that there is much more information in the digital signal, which means more was lost along the way in the other process. Pure and simple, a 13 bit equivalent (vinyl) playback is very audibly different from a 16 bit. If the original recordings were good, it is very, very obvious. My friend who has the same preamp and amp that I do, and different but equally detailed speakers, will no longer play his vast vinyl collection on the rig. He substitutes some tube monoblocks for the First Watt F2Jfet.

    Experience - a lot of it - hanging with vinyl fanatics gives me the impression that the softer playback of vinyl is more soothing to them. They say things like smooth, relaxed, enchanting vocals, less strident, etc. And in the case of bad recordings, less fatiguing. All indicate something missing. In their minds, something bad. Vinyl is very easy to listen to. But I prefer to hear more of the performance than it offers. If all recordings were awful, I would probably prefer vinyl.

    No argument from me that we already have a playback technology capable of presenting the best to us. Forget SACD and DVD-A. Blu-ray is a sister technology to DSD recording. I have been saying for some time that its best beats the best of any other system we have today. Why it is not being exploited as an audio source is beyond me. Oh wait - the crowd that thinks a $10k DAC sound better than a $2K DAC will not use the onboard one in a Blu-ray player. With no digital out, the high end segment will never go for it. Too bad, because Blu-ray does not need to dumb down anything for playback. Just a DAC between you and the master, if they wanted to do it that way.

    Clark
    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom

  5. #35
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathfindermwd View Post
    You guys have me intrigued with your varying thoughts towards vinyl, I will have to find a vinyl setup and some familiar songs to listen to...
    Simple. If you like music, its history for the past 70 years and have emotions from music, you will most likely go to vinyl. If you only want to compute numbers and take measurements, then digital is your thing.

  6. #36
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    Simple. If you like music, its history for the past 70 years and have emotions from music, you will most likely go to vinyl. If you only want to compute numbers and take measurements, then digital is your thing.

  7. #37
    Senior Member pathfindermwd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee in Montreal View Post
    Simple. If you like music, its history for the past 70 years and have emotions from music, you will most likely go to vinyl. If you only want to compute numbers and take measurements, then digital is your thing.
    No pressure there.... Well I hope I do not disappoint you.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pathfindermwd View Post
    No pressure there.... Well I hope I do not disappoint you.
    Don't worry. One of the reason for which I like my vinyl is that they have history in them.

  9. #39
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    Why Vinyl Sounds Better Than CD, Or Not

    Sean Olive
    Director of Acoustic Research
    Harman International
    Valley Village, California

    Scott Metcalfe
    Director of Recording Arts and Science
    The Peabody Institute
    Johns Hopkins University
    Baltimore, Maryland

  10. #40
    Senior Member richluvsound's Avatar
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    Guys,

    I have just down loaded an app called Bitperfect and highly recommend anyone stuck with crappy OSX to give it a try ... a couple of bucks for this and I'm very impressed .

    Macbook pro to M2 Young Dac via USB ... Not impressed with the Apple TV sound quality though . For convenience top marks ,but sound quality 4 outta 10

    have nice tuneful sunday, Rich

  11. #41
    Senior Member Doctor_Electron's Avatar
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    I kinda like MP3's about as much as Drew Daniels did. Which is not. I own no ear buds. But I think I still have a good set of ears.*

    But... what about
    HDtracks ?

    https://www.hdtracks.com/

    My sound card sucks, but even so I think these guys have got it.

  12. #42
    Senior Member Ducatista47's Avatar
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    Here We Go

    Like I said. High resolution Blu-ray audio. It's here. Thanks, Neil. Wouldn't you know progress would have to come from an artist's initiative.

    Just watch. Meridian and Wadia will market super expensive Blu-ray players they claim will sound better. That has my horse laugh in advance.

    http://musicofourheart.me/2012/05/17/neil-youngs-americana-will-be-100-audio-on-bluray-and-180-grade-vinyl/


    Information is not Knowledge; Knowledge is not Wisdom

  13. #43
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    I don't get it...

    If the point of the BluRay disc is to deliver 192K/24Bit music, then why not put the files on a DVD disc, which is a bit easier to copy from? Some of the best home digital systems use PCs (or Macs) and dedicated outboard DACs. Ripping CDs to uncompressed files (or FLAC files) provides the cleanest and most convenient listening experience.

    As an aside, my current DAC can handle up to 384K/24Bit as well as 6.1 MHzDSD files. I get my DSD files from downloads as well as by ripping SACDs using a modified Sony PS3. I send these to my DAC using a Mac Mini running Audirvana Plus on top of iTunes. Many believe that the DSD format is better than the PCM format found on CDs and HDTracks. To my ear, they are close with an edge to DSD.

  14. #44
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    I should modify my post: the main reason for the BluRay is to enable use of surround mixes for AVRs in home theaters. Most of us ripping audio (for personal use, I should add) are interested only in the stereo mixes.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    Death to the MP3. Long live vinyl, said rock icon Neil Young, speaking at an industry conference on Tuesday.

    Young has argued that the MP3 and CD should be tossed on the technology scrap heap, in favor of vinyl, a technology that's been around for decades.
    10 industries fading away

    Record stores

    Revenue decline between 2000 and 2010: 76.3%

    Remember when John Cusack's character in the 2000 movie "High Fidelity" barely squeaked by as a record store owner? Today, he'd be toast.

    Tower Records is gone. There are no more Virgin Megastores in the United States. It's no surprise, given that CD album sales declined by half in the decade between 1999 and 2009.

    But the music didn't die . . . just ask iTunes.

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