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Author Topic: Third Man Records & Document teaming up  (Read 4971 times)

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Offline Westside

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2013, 04:16:25 PM »
Quote
So what are all these vinyl audiophiles hearing?  Do they just think the quality is better?  Or is there something besides frequency range and the like that makes for a different (if not better) listening experience?  (I swear my Miles Davis and possibly even my Tommy McClennan 78s sound better!  The thump and twang of McClennan's guitar, the three-dimensional sound of Davis' horn . . .)
Ok... this just triggered something in my memory!  A trumpet teacher of mine once told me that it was better to listen to trumpet players on vinyl because of a better sampling rate (I think that's what he said) you can hear more of the "in between notes" (or something like that?) than can be heard on CD.  Maybe this has something to do with why people like vinyl?

Offline Rivers

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2013, 04:48:00 PM »
To make a long story short, the fact is that analog/vinyl audio chain reproduces frequencies far higher than the human ear/brain can hear. The digital specification throws them away.

So why does vinyl/analog sound better if you can't actually hear the lost frequencies above 18KHz? The answer is harmonics, the 'beat frequencies'. Although you can't hear them those inaudible frequencies interact with the audible frequency spectrum creating 'beats', vibrato, 'good' distortion, and other natural-sounding artifacts in the audible spectrum.

In the rush to reduce mechanical & electronic artifacts like hiss, wow, rumble (which were definitely problems associated with analog), the original architects of the digital spec made the wrong assumption, in the interests of packing as much audio info as possible into the digital format, that anything inaudible (except to a dog) in the upper range could be simply cut. This was a very bad decision.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 04:53:50 PM by Rivers »

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2013, 05:04:24 PM »
Good points, Rivers, and not just the harmonics, either. Sound is packets of air hitting off each other as they travel. Those sounds that you can't hear still travel and we still recognise them. Only we do it because they bounce into us. We feel them. Litereally. Whether it's live or recorded. Want your mind blown. here's Evelyn Glennie, world class percussionist, who happens to be deaf ...

http://www.ted.com/talks/evelyn_glennie_shows_how_to_listen.html

Offline dj

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2013, 05:13:09 PM »
Quote
In the rush to reduce mechanical & electronic artifacts like hiss, wow, rumble (which were definitely problems associated with analog), the original architects of the digital spec made the wrong assumption, in the interests of packing as much audio info as possible into the digital format, that anything inaudible (except to a dog) in the upper range could be simply cut.

Well, I think it had a lot to do with the limits of processing power and file storage when the CD spec was being formulated.  It's really time for a new CD spec. 

But lots of LPs were pretty compressed sonically.  IMHO, LPs sound good to a lot of people because the compression on them emphasized the frequencies that humans hear best.  That's the same theory that's behind Bose speakers - boost the ranges that humans hear best, don't worry about the rest, and the vast majority of people will think it sounds great.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2013, 05:24:05 PM »
To just talk about really good sounding vinyl for a moment, disregarding bad production decisions, and lord knows there were plenty of those.

Sounds are pressure waves. Low frequency pressure waves from a point source are far apart, high frequency waves are close together. The mathematical relationship between these wavelengths creates natural harmonics (peak amplification) in the audible spectrum, and at the same time may attenuate other frequencies. A particularly 'good sounding' vinyl album was usually a happy accident since nobody really had it it under control, though some rooms sounded better than others due to their dimensions, mathematical relationships reinforcing desired outcomes.

To put it another way, the fact is that although you can't actually physically hear an upper freq in isolation does not mean that freq's pressure waves do not exist (basic physics, proveable, they are there!) and are not interacting with the audible spectrum. Of course analog sounds better, or in the worst case, at least more lifelike, with its native frequency reproduction capability up to and beyond 50KHz, versus a measly 18.8KHz [edit, sorry, brain fart, 44.1KHz] for CD digital!

Time for a new CD spec? Absolutely!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 07:53:24 PM by Rivers »

Offline misterjones

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2013, 06:33:30 PM »
A wealth of insight here.  Thanks. 

I cannot follow all of the above, but it suggests to me that perhaps it does not matter if the blues CD is sourced from a CD . . . that they key is how we aurally react to the ultimate vinyl product.  Is that true, or would any intervening digital step be problematic?

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2013, 06:43:23 PM »
not quite misterjones - if the vinyl is a reproduction of a digital track then it's quite possible the extra frequencies have already been removed. However if it is the most recent stop on an analogue train line then all the bells and whistles are there for our listening (or proprioceptive) pleasure. Therein lies the rub.

Offline Westside

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2013, 06:46:23 PM »
Also, isn't a CD actually lacking snippets of audio?  Because of a CD's sample rate, wouldn't a CD (in a sense) be more like a movie film?  I mean in the sense that a movie is made up a bunch of still photos that move so quickly that we perceive them as moving.  Isn't a CD made up of many audio "snap shots" that we perceive as nonstop audio and vinyl actually captures nonstop audio?  At least this is how I understand sample rates. Hope this make sense!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 06:48:54 PM by Westside Ryan »

Offline Westside

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #38 on: January 31, 2013, 06:56:48 PM »
I just did a google search and found this.  It actually brings up trumpets as well! LOL!:

Is the sound on vinyl records better than on CDs or DVDs?

The answer lies in the difference between analog and digital recordings. A vinyl record is an analog recording, and CDs and DVDs are digital recordings. Take a look at the graph below. Original sound is analog by definition. A digital recording takes snapshots of the analog signal at a certain rate (for CDs it is 44,100 times per second) and measures each snapshot with a certain accuracy (for CDs it is 16-bit, which means the value must be one of 65,536 possible values).

This means that, by definition, a digital recording is not capturing the complete sound wave. It is approximating it with a series of steps. Some sounds that have very quick transitions, such as a drum beat or a trumpet's tone, will be distorted because they change too quickly for the sample rate.

In your home stereo the CD or DVD player takes this digital recording and converts it to an analog signal, which is fed to your amplifier. The amplifier then raises the voltage of the signal to a level powerful enough to drive your speaker.

A vinyl record has a groove carved into it that mirrors the original sound's waveform. This means that no information is lost. The output of a record player is analog. It can be fed directly to your amplifier with no conversion.

This means that the waveforms from a vinyl recording can be much more accurate, and that can be heard in the richness of the sound. But there is a downside, any specks of dust or damage to the disc can be heard as noise or static. During quiet spots in songs this noise may be heard over the music. Digital recordings don't degrade over time, and if the digital recording contains silence, then there will be no noise.

From the graph you can see that CD quality audio does not do a very good job of replicating the original signal. The main ways to improve the quality of a digital recording are to increase the sampling rate and to increase the accuracy of the sampling.

The recording industry has a new standard for DVD audio discs that will greatly improve the sound quality. The table below lists the sampling rate and the accuracy for CD recordings, and the maximum sampling rate and accuracy for DVD recordings. DVDs can hold 74 minutes of music at their highest quality level. CDs can also hold 74 minutes of music. By lowering either the sampling rate or the accuracy, DVDs can hold more music. For instance a DVD can hold almost 7 hours of CD quality audio.

Sampling Rate
?CD Audio = 44.1 kHz
?DVD Audio = 192 kHz

Samples per second
?CD Audio = 44,100
?DVD Audio = 192,000

Sampling Accuracy
?CD Audio = 16-bit
?DVD Audio = 24-bit

Number of Possible Output Levels
?CD Audio = 65,536
?DVD Audio = 16,777,216

DVD audio discs and players are rare right now, but they will become more common, and the difference in sound quality should be noticeable. To take advantage of higher quality DVD audio discs, however, you will need a DVD player with a 192kHz/24-bit digital to analog converter. Most DVD players only have a 96kHz/24-bit digital to analog converter. So if you are planning to take full advantage of DVD audio be sure to look for a 192kHz/24-bit DAC.

Comparison of a raw analog audio signal to the CD audio and DVD audio output

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question487.htm
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 07:04:37 PM by Westside Ryan »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2013, 07:34:45 PM »
I cannot follow all of the above, but it suggests to me that perhaps it does not matter if the blues CD is sourced from a CD . . . that they key is how we aurally react to the ultimate vinyl product.  Is that true, or would any intervening digital step be problematic?

Well actually, if you follow the argument so far, it would depend on the max top end reproducible frequency range available on a 78, right?

You may be surprised (I totally was) to learn that the potential audio response locked-up in a 78 record's groove actually exceeds the max potential response capability of a vinyl 33.3 rpm record! I say potential because of course it all depends on the capabilities of the transcription gear and downstream audio chain.

I don't have the figures handy but somebody will.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2013, 08:05:46 PM »
An admittedly selective quote:

The recording/tracking ability of vinyl is easily at least 50 kHz and perhaps as high as 100 kHz

--- versus 44.1KHz for the CD spec, http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Myths_(Vinyl)

I can't find any corroboration for my earlier statement that 78s are capable of higher freqs that LPs. But I read it on the interwebs so it must be true.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 08:19:40 PM by Rivers »

Offline Stuart

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2013, 10:47:26 PM »
Several years back I was talking to a fellow who repairs vintage and high end audio equipment out here about this subject and he simply said, "It's an analog world." --meaning the one all around us and the one we listen to in real time.

Some musicians who have been around long enough to have recorded and released LPs in the analog only days, have never been 100% comfortable with Cds and digital reproduction. Neil Young is one of them and  has been behind a supposedly superior technology called Pono.

Re: the original topic, it's still about individual performances that were recorded and issued on individual 78 RPM records. The goal should be (at least in my mind) to preserve and make available the performances in a format and in a way so that they faithfully reproduce the original performances in the best possible way. Technology is constantly evolving, but the process of audio remastering and reproduction is still only--and will continue to be only--as strong as its weakest link or step in that process.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 10:51:30 PM by Stuart »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2013, 06:13:34 AM »
To take this even further off-topic,  :P what is the benefit of 180-gram vinyl? Is this simply a matter of being less flimsy, less subject to warp etc.? Or is there some sonic reason for it?

As for the record releases not currently under discussion in this thread, one would think if they were doing something like working from Document's original masters (whatever condition and format they happened to be in, since as dj points out, some of the original sources could simply be tapes sent in by collectors), doing some kind of restoration, remastering etc., you would think they'd say so.

Offline misterjones

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2013, 07:45:32 AM »
. . . one would think if they were doing something like working from Document's original masters (whatever condition and format they happened to be in, since as dj points out, some of the original sources could simply be tapes sent in by collectors), doing some kind of restoration, remastering etc., you would think they'd say so.

Exactly my point over at the Third Man Records forum, which has almost entirely fallen on deaf ears.  Here are typical responses I have received:

"The original source for this shit can't be digital by definition and if there has or hasn't been a digital stage in the process of producing these third man releases and you can't hear it than why should you be concerned?  If you don't like the third Man releases there's always the Document stuff.  Or the JSP stuff.  Or Catfish.  Or Yazoo.  This music isn't hard to find nor is it expensive.  Take your choice, buy the one you think sounds best."

"All I know is that Document have been in the game for years and do a damn good job.  Based on other Document releases I own I could say they err more towards capturing as much of the original sound source as possible then towards cleaning up the sound.  They're very much a "preservist" label rather than a "listeners" label."

"Jack would presumably have checked out basic information such as whether it was sourced from CDs, etc."

"Document Records source from either masters (where available) or, in this case, original 78s."








Offline Stuart

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Re: Third Man Records & Document teaming up
« Reply #44 on: February 01, 2013, 08:01:38 AM »
Yeah--ask a specific question that seeks a detailed response based on fact and receive uninformed generalities. Might as well ask for water and get gasoline... :P

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