[LINK] How can analogue be better? [was: all the music in the world]

Leah Manta link at fly.to
Tue Jun 2 17:22:52 EST 2009

At 05:16 02/06/2009, Stephen Wilson wrote:

>Or ... think phase response.  I think the reason digital sounds funny is
>that sampling at 40-odd kilohertz ruins any phase differences between
>the two stereo channels smaller than 25 microseconds.  But the human
>hearing system is sensitive to phase differences of as little as one
>microsecond, when constructing the stereo image.

Plus we compress and limit the sound to boost all the low frequencies 
and compress the high into a 'range' or amplitude that ensures it 
sounds good on different systems.

People using MP3 Players with those ear bud earphones, so we compress 
to a different standard.

People play on their laptops, so we compress to a different standard.

People play music on their TV's and Home systems.  So we compress to 
two different standards.

If you go to the cinema, there are two different compression standards used.

Some of these variations are derived from an earlier 
derivation.  Some are uniquely created.

But you are right, Analog sounded better, and it does.  It has "life" 
in it, similar to that you would experience at a live 
performance.  Digital is clean, totally balanced without any delays 
between channels (even in 5.1) - although in a 5.1 system you can set 
on most systems the phase and channel delays.

Sometimes the clean crisp sound of digital is refreshing, other times 
it sucks the life out of the sound.  I know a band who records in a 
'noisy' studio because it makes their work in the digital world sound 
alive.  Having heard the same track both sound studio and noise 
studio recorded, they are right.

I just think that most people, those on the curve of the bell curve, 
are not capable of noticing, yet alone appreciating.

And on the page Rachel provided 


The Rembrandts - L.P. (East West/Atlantic 61752-2)

You can see that both compression - to fill all the space, and 
limiting - to make sure it never clips - is applied to the example tack.

The waves forms on mastered material on that page are constantly what 
I see when working in the recording world. Of course master streams 
and mix data is (at least today) readily available for further 
tuning, or even turning compressors, limiters and other filters OFF entirely.

I tried recording a compressed sound to a typical old cassette 
tape.  It sounded awful!  Well not, not awful, it just had no 
amplitude variation.  It was just full on the entire recording and 
had no life, just like a stream of constant noise.

But the same track played in a digital world was, well typical of a 
digital recording, it was OK.

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