Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

compact disc, dacs, mp3 players and streaming audio
Shadowman82
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Shadowman82 » 20 Jan 2020 21:58

I do think given the fact that when I was very young we only had cassette tapes and Vinyl records to listen to this may partly influence my preference of Vinyl over say CD . That being said I also prefer higher res digital over CD .

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by XJ99 » 21 Jan 2020 16:47

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
18 Jan 2020 21:32
XJ99 wrote:
10 Jan 2020 22:53

One thing I notice when I DJ vinyl nights, is that the new
vinyl I play has to be turned up to achieve the same
volume as an early pressing. Just an observation..
Maybe on electronic music scene. In case of regular albums I see the opposite, new vinyl reissues are louder, because of digital remaster. Old vinyl releases are often quieter, but it depends on pressing.

Not sure on what you mean by the "electronic music scene?"
I play all kinds of vinyl, and the newer pressings are not as loud,
or crisp. Not sure if you mean by running my turntables through
my Pioneer DJM-250MK2? I don't tweak the sound in any way.

I see the same results on my home stereo with my Technics TT.

(no pre-amps) Yes it depends on the pressing, because my first
pressing of Exit Stage Left sounds kinda dull to me.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 24 Jan 2020 12:35

XJ99 wrote:
21 Jan 2020 16:47
Vinylfreak86 wrote:
18 Jan 2020 21:32
XJ99 wrote:
10 Jan 2020 22:53

One thing I notice when I DJ vinyl nights, is that the new
vinyl I play has to be turned up to achieve the same
volume as an early pressing. Just an observation..
Maybe on electronic music scene. In case of regular albums I see the opposite, new vinyl reissues are louder, because of digital remaster. Old vinyl releases are often quieter, but it depends on pressing.

Not sure on what you mean by the "electronic music scene?"
I play all kinds of vinyl, and the newer pressings are not as loud,
or crisp. Not sure if you mean by running my turntables through
my Pioneer DJM-250MK2? I don't tweak the sound in any way.

I see the same results on my home stereo with my Technics TT.

(no pre-amps) Yes it depends on the pressing, because my first
pressing of Exit Stage Left sounds kinda dull to me.
Who knows what electronic music is supposed to sound like, other than the artist/s who created it?

BoringOldFart
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by BoringOldFart » 24 Jan 2020 17:29

A lot has to do with the way digital is over edited. Taking snippets of several takes to make a track where as analog is a much more single performance type of process

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by hobie1dog » 25 Jan 2020 04:01

574 post and we're still talking about this subject?

NOYB
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by NOYB » 25 Jan 2020 07:05

hobie1dog wrote:
25 Jan 2020 04:01
574 post and we're still talking about this subject?
A false premise subject coupled with ambiguity and this is what happens.

Fact is "digital" can be humanly indistinguishable form "analog".
If it is not then it is either worse or better. Which up to a reasonable point is, or at least can be, subjective.

Far as I am concerned...

1) For my listening digital wins simply for the convenience. I listen to music more since it is convenient.

2) In my opinion much of the "digital" music that people cite as sounding inferior to "analog" is simply...
a) de-emphasis not being applied on playback.
b) poor quality mastering.
c) low res (bit depth and/or sample rate)
...and thus not a "digital" vs. "analog" issue at all.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 26 Jan 2020 12:55

Why not talk about it. The OP had/has a perspective on it which obviously stimulated comment. Isn't that what forums are all about? And, as informed or uninformed a contributor might be, after all, the opinion is ALWAYS going to be a perception based on what ever the contributor has experienced with his means to enjoy recorded music. I've enjoyed this thread because it's interesting to me how folks can have so many divergent opinions about the subject, which sometimes are as novel as they are entertaining.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by XJ99 » 27 Jan 2020 22:40

Sterling1 wrote:
24 Jan 2020 12:35
XJ99 wrote:
21 Jan 2020 16:47
Vinylfreak86 wrote:
18 Jan 2020 21:32


Maybe on electronic music scene. In case of regular albums I see the opposite, new vinyl reissues are louder, because of digital remaster. Old vinyl releases are often quieter, but it depends on pressing.

Not sure on what you mean by the "electronic music scene?"
I play all kinds of vinyl, and the newer pressings are not as loud,
or crisp. Not sure if you mean by running my turntables through
my Pioneer DJM-250MK2? I don't tweak the sound in any way.

I see the same results on my home stereo with my Technics TT.

(no pre-amps) Yes it depends on the pressing, because my first
pressing of Exit Stage Left sounds kinda dull to me.
Who knows what electronic music is supposed to sound like, other than the artist/s who created it?

Don't know, I don't play mp3 during vinyl nights. On vinyl
nights I also cut my speakers from 7 to 5 on the volume. No I'm
not using the crappy laptop sound card to play MP3 tunes.
I'm using a Pioneer DDJ-SB3.

I don't understand on newer pressings, why I have to turn the
trim up a couple of notches to get the same volume as the
first pressings.

Of course most of the time I use digital for events. Except on
vinyl nights when we usually listen to a whole side, not just
a song or 2.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 28 Jan 2020 09:57

Loud is not the same as quality of sound. I can agree that many new vinyl reissues sound more dull and less powerfull, old versions from 70. and 80. have more to offer in terms of sound in the room. That is because old vinyl engineers, who knew what you have to do are dead or retired, new generations do some digital mash or just put a CD master on vinyl. And labels are not worried, because vinyl is just additional profit these days, not their main source of money.

XJ99
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by XJ99 » 28 Jan 2020 14:06

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
28 Jan 2020 09:57
Loud is not the same as quality of sound. I can agree that many new vinyl reissues sound more dull and less powerfull, old versions from 70. and 80. have more to offer in terms of sound in the room. That is because old vinyl engineers, who knew what you have to do are dead or retired, new generations do some digital mash or just put a CD master on vinyl. And labels are not worried, because vinyl is just additional profit these days, not their main source of money.
Not just volume, they're not as crisp? Yes,
that's what I was trying to say. One exception is
my Exit Stage Left first pressing. It doesn't have
the highs (crisp) sound of my other early pressings
of old vinyl.

Kinda sucks, it's one of my favorite albums.

Sterling1
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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Sterling1 » 28 Jan 2020 14:10

Vinylfreak86 wrote:
28 Jan 2020 09:57
Loud is not the same as quality of sound. I can agree that many new vinyl reissues sound more dull and less powerfull, old versions from 70. and 80. have more to offer in terms of sound in the room. That is because old vinyl engineers, who knew what you have to do are dead or retired, new generations do some digital mash or just put a CD master on vinyl. And labels are not worried, because vinyl is just additional profit these days, not their main source of money.
Playing recorded music at a level to give the illusion of a live performance whether from LP or digital presentation will indeed reveal defects and anomalies from the media and components needed to play the music; thus, it will effect the listeners perception of quality about the media as well as components in the audio chain. I'm not talking about effects of dynamic range compression, which in all cases will allow for less volume to get desired level with less notice of defect in media or playback equipment.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by Vinylfreak86 » 28 Jan 2020 15:36

XJ99 wrote:
28 Jan 2020 14:06

Not just volume, they're not as crisp? Yes,
that's what I was trying to say.
I have realized that new records from smaller DJ labels doesn`t disappoint me in terms of quality of sound. On mainstream scene, only those where you can read "half-speed mastered", which means also analog processing of material. It doesn`t mean that those are more expensive, some 12" DJ releases are available for 10-12 eur, which is cheap.

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by XJ99 » 28 Jan 2020 19:55

So is half-speed mastered what to look out for?

If so, I will!

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by andybeau » 28 Jan 2020 20:04

XJ99 wrote:
28 Jan 2020 19:55
So is half-speed mastered what to look out for?

If so, I will!
Half speed mastered doesn't always mean all analogue

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Re: Why can't digital sound as 'warm' as analog?

Post by XJ99 » 28 Jan 2020 20:33

Did some research. Very interesting!

What exactly is half-speed mastering?
It’s a vinyl cutting process whereby the disc-cutting lathe for an LP is run at half the speed – so for an album that would be 16 and two thirds, which is half of 33 and a third – and the master source is run at half the speed as well. So they’re locked together, both of them running at the wrong speed – slowly, basically.

Records are a mechanical recording of the music: think of sound waves coming out of the speakers as a wavy groove on the disc, and that’s kind of what they are – it’s pretty crude technology. So the longer you can spend carving that intricate groove, the more accurately it can be done. For example, if I was cutting a song with a tambourine in, you may have a 10 kHz component within that tambourine. That’s 10,000 cycles of air per second. In order to record that in the disc, you’ve got to have 10,000 vibrations per second cut into the disc, which is obviously quite stressful. You’ve literally got some coils inside – a bit like the little coil you have in a headphone speaker or something – that vibrate a stylus to etch the groove into the disc. So if you can halve all that, what is difficult-to-cut high-frequency information becomes relatively easy-to-cut mid-range information, and you can generally get it on far more cleanly and accurately. Nothing’s getting pushed to its limits, nothing’s getting stressed, it’s all just gently sailing on through and doing a nice clean cut.

Ultimately, if you can get a nice clean cut, then as long as the factory can make a good pressing, it will sound better at home. No matter how good your turntable is, if the cut and the pressing aren’t up to much, it’s not going to sound good. So, it all starts from the cut.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjjgPVipuXc&t=619s

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