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In the Forum: Didital Things
In the Thread: Analog vs. Digital... without BS.
Post Subject: My view over Analog vs. Digital... without BS.Posted by Romy the Cat on: 4/21/2009
As I said: most debates on the subject that I ever heard so far are not accurate representation of Analog vs. Digital dilemma.  The same as the discussion in this thread about the “natural continuous process”, the “discrete process” and the “brain reconstruction illusion” is in a way missing the whole point of Analog vs. Digital. Why do I feel that the typical Analog vs. Digital observations are self-disqualifiable? Because observing Analog and observing digital we in 99999.99% cases observe apple and oranges and try to compare them. Let me to explain.

When people play analog they play what they play. Would it be a master tape, or 63647th copy of that tape or analog-mastered LP or heavily “mastered” surrogate of it – on all cases we play analog material. It is good or bad but the best expels of it give an idea what analog is capable of.
With digital it is a bit tricky. If you have an A/D converter and you possess the love sound of analog material then we have a digital material that might be sensible compared with analog. However, the result of direct conversion of analog into digital is practically NEVER exposed to audio people. The audio people who love to run mouths about Analog vs. Digital do it by playing commercial CD, SACD, DVD or whatever else, with recognizing that in digital they are in the very end of very long receiving line of all imaginable digital nastiness and what they have is in fact not “digital” and it could be by the definition of class but rather an ugly surrogate of industry digital diarrhea.

Digital and analog are different by nature. It is not about descritization but about the fact that improperly “mastered” analog make sound worse but do not loose subconscious  spiritual affect of musicality, recognized at higher level of musical perception. (link). With Digital is it different.  In contrary, the corrupted digital tears the core of musical expressivity, making sound unfertile and not communicative. Beyond all of it there is the absolutely ridicules fact that industry embrace digital primary because the industry needed to manage the digital corruption or as they call it the “digital editing”.

The said truth is that analog is editable but digital is not. The rule of the game is the analog can’t delay but only filter but digital can’t filter but only delay. That fundamental disability of digital to filter (and consequential change of volume), as any slope introduced in digital implies tossing away bits, is the source of all problems with digital. The raw files that were taken right after A/D processor are the ONLY true digital but audio people practically never see those files. But if file was ever exposed to any, even the .025dB, volume change, any filtration of any other actions that implies DSP pressing then the files are already not “digital” but wasted surrogate. So, any “edited” file, a file with bit-rate change, a sampling rate change, a format change are not the representative of what digital is all bout but rather the evidence how much possible to screw up digital without recognizing it.

So, when audio people play their analog sources and “compare” it to CDs, DVDs or SACDs and they feel that they compare it to “digital” then they are engaged in a self-delusion. Practically all CDs are severely edited digitally.  Furthermore when even a raw digital file is rendered into CD layout then digital is losing 90% of own potency. The same is with DVD. I played the raw 96/24 files and they are fine but as soon I put them in DVD format then it become to sound like garbage. I do not even talk about the SACD.  Before Sony and Phillips were running from their ending in 2003 their 30 years patent over Red Book CD, they requested a development a new format to continue to have market control.  Ed Meitner was recruited and he designed a brilliant 4-bit format that he called DSD. I was in presence during a listening session where the untouched just recorded row 4-bit DSD files were played right off the HD where were recorded. It was absolutely stunning. Of course later the superb 4-bit DSD become simplified and insufficient 1-bit SACD that the Morons still call DSD… The fact that that most SACD is edited in PCM and then converted is not one bothered…

Anyhow, the point is that audio people do not deal with original raw digital file therefore their comments about Analog vs. Digital are not relevant as they do not see the true digital but rather a digital crap. Ironic is that the only people who qualified to make the argument about Analog vs. Digital are the pro audio flaks who deal with raw files juts after the A/D processors. Over all my time in audio I heard very view people who ever spoke about the subject credibly from my point of view. The all were audio engineers who deal with raw files. I have seen people who refuse to do 88kHz to 44kHz conversion but instead they D/A 88kHz files and then A/D the feed to 44kHz as they feel that it has less damage to Sound then DSP 88kHz to 44kHz. I have seen people who feel that raw 172/24 files from a good processor are not better or worse than 15ips, 1” tape but sufficient enough to do compare Analog vs. Digital anymore. I made in past some demos of playing raw HDCD encoder files that I made with Pacific and I assure you that no one in would believe that they were crapy 44/16 files.  Now, try to make ANY change in those file sor put it to CD and the “magic” will be gone…

So, to summarize the thing:  the Analog vs. Digital debate by audio consumes, is a bogus debate because in the culture of audio and musical industry the consumers have no dealing with “Digital”. Instead they deal with a residue of a long line of Digital barbarism and therefore the contest between Analog vs. Digital Surrogate is not reasonable, thus self-disqualifying.

Rgs, Romy the Cat

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