I know you weren't. That was merely an "amen" for Bob. Most decent
ADCs can give good results, if they are used correctly. That's why I
don't like those "restorations". They "put lipstick on the pig" and the
result is unacceptable for me and the pig.
There was a great article about Pro-tools a while back. It explained
how all that manipulation in the digital domain gives such a bad
sounding product because every manipulation of the original signal
looses bit depth (or something like that---I'm an idiot about digital).
Tom Fine wrote:
> I'm not arguing for bad digital sound -- I don't know who would.
> I am saying that a top-line converter like the Benchmark is a real
> stretch for some funding-limited organizations and I'd much rather see
> limited budgets spent on excellent quality -- and the maintenance
> thereof -- ANALOG gear so you don't need a "by the light of the virgin
> moon" kind of digital chain but rather the very good and relatively
> inexpensive stuff that is out there if not plentiful. There are
> probably some who have more faith in digital processing than I do -- I
> say make it sound good before it goes into the box. So under this
> philosophy, one wouldn't even try extreme digital processing since you
> can't put lipstick on a pig and most people I know find digital
> artifacts super-annoying compared to minor analog imperfections.
> I still think the CardDeluxe is the best DAC device for under $1000
> but some are very insistent on keeping all the audio circuitry outside
> of a PC/Mac box, for understandable reasons. There are a variety of
> external devices of excellent quality out there for well sound of the
> Benchmark's prices, although if your budget is rich and your tastes
> are toward the excellent only, that equipment has a sterling
> reputation. I can't recommend a specific external box because I don't
> have any. I will note that some of these devices seem to devote a lot
> of the development and marketing budget to mic preamps and/or built-in
> analog stuff like tube "warmers" or compressors of various flavors
> which may or may not be desired in a transfer chain.
> Even more important that what digi-toy you happen to have is your
> practices -- are you presenting undistorted, in-azimuth audio to the
> analog-to-digital converter? Is polarity and phase constant in your
> chain? Did you chase down and eliminate grounding and hum issues? For
> that matter, have you scientifically measured your equipment and do
> you have the equipment to measure it and keep it running to spec? If
> you're doing disks, have you cleaned them properly and played them
> with the proper stylus? Is your tape machine aligned to the proper
> standard? Do you keep the tape heads cleaned and degaussed (sp?)? Are
> you converting at 96/24 and leaving plenty of headroom so your
> processing won't present digital clipping? Do you have a proper
> storage and backup system? To my thinking, all of this is much more
> important than what brand of DAC you use as long as you find something
> in your budget that can produce digital copies that come out sounding
> like what was fed into the digital system, minus whatever digital
> processing you choose to do (and I would choose to be as conservative
> as possible with that).
> Just to be clear one more time, I'm not advocating a bad-sounding
> anything -- EVER!
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "phillip holmes"
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2007 8:27 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Shopping for AD/DA
>> Amen. Bad analog sound, plus bad digital sound, equals junk. Many
>> "restorations" of old 78s sound worse to me because I can still hear
>> the limitations of the 78, and then, they add a layer of mediocre
>> digital processing. Obviously, there are guys who do good
>> "restorations". I say "restorations" because you can't restore
>> what's not there. You can only take away ticks and pops, and in the
>> process, some of the music you'd like to keep. That's why I'm a
>> record collector.
>> Bob Olhsson wrote:
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> >From Tom Fine: "...I would argue that these would be great overkill
>>> for such
>>> things as cassette field recordings, almost any spoken word, private
>>> recordings, old non-hifi media, etc."
>>> If the recordings are worth cleaning up, I'd argue they are worth
>>> the best
>>> converters one can afford. Digital artifacts are not covered up by
>>> recording artifacts. It comes down to the actual value of the
>>> recordings vs.
>>> the cost. High quality converters create audio that can accept a lot
>>> signal processing before turning crunchy.
>>> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
>>> Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
>>> Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
>>> 615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com