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ARSCLIST  January 2008

ARSCLIST January 2008

Subject:

Re: CD-R question

From:

Scott Phillips <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 6 Jan 2008 03:05:22 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (90 lines)

Hummm. Steven, the original 78 was far less than the original sonic
event. Any storage medium is. Get used to it, it has always been that
way. High resolution digital storage is at least the equal of storage on
a 78 rpm disk in terms of its accuracy of storing the audio. You may
like the form of noise or distortion imparted by that 78 (pick your rpm,
please) disk, but it isn't more accurate. You might possibly have some
room to infer that about a 16/44.1 CD, but not a 24 bit / 192khz native
recording  from a studio IF it has been well recorded. I love both old
recordings and old technologies as much as any one, but the real point
is if the performance and the mic placement and the engineering are all
good, it will sound fantastic whatever it was recorded on. It was ALWAYS
this way. The fact that there is a huge amount of technology available
now only makes it more likely that with more choices PEOPLE make more
mistakes. Before, the technology forced some discipline on people. Now
nothing does, and people in turn don't use any. The technology makes it
possible to make the finest recordings ever made. It is we humans that
haven't done so with the technology.

Putting this aside though, my original point was that, from the previous
post, the worry was data migration. (the post was speaking about audio
that was already digitized). If it already was in digital form, then
your argument becomes null and void. We aren't then talking about if the
data is a slight shadow of the analog artifact at that point. It has
been already transferred, so that is what we are then dealing with. I
would never, ever suggest disposing of the original analog source,
regardless of what it was. Practical considerations will force this on
those who hold the archives, much to my personal displeasure. I
understand the practical realities, but the idealistic side of me hates
that.

I do think that technology seems to make it possible to get a better
'copy' of analog materials as time goes on, although I also know that
those very analog materials naturally become more degraded as time goes
on. What is the balance...? Who knows, least of all myself. I do know
that the more times and the more formats sound and video make it into
the bigger chance there is for it to be passed on to future generations.

I'm not a collector at all... but I would rather see a less that perfect
copy of our heritage passed on to our great grand children than none at
all. That would seem to be the practical choice that we are confronted
with... even as we wish it was different.

Worst case..??? Try a broken 78 record. Digital (at least high res
anyway) recording ? Well, you can't make it into an equalizer or a
compressor or a noise generator like you can tape or disk, but at high
resolutions stores audio exactly like you gave it. If you can't get
those 'effects' from it, well, don't damn it for just recording just
what you put into it. The best engineers recording digital I have worked
with since the late '70's got the sound they WANTED from other devices
in the recording chain. They just understood that digital was good for
taking down a sound quality you already had, not what you hoped the
storage media would give it. They sometimes would dub a digital mix to
analog and back to digital just to get that effect(s) from analog, and
the digital dub always seemed to capture that 'analog' feel and sound as
a result. That really meant that digital captured 'analog' sound just
fine... because that 'analog sound' was a 'special effect'.

Scott

<now having put on flame proof pants !!>

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steven C. Barr(x)
Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2008 12:38 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CD-R question

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Phillips" <[log in to unmask]>
> One might also point out that unless the data is compromised already, 
> migration to different media once it is already digitized is a *lot* 
> simpler and faster. It can be completely automated easily. If you wait

> too long and the data is corrupt, then it is the worst of all possible

> worlds. In other words, if you are migrating (as we are with analog
> tape) because the original media is falling apart, everything is 
> difficult and time consuming. If the data is in the form of non-tape 
> based digital data already and you are migrating simply because 
> storage devices are becoming outmoded, then the action is far simpler 
> and requires much less human hands on it.
> 
BUT...the harsh fact is that a digital version of a sonic event is
nothing more or less than a worst-case approximation of a sonic event
which is more perfectly described by a digital "analog" file (i.e. a
.WAV file...?!) but still demonstrably short of perfection...?!

Steven C. Barr

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