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ARSCLIST  January 2012

ARSCLIST January 2012

Subject:

Re: Dolby Plugin

From:

Ted Kendall <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 11 Jan 2012 16:56:50 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (224 lines)

On 11/01/2012 14:41, Tom Fine wrote:
> I agree with George that a plug-in would be preferable if the 
> emulation can be achieved.
>
> One big advantage of a plug-in is that decoding wouldn't need to take 
> place in real-time, so there can be a constant re-evaluation of 
> perameters and tweaking of things like levels and amount of expansion 
> in a given frequency band. You could theoretically make the Dolby 
> decoding much more transparent, thus making the NR itself more 
> transparent. You could also unlock creative possibilites for those who 
> want to mess with the Dolby expansion curves, frequency bands, etc, to 
> get a "personality" from the tracks that they desire.
>
> For Hollywood, I would think a Dolby plug-in would be very helpful for 
> workflows in the preservation and restoration end of things, one less 
> piece of hardware to worry about, one more process that can semi- or 
> fully-automated.
>
> Given the sophistication of compressor/limiter emulations already 
> available in the plug-in world, I'd think a Dolby emulator is 
> possible. But, as I said earlier, I think anyone who's actually used a 
> Pultec EQ unit or a Fairchild compressor will tell you that the 
> plug-ins aren't identical in performance, parameters, controls or 
> results to the real thing. So perhaps the software science isn't there 
> yet for something mission-critical like Dolby decoding.
>
> -- Tom Fine
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "George Brock-Nannestad" 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 9:13 AM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dolby Plugin
>
>
> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
>
>
> Hello,
>
> I must confess that I am very surprised at learning that there is no
> emulation of Dolby A available for the digital domain. The reason is
> something Dolby said the during the discussion following Ray Dolby's 
> Richard
> C. Heyser Memorial Lecture at the 112th AES Convention in Amsterdam 2002.
> Precisely because of this problem I asked about emulation, and Ray 
> claimed
> publicly that such products had been developed. Now, that is almost 10 
> years
> ago, so I find it scandalous it that is not true.
>
> We are always told that modern digitization is oh, so transparent, so I
> cannot see any reason why Dolby A decoding could not occur in the digital
> domain, in which there are no problems with levels and calibration, 
> provided
> the averaging needed for evaluating the level of the signal in a given
> frequency range and hence the amount of processing is done correctly. 
> And if
> you have transferred your tape once, you should not need to do it ever 
> again,
> except for magnetical reasons, such as better heads and transports.
>
> Best wishes,
>
>
> George
>
>
>
> Tom Fine wrote:
>
>> I agree that this is proper procedure, always better not to D-A/A-D if
>> possible. Consider it more
>> direct signal chain -- original tape>Dolby decoder>A-D converter.
>>
>> However, I think the original poster said he did not have the 
>> original tape
>> on hand, in which case
>> the only good option is -- D-A converter>Dolby decoder>A-D converter.
>>
>> For what it's worth, I've experimented with both methods, using 
>> nothing too
>> fancy, just my DAL
>> CardDeluxe interfaces. There are slight audible differences, but they 
>> are
>> subtle, to my ears. I
>> can't say one sounds "better" than the other because they are so 
>> similar.
>> It's possible that the
>> tape>Dolby>ADC method sounds slightly more "open" but it's really a 
>> subtle
>> difference. Conversion
>> was done at 96/24 both ways. This is not a clearly audible 
>> difference, like
>> between a 7.5IPS
>> quarter-track tape and the same material recorded at the same time on a
>> 15IPS 2-track tape, or
>> between an LP and a master tape.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Hamilton" 
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 7:26 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dolby Plugin
>>
>>
>> Reads as if it's time for a fresh tape to ADC transfer with the Dolby in
>> line.  Even using very good converters (e.g., Lavry Gold] in double
>> signal-jacking [D/A/D] mode is counter-indicated unless you must do that
>> to
>> use some outboard analog processing.   If you have the tape, you don't
>> have
>> to do that.  It should not have been transferred without Dolby decoding.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Andrew
>>
>>
>> On 1/11/12 5:48 AM, "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>
>> > I agree with Ted. Dolby is a "process" (they themselves called it a
>> "process"
>> > in numerous marketing
>> > materials), really it's a compressor and band-filter and expander. So
>> it's
>> > just another piece of
>> > outboard equipment. I think a musician or producer that has access 
>> to a
>> > real-deal good-working-order
>> > Pultec EQ unit or Fairchild compressor would never use a "plug-in"
>> instead.
>> > Modelling is only so
>> > good, it's modelling instead of actual hardware. The sound is bound to
>> be
>> > different, by varying
>> > degrees (good modelling = slight differences due to slightly different
>> > performance characteristics
>> > in the real world; poor modelling = little resemblence to the real
>> thing).
>> > Dolby made and makes good
>> > hardware, when used properly it's fine to run a source through a Dolby
>> unit,
>> > the result will sound
>> > better than un-decoded.
>> >
>> > -- Tom Fine
>> >
>> > ----- Original Message -----
>> > From: "Ted Kendall" <[log in to unmask]>
>> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> > Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 4:03 AM
>> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Dolby Plugin
>> >
>> >
>> >> On 10/01/2012 21:51, Richard L. Hess wrote:
>> >>> Hi, Louis,
>> >>>
>> >>> Your wishes are the same as the rest of us...but I'm afraid 
>> you'll have
>> to
>> >>> hold your nose and go
>> >>> out to the outboard Dolby A unit and then back into digital.
>> >>>
>> >>> I wish I were wrong, but Dolby has been pretty insistent that they
>> don't
>> >>> want to do this.
>> >>>
>> >>> Richard
>> >>>
>> >>> On 2012-01-10 3:14 PM, Louis Hone wrote:
>> >>>> Greetings
>> >>>>
>> >>>> A client brought me a WAV file which is a direct transfer from a
>> quarter
>> >>>> inch tape (1980). The tape had a full set of tones (15 K, 10 K, 1K,
>> 100,
>> >>>> 50, and Dolby A warble tone) and these tones are in the WAV 
>> file. The
>> >>>> original tape was Dolby A encoded and the WAV file has not been
>> decoded. I
>> >>>> know that whoever did the transfer, adjusted the azimuth, as 
>> well as
>> high
>> >>>> and low frequency EQ prior to the transfer. However, no Dolby A 
>> unit
>> was
>> >>>> available so the tape remains encoded. My question: is there a 
>> Dolby
>> A
>> >>>> plugin that can be used in ProTools ? I wish to avoid going back to
>> the
>> >>>> analog domain (and through a Dolby A unit) and back to digital 
>> in order
>> to
>> >>>> decode this file.
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Thanks
>> >>>>
>> >>>> Louis Hone
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >> What's the problem with going through analogue? Transparent 
>> conversion
>> has
>> >> been available for some
>> >> time now, and the vagaries of modelling would be far more likely to
>> cause
>> >> problems than another
>> >> stage of conversion.
>> >>
>>
>> -- 
>> Serif Sound  CD Premastering
>>  Dingbat Lacquer Sound Disc
>
The opinion has been expressed to me by one who should know that a Dolby 
A plug-in would be prohibitively expensive to develop and that an SR 
plug-in of mastering quality would be impossible in the present state of 
the art.

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