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Thread: Good analog and good digital converge?

  1. #241
    Join Date: Apr 2015

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    I'm Russell.

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    Digital playback from CDís, (and I assume audio files too?), is not perfect. It is not 100% accurate, and there is no second copy on a CD to refer to for error correction .

    Let me try to paint an analogy. You have a large block of wood, waist high and just as long, and it is cut into a bunch of peaks and valleys, like a Musical signal roughly. You measure it, itís anchored to the ground so you canít take it with you, so you make measurements of the peaks and valleys. You go back to your shop, you take 1x4ís and stack them against each other vertically. Trying to get as close to your measurements from the original. You can only be accurate every 3/4 inch, as thatís the thickness of the boards. So, you have built your copy, but the edges are all stepped up and down every 3/4 inch. What do you do? You take a jig saw and cut the leading edges off and make it smooth! Nice! Just like the original! But you take it to the original and place them against each other, and you find that all of your averaging has made a copy that is not accurate. The peaks and valleys are near the same place, but the edges are all different. It feels smooth to the touch! And if you couldnít see them side by side, youíd swear they were identical. But, they are not. And of course the higher the resolution, if you went back with half inch boards it would be a little closer, and if you made it from eighth inch boards it would be even more accurate! But, on closer inspection, you still have tiny differences. There is no way to make an exact digital copy of an analog wave form. Out of wood, or out of electrons.

    Donít get me wrong, you can get VARY close! And these errors in shape do not sound like distortions, they sound like music! They are smooth on the edges, music flows! It doesnít create noise. But, it is still ever so slightly different from the original.

    Analog, I took a cardboard sheet and laid it up against the original wooden peaks and valleys and traced it, built the copy, and laid the cardboard on it, and traced it, and made an exact copy. I can take it back to the original and lay them up against each other and they will match! Iíve always thought of it as, analog is like looking in a mirror, while digital is like looking at a photograph. Maybe thatís an oversimplified view?

    Russell

  2. #242
    Join Date: Nov 2015

    Location: Wolverhampton

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    I'm Oliver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    Digital playback from CDís, (and I assume audio files too?), is not perfect. It is not 100% accurate, and there is no second copy on a CD to refer to for error correction .

    Let me try to paint an analogy. You have a large block of wood, waist high and just as long, and it is cut into a bunch of peaks and valleys, like a Musical signal roughly. You measure it, itís anchored to the ground so you canít take it with you, so you make measurements of the peaks and valleys. You go back to your shop, you take 1x4ís and stack them against each other vertically. Trying to get as close to your measurements from the original. You can only be accurate every 3/4 inch, as thatís the thickness of the boards. So, you have built your copy, but the edges are all stepped up and down every 3/4 inch. What do you do? You take a jig saw and cut the leading edges off and make it smooth! Nice! Just like the original! But you take it to the original and place them against each other, and you find that all of your averaging has made a copy that is not accurate. The peaks and valleys are near the same place, but the edges are all different. It feels smooth to the touch! And if you couldnít see them side by side, youíd swear they were identical. But, they are not. And of course the higher the resolution, if you went back with half inch boards it would be a little closer, and if you made it from eighth inch boards it would be even more accurate! But, on closer inspection, you still have tiny differences. There is no way to make an exact digital copy of an analog wave form. Out of wood, or out of electrons.

    Donít get me wrong, you can get VARY close! And these errors in shape do not sound like distortions, they sound like music! They are smooth on the edges, music flows! It doesnít create noise. But, it is still ever so slightly different from the original.

    Analog, I took a cardboard sheet and laid it up against the original wooden peaks and valleys and traced it, built the copy, and laid the cardboard on it, and traced it, and made an exact copy. I can take it back to the original and lay them up against each other and they will match! Iíve always thought of it as, analog is like looking in a mirror, while digital is like looking at a photograph. Maybe thatís an oversimplified view?

    Russell
    Russell, what a fantastic explanation. That's why analogue is better. I love it.
    Technics SP10 MK2 > Phonomac AT-1010 tonearm > Ortofon Kontrapunkt b > Wizard Jfet MC Valve Phonostage (Telefunken Valves) > Slagle AVC Passive Preamp > Firebottle Monoblocks (Telefunken Valves) > Fisual S-Flex Speaker Cable > Pioneer CS-77A Speakers > SPOTFIRE Cables Throughout

  3. #243
    Join Date: May 2010

    Location: Vancouver, Canada

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    I'm Alex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    Digital playback from CD’s, (and I assume audio files too?), is not perfect. It is not 100% accurate, and there is no second copy on a CD to refer to for error correction .

    Let me try to paint an analogy. You have a large block of wood, waist high and just as long, and it is cut into a bunch of peaks and valleys, like a Musical signal roughly. You measure it, it’s anchored to the ground so you can’t take it with you, so you make measurements of the peaks and valleys. You go back to your shop, you take 1x4’s and stack them against each other vertically. Trying to get as close to your measurements from the original. You can only be accurate every 3/4 inch, as that’s the thickness of the boards. So, you have built your copy, but the edges are all stepped up and down every 3/4 inch. What do you do? You take a jig saw and cut the leading edges off and make it smooth! Nice! Just like the original! But you take it to the original and place them against each other, and you find that all of your averaging has made a copy that is not accurate. The peaks and valleys are near the same place, but the edges are all different. It feels smooth to the touch! And if you couldn’t see them side by side, you’d swear they were identical. But, they are not. And of course the higher the resolution, if you went back with half inch boards it would be a little closer, and if you made it from eighth inch boards it would be even more accurate! But, on closer inspection, you still have tiny differences. There is no way to make an exact digital copy of an analog wave form. Out of wood, or out of electrons.

    Don’t get me wrong, you can get VARY close! And these errors in shape do not sound like distortions, they sound like music! They are smooth on the edges, music flows! It doesn’t create noise. But, it is still ever so slightly different from the original.

    Analog, I took a cardboard sheet and laid it up against the original wooden peaks and valleys and traced it, built the copy, and laid the cardboard on it, and traced it, and made an exact copy. I can take it back to the original and lay them up against each other and they will match! I’ve always thought of it as, analog is like looking in a mirror, while digital is like looking at a photograph. Maybe that’s an oversimplified view?

    Russell
    You are describing the map, not the territory. Which is fine, of course, but as Korzybski famously said, "map is NOT the territory". I think all issues stem from the fact that we tend to forget this simple axiom.

    We don't really know what kind of information is being captured by the microphone membrane that vibrates and converts kinetic energy into electric energy. Yes, people will now chime in and call me clueless insisting that we know exactly what was being captured, but that is a naive oversimplification. All we know is that we get some sort of an electrical signal on the other end. That signal varies with time, and this variation is used to represent the information that is supposed to retell the story -- what happened back in 23rd March 1967 when the Beatles were recording "Getting Better", for example.

    Claiming that this electrical signal can be used with present technology to recreate the session is similar to claiming that, by measuring the kinetic energy produced by the virtuoso pianist, we can understand everything about that musician's talent.

    Folks, such naive approach to understanding what's going on around us in this amazing reality is called, in technical terms, 'reductionism'.

    Professing reductionism is not something that is hard to do, and is definitely not something to brag about. Any idiot can practice reductionism, and easily reduce any complex phenomenon to just a bunch of electrons and protons and neutrons buzzing around. So fcking what?

    If you have the courage to drop this oversimplification (or, as Lennon sang, "living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see"), you have to accept the fact that the current state of technology is still in diapers, and that technology keeps growing up and is currently evolving at an impressive pace. So it would be absolutely moronic to lie back and complacently announce how we have solved all the issues surrounding capturing and reproducing sound.

    If I were to make a prediction, I'd say that we can expect some interesting breakthroughs to come at us from the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. People are now working on such advanced tech called "smart dust" (IBM just unveiled fully functional computer the size of a grain of sand). Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
    Don't you just hate it when you cannot detect where the post ends and a signature line begins?

    Alex.

  4. #244
    Join Date: Oct 2012

    Location: The Black Country

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    I'm Alan.

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    Got a match? (..no not a bunch of 1001110010100100001010010100010)

  5. #245
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 3,598
    I'm James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by magiccarpetride View Post
    You are describing the map, not the territory. Which is fine, of course, but as Korzybski famously said, "map is NOT the territory". I think all issues stem from the fact that we tend to forget this simple axiom.

    We don't really know what kind of information is being captured by the microphone membrane that vibrates and converts kinetic energy into electric energy. Yes, people will now chime in and call me clueless insisting that we know exactly what was being captured, but that is a naive oversimplification. All we know is that we get some sort of an electrical signal on the other end. That signal varies with time, and this variation is used to represent the information that is supposed to retell the story -- what happened back in 23rd March 1967 when the Beatles were recording "Getting Better", for example.

    Claiming that this electrical signal can be used with present technology to recreate the session is similar to claiming that, by measuring the kinetic energy produced by the virtuoso pianist, we can understand everything about that musician's talent.

    Folks, such naive approach to understanding what's going on around us in this amazing reality is called, in technical terms, 'reductionism'.

    Professing reductionism is not something that is hard to do, and is definitely not something to brag about. Any idiot can practice reductionism, and easily reduce any complex phenomenon to just a bunch of electrons and protons and neutrons buzzing around. So fcking what?

    If you have the courage to drop this oversimplification (or, as Lennon sang, "living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see"), you have to accept the fact that the current state of technology is still in diapers, and that technology keeps growing up and is currently evolving at an impressive pace. So it would be absolutely moronic to lie back and complacently announce how we have solved all the issues surrounding capturing and reproducing sound.

    If I were to make a prediction, I'd say that we can expect some interesting breakthroughs to come at us from the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. People are now working on such advanced tech called "smart dust" (IBM just unveiled fully functional computer the size of a grain of sand). Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
    When I was being educated I studied physics and chemistry amongst the sciences and was fascinated by each subject. I was amazed at what mankind had learnt about the earth and the universe and everything in it and how it was applied to modern day living.

    But one thing I remember at the end of my science education was the fact that all I had just learnt may actually not be true. It is how we have labelled and come to understand what we know but that may not be actually how it is. It is a difficult concept but my lecturer actually went to great length to explain it was just how we had interpreted the world around us and how we tried to make things fit our conception of all about us.

    Many times conceptions have been torn up as the new science and knowledge has advanced.

    Once the world was considered to be flat! Go figure.

  6. #246
    Join Date: Apr 2012

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    When I was being educated I studied physics and chemistry amongst the sciences and was fascinated by each subject. I was amazed at what mankind had learnt about the earth and the universe and everything in it and how it was applied to modern day living.
    So did I. You can add biology to that too.

    Strangely, some knowledge helps one understand how little we really do know. My feeling is that we are still near the beginning of real learning, discovery and advancement. Maybe there's a slim hope humanity can move forward without destroying itself.

  7. #247
    Join Date: Apr 2015

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    I'm Russell.

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    Einstein supposedly said, ďThe more I learn, the less I know.Ē.

    Russell


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  8. #248
    Join Date: Feb 2008

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    I'm NotTakingLifeTooSeriouslyTheseDays.

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    There are more questions than answers, "and the more I find out the less I know" Johnny Nash!
    Quote Originally Posted by alphaGT View Post
    Einstein supposedly said, ďThe more I learn, the less I know.Ē.

    Russell


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    "Today scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality"
    Nikola Tesla



    We Send our kids to school to be Educated, not Medicated!

  9. #249
    Join Date: Apr 2015

    Location: Central Virginia

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    I'm Russell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyTD View Post
    There are more questions than answers, "and the more I find out the less I know" Johnny Nash!
    Thank you for the correction, I saw it on a Facebook Meme, so thatís why I said, ďsupposedlyĒ. Still, the sentiment rings true.

    Russell

  10. #250
    Join Date: Mar 2017

    Location: Seaford UK

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    I'm Dennis.

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    If the electronics from the mic, O/P to the speaker I/P are sorted, and to me they pretty well are near that, then the next problems are, apart form the obvious failings of speakers, the logistics of sound capture, and also those of replay which are substantial approximations.

    Yes our models are only approximations that seem consistent with the results we get, and those models are constantly being updated.

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