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-   -   The vinyl, the tape or CD debate! (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31714)

spartacus1989 10-08-2007 10:22 PM

The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Vinyls - Beautiful pure sound, the good old fashioned crackle sound, very underrated! I have noticed it is still used for effects on CDs such as 'The White Stripes - 3l3phant' and 'Eva Cassady - Songbird'

Tapes - Stereo sound, lots of hiss, very flat sound!

CD - Too Clean, no character and way to perfect!


Whats your general views! TIME TO DEBATE :D

(PS. MP3's dont count in the debate!)

fourstringdrums 10-08-2007 10:25 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
CD's because they're convenient compared to the other two and I'm not much of a stickler for the natural clarity like from vinyl. As long as the quality sounds good and clear like you get with a CD, I'm fine with it.

the skin man 10-08-2007 10:36 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
What about MP3s? I heard that they're missing some information, but I was never quite clear on that. Other than that, I imagine they're as good as CDs.

spartacus1989 10-08-2007 10:40 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by the skin man (Post 367315)
What about MP3s? I heard that they're missing some information, but I was never quite clear on that. Other than that, I imagine they're as good as CDs.

In a way, MP3s are completly digital and to me, it is totally different to the traditional sound formats!

the skin man 10-08-2007 10:46 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

Vinyls - Beautiful pure sound, the good old fashioned crackle sound, very underrated! I have noticed it is still used for effects on CDs such as 'The White Stripes - 3l3phant' and 'Eva Cassady - Songbird'


CD - Too Clean, no character and way to perfect!
I'm not convinced there really is a difference. Just do this: get a bunch of sound freaks and have them listen to something on CD and then the same thing on vinyl and sometimes just play the same thing on both CD and vinyl and take a look at whether or not they can really tell the difference. I'd bet it would come out at not much better than chance level as long as the turn table for the vinyl was good. Half the time they would say there was a difference when the same thing had been played twice on vinyl and CD and other times they would not be able to notice a difference even though the song had been played on both CD and vinyl. It's just that CD's are more convenient.

the skin man 10-08-2007 10:52 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

(PS. MP3's dont count in the debate!)
I just noticed that now after I made a post about MP3s. Still though, it a legitimate question because they are even more convenient that CDs.

spartacus1989 10-08-2007 11:23 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Cds are very handy and compact, although the most compact format (after MP3) is de3finatly the Minidisc which never took off!

To be honest, music is overly digital and I feel it has achived a sound that it too perfect and it has completly lost its warmth!

fourstringdrums 10-08-2007 11:26 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by spartacus1989 (Post 367354)
To be honest, music is overly digital and I feel it has achived a sound that it too perfect and it has completly lost its warmth!

Good point. I think the way the song was recorded is more important, not what format it's put on. If a sound is really too perfect and sterile sounding when recorded, it's going to sound that way on vinyl, tape or cd, only either clear as a bell, with the scratch of vinyl or the hiss of tape.

SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ 10-08-2007 11:48 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
I wouldn't really call vinyl pure. When I think of pure, I think of clean.Vinyl, like tape, imparts a lot of character onto the sound it carries. Is that a bad thing? No, I like the sound of vinyl- I just wouldn't call it pure. :P Some bands still put out vinyl. It has a cult following these days. Also, lots of electronic artists put their stuff on vinyl for DJs to mix with. I have a few records, but nothing to play them on. Also, records can be stereo- not just mono.

Tape... well I guess I could see why you would say it has a flat sound. I mean, it's 1/4" tape (or smaller?) and especially when it's a rock band that's probably already compressed, the tape compresses it even more. This is even before compression was used to squash everything in the radio loudness wars. Just distortion on guitar will compress the guitar sound. I still have a box of tapes around here.

CDs... man they are just perfect to me. Audio quality is great though I would like it bumped up to DVD quality (48kHz / 24bit). They are just the right length. Do we really need albums longer than an hour? I only wish they could have as much facial artwork as vinyl. That's what I would like. Vinyl cases with CDs in them. heheh

CDs too digital? Too clean? Personally, I prefer listening to music as it was intended- without getting the coloration of the media it is presented on. Also, just because the music you listen to is on a CD, doesn't mean it was recorded digitally. There are still plenty of studios out there recording with 1/2" to 2" tape. Despite the fact that ProTools has become the new standard, you will still see a lot of outboard analog gear that is used during mixing and part of the incoming signal chain for recording.

In some studios, the DAW has only replaced the reel to reel tape deck. Everything else may be outboard. Lots of engineers still prefer to mix on a real desk with outboard FX, and will even print those mixes to tape before bringing them back into the digital domain. With the right mic and preamp selection, you can color the sound in plenty of ways. The analog and digital world is a lot more blended than perhaps you are aware of. Using analog gear in the recording and mixing process will add to a 'warm' sound.

In fact, since Pro Tools became the standard, there has been a real demand on vintage analog gear. Some people think you can only get great sounds with that stuff. Any experienced engineer will be able to make a great sound with anything.

As for MP3s, they are a loss format. That means during the conversion to MP3, your converter will drop out some frequencies. MP3s will actually drop out frequencies that are audible to the ear, which is why lower bit rate ones sounds the way they do. Some people will only encode their MP3s at a high bitrate to get a near CD quality file- however at that point you really defeat the purpose of making an MP3 because the file size is much larger. The standard MP3 bitrate is 128k which isn't bad. The average listener probably can't tell the difference between it and the original CD, but I can.

It's a shame because there is a format called OGG that is a lossless format, meaning the frequencies it drops are not audible to the ear. So you get much smaller file sizes with much better audio quality than MP3s. But it's a little late since MP3s have dominated the market(?).

Wow... long post. :)

michael drums 10-08-2007 11:56 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Well...


I'm partial to Cds myself, but I do understand sparts' point about vinyl. The "natural" recorded sound of yester-year. Hisses, scratches, and skips... OH MY!! Ahhhh...


Cool thread, sparts!


Play On! ;-)

the skin man 10-09-2007 12:25 AM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

As for MP3s, they are a loss format. That means during the conversion to MP3, your converter will drop out some frequencies. MP3s will actually drop out frequencies that are audible to the ear, which is why lower bit rate ones sounds the way they do. Some people will only encode their MP3s at a high bitrate to get a near CD quality file- however at that point you really defeat the purpose of making an MP3 because the file size is much larger. The standard MP3 bitrate is 128k which isn't bad. The average listener probably can't tell the difference between it and the original CD, but I can.
There was some big stereo convention where the owner of a company that makes super expensive speakers played some music on his speakers and asked the people there to guess what source he used. They said stuff like "oh, it must be one of those top of the line CD players with features x, y, and z and it must have blah blah blah." I turned out to be and ipod. I don't know what format he was using on the ipod, but still, it shows that expectations can color what we here. As far as the stuff about vinyl being "warmer" goes, it might not true. People may just think it sounds warmer because they go in with that expectation.

spartacus1989 10-09-2007 12:26 AM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Why thankyou Michael ;)

I truly believe that Vinyls and tapes bring out the character of the music, with CDs, everything is fully relied on the quality of the music. If the panning isn't dead right, it is like the world is ending! With vinyls and tapes, sit back, get your mixing done, and enjoy the quality of the music that it given to you!

Mr. Pasquini 10-09-2007 12:58 AM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Vinyl is generally my choice (my dad has quite the collection) but CDs are so convenient.

LiveGoat 10-09-2007 03:09 AM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
To my ears, analog recorded rock sounds vastly superior on vinyl. Recently I aquired the complete Beatles discography in a direct from vinyl flac format and let me tell you, it's unbelievable how much cooler it sounds than my store bought cds. I have both the store bought Abby Road and the flac versions on my zune just to let people hear the difference. Vinyl just has a nice warm fatness to it that doesn't take away the clarity. Now this all may change when the new remasters come out eventually, and I'll change my tune but...

But my beef isn't so much with the recording format because really, protools does a good job and is way more practical. My problem is really with the way everything is miked and mixed and processed within an inch of it's life. I read an interview with Dylan and he said what was great about the old days was the technology of recording was still new and you didn't hear everything on the final product it was like the ambient noise and the lack of total clarity were contributing to the overall sound of the recording. Of course this all just the opinion of someone who grew up with records and tapes and prolly doesn't mean squat!

---LG

Drummer30 10-09-2007 04:25 AM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
I've been trying to put some of the vinyl collection my parents have in the basement onto CDs but between static and an old stylus I'm not having much luck. I like the "real" sound you get out of records but the static drives me out of my mind. Therefore, CDs take the prize for me, for all the reasons already stated above.

LiveGoat 10-09-2007 02:09 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
In order to have no static you need a a vinyl to mp3 converter with cleaning software. It's easier to download the albums you want or go through bootleggers.

---LG



Quote:

Originally Posted by Drummer30 (Post 367477)
I've been trying to put some of the vinyl collection my parents have in the basement onto CDs but between static and an old stylus I'm not having much luck. I like the "real" sound you get out of records but the static drives me out of my mind. Therefore, CDs take the prize for me, for all the reasons already stated above.


TitanSound 10-09-2007 02:26 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Vinyl all the way.

Such a warm sound compared to the digital age.

Plus mixing records together is one of the most fun things too do apart from drumming...its all about the beat :)

SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ 10-09-2007 03:01 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by the skin man (Post 367401)
There was some big stereo convention where the owner of a company that makes super expensive speakers played some music on his speakers and asked the people there to guess what source he used. They said stuff like "oh, it must be one of those top of the line CD players with features x, y, and z and it must have blah blah blah." I turned out to be and ipod. I don't know what format he was using on the ipod, but still, it shows that expectations can color what we here. As far as the stuff about vinyl being "warmer" goes, it might not true. People may just think it sounds warmer because they go in with that expectation.

Aha! That's pretty funny. If it was an iPod, it could have been an MP3 or their proprietary format AAC. How well those songs sounded on the iPod have a lot to do with what bitrate the files were encoded in.

I understand what you're saying about expectations as well. I think the 'warm' sound of vinyl comes from the fact that records were very sensitive to low frequencies, so they had a bass heavy sound. Yesterday my wife and I were riding in our van to hit the bookshop. We were listening to the oldies station, a song came on and my wife complained because she couldn't hear the vocals. She said they needed to turn it up in the mix. I thought that by the era of the song, it had to be on vinyl, so it naturally had a bass heavy sound. On top that, the radio station is adding compression to level the volume between songs, and that brings out the bass even more. Even more so, our van is less than ten years old, so it has a decent stereo in it- meaning a bass enhanced system. So add those three factors together, and we're getting mostly bass from this radio station. I adjust the bass knob down and voila! The vocals, and the rest of the band for that matter, were audible.


----

If you're curious, here are a couple of links explaining the AAC and OGG file formats.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Audio_Coding
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogg

spartacus1989 10-10-2007 07:51 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Ahh, im 18, and Im even struggling to understand the whole MP3 to AAC!!
Maybe I should stick to CD/Tape/Vinyl.

nhzoso 10-10-2007 08:38 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
For pure listening enjoyment CD's are the way to go. Huge improvement over Vinyl and Tapes.

Not sure about the whole sterile argument?? How can hearing the crackle of vinyl through a song sound good after you listen to it on CD??

michael drums 10-10-2007 11:28 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nhzoso (Post 368048)
For pure listening enjoyment CD's are the way to go. Huge improvement over Vinyl and Tapes.

Not sure about the whole sterile argument?? How can hearing the crackle of vinyl through a song sound good after you listen to it on CD??

Yea, nhzoso!

Exactly why I favor the cd. But some just don't wanna let go of their vinyls. And some are even techno-phobes about the cd. I know a few people like that. They're also afraid of computers and cell-phones.

I welcome technology, for the most part. And the cd is certaintly a step-up in sound quality, from records and tapes...

Play On! ;-)

the skin man 10-11-2007 01:24 AM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

And the cd is certaintly a step-up in sound quality, from records and tapes
Not if you get a really good turntable and clean the record before you play it. Then vinyl and CD sound about the same from what I've heard. If the CD has more frequencies, they're probably ones nobody can hear. It's just that it's much easier to get a great sound with a CD. A CD walkman hooked up to good stereo system will probably sound just a good as a super expensive CD player. Both completely blow tapes away. In fact, MP3s and a bunch of other digital formats probably blow tapes away. Either way, think about it before you play on.

the skin man 10-11-2007 02:41 AM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
Quote:

Today a friend visited me, so I seized the occasion to perform a hardware blind test. Computer blind test, like original vs MP3, I can do them alone with a program, but for real vinyl vs CD blind tests, I need someone to switch the source selector "in my back".

It was a "vinyl versus digital" test. A vinyl was playing back. The line out of the ampli was directed into the DAT deck, 48 kHz 16 bits. The ampli vinyl input (pure analog) was compared to the DAT input (digitized to 48 kHz 16 bits).

Preliminaries listening sessions : the digital sound seems more bright, shiny and detailed to me, the vinyl more smooth, silky and "noisy". The digital sound seems also "tiresome". No difference in frequencies or definition, just feelings.
The voice seemed to be more separated to the instruments on the digital version to her, though there is quite no difference between the two versions.

Then, in turn, the operator writes down on a paper a serial of sources, digital or analog, that are going to be played. The subject must then write on his own paper the source that he thinks he is listening to, for each session. Then the results are compared. After the test the roles are inverted, the operator becomes subject, and the subject operator.

Results :
Me :
6/10, but I guessed 3 of them recognizing the level difference, the real result is then 3/7.
Her :
5/8. After 5 trials she said she couldn't concentrate. We stopped for 2 minutes, then I played the references again, and she said the feeling was opposite now : the voice seemed more detached in the analog version, and that she had probably inverted all previous answers. Anyway, noting 0 for false and 1 for true, she got
0 0 0 1 1 -pause- 1 1 1 , so it's a failure whatever way we interpret the results.
I'm not really clear on exactly what they did, but whatever.

http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...ST&f=21&t=7953

the skin man 10-13-2007 02:06 AM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
This page calls it the "anti-digital lie":

http://www.theaudiocritic.com/downloads/article_1.pdf

But a lot of people claim they can hear a difference, so who knows.

volume_3 10-13-2007 06:59 PM

Re: The vinyl, the tape or CD debate!
 
I was born within the CD culture so naturally i love CDs, i HATE! MP3s (i mean when you buy them over iTunes or something, i rip CDs to iTunes to put on my ipod) I couldn't have an album in just MP3 format, and when it comes to bands like Porcupine Tree and Drop The Lime (who happen to be a couple of my fave bands) its impossible to find CD versions, so i settle for MP3 :/ and its so annoying. I hope they re-release most of the rare stuff.

But yea, CDs for me, Tapes are too annoying to fiddle with, Vinyls for me are just for collectables. I love the idea of vinyls but they're too much hassle to play, but the artwork looks better on Vinyl cases than CDs cases (well the Mars Volta ones i have do anyways).


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