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General Discussions => Brewery => Topic started by: danjpiscina on September 07, 2009, 07:53:50 PM

Title: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 07, 2009, 07:53:50 PM
Hi guys. I've noticed that there are not many people comparing the sound of DIY gear and the originals they are modeled after. I realize this can be for a number of reasons (most notably for the fact that it's difficult to get your hands on the originals in the first place! i.e. Fairchild, 1176 Blue Stripe, etc.). However, whether or not the remakes compare to original vintage gear is crucial to many sound engineers and I feel it would be helpful to have a listen! If you're living in LA or New York City, obtaining vintage gear is not that difficult (there are many rental companies that lease this gear, whether it be a day or a week rate).

I think the best way to compare is the A/B method. This is where you print (or "bounce") the both versions so that someone else can load them into their audio sequencer and simply flip through both by soloing (tip: in Pro Tools "X-OR" solo mode comes in handy! ;)). It may also be helpful to print a clean version and to explain how the sound was recorded. So for example:

1. drum room segment clean
2. drum room segment vintage 1176 rev D
3. drum room segment DIY 1176 rev X, X i/p xformer, X o/p xformer

it would also be nice if the audio lines up a 00:00:00

hmmm.... how do we upload 24 bit WAVE files? I have an iDisk and I don't mind hosting members' files on my public folder:

on Mac OS:

Finder-->Go-->iDisk-->other users' public folder--danjpiscina


on Windows:

go to http://idisk.mac.com/danjpiscina-Public?view=web (http://idisk.mac.com/danjpiscina-Public?view=web)


Any posts will be much appreciated. Even if they're not accurate (my first post wont be!) Or even if it's not DIY vs. originals. For example, A vintage API 550 compared to a new 550A compared to the Waves plugin! That sounds fun  :)

Thanks for listening!

Dan P.

P.S a photo (or screenshot) of the setting would also be helpful. But if not, an explanation would be fine.







On the server for your listening pleasure:

-mnats 1176 rev F vs. UAD 1176se plugin



Independent comparisons:

-For "A/B comparison between DAW SUMMING vs ANALOG SUMMING", check out ytsestef's page:

http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=35964.0 (http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=35964.0)

Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 07, 2009, 08:14:09 PM
Here's my first post.

Have a listen to mnats rev F http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=33834.0 (http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=33834.0) with Mike's (at Hairball audio http://hairballaudio.com/ (http://hairballaudio.com/)) transformers.

compared to:

Universal Audio's UAD plugin http://www.uaudio.com/products/software/1176se/index.html (http://www.uaudio.com/products/software/1176se/index.html)

it is a drum room mic. I believe it was a U67 compressed a little (I can't recall which compressor was used). The settings on the 1176's are the same, and I included a screenshot of the plugin so you can get an idea. The audio is at 24 bit/48kHz

Check my first post for accessing the audio files. Enjoy! ;D
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Kingston on September 08, 2009, 03:19:31 AM
whether or not the remakes compare to original vintage gear is crucial to many sound engineers

(http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/reprodepot_2068_26311550)

It's only crucial to those who need the safety blankie, who don't trust themselves to make the small decision that if it sounds good, it's good, or to those who need the bragging rights. Or in far too many cases on this forum, bragging rights on the cheap.

sounds to me you're doing-it-yourself for the wrong reasons. I've said this before and I'll say it again, just get a reissue unit. That way you don't have to worry about the above issues, or about not having name brand "original vintage gear".

blankie or not, your self-confidence won't stop nagging until you take the time to learn a few things.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: deuce42 on September 08, 2009, 03:50:57 AM
Man I love these shootouts and fascinated to read about them and hear people's samples - but I feel that whenever people try to do so in forums, there always seems to be a chorus of negative derision thrown about how unscientific and flawed the recording comparison process was. 

My thoughts on this are: - they're not supposed to be perfectly scientific!

Its merely a fun and interesting listening exercise. Anybody who takes a listen at a shootout and therefore claims with such authority that a Rev D original is better than an groupdiyxxxx made in XXXX is either naive, stupid or both. Pointing out the disparities in technical variables that were not equal during the recording is often so obvious its tedious and not worth getting into a spit about it. I think its just nice to hear the "flavours" people's gear produces compared to others, knowing that it's nothing more than an expose on flavour.   

I don't feel this is based upon insecurity about DIY gear or arrogance and I dont feel the need to shroud myself in any proverbial blanket. We happily show pictures of our builds to each other, what's wrong with showing samples of what it sounds like?  I use gear that I have made of this forum everyday and I truly love it. However, it always nice to hear what other people's gear sounds like too and its nice to hear what original stuff sounds like if you don't ever have access to it. This won't make me think my own stuff is bad or make me doubt my builds. 

I would love to hear any comparisons that come through:)
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 08, 2009, 04:51:49 AM

It's only crucial to those who need the safety blankie, who don't trust themselves to make the small decision that if it sounds good, it's good, or to those who need the bragging rights.

Kingston, what makes you think this has ANYTHING to do with "bragging rights"? "if it sounds good it is good" - ok. fair enough. But the real question is, does it sound great? that's what I want. but the fact of the matter is that by comparing different gear, you learn about it. you learn about sound; why things sound different, why they sound good, warm, musical, dirty, etc. Maybe I didn't make myself clear in my previous posts. My intentions are not to get rid of my DIY 1176 because it doesn't sound the same as a plugin I love. Instead, I learn about them both. They are 2 DIFFERENT tools. This has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with your so-called "safety blankie"

sounds to me you're doing-it-yourself for the wrong reasons. I've said this before and I'll say it again, just get a reissue unit. That way you don't have to worry about the above issues, or about not having name brand "original vintage gear".

I have taken a lot of time to compare several pieces of gear in the past, and as a recording engineer I can safely say that NO reissue has EVER sounded like the original. EVER. that's not to say that they neccesarily sounded bad (though in a few cases they did). They sounded different. Not only that. Reissues still cost a lot more than DIY units. My first reason for DIY is to save money. My second reason is to learn. I feel this thread will help myself and others learn about good sound. And good sound is, at the end of the day, what we're after!

Kingston, I hope in future you learn to use your ears before you go out and by a reissue and take the companies' word for it! If you don't, you'll end up with inferior recordings. And remember; technical specs are one thing. Sound is another.

P.S. I suggest you take the time to listen to my comparisons. I'm confident you will find them interesting and educational.

All the best,

Dan P.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Kingston on September 08, 2009, 05:28:55 AM
I hope in future you learn to use your ears before you go out and by a reissue and take the companies' word for it! If you don't, you'll end up with inferior recordings. And remember; technical specs are one thing. Sound is another.

You absolutely completely, and all-encompassingly missed my point.  :(

Forget learning about what makes them tick and why they sound different, and do pointless shootouts of highly variable gear instead.

My first reason for DIY is to save money.

I gathered that from your first post already.

I feel this thread will help myself and others learn about good sound.

It won't. I'll only serve those lusting for a cheap yet perfect copy of a blankie.

And good sound is, at the end of the day, what we're after!

You tell yourself that, but you really just want more blankies.

for cheap.



I'm probably being unnecessarily harsh, but cloning for the reasons above just seems so counterproductive to music, to learning, to personal satisfaction, and yet it is so prevalent here.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: e.oelberg on September 08, 2009, 07:32:58 AM
I like that shoutout. Ihad to original 1176 and sold them cause I liked what I built myself the same and I couldn't hear much of a difference in the way it compressed. I prefered the sound of my lundahl based 1176.

I don"t like software compressors much but this one seems to be pretty good, I"m impressed

nicholas
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Arno on September 08, 2009, 07:48:37 AM
jesus somebody just decided to offer his hosting for anyone who wants to hear or show the difference between clones and original units, which is basically the same as learning the differences between different components (transformers for example) I don't see anything wrong with that ?

Whatever his motives are, it could be a useful experience for many people having a tight budget that would like to hear the different characteristics of some components, instead of simply following the most popular choices.

I understand your skepticism kingston but isn't that a little bit too harsh ?

there are different kind of people on this forum, some build/design/clone gear, some simply copy the clones.

A lot of people share their experience from their builds, I think organizing a way to make this audible is a nice improvement.

Comparing them to units they were copied from is a good reference.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: deuce42 on September 08, 2009, 08:14:13 AM
And at the risk of sounding self righteous, it is for this very reason I said earlier in this thread that whenever anyone tries to do shootouts on web forums, they attract derision and wrath from others. So many people in my humble experience seem to feel the need to attack the original person and tell them how their exercise is pointless and wrong.

Dan P -I say post whatever you like whenever you like. And build whatever you need to for your own reasons without feeling the need to justify to any other member in my book.

And now using this post for my own interest, lets just enjoy shootout comparisons and see what "flavours" people come up with without taking it all too seriously. Surely listening to peoples gear isn't supposed to be a serious matter with our ego's interfering
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: SSLtech on September 08, 2009, 08:31:36 AM
Well, it's foolish to expect two people setting up two units (one a clone and the other a genuine article) to achieve the same settings... in fact two people setting up the SAME piece of gear will head towards different settings.

So I don't see the point, myself.

If one wishes to make a comparison onseself, that's one thing, but these things invariably utterly collapse in terms of validity when they are attempted as a collaborative effort.

Keith
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: e.oelberg on September 08, 2009, 08:36:16 AM
Well, it's foolish to expect two people setting up two units (one a clone and the other a genuine article) to achieve the same settings... in fact two people setting up the SAME piece of gear will head towards different settings.

Keith

I think the interesting thing is that they sound pretty close ! I'd never thought a plugin could come that close to a real/clone 1176

nicholas
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Kingston on September 08, 2009, 08:43:18 AM
I think the interesting thing is that they sound pretty close ! I'd never thought a plugin could come that close to a real/clone 1176

They're pretty damn good these days, the plugins.

I learned this the hard, expensive way. I failed to spot a turbo-board GSSL (with OPA opamps, ie. very clean like digital) in a blind shootout against two SSL emulating plugins in a blind shootout.  :-[ I thought the UAD SSL plug was the hardware GSSL unit.  :o

Kind of brings into question the whole point of building gear when they're that close..
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: canidoit on September 08, 2009, 08:47:17 AM
This is excellent!

I am one of the people that would love to hear how x unit sounds using x components or built a certain way.

I think it would be great if people can put descriptions of the units used in the samples. eg. carb resistors, x caps, x transformers, i replaced this cap for this part instead, etc.

People will be able to have some sort of sense of which components bring about certain sonic results.

I could never get some of the attitudes of some DIY people when they become skeptical or defensive when people ask how it sounds like. I mean, are people building decorations or are they building audio devices. I think some people are forgetting that the purpose of the gear is not to fill rack space but to process sound.

If people really want to learn electronics, they could build a computer, so I think people's intentions here aren't really all because they want to learn electronics but to build something they can use.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Arno on September 08, 2009, 09:28:32 AM
Well, it's foolish to expect two people setting up two units (one a clone and the other a genuine article) to achieve the same settings... in fact two people setting up the SAME piece of gear will head towards different settings.

So I don't see the point, myself.

If one wishes to make a comparison onseself, that's one thing, but these things invariably utterly collapse in terms of validity when they are attempted as a collaborative effort.

Keith

true but:

It's still better than saying something like "the original/my clone/whatever has more warmth, tight lows and silk highs"

doesn't everybody just hate that ?
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 08, 2009, 03:04:48 PM

I learned this the hard, expensive way. I failed to spot a turbo-board GSSL (with OPA opamps, ie. very clean like digital) in a blind shootout against two SSL emulating plugins in a blind shootout.  :-[ I thought the UAD SSL plug was the hardware GSSL unit.  :o

Kind of brings into question the whole point of building gear when they're that close..

Remember Kingston, we still can't record with plugins  :) For a long time to come, no matter how good plugins sound, there will be need for hardware. Imagine recording bass without an 1176!  ???  I couldn't. How would you stop it from clipping digitally?  ???



I think the interesting thing is that they sound pretty close ! I'd never thought a plugin could come that close to a real/clone 1176

nicholas

Agreed. UAD plugins are, in my humble opinion, by FAR the best out there. they're incredible.

I think some people are forgetting that the purpose of the gear is not to fill rack space but to process sound.


YES! how many people in this forum are recording/mixing engineers? and how many are simply tech guys? i hope there are more engineers  :)


It's still better than saying something like "the original/my clone/whatever has more warmth, tight lows and silk highs"

doesn't everybody just hate that ?

YES!!!! you need to hear it for yourself.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: MartyMart on September 08, 2009, 08:15:46 PM

Agreed. UAD plugins are, in my humble opinion, by FAR the best out there. they're incredible.

YES! how many people in this forum are recording/mixing engineers? and how many are simply tech guys? i hope there are more engineers  :)


I'm a musician and writer first and engineer / recordist second, out of necessity since about 1983 and the porta-studio came out !
( nothing technical and no rules, I just get stuff down and try to make it sound great in the song .... rather than good technicaly)

Kind of pointless shootout as three original 1176's will all sound different anyway .... but hey the UAD plugins are superb, have used them
for a few years, the new SSL bus comp is quite simply "STUNNING"   :-)    ( still LOVE my Gssl and Pico though )

MM.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 08, 2009, 11:52:05 PM


Kind of pointless shootout as three original 1176's will all sound different anyway ....

MM.

Sorry Marty-Mart, you seem to miss my point. And it's a big point I'm trying to make: of course they will sound different. Any half-decent engineer knows that. But it's about HOW they sound different. That's where you really learn. For example, if you're going to buy an original 1176 out of a batch of 3, you could take them all home and listen to them, later deciding which one you prefer.

I never built my 1176's/1290's/33609 with hopes that they will sound like the originals. I knew they wouldn't. But my hopes were that they would sound interesting and add something special to the music I record/mix. As you can hear for yourself, the 1176 does just that! Both the plugin and the hardware are great, but totally different none-the-less.

All the best,

Dan P.

Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Kingston on September 09, 2009, 03:21:14 AM
Imagine recording bass without an 1176!  ???  I couldn't. How would you stop it from clipping digitally?  ???

That's a bad example. I really don't like 1176 on bass. It makes it floppy and it only really works for seriously bad players. Which also explains why 1176 is de facto rock bass compressor.

And how do you stop digital clipping? You take into account you have all 24bits at your service and simply don't clip. With dynamic range like that it's irresponsible and wasteful to run anything close to clipping. It isn't tape and it does absolutely nothing sonically.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: deuce42 on September 09, 2009, 04:08:33 AM
Ah but a bass tracking into LA2A is one of life's true pleasures. Not only does it stop clipping if the engineer is running too close, it sounds like a warm melting mound on butter on a biscuit.....mmmmm

Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 09, 2009, 04:45:59 AM
Imagine recording bass without an 1176!  ???  I couldn't. How would you stop it from clipping digitally?  ???

That's a bad example. I really don't like 1176 on bass. It makes it floppy and it only really works for seriously bad players. Which also explains why 1176 is de facto rock bass compressor.

And how do you stop digital clipping? You take into account you have all 24bits at your service and simply don't clip. With dynamic range like that it's irresponsible and wasteful to run anything close to clipping. It isn't tape and it does absolutely nothing sonically.

???? "irresponsible to run anything close to clipping". Wow. I don't know where to start.... so I won't get into much detail! Are you a sound engineer? Have you ever heard of the term "good gain structure"? Have you ever taken into account the fact that musicians play their instruments dynamically (i.e. go from soft to loud)? The only advantage of 24 bit over 16 bit is the use of the last 8 bits!

Ah but a bass tracking into LA2A is one of life's true pleasures. Not only does it stop clipping if the engineer is running too close, it sounds like a warm melting mound on butter on a biscuit.....mmmmm


:) Agreed. Or on overheads.... I intend to add one (or two?) to my arsenal!
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Kingston on September 09, 2009, 05:22:17 AM
I don't know where to start.... so I won't get into much detail!

but please do. you've certainly left a few things unmentioned this far, and it is of great interest to me how sound engineers work.

The only advantage of 24 bit over 16 bit is the use of the last 8 bits!

it means you have about 20dB more dynamic range you can use for preventing clipping, of course depending somewhat on your A/D converters.

Or we can do it your way and record 20dB more of hiss.


ok, enough of this slapstick.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Biasrocks on September 09, 2009, 08:44:01 AM
Imagine recording bass without an 1176!  ???  I couldn't. How would you stop it from clipping digitally?  ???

That's a bad example. I really don't like 1176 on bass. It makes it floppy and it only really works for seriously bad players. Which also explains why 1176 is de facto rock bass compressor.


Woah, Kingston you seem especially down on the rock n' roll.  :'(

Bad form, especially today when the Beatles are being brought back to life for the kiddies.

Not to mention what Little Richard, Chuck Berry and the Elvis did for the rock n' roll.  8)

I find an 1176 to be a fine bass comp, regardless of playing ability. I also like an API 525, Manley V-MU or LA2A depending on my mood that day.

Mark
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 09, 2009, 01:55:11 PM
it means you have about 20dB more dynamic range you can use for preventing clipping, of course depending somewhat on your A/D converters.

Or we can do it your way and record 20dB more of hiss.

16 bit = 96 dB
24 bit = 144 dB

(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range))
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Kingston on September 09, 2009, 02:18:14 PM
Theoretically, and only inside closed digital environment.

On the other hand you won't find an AD/DA converter that does much better than 115dB, and rarely gear that does even 100dB. That's why there's "about 20 dB more hiss" on your audio tracks.

The above simple facts tell us it's pointless to record anything close to clipping - irresponsible.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: SSLtech on September 09, 2009, 03:00:53 PM
Just a quick interjection here...

If you're running 24-bit, you gain NOTHING from running within clipping rage of 0dBfs. As has been correctly pointed out, 24-bit has a dynamic range of ~145dB, and I don't personally think that I own a converter which gets within 20dB of that, so all I'm doing by turning it up is recording the noise at a higher level. Providing the noise is a bit or so above the minimm resolution of the converter, there's nothing tangible to be gained from recording any higher... only the loss of headroom.

If you only have 16-bit converters, by all means feel free to compress on the way in. Otherwise, there's no need... and settings which "don't work out" later on don't need to be carved in stone. -This is the new way.

For background, I was a recording & mixing engineer for about 15 years before reverting to being a tech when I got married. (The hours are usually MUCH more sociable and family-friendly for a tech.) I have a small collection of silver, gold & platinum disks which can I call my own, and it's been a lot of fun over the years.

I like hardware, and I would still print with it, when I were ABSOLUTELY sure... but different people can compare the same two pieces of gear and come up with ENTIRELY different opinions... I for example might prefer an LA-2a to an 1176 for bass guitar for lots of music... someone else would look at me as if I were crazy for even contemplating an LA-2a on bass. -It is with that in mind that I think considering other people's opinions is most likely worthless. The only thing you'll ever like is what you like. -NOT what someone else likes. -And different people will use such different terms to describe sound that it only confuses the issue. -Heck, even I've surprised myself when I've had to use pieces of gear which I've previously assumed to be of little use...

Assemble a nice toolkit.
Play with it.
Allow it to surprise you from time to time.
Enjoy.

Other people's opinions should only EVER be taken as suggestions for things to audition yourself. I would NEVER take someone else's 'findings' as fact, unless we're talking about something which is established as being quantitatively measured, such as noise floor, amplitude response, etc.

Keith
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: MartyMart on September 09, 2009, 03:36:02 PM
Yup 24 bit gives you more "low room" NOT "headroom" 0 dBfs is 0 dBfs no matter how you look at it.

I wish people wouldn't use the term "headroom" as that is total bullsh*t as far as digital goes.

24 bit is only useful for the "quiet stuff" like delicate passages of classical music or acoustic stuff.

For "rock n roll" 16 bit well recorded and without clipping is absolutely fine and dandy :-)

MM.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: rodabod on September 09, 2009, 03:44:28 PM
This has been discussed to detah, but people need to understand nominal recording levels with respect to dBfs, and line-up. Eg. typical line-up here in the UK of 0dBu = -18dBfs in broadcast. Keeps things simple. Line up for 0dBu (-18dBfs), peaks at say +8dBu, 10dB of headroom remain for safety. Just know your own equipement.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 09, 2009, 04:46:47 PM
Thanks for all the posts. The converter argument is an interesting one that I admittedly had not thought about all that much. However, putting all the technical jargon aside, I have done several listening tests, and have concluded: (at 24 bit), with good converters, the closer you record to 0dBFS, the better it sounds. The low end is clearer and more defined. Same with the high end. The mid-range is pretty much the same. To me, it's as simple as that.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Kingston on September 09, 2009, 06:10:10 PM
with good converters, the closer you record to 0dBFS, the better it sounds. The low end is clearer and more defined. Same with the high end. The mid-range is pretty much the same.

Those are exactly the kind of pointless lists of adjectives that keep these myths and other rumors alive. That's exactly how people get sucked into buying outrageously priced vintage gear "because nothing sounds quite like it".

When you say something like that, in order to have any weight on your arguments, you better be ready to state the conditions of the test.

My guess is, in this enlightened test of yours with "good converters", whatever was recorded closer to clipping, was actually running with higher distortion. Thus "more defined".

Please, no more of this nonsense. No more meaningless lists of adjectives without any resemblance of data to back it up. There's a place for that and it's "diy audio forums". You should google that.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 09, 2009, 06:55:36 PM
Those are exactly the kind of pointless lists of adjectives that keep these myths and other rumors alive. That's exactly how people get sucked into buying outrageously priced vintage gear "because nothing sounds quite like it".

"as stubborn as a Finn!" haha, I'm just kidding. I enjoy these discussions :)  But to be fair (and I'm sure many would agree), you can't really judge until you've heard it for yourself.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: 1954U1 on September 09, 2009, 08:30:56 PM
(at 24 bit), with good converters, the closer you record to 0dBFS, the better it sounds.

Excuse me for rudeness, but..
do you mean that:

A] in your system, where 0dBFS equals to (+18? +20? +22? +24? -48?)dBu, your converters works better when hitted by a near-to-converters_clip signal

or, more explicitely, that

B] at 24 bit there is audible loss of data at low audio level because of finite resolution of the sampled signal etcetc

?


If its A], the _only_ way I can understand it, is that you like the way an embedded limiter works in your converters.
Or, that, in general, the analog sections of your converters distorts in a nice way.
Or that you like the distorted sound of your analog gear before the converters.

B] is plain wrong.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: SSLtech on September 09, 2009, 09:31:34 PM
...I'd like to point out this thread over on PSW:

"Digital tracking with low levels = better...is this new???" (http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/15038/2172/)

-Which is in fact considered so fundamentally important a subject that they made it a full-time sticky.


The general consensus -as asserted/opined/proposed by such luminaries as Dan Lavry, Bruno Putzeys and Niko Aldrich- is that "going hot" ruins the signal. ...And they should know; they BUILD converters.

I too am presently involved with the (lengthy gestation) development of a 24-bit converter design, and MUCH attention is being paid to the consideration of what levels sound good. -It is being designed to run best somewhat 'shy' of it's full-scale level, with the remaining few dB being there to allow errant peaks not to 'splat'.

-For best results, bake at a LOWER temperature.

Full-scale was the rule for 16-bit wide-ish dynamic range... but NOT any more.

I think I've pretty much disagreed with you on just about every issue so far, which is a pity. -Sorry for that, but I do feel compelled to challenge your assertions. -Once again... -Sorry.

Keith
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: deuce42 on September 09, 2009, 09:55:09 PM
I respect everyone's opinions here, especially people who have far more experience than I have and whom have made valid criticisms in this post, but I personally feel that this thread has been skewed in the wrong direction and we have lost sight of the original idea which was simply about hearing samples for our listening enjoyment.  Getting lost in the semantics of bit resolution is fine in order to prove to each other how much more "right" our knowledge is from a technical perspective, but I would rather just listen to the sounds that people get purely because I like listening to stuff. It really is that simple in my mind.  I get tired of people dismissing the idea because its apparently so pointless. Is stimuli only important if it is measurable and technically correct? I absolutely take the point that a number of variables can affect a comparison, but this may not just be a comparison only. I had thought that part of the responses here on this thread and on this board were often about trusting your ears regardless of what other sounds are referenced to. So just because it is not a definitive comparison and just because it isn't reliable doesn't mean I cant simply enjoy listening to samples people post, whether the sounds I decide I am liking have come exclusively from their gear, their recording techniques, settings on their gear or what they have eaten for breakfast on the morning of the recording. 

In fact it only becomes a problem and is only "pointless" if I rely upon what I am hearing in the comparison to then form an opinion on which gear is better. I accept that if this happens,  then, and only then, was the shootout meaningless because I have not considered a number of issues and my naivety is forming opinions on wider technical variables I may be obtuse to.

I am trying to make this point -  and perhaps it's me that is misguided or wrong - but I don't see how posting samples is so meaningless and stupid if its about hearing what people come up with and accepting that it's not supposed to be about evaluating or comparing gear exclusively, because it simply isn't! Stating how meaningless a comparison is because the comparison has too many factors involved ( settings people use, differing sounds of vintage original units, etc) seems to only skew this thread back to the same predicament of ripping apart scientific data and forgetting that some members may just like to hear sounds people come up with and nothing more.  I sight my previous example of "flavour". Its nice to hear what flavour's peoples gear comes up with period.

Why is there an assumption that other peoples opinions will affect mine or anyone else's? Isn't one of the endemic things about samples the fact that we can listen to what we hear without needing people to uses words to describe things? - e.g. If someone says an 1176 is flabby on bass I might be swayed by their view. But with a sample I might like what I am hearing whether it is called an 1176, Beringer toy or whatever.

This post isn't meant to be me behaving like a baby, but I just feel that often those of us who like technical stuff (and that's why we are here because we all like talking ohms, farads and volts) often cannot enjoy things unless it has technical validation attached to it. Because something can't be measured adequately doesn't make it meaningless.  :)
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 09, 2009, 10:53:32 PM

A] in your system, where 0dBFS equals to (+18? +20? +22? +24? -48?)dBu, your converters works better when hitted by a near-to-converters_clip signal

or, more explicitely, that

B] at 24 bit there is audible loss of data at low audio level because of finite resolution of the sampled signal etcetc

?

If I had to pick one, I'd go with B  :)
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 09, 2009, 10:55:37 PM
I personally feel that this thread has been skewed in the wrong direction and we have lost sight of the original idea which was simply about hearing samples for our listening enjoyment. 

I agree. No more tom-foolery from me! I want to hear some good gear!
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: Kingston on September 10, 2009, 04:39:19 AM
Blind shootouts - Chapter 2 - Psychoacoustics

Happened once on another forum, crippled with endless shootouts and useless fights over semantics, digital, analog, vintage, you name it. A friend gets tired of this shortsightedness and forms a hypothesis. A shootout is posted with the usual set up: two audio files, pick your favourite, which one is better. The usual about the other file being the shining star in trusty vintage armor and the other one being somehow inferior is added. The trap is set.

People start posting, and lo and behold! Here comes all the standard terminology attached to one of the files: "The low end is clearer and more defined. Same with the high end. The mid-range is pretty much the same." "That other one sounds more analog" "Man it sounds so warm" "What smooth crispy transients!" "Man I hate digital because it sounds so much worse"

What was the hypothesis?

"People will hear whatever difference they are told to hear, even if we simply increase volume by half a dB"

Yes indeed. Half a dB of digital fader push in your everyday DAW, and you magically acquired a revered piece of vintage magic.

The psychoacoustic implications are remarkable. And that's why shootouts are pointless if not done extremely carefully and with very clearly defined parameters. Half a dB of error and all the effort is wasted.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: MartyMart on September 10, 2009, 04:59:58 AM
I get it , listening to stuff just to get an idea of what they do / don't sound like TO YOU :-)
Just for fun and giggles ....

All good

MM.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on September 10, 2009, 05:26:35 AM
Kingston, I get it. You don't like the idea of shootouts. Fair enough. To each his own. You are not required to listen/partake. Please don't post anything else unless it pertains to the subject-matter.

Thanks,

Dan P.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: simonsez on September 10, 2009, 06:15:25 AM
I personally feel that this thread has been skewed in the wrong direction and we have lost sight of the original idea which was simply about hearing samples for our listening enjoyment. 


Yes, I smell something wrong here...honestly, i've been waiting this for long time. Every time someone came up with  idea like this always end up with similar rejection....weird... ??? ???
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: SSLtech on September 10, 2009, 09:34:34 AM
Actually I've suggested nothing against carrying out listening comparisons.

My issue has been when describing what you perceived during said comparisons. Different people like different things, and the difficulties come when people can't hear stuff.

Also, -taking a compressor as a single, oversimplified example... Some people might prefer high ratios with super-fast attack and release settings while others go for super-gentle low ratios and more comparatively 'easy-going' attack and release settings. -Two different people might try and approach the SAME source material differently, and for one person's instinctively-preferred settings, brand X might seem to operate in a better way than brand Y (with identical control settings) to EVERYONE who hears it. However, a different person -who has a completely different idea of what they like compression to do- may well then use wildly different settings, and you may discover that -under these settings brand 'Y' trounces brand 'X'.

-THIS is why I say that sharing comparisons on the internet for supposedly similar equipment, -trying to seek out differences, and determine which is 'better' is a complete and utter waste of time.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not against hearing what equipment people like, but I then HAVE TO use the equipment myself, to investigate how it behaves under many different conditions, and -crucially importantly- HOW I INTERACT WITH THE EQUIPMENT.

For this reason, comparisons over the internet are usually doomed to be a pointless endeavour. -The link which I posted earlier shows that (for example) Terry Manning (who is one of the finest engineers out there... look his credits up on www.allmusic.com if you're unfamiliar!) finds that recording at a lower level sounds vastly superior to 'pushing the bits'. Previously in this thread the opinion was presented as being the unswerving conviction of the poster, that 'recording as hot as possible sounds better... period' (paraphrased slightly). -One need look no further than this to find a working example of how two people will disagree on what they prefer both in terms of methodology and sound.

But by all means go ahead. -Me? I make my own comparisons side by side, and decide what I like. I've never found a way for anyone to help me over the internet with subtle preferences, and I believe that the REAL trick might lie on more people discovering the truth in this.

Keith
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: mouse on September 10, 2009, 01:48:41 PM
((-For best results, bake at a LOWER temperature.))

so so true. it took me all of about 20 seconds about 11 years ago to hear this.

digital still sucks though. long live rasputin's tonal resonator

how many gold or platinum albums before you achieve enlightenment?




Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: SSLtech on September 10, 2009, 02:21:41 PM
I've met young students who have taught me lots, with not a single commercial release to their credit...

...And I've met 'stars' from whom I haven't come away having learned much, while the same 'star' has turned on a lightbulb for others...

So I can't really say. -It truly is different for everyone.

I will say this: One frequently learns more from a single 'dismal failure' than from a hundred 'easy jobs'.

"From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success" indeed.

Keith
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: deuce42 on September 10, 2009, 10:19:13 PM


I will say this: One frequently learns more from a single 'dismal failure' than from a hundred 'easy jobs'.



Keith


This is the truth from my experience too.
Title: Re: The official DIY gear vs. original counterparts comparison page
Post by: danjpiscina on October 23, 2009, 08:51:55 PM
For "   A/B comparison between DAW SUMMING vs ANALOG SUMMING", check out ytsestef's page:

http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=35964.0 (http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=35964.0)