Jitter for duffers

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nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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Infiniteloop said:
For me, the most interesting part of this thread is the bit comparing vinyl to digital and which bits (pardon the pun) of the chain in getting the recording to playback medium matter. For me, even if part of the path in getting a signal to vinyl is digital, it doesn't matter.

IMO the important part is the point at which the sound gets created; DAC for digital and cartridge for analogue. They are obviously fundamentally different to each other as analogue relies on a physical execution.

This thread reminded me of the last listening session I had with a HiFi mate of mine, who sadly passed away a year ago. We'd been listening to some music through his newly acquired Naim DAC and amps and it was impressive (although he listened far too loudly for my taste, bless him...). After a while we switched to his LP12. A few sides later, he looked at me and said, questioningly: "I was thinking of ditching the LP12". I didn't need to say anything, and I must have raised my eyebrows. Then he said: "But I guess not".

Enough said.
And that’s another good point. Not only does a record player, especially most LP12s, have a particular sound, I think we listen differently, unintentionally. Probably to a whole side, not just ‘a song’, or a playlist. It’s more of an experience.

Reverting to the points above about the creative process, direct cut LPs are even rarer today than in their heyday, though some were demonstrated at the Windsor show last year. Sir Simon Rattle recorded the four Brahms symphonies this way, with his Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and there are various reviews and interviews online. Not the same as recording onto tape at all!

The earliest recodings, before mixing and multimiking, required performers and conductors to create the right sound ready for recording - playing to the mikes, if you like. These days, anyone can croon away and electronics can make it passable, such as X Factor.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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Infiniteloop said:
After a while we switched to his LP12. A few sides later, he looked at me and said, questioningly: "I was thinking of ditching the LP12". I didn't need to say anything, and I must have raised my eyebrows. Then he said: "But I guess not".

Enough said.
Probably count me as someone who to a certain extent does 'get it', but equally, a huge proportion of hifi enthusiasts couldn't wait to junk their records along with the faff which goes hand in hand with trying to get the best out the darn things. So I can appreciate that point of view as well. It's hard to make digital sound dire. It's hard (read: expensive and complicated) to make records sound exceptional. In the middle ground between dire and exceptional where most digital systems and turntable systems sit, it still remains considerably harder (read: expensive and complicated) to get better sound out of records than digital systems.
 

iMark

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May 16, 2008
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Some of you may remember Joe Jackson's album "Big World", released in 1986. I remember the LP version had 3 sides only, no music on side 4. Later released (of course) as a single CD. The recording was interesting because it was a live recording that was mixed down straight onto a digital stereo recorder without any post-production. There was of course pre-production in the form of getting the settings right on the mixing console. Back in the day most people thought the album sounded great. Much better than most live recordings of the era. Nobody complained that the LP was recorded using a digital recorder.

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/joe-jackson-big-world-direct-to-two-tracks.161140/

The album is also on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7cJwxNMtlh2nxxJq4qFc39
 

MajorFubar

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iMark said:
Here's a link to a discussion about the recording of the album with more examples of similar direct to two track recordings.

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/joe-jackson-big-world-direct-to-two-tracks.161140/
Just been reading the Steve Hoffman thread. Can't believe they actually recorded live if they didn't want noises from the audience. Doesn't matter how many notices you hand out or erect saying "please shut the fk up" there's always going to be at least one tool who'll deliberately clap/cough/burp/fart at the end to try to get his bodily noises on a released album. Goes without saying.

Though the urban legend that the best take of one of the songs had to be abandoned because someone coughed strikes me as just that: an urban legend. For a start they purposefully recorded three takes of everything, plus they recorded the rehersal before the audience arrived. Even on a direct-to-master recording they could fly-in a portion from one of the other two takes (potentially three if you count the rehersal). In fact they probably planned right from the start to use a composite of the takes, certainly on some songs, maybe all, hence recording three of everything.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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MajorFubar said:
iMark said:
Here's a link to a discussion about the recording of the album with more examples of similar direct to two track recordings.

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/joe-jackson-big-world-direct-to-two-tracks.161140/
Just been reading the Steve Hoffman thread. Can't believe they actually recorded live if they didn't want noises from the audience. Doesn't matter how many notices you hand out or erect saying "please shut the fk up" there's always going to be at least one tool who'll deliberately clap/cough/burp/fart at the end to try to get his bodily noises on a released album. Goes without saying.

Though the urban legend that the best take of one of the songs had to be abandoned because someone coughed strikes me as just that: an urban legend. For a start they purposefully recorded three takes of everything, plus they recorded the rehersal before the audience arrived. Even on a direct-to-master recording they could fly-in a portion from one of the other two takes (potentially three if you count the rehersal). In fact they probably planned right from the start to use a composite of the takes, certainly on some songs, maybe all, hence recording three of everything.
That’s certainly how most ‘live’ classical recordings are made nowadays. Rehearsal plus a couple of public concerts, mostly whole movements plus patching to cover fluffs and odd noises. I like applause at the end but plenty of folks prefer silence.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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MajorFubar said:
iMark said:
Here's a link to a discussion about the recording of the album with more examples of similar direct to two track recordings.

http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/joe-jackson-big-world-direct-to-two-tracks.161140/
Just been reading the Steve Hoffman thread. Can't believe they actually recorded live if they didn't want noises from the audience. Doesn't matter how many notices you hand out or erect saying "please shut the fk up" there's always going to be at least one tool who'll deliberately clap/cough/burp/fart at the end to try to get his bodily noises on a released album. Goes without saying.

Though the urban legend that the best take of one of the songs had to be abandoned because someone coughed strikes me as just that: an urban legend. For a start they purposefully recorded three takes of everything, plus they recorded the rehersal before the audience arrived. Even on a direct-to-master recording they could fly-in a portion from one of the other two takes (potentially three if you count the rehersal). In fact they probably planned right from the start to use a composite of the takes, certainly on some songs, maybe all, hence recording three of everything.
I was at a Desmond Dekker gig at ‘Basins’ nightclub in Portsmouth in January 1987. They had recorded the previous night’s gig (at Dingwalls in Camden) for the album “Officially Live And Rare”. It is an amazing live album with lots of boozed up Ska fans singing along making for a great atmosphere that was exactly how I remember the gig I attended.

I doubt they’d have wanted a ‘quiet’ take. It was Ska not frigging chamber music!
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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chebby said:
I was at a Desmond Dekker gig at ‘Basins’ nightclub in Portsmouth in January 1987. They had recorded the previous night’s gig (at Dingwalls in Camden) for the album “Officially Live And Rare”. It is an amazing live album with lots of boozed up Ska fans singing along making for a great atmosphere that was exactly how I remember the gig I attended.

I doubt they’d have wanted a ‘quiet’ take. It was Ska not frigging chamber music!
Quite. And could you imagine the additional problem of keeping folks quiet, 30 years later: bloody mobile phones going off!
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
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andyjm said:
Thanks. Interesting to see the innards of the new NICAM box. The heart seems to be a Xilinx Zynq Zedboard development board. Normally these are used to evaluate and 'play' with a device (the Xilinx Zynq in this case), prior to including it in the final design and production system. I guess in the case of the NICAM boxes they only needed a small number of units, so it was more cost effective to use the develpment board with all its redundant components than design the Zynq directly into the hardware.

The Zynq is pretty impressive. A 'system on a chip' including a FPGA with an ARM A9 processor, RAM and I/O, all on the same die. Yours for £40. I have no idea how they do it.
Erm yeah. That's exactly what I was about to say. ;)
 

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