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sm62704's Journal: Have you metamoderated lately? 1

Journal by sm62704

Well no, I haven't logged on in a couple of days. Usually I see that little message every time I log in, slashdot's bots must like me, I guess. Sometimes I metemoderate three or four times a day!

So I'm metamoderating, and one of the remarks was a reply to one of my own comments! But it was moderated fairly, the fellow commenting on my comment did well, it was a positive moderation.

One comment was funny; well, not the most rip-roaring hilarious thing I ever saw. That would be the scene in The Life of Brian where the guy gets stoned. I watched that again yesterday with Amy, who hadn't seen it before.

She hadn't had her Zoloft yet and was in tears, so I stuck the tape in (somebody stole my DVD of it, damned crack whores, one of these days I'll learn not to let them in the fucking house but shit it's cold in the garage).

The stoning scene is better than Zoloft.

She spent the night with her boyfriend last night and came home this morning as I was drinking coffee. She wanted to watch it again. The guy was getting stoned once more as I left the house.

After seeing what I still think is the funniest movie ever filmed, the slashdot comments modded "funny" are mildly humorous, which is good enough. At least they didn't mod it "troll" or anything, the commentor was obviously joking. The parent post was ignorant, however.

The truth of the matter is that vinyl records are crap compared to CD's in every measurable way - distortion, dynamic range, frequency response, signal to noise ratio, you name it.

My memory of this is a little fuzzy, but it seems like my vinyl records produced superior Wow and Flutter to anything I've ever heard from a CD

The parent was almost right in a few ways and completely ignorant in others.

Actually the statement about Nyquist's theorem is poppycock. This a mathematical fact, not some weird subjective result open to interpretation. Saying that Nyquist's theorem is wrong is equivalent to stating that the value of pi is really 6.

That's true. However, most people misunderstand what the Nyquist theorum says, which is simply that it is impossible to represent a tone at more than half the frequency of the sampling rate. Contrary to popular belief, says nothing whatever wbout the accuracy of the waveform. It says nothing whatever about aliasing.

The higher the frequency the greater the aliasing. Nyquest does not speak to this at all, one way or another.

The truth of the matter is that vinyl records are crap compared to CD's in every measurable way

This is completely ignorant. I'm glad I wasn't metamoderating it, because it was modded "interesting". If it had been moderated "informative" the mods would have been wrong. The fact of the matter is that CDs and vinyl each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

- distortion

No, LPs had distortion levels at less than a decible; i.e. subaudible, by definition of "decible". CDs are inferior to vinyl when it comes to distortion. Cd's aliasing is audible, even to my old worn-out ears if you know what to listen for. And what you need to listen for is how much it sounds like a live performance.

I've heard few LPs that I could close my eyes and be fooled into thinking that there was a human being in the room playing a real musical instrument. It took an incredibly good engineer to pull that off. But I've never even once heard a CD that I would confuse with a live performance.

...dynamic range,

Yes, CDs have a far greater dynamic range than vinyl. But I don't think the commenter even knows what dynamic range is.

In music, the "dynamics" is the difference in volume between different parts of the piece. The "1812 Overture" is the one piece of music with more dynamics than any other work, simply because it uses cannons as a musical instrument.

The fact is, back in the vinyl days the engineers worked hard to wrest the most dynamic range out of the medium they could. Radio used dynamics compression to remove dynamics because of the limited bandwidth of radio. If you listen to a modern, remasterd CD version of an old vinyl work you'll find that despite the fact that CDs have superior dynamic range, the CD version will have LESS dynamics than the vinyl version, despite the fact that the CD's capability for dynamics is greater!

...frequency response,

This is complete and utter bullshit. According to the commenter's precious Nyquest theorum that he completely misunderstands, the highest frequence attanable by a CD is 22kHz. Vinyl's frequency respons is so high that in the early 1970s they came up with a really stupid idea called "quadraphonics" with four separete channels, two in front and two in back. The rear channels of a quadraphonic record were modulated with a 44 kHz tone, twice the highest tone Nyquest says CDs are capable of, and mixed with the front channels, and demodulated on playback.

...signal to noise ratio,

This is true - CDs introduce no noise. However, noise in a new LP was less than a decible. Analog equipment differed from digital in that with digital the playback equipment (except the speakers) makes no difference at all, while with analog every piece of gear except the amplifier itself (once the cost of quality amplification became cheap enough) mattered. A cheap turntable would introduce "rumble", which was the sound of its cheap bearings. A Radio Shack turntable would not only rumble, but attenuate the bass tones to diminish the rumble, and also attenuate the treble tones to make up for the attenuated bass tones, which is where the fellow I'm quoting likely got is misguided ideas about frequency response.

Belt driven turntables overcame the rumble of cheap direct driven tables, but a cheap belt driven turntable would also have wow and flutter. However, a quality (i.e., $$$$) turntable had no audible rumble or flutter. The German made Dual I'm now using to sample my vinyl to CD originally cost over six hundred dollars including its stylis and cartridge (I bought it used, I only paid fifty bucks for it).

...you name it.

Ok I will - today's engineers are crap. One of the fellows from the band Boston (which was started by a nerd, BTW) stated that he was going to remaster the albums because the CDs "sounded like shit". Indeed they did. Like many other originally analog recordings, if you sample a clean vinyl LP it will sound better than the CD you buy at th erecord store.

One of the things the Boston CD lacks that the album has is, ironically, dynamics. Led Zepplin's Presence CD lacks the presence found in the vinyl, and a home sampled CD won't have the presence of the vinyl but will have more than the factory version. Van Halen's first album, played through six driver per enclosure speakers with fifteen inch woofers would convince you the band was in your living room, while the CD will convince you that today's engineers suck.

CDs should be obsolete. With today's technology there is no reason why music couldn't be sampled at 36 bits at ten times the sampling rate and stored on DVD. They would indeed be better than vinyl in every respect. At ten times the sampling rate the supersonic harmonics that color real sound (and vinyl music) would be there.

Today, whether the LP or CD sounds better comes down to one thing - how was the original recorded? If the album was recorded digitally, then the CD will sound better. If it was originally recorded in analog, then the LP will sound better. Because with either a digital recording of an analog master, or an analog recording of a digital master, you get the worst of both worlds. You get the disadvantages of both with the advantages of neither.

A Led Zeppelin LP will sound better than a Led Zeppelin CD. A Nirvana CD will sound better than a Nirvana LP.

Vinyl has one more advantage: Rap DJ's can't make the "voop" sounds with a CD like they used to back in the '70s when rap was born before it got on the radio and died a horrible commercial death.

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Have you metamoderated lately?

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