Another Vinyl Missive - Digital Source Recording, Analog Playback

redhouse_ca

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I was in a record store a few weeks ago and I found a few new releases where the selling point of the fidelity was that it was directly mastered from the original ultra high resolution digital sourve. That stumped me. Since you can very easily get an exact bit for bit copy of that original source, why would you want an analog copy of it? First, there's the issue with mastering, which for vinyl, is a true art form. I know that most source content these days is digital and i'm not sure how many really great masters are still working, but to get the vinyl "right" from a hi res digital source requires a ton of little decisions and compromises on level, compression, dynamics, etc. So, unless that disk is exceptionally well masters to some effect that is somehow more redeeming than just getting a hi res expect copy of it, or unless your playback rig is such that your analog source chain is far better than your digital source chain (ie you got a crappy DAC but a great turn table akd phono preamp), it doesn't make sense to me that the selling point for those records would be the fidelity high quAlity digital source.

I live vinyl and have a lot of it and I think I have pretty darn good digital and analog source chains on my hi fi. I have some vinyl that to me sound way better than the digital version (but all are from tape or direct to disk sources, and really well mastered). But for me, if I can get a perfect digital copy of a digital recording, i would never buy it in vinyl.

Thoughts?
 

Skully

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I was in a record store a few weeks ago and I found a few new releases where the selling point of the fidelity was that it was directly mastered from the original ultra high resolution digital sourve. That stumped me. Since you can very easily get an exact bit for bit copy of that original source, why would you want an analog copy of it? First, there's the issue with mastering, which for vinyl, is a true art form. I know that most source content these days is digital and i'm not sure how many really great masters are still working, but to get the vinyl "right" from a hi res digital source requires a ton of little decisions and compromises on level, compression, dynamics, etc. So, unless that disk is exceptionally well masters to some effect that is somehow more redeeming than just getting a hi res expect copy of it, or unless your playback rig is such that your analog source chain is far better than your digital source chain (ie you got a crappy DAC but a great turn table akd phono preamp), it doesn't make sense to me that the selling point for those records would be the fidelity high quAlity digital source.

I live vinyl and have a lot of it and I think I have pretty darn good digital and analog source chains on my hi fi. I have some vinyl that to me sound way better than the digital version (but all are from tape or direct to disk sources, and really well mastered). But for me, if I can get a perfect digital copy of a digital recording, i would never buy it in vinyl.

Thoughts?

Artwork and collectability would seem to be the only logical reason.
 

JeffroJones

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why would you want an analog copy of it?

A band with friends of mine has done this. Vinyl is groovy again, and they did a limited vinyl run for the collectors.
No one's fooling themselves about sound quality (at least not at the engineering end), but there is a niche market amongst cashed-up yuppies who love the whole retro thing of spinning platters :)

:::
 

andy__d

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That was a “thing” when CD first came out: records prized themselves on having a “DDD” SPARS code, and AAD was looked down on as a “not really CD quality” release. Maybe the album artwork was a direct copy of a 1980s CD insert?

EDiT: sorry, just realized you said it was a new release. I guess, there is something to be said for the fidelity of a lossless digital signal chain, so mastering starts with a product where nothing has yet been lost, and whatever you do isn’t already compromised. But….
 
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BrazHog

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That was a “thing” when CD first came out: records prized themselves on having a “DDD” SPARS code, and AAD was looked down on as a “not really CD quality” release.

"The music on this Compact Disc was originally recorded on analog equipment. We have attempted to preserve, as closely as possible, the sound of the original recording. Because of its high resolution, however, the Compact Disc can reveal limitations of the source tape."
~ Some robot circa 1982
 

redhouse_ca

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That was a “thing” when CD first came out: records prized themselves on having a “DDD” SPARS code, and AAD was looked down on as a “not really CD quality” release. Maybe the album artwork was a direct copy of a 1980s CD insert?

EDiT: sorry, just realized you said it was a new release. I guess, there is something to be said for the fidelity of a lossless digital signal chain, so mastering starts with a product where nothing has yet been lost, and whatever you do isn’t already compromised. But….
Ha, I competing forgot about that. I remember active seeking out DDD Cds, how funny. Especially given how awful the early studio DACs were. There is a generation of amazing music out there from that era that, even with brilliant production, still sounds terrible.
 

redhouse_ca

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"The music on this Compact Disc was originally recorded on analog equipment. We have attempted to preserve, as closely as possible, the sound of the original recording. Because of its high resolution, however, the Compact Disc can reveal limitations of the source tape."
~ Some robot circa 1982
That's a great read. I remember that too. Woah those infinite fidelity tapes and all the limitations they reveal.
 




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