Hard House Production & Engineering Message Board
 
PortalHomeGalleryCalendarFAQSearchRegisterMemberlistUsergroupsLog in

Share | 
 

 Vinyl sound versus CD sound

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Jay Hatchell
Administrator
avatar

Number of posts : 327
Localisation : Ireland
Reputation : 3
Points : 569
Registration date : 2007-04-30

PostSubject: Vinyl sound versus CD sound   Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:48 pm

The key to this question is the difference between a digital and an
analog recording. Natural sound is by definition analog.
When a CD recording is created, this analog is sound is digitized. To
do this, they take a lot of snapshots of the analog sound. For a CD
recording they take 44,100 snapshots in a minute. These snapshots are
then converted to digital information with a certain precision. For a
CD recording this precision is 16 bits which means that every one of
the 44,100 snapshots needs to be converted into one of the 65,536
(2^16) possible values.

You can probably see where I am going: by definition a digital
recording doesn't include all the sound information. You could
visualize a CD recording as a really large chest with a lot of
drawers. Because the number of snapshots that are taken are not
infinite (the maximum is 44,100 per minute), the process of taking
snapshots results in the loss of information. Information is further
lost because each of these snapshots must be made to fit in one of the
65,536 drawers of the chest.

A record player which plays LP?s is strictly analog. A vinyl record
has a groove carved into it that mirrors the original sound's
waveform. The record player than transforms this groove to an analogue
sound signal which can be fed into an amplifier.
In this process, no information can be lost. No snapshots need to be
taken and the sound doesn't need be converted to one of the possible
65,536 values. There basically is an infinite number of 'snapshots'
and 'possible values'. Therefore vinyl recording sound richer than CD
recordings (as long as you have a decent vinyl record player).

Be aware that recent DVD Audio players and Super Audio CD players come
closer to vinyl recordings as they have a much larger number of
possible snapshots in one minute (up to 192,000) and because these
snapshots can be converted to a larger number of possible values (up
to 16,777,216 possible values, or 24 bit).


Search strategy;
Google: vinyl OR LP "better than" sound CD

_________________
Fuck Work Play Decks
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://meltdowndigital.msnboard.net
Jay Hatchell
Administrator
avatar

Number of posts : 327
Localisation : Ireland
Reputation : 3
Points : 569
Registration date : 2007-04-30

PostSubject: Re: Vinyl sound versus CD sound   Sun Aug 16, 2009 5:57 pm

The answer lies in the difference between analog and digital recordings. A vinyl record is an analog recording, and CDs and DVDs are digital recordings. Take a look at the graph below. Original sound is analog by definition. A digital recording takes snapshots of the analog signal at a certain rate (for CDs it is 44,100 times per second) and measures each snapshot with a certain accuracy (for CDs it is 16-bit, which means the value must be one of 65,536 possible values).




Comparison of a raw analog audio signal to the CD audio and DVD audio output


This means that, by definition, a digital recording is not capturing the complete sound wave. It is approximating it with a series of steps. Some sounds that have very quick transitions, such as a drum beat or a trumpet's tone, will be distorted because they change too quickly for the sample rate.

In your home stereo the CD or DVD player takes this digital recording and converts it to an analog signal, which is fed to your amplifier. The amplifier then raises the voltage of the signal to a level powerful enough to drive your speaker.

A vinyl record has a groove carved into it that mirrors the original sound's waveform. This means that no information is lost. The output of a record player is analog. It can be fed directly to your amplifier with no conversion.

Learn More

CD vs. DVD audio

How CDs Work

Discovery.com: Earliest Voice Recording


This means that the waveforms from a vinyl recording can be much more accurate, and that can be heard in the richness of the sound. But there is a downside, any specks of dust or damage to the disc can be heard as noise or static. During quiet spots in songs this noise may be heard over the music. Digital recordings don't degrade over time, and if the digital recording contains silence, then there will be no noise.

From the graph above you can see that CD quality audio does not do a very good job of replicating the original signal. The main ways to improve the quality of a digital recording are to increase the sampling rate and to increase the accuracy of the sampling.

The recording industry has a new standard for DVD audio discs that will greatly improve the sound quality. The table below lists the sampling rate and the accuracy for CD recordings, and the maximum sampling rate and accuracy for DVD recordings. DVDs can hold 74 minutes of music at their highest quality level. CDs can also hold 74 minutes of music. By lowering either the sampling rate or the accuracy, DVDs can hold more music. For instance a DVD can hold almost 7 hours of CD quality audio.


CD Audio DVD Audio
Sampling Rate 44.1 kHz 192 kHz
Samples per second 44,100 192,000
Sampling Accuracy 16-bit 24-bit
Number of Possible Output Levels 65,536 16,777,216



DVD audio discs and players are rare right now, but they will become more common, and the difference in sound quality should be noticeable. To take advantage of higher quality DVD audio discs, however, you will need a DVD player with a 192kHz/24-bit digital to analog converter. Most DVD players only have a 96kHz/24-bit digital to analog converter. So if you are planning to take full advantage of DVD audio be sure to look for a 192kHz/24-bit DAC.

Here are some interesting links:

How Analog and Digital Recording Works

How Audio Post Production Works

How CDs Work

How Cutting Your Own CD Works

How Recording Contracts Work

How Recording Sessions Work

How DVDs Work

Why are there so many connectors on my DVD player?

Audio Compact Discs: An Introduction
DVD FAQ

_________________
Fuck Work Play Decks
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://meltdowndigital.msnboard.net
 

Vinyl sound versus CD sound

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Meltdown Digital  :: Hardhouseireland Topics :: Club Chat-
Jump to: