Spectral & Dynamics Comparison - CD, DVD-A, SACD

Discussion in 'Music' started by Chu Gai, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    An interesting comparison of the three formats using CoolEdit can be found here.
     
  2. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Chu,

    I had seen this before. It's a cool comparison though so thanks for posting. It really underscores the need for level matching when comparing formats given the lower compression at least in this example.
     
  3. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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    Very interesting. An observation which I'm not sure has any bearing on the findings - is this analysis done using PCM tools? I'm assuming there is no DSD version of CoolEdit [​IMG], so isn't the DSD audio being transcoded to PCM for purposes of wave and frequency analysis?

    In any case, this is a visually compelling analysis, but I wonder if looking at the data - using a piece of software that's looking at things from a PCM perspective - isn't introducing visual anomalies in the "noisy" high frequencies of the SACD's audio. Or, put another way - looking at film grain from a scanned 35mm negative at 300-400% will look very different, based on the scanner, resolution settings, etc. I think at the end of the day, we're still talking (hearing) apples & oranges.

    But, really, this is all moot, as it's very clear that both DVD-A and SACD are phenomenal ways to listen to audio. I'd really like to see an LP comparison along with the CD, DVD-A, and SACD examples!!!

    As far as the "compression" analysis, I think this is wholly attributed to the 3 different masterings (CD, DVD-A, SACD), and not so much the formats. In other words, while DVD-A and SACD have the potential for *huge* dynamics, the potential is wasted if it's mastered with aggressive brick wall limiting and other ammunition from the Loudness Wars.
     
  4. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Felix:

    I beleive that Christine is sampling analog outputs @ 24/96K for her analyses. That's about as level a playing field as one is likely to get [​IMG]

    Cheers,
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    There are further articles that follow that one. Poke around her website. What's your opinion John on just how much 'dynamics' the masters might've had?
     
  6. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I've seen her do a similar comparison with vinyl added to the mix. I don't recall the conclusions, but if I find the link, I'll post it.

    And the compression from the "Loudness Wars" is spot on. It's partially responsible for driving me towards more jazz and classical listening (though I was headed that way anyway).
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    One of the nice things about classical, and that includes vinyl, is that you get an opportunity to hear different conductors with different symphonies, hence different interpretations.
     
  8. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  9. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    No it isn't. There is no baseline whatsoever, and you are looking at three seperate masters, there is no proper calibration, time alignment, and you have three different D/A/ and A/D stages. Interesting, perhaps. Useful, not very. Pretty pictures, yes, but it certainly does not in any way represent the differences in the formats.
     
  10. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well Jeff, why do you think Sony never made a release with with identical mastering in both scenarios? From the little that I've seen, it always seems that the CD version is more prone to having material on it that's clipped.
     

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