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Newman

Dynamic range scores: a cautionary note

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Viewing pleasure, indeed!

 

Yes, agree, there is a lot better electronica out there - on vinyl and high rez digital.

 

I have posted in another thread about the vinyl "magic" - now reproduced below:

 

http://www.stereo.net.au/forums/index.php?/topic/21957-high-end-audio-system-system-update/?p=932294

 

MOJO

 

The libido, the life force, the essence, the right stuff. What the French call a certain... I don't know what...
 
:D

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Hello Newman.

Is this a long winded way of saying you personally prefer digital ?

Graham

Hello Newman

 

Do you actually listen to vinyl?

Have you owned a turntable in the last 20 years?

Have you purchased any vinyl in the last 20 years?

 

One of the reasons I ask these questions is because I don't know the answers.

 

Graham

 

Newman????

 

Well, darthlaker, if you look at Graham's only contributions to this thread, above, you might understand why I don't take the bait….

 

I'm looking forward to his first contribution that isn't an attempt to derail and discredit. Maybe I just need to be very very patient! heh heh 

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N-Man,

 

Yes, perhaps show patience and water off a ducks back if your suspicions turn to reality......!

 

:)

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Well, darthlaker, if you look at Graham's only contributions to this thread, above, you might understand why I don't take the bait….

 

I'm looking forward to his first contribution that isn't an attempt to derail and discredit. Maybe I just need to be very very patient! heh heh 

Hello Newman

 

Is this your friendly approach?

 

To be clear.

I asked the first question because "I" interpreted your thread to be just that ie you were referencing information that supported your views.

I was trying to verify that.

My 2nd post was my second attempt at asking the same question in a similar way.

 

To which you initiated a PM dialogue which I thought filled in the gaps very well and gave each a view of the other we may not see in open threads.

 

Now, you suggest I am a troll whose only contribution is "an attempt to derail and discredit".

 

If it's an attempt at humour, I aint laughing.

 

Graham

Edited by mr-happy-pants

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I was answering darthlaker's question, Graham. And let me repeat with all due patience, as I said very early in this thread, "And to people who want to re-badge this topic as digital vs vinyl, I want to emphasise that my focus with this thread is that many perfectly good recordings are being dismissed based on numeric measurements that are wrong in a major way, and visual evidence that is actually quite misleading. People are then turning to versions that are no better, possibly worse, but have a misleadingly high score. I think that's important (to our community)."

 

It has NOTHING TO DO with my opinions on vinyl vs digital, or my personal listening habits. Can you do me a favour and not try to make it so? PM me on that topic, more than happy to chitchat. I think if you looked at your two posts more from a third person viewpoint, you would see that they have an underlying dig-in-the-ribs-with-a ballpoint-pen in them. Who needs that?

 

Let's get back on topic, mate. I'm much more interested in the information I have presented, and discussion of it. What are your thoughts about it?

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My thoughts ..., its just opinion...ie in your opinion disregard the ratings...

And as such will just treat it as opinion. :) Just as I read darth lakers opinion on the RAM...

"In regards to RAM, using my ears and on musical merit (of course - is there any other way? ) - I prefer the vinyl over the HD file."

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Let's get back on topic, mate. I'm much more interested in the information I have presented, and discussion of it. What are your thoughts about it?

 

My thoughts are that it is another opinion on the net without much supporting data ie it is just opinion.

 

If pushed, I would have to say I disagree rather than agree.

Which is why I have only made 2 posts. Both of which were trying to determine your personal thoughts on vinyl per se, as you are the OP.

 

Graham

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My thoughts ..., its just opinion...ie in your opinion disregard the ratings...

Hmm, and how did I come to that 'opinion'? Is there anything other than opinion in posts 1 and 88? Maybe what I came to is conclusion. And, what exactly is the logic in coming to some other conclusion? How would one debate the position that none of the factors raised have any contribution to an artificially boosted DR score?

 

And as such will just treat it as opinion. :)

That must be a great relief to you. :) 

 

Just as I read darth lakers opinion on the RAM...

"In regards to RAM, using my ears and on musical merit (of course - is there any other way? ) - I prefer the vinyl over the HD file."

And given the information in post 88, I find his impression to be highly instructive. Don't you? What do you think it means? (or do you treat it as just opinion, without meaning).

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You came to your opinion reading other people's opinions from forums and blogs you found that either support or allowed you to come to conclusion you did. I'm only surmising... Am not a mind reader or have a crystal ball or can read the tea leaves on your thought process :)

But I can read some angst ;) there should be no need for it.., you see there's nothing wrong with opinion... This whole forum is full of it...and I for one full respect your opinion in the topic just as I respect darthlakers opinion on the one example....ofcourse that doesn't preclude me from having an opinion or coming to my very own conclusions on things as well :)

Perhaps this thread should have been left in the great debate subforum :lol:

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Newman, I can understand your post on this topic in the debate section.

Perhaps this thread should have been left in the great debate subforum 

Pretty clear where you sit: you think it's undemonstrated and undemonstrable. You also mistakenly think it is vinyl vs digital -- I think I have been clear enough that it isn't -- and that is why you want it in the Great Debate forum, disregarding that it is about sound quality of music release editions, which is always in the Music forum. Why do so many want to re-frame the issue and talk about side issues, and not the topic? Examples:

 

- do I prefer digital

- Seinfeld clip

- whether bluray has more dynamics than CD or SACD

- a link to a signal compressor being sold to studios

- it's all about the music!!

- are you a vinyl fan?

- want to come and listen?

- I buy vinyl because it sounds more enjoyable

- I have a problem with high res digital downloads that are upsampled from lower res digital

- Some actual on topic discussion, e.g. "That is a crock of sh!te", etc ( <= an actual quote)

- tell us about your vinyl experience

- how the RAM album sounds (digital vs vinyl) in specific individual homes (score is 1 to digital, 2 to vinyl)

- vinyl's 'magic' explained in one word

- debate about whether my vinyl credentials are so important to this thread that they need to be inserted.

 

Poor me! No angst, but.   ;) 

I've just enjoyed a rant by myrantz in my other thread, saying that there is no such thing as fact and it's all opinion. That sure is a smug way to put oneself on a pedestal and dismiss anyone who wants to discuss something as possibly being true. I have raised all these points on DR scores for discussion, and so few want to discuss the information, they just want to say "it's your opinion".

 

millsy said there are ways to quantify the DR bias in vinyl, but didn't reply to my eager request for details (I think he was too caught up in a debate with fet about who is insulting who, and missed it, so I brought it up again, and he called me snide and insulting but didn't reply, hmm). So yes, I am very keen to see some actual discussion on this topic. Starved, in fact in my opinion.

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Too many pools of angst to wade through there Newman, not why am here so will exit via stage door on the left :) good luck with the thread ...,

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Guest myrantz

I've just enjoyed a rant by myrantz in my other thread, saying that there is no such thing as fact and it's all opinion. 

That post I made in other thread has nothing to do with you or this thread.. I hoped my disclaimer made that very clear...

 

As for no such thing as facts.. I hope I didn't say that...

 

Facts exist and are real. Facts can be verified to be true.. opinions may or may not be. In this sense facts are more "stringent" and opinion can be "looser".. Opinions shouldn't be stated as facts.

 

That is all...

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It seems rather straight forward to me that the flawed system that is DNR ratings would favor vinyl in a comparison to digital and I have no idea how it can be seen as an opinion. there is a series of facts related to the way the numbers are arrived at and the realities (mechanical/physical and electrical) of vinyl playback and EQ that will mean a higher number, using this metric.

 

this is not opinion and you cannot just have an opinion on it and expect that opinion to change anything. you cant just pretend its not real just because you dont like it and perceive the stating of these facts as some sort of personal affront, or an attack on vinyl. if you disagree, come on! have at it, prove it wrong! or at least try to give the argument some substance. the information was put forward in a pretty evenhanded and clear/detailed way and all we have seen so far in 'rebuttal' are emotional outbursts with zero backing. 

 

these arguments became so confused on the net, that more than one engineer and several of the people involved in the production of RAM and in the music business in general took time out of their day to explain and illustrate the issues in a very reasonable, factually and objectively based manner, yet still some stubbornly will not accept it. Some continue to make this a vinyl vs digital thing, but without making any effort to flesh their disagreements out.

 

All that is being said is that there are caveats that need to be considered here. As with any measurement, for them to be meaningful, one has to consider how they were arrived at and what idiosyncrasies of the different DUT will impact on the results and attempt to null them out. in this case these idiosyncrasies mean that a comparison between vinyl and digital is not very meaningful, even vinyl to vinyl is problematic, especially if different systems are used.

 

You need to ask yourself why measurements are important to you all of a sudden, so important that this rather obtuse single number has become meaningful, when its at best a rough guide, even under ideal conditions. Even measuring 2 FLACs; even if they were both stored in the same solid state memory it would be of limited value, yet vinyl lovers seem to be fighting really hard to hang onto the 'lead' when before the catch-cry was that it wasnt about the measurements ...

 

also, you really oughta look up the meaning of angst if you are going to use it in a sentence. Frustration and angst are not the same thing ...

Edited by fetischizm

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So yes, I am very keen to see some actual discussion on this topic. Starved, in fact in my opinion.

 

So there's a lot which contributes according to people who record, mix/master, and actually make vinyl, AFAIUI.

If the master is very loud (easily possible with digital) ... then vinyl can need to have its average level reduced (loudness). This allows room for higher peak level. This is only an issue if the master is too loud for vinyl... and it only means that the CD will have "less DR" if the CD is left hot 'intentionally'.. ie.  the peaks are clipped   (it's a choice).

 

Digital is only restricted by peak level... where as vinyl is average,

The vinyl cut is a totally different recording procedure to digital or analogue tape recording. It is subject to physical constraints which have no effect on other media, and vice-versa. This can involve problems like stylus tracking, when the stylus might cut such steep or quick curves that on playback the needle skips; alternatively it might have clearly audible effect on the sound. These may be perceived as positive (warmer, more rounded sound, harmonic distortion), or as negative (annoying distortion). These effects will be stronger, the louder the record is cut. Therefore a "one-to-one" transfer is often achieved only with the intervention of the cutting engineer, making alterations to the sound. These are technical imparatives specific to a lacquer cut. Clearly, extra studio time may be necessary to make "uncuttable" material cuttable at a satisfactory level, or a cut sound as close as possible to the master (if explicitly required).

OTOH... If vinyl and CD are produced equally  (more common than some would believe AFAIUI) ... then they should (intentionally) have the same DR  (but potentially not the same DR number, due to previously discussed factors).

 

OTOH  (I have 3 hands?!?) ....    The are a few ways in which the calculation of the "DR database value", are potentially flawed in relation to vinyl.   (It depends on the playback system for one.... where as calculating the DR number for digital does not depend at all on the playback system).

 

 

 

There's no reason to assume that vinyl SHOULD have higher or lower DR than a CD.     A CD can have a LOT LOT more DR than a vinyl ... but there are reasons (down to bad choices on the CD version) which vinyl might  have higher DR than CD.

 

Result.   Be sceptical.    DR numbers are a "overview" number ... and like "THD", they can be a poor tool to explain "what is going on".

 

 

 

No doubt they're both great when you have a SOTA system .... and terrible if you have a poor system.     </captain obvious>

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Guest myrantz

Very quickly: fact vs opinion...

 

Fact: You can run the TTDR algorithm to get a answer for dynamic range... 

Why it's a fact: Somebody can do the same and verify the same number

 

Fact: A number 6.9 is greater than 5.0

Why it's a fact: We can verify that 5.0 is less than 6.9

 

Opinion: 6.9 has a higher dynamic range than 5.0

Why it's an opinion: because it's based on a fact that 6.9 is greater than 5.0 (you can subst any numbers here). * You have to think deeply about the point I'm trying to make here.

 

Just because an opinion is based on a fact (or a series of) doesn't turn an opinion into a fact... And just because it's an opinion doesn't mean it's value is diminished. 

 

As for proof:

 

Take Nirvana nevermind.. 

- It's a fact that it has poor DR numbers (the latter masterings anyway). You can prove this is a fact by doing the same analysis.

- But it's an opinion that I love this album very much.... Why is it opinion, because you can't prove what I said either way.

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Why does so much emotion come into it when people see anything related to vinyl vs digital?

 

That a DR score is misleading when applied in unintended ways is a fact.

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You came to your opinion reading other people's opinions from forums and blogs you found that either support or allowed you to come to conclusion you did.

 

Hmm, and how did I come to that 'opinion'? Is there anything other than opinion in posts 1 and 88? 

 

And, what exactly is the logic in coming to some other conclusion? How would one debate the position that none of the factors raised have any contribution to an artificially boosted DR score?

 

Thanks fet, and in support of your challenge, I quote my earlier questions above. The ones in bold I am particularly keen to see discussed.

 

It's true, I put a bit of effort into the first post, hoping people would find it interesting and insightful. And useful. It got a few Likes and a few supportive posts, so I should just focus on that.

 

So there's a lot which contributes according to people who record, mix/master, and actually make vinyl, AFAIUI.

<snip>

OTOH... If vinyl and CD are produced equally  (more common than some would believe AFAIUI) ... then they should (intentionally) have the same DR  (but potentially not the same DR number, due to previously discussed factors).

 

OTOH  (I have 3 hands?!?) ....    The are a few ways in which the calculation of the "DR database value", are potentially flawed in relation to vinyl.   (It depends on the playback system for one.... where as calculating the DR number for digital does not depend at all on the playback system).

 

There's no reason to assume that vinyl SHOULD have higher or lower DR than a CD.     A CD can have a LOT LOT more DR than a vinyl ... but there are reasons (down to bad choices on the CD version) which vinyl might  have higher DR than CD.

 

Result.   Be sceptical.    DR numbers are a "overview" number ... and like "THD", they can be a poor tool to explain "what is going on".

Completely agree, Dave. Thanks for the insights. 

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Why does so much emotion come into it when people see anything related to vinyl vs digital?

 

That a DR score is misleading when applied in unintended ways is a fact.

especially as even if it was a level playing field on the same equipment, it would be about the recording not digital or vinyl DNR … do vinyl lovers really want to open the can of worms that is DNR scores of Vinyl vs Digital? be careful what you wish for...

Edited by fetischizm

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especially as even if it was a level playing field on the same equipment, it would be about the recording not digital or vinyl DNR … do vinyl lovers really want to open the can of worms that is DNR scores of Vinyl vs Digital? be careful what you wish for...

 

 

I think you will find the vast majority of vinyl lovers don't give a toss about DNR scores.   

 

They will buy the LP if they like the music,  unless it is panned by a few people they trust that have actually listened to the LP.

 

cheers

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I think you will find the vast majority of vinyl lovers don't give a toss about DNR scores.   

 

They will buy the LP if they like the music,  unless it is panned by a few people they trust that have actually listened to the LP.

 

cheers

i'm not talking to all vinyl lovers, I grew up on the stuff I know it CAN sound good, but it doesnt suit my goals with the rest of my system and honestly I like digital more, not just for the convenience. people like what they like, no problem. I am however talking to that element that post in DNR threads and elsewhere under the illusion that the scores are somehow meaningful, talking about how much more dynamic the pressing is when its often made from the same master these days. the medium is certainly not close to more dynamic objectively, thats a fact, some digital remastering is certainly responsible for ruining DNR of the file, but thats got nothing to do with the format.

 

its ironic, because its taking a single rather useless number and basing an opinion on it. this flies in the face of the rhetoric I as a digital user have been hearing, its all about the music… yeah right… only when the numbers dont suit you. (not talking to you here) this element certainly do exist, perhaps its mostly the new breed of hip vinyl users?

Edited by fetischizm

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[this post is similar to one I made in another thread but it is worth repeating in this thread for its direct relevance]

 

Here is a video that shows that you cannot use the DR scores for vinyl for comparisons with digital editions of the same music. It is an exact duplicate example of the example I raised with the Daft Punk RAM album, with the exact same outcome as I raised with RAM.

 

 

Conclusion: a recording with no more dynamics on vinyl, will routinely measure a higher DR score than its digital equivalent, by an unpredictable amount. And audiophiles the world around will claim their ears have confirmed the extra dynamics in the vinyl. Like you did with RAM, millsy, on another thread.

 

And therefore, to repeat, it is best to ignore the relative DR scores of digital and vinyl. And the comparative whole-song waveform plots.

 

So, nothing new here in terms of material for this thread. But the validation by a third party is nice. ;)

Edited by Newman

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Here is the video that heads the thread Geoff linked in #666. It is an exact duplicate example of the example I raised with the Daft Punk RAM album, with the exact same outcome as I raised with RAM.

 

 

Conclusion: a recording with no more dynamics on vinyl, will routinely measure a higher DR score than its digital equivalent, by an unpredictable amount. And audiophiles the world around will claim their ears have confirmed the extra dynamics in the vinyl. Like you did with RAM, millsy, on another thread

 

And therefore, to repeat, it is best to ignore the relative DR scores of digital and vinyl. And the comparative whole-song waveform plots.

 

So, nothing new here in terms of material for this thread. But the validation by a third party is nice. ;)

 

 

Newman

 

What do your ears confirm when you listen?

 

You seem to be implying that Millsy is somehow deaf (cleary not the case) and fooled into thinking vinyl is more dynamic /better sounding when the DR measures tell him so.  

 

 If the vinyl sounds better and more dynamic which it is invariably - confirmed by listeners whom have both the digital and vinyl versions, is it not better?   To them at the very least.

Edited by turntable

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I listened to all that on the video and to me the vinyl rip sounded significantly more dynamic. When he was swapping over between the cd and vinyl rip i could clearly hear the compression of the cd and that unpleasant wall of sound so i disagree that the DR rating can not be used. In this case the DR rating provides an accurate tool for deciding which formate to buy. The source of the master is irrelevant, it's the playback media that is so important and despite the producer of the video trying to convince us (and despite his comment at the start about not getting into the vinyl or cd is better he refers quite a few times to preferring the digital rip) that the DR is not a good tool it shows to me that it is a good tool and that yet again analogue trumps digital playback , even on a digital master.

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You seem to be implying that Millsy is somehow deaf (cleary not the case) and fooled into thinking vinyl is more dynamic /better sounding when the DR measures tell him so.  

 

I didn't say that. All I did was say that it's easy to be wrong about something using listening tests. Are you trying to say that the vinyl RAM is actually more dynamic than the digital 'master tape' that it was made from?

 

I should suggest that any such claim is wrong, based on evidence and logic. Even though (as I said in post #110) posters to this thread have mentioned their preference when they own vinyl and digital RAM, and the poll stands at 1 to digital, 2 to vinyl.

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