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cd burning degradation

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by jansen, Sep 5, 2003.

  1. jansen

    jansen Guest

    hi, i have a simple question
    is that possible any kind of sound degradation when you burn an audio cd?
    what factors can influence that?
  2. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Topic has been discussed to death a couple of times... General consensus is, yes, CD-Rs do sound different (player specific as well), but most of the differences is introduced during PLAYBACK. The media itself is still identical.

    Digital is digital, and remains the same no matter how many times you burn and rip a CD. Most ripping programs will tell you if there are errors during ripping, and CD verification will make sure your burns are spot-on.

    You can test this out for yourself... get a 16/44 track, burn it to CD, then rip it and compare against the original in a DAW.

    These will degrade the audio, though:
    1) Burning from MP3, reripping, reencoding
    2) Burning from higher bitrate/sampling rate, reripping
    3) Faulty CD-ROM that can't rip properly and/or blemishes on the CD-R surface (read error while ripping - usually software will notify you of this)
  3. Marik

    Marik Guest

    Have a look at


    Very nice burning software. Since I started usin it the signal degradation is muuuuch lower. The process is time consuming though...
  4. jansen

    jansen Guest

    more especificaly, i want to know if there is significant degradation when i burn .wav to a cd, those .wav files are from my mixes and i have noticed that the bass are suffering
  5. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Like I said, find out for yourself. There SHOULDN'T be a difference, and be wary of listening to the CD itself rather than reripping the track and playing it in the DAW again. Playing via CD player = different signal path from original track = lots of other factors to consider.
  6. MPlancke

    MPlancke Member

    I've heard a difference depending on the media, burner and burn speed. I'm not talking "ripping" here which is a whole other kettle of worms especially if you consider the amount of error correction that takes place in CD audio playback (you'd be horrified); I'm talking a 1st gen master. If you consider that a CDR is merely an emulation or a picture of a red book CD it's pretty easy to understand why there can be differences. Baically it comes down to producing a CDR with the lowest error rate (BLER) which produces the best result. The combination of media, burner and burn speed will determine what works best on a paticular platform.

    A really good discussion appeared recently on rec.audio.pro with contributions from guys with real world experience that actually make a living burning masters on CDR's.

    Imagine that!

    http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&threadm=f16cf45ede9a463626dbd7f3bb0bdbe6%40news.sonicnews.com&rnum=12&prev=/groups%3Fq%3Dcd%2Bburn%2Bspeed%2Bgroup:rec.audio.pro%26start%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26se lm%3Df16cf45ede9a463626dbd7f3bb0bdbe6%2540news.sonicnews.com%26rnum%3D12

  7. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    Actually there can be a difference in software that makes a difference in the sound. Theoretically all DAW's should sound the same too, but they do not, even with the same converters and clocking.

    The difference may be occuring when you bounce to disk. I don't know what system you have, but in ProTools we have an option of a good, better, best resolution. Actually I think "tweak" is the highest/slowest way. Try changing that and see what it does.

    As far as CD duplication goes, there won't be a difference, The error software is great now.
  8. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    When you burn a CD, assuming the wavs are 16/44, you're making a bit-for-bit copy onto the media. This isn't like a DAW where algorithms are used for the track summing, etc. If the software does it's job properly, there shouldn't be a difference in the data on the CD. During playback, CD-R type, player errors, etc are a totally different matter - if you're talking about archiving purposes, a CD-R that isn't scratched or damaged in any way is a perfect replica of your tracks on hard disk.

    Of course, in strictest sense, I'd still prefer to archive as data CD in .wav format. Redundant data = safeness.
  9. MPlancke

    MPlancke Member

    If it's an Audio CD all bets are off. Data CD's must return the proper bit streams by definition but audio Cd's are held to a much lower standard, hence the error correction on all CD players.

    Try ripping a copy of a CD or doing a digital transfer from a CD player into your DAW and doing a binary comparision of the original to the copy.

    Come back and tell us if it was a perfect copy of the original binary audio file.

  10. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Done it quite a number of times. ;)

    Note that I said "If there are no damages or scratches on the CD". These or misreads can easily cause bit errors.

    EAC will tell you if this happens, though. That means if EAC doesn't chirp, you're pretty safe.
  11. MPlancke

    MPlancke Member

    I'm not talking about physically damaged CDR's and I'm not talking about subjective listening I'm talking about a bit by bit comparision of the source and copied files. Only then can it be considered an exact copy.

    Some utilities to do this can be found here.


  12. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    I am curious as to why you would want to copy and burn a cd in from a cd player when you want an exact copy. Why wouldnt you use the cd drive in your computer to do this?
  13. MPlancke

    MPlancke Member

    You can do it either way. Why not try it and see what the results are.

  14. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    I'm beginning to see the misunderstanding here.

    Plancke, if you reread the thread, you'll notice that the exact same tests you suggested I use, I DID suggest in the first place, forecasting absolute opposite results.

    The key here is the method of transfer. Like I said many times over already, if you make a bit-for-bit duplicate onto the CD (burn and verify), make sure the CD is undamaged, and make a bit-for-bit copy from the CD into the computer (ripping - via EAC for me and a couple of other folks who already mentioned it in this thread) there is no reason whatsoever for the track to be different.

    Testing? CRC, or whatever filesize/data integrity algorithms you want. Or simply inverting polarity and mixing 1:1 with original track should produce absolute silence.
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