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Reference Tracks

Member for

17 years 11 months
Hi All,
I wanted to get good ref tracks so I:

Extracted the aiffs from production CDs using Toast.

Then used an audio editor to separate the L and R tracks into 2 mono.

Then loaded the files into my digital recorder (MX-2424) via file transfer (not real time).

Then played back on 2 adjacent channels for stereo (MX is connected to my 02r via TDIF).

My question is:
Do you guys think that I'm playing back what the mastering engineer created with no degradations?

Thanks for your thoughts.
Stabb

I very much appreciate the existence of this site, BIG Thank You to all responsible.

[ January 03, 2004, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: Stabb ]

Comments

Member for

18 years 8 months

MisterBlue Sat, 01/03/2004 - 12:12
Yes and no (how is that for a great answer? :D ).

From the way you describe it you should have a perfect representation of what the mastering engineer released as the final audio CD version.

It is entirely possible, however that the mastering engineer worked with 24-bit formats, higher sample rates or even in the analog domain altogether in which case there might be a small but nevertheless existing difference between what the mastering engineer worked with while doing his/her magic and what finally ends up on CD.

Still, the mastering engineer will of course check the final CD to make sure it is as close as possible to what can be achieved.

Not sure if this answers your question ...

MisterBlue.

Member for

17 years 11 months

Stabb Sat, 01/03/2004 - 12:49
Hi MB,
Thanks for the post.
I was going to say I guess the answer is in the nuts and bolts of the file conversion applications that I used.

But "upon further review", I thought about the variables in what happens after the mastering process and before I get my mitts on the CD.
For example - CD makers being businesses, won't be using the most expensive media they can find, right?

Anyway I just wanted to know if I was missing something in my thought process.

Stabb

Member for

18 years 3 months

Ammitsboel Sat, 01/03/2004 - 13:03
Hi All,
I wanted to get good ref tracks so I:

Extracted the aiffs from production CDs using Toast.

Then used an audio editor to separate the L and R tracks into 2 mono.

Then loaded the files into my digital recorder (MX-2424) via file transfer (not real time).

Then played back on 2 adjacent channels for stereo (MX is connected to my 02r via TDIF).

My question is:
Do you guys think that I'm playing back what the mastering engineer created with no degradations?
Why don't just play the CD on a system exactly the same as the ME that did the master, then you have what he did.

If you what to test on different reference systems or just your own then just play the CD and listen.
You will move more away from what the ME did if you make all those convertions and play it at a second device with another digital out and so on... you will then hear more of your gear that interacts with the original signal. ;)

Best Regards.

Member for

17 years 11 months

Stabb Sat, 01/03/2004 - 13:55
Hi Henrik,
Playing the CD in my player was the start of this.

My player's output was connected to channel inputs of my 02r.
The inputs have what, 20bit ADC's?
Maybe it was my player, maybe it was the cables, maybe it was the 02r's inputs,
but the CD player going into input channels did not sound good.

So I wanted to get master recordings that haven't left the digital domain played from my recorder.

Besides my CD players tray won't open no more!
Thanks for your input.
Stabb

ps - Would it be safe to assume that most mastering engineers use digital connections for their playback?
(Is that a can of worms?)

[ January 04, 2004, 02:23 AM: Message edited by: Stabb ]

Member for

18 years 8 months

MisterBlue Mon, 01/05/2004 - 15:14
If a CD-ROM/RW or whatever extracts a file from audio CD and stores it onto a hard disk you have a perfect copy of the 44.1kHz 16-bit audio file. It is my understanding that not a single bit should be flipped or corrupted as there is extensive error correction and check sum testing involved. These are the same CD reader units that read programs of data disks and software simply doesn't run if even a single byte is corrupted.

Using the digital output of a CD player could lead to different results as some players will use interpolation should they encounter corrupt bytes. This could definitely lead to quality degradation.

In conclusion, I can believe that a "digitally recorded" file is different from a "digitally extracted" one, although they should in theory be exactly the same. From my understanding I would always assume that the "digitally extracted" one is a perfect copy and thus the one for me to use.

Now sending the file through A/D and D/A converters is obviously an entirely different story - these copies can be really messed up. I would not use those as references.

Hope this helps,

MisterBlue.

Member for

19 years 2 months

Michael Fossenkemper Mon, 01/05/2004 - 15:31
I disagree, an extracted file goes through a conversion process. there are two different kinds of error correction, one for data and one for audio. most computer roms are cheap too. you can try it and see for yourself. I thought it would be better myself to extract it until someone, a client, called me up thinking he was hearing a difference. I then did a full day of a/b ing and found that extracted files did not sound as good as digitally dumped files. I found that most mastering engineers I know found the same thing. All I can say is do it both ways and take a listen and decide for yourself. it is most noticable in the upper freqs. they will sound a bit blury and not as detailed.

Member for

19 years 2 months

Michael Fossenkemper Mon, 01/05/2004 - 16:01
I had 3 refs, one was the original file, the other was the same thing burned to cd and then extracted, and the 3rd was the same cd dumped in digitally. Then I set all 3 up and pumped them out of the same D/A and bouned between them. I was a little shocked myself and thought something had to be wrong. i spent all day comparing. maybe someone knows exactly what happens to a file extracted and the effects of the different error corrections that are going on.

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