Forums

What about the return of Vinyl?

Started by Unknown March 9, 2015
On 3/10/15 12:39 PM, glen herrmannsfeldt wrote:
> Bob Masta<N0Spam@daqarta.com> wrote: >> On Mon, 9 Mar 2015 09:38:31 -0700 (PDT), >> gyansorova@gmail.com wrote: > > (snip on valve/tube amps) > >> Valve or tube amps that are overdriven sound better than >> solid state amps that are overdriven. That's because solid >> state amps have hard clipping when they reach their supply >> limits. That produces lots of nasty high-frequency >> distortion products. Tube amps saturate more softly as they >> approach their limits, so instead of clipping the peaks they >> have more rounded tops, with less of the higher-frequency >> products. > > It shouldn't be that hard to make a softer clip on a transistor > amplifier,
it isn't that hard (a knee or breakpoint can be done with two resistors and a diode. they're as soft as the diode curve is. multiple sorta soft knees can be placed closely together to make a big rounded curve to spec. but there's a lot more to the tube amp sound than softening the clipping. and there isn't just one "tube amp sound", there are many disparately different sounds. the output of a 12AX7 preamp is not the same as a Marshall amp stack cranked up to arcweld. -- r b-j rbj@audioimagination.com "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
robert bristow-johnson wrote:
> On 3/9/15 8:49 PM, Les Cargill wrote: >> robert bristow-johnson wrote: >>> On 3/9/15 12:38 PM, gyansorova@gmail.com wrote: >>>> appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound >>>> better? It analogue after all. >>> >>> well, eventually it's all analog as the wavefront of pressure deviation >>> impinges upon our eardrums. >>> >>>> The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? >>> >>> there's more than surface noise. there's less effective bandwidth in >>> vinyl than in CDs up to 22.05 kHz. >>> >>>> Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound >>>> better? >>> >>> the tube amps (like McIntosh) for playback of stereo music for your >>> living room, i sorta doubt it. i personally don't understand the desire >>> for much other than straight, linear, and flat playback with options >>> like a level compressor and graphic and parametric EQ in the path >>> (whereas all of these can be adjusted to have no effect). >>> >>> now, if someone likes the way their vinyl sounds better than a CD of the >>> same music, they can record the vinyl playback at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz >>> uncompressed, burn a CD with that, and play that CD back. shouldn't >>> sound any different than the actual vinyl, pops and surface noise and >>> all. >>> >> >> It doesn't. > > :-\ > > same sound system, otherwise? > > then your CD or .wav file recording system lacks transparency. >
It doesn't sound *different*. :) "It shouldn't" ===> "it doesn't." I omitted needful words :)
>> >>> now, for guitar amps, that's a little different. the distortion one >>> gets in a guitar amp by cranking it up to arcweld (or up to "11" in the >>> Spinal Tap movie) is a "guitar effect" along with many other effects. >>> with **really** careful emulation of the tube amp, we should be able to >>> get an indistinguishable sound with a linear (and solid state) amp and >>> the digital effects processor. but i don't think that anyone has yet >>> set up a blind testing studio with a Mesa Boogie in the room that can be >>> secretly switch to a DSP/LinearAmp using the same input jack and the >>> same loudspeaker in the box. >> >> Right. There's been no market feedback for it. But that's changed in the >> last few years. ElevenRack, AxeFx and Kemper are all taken seriously. >> >> And for pure *solid state* amps. the Lab Series, MOSVALVE and now the >> Quilter Tone Block may make inroads. Even the cheap Fender solid state >> amps are good, they're just not a Twin. > > well, that's the going narrative. > > the fundamental fact is, in both situations (either the real amp, or an > emulated amp *driving the same loudspeaker*) a signal goes in to the amp > (from the guitar) and a signal comes out. that signal that comes out is > a causal mathematical function of the signal going in along with some > noise source and hum. it's a mathematical function performed by the > physical description of the analog parts and of the circuit hooking them > together. it's not magic, but we might not know all of the math. >
We may well not; people are still working on it. I have run deconvolutions of my tube rig in VST convolvers. Not bad. There are also waveshapers for distortion, other stuff. I really think the NRE for Doing This Right is the principal bottleneck. After all, you can buy the real thing for not all that much money.
>> >>> right now, no discriminating guitarist >>> will admit that they might not hear the difference, because they can >>> **see** the difference between when they plug into the tube amp vs. >>> plugging into a DSP effects box. >>> >> >> >> Hey, if you wanna push an SVT or Twin up a ramp - or worse, drag >> it up stairs - be my guest. > > i've (with another person) hauled B3's up and down ramps.
Yep. BTDT.
> and boxes > filled with heavy snakes. and other boxes filled with heavy lighting > controllers. and boxes filled with hardware. and large woofer and > driver cabinets. etc. etc. > >
and then some time in my 30s, I bought a ... handcart.
>> "Amateurs study (tone) - professionals study logistics" - Clausewitz, >> paraphrased. >> >>> so, i believe (and i am saying "believe") that, with careful and >>> accurate modeling of the tube amp (and there are lotsa things to model; >>> tube curves, inter-electrode Miller capacitance, transformer >>> non-linearity and hysteresis, power supply droop when the guitarist hits >>> a power chord, 60 or 50 Hz AC hum intermodulating in there, shot noise), >>> that in really blind testing, we can actually fool the hard-core guitar >>> hero. but that has not really been done yet, even though some nice >>> emulation products have appeared, both in hardware and in plug-ins. >>> >>> >>> >> >> And the kids with their iPhones and all that will not probably bee quite >> as enamored of large and hot tubes. But they buy D/A converters >> with 12AX7s, so who knows? >> > > i know. that's the whole goofy thing. >
I don't blame people for liking tubes. They're awesome devices. -- Les Cargill
robert bristow-johnson <rbj@audioimagination.com> writes:

> On 3/10/15 1:02 AM, Randy Yates wrote: >> Les Cargill<lcargill99@comcast.com> writes: >>> [...] >>> Hey, if you wanna push an SVT or Twin up a ramp - or worse, drag >>> it up stairs - be my guest. >> >> Back in the 70s our guitarist bought a brand new Twin - those suckers >> are heavy, even though they're short! > > Twin Reverbs sound great and are less to haul than a Marshall stack.
Yeah, that was our next guitar player's amp (Marshall 50 with two cabinets). -- Randy Yates Digital Signal Labs http://www.digitalsignallabs.com
On 3/10/15 9:49 PM, Les Cargill wrote:
> robert bristow-johnson wrote: >> On 3/9/15 8:49 PM, Les Cargill wrote: >>> robert bristow-johnson wrote: >>>> On 3/9/15 12:38 PM, gyansorova@gmail.com wrote: >>>>> appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound >>>>> better? It analogue after all. >>>> >>>> well, eventually it's all analog as the wavefront of pressure deviation >>>> impinges upon our eardrums. >>>> >>>>> The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? >>>> >>>> there's more than surface noise. there's less effective bandwidth in >>>> vinyl than in CDs up to 22.05 kHz. >>>> >>>>> Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound >>>>> better? >>>> >>>> the tube amps (like McIntosh) for playback of stereo music for your >>>> living room, i sorta doubt it. i personally don't understand the desire >>>> for much other than straight, linear, and flat playback with options >>>> like a level compressor and graphic and parametric EQ in the path >>>> (whereas all of these can be adjusted to have no effect). >>>> >>>> now, if someone likes the way their vinyl sounds better than a CD of >>>> the >>>> same music, they can record the vinyl playback at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz >>>> uncompressed, burn a CD with that, and play that CD back. shouldn't >>>> sound any different than the actual vinyl, pops and surface noise and >>>> all. >>>> >>> >>> It doesn't. >> >> :-\ >> >> same sound system, otherwise? >> >> then your CD or .wav file recording system lacks transparency. >> > > It doesn't sound *different*. :) "It shouldn't" ===> "it doesn't." > > I omitted needful words :)
okay, i get it. i think.
> >>> >>>> now, for guitar amps, that's a little different. the distortion one >>>> gets in a guitar amp by cranking it up to arcweld (or up to "11" in the >>>> Spinal Tap movie) is a "guitar effect" along with many other effects. >>>> with **really** careful emulation of the tube amp, we should be able to >>>> get an indistinguishable sound with a linear (and solid state) amp and >>>> the digital effects processor. but i don't think that anyone has yet >>>> set up a blind testing studio with a Mesa Boogie in the room that >>>> can be >>>> secretly switch to a DSP/LinearAmp using the same input jack and the >>>> same loudspeaker in the box. >>> >>> Right. There's been no market feedback for it. But that's changed in the >>> last few years. ElevenRack, AxeFx and Kemper are all taken seriously. >>> >>> And for pure *solid state* amps. the Lab Series, MOSVALVE and now the >>> Quilter Tone Block may make inroads. Even the cheap Fender solid state >>> amps are good, they're just not a Twin. >> >> well, that's the going narrative. >> >> the fundamental fact is, in both situations (either the real amp, or an >> emulated amp *driving the same loudspeaker*) a signal goes in to the amp >> (from the guitar) and a signal comes out. that signal that comes out is >> a causal mathematical function of the signal going in along with some >> noise source and hum. it's a mathematical function performed by the >> physical description of the analog parts and of the circuit hooking them >> together. it's not magic, but we might not know all of the math. >> > > We may well not; people are still working on it. I have run > deconvolutions of my tube rig in VST convolvers. Not bad. > > There are also waveshapers for distortion, other stuff. > > I really think the NRE for Doing This Right is the principal bottleneck. > After all, you can buy the real thing for not all > that much money. >
but i think some folks are doing it. like the panelists in this workshop: http://www.aes.org/events/135/workshops/?ID=3702 because of the intermix of non-memoryless linear (having states) and non-linear (also with states) interactions, i don't think something like straight-forward deconvolution can figger this out. unless it's something that determines coefficients for a Volterra series and i think that would be a mess (it's something that i kinda unsuccessfully fiddled with a good couple decades ago, i know that doesn't mean it isn't done now, but i think most of them amp-modeling guys are literally modeling each part.) they're doing physical reductionism rather than blindly coming up with a general Volterra series. at least, that's what i think they're doing.
>>> >>>> right now, no discriminating guitarist >>>> will admit that they might not hear the difference, because they can >>>> **see** the difference between when they plug into the tube amp vs. >>>> plugging into a DSP effects box. >>>> >>> >>> >>> Hey, if you wanna push an SVT or Twin up a ramp - or worse, drag >>> it up stairs - be my guest. >> >> i've (with another person) hauled B3's up and down ramps. > > Yep. BTDT. > >> and boxes >> filled with heavy snakes. and other boxes filled with heavy lighting >> controllers. and boxes filled with hardware. and large woofer and >> driver cabinets. etc. etc. >> >> > > and then some time in my 30s, I bought a ... handcart.
they nearly all had wheels. hardcart wasn't used much as best as i recall.
> >>> "Amateurs study (tone) - professionals study logistics" - Clausewitz, >>> paraphrased. >>> >>>> so, i believe (and i am saying "believe") that, with careful and >>>> accurate modeling of the tube amp (and there are lotsa things to model; >>>> tube curves, inter-electrode Miller capacitance, transformer >>>> non-linearity and hysteresis, power supply droop when the guitarist >>>> hits >>>> a power chord, 60 or 50 Hz AC hum intermodulating in there, shot >>>> noise), >>>> that in really blind testing, we can actually fool the hard-core guitar >>>> hero. but that has not really been done yet, even though some nice >>>> emulation products have appeared, both in hardware and in plug-ins. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>> >>> And the kids with their iPhones and all that will not probably bee quite >>> as enamored of large and hot tubes. But they buy D/A converters >>> with 12AX7s, so who knows? >>> >> >> i know. that's the whole goofy thing. >> > > I don't blame people for liking tubes. They're awesome devices. >
-- r b-j rbj@audioimagination.com "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
robert bristow-johnson wrote:
> On 3/10/15 9:49 PM, Les Cargill wrote: >> robert bristow-johnson wrote: >>> On 3/9/15 8:49 PM, Les Cargill wrote: >>>> robert bristow-johnson wrote: >>>>> On 3/9/15 12:38 PM, gyansorova@gmail.com wrote: >>>>>> appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound >>>>>> better? It analogue after all. >>>>> >>>>> well, eventually it's all analog as the wavefront of pressure >>>>> deviation >>>>> impinges upon our eardrums. >>>>> >>>>>> The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? >>>>> >>>>> there's more than surface noise. there's less effective bandwidth in >>>>> vinyl than in CDs up to 22.05 kHz. >>>>> >>>>>> Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound >>>>>> better? >>>>> >>>>> the tube amps (like McIntosh) for playback of stereo music for your >>>>> living room, i sorta doubt it. i personally don't understand the >>>>> desire >>>>> for much other than straight, linear, and flat playback with options >>>>> like a level compressor and graphic and parametric EQ in the path >>>>> (whereas all of these can be adjusted to have no effect). >>>>> >>>>> now, if someone likes the way their vinyl sounds better than a CD of >>>>> the >>>>> same music, they can record the vinyl playback at 16-bit, 44.1 kHz >>>>> uncompressed, burn a CD with that, and play that CD back. shouldn't >>>>> sound any different than the actual vinyl, pops and surface noise and >>>>> all. >>>>> >>>> >>>> It doesn't. >>> >>> :-\ >>> >>> same sound system, otherwise? >>> >>> then your CD or .wav file recording system lacks transparency. >>> >> >> It doesn't sound *different*. :) "It shouldn't" ===> "it doesn't." >> >> I omitted needful words :) > > okay, i get it. i think. >
What goes in is what comes out. <snip>
> > but i think some folks are doing it. like the panelists in this > workshop: http://www.aes.org/events/135/workshops/?ID=3702 > > because of the intermix of non-memoryless linear (having states) and > non-linear (also with states) interactions, i don't think something like > straight-forward deconvolution can figger this out.
It gets... some fraction of it. Mainly amps act a lot as an EQ, and it does that well enough. This is where the nonlinear waveshapers come in. FuncShaper is pretty darned useful - you basically write the formula you want.
> unless it's > something that determines coefficients for a Volterra series
I have seen those referenced in places.
> and i think > that would be a mess (it's something that i kinda unsuccessfully fiddled > with a good couple decades ago, i know that doesn't mean it isn't done > now, but i think most of them amp-modeling guys are literally modeling > each part.)
I know that was true of, say the Bomb Factory plugins for things like rackmount studio compressors and what not. Seems a bit ... crazy.
> they're doing physical reductionism rather than blindly > coming up with a general Volterra series. at least, that's what i think > they're doing. >
We can think what we want I doubt it'll be very public.
> > >>>> >>>>> right now, no discriminating guitarist >>>>> will admit that they might not hear the difference, because they can >>>>> **see** the difference between when they plug into the tube amp vs. >>>>> plugging into a DSP effects box. >>>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> Hey, if you wanna push an SVT or Twin up a ramp - or worse, drag >>>> it up stairs - be my guest. >>> >>> i've (with another person) hauled B3's up and down ramps. >> >> Yep. BTDT. >> >>> and boxes >>> filled with heavy snakes. and other boxes filled with heavy lighting >>> controllers. and boxes filled with hardware. and large woofer and >>> driver cabinets. etc. etc. >>> >>> >> >> and then some time in my 30s, I bought a ... handcart. > > they nearly all had wheels. hardcart wasn't used much as best as i recall. >
<snip> -- Les Cargill
On Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 12:39:51 PM UTC-4, glen herrmannsfeldt wrote:
> Bob Masta <N0Spam@daqarta.com> wrote: > > On Mon, 9 Mar 2015 09:38:31 -0700 (PDT), > > gyansorova@gmail.com wrote: > > (snip on valve/tube amps) > > > Valve or tube amps that are overdriven sound better than > > solid state amps that are overdriven. That's because solid > > state amps have hard clipping when they reach their supply > > limits. That produces lots of nasty high-frequency > > distortion products. Tube amps saturate more softly as they > > approach their limits, so instead of clipping the peaks they > > have more rounded tops, with less of the higher-frequency > > products. > > It shouldn't be that hard to make a softer clip on a transistor > amplifier, but you have to do that before it reaches the peak. >
(snip) A few companies have done this. Tech 21 is one. They had their Sansamp product. They have newer version of the Sansamp and their Character series of pedals. The Sansamp has a bunch of switches allowing you to control the gain, presence, and a few other factors which give you Marshall, Fender and Mesa Boogie type sounds. These pedals are solid state rather than the DSP modelling route. The newer Character pedals seem to focus on one particular type of amp for each pedal. I don't know what they've changed in going from the Sansamp to the Character pedals. Their website is: http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/sansamp/classic.html Line 6 has also combined the modeling with an actual tube amp. Reinhold Bogner designed the tube amps for them. I think Peavey also had combined Tube amps with modeling in some of their product line. So there are definitely companies out there combining various forms of technology. Cheers, Dave
Dave wrote:
> On Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at 12:39:51 PM UTC-4, glen herrmannsfeldt > wrote: >> Bob Masta <N0Spam@daqarta.com> wrote: >>> On Mon, 9 Mar 2015 09:38:31 -0700 (PDT), gyansorova@gmail.com >>> wrote: >> >> (snip on valve/tube amps) >> >>> Valve or tube amps that are overdriven sound better than solid >>> state amps that are overdriven. That's because solid state amps >>> have hard clipping when they reach their supply limits. That >>> produces lots of nasty high-frequency distortion products. Tube >>> amps saturate more softly as they approach their limits, so >>> instead of clipping the peaks they have more rounded tops, with >>> less of the higher-frequency products. >> >> It shouldn't be that hard to make a softer clip on a transistor >> amplifier, but you have to do that before it reaches the peak. >> > > (snip) > > A few companies have done this. Tech 21 is one. They had their > Sansamp product. They have newer version of the Sansamp and their > Character series of pedals. The Sansamp has a bunch of switches > allowing you to control the gain, presence, and a few other factors > which give you Marshall, Fender and Mesa Boogie type sounds. These > pedals are solid state rather than the DSP modelling route. The newer > Character pedals seem to focus on one particular type of amp for each > pedal. I don't know what they've changed in going from the Sansamp to > the Character pedals. Their website is: > http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/sansamp/classic.html > > Line 6 has also combined the modeling with an actual tube amp. > Reinhold Bogner designed the tube amps for them. I think Peavey also > had combined Tube amps with modeling in some of their product line. >
The newerish Line6 amps are a micro controlling a tube amp, not so much a DSP board into a tube amp. So they say. So it's the ultimate in "physical modelling".
> So there are definitely companies out there combining various forms > of technology. > > Cheers, Dave > >
-- Les Cargill
On Monday, March 9, 2015 at 12:38:35 PM UTC-4, gyans...@gmail.com wrote:
> appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound better? It analogue after all. The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound better?
One theory I heard (not sure if it was on the Internet or not so I don't if it's true or not, but it would actually be a testable theory) was that since the pops and crackles are different every time, each time you listen to it is different which may increase the attention paid to it and hence "improve" the sound. YMMV. Void where prohibited. -Mike
On 3/11/15 6:49 PM, Michael Shonle wrote:
> On Monday, March 9, 2015 at 12:38:35 PM UTC-4, gyans...@gmail.com wrote: >> appears to be popular again. Just a gimmick or does it really sound better? It analogue after all. The noise is worse of course but could there be any advantage at all? Then we have valve amps. What's the fuss about them? Do they sound better? > > One theory I heard (not sure if it was on the Internet or not so I don't if it's true or not, but it would actually be a testable theory) was that since the pops and crackles are different every time, each time you listen to it is different which may increase the attention paid to it and hence "improve" the sound. YMMV. Void where prohibited. >
some of the pops happen at the same place. certainly pops due to scratches and defects will correlate. what i thought might be a way to recover audio on vinyl, when the master disks or original tapes had been lost, might be to have different copies of the same 70s vinyl record (like Wishbone Ash "New England" might be an example of something never re-released on CD) and digitally record as many copies of the same vinyl album as you can get. then use something like cross-correlation to line up corresponding segments of the audio and then do some kinda median filtering on the lined-up samples to kick out the clicks and pops and crackle that's different on the different vinyl records. i dunno. someone else likely has a patent claim on it. -- r b-j rbj@audioimagination.com "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
robert bristow-johnson <rbj@audioimagination.com> wrote:

(snip)
> some of the pops happen at the same place. certainly pops due to > scratches and defects will correlate.
> what i thought might be a way to recover audio on vinyl, when the master > disks or original tapes had been lost, might be to have different copies > of the same 70s vinyl record (like Wishbone Ash "New England" might be > an example of something never re-released on CD) and digitally record as > many copies of the same vinyl album as you can get. then use something > like cross-correlation to line up corresponding segments of the audio > and then do some kinda median filtering on the lined-up samples to kick > out the clicks and pops and crackle that's different on the different > vinyl records.
Seems like you can also reduce some other kinds of noise, too, by averaging over the different copies. Maybe even ones from different masters. (Do they do that, after too many have been made off one?)
> i dunno. someone else likely has a patent claim on it.
If not, hurry and patent it yourself. -- glen