Analog vs. digital segment on PBS


The show "Wired Science" on PBS this week has a good segment on analog vs. digital with a relatively quick blind panel test on analog vs. digital. I think they replay the show during the week if you can catch it. Nice to see some of the hobby getting some primetime attention, if PBS can be considered primetime of course! They have a couple recording engineers speaking about the merits of each and a blind listening test between a recording group (whose music they use for the test) and some unbiased recording engineers.
Also some info on frozen brains... either way it's a great show for general technology every week.
jimmy2615
Interresting but the test was between masters in a studio, not between the end products of CD and LP, which is what the average and above average listener would be using respectively. :D

Using a different type of music may have helped to reveal differences. I've always found analog to be much better at reproducing ambient venue sounds, hall sounds, or 'air' vs CD's of the same recordings.

Of course there are many different degrees (sampling rates, word lengths) of digital. The test did not indicate (that I saw) what was being used and if it was what a consumer would get with a red book CD.
No one mentions that Pro Tools (the digital company) set up the test for PBS.

Sure, digital can sound great at "master" level, I've been fortunate enough to hear direct digital masters against the same release on CD.

LP is not perfect either, but LP is the superior CONSUMER format for those willing to put in the time to make it right.

Perhaps when (and if) high def downloads become available we will finally have digital that's superior to LP.

Meanwhile it's still the 25 year old Redbook format with brick wall filters and digital nasty (or) downloads at no better resolution that what's already offered in the stores.

With Apple making hundreds of millions of dollars, selling crap downloads, we audiophiles will be lucky if truly high resolution downloads are ever offered. The recording companies see it as pearls before swine.
Albert, more importantly Pro Tools is known in the recording arena as the software to use because of EASE not quality. Other digital editing/recording software is MUCH better but requires a brain to use. Many in my past field can't operate superior software that delivers quality.
No one mentions that Pro Tools (the digital company) set up the test for PBS.

Interesting. Perhaps the whole thing was faked and the band who claimed they could not tell were all paid to do so (or more likely the music was all from the good sounding analog).

PBS relies very heavily on sponsorship....so you never know!

Sure, digital can sound great at "master" level, I've been fortunate enough to hear direct digital masters against the same release on CD.

Another good point. CD's are often a lot worse than studio masters due to the mastering process where they are compressed horribly to sound "hot" or "loud" (no dynamics left after this process and very prevalent with pop music).
I don't think they said what the final playback was from. They did an A/B on the fly "probably" from a digital platform. This would mean it was AAD vs DDD. Did they say what playback was from? Did I miss that? For true A/D comparison playback would have had to have been from the R/R recorder they used vs a digital platform .

ET