pre-emphasis and archiving and cdda2wav

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J_Partyka
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Postby J_Partyka » Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:53 am

J_Partyka wrote:Hmm, that's odd. I extracted Abbey Road successfully on a Mac, but I also have a Dell laptop running XP and I extracted the pre-emphasized Columbia The Wall CD successfully on that.

In both cases, I extracted to WAV files. Perhaps I can do a little testing (with Abbey Road on the PC, and with AIF files in general) to help answer your questions.


I finally got around to testing this, and I didn't run into any problems.

I do wonder if it's Quicktime that makes the difference here. MK, what version of Quicktime do you have installed?

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MK
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Postby MK » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:59 am

No QuickTime installed on the PC, but I JUST ripped it on a Mac running iTunes 5.0.1 (never updated) with QuickTime 7.0.4 and OS X 10.4.5. Jumping back between the CD and aiff files, all played through iTunes, it sounds identical...on headphones and a pair of tinny Harmon/Kardon speakers that should emphasize any difference in the top end.

Maybe it's the drive? The G5 I used has a Sony DVD RW DW-U10A that came with it.

Specs:
Firmware Revision: A43h
Interconnect: ATAPI
Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)
Cache: 8192 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW
Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO

Don't have the PC with me, but that used some drive I got at OfficeMax.
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Postby lukpac » Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:03 am

FYI, pre-emphasis is pretty obvious - you can hear the difference even on cheap little laptop speakers.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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MK
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Postby MK » Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:12 am

The computer should de-emphasize any pre-emphasis CD when played back in the drive, right?

I'll have to test the copy and the original at home just to make sure, but on the Mac, the playback of the rip and CD at least match.
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Postby lukpac » Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:15 am

Depends on the software and the way it gets played back.

Any software using the analog output from the CD drive - yes.

Most software using DAE - no.

iTunes using DAE - apparently, yes.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby MK » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:17 pm

No dice. I burned a CD-R and compared it to the ripped tracks just to make sure they matched. I also matched the original CD to the ripped tracks and they matched. All of this was done on the same drive in the same G5 and compared over speakers then Grado headphones (which, BTW, SUCK...there's like a top end boost permanently set into them. When the tape hiss kicks in, you REALLY hear it.) Jacked up the volume just to be sure that top end matched.

So I brought home the original CD and the CD-R and popped them into a Panasonic CD player. After listening on headphones, I can tell they do NOT match. Switch to speakers, same deal. There's definitely more hiss or pink noise or whatever it is floating up there in the top end with the hi-hat notes sharp and sizzling.

So basically, the G5/iTunes/Sony drive set-up I have does NOT playback or rip the Toshiba ABBEY ROAD CD with the PE properly decoded.

Well, I guess if I can figure out a way for the G5 to read the CD in analog, that may do the trick, but I basically sacrifice sound quality for PE decoding, in which case what's the point? What you get is probably much worse than the regular CD currently available.

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH. Whatever, I've got the original. I'll just play that until the aluminum decays.
Last edited by MK on Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby lukpac » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:19 pm

I'm totally confused.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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MK
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Postby MK » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:20 pm

By my post or by iTunes's supposed ability to decode PE?
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Postby lukpac » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:24 pm

Your post.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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MK
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Postby MK » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:34 pm

Long story short, when I used iTunes, it didn't de-emphasize my Toshiba ABBEY ROAD CD. It didn't de-emphasize it when I ripped it, nor when I played it back.
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Postby lukpac » Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:55 pm

It was bright?

What about the CD-R you made from it?
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby MK » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:02 pm

CD-R was bright too.

And like I said, when I played both on a real CD player, the CD-R remained bright, but the Toshiba CD sounded just fine.
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Postby lukpac » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:16 pm

Did you not have PE set on your CD-R?
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD

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Postby MK » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:34 pm

I don't see any PE flags on the CD-R.

I ripped the Toshiba CD with iTunes and burned with iTunes. I was under the impression doing this in iTunes would create a correct sounding copy with no PE flags. Or did I miss something?
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Postby lukpac » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:09 am

If I'm reading you correctly, it looks like this happened:

iTunes doesn't recognize the PE flag on the original CD, but your CD player does. Thus the original sounds bright in iTunes, but not on your CD player. When you made a CD-R using iTunes, it didn't de-emphasize the data, nor did it include the PE flag on the burned disc. Thus it's bright in your CD player.

Do this - copy your original using EAC, but before burning look at the CUE sheet and make sure the PE flag is set for each track. If it isn't, set it. That should sound normal in your CD player. *Then* try playing that in iTunes. If it really does what people say it does, your CD should sound normal when ripped.
"I know because it is impossible for a tape to hold the compression levels of these treble boosted MFSL's like Something/Anything. The metal particulate on the tape would shatter and all you'd hear is distortion if even that." - VD