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Old 2005-08-15, 04:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: An urgent message about digital noise reduction

Originally Posted by Lou
I actually don't have any taping gear, I go to at most 2 concerts a year, it's just not worth spending hundreds of dollars to buy something when the likelihood is high nowadays that I'll be able to trade for it.
I am considering getting some gear, despite the cost, because I have become really pissed-off at myself for not having taped some of the really good shows I've seen in my lifetime that will never circulate, like John Hartford solo, tap-dancing on a piece of plywood in a Pittsburgh pizza parlor (late '70's), or like Gregg Allman, surprisingly burly, who showed up at a tiny bar around here (EC FL coast) and jammed with some blues guys for awhile. A couple of years ago, I tried to trade for the 1986-07-03 Petty-Dylan-Dead show that my brother and I saw together so I could make a really nice birthday gift for him; all I could find after months of searching was 3 copies, no lineage, all pretty high-gen (yes, NR was applied to my "remaster"). I sent out about 50 offers, so I guess my list just wasn't good enough, despite being fairly large. I've never seen the show torrented either. Too bad for me I didn't have the Master's of all those shows I'd seen in my life...

Originally Posted by Lou
Converting analog cassettes to CDR however, I have a Sony RCD-W500C standalone burner which has a VU meter, letting you know immmediately if it's clipping. I always edit everything I transfer with Soundforge so I'll see the clipping there as well.

So I'm not talking from experience, but it's just something to consider that maybe the taper set the levels too high, so it's clipped not because some bozo edited it and made it that way, but because that's how it was taped.
I'm just starting to research the newest technology in taping gear, so I am not talking from experience either, but I know with older shows tapers had to set their levels, and some of them set them too high, you can hear the results in their recordings, so I agree with you here.

But the clipping can also come from someone is careless (with your unit or mine) and doesn't watch the preset levels and/or the VU meter every second, and then clipping can occur (major clipping). At least you know you can check for clipping in Soundforge, newbies might not. And even if the newbie finds the clipping, will he go back and start from scratch, or will he use that little "peak rounding" tool to fake it and think he just did a "good job"?

The point I was trying to make earlier is that, at that one moment when the show hits its highest peak, you want your VU meter on your Sony RCD-W500C to "almost, but not quite" touch zero dB. For 16-bit units that holds true (well it also depends on the noise floor level of the cassette) but for 24-bit, maybe it is overkill since 24-bit has more dynamic range than even the cleanest cassette (127 dB vs. 90 dB sound about right?)
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