[LAD] Xiph.org - Video:Digital Show and Tell - No difference between analog and digitally processed sound.

Bill Gribble grib at billgribble.com
Wed May 22 14:38:37 UTC 2013

This is an interesting video, and for their stated purpose (to dispel
the idea that the output of a D/A converter is a stairstep) it's

But, to be fair, he's only addressing one part of the process (the
conversion from analog to digital and back).  Arguments about "analog"
and "digital" in recording tend to include such things as tape
saturation, transformers, vinyl cutting technique, floating-point error,
plugin aliasing, etc which are separate issues from A/D and D/A and are
as much about what "sounds good" as about whether a sampled signal can
be perfectly reconstructed.  

Also, the demonstrations with the oscilloscope are illuminating
regarding the math behind digital audio, but those aren't exactly
precision measurements.  There are real effects due to clock jitter on
both the A/D and D/A end that can cause small but measurable
distortions.  "Ideal" sampling and reconstruction requires "ideal"
hardware, which (as you might guess) doesn't exist!  The amount of
"non-ideal" behavior may not bother you, for any particular value of
"you", but then again it may. 

Bill Gribble 

On Wed, 2013-05-22 at 15:08 +0100, Barney Holmes wrote:
> Thought the list would find this valuable.
> http://wiki.xiph.org/Videos/Digital_Show_and_Tell
> I was under the impression that there was some fundamental difference
> between the sound of analog and digital audio. But Monty Montgomery of
> Xiph.org completely annihilates this misconception with some clever use of
> analog sound reference equipment fed through a digital process and then
> out to an analog oscilloscope, vs. feeding direct from analog to the
> oscilloscope. The results are identical. I think Xiph have done the open
> source music community quite a service here because it completely trumps,
> in my opinion, the perception that electronic music put through a digital
> process is somehow "inferior" to analog music.
> ~~~
> Home site - http://djbarney.org
> _______________________________________________
> Linux-audio-dev mailing list
> Linux-audio-dev at lists.linuxaudio.org
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