RE: Forward into the 19th Century

Subject: RE: Forward into the 19th Century
From: Jay Smalridge (
Date: Thu Oct 21 2004 - 19:17:11 EDT

Yep..that's it...just testing you all. Glad to see you were all paying attention. HA!

On Thursday, October 21, 2004, at 03:32PM, Eldad Tsabary <> wrote:

>Jay, you can always say that you were only checking if we're awake or
>are we lost in our own stream of ideas.
>Of course nobody will believe you though...
>But that's ok also as sylvi will surely verify.
>-----Original Message-----
>[] On Behalf Of Jay Smalridge
>Sent: October 21, 2004 5:27 PM
>Subject: RE: Forward into the 19th Century
>ouch...I knew I should have kept my mouth shut...
>On Thursday, October 21, 2004, at 02:00PM, Eldad Tsabary
><> wrote:
>>Jason smalridge wrote:
>>"I think that technology doesn't have to change to be better. Some
>>technologies were actually better then newer "advancements". Correct
>>me if I am wrong but doesn't the vinyl records produce better sound
>>quality then electric tapes and CD (when I say quality I mean frequency
>>Well. Not really - they do not produce better frequency response - on
>>the contrary, vinyl has a thinner frequency response and a much less
>>flat (accurate) one - meaning it does not respond equally to all
>>frequencies - unlike digital processing. Not only vinyl has a fairly
>>lousy frequency response it also has a much lousier dynamic range.
>>Even more disturbing, is the fact that vinyl's frequency response and
>>dynamic range which are already lousy to begin with deteriorate the
>>further we move into the inside of the vinyl as a result of the shorter
>>spins and the angle of the needle - in the past there were experiments
>>with vinyl records manufactured to begin on the inside part and play
>>outwards to get better quality towards the end of the side - especially
>>designed for symphonic music which normally develops on a longer scale
>>then pop music songs.
>>In fact, CDs were invented with classical music in mind because of
>>being such a lousy format for it - normally too short to include an
>>entire symphony on one record and even then it is on two sides (not
>>continuous). Also, the dynamic range of the symphony orchestra is huge
>>- probably up to approx 110dB, while the normal LP could handle about
>>With digital recording the dynamic range is solely limited by the
>>of bits per word (16 bits CD allows about 98dB - a serious improvement
>>from vinyl) and frequency response is solely dependent on sampling rate
>>- roughly half of the sampling rate minus compensations for aliasing
>>filters slope etc...) - audio CDs are pretty good up to 20,000Hz
>>However, back to the original subject....
>>Does this mean quality? Frequency response and dynamic range? They are
>>part of it for sure but they do not define quality. Quality is a much
>>bigger concept and has to do with what we want as well. Do we want
>>clinical accuracy of the digital sound? Apparently not.
>>So those of us who prefer vinyl on cds (or at least sometimes)... What
>>is it we want? What do we find as having better quality in them?
>>Apparently - to your question Jason, vinyl does not have better
>>specifications than cds - but it is still more desirable for other
>>What would they be? I'd love to hear some ideas....
>> A few that I can think of:
>>1) It has a lousy sound quality and we love it: the fact that its
>>frequency response is not flat - it emphasizes certain frequencies
>>gives its sound an identifiable character which we grew to love.
>>2) Again, it has a lousy quality and we love it: its limited dynamic
>>range inevitably requires compression which limits an accurate
>>reproduction of the music but perhaps gives it more punch and maybe
>>clipping distortion which we also got used to and learned to identify
>>a certain character.
>>3) It's mechanics is much more understandable to us - it is very
>>we hold the needle in our own hand and lay it carefully on the LP and
>>sound begins to play.
>>In short - it has character so we can love it. Digital media does not
>>have an identifiable character - except for being accurate and mechanic
>>- it is easy to appreciate it but not necessarily to love it.
>>-----Original Message-----
>>[] On Behalf Of Jason Smalridge
>>Sent: October 21, 2004 11:49 AM
>>Subject: Re: Forward into the 19th Century
>>I agree.
>>I look around my room here and see a midi keyboard that plugs into my
>>computer so that I can have access to "analog" synths. A digital
>>camera that works with the same principles as my old analog one(except
>>for an LCD screen of course). A guitar amp that is a reissue of a tube
>>amp (When I bought it, they were emphasizing the fact that it actually
>>had tubes in it. It was actually more expensive then the only
>>transistor amps).
>>I think that technology doesn't have to change to be better. Some past
>>technologies were actually better then newer "advancements". Correct
>>me if I am wrong but doesn't the vinyl records produce better sound
>>quality then electric tapes and CD (when I say quality I mean frequency
>>Either way, I know that my phone doesn't have a "normal" ring, only
>>stupid songs, and I keep it on vibrate all the time. I think the
>>novelty of technology tends to wear off fast and then we realize, "hey,
>>what we had before was actually a lot better. Let's go back a step."
>>On 21-Oct-04, at 11:32 AM, wrote:
>>> I've noticed three times in the past week now, phones (usually
>>> expensive
>>> flashy digital ones) which have a ring which mimics the old style
>>> analog bell sound, except of course produced digitally, which makes
>>> sound
>>> dull and processed.  This morning I was talking to a receptionist
>>> at
>>> Concordia and her phone rang with the analog style ring.  After she
>>> was off
>>> i asked her about it, and she said it was one of the custom settings
>>> she can
>>> choose on the phone.  I asked her if she liked it better, and she
>>> she
>>> still hates the sound of phones ringing (as most receptionists
>>> probably do),
>>> but it was the best option available.  I find it very interesting
>>> we've
>>> gotten to the point where we use our new technology to re-create
>>> out-dated
>>> technology, and just as interesting that given the choice people seem
>>> to
>>> prefer sensations which connect back to the old technology.  I
>>> back
>>> to the section in Shafer's "Tuning Of The World" where he foretold
>>> that one
>>> day people would be able to choose custom rings which could play
>>> and
>>> such, which has obviously come to pass.  I wonder though if he ever
>>> imagined
>>> that we'd get to the point where given the choice people would simply
>>> select
>>> the type of ring which already existed then.
>>>   Any thoughts or comments?
>>>     and ever...
>>>       - chris galanis

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b27 : Sat Dec 22 2007 - 01:46:04 EST