Five Digital Audio Myths Busted - EMusician

Five Digital Audio Myths Busted

Music as we know it has been destroyed by [insert bogeyman digital technology: Beat Detective, Auto-Tune, etc.]. No, lazy people misusing your bogeyman digital technology of choice have destroyed music as we know it.
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1: Music as we know it has been destroyed by [insert bogeyman digital technology: Beat Detective, Auto-Tune, etc.]. No, lazy people misusing your bogeyman digital technology of choice have destroyed music as we know it.

2: Vinyl contains actual waveforms, so it''s inherently accurate and doesn''t need drastic digital-audio-type filtering. Oh, but it does: a +20dB boost at 20Hz, a –20dB cut at 20kHz, and a very specific filter shape—the infamous RIAA curve. In fact, vinyl requires teeny-tiny little bass waveforms so the phono cartridge doesn''t imitate “dancing shrimp” at the sushi bar.

3: Here''s why digital audio sucks: because of the stair-stepping at the output caused by sampling. Here, let''s hook up this oscilloscope. Zoom way in. No, zoom in more . . . more . . . now, what do you see? Right! That''s why they''re called output-smoothing filters.

4:Boosting EQ at 25kHz for “air” is ridiculous unless you''re a dog. These filters have skirts that extend into the audible range, and can affect the highs in subtle ways. Besides, my dogs like listening to music, and they''re always asking for more 25kHz. And for better woofers.

5:Tape is a more natural way to record than digital technology. Yes, if you think that suspending a zillion little magnetic rust particles in plastic and then telling them how to line up as they get dragged past an electromagnet, which has to be fed by a high-level supersonic signal just so the audio doesn''t sound like a buzzsaw, is totally natural.