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The Importance of Bit Perfect Recording (or lack thereof…)

7 Replies, 5337 Views

I've given this quite a bit of thought and I've come to the conclusion that bit perfect recording isn't really important from a fidelity POV.

With that being said, it's obviously necessary for e.g. DTS which uses the 2ch 16/44.1 signal as a carrier, but for normal digital stereo and matrixed surround on LD I'd say it hardly matters.

What really matters is that there's no D->A->D step. If your sound card internally resamples incoming S/PDIF to 48KHz… so what? I damn well know I won't hear the difference and I'd put money on nobody else being able to hear it either.

So where am I going with this?

I think what matters from a preservation POV is simply getting as many of these tracks on the web as possible. Bit perfect requirements scare people away or keep people from sharing. It's silly.

The only real requirement we should have is no D->A->D.

Agree? Disagree?
On balance, I agree, but I think we should still make it clear that bit perfect is the ideal. It's a question of keeping our source material as untouched as possible so we can (a) preserve it for posterity (b) go back to it to re-do our work should the need arise, be it syncing, upmixing, resampling, whatever. The more careful we are with quality control, the less likely it is that we have to re-do work needlessly.

But you're absolutely right that people are being put off sharing, and that certain is silly. We've wanted certain audio tracks for a long time, and I'd far rather listen to PCM captured through a DVD player (or whatever) than have to make do with what we are given on commercial BDs.
I agree that bit perfect is wanted and preferred but I would never reject a (digital) soundtrack because it didn't meet the standard; especially if rare or the person simply can't to bit-perfect.

Honestly, I don't think bit-perfect is scaring people away. I think it is that very few people have laserdisc hardware and potential un-captured disc we need. And of that small group there are very few who can capture and of those do bit-perfect. It's a niche of a niche of a niche.
Yep, bit-perfect capture is still the best way, but a non-bit-perfect digital capture would be almost the same, audio wise... and yes, even if I would prefer a bit-perfect one, any good capture of interesting material - even D->A one - would be very welcome!
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
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(2017-06-19, 09:11 PM)spoRv Wrote: any good capture of interesting material - even D->A one - would be very welcome!
Here's an offer. Spread it around.

If the usual "bit perfect for hire" people aren't available and

If your LD player doesn't have S/PDIF output: Send me the LD. I'll do the transfer and I'll pay for postage both ways.

If your LD player does have S/PDIF output, but you lack equipment with S/PDIF input: I'll buy or lend you one of those cheap Chinese S/PDIF->USB boxes outright. No questions asked.

I'm more-than-willing to put the time, money, and effort in to reduce the number of unnecessary D->A->D transfers.
(This post was last modified: 2017-06-19, 09:33 PM by AntcuFaalb.)
To be honest, I've compared the BTTF bit perfect audio tracks to the D->A->D ones I've made and I couldn't hear the difference.
I'll admit the whole bit-perfect thing intimidated me a little initially. What I have found with a little research is that older sound cards (or USB devices) with bit-perfect capabilities are available cheaply nowadays. I think that so long as the capture device isn't mangling or corrupting the data then it's probably all good, however if you want to capture AC3 or DTS then bit-perfect is a must. The problem then is getting hold of a demodulator/DTS discs without breaking the bank...
Not 100% sure it's bit perfect yet, but using a standalone CD recorder works really well for me. The later models (Post 2000?) can use any type of CD-R. (Earlier models were limited to more expensive "music only" type discs to appease the music industry.) The TEAC deck I bought can be found for around $200 on Ebay new.
(This post was last modified: 2017-06-20, 09:40 AM by SilverWook.)

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