Digital copying

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Here's an interesting tidbit for you to digest: you can make a near perfect digital copy of an anlog disc or recording - one that is pretty much indistinguishable from the master - but the opposite isn't true. You cannot successfully make an analog copy of a digitally mastered track.

The reasons for this are simple: digital audio has far greater dynamic range, accuracy and lower noise floor than any analog system known. So analog can't capture all that's recorded digitally, but digital can capture all that's recorded with analog means.

So why, you might ask, do so many digital remasters of great analog recording sound so dreadful? Great question, let me give you an example.

One of Harry Pearson's treasured all time classic recordings is the Look of Love, sung by Dusty Springfield and backed up by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Listened to on a clean (hard to find) copy of the original Colgems stereo LP, the sound is amazing - I have one copy myself and am looking for a backup before they're no longer available.

Purchase the remastered CD copy of this recording and it's thin, lifeless and worthless. Don't bother buying it if you're thinking about it.

Yet ..... and yes, there's a yet ..... if I play the LP, make a straight digital copy of that LP and play that back through a high quality DAC, the two are pretty much indistinguishable.

Food for thought. let's look more tomorrow.

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Paul McGowan

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