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Author Topic: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers  (Read 1504 times)

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Offline yousef

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Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« on: April 17, 2020, 06:27:17 AM »
I'm going through my remaining minidiscs and transferring stuff that may or may not have been transferred in the past but I seem to be getting an odd issue.

My set up is a Denon DMD-1000 minidisc player connected by S/PDIF (its only digital output) to an EMU 0404.

When I listen to the MDs from the player's headphone output all is well. If I monitor from the EMU's headphone output during transfer all is also well. But when I listen to the captured files, there is an intermittent quiet clicking noise thoroughout. This noise is not present if I do an analogue transfer.

I would have put this down to errors on the aged media that were perhaps being error corrected on the fly when listening directly to the Denon. But I can't account for why it sounds ok when monitoring via the EMU. Changing the optical cable makes no difference.

It's no great loss to do analogue transfers for these last few MDs but I'm curious to understand why this is happening.

I'm going to try to attach a short sample here - if it works, the offending noise is heard at both 3sec and 8sec.

https://www.mediafire.com/file/i4fgkirhgblfx8v/MD_test.mp3/file

Thank you for any pointers!
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Offline EmRR

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2020, 10:27:52 AM »
Sounds like a clocking error.  I see the same thing, sounds fine during transfer but not on replay.   Check the receiver clock setting?   Best guess.   
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Offline fobstl

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2020, 10:33:07 AM »
I have had a similar issue when transferring DAT > SPDF > Audiophile 2496 sound card. Everything sounds fine during the transfer but plays back with a random light noise similar to yours. I wondered if it might be a latency issue or something. Never did figure it out so I'm now transferring DAT > SPDF > Tascam DR-680 and things are transferring clean. Sorry I'm not any help here but maybe someone will have a solution.

Offline yousef

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2020, 12:49:50 PM »
Thank you for the replies.

I did wonder about clocking so double checked the EMU was set to 44.1kHz (and also seems to be defaulting to the incoming signal). I wonder if it will ignore the incoming signal and stick to its own internal clock...

Will report back if I can sort this out. Thanks once again.
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Offline morst

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2020, 03:44:55 PM »
I did wonder about clocking so double checked the EMU was set to 44.1kHz (and also seems to be defaulting to the incoming signal). I wonder if it will ignore the incoming signal and stick to its own internal clock...
Upstream device must clock to the external signal in order to lock. If it is clocking to its own internal signal rather than the source, that will usually result in clicks.
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Offline taper420

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2020, 09:39:52 AM »
Hmmm... I would say clocking issue is probably likely, but listening to it, it doesn't sound quite like the "tickticktick"-ing that I would expect. I can't really offer an alternative diagnosis, though. I can, however, offer to transfer the remaining discs you have using an RH1 and provide you with the original ATRAC files. Which, while I realize it's pedantic to discuss lossy transfers of a lossy recording format, is the preferred method of transfer; ATRAC is a floating point format and one could argue that converting to a fixed point format will introduce losses, especially without applying dither. ATRAC can be played back directly in VLC and converted to anything else using FFmpeg, fixed or floating. Back when I was doing my transfers I figured out that converting to floating point wav and then compressing with WavPack was one method to maintain floating, as FLAC only does fixed. Somewhat moot, since you can just archive the original ATRAC file, anyway.
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Offline morst

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2020, 03:04:10 PM »
Hmmm... I would say clocking issue is probably likely, but listening to it, it doesn't sound quite like the "tickticktick"-ing that I would expect.
Zoom in on the waveform, there are points of obvious discontinuity.
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Offline yousef

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2020, 07:42:29 AM »
I can, however, offer to transfer the remaining discs you have using an RH1 and provide you with the original ATRAC files. Which, while I realize it's pedantic to discuss lossy transfers of a lossy recording format, is the preferred method of transfer; ATRAC is a floating point format and one could argue that converting to a fixed point format will introduce losses, especially without applying dither.

That's a really kind offer but given that this would likely involve international postage of recordings of such poor quality that they have lain untransferred for 18 or 19 years I think your good nature and efforts would be somewhat wasted  :D

I really do appreicate the offer though and would definitely take you up on it if the discs justified it - many thanks!
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Offline morst

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2020, 05:17:48 PM »
That's a really kind offer but given that this would likely involve international postage of recordings of such poor quality that they have lain untransferred for 18 or 19 years I think your good nature and efforts would be somewhat wasted  :D
yet you are resistant to attempting an analog transfer?
Have you done a shootout yet?
Transfer something digitally, then analog, then compare the waveforms to see what's left??
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Offline yousef

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Re: Possible digital noise on minidisc transfers
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2020, 05:51:44 AM »
That's a really kind offer but given that this would likely involve international postage of recordings of such poor quality that they have lain untransferred for 18 or 19 years I think your good nature and efforts would be somewhat wasted  :D
yet you are resistant to attempting an analog transfer?
Have you done a shootout yet?
Transfer something digitally, then analog, then compare the waveforms to see what's left??

Not at all - in fact I've nearly finished all the analog transfers now.

I've not bothered doing a digital vs analog comparison of any of them as there were so any artefacts in the digital transfers.
music>other stuff>ears
my recordings: http://db.etree.org/yousef
http://www.manchestertaper.co.uk
twitter: @manchestertaper

 

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