Re: Chime in on my debate with AIX Records
I have never stated that older analog sources shouldn't be presented to consumers in the highest resolution possible...music fans should be able to experience the sound as the mixing engineer did in the studio.
My point is that just as HDTV means that there are 1920 x 1080 pixels captured with the cameras at the time of the shoot, the notion of HD Audio should mean something as well. DSOTM was recorded on an analog 24-track tape machine over 30 years ago. The specifications of the best of the best analog machines during that period would take the dynamic range to about 70 dB and the frequency response to 20-22 kHz. During the mixdown you lose 3 dB due to tape to tape transfer. A safety copy was made from which the disc was cut...another loss of 3 dB. As wonderful as it sounds [and it is a sound that I enjoy immensely], the digital equivalent [since 6 dB of signal to noise can be accomplished per bit] is around 10-12 bits, hardly qualifying as HD Audio, which demands 24-bits AND the use of all of those bits.
Many believe that by recapturing an older analog of SD digital source into a 96 kHz/24-bit bucket, that somehow the sound is magically transformed to fill the additional "fidelity space" of HD...not so, the dynamic range and the frequency response are the same as the original. You don't lose anything, but you don't gain anything either.
If you believe that HD stands for "higher-resolution" than there is no argument. I don't. It means that consumers should expect that the production chain from musician to speaker was accomplished with at least 96 kHz/24-bits.
Older analog can certainly benefit from HD Audio but DSOTM would be a completely new experience if Pink Floyd had access to the kind of equipment available today...if they choose to take advantage of the increased dynamic range and frequency response.
I believe it's important for consumers to realize the points made above. There are download site that claim to be "HD Music" but in reality they are selling standard CD resolution...not at all HD. HD Radio isn't high definition either...in fact, the spec is barely as good as a good MP3 soundfile. When iTrax.com comes online, the only content that it will sell will be REAL HD Audio.