Still Alive..

Just a quick update on the things im upto and various projects im involved in that i thought i would share.

World of Rave has had a complete revamp adding more funcutionality to the shop system and it is also fully responsive. So i have been working hard on that.

New Eden Radio will getting a brand new website and hosting very soon, in my spare time i have been working on a new CMS, website front end, and various custom mods to tie it all together. So keep your eye peeled on that one too.

When im not doing all of that im working on a little Breakbeat mix using the Akai APC40, im currently using newer tracks but with oldskool breaks and sample clips bringing a fusion of unheard mixes together. So far everytime i add a new section it’s had me dancing around the room & i can’t wait to finish it off and share it with everyone.

So there we have it a short a quick update on some of the things im upto.



The bitrate and audio wars

The most common “Flame war” to date has to be the vinyl vs digital debate, I have seen countless articles, forums, comments on Facebook by people claiming vinyl is better than digital. Well in my eyes this just isn’t true; I believe it’s a preferred choice and sometimes a poorly informed choice at that. Let’s dive into the technical side of vinyl and digital.
The human hearing range is from 20Hz to 20 KHz (20 Hz to 20,000 Hz) as we all get older our hearing naturally degrades over time. Having studio equipment that covers the entire range on every piece from file/vinyl to speakers is just as important as turning up the volume from zero before playing a track.


Vinyl warmth


Now this is a tricky subject as it’s not just one thing that creates analogue warmth. Oldskool and cheaply pressed vinyl from artists who wanted as many copies as they could get, unfortunately 90% of the time contain a “vinyl distortion” and many dj’s don’t know about this hum. This hum can be monitored at 60Hz and sometimes has a harmonic tone sitting at around 120Hz as well. Now let’s not get confused here with a grounding hum because you’ve forgot to clamp down the earth cable to the turntables, no this is an audible sound which is caused by poor mastering and/or cheap vinyl. Google “vinyl distortion” and “vinyl surface noise”
Secondly “vinyl warmth” is a feeling of how the track sounds to you. A warm track may sound warm to you but to someone else they may not perceive the same thing. This brings us nicely to why vinyl sounds better than a 128kbps file.




A 128kbps at 44.1 KHz (stereo) file contains a snapshot of the audio signal 44,100 times per second and 128 kilobits of data is stored in every second of song. So what would happen if we used 320kbps @ 44.1 KHz? Well then you’d be capturing more of the sound with 320 Kilobits of data per second and 44,100 snapshots per second, which result in a better image to play from at the cost of higher storage space.
Now what’s this 44.1 KHz snapshot, well in simple terms it’s the amount of samples used in the file per second. Imagine a graphic equalizer, if you had an 8 bar EQ you could control 8 frequencies but if you had a 44 bar eq this would give you better control over the volumes for those frequencies. 44.1 is cd quality, 48 KHz is DAT quality (most professional gear will do 48 KHz), 96 KHz is DVD quality, 192 KHz is HD DVD/Blu-ray Quality.


Lossy vs Lossless

So keeping all that in mind we now have to consider “lossy” and “lossless”, I don’t really want to dive too much into the technical side of lossless and all the different quality variations of lossy formats. Lossy loses audio quality and lossless formats will keep all of the original sound. Flac is a commonly used lossless format which uses compression to bring the file size down to 50-60% of the original size. So if we were really going to compare Vinyl to Digital surely we would use the better format of lossless which is Wav (uncompressed) or Flac (compressed).



Comparing vinyl alongside Wav or Flac using the best available equipment to you and I can promise you will struggle to find any difference. Sure if you want to compare 128 mp3 files to vinyl then vinyl will always win hands down due to its ability to reproduce more sounds. But take away 128 and step up to wav/flac and you’ll be hard pressed to notice the difference.
Digital also suffers from idiot executives and audio engineers who just don’t care. Yes I’m talking about the “loudness war”, oh crap another war I hear you say. No no nothing like that, compare a cd from when they were first bought into production throughout the years to current day cd’s and you’ll hear a progressive louder and louder pattern. This was due to competing bands trying to get their cd heard better than a rivals. It’s got to such a point where the music suffers a continued loud stream and the song loses all audio dynamics. This is bad on so many levels I don’t want to get into it within this article, but there are plenty of articles covering the great “audio loudness war” and also check out “dynamic range” and “dynamic range compression”.


Final words

Vinyl can be fully recorded in a lossless format and sound no different from the vinyl it was recorded from. If you then enhance that recording by removing pops, hiss, and balancing the EQ would this not be an improvement on the original ?
At the end of the day these are my general rules I try to live by when it comes to music which I’m passionate about.
– Use good equipment / headphones
– If you have the space use higher quality tracks
– Wav or Flac for studio stuff
– 320 or Wav for clubs
– 128-320 for mobiles/i-pods (depending on space)
– 320 for radio (even if you broadcast at 128kbp/s your pc will transcode the 320 to 128 for broadcasting)

Oh last thing I promise lol. File space, the reason people use 128 files is due to space on mobiles, tablets or devices which don’t have huge 2,000Gb drives or people without high internet speeds.
A 4:00 minute audio file in different formats
Wav – 40.5MB (uncompressed) lossless, bitrate – 1411kbps
Flac – Quality 5 (default) – 26.09MB (36% compressed) lossless, bitrate – 1411kbps
Flac – Quality 8 (best) – 25.47MB (38% compressed) lossless, bitrate – 1411kbps
MP3 320 – 9.19MB (78% compressed) lossy, bitrate – 320kbps
Mp3 128 – 3.67MB (91% compressed) lossy, bitrate – 128kbps
Hard drives are becoming cheaper and larger every year, is it not time to improve our music collections and move away from poor quality songs and improve ??

Slow Serato is slow

Ok so the website is far from complete but i thought i would spend a few minutes posting my rants and raves or my mental ideas and thoughts, after all someone might be bothered to read it stranger things have happened.
So my first post is a little bit of a mixed bag of things as i get into the habbit of making my own posts and i want to start with one of the programs i use for mixing “Serato Scratch by Rane”.
Now for those that dont know what serato scratch is its very simple really. Back in the early days of mixing the only way to mix was two vinyl and two decks then came digital CDJ’s and now mp3 so what Serato does it uses your mp3 files and a special time coded vinyl. In short you load in to the program the track you want to play and using a special bit of vinyl you play the mp3. Whats the point of this i hear you cry, well that mp3 is being controlled by the vinyl so if you wanted to do a spinback / rewind / pitch up and down / scratch or anything you can do with vinyl you can do with a mp3 using the time coded vinyl as the control.

Currently im using serato scratch SL1 version 2.5.0 (at time of writing the most current update) now serato like any program has its own niggly faults here and there. Now heres the rant – Every since i bought Serato (at the time of buying new was £420) and years of using im still having issues loading tracks. Now dont get me wrong here im really really good at find fixes or workarounds with pretty much anything pc / program / coding based. What i mean by “loading tracks” let me explain this a little further. You add creates in serato and in those your files, each file needs to be analysed for bpm / track length / artist and track name info the standard kind of stuff. Now when you have a library of 40,000 oldskool tracks and maybe another 30,000 tracks mixed dance scanning these in to Serato can be a very long process. Now here’s the real rant and kick in the nuts. If one track in your collection is corrupt in any way serato wont bypass it, instead it locks up stops all scanning and chews up 3.5Gb of memory. I have no idea what Rane is thinking, most programs now-a-days will skip the file and report some sort of error but continue the job at hand.

Having a intel i-7 3770k quadcore (8 threads) does help scanning tracks in 8 at a time but as i said if one screws up then everything grinds to a halt. In the space of 8 hours i have had 4 program crashes, and i mean total crash, and around 12+ scanning halts and i have had to click “Analyze Files” again to stop the curent scan reselect remaining tracks and start analysing. If i could set serato to analyse and leave it running i would be a happy bunny but i fear this will never really happen and im always going to be fighting a losing battle.


36,356 tracks to go….

Hello Dirty Bass Hunters!

Still building come back later to see more –

Also i will be adding a shop system to the site over the next few months as I get a fair few people ask me “Whats the best bit of kit for….”. So I decided what better way to show you what I think is the best software / hardware at good prices. If you cant find something give me a shout on facebook / twitter or on the contact page, and I will do my best to research and find the best item I feel is worthy. I won’t put poor quality items up so please don’t ask for me to.

Out for lunch