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19 June 2006



From the bench tests I've seen, AMD does process audio faster, but only marginally. And this is usually because they release their newer chips ahead of Intel.

Still, if AMD was giving me free shit, I'd stretch the truth just a bit, too.

Without real qualitative bench tests, though, (and not just one or two machines side-by-side) it's all just speculation anyway.

Jay Fienberg

I recently read the Electronic Musician (June 2006) interview with Terry Howard (who was the recording engineer for Ray Charles) where he talks briefly about using the 64-bit programs (he mentions Cakewalk Sonar and Nuendo).

He says he can hear the difference, and uses the comparison of perceived stereo separation between digital and analog mixes.

His basic equation is that digital noise aggregates (from each track) and DAW mixers require more processing power to achieve the kind of stereo separation that one finds in analog consoles (which evolved in the 1970s to deal with analog noise from many tracks).

Of course, to your friend's point: the places where the desktop processor power matters may be very few in the total scope of process that effect the quality of sound. A lot of the processing power required for A/D/A conversion happens in specialized processors outside of the CPU.

But, in my own experience with purely digital, in-computer, processes, obviously, more processing power can translate to higher fidelity in terms of software effects like convolution reverbs and virtual instruments that do lots of floating point calculations to render complex sounds.


I'm not sure what the big surprise is here.

One person thinks PT sounds better than Nuendo, another thinks the opposite. The NYT refers to 2 musicians on one side of that debate. Your friend is on the other side.

Nuendo requires "a more powerful chip"... sure, it uses native DSP to do all the heavy lifting, unlike PT.

AMD is sponsoring musicians... just like Ludwig, Gibson, Fender, whoever.

And the NYT did a lightweight piece on some of the above. So?

Unless your friend has any basis for the idea that the NYT author got free AMD machines and then wrote this article, he oughta relax. Maybe the author was looking for a trend to write about, or maybe it's an example of typical buzz generation. See Paul Graham's neat essay about this stuff: http://www.paulgraham.com/submarine.html

Not that the latter is defensible, but who reads big papers for real news like this anyway?

Jim Benson

I think the larger issue here is the manipulation of mainstream media and not the difference between software packages.

But, after being through interviews with media and talking to others that have, I also understand that what ends up coming out of the media shoot is not what goes in.

It's very probable that Knopfler would say, 'well, that's not quite what I think.' I know I've been there.

The "Lightweight" article is misleading at best, at a time when mainstream media is having credibility problems - if they can't get a book report like this right ... what other errors are out there?

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